One thing we already know about summer 2021: We'll be able to spend the season living vicariously through a group of very photogenic twentysomethings as they chug tropical drinks and attempt to fall in love with each other in some beachy locale. That's right, folks: Bachelor in Paradise is coming back! The seventh season will premiere on ABC on Monday, August 16, and be hosted by a range of celebrity comedians, including David Spade, Tituss Burgess, Lance Bass, and Lil Jon, in lieu of Chris Harrison.
The series was forced to take a year off in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the powers that be over at ABC scrambled to bring the no-holds-barred Bachelor spinoff back in time for this summer. As Rob Mills, a senior vice president at the network, told Variety earlier this year, "We are hell-bent on figuring out how we make Paradise work." The 2021 season of Bachelor in Paradise is scheduled to film over a period of three weeks in June 2021, with several members of the cast already confirmed.
When will Bachelor in Paradise air in 2021?
Bachelor in Paradise will begin airing on ABC on August 16, 2021. The series will start filming in June, between Thurston and Michelle Young's back-to-back seasons of The Bachelorette, and will film for three weeks.
The premiere date is in line with other seasons: Five of the last six seasons of BiP have premiered in the first week of August—season four kicked off a week later than usual—and continued, airing two episodes a week, until mid-September.
Who will be on Bachelor in Paradise this season?
Four seasons of The Bachelor and Bachelorette have aired in the two years since the last group of Bachelor Nation alums flew to Mexico, meaning that there are more than 100 (!) eliminated contestants to choose from for this season of BiP. The full cast, which is typically between 30 and 35 people—with between 16 and 18 getting there immediately, and the rest trickling in—hasn't yet been announced, but Mills, the ABC exec, did let one name slip earlier this year. In early January, after Joe Park, an anesthesiologist who appeared on Clare Crawley and Tayshia Adams' joint season of The Bachelorette, documented his second vaccine dose on social media, Mills shared the post and wrote, "We've got ourselves a vaccinated Paradisian!!"
Meanwhile, Chelsea Vaughn from James' season posted a picture in a bikini with the caption, "Did someone say paradise?" Serena Pitt, also from James' season, wants to come on Paradise and says she has a plan. “I would go in with a very open mind...I'm definitely someone who bases a lot on chemistry and interaction.”
Former Bachelorette Becca Kufrin, who broke up with her final rose pick Garrett Yrigoyen in September of last year, will also make an appearance in Paradise, according to Reality Steve. RS also claims that fan favorites Demi Burnett and Tia Booth will show up.
In addition to the above, the cast is rumored to include:
- Kit Keenan
- Madison Prewett
- Connor Saeli
- Connor Brennan
- Kendall Long
- Kelsey Weier
- Victoria Larsen
- Serena Chew
- Mari Pepin
- Joe Amabile
- Demar Jackson
- Ed Waisbrot
- Abigail Heringer
- Pieper James
- Mykenna Dorn
- Tammy Ly
- Jessenia Cruz
- Blake Horstmann
- Chris Randone
- Victoria Fuller
- Clay Harbor
We'll also see some contestants from Thurston's season on Paradise—including Connor, also know as "the cat guy" from night one, and Karl Smith. Thurston confirmed to Access: “I’m more focused on my exes showing up to Paradise because I know some of them are...Normally, I watch it as a fan. Now, knowing I have friends there, ex-boyfriends there, I’m absolutely tuning in."
But many Bachelor Nation alums have already announced that they will not be returning for round two of competitive broadcast dating. Matt James, for one, said on The Bill Simmons Podcast that BiP is "not in my cards." And his second runner-up, Bri Springs, said on the Here for the Right Reasons podcast that she would "need to see kind of some tangible change from the show in order for me to put myself back in that situation."
Kelley Flanagan has gone on the record to say that she won't go. Ivan Hall, who was a fan favorite on Adams' season, told E! in February he wouldn't want to do Paradise without some serious changes—specifically pertaining to the host. "I wouldn't feel comfortable if Chris is there, to be quite frank." He added, "[I'm] not saying he can't make a recovery, he can't learn from all this, but it would just be too soon." Harrison, for what it's worth, is no longer affiliated with the show, so Hall may have made it to the beach after all.
Where will Bachelor in Paradise be filmed?
That'll probably depend on vaccine availability and travel restrictions. Since season two, Bachelor in Paradise has filmed at the Playa Escondida resort in Sayulita, Mexico, and that could still happen, as Mills mused to Variety in January: "If people can get vaccinated, then maybe we're back in Mexico. If not, maybe there is a bubble situation in Mexico. We will figure out something," he said.
As of early June, filming had begun, but it's not clear where the show is being filmed. It's possible that, similar to how the COVID-era seasons of The Bachelor and Bachelorette have had to give up their globe-trotting ways and stay put at a single luxury resort somewhere in the U.S. all season long, BiP has gone passport-free and sent its contestants to a secluded American beach—I hear Hawaii is beautiful in June?
Who will host Bachelor in Paradise?
With Chris Harrison officially ejected as host, the show will likely take the opportunity to "audition" talent in Paradise for the role of permanent host. For now, we know that a range of celebrity guest hosts will be filling in, including David Spade, Tituss Burgess, Lance Bass, and Lil Jon. Burgess told Page Six: "Non-scripted TV is my guilty pleasure. I absolutely love it. I’ll be like a hog in shit hosting this show.” He isn't concerned about people not being there for the "right reasons," saying: "“I’m not there for the right reasons!”
When the celebrity guest host news was announced, Reality Steve tweeted: "Chelsea Handler was supposed to be one of the other ones along with David Spade, but it got pulled last minute. The only other one I know for sure going down to 'host' are Wells and Sarah Hyland."
What happens on Bachelor in Paradise this season?
Spoilers began trickling in just as soon as filming started in June. Apparently, Brendan Morais (from Tayshia's season) and Pieper James (from Matt's) are a thing, though it's anyone's guess how serious they are. Brendan had apparently given his rose to someone else prior to Pieper arriving, according to RS, so there's that.