By Joseph Errico published
With any luck, Bachelor in Paradise will be back in production this summer—by which I mean ABC will trap a bunch of rejected contestants from The Bachelor and The Bachelorette in a resort together and basically just...see what happens. While the vibe on the beaches of Paradise are definitely more chill than Bachelor Mansion, there are still a ton of rules the cast has to follow—especially when it comes to drinking limits, privacy (what's that? this show's never heard of it), and sex in the "boom boom room." And truly don't even get me started on the contract everyone has to sign before they step foot on the sandy beaches of Sayulita, Mexico.
Ahead, we've rounded up a bunch of rules these poor souls are contractually obligated to deal with (though that doesn't stop them from speaking out once their NDAs are up (hi @ Blake Horstmann and Dylan Barbour!), not to mention some truly juicy BTS dirt straight from the set. Please sit back, relax, pretend you're on a beach somewhere even though you're definitely hiding under a blanket in bed, and feel free to enjoy with a large cup of "happy juice," a.k.a. white wine and red bull—a favorite in Paradise.
You Have to Take a Psych Exam
At least according to Dylan Barbour, who revealed this nugget of info during his rant against The Bachelor. When asked if people simply sign onto the show for a free vacation he said, "I think it's a mix. Absolute wild experience, but there's a chance you meet someone for real. You all take psych exams, so you could be scientifically matched."
Actually, There's a Psychologist on Set
"They have psychologists on board, and it's their job to mentally assess you to see how you're going to react to situations," Kalon McMahon said back in 2014. "I have to admit, they are very good at their jobs."
Men Are Required to Wear Necklaces
Since swim trunks aren't exactly conducive to microphone packs, ABC makes the men wear matching necklaces with a mic built in. Truly the cutting edge of fashion and technology over here.
Making Out on Camera Is...Encouraged
Obviously, signing your life away to BiP means you gotta kiss on camera—but fear not, producers will turn around! This also comes from my new favorite person Dylan Barbour, who said, "Looooool yeah the producers just turn around" when a fan asked, "Is it awkward making out with all the cameras/crew staring at you?"
You Have to Wait Hours for the Fantasy Suite
If contestants get a Fantasy Suite date, they have to wait all night long for actual 1-on-1 time. According to Evan Bass, "couples really only get a few hours of alone time," and the Fantasy Suite portion "doesn’t start until the wee morning hours. Ours was 2:30 a.m."
Waxing Is a Must
Kay, so this isn't a hard and fast rule by any means (and lord knows I haven't shaved or waxed in over a year), but lots of contestants get waxed before heading to Paradise."I got a Brazilian wax and lasered my mustache and armpits," Alexis Waters told Refinery29, while Dominique Alexis said, “I actually waxed for the first time for Paradise! It was quite the experience.”
You Gotta Share Your Stuff
"You're around enough people who have everything that no matter what, you're fine," Bibiana Julian told Refinery29. "You end up using everybody's stuff. It's like one big dressing room."
You Pretty Much Have to Do What Producers Say
Ultimately, producers have the final say in what goes down on this show. Example? Katie Morton said that her post-show reunion with Chris Bukowski was brutal thanks to production taking her ring."I asked for it, and they said no," she told Olivia Caridi. "They brought it out during a time when they felt it was necessary. Whenever I get really stressed I'll also randomly cry. So Chris Harrison said, 'I see you're not wearing your ring,' and that was a breath of like, 'If I could only f*cking say it...' I didn't know how to say that this wasn't my choice."
You Have to Chill on Moldy Beds
This horrifying BTS fact comes courtesy of Wells, who told TV Insider, "This is something that people don't realize: All of those day beds that everyone goes and like sits on and stuff? Those get wet and then inevitably get moldy smelling. By the end of the season, those daybeds are nasty. If you've gotten to the end there, and you're about to get engaged, uh, you're avoiding those." Truly help.
You Can't Hide From Cameras
"There are cameras everywhere and there's nowhere to hide," a former producer told People. "So when cast members behave outrageously, they allow themselves to forget there are cameras—and just get caught up in the moment.”
Kay, But the Good News: The Ocean Is a Free-for-All
While cameras are never not lurking, it sounds like what happens in the ocean stays in the ocean. Just ask Raven Gates, who said, “When I was on, [Adam Gottschalk] would take me into the ocean and say some dirty sh*t to me."
There's a Drink Limit
Dylan confirmed that there *is* a drink limit on Bachelor in Paradise—specifically "two an hour on the hour."
But! There Are No Rules About When You Can Start Drinking
Chris Bukowski said that "in Paradise, it's always five o'clock. I woke up in the morning and I had a glass of vodka soda—actually two—before I went down to the house. I didn't eat anything. There's not much to do."
No One Drinks Beer...
Less a rule, more a way of life. This one comes straight from Wells, who said, "No one drinks beer because everyone is terrified of carbs. The only people that drank beer were [Chris] Bukowski and...me, probably."
...But They Do Drink Something Called "Happy Juice"
In the words of Wells, "So Hannah G. started the trend of this horrible drink called 'Happy Juice,' which is white wine and red bull and it was so gross. It's a like an allegory for Paradise: Weird and gross but also like makes a lot of sense because you've got to stay up late. At the beginning, everyone made fun of it and by the end of it, everyone was drinking it!"
There's Another Resort!
It's called Vidanta Resort Nuevo Vallarta, and Glamour reports that a ton of the special 1-on-1 dates on BiP go down here.
P.S. Chris Harrison Has No Rules
Dude is basically just on vacation. While he shows up every now and then to lurk in a bush, Chris told Glamour that he's essentially straight-chilling—like to the point where his family and friends visit him."Honestly, I get a lot of downtime. I'm here at the resort. My kids come into town. My friends come into town. It was hard for me to leave planet Earth and come down to Mexico the first time we did this three years ago, but about halfway through our time in Tulum, it was like, 'Wait a minute. This is the greatest gig in the world! Let’s unplug and just enjoy.' It's my summer camp."
You Can't Use the AC
So, if you're wondering why everyone looks so sweaty on camera...there's literally no AC. Why would they do this to people, you ask? To make sure contestants ditch the comfort of their rooms and head outside to the beach or pool. As Mikey Tenerelli told Flare, "You got out of the shower and you were basically sweating again."
You Have to Be Down for a Fake Wedding
Oh, so you think the weddings in Paradise are real? Nah, turns out everyone is faking it. Marcus Grodd dropped this bombshell after he and Lacy Faddoul got married at the end of BiP season 2 saying the ceremony wasn't legal: "When we came back, we were supposed to start the paperwork. But she stalled. I feel duped.”
You Have to Give Up Three Weeks of Your Life
BiP takes about three weeks to film, meaning that contestants have to block out at least that much time. Though, considering most of them are full-time influencers by the time they go on the show, this isn't a huge deal.
You Have to Sign a W-i-l-d Contract
CNN obtained the contract and had it looked at by NYC-based attorney Nicole Page, who said that it gives the producers permission to "basically take your image and do whatever I want with it and I own it and you have no recourse."
'BiP' Can Edit Things However They Like
It's right there in the contract, which gives ABC "the right to change, add to, take from, edit, translate, reformat or reprocess...in any manner Producer may determine in its sole discretion."
Like...Contestants Get Really Pissed
Blake Horstmann went on a rant about producers manipulating him, saying, "Okay, so this is gonna be a long one...but f*ck it, I'm off contract...When I received the date card, I 100 percent planned to take Hannah. I even left my interview saying I was gonna take Hannah. When I walked out of the interview, three producers sat me down for close to an hr and convinced me to take Tayshia. It was 100 percent my decision, they didn't force me or anything, but at that point I really truly did trust the producers and that they had my best interest. Obviously, I was very wrong and they didn't want me to be happy with Hannah bc that would have very much ruined there [sic] plans for the season..."
You Have to Be Chill With Public Humiliation
This comes courtesy of another fun part of the contract, which says "actions and the actions of others displayed in the Series may be disparaging, defamatory, embarrassing or of an otherwise unfavorable nature and may expose me to public ridicule, humiliation, or condemnation." Delightful!
Also? Expect Proposal Pressure
Amy Kaufman confirmed that contestants are pressured into proposing in her tell-all book Bachelor Nation, saying that producer Elan Gale tried to make Chris Bukowski propose to Elise Mosca—even though he fully didn't want to and "couldn't stand her."
That Said, Storylines *Aren't* Pre-Written
Okay, yes, BiP producers might take, uh, liberties in the edit room, but as far as drama goes, what you see is what you get. "Producers aren't forcing people to do questionable things," the anonymous producer told People. "There are no storylines written. The worst thing they'll do is let people know that the people who succeed here tend to make a lot of friends, or find someone to be in a relationship with."
The Plus Side? You Get Paid
Unlike The Bachelor and The Bachelorette (where you have to pay your own way...including outfits), ABC pays contestants to be on Bachelor in Paradise. Specifically, you can make between $7,000-15,000 per season.
Also a Plus? It's a 24/7 Party
An anonymous producer told People that intimate relationships are inevitable on BiP because it's basically adult summer camp. "It's like real life is suspended. Time is just different there. You're filming around the clock, production is around-the-clock and it's around-the-clock partying....The whole point of the show is that to succeed you need to make friends, and people feel it's advantageous to drink and hook up and find a boyfriend or girlfriend." Oh, and speaking of hookups...
There's a "Boom Boom Room"
When it comes to hooking up, anything goes on Bachelor in Paradise—meaning they don't have to wait for Fantasy Suites. Sure, the suites are a great way to have swanky privacy, but Evan Bass said there's a sex room on set. To quote: "There was even a room back at the Paradise ranch we called the "Boom-Boom Room."
Actually, There's a Ton of Sex We Never See
That aforementioned anonymous producer dropped this salacious nugget of info saying, "There's a lot of sex on the various shows that happens that never airs." Like...okay!
You Have to Stay Safe!
And by that I mean there's always an ambulance on hand. Like...just lurking there in case an erectile dysfunction specialist has a medical emergency (hi, Evan).
You Kinda Have to Rough It
While the resort is lovely, the BiP cast doesn't exactly get the all-star treatment. Kalon McMahon told ABC that "It's literally like summer camp for adults. We're sleeping on bunk beds on top of each other, all sharing two showers, eating terrible food. It is not a glamorous life at all."
Though Honestly the Food Sounds Good?
During filming, Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants have to fend for themselves in the Bachelor Mansion kitchen—but it looks like food is provided courtesy of the resort on BiP. Annaliese Puccini told Women's Health, "While in Paradise I would have egg whites with cheese, pico de gallo, and avocado or guacamole with a side of fruit. The resort makes epic guac so I'd eat it with almost every meal. I'd also have an iced coffee with coconut milk to give me some energy for the long days."
You Can't Be Involved in Politics
Thank god, because we already know what happens when you mix reality TV and politics. But yeah, while the BiP cast has already been vetted by producers, the eligibility form to be part of Bachelor Nation makes this pretty clear: "Applicants may not presently be a candidate for any type of elected political office ('Candidate') and may not become a Candidate from the time the application is submitted until at least one (1) year after initial broadcast of the last episode of the Program in which the applicant appears, if selected
You Gotta Put in Long Hours
Wells Adams was a bartender on BiP season six, and yep: He actually worked full-time. "I'm there every day and would usually work like an eight to nine-hour shift," he told TV Insider. "So yeah, I'd get up there, go set the bar up, and then they'd start sending people down to my bar. And it depends—if it's a rose ceremony, then that's a night shoot. So generally, if I'm there really, really late and then they'd give me the morning off."
Finally: You Have to Be Okay with Crabs
Like, actual crabs. Mikey Tenerelli told Flare, "The first night after we all met each other, I walked into my room and I saw two crabs fighting. They were literally duelling. I was like, 'This is going to be a long trip.'" (Don't have a crab photo so just using this pic of Chris Harrison, thanks for understanding.)
Joseph Errico is Marie Claire’s Fashion Director. As a career-long fashion editor and celebrity stylist, he has had the opportunity to work alongside the world’s top image makers and talent. He has styled editorial and advertising, red carpet, music videos, fashion shows and writes about fashion, culture and most anything bon vivant-y for marieclaire.com. He feels most at home in an airport lounge, a beach, a disco or gossiping front row at the collections. His blood type is Gaultier.
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