9:30am PT by Jackie Strause
Becca Kufrin's Exes Lead 'Bachelor in Paradise' Season 5 Cast
ABC is bringing a new cast back to Paradise.
The network that is home to the Bachelor franchise announced the former Bachelor and Bachelorette castmembers who will be returning for summer spinoff series Bachelor in Paradise when it premieres Aug. 7.
Leading the cast are a slew of women from Arie Luyendyk Jr.'s memorable season of The Bachelor: Tia Booth, Krystal Nielson, Kendall Long, Chelsea Roy, Bibiana Julian, Annaliese Puccini and Nysha Norris. Booth and Long appeared on a recent episode of The Bachelorette, signaling that their return was on the horizon.
The men joining them are a handful of castaways from Becca Kufrin's current cycle of The Bachelorette. Those eliminated men include fourth-place finisher Colton Underwood; possible Bachelor contender Wills Reid; memorable characters Chris Randone, David Ravitz and Jordan Kimball; along with Leo Dottavio, Connor Obrochta, John Graham, Nick Spetsas and Joe Amabile, aka "Grocery Store Joe," who earned his nickname after becoming a viral sensation after his night-one elimination. The men were gradually announced as they were eliminated from The Bachelorette, so as to not spoil the current cycle before it airs its finale Aug. 6.
Other castmembers include Kevin Wendt of Bachelor: Winter Games; Eric Bigger and Kenny Layne from Rachel Lindsay's Bachelorette; and Astrid Loch and Angela Amezcua from Nick Viall's Bachelor.
Bachelor in Paradise reunites former stars of the franchise in hopes they will find love with other former contestants at a beach resort in Sayulita, Mexico. The cast of Paradise shuffles weekly, as new contestants join the dating competition after rose ceremony eliminations. Former Bachelorette star Wells Adams is returning as bartender and will be joined by Yuki Kimura, an international contestant who broke out from the franchise's winter spinoff Winter Games. Paradise is hosted by Chris Harrison.
Previous cycles of the reality dating competition have resulted in two marriages and three engagements, including recently reunited Paradise pair Ashley Iaconetti and Jared Haibon. The latter proposed while cameras were rolling and their engagement will play out on the upcoming season. Prior to her engagement, Iaconetti dated Paradise contestant Wendt after meeting on Winter Games.
Other familiar franchise faces who are returning for the upcoming cycle include Luyendyk Jr. and fiancee Lauren Burnham, former Bachelor Ben Higgins, Bachelor in Paradise married couples Jade and Tanner Tolbert and Evan and Carly Bass, and former Paradise stars Raven Gates and Adam Gottschalk, Amanda Stanton and Robby Hayes. Kufrin will also be making an appearance, according to ABC.
The return of the summer spinoff series follows a controversial 2017 cycle. Production on the fourth season of Paradise was halted last summer over a sexual misconduct investigation. A female contestant, later identified to be Corinne Olympios, accused male co-star DeMario Jackson of misconduct only days into filming. An internal investigation by show producers Warner Bros. TV, however, found that no misconduct took place. The season aired a shortened version and featured interviews from both Olympios and Jackson at the end of the cycle. New rules surrounding consent and alcohol were put into place as a result.
The current season of The Bachelorette is also weathering its fair share of off-camera controversy. Only weeks into Kufrin's cycle and on the heels of backlash over Luyendyk Jr.'s shocking finale, the show came under fire over its vetting of two contestants. Early frontrunner Garrett Yrigoyen apologized for past offensive social media behavior and Lincoln Adim was recently convicted of indecent sexual assault and battery. (WBTV said it had no knowledge of the incident and was investigating with the third-party company that conducted the background check; Adim, who was also eliminated on the July 2 episode, has not commented.)
The Bachelorette: Men Tell All reunion episode did not feature either Adim or Yrigoyen. As is typical of every cycle, Yrigoyen was absent because he is a finalist in the competition. Host Harrison has said Adim, on the other hand, was not invited. The reunion episode did not address either situation, or the overall conversation regarding the franchise's vetting issues. After the taping, Harrison told The Hollywood Reporter that either ABC or producers WBTV would be the ones to announce any changes to the process in the future.
He also made this distinction clear: "I want to be very careful about people that put Garrett and Lincoln in the same sentence because they do not belong in the same sentence. What Garrett did is something that people disagree with. What Lincoln did is illegal. It’s against the law. He committed a crime. He was convicted of that, so that’s very different."
He continued, "And it’s been very upsetting that people have been lumping them together as if it was all just one thing or it’s all the same thing and it’s not. That’s not to say that I agree at all with what Garrett did or if he stood for that or what he stood for, but I’m very careful to differentiate those."
Bachelor in Paradise premieres Aug. 7 at 8 p.m. on ABC and moves to Monday and Tuesday nights in its second week. Watch the trailer in the video player, above. The Bachelorette airs its finale, followed by the live After the Final Rose special, Aug. 6.
July 31, 9 a.m.: This story has been updated with the latest Bachelor Nation developments.