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Bachelor in Paradise viewers gleaned more details about the season four shutdown Tuesday night when DeMario Jackson’s highly anticipated sit-down with Chris Harrison aired on the ABC reality show.
The former castmember offered this explanation of the sexual encounter between him and Corinne Olympios that led to an allegation of misconduct: “We got turnt up. We’re at the bar, we’re hanging out. One thing leads to another and we’re making out. … The pool gets a little intense, and I didn’t think anything of it.”
The claim launched an on-set investigation that suspended filming for nearly two weeks. Ultimately, producers Warner Bros. Television found no misconduct and resumed filming. Olympios will share her side of the story next week, when her one-on-one interview with Harrison airs on Tuesday.
But once the show resumed filming and the cast returned to the Mexico set, how exactly did the shutdown impact the rest of the cast? For one, new policies concerning alcohol and consent were enforced; the cast was limited to a two-drink-per-hour maximum and asked to offer their consent on camera before private, intimate moments.
The Hollywood Reporter spoke to castmembers Robby Hayes, Jasmine Goode and Danielle Lombard at Hollywood’s TCL Chinese Theatre during TCL TV Corporation’s Paradise viewing party about how the new rules influenced their season. Hayes and Goode appeared on Tuesday’s televised studio special with Harrison, and all three are currently still competing for love on the season. The trio clarified the new rules — detailing how they navigated the somewhat awkward waters of having to say, “Hey, are you consenting right now?” — explained why they threw, and are continuing to throw, their support behind Jackson, and teased an ending that will differ from seasons past.
What was the production shutdown time period like for you? What did you all know?
Robby Hayes: We were in the dark just as much as you guys were, so when we got sent home, I didn’t know what had happened. All I knew was what you guys knew — that a third party made a complaint. I was shocked that we even continued the season. I thought when we got home it was done.
Danielle Lombard: I was actually in the hotel when everything occurred and wasn’t in the house with everyone [Lombard had yet to make her midseason appearance]. I was getting bits and pieces of information.
Jasmine Goode: I talked a lot to the girls. We had a group chat going on to try to support each other and be there for each other. That’s all we had, really. I was just so overwhelmed with the media and people trying to ask me questions without really knowing what’s going on. It was stressful. I had a lot of anxiety. And your family doesn’t understand it. It was just frustrating not being able to talk about the situation when you’re not really sure what exactly happened, or what didn’t happen. When you know nothing happened, but clearly something happened since the show had to be shutdown. It was hard to figure out what the hell was going on.
What was it like to return to the show with new rules in place?
Lombard: You almost felt like a little kid. You had to be sat down and told, “Here are the rules, now you can all go play.”
Goode: When we came back, I felt like we were being overly watched. At the same time, it was giving you a sense of being safer. I’ve always felt safe in the environment, but it was nice to know that if anything, I knew that something would never happen to me. Whatever goes down, I would be OK knowing those rules were in place. Sometimes it was too safe. They’re everywhere! Cameras, producers. I was like, “You guys are everywhere! Can you leave me alone?”
How did the new alcohol policy affect the vibe on set?
Lombard: I actually think it made us want to drink more because we were so aware of the time and our restrictions. We wanted to maximize everything so every hour we were like, “OK where’s our shot? Did you guys take your shots yet?” And we would all drink. We all still got drunk and had fun.
Another new policy required castmembers to give consent on camera before being intimate. Can you explain what that was like?
Lombard: You had to give verbal consent on camera to have that evidence as backup in case a situation ever occurred again. If I was on a date or talking back at the house with someone and felt like things were going to progress I had to say something like, “Hey, are you consenting right now?”
Goode: If you walked off with someone, you also had to make sure [producers] knew that you were walking away. I tried to do a thumbs-up like, “I’m OK! Can you see me?” It wasn’t like, “Look in the camera and say, ‘I give consent,'” or, “Hi, my name is Jasmine, and I’m giving consent.” It was more like, “Hey, I’m going to bed with Matt [Munson] or whatever right now. Just so you know, we’re good!”
How did that affect intimacy between castmembers?
Lombard: It definitely changed the mood of things. If you can imagine, you’re having this physical chemistry with someone and you want things to progress, and then all of a sudden you have to be like, “Hey, do you verbally consent to doing this?” It kind of kills the moment. I never got to that point. I actually don’t know anyone who hooked up in the house. And I think that was a huge reason why. I definitely think it kills the moment. That’s why I think it just didn’t happen.
Goode: For me, it didn’t bother me, but I could see why that was something in the way for other couples. It didn’t affect me at all.
Does that lead to less engagements in the end?
Lombard: To a certain point.
Hayes: I don’t think it changed a thing. [Hayes asked Amanda Stanton’s permission to kiss her on Monday’s episode and she politely declined.] Paradise made it a point to put it out there, and I made it a point to make it something that I asked Amanda. She jumped into things last year. It was just a giant makeout for her and so she wanted to take it slower and put her guard up more. So I asked, “Can we have our first kiss tonight?” She wasn’t ready for it, and I respect that. It’s just the gentlemen antics. It’s how I was raised.
Due to the shutdown, the rest of the season was also filmed in only 10 days. That’s not a lot of time to find “the one.” How did that quick schedule affect the development of relationships?
Lombard: I went into it open-minded, but I definitely didn’t think I could get engaged to someone in 10 days. That’s such a short amount of time. But I was really hoping to find someone and establish a deep connection and a relationship outside of Paradise. That was my mindset, and I felt like it was the same for a lot of castmembers. Granted, you are spending 24-7 with that person. I just knew that there was no way I could get engaged that fast.
Goode: It was really short. I talked to Amanda about this. She said last season they had so much down time, like a whole month to really dig into a relationship. This time it was too quick. We still had fun, but I do think that the timing messed up things just because you’re so tired. You’re tired all the time.
Lombard: In terms of filming, there were multiple dates a day. Multiple people coming in.
Hayes: The rose ceremonies were at 6 a.m. and they did wake us up at 8 a.m. if someone had a date card. We had a time crunch.
Hayes: But it also threw a wrench in production the other way. Like they mentioned, Dean [Unglert] went home with Kristina [Schulman] during the break and spent more time together. When they got back, they kind of started butting heads. So maybe they realized that life outside of Paradise wasn’t as easy as life inside Paradise. The break single-handedly formed some of the love triangles that you’ll see unfold. Honestly, I think we had a leg up because life in Paradise isn’t the same as life outside. There are distractions. I got Amanda’s rose [Monday] and Amanda has kids. The kids aren’t in Paradise. So that’s a whole curveball thrown at me when I get back, if we end up together.
On that note, will the season four finale help to highlight that growth outside of Paradise? Chris Harrison has said that the finale will showcase where couples are now, instead of ending on the last day on set.
Hayes: All I know is there is something filming that I’ve been asked to come back for. We did some filming about a week and a half ago that was supposed to be like a Paradise panel aftershow, like Talking Dead [which aired ahead of Jackson’s sit-down] and I got that confused with the upcoming reunion. [Producers] explained that as a panel. The finale will be “what are the couples doing now.” All I know is my outfit will be on point and my hair, too.
After that panel the show welcomed Jackson back for an interview. How do you feel about how he has handled the situation?
Hayes: He is a stand-up guy. I have DeMario’s back every step of the way. DeMario is a breath of fresh air. Yeah, he had a whistle he was blowing the whole time that kind of comes off annoying, but that’s just his energy. That’s just how happy he is in life. I respect people like that. I’m more along the lines of thinking, “OK, something shitty happened. Allow yourself to be mad for five minutes like a normal person would, but get the fuck over it.” You can’t change the past. What can you do? You can control the future, so make sure that doesn’t happen again. And DeMario is someone who takes life by the horns and runs with it.
Lombard: I think it’s terrible that when people Google his name that will come up. I didn’t get a chance to meet DeMario before, but I met him recently and I think he’s an amazing person. I just went to Disneyland with DeMario and a couple of the girls and everyone loves him, so I think that the amount of support he’s gotten after everything has been so great that hopefully that situation washes over and people can realize that DeMario isn’t that person.
Goode: He kept to his word. He kept saying he was innocent. He never said lies. We all support him, so we’re going have his back. He’s doing well. He has bounced back. He was so depressed going through all of that. But he’s doing great now. He’s happy, so full of life and positive about the situation.
Do you think Olympios was victim-blamed by the cast? Some unfollowed her on social media as they threw support behind Jackson.
Lombard: I don’t think the show was victim-blaming Corinne at all. I think when that statement came out that she was a “victim,” it was something that came directly from a publicist. It was sad to see members of Bachelor Nation and the media slut-shaming Corinne and placing the blame on her.
Hayes: I don’t think that Corinne was victim-blamed. I think that Corinne was cautious as to how to approach it because she didn’t know what to say because she didn’t file the complaint. Someone else did. So I think a lot of the first statements we heard from her were very lawyer-sounding. I don’t know if they were exactly her words. Listen, whatever I say right now doesn’t hold weight because I wasn’t there the first night. I was the first person to walk down the stairs the next morning. So I walked in. Everyone’s hung over. I’m like, “Damn. Last night must have been long.” And they’re like, “You don’t even know the extent of it.” I got a brief down-low but we were as much in the dark as you guys were while it was happening.
Lombard: I wish that Corinne spoke up earlier. Some of the castmembers had unfollowed her because it was during a time where I felt like she was keeping quiet about the situation and so the press was really jumping to assumptions and creating all these allegations and stories. I was not one of them. And I wasn’t there yet.
Goode: I think people thought that we were taking DeMario’s side. It was never about taking his side. For me, as a woman and as a black woman, I have a brother as well, and I just thought, if this were my brother in the situation, I would hope that somebody that was there and saw the truth would speak out. DeMario is a black male and he’s having all these claims thrown at him. That’s horrible. I’m not saying that race was the biggest factor in this, but I do think that it played a part of it. It’s just unfortunate. I was just annoyed with these rumors that were being told. They were calling him a monster. I just hated seeing that in the tabloids. It was sad to see, so I had to say something.
Have you heard from Olympios?
Goode: I saw Corinne at an event. We talked it out and I think we’re going to meet up soon to have a longer conversation. Corinne was one of my close friends. She’s a good girl, I just think she got caught up in something that was way bigger than her. I would love to rekindle our friendship.
Lombard: Text-wise, I think a couple girls tried to reach out and see if she was OK, but she hadn’t responded. A couple girls just saw her at a dinner party that we had and I saw her, too. She seemed to be doing really well. I hope that she and DeMario get a chance to talk to each other and we can move on.
How did you feel about how ABC handled the situation during the two-night premiere?
Goode: I didn’t think we were going to talk as deeply as we did about the situation, but I’m glad we did. Those are real-life situations that happen every day. We needed to talk about consent, how alcohol plays a role in and out of this TV world. It was nice to bring that awareness to fans.
Lombard: It needed to be addressed. I’m glad it was addressed, and I think production did a good job of handling everything.
How did you feel watching it play out on TV?
Lombard: I felt relieved.
Hayes: I felt the same way I felt the first episode of The Bachelorette. I was nervous. I was like, “Mom, stop watching!” She was watching before me because she’s on the East Coast.
Lombard: It was really tough for me to see production take a hit for everything that happened. I stand behind them 100 percent.
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