Bachelor Nation can rejoice now that they don't have to wait until summer to watch their favorite singles get a second (or third or fourth) shot at love on Bachelor in Paradise
. Stars of the popular franchise have traded in their swimsuits for snowsuits for The Bachelor Winter Games
. Instead of sitting around on the beach, throwing back cocktails and going on dream dates, The Bachelor Winter Games
cast has gathered in Vermont to participate in a variety of winter sports in order to win date cards and either fall in love or experience the "agony of heartbreak."
Since love is the universal language, Winter Games
includes international contestants as well. But since this is the good ole' USA, there are plenty of familiar faces in the mix, including the thrice-unlucky-in-love Ashley Iaconetti. Ashley's already picked out her Prince Charming, but she's got some stiff competition. Will Ashley finally get a happy ending, or is she in for another letdown?
The Bachelor Winter Games Premiere: Opening Ceremony>>>
Three Strikes but Not Out
Fans first met Ashley when she appeared on Chris Soules' season of The Bachelor. Ashley may not have won Chris' heart, but she left a lasting impression thanks to her frequent, dramatic meltdowns and the revelation she was a virgin. Ashley went on to fall in love with Bachelorette season 11 suitor Jared Haibon on season 2 of Bachelor in Paradise. The two had a bumpy summer, breaking up not just once, but twice. Ashley returned for season 3 of BIP, hoping to get over Jared by getting under someone else. She failed to do either and wound up getting dumped once more by season 12 Bachelorette contender Wells Adams.
Ashley arrived in Vermont convinced this time will be different. Almost immediately, Ashley set her sights on a handsome Canadian, Kevin Wendt. And therein lies one of Ashley's problems. Once she hones in on an available male, she becomes obsessed (Ashley even acknowledged her laser-like focus but doesn't seem to consider it an issue.) For a fleeting moment, it looked like Ashley might play it cool, saying she had her eye on Kevin, and she'd say yes to a date but still keeping her distance once she realized Kevin was connecting with Bibiana Julian -- a recent Arie cast-off (way to keep your dignity intact, Ashley.)
During the first challenge, Ashley noticed Kevin spending a lot of time with Bibiana but took it in stride. She was far more concerned about the effect the frigid weather was having on her skin. That's the thing about Ashley -- when she's not curled up in a corner sobbing, she's a delight.
What the Canuck?
Kevin won the date card, and that's when things started to go downhill for Ashley. Had he just asked Bibiana out, Ashley could have rallied and considered some other options. But Kevin decided to confer with Ashley about what to do. Their chat did reveal that the two had bonded a bit the night before which makes Ashley's tantrum after Kevin inevitably chose to spend the evening with Bibiana a bit more understandable. But Kevin's indecisiveness should be a big, red flag, or are all Canadians super clueless?
The rejection led to uncontrollable sobbing that even Ben Higgins couldn't squash (BTW, why can't those two make a go of it?) One thing is certain when it comes to Ashley, years of rejection have resulted in some kind of dating-show PTSD.
Vermont Is for Ashley I. Lovers
So, why does she keep coming back for more? Because Ashley's a romantic (or delusional); she believes in love. Now that she's made the first cut, expect Ashley to up her game. Just because Bibiana and Kevin clicked doesn't guarantee they have staying power. The Bachelors and Bachelorettes are serial daters, and by the looks of the teaser trailer for the rest of the season, Ashley's luck and V-card status are about to change (although we all know how misleading trailers can be.)
Despite her emotional outbursts, fans are likely rooting for Ashley over a Bibi-come-lately. Just imagine what a wonderful world this would be if Ashley I. finally got a happy ending. It's just for a couple of weeks, the dude lives in Canada and Ashley is certifiable, so wedding bells are unlikely. Let's just aim for getting her out of that damn friendzone.
Who will win Kevin's heart, Ashley or Bibiana? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
The Bachelor Winter Games airs Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8/7c on ABC. Want more news?
(Image and video courtesy of ABC)