'The Bachelor Winter Games' Series Premiere Recap: The Tears Already Start Flowing as Couples Form Quickly
'The Bachelor Winter Games' Series Premiere Recap: The Tears Already Start Flowing as Couples Form Quickly
Derek Stauffer
Derek Stauffer
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Though The Bachelor season 22 is in full swing, the franchise is in a bit of a slump. Arie Luyendyk, Jr. is leaving a lot to be desired as a charismatic lead. Things aren't quite as fun or interesting as they should be. Yet riding in a snow-covered sleigh filled with booze, desperation and tears is The Bachelor Winter Games!

The newest spin-off for Bachelor Nation is a take-off on the Winter Olympics. A group of needy Bachelor stars from America and other nations have been joined together to compete against one another and for each other's hearts. It's as stupid and wonderful as it sounds.

The Games Begin

The Bachelor Winter Games wastes no time in letting you know exactly what type of show it's going to be -- and that's hardcore, trashy fun. The American and international contestants (but mostly American) make their entrance through a literal parade. It goes on for far longer than it needs to, but there are some definite highlights, including:

  • A single female Japanese contestant, Yuki, who speaks no English
  • Dean Unglert (The Bachelorette season 13) proving that he's done some self-reflection and changed by checking out a woman's behind
  • A solo German contestant who might very well be the Aryan Juan Pablo 
  • Chris Harrison sporting a new beard, proving that he's truly given up 
  • And Santa Claus from Finland because why not at this point?
After the parade concludes, there's some of the various Bachelor tropes. A bunch of musicians you've never head of sing, Trista and Ryan Sutter are trotted out (because this does work sometimes, I promise!) and the alcohol flows freely and quickly. 

Once the contestants are suitably turned up, they are let into the house where they will all be staying for the duration of Winter Games. Chris Harrison comes back out of hibernation and informs them that Winter Games will have a bit of a twist. Instead of just handing out date cards, the cast will have to earn them by competing in (humiliating) winter-themed challenges. 

That's all in the future. For now, the libations continue to flow, and quickly some couples begin to emerge. Kevin, a Canadian contestant, becomes the favorite of both The Bachelor season 22's Bibiana and Ashley I. (who should need no introduction at this point). Meanwhile, Lesley of The Bachelor season 17 sets her sights on Dean. 

Lastly, though, there is Josiah (The Bachelorette season 13) and Ally (from The Bachelor New Zealand). Josiah is still as cocky and oddly charming as he was on The Bachelorette. Meanwhile, Ally is the reason that The Bachelor Winter Games is happy they're not live like the real Olympics because she curses like a sailor from down under. It's not a match that seems made in Heaven, but quickly Josiah and Ally are all over each other, sticking their tongues deep down each other's throats, while the Aryan Juan Pablo, Christian, watches in the corner in a not-at-all creepy way.

Biathlon-ing for Love 

The next day, all tonsil hockey is forgotten for the first date card challenge. Chris Harrison (and his depression beard) informs the cast that the men and women will be competing in a biathlon. There will be one winner from each group, and they will be the only two people that will receive a date card and be given the chance to go on an adventure with the person of their choice.

The contestants look precisely as ridiculous as the Bachelor gods producers want them to during the biathlon, and that's totally insane. There's people falling from the jump. Ally ends up going down immediately and nailing her tailbone, an injury that Winter Games promptly calls "cracked butt" (never change, Bachelor). 

The whole biathlon is amusing, if for no other reason than that Chris Harrison must finally do some hosting and does a play-by-play of the event. Of course, no one is watching Winter Games to see the contestants do anything athletic. Let's face it, all those muscles are just for show. But, in any case, Rebecca of Sweden (don't worry about remembering her; you don't need to) and Kevin of Canada win the date cards. 

All the focus here is on Kevin, as Ashley I. and Bibiana are still competing for his attention ... sort of. Bibiana is really the only one that Kevin  is interested in pursuing. It wouldn't be a Bachelor spin-off if Ashley I. wasn't totally devoted to a man who only has eyes for someone else. This time, Ashley has traded Jared in for Kevin. When Kevin gives Ashley "subtle" clues that he's into her, she's convinced that it's finally going to happen this time. But, of course, Kevin asks Bibiana out and leaves Ashley in a puddle of tears and mascara (never change, Ashley).

The Bachelor Meets Survivor

The dates themselves are pretty much completely ignored. Although, unsurprisingly, Winter Games finds a chance to get those money shots of people making out. Evidently, there will never be enough disgusting close-ups of people exploring each other's mouths with their tongues. The make-outs are all really just a stalling tactic for Chris Harrison to show up and drop a bombshell. 

Unlike most of Chris Harrison's hyperbole, this is an actually dramatic twist. In Winter Games, contestants won't go home during the typical rose ceremony in which men and women alternate in giving out roses. Instead, everyone will pick one person of the opposite sex who they believe isn't there for the right reasons. This will result, at least as the first rose ceremony is concerned, in three men and two women going home.

It's a situation that's ripe for backstabbing, nastiness and drama. In other words, it's excellent trashy TV being all wonderful and disgusting in equal measure. 

The big topic of conversation, among the women, is that Josiah isn't there for the right reasons, even though he seems very into Ally and her broken butt (literally). Josiah tries to do damage control to make everyone think he's okay, which includes a hilarious "conversation" with Yuki. Winter Games is clearly trying to make Yuki the Chewbacca of this particular franchise, and while that's probably very offensive, it's so absurd that it can't help but feel harmless. 

Leading the anti-Josiah charge is The Bachelor season 18 contestant Clare. When Clare isn't bashing Josiah, though,  she's finding herself in a love triangle with Benoit, the Canadian contestant who's not Kevin, and the Aryan Juan Pablo, Christian. Both men are very into Clare, and despite one of them (Christian) throwing up all kinds of red flags, Clare's very into both guys. Christian gets very possessive quickly, being weirded out that Clare has already kissed Benoit. This is rich, as Christian's backstory involves him being on the German and Swiss versions of The Bachelorette. The new Juan Pablo is pulling into his misogynist station full steam ahead.

The First Rose Ceremony 

Eventually, the rose ceremony arrives, and the results are not at all surprising. Basically, everyone who got no screen time ends up going home. Not even Ashley I. can find a reason to weep about that fact. 

For posterity, though, the eliminations are:
  • Too Good for This Franchise Eric (from The Bachelorette season 13)
  • So Bland He Wasn't Even There Jamey (also from The Bachelorette season 13)
  • The Black Lauren, Lauren G (from The Bachelor season 20) 
  • The Not-So-Fun Asian Zoe (from The Bachelor China)
  • Lone Sad Brit Laura (from The Bachelor UK)
This means Josiah survives, but it's an otherwise unremarkable end to a truly terrifically terrible spin-off. 

What did you make of The Bachelor Winter Games? Are you ready for more? Are you interested in the couples or just for the fun? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

The Bachelor Winter Games season 1 airs Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8/7c on ABC. Want more news? Like our Bachelor Facebook page.

(Image courtesy of ABC)