‘Bachelor Winter Games’: Inside ‘Bang Room’ Time With Ben Higgins & Dressing Dean Unglert (Exclusive)
By Leena Tailor
They say three’s a crowd, but that doesn't stop some Bachelor Winter Games contestants from heating things up in the bedroom in the upcoming ABC spinoff series!
ET caught up with the show’s youngest contestant, Lily McManus, in her Auckland, New Zealand, hometown, where the 21-year-old Bachelor NZ runner-up revealed one of her most memorable moments on the show involved bedding two hunky U.S. bachelors in the Manchester, Vermont, house’s “bang room,” … but it’s not what you think!
“Me, Ben [Higgins] and Michael [Garofola] were lying in the room where people go to have sex -- we definitely didn’t have one of those on New Zealand Bachelor!” McManus dishes. “We were lying in bed and having a roast, ripping into Jordan [Mauger] because he was fresh in the house, so everyone was giving him crap. Jordan would stand there and we’d start rapping. Michael said some really f**ked up stuff. It was all in good fun though -- we did it to everyone for a laugh!"
McManus’ fun between-the-sheets time with Higgins was a far cry from her first encounter with the 29-year-old season 20 Bachelor star. Meeting for the first time as the contestants kicked off their winter fun with a welcome parade in Vermont, McManus found Higgins reserved.
“At first, I was like, ‘I don’t really know what’s going on with this guy -- he seems a bit withdrawn,’” the Australian born media personality, snowboard instructor and high ropes course instructor recalls. “Then the first conversation we had privately, my whole perspective of him flipped upside down. He talked about his ex-relationship and was very open with me. He’s a gentle, kind, well-spoken, caring guy, who’s really in touch with how he feels.”
“It’s weird because you go in and everyone’s a bit weird, nervous and shy, but once you start sitting down and having one-on-one conversations, it’s like, ‘Oh geez, everyone’s just a normal human being here,’” she adds.
However, there was one element of abnormality which struck McManus when it came to controversial Bachelor in Paradise alum Dean Unglert -- his fashion sense!
“Dean is a good egg,” McManus says with a laugh. “I never knew anything about his [BiP] love triangle and I’d never seen him on TV, so didn’t know any of his background, but I just saw this cute, little guy who sometimes wore two pieces of camo clothing at one time. I’d always be like, ‘Dean, where’s your clothes this morning?’ Then he’d make a point of purposely wearing something camo every time we were hanging out. Every morning I’d rag him out about his clothing situation and one day he came in wearing this double denim bullsh** and I was like, ‘What’s going on? Sit down, you can’t be wearing this stuff.’”
“He’s a cute, playful, charming, motherf**ker,” she adds. “I don’t know what the hell went down with his [BiP] drama, but I’m glad I got to know him for who he is.”
Regardless of his double-denim looks, McManus continues to “think highly” of Unglert, who found love with The Bachelor season 17’s Lesley Murphy during Winter Games. Her sentiments were echoed by fellow New Zealand contestant Mauger, who became pals with Unglert during filming.
“Dean’s the ultimate cool dude,” says Mauger, star of Bachelor NZ’s second season. “He just falls in love. And, when you’re in this Bachelor environment, I can see how you can fall in love with two people and I think that’s where he found himself. He just wants to love people and found himself in this triangle, but he learned a lot from that experience.”
“I think the Dean I met and saw on Bachelor Winter Games was a far cry from the yesterdays of Paradise -- everyone came in with emotional maturity and Dean sure showed that,” the 34-year-old assistant film director adds. “He was a great person to be around.”
See more on Bachelor Winter Games below.
Bachelor Winter Games premieres at 8 p.m. EST on Feb. 13 on ABC, then continues on Feb. 15, 20 and 22. See more on the series below.