‘BiP’ Alums Jade Roper & Tanner Tolbert Reveal Why ABC ‘Missed’ the Mark With Arie Luyendyk Jr. (Exclusive)
By Jennifer Drysdale
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for WE tv
Jade Roper and Tanner Tolbert are big Bachelor fans -- just not of this current season.
ET’s Lauren Zima recently sat down with the Bachelor in Paradise alums for a live interview, where they opened up about how they’ve made their relationship last since the show, and why they aren’t on board with Arie Luyendyk Jr.
“I think they missed [the mark] by going too far back with Arie,” Tolbert revealed. “I never thought I’d say this, but Arie makes me miss Nick [Viall]. He’s just a little boring! It’s kind of like watching paint dry.”
“I just don’t feel invested in him 'cause I can’t remember him really from Emily’s season,” Roper shared. “I was really hoping it was Peter [Kraus]. I was emotionally invested in his story.”
“I’m sure he’s a really nice guy, and I hope he finds happiness and all that. He’s just not the best TV, in my personal opinion. But maybe the last couple of episodes will change my mind,” Tolbert said.
ABC has promised a big finish to Luyendyk’s season, which will wrap up with a two-night finale on Monday and Tuesday. Sources previously told ET that the Bachelor will end up proposing to one woman -- either Becca Kufrin or Lauren Burnham -- only to end his engagement and pursue a relationship with his runner-up.
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'The Bachelor' Women Are 'Heartbroken' Over Arie's Luyendyk Jr.'s Upcoming Season Finale (Exclusive)
While Luyendyk clearly had a connection with both women, Tolbert and Roper think his feelings are stronger for Burnham. “The one dinner date with Lauren B., he was really trying to pull [something] out of her… and he really just kind of talked her out of being in her head,” Roper explained. “I was like, ‘This is the most he’s been where I expect a Bachelor to be.’ He really cared about her.”
As for the pair's own relationship, they opened up about being one of Bachelor Nation's success stories.
“I think the reason it worked so easily for us is because Jade just jumped into my life, honestly," Tolbert said. "She moved right away and she just did a really good job of immersing herself into my everyday life." He added that he spent more time with Roper on the first day of Paradise than he did with Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe throughout her whole season. “I think a lot of people try to do the business thing for too long, and it’s tough. But you just got to be a team.”
“We had the same life goals and so I feel like that’s why it really worked, we were just compatible in that way," Roper said. "And that’s something you don’t know when you’re on The Bachelor, because you’re in that bubble."
Two years after tying the knot in a televised wedding, the couple are now parents to 6-month-old daughter Emerson, and loving every moment. “[Starting a family] happened sooner than we thought, but it’s been amazing,” Roper gushed, as Tolbert couldn’t speak more highly of her as a mom.
“I have a whole new respect for Jade, because she takes most of the lion's share of the responsibilities with Emmy. She just does such a great job, she cares for her so much. It’s been a beautiful thing to watch her turn into a mom,” he expressed.
“I do like seeing the more tender side of Tanner. I think to see the daughter-father connection, it’s just really cool,” she replied. “I love being a mom. It’s the best thing ever. It’s so hard, but it is so worth it. I spend my day, every day with her and it’s just amazing. My little best friend.”
The pair has also noticed the changes parenthood has brought to both of their bodies -- but are working with Nutrisystem to get back on track.
“I didn’t realize it at the time, but when Jade put on some baby weight, I think I put on [some too],” Tolbert admitted. “I gained, like, 20 pounds. I didn’t realize until we went to the pumpkin patch one day… I had to put on my, like, pants, and I was like, ‘These do not fit anymore.’ That was the moment I was like, ‘I’ve got to do something.’ I actually started Nutrisystem and I lost like 16 pounds in six weeks.”
“My body’s still not the same and I think that’s something as a woman you kind of have to get used to. But, sharing it makes it so much easier because when you’re open… you don’t feel alone in it,” Roper revealed. “When I’m ready, I’m going to try the Nutrisystem deal too, because it’s been so successful for Tanner. I just want to bounce back and get a summer bod.”
Roper and Tolbert are hoping to complete their family with two more children, and would like them to be close in age. As for whether fans will see the couple back on reality TV, they have “no plans,” but are open to the idea.
“Maybe if it’s like a cute, little home show or something,” Roper said, as Tolbert confessed he’d “like to go on Survivor.”
The season finale of The Bachelor airs Monday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC, with After the Final Rose airing on Tuesday.