Bachelor Winter Games has wrapped its four-episode run, marking the franchise's first foray into mixing contestants from its international iterations in with a U.S. version of a show. But it turns out, that almost happened last summer on Bachelor in Paradise.
Contestant Courtney Dobler of Australia told ET that he was set to head to Mexico for BiP season four, but didn't end up going because of the scandal that shut down the show's production temporarily.
So, what about this summer?
Host Chris Harrison told ET in December, right before Winter Games started filming, "Paradise isn't going anywhere. What I could see is, if this goes really well, this will come back, maybe we're doing this every winter now, and maybe Bachelor in Paradise goes international.... It's in Mexico, anyway! We're already international."
Robert Mills, ABC's Senior Vice President of Alternative Series, Specials and Late-Night Programming, says bringing international contestants into the Paradise mix would also make for more unexpected couples. "The thing about Paradise that's interesting is that a lot of [contestants] know before [the season starts filming] that they're doing Paradise, so those relationships kind of start to form beforehand," he said. "We had talked about, 'It would be interesting to bring in somebody that nobody knows is going to go on.' ... The international component was a way to kind of shake that up a little bit and throw a curve ball in."
The success of Winter Games seems to have cemented that new concept. "The reaction to the foreign cast members [on Winter Games] is great," Mills said. "I think it would be stupid not to use these people ... Cultural differences are so fascinating."
The Winter Games contestants also seem, well, game. At the World Tells All taping, former Bachelor of New Zealand Jordan Mauger eloquently told ET, "I do love Mexico, and I've gotta work on my tan. I love tacos. I think I'll do really well!"
To name a few, The Bachelor has run original versions in the U.S., Australia, Sweden, the U.K., China, Japan and Finland. The Bachelorette has had success with original versions in the U.S. and Canada and many more. So, there's a big contestant pool to pull from. Plus, producers from the different variations of the series keep in touch and talk next steps. They all met recently for a multi-day conference.
"It's panels on the different ways the shows are produced," Mills explained. "Talking about what's worked in different territories; it's fascinating. ... A lot of business talk. In Japan, The Bachelor is run on Amazon, [we talked] here's how they do it, here's how we do it, would you ever run the show as a binge-watch type of thing? They were the first ones to do that. So, it was interesting to learn the different ways the shows are produced and for everyone to get to know each other."
Mills doesn't rule out anything when it comes to the future of the franchise's expansion. "I think Bachelor is a brand the same way Marvel, Lucasfilm, Star Trek are," he said. "We've just scratched the surface."
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