For the first time in franchise history, a mix of 12 Canadian and American Bachelor alumni favourites and 14 Canadian Bachelor Nation fans get a shot at finding love at Camp Paradise when Bachelor in Paradise Canada premieres this Thanksgiving Sunday (Oct. 10) at 8 p.m. ET on Citytv. Nestled in a secluded lake in northern Ontario, Paradise couldn’t get more Canadian than cottage life- canoeing, campfires, and cozy late nights.
Host Jesse Jones and Bartender Kevin Wendt chat with The TV Watercooler to talk about the show’s “authentically Canadian” version of ABC’s hit show. Kevin, who found love with Astrid Loch on Bachelor in Paradise Season 5, shares the Canadian show will have “the best elements of the American franchise, like the roses, the dates, the cliffhangers, all the good romance, but we really made it our own.” Jesse adds “the fact that now Canada chooses fans from bachelor nation to come on and leave their viewing seat and just throw themselves into this journey themselves is huge. It’s the first time it’s ever been done. And we’re doing it here in Canada.”
It wouldn’t be Paradise if we didn’t see love, drama, and tears and “the drama definitely heats up pretty quick” says Kevin but for him and Jesse, it was great to see relationships form early on especially when “everyone there had some pretty pure intentions.”
Although Jesse wouldn’t tell us if couples got engaged at the end, he believes the essence of the show is the whole process. “The cast is beautiful in terms of their personality and who they are and their individuality. You’re gonna see a lot of connections and you’re definitely going to see that journey, there will be something for everyone,” even grandma who he watches the show with on occasion. “The show is built on being present, being in the moment, opening up yourself to opportunities and being ready to receive love. Those are the universal messages that I think we can all take something away from.”
Jesse, I wanted to say congratulations on being the first-ever Bachelor in Paradise Canada host!
Jesse: Yeah thank you very much. Yeah, thank you. It’s an honour really to be stepping into the position lots of learning you know as we were getting through it. It’s one of those things that if you think about having the opportunity to do something really big but you never feel experienced like the space before in that way you know? But I’m super pumped man.
The cast is great. Working alongside Kevin was incredible because you know he has been through this on the other side and is now a part of it from this side and it’s exciting. First time here again in Canada. And very Canadian. Right?
It’s not like, we’re taking the platform as is and obviously being close to our neighbours of the south, everything is really compared. But this is truly Canadian. There’s gonna be so many ways that you see that in terms of the cast being from all across the country. Or through the activities, and it being nestled against the lake. You know that cottage paradise vibe. So, there’s a lot to be excited about and I’m happy and honoured to be bringing people along for the ride.
Were you a fan of the show before you got the role?
Jesse: You know it’s an interesting question cause I was always I would say probably a passive viewer of the show. I said it in a couple of interviews earlier, my grandmother and I would watch it. She was always like “Jesse I want you to be the bachelor cause look at all these lovely potential ladies for you right? So, a funny side story is when I told her I was the host of the Bachelor in Paradise Canada, it’s almost like that wasn’t enough for her. She’s like “Does that mean… are they still going to give you an option for future roses?” It’s hilarious. Grandma is happy. She would prefer that I was getting roses but, anyway…
Kevin: I will say Jesse’s grandma will be very proud I think he was stepping into a role that a lot of fans of the show, especially in the past year have really been buzzing about being a host of a show like this, and I think Jesse has, not necessarily big shoes to fill because this is a brand new experience and brand new thing on our side of the border, but Jesse had some pretty epic franchise kind of shoes to fill and I think he did a great job and I think everybody is gonna fall in love with him.
Jesse: Aww. Our bromance. Our bromance. This show is about loving each other, you know. It’s beautiful man. He really guided. He really guided me you know. I’ll say that. With that question, cause Kevin has been through this right? As someone who was on it, he found love with Astrid and that love is real. Like meeting them and seeing what they’re building and all of that was inspiring. So, whenever I had some questions, he would be able to answer them for me and he also he knew how to mix, and he’ll tell you about this, the craziest drinks the best drinks. So, it was a great experience for someone moving into this. Stepping into this new role for the first time and very very supportive across the board. Bachelor Nation as well.
Kevin congratulations to you as well. You said you never bartended before, what did you do to prepare? Did you talk to Wells [Adams] to get some advice?
Kevin: Well yeah that day that it was confirmed that I was gonna be the first-ever Canadian bartender, I did reach out to Wells, we texted a little bit. He gave me some advice. Some of it, he’s a pretty big jokester so some of it was legit and some of it was being the typical Wells goofing off. I know I was set to do this role for one main reason and that was just to be myself and bring to the table kinda what I experienced from the show and believe it or not, the bartender side of it, I’m gonna say was more of you know the second most important part of my duty there, so a lot of it was, you know Astrid was a bartender in college so she put me through the wringer and showed me all the cool drinks that I might want to make but for the most part, making drinks on TV is really not that hard because most people have their shirts off and they just want vodka waters and tequila sodas. So I didn’t do bad, but I did get into the Moscow mules for those at home. So I feel like when I introduced those on day 2, those were the quick grab. Yeah, Moscow mule and the tequila mules. Those were a hot commodity.
Jesse: And I mean, you know Kevin mixes a powerful drink, right? He had people in the vibe and in the mood. People would probably want to sip that at home too while they’re watching the show.
Walk me through what we can expect to happen in episode one. Do we see couples already forming? Has the drama started? What’s going on?
Kevin: I feel like the best part about episode one is that you get to meet the cast before anything goes down. I always feel episode one is so important on paradise because especially with the new, the new people who’ve never been on TV before, like seeing an aspect of this is so cool that they’ll be people showing all these cool sides to themselves on that, you know the first conversation that you have with somebody and usually, you would cringe to think about it? Like you know years later you’re in a relationship you think about the first conversation how awkward it is but also how like sweet and real it is? We get all of those on day one. The drama definitely heats up pretty quickly. But some relationships that really carry the heat in they formed really early on so it’s pretty great to see from where Jesse and I were standing.
Jesse: And welcoming, welcoming people to paradise as well you know. It’s that moment they step on and their journey begins. Everyone has the intentions, right? That they are coming there with or how they’re feeling about it then and it’s just beautiful to see that and whether or not that lives up to what they were expecting or not. The highs and lows, hills and valleys, all the emotions that enter after they do. It’s a wild ride and you gotta watch the first episode to really get a basis for where things go.
Will we see couples get engaged at the end? Can you tell us that?
Jesse: Well I mean, listen if I were to tell you that, I think it would spoil the whole process of watching this season. You’re gonna see a lot of connections and you’re definitely going to see that journey but I don’t want to give too much away you know cause it’s an exciting season and a lot happens.
Canada is doing things differently and we did the perfect companion and so Alice was the winner of that, what other twists can we expect to see this season? You said it’s very Canadian, different from the US counterpart, can you give us more into what we can expect to see that’s more Canadian?
Jesse: Well the Canadian aspect, I mean location for sure really makes the dates stand out. And we’re nestled against the lakes in northern Ontario. So, you’re getting that vibe. Which no matter what province you’re in you’re gonna see some synergy with that Canadian summer experience. Right? One other thing that I think is gonna be really awesome and exciting too are the dates that everyone is going on. The activities. Right? There are some authentically Canadian experiences within that as well. So, there’s gonna be a lot of familiar things, I know that Kevin being on Paradise US and meeting Astrid there, he was hearing some of the things that they did to make unique here in Canada well Kev, I don’t know if you wanna touch on that now, we make it our own here something for the people to be proud of.
Kevin: Yeah I feel like we, we definitely kind of wrote, rose the bar for Canadian reality TV because we took all the best elements from the American franchise like the roses the dates the cliffhangers all the good romance all that stuff, and taking the great parts of the US franchise but then we really made it our own. I think people didn’t know what to expect when they showed up. All they knew was Canada and they were like are we gonna be living in igloos, you know all these things that they don’t really know what we do up here. And I think everybody is, I think the best part that will be refreshing for Canadian viewers to watch is, it’s authentically Canadian. There’s a lot of campfires and flannels and you know like those cozy late nights that a lot of us Canadians are used too not necessarily the beach paradise we have more of that lakefront nice glass of wine with the sunset paradise. I think that’s what we really tackled this year.
Jesse: And the other thing I’ll add to that is the presence of the cast being from across the country, right? That’s been huge too. And I’ve even started, I’ve seen that in terms of how the individual towns, cities, and provinces have been getting behind the people from their home province that are on the show. So, there’s that aspect too that’s gonna be really cool for season one and you know ideally seasons to come.
A lot of the cast members have never been on a show, so that must have brought some new energy to the show in terms of navigating, finding love, being there for the right intentions, right?
Jesse: The show is built on being present, being in the moment, opening up yourself to opportunities and being ready to receive you know love. And those are universal messages that I think we can all take something away from. But the fact that now Canada chooses fans from bachelor nation to come on and leave their viewing seat and just throw themselves into this journey themselves is huge. It’s the first time it’s ever been done. And we’re doing it here in Canada. It’s just, it takes the reality thing that must further for everybody.
Kevin, you and Astrid are expecting your first baby next month, congratulations! That’s so exciting. And, you also added your new rescue dog Bean to the family. Your family just keeps growing.
Kevin: Oh yeah thank you very much, we’re about seven weeks away actually, so it’s coming quick. Yeah, she’s following my heel as I’m walking through my kitchen right now. She’s definitely a little shadow for both of us. To see her and Ace start to be siblings it’s really cute.
So clearly the show has worked for you, but some have criticized the franchise becoming more of a place to get followers and famous instead of finding love. Like, do you agree with that? I’m hearing from what you guys are saying about the Canadian version, the intentions are pure. They’re there. It’s different. So we’ll be getting a fresh new perspective of the show and not so much of the drama of getting followers?
Kevin: Well, I feel like to go on TV, like you’re gonna be smart and know kinda everything that comes along with it. I think the American show got a bit railroaded because, and it’s really no fault of the show because when we come off the show you have a bit of an Instagram following, and you get invited to this event and that event, you realize you start meeting all the people that were also on the show from other seasons and then you might all meet on a beach. The whole going on for followers thing I think has gotten a little bit out of hand and I feel like if you go on a show and all you ever say is “I’m going on there for love and nothing else.” You’re kinda blowing smoke. Because when I went on the show. And I’m just speaking from my personal experience, I went on for a life experience. I was more like if I say no to this I know for sure I won’t meet somebody. I know for sure I won’t travel to Mexico and see what happens. Who knows what could come. You could meet your best friend. Right? You could meet someone who has a job offer for you in a different place and you’re like well I connected, I’m big on life experience. So, I like to be a little more real and less romantic about this scenario. You go there looking to improve yourself, to find yourself, but also to involve yourself in this cool social experiment. And along with that sometimes comes an Instagram following. And I think as long as you can have in the front of your mind, I would love to follow love, I would love to meet someone, like I did, as long as I’m still your number one kind intention when you get there I feel like, anybody who says they go on the show strictly for love is kind of full of it and I think you need to try to get the people out that are only going for the followers and I think Canada did a pretty good job of that. Everyone there had some pretty pure intentions.
Jesse: I’m gonna jump on what Kevin was saying too. That’s something that you know we don’t do enough of. Is take the shot. We’re always thinking about what is gonna happen if I do this. Or let me do the calculated steps whether that’s relationship finding, job, career, life, intentions, all of it. We tend to overthink things all the time and probably even write ourselves out of the script immediately. This show really reminds us that take the shot. It might turn out the way you want. It might not. But shoot it. And I think that’s what it is. You know Kevin gives a birds-eye view of this from the bar, he sees shots firing everywhere right? Like shots being taken all over the place and I’m welcoming you onto the paradise beach and everyone is excited to get in the game.
Yes, there’s a lesson from this show. I realized from watching it before but then being involved is that even for me taking the role not knowing what it’s gonna open up or, that “Wow, there is such a franchise and these are big shoes [to fill].” I took my shot. And now we’re rolling things out and there’s a lot of buzz and the cast is beautiful in terms of their personality and who they are and their individuality so if there’s something we can all take from this show ultimately is to remember to shoot your shot. You never know where it can take you.
Bachelor in Paradise Canada airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT, 9 p.m. MT, and 7 p.m. CT. on Citytv and will stream online at citytv.com and the Citytv app.