The end of summer signals so many great things — cooler temperatures, pumpkin spice everything, football season — but nothing more important than the return of Bachelor in Paradise. The Bachelor franchise’s messiest series, which will be hosted by a variety of new faces, takes rejected contestants from past seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, and gives them another chance at love in an island paradise where the drinks flow fairly freely. With the seventh season fast-approaching, ABC has released its first batch of cast members.
The confirmed cast is majority girls, since more guys will be added as they are eliminated by Katie Thurston on the current season of The Bachelorette. But already with the singles who have been announced so far, I can see great potential for love and, of course, drama! Here are the Bachelor Nation contestants I’m most excited to see when Bachelor in Paradise returns for Season 7.
I’m actually heartbroken to see Joe Amabile back in Paradise, only because I thought he and Kendall Long would really work out! Fans originally fell in love with Joe on Becca Kufrin’s season of The Bachelorette, even though he was sent home on the first night. The paradise atmosphere was much kinder, and led not only to a serious relationship, but a stint on Dancing With the Stars. And with that smile, nobody’s complaining about seeing Grocery Store Joe give it another shot at love.
Matt James, as well as all of America, was inspired by Abigail Heringer's courage after she revealed that she is deaf. And her parting words about feeling like she only makes men realize what they want next struck a chord with viewers. If anyone deserves a shot at love in paradise, it’s Abigail, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store.
It was the champagne pop heard ‘round the world. On Peter Weber’s season of The Bachelor, Kelsey Weier had a major meltdown after Hannah Ann Sluss (accidentally?) stole Kelsey’s bottle of champagne. This led to Kelsey taking it in the face (and up the nose) after drinking straight from a new bottle. I think Kelsey has the potential to be Bachelor in Paradise’s next Ashley Iaconetti — as in, cue the water works. Kelsey was super sweet but sometimes fragile, and that could make for some interesting situations in paradise.
Ivan Hall had fans rooting for him when Tayshia Adams replaced Clare Crawley on their season of The Bachelorette. He was the triple threat of smart, sweet and sexy. In the end, they couldn’t make it work because of religious differences, but Tayshia’s loss is our paradise gain!
I know, I know, nobody actually needs more Queen Victoria Larson in their lives, but if we’re going for maximum drama here (and we obviously are), would it even be paradise without her? This isn't the Bachelor Mansion, either, as she’s going into paradise with full Villain status, and the other contestants have seen what she's capable of. I’m expecting less tolerance for Victoria’s crap, and I’ll be ready with some popcorn and a big glass of wine.
Matt James’ season of The Bachelor was nothing if not a dumpster fire of drama, and Mari Pepin-Solis has already showed that she can stand her ground, as evidenced by not letting Queen Victoria interrupt her photo shoot with Matt. I’m excited to see what the change in venue will do for Mari.
Kenny Braasch, who was introduced in Clare Crawley’s season and was singled out for having no tan lines anywhere during the ill-advised game of strip dodgeball, just seems like a fun addition to paradise. The boy band manager spoke for Bachelor fans everywhere when he questioned Clare’s actions regarding Dale Moss at the beginning of her season, and that willingness to speak his mind on top of having a good time makes him a great pick.
These seven join Karl Smith of Katie Thurston's ongoing Bachelorette season, Jessenia Cruz, Serena Chew, Serena Pitt of Matt James' season of The Bachelor, Brendan Morais of Clare Crawley/Tayshia Adams' shared Bachelorette season, Noah Erb of Tayshia's solo half of the season, Deandra Kanu, Maurissa Gunn, Natasha Parker, Tammy Ly, and Victoria Paul from Peter Weber's season, and Tahzjuan Hawkins from all the way back in Colton Underwood's season as the cast of Bachelor in Paradise Season 7. These already-announced singles will be followed by more castoffs from Katie’s season, and it'll be interesting to see who will join this group.
Will they throw in some trouble-makers — like recently dismissed Bachelor wannabe Thomas Jacobs — to mix things up? Only time will tell! Bachelor in Paradise will return for its seventh season at 8 p.m. ET Monday, August 16 on ABC. Be sure to check out our 2021 Summer TV schedule to hold you over until then!