Spoilers ahead for the Season 7 premiere of Bachelor in Paradise on ABC.
The first season of Bachelor in Paradise since former host Chris Harrison was ousted from the franchise premiered to reveal just how different the show will be from the previous six seasons. While there was the usual mixing of Paradise returnees like Grocery Store Joe Amabile and Demi Burnett with newcomers along with some commentary from trusty bartender Wells Adams, the biggest difference was undoubtedly comedian David Spade as the first of a series of guest hosts. And it didn't even take half of the episode for me to be convinced that Spade was the perfect pick to host the Season 7 premiere.
Admittedly, David Spade seemed like a supremely random pick to me when he was first announced, but it turns out that Spade has been a fan of Bachelor Nation for years, posting about the show on social media and even going on the late-night circuit with his thoughts (and complaints). So he has the ties to Bachelor Nation to make him a solid fit, but apparently doesn't quite have the same reverence for the process that could get to be a bit melodramatic with Chris Harrison, and his commentary didn't feel scripted or rehearsed. And this is Bachelor in Paradise we're talking about! It's not supposed to be perfectly polished or scripted.
If anything, David Spade as host felt more like he was winging it than anything else, and I mean that in a good way. He embraced the chaos and messiness that is fundamental to the fun of Bachelor in Paradise. Sure, he was there to be master of ceremonies to launch a new season of Bachelor in Paradise, but I got a kick out of him talking about eating tacos, complaining about crabs, and hitting up Wells Adams for the lowdown on what happened because he left early the night before and went to sleep early. He had much more to offer than just going through the usual motions of welcoming contestants to Paradise.
In fact, he even cracked a joke about meeting contestants who viewers have already met plenty of times already. David Spade as host truly felt like a fan who doesn't take the franchise so seriously that he can't poke fun at the craziness. And no part of the franchise is crazier than good old Bachelor in Paradise.
If David Spade was going to serve as full-time host for this season of Paradise rather than just host of the premiere, I would be perfectly happy. Wells Adams seemed to be having fun with Spade as well, and even the contestants seemed excited (if somewhat bemused) to walk into Paradise and see David Spade – or as Tammy Ly thought, Dave Chappelle – waiting to greet them. Plus, his closing rant about crabs everywhere in Paradise was icing on the cake. I've never been menaced by crabs everywhere, but his monologue still feels relatable:
Give me a web series of Wells Adams dishing all the gossip to David Spade while David Spade tries to avoid crabs at all costs, and I'm not even sure I'd need to see as much of the dating action as usual. Unfortunately for me, Spade was indeed just a guest host, but how well he did definitely encourages me that the guest host format can work. Upcoming guest hosts include Lil Jon, former NSYNC singer Lance Bass, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt's Titus Burgess, and possibly Wells Adams and Modern Family's Sarah Hyland.
None of this is to say that I think David Spade or the guest host format should extend to The Bachelor or The Bachelorette after Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams host the next season. Rotating through hosts who haven't been part of Bachelor Nation for years already works for the craziness that is Bachelor in Paradise, and should probably be kept there. See what happens next in Paradise with new episodes on Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC, starting next week. For more of what's on the way to TV, check out our 2021 fall TV premiere schedule.
Resident of One Chicago, Bachelor Nation, and Cleveland. Has opinions about crossovers, Star Wars, and superheroes. Will not time travel.
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