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We’re almost all adults here, right? As such, most of us are well aware that the actual legitimacy involved in the “unscripted” reality TV genre can often be as thin as the moral centers of those that the show focuses on. And if you thought that such a thing as the sanctity of marriage was too blessed a sacrament for TV producers to fake with reckless abandon, then you might be shocked that ABC’s romance-fueled spinoff Bachelor in Paradise appears to have done just that during its season premiere.
For the first episode in Season 2 of Bachelor in Paradise, the contestants were treated to a surprise ceremony officiated by host Chris Harrison wherein Season 1 co-winners Lacy Faddoul and Marcus Grodd were wed. But TMZ is claiming that wedding was about as real as one you’d see on one of ABC’s other series like Castle or Black-ish, and that the entire shebang pretty much equaled out to an attempt to draw big ratings.
While the actual ceremony was real – lest anyone think that holograms or androids were used – the event apparently had no legal binding. The wedding took place on a beach around Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, but it doesn’t seem as if Faddoul and Grodd have an official marriage license in either Mexico or the U.S. What’s more, Grodd is reportedly out wrapping up his training for the Coast Guard, which means that the marriage won’t be made official anytime soon. I mean, they only got engaged last year on the show, so it’s hard to be against the couple if they’re taking their time in cementing the deal, especially considering how ridiculously few couples actually stay together following The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. (Or any other show of the sort.)
So the question becomes, “Did that alleged stunt actually bring in huge ratings?” And the answer isn’t that positive, at least as far as same-day viewers went. The two-hour Season 2 premiere brought in 3.6 million viewers, earning a 1.1 rating in the key 18-49 demographic, which means it beat out reruns of shows like The Simpsons and American Ninja Warrior, but it got stomped in that first hour by Big Brother, and was tied in the second half by a Madam Secretary repeat. As well, it fell noticeably below the Season 1 premiere last August, which brought in a little over 5 million viewers, with a 1.3 demo rating.
So do you guys think that TMZ is in error here, and that Faddoul and Grodd are without question husband and wife? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, you can catch more fun both real and fake as Bachelor in Paradise airs this summer on Sundays and Mondays on ABC at 8 p.m. ET.