Evan Bass has a soft spot for Bachelor in Paradise. On the heels of an alleged alcohol-fueled sex scandal that forced producers to shut down production of the fourth season of the ABC summertime spinoff, the two-time ABC reality star penned an emotional plea to the network begging execs to keep the show on the air.
Evan, who met and became engaged to fellow franchise alum Carly Waddell on last summer’s edition of the show, acknowledges that the seriousness of the alleged incident between BIP contestants Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson should not be downplayed. But Bass is concerned over how the show as a whole, and a production staff that feels like family to him, is being portrayed, so he’s making a case as to why it should stay on the air.
Bass says he is “troubled” by allegations that “misconduct” took place on the set of the rose-filled reality show, and he is saddened that future couples may not have a chance to find love on a Mexican beach as he did. But Evan also pointed out that he and his fiancee have appeared on a combined five seasons of the ABC franchise, so they know how the show works and why ABC should opt to keep the show on the air despite the bad rap it is currently getting.
As rumors and varying accounts of what happened on June 4 continue to make headlines, Evan says he hopes the full story comes out before “misinformation does any more damage.”
“I’ve talked with several cast members who were on-site, and from their perspectives, this was not anywhere close to what’s being portrayed in the media,” Bass revealed.
“The overwhelming theme from the cast is that although these allegations should be taken seriously, the actual events have been blown way out of proportion and that ‘consent’ was not an issue that day or in the days following.”
Bass’s guess is that “rogue, newbie producers” may have jumped the gun by “manufacturing something out of nothing” and filing a complaint. Evan doesn’t blame Corinne for “lawyering up,” either.
“She’s following the natural path of a scandal by protecting herself, as she has every right to do,” Bass wrote.
Evan, who acknowledges he weathered a bad “edit” on JoJo Fletcher’s season of The Bachelorette, still thinks contestants are mostly responsible for how they come across on TV.
“I can’t talk too much about our contracts with the show, but let me say this: It’s very, very clear that, as contestants, our actions and words are our responsibility, including alcohol consumption,” Evan revealed. “But in reality, the producers are always there to help when things get fuzzy.”
Evan also makes it clear that while the alcohol is readily available on Bachelor in Paradise (the show employs a full-time bartender), the cast was “never once prodded or forced to drink alcohol.”
“Alcohol is treated with the respect it deserves, and sometimes contestants are asked to stop,” Bass explained.
“I’ve watched staff and producers stop many situations before they became a problem, even at the expense of making ‘great TV.'”
Evan Bass added that the Paradise producers that he knows would “never allow someone to do something against their will or get to a place where something bad would occur.”
“I know this cast and the production staff so well, I find this alleged situation unimaginable,” Evan wrote.
Bass also defended the show’s speed dating format, reminding critics that it is possible to fall in love in just a few short weeks (he did!) because it’s condensed as the castmates spend time with each other 24/7 while sequestered in Paradise.
“Spending quality time with others is a lost art to the game of texting, but Paradise brings back QT,” Evan pointed out.
“Carly and I sat on a beach for weeks talking….I believe I have one of the most epic love stories of any reality TV love, and I don’t want these stories to end.”
Evan Bass acknowledged that if Bachelor in Paradise does come back to ABC’s schedule, be it this summer or next summer, he is sure “adjustments will be made.”
“But ultimately one bad incident does not have to tarnish a show’s legacy,” Evan said.
While Bass make it clear that he didn’t “drink the BIP Kool-aid,” he does have a vested interest in the show’s future. While it was never announced by the network, Bass and Waddell’s wedding was supposed to be filmed and shown as part of the now-defunct season of Paradise.
Earlier this month, Bachelor spoiler king Reality Steve revealed that Evan would be getting married in Mexico a few days before filming of Paradise was scheduled to end. After Warner Bros. shut down production of the current season of the show, E! News confirmed that Evan and Carly’s wedding is still set to be filmed by the franchise’s cameras and will air on ABC. The big question is, on what show will it air?
You can see Evan Bass proposing to Carly Waddell on last summer’s Bachelor in Paradise below.
[Featured Image by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Unlikely Heroes]