On Monday night, the season of “Bachelor in Paradise” that nearly didn’t air kicked off. During the premiere episode, ABC showed footage of Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson getting cozy.
The episode began with a message from host Chris Harrison about the season, which was shrouded in controversy when production was temporarily shut down amid sexual assault allegations regarding an encounter between Olympios and Jackson. Warner Bros., which produces the series, conducted an investigation and found no evidence of misconduct – so the show went on.
“As many of you know, this was the season of ‘Paradise’ that looked like it might not happen,” Harrison recalled ahead of the show’s intro song. “After two days of shooting we decided to suspended production… It was an extraordinarily stressful and emotional time for our cast and all of our crew – including myself.”
Harrison then cued the song for what he promised was the most “dramatic” season in “Bachelor” history.
During the episode, Jackson told the cameras he was looking for love.
“I wanted to come here to set everything straight and hopefully find the next Mrs. Jackson,” he said, explaining to Harrison why he signed up for “Paradise.”
He told the cameras, “I’m extremely excited to be here… because I’m a good guy.” He added he was on the reality show “for the right reasons.”
Upon her arrival, Olympios walks up to Harrison with a glass of champagne in each hand. She quickly says she’s “not ready to settle down.”
“Right now, I’m my best self,” she tells the cameras before initiating a toast with her castmates.
As the episode goes on, Olympios and Jackson pair off, jumping in the pool fully clothed and holding hands and embracing.
At one point during the episode, fellow contestant Alex Woytkiw comments to the cameras, “Corrine and DeMario are already just attached at the hip right now… They are having a one-on-one moment… in the pool.”
But at the end of the episode, everything comes to a standstill when producers gravitate toward Olympios and Jackson.
“Can I steal you for a minute?” a producer asks Olympios. She responds with a confused, “Me?”
A producer then grabs Jackson away saying, “I hate to do this, but I need him.”
Jackson replies, “What’s up? What’s the deal?”
The confused cast is gathered with Olympios and Jackson noticeably missing and the cameramen are then told to stop filming.
ABC leaves the episode on a cliffhanger with the cast confused as the show shuts down.
Part 2 of the premiere will air Tuesday night.