The champagne flowed like usual.
The contestants flirted like usual.
And Chris Harrison welcomed viewers to Paradise like usual.
But make no mistake:
The Bachelor in Paradise Season 4 premiere was not your typical episode of this popular reality show.
As any celebrity gossip fan knows by now, production on the series was shut down this summer after allegations that Corinne Olympios was too drunk to consent to the sexual actions that took place between her and DeMario Jackson early on the opener.
An internal investigation eventually cleared Jackson of any misconduct and ABC didn’t see a need to cancel the season or the show.
It simply delayed the first installment by a week and aired the premiere on Monday night.
Harrison admitted at the outset of the episode that Season 4 “looked like it might not happen,” prior to introducing various men and women looking for love and sex on the island.
This included Jackson and Olympios, of course, both of whom were coming off controversial stints on The Bachelorette and The Bachelor, respectively.
(Jackson was sent home by Rachel Lindsay after she learned he had a girlfriend during shooting; while Olympios took her shirt off A LOT while trying to win over Nick Viall.)
“I wanted to come here to set everything straight and hopefully find the next Mrs. Jackson,” DeMario told Harrison, adding:
“Because I’m a good guy. I swear, I’m like the sweetest guy in the world. I would love to ultimately fall in love. I can’t wait for that.”
And then there was Corinne:
“I personally am not ready to settle down. I’m not rushing to find someone. I’m not going to jump on the first guy that shows me a little bit of attention.
“If you want to have this, you have to work real hard.”
Or drink real hard.
Within minutes of hanging out together at the bar, Corinne and DeMario were laughing, hugging and touching.
Other cast members noted the chemistry right away, with Raven Gates even jokingly asking at one point if they might “get engaged.”
“They look like they’re enjoying each other’s company – they seem like they’re ‘clicking,’ if that’s the word that us young folk are using these days,” said Alex Woytkiw, adding:
“Corinne and DeMario are already attached at the hip.”
Elsewhere, a number of these reality stars were getting to know each other and spending time on the beach. Kristina Schulman offered the first date card to Dean Unglert, for example.
We didn’t see a lot of Jackson and Olympios during these scenes, with cameras catching up to then the following morning at breakfast.
They seemed fine. Maybe a tad bit awkward, but mostly fine and normal.
As the day continued, two more dates unfolded:
Raven and Robby Hayes, followed by Jasmine Goode and Matt Munson, who stopped by a Mexican drag bar.
Jackson, meanwhile, had shifted his focused to Alexis Waters.
That night, as everyone got ready for a rose ceremony in which the women would hand out the flowers, all seemed friendly between Corinne and DeMario.
The former referred to then as “homies” and said her rose would go to Vinny Ventiera.
But one producer then pulled Olympios aside and another asked to speak to Jackson in private.
We saw cameramen put their equipment down, as confusion and chaos spread throughout the cast.
Taylor Nolan wondered if it this all had something to do with “Corinne and DeMario from the first night,” but we’ll need to wait until this evening’s second part of the premiere to find out for certain.
(SPOILER ALERT: Yes, it had to do with Corinne and DeMario from the first night. D’uh.)
To relive the premiere or to see it for the first time, click below to watch Bachelor in Paradise online now!