Are Bachelor in Paradise Producers Responsible For The Tia, Colton, and Chris Love Triangle?

Tia Booth Colton Underwood

Tia Booth and Colton Underwood’s storyline was made for reality TV. | Instagram via @tiarachel91

It should come as no surprise that The Bachelor spin-off The Bachelor in Paradise is just as calculated and choreographed as its more serious counterparts, The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. Producers use the same tactics to guide the arguments, set up great dates and conversations, and ensure that love triangles are present — and dramatic.

The biggest Bachelor in Paradise love triangle so far on season five has a history that dates back months before last season of The Bachelorette. Bachelor nation was intrigued to find out on week two of Becca Kufrin’s season that her friend Tia Booth had a relationship with one of the contestants Colton Underwood before he went on the show to compete for Becca’s heart.

Colton made it to the final four of Becca’s men before Tia intervened to tell her friend she still had feelings for the NFL player and season frontrunner. Becca ultimately chose to send Colton home, and fans immediately speculated that the Bachelor franchise would reunite Tia and Colton on Paradise.

Of course, it’d be far too easy to just introduce the sort-of-exes in the first episode and let them figure out the relationship … they’d ultimately win Paradise assuming they just put the past behind them and got back together. Enter: Chris Randone, a notable Bachelorette contestant whose self-destructive tendencies ruined his chances with Becca on season 14.

Producers waited to send Colton to ‘Paradise’ until after Tia met Chris

Tia spent the first half of the Paradise premiere obsessing over Colton.

“I feel like me and Colton are just a big question mark, because we haven’t gotten to have that conversation about where we stand, about how he feels about me,” Tia said. “I don’t know how he feels about Becca and if he’s still heartbroken.” Producers edited shots of Tia nervously watching the Paradise walkway for her ex-flame with her back-and-forth commentary that included her declaring all she wanted was Colton to walk down those steps followed by “Colton who?”

While Tia spent all of her time disappointed Colton didn’t show up in Paradise, host Chris Harrison explained how the calculated dating worked. And despite the fact that Tia didn’t have eyes for anyone on the island (or, rather, because of it) the producers gave her the first date card, meaning she had to pick someone who wasn’t Colton to head out on a day-long date with.

The whole premiere episode was a perfect example of how producers set up the Bachelor drama. They introduced every single contestant and explained their backstory. Then, the day after Tia went on a date with another man that the producers set up, they brought Colton on the show with zero explanation as to why he was the only contestant to arrive a day late.

The first thing the producers did? Give Colton the second date card

Naturally, the second date card was awarded to the guy that just showed up on the island. None of the men who’d been there since day one commented about it, but viewers sure noticed.

We first see Colton talking to Chris Harrison about his hesitations coming into Paradise. It’d pretty obvious that he was nervous even if he didn’t bring it up — each shot that cut to Colton revealed more and more sweat on his Paradise t-shirt. Harrison offered the contestant something to “make his entrance a little easier” — a date card. The next ten minutes of the show followed Colton talking to every woman but Tia, growing attracted to Angie, then deciding to use his card to clear the air with his ex. Of course.

The producers also wasted no time painting Chris as a homewrecker, cutting together footage of him saying “[Tia] gave me the confirmation that Colton’s not in the picture,” moments before she accepted Colton’s date proposal.

The contestants live-tweeted the entire premiere and poked fun at one another

We imagine that Colton, Tia, and Chris aren’t too heartbroken regardless of how the plot ended considering they tweeted at one another the entire premiere to laugh at the episode and comment on the results. Their light-hearted interactions with one another are another indication that the whole love triangle was produced for season drama rather than organic footage of three people debating their romantic futures.

Chris even admitted Colton one-upped him with the one-on-one dates with Tia:

The episode ended before the women chose which Bachelorette reject they’d award their rose to, leaving viewers waiting to find out who Tia would chose: Chris or Colton? We expect they all leave the island on relatively good terms despite the anticipated drama considering the friendly nature of their social media interactions. Regardless of who wins Tia’s heart (or how much influence the producers have), we’ll be watching to find out how the love triangle ends — as well as to hear what hilariously ridiculous hair product analogy Jordan makes next.

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