Were Chris Harrison and Lauren Zima’s ‘Group Dates’ On Instagram Secretly Preparing us for ‘The Bachelor in Quarantine’?
The host of The Bachelor, Chris Harrison, runs various couples’ Group Dates on his Instagram live with his girlfriend, Lauren Zima — who you might know from Roses and Rose. The videos are funny, informative, and necessary content during this coronavirus (COVID-19) quarantine. However, we think they were preparing us for something bigger — a new show idea — The Bachelor in Quarantine.
What is ‘Group Date’ with Chris Harrison and Lauren Zima?
The Group Date began as a nightly fireside chat with Harrison and Zima. The couple decided to go live every night to encourage others to stay home. They also donated to numerous charities during their chats and couples’ group dates.
“Chris and I are going live on Instagram at 6:30 pst every night with the hope that you’ll stay home with us ❤ we love you,” Zima wrote in the caption of one photo. “If you miss them because of time zones, they’re up on Chris’ Instagram. But please, stay home with us.”
Initially, they invited guests, such as former Bachelor and podcast host, Nick Viall, but very quickly they realized it was more fun to invite couples. The interest and followers continued to come as they asked pairs such as Sarah Hyland and Adam Wells, Colton Underwood and Cassie Randolph, and Ben Higgins and Jessica Clarke to participate.
On the Instagram live, viewers watched a split-screen — on one side was Harrison and Zima — while on the other side was the guest couple. Higgins and Clarke even told their engagement story during one Group Date. Many fans were ecstatic to watch the show every night. The likes and comments flowed in.
What is ‘The Bachelor in Quarantine’?
Fast Forward — one month later — we found out on April 20, 2020, that The Bachelor executives are tossing around the idea of running a show called The Bachelor in Quarantine.
“The best thing about The Bachelor is its willingness to evolve as a format, so if we need to shoot a cycle that reflects these times, that’s what we’re going to look at doing,” Mills told Deadline.
The filming of Clare Crawley’s season of The Bachelorette was postponed on March 13, 2020 — due to COVID-19. The series was set to begin airing on May 13, 2020; however, that date is now coming up fast. The producers promise that Crawley will get her chance at love, but it might now be for several months.
However, in the meantime, it looks like the producers are working on something a little different.
‘The Bachelor in Quarantine’ might host virtual couples group dates
ABC did not announce that The Bachelor in Paradise is canceled for this summer; however, the producers did admit it does not seem feasible. They could potentially get 20 singles together, but the crew of 180-200 people might be too much with the current situation in the world.
Instead, could they get those same 20 singles together on a video conference call? Could they issue date cards, and then have the contestants record their live video dates and send them into production for editing. American Idol is doing it already, with their recorded performances from home.
So, instead of waiting and holding out hope that things will return to normal, the producers are working on something else. What it will look like, they didn’t say, but viewers loved Harrison and Zima’s Group Date, so let’s hope fans will enjoy this, too.