'The Bachelor: Winter Games' is senseless fun

After 22 seasons of "The Bachelor," 13 seasons of "The Bachelorette," three seasons of the failed "Bachelor Pad" and four seasons of "Bachelor in Paradise," "The Bachelor" franchise has finally struck gold with its latest spin-off show: "The Bachelor: Winter Games."

"Winter Games" took 26 eligible contestants from spin-off shows all around the world -- from Canada, China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, Finland and Germany -- locked them in a house in Vermont and forced them to compete in Winter Olympic style games, such as skiing and ice-skating, where they could win date cards to woo their other roomates and potential suitors.

The premise is similar to "Paradise" and "Pad" in that singles are living together. "Paradise" was more date focused and "Pad" was more competition focused, but "Winter Games" not only brings the best components of both shows together, it adds in a whole other flavor by introducing us to the fresh faces of the international cast.

What is so fascinating about the show is not just watching the American competitors become swooped up in romance with the internationals, but watching them overcome the language barriers as well.

Like Clare Crawley, one of the U.S. competitors who found herself in a love triangle with the Canadian Benoit and the German Christian. And the Russian Stassi and American Luke, who talked about breaking up on the "After the Final Rose" special because of their cultural differences.

Although the show is centered around finding love, I had to stop myself from laughing hard several times just from some of the things the contestants said or did to embarass themselves.

For instance, the majority of the contestants are terrible at all of the winter sports they were forced to participate in and many ended up falling on their behinds while skiing and ice skating, while some stumbled completely off course and into bushes.

The show is also incredibly self-aware, superimposing little boxes of information on the screen with a picture of each contestant before they compete with characteristics like "Canadian Bacon" for Canadian firefighter Kevin or "Future Bond villain" for Jordan, who was the Bachelor in New Zealand and looks exactly like Julian McMahon as Victor Von Doom in "The Fantastic Four."

One of the funniest competitions included brining in two past Bachelorettes, Jojo and Rachel and the latest bachelor, Arie, to judge a kissing contest between the contestants. For any fan of the franchise, you know how hilarious and awkward this is considering that Jojo had to judge Luke, who was in her top four, Rachel having to judge Dean, who was in her top four and Arie, who's current season is still airing, have to judge Bibiana, a fiesty woman he kicked off after just a few weeks. Talk about an awkward taco situation right there.

The truth is that the Bachelor is quite silly and if you haven't watched any of the shows, "Bachelor Winter Games" might not make a lot of sense to you. But it's not supposed to make sense. It's supposed to be silly and fun, while hopefully pairing couples up for romance.

And considering that Clare and Benoit got engaged on the "After The Final Rose" special, it really did work. Not to mention the happy pairing up of self-proclaimed virgin Ashley I (who got dumped on "The Bachelor" and two different seasons of "Paradise") and Kevin from Canada -- who got dumped by the Bachelorette Canada last year after being engaged for five months.

Now although the finale of "The Bachelor: Winter Games" aired last week, I highly suggest watching the four episodes on Hulu or ABC online because while it's not Olympic gold, it's definitely rose gold.

Marisa Patwa is a graduate of the University of Evansville with a degree in journalism and minor in political science.

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