Bachelor in Paradise fans were surprised, and then frustrated, to see married couple Ashley Iaconetti and Jared Haibon arrive in Mexico for season 8, and now the lovebirds address the backlash against their appearance. Ashley and Jared met in 2015 when they were both contestants on Bachelor in Paradise season 2, and it was love at first sight for Ashley. However, Jared thought of Ashley only as a friend. In 2018, he finally realized his feelings for her, and in August 2019, they got married. Ashley later gave birth to their son, Dawson, in January 2022. Fans were upset that Ashley and Jared received a date card during Bachelor in Paradise season 8, and that they had considerably more screen time than the actual contestants. Fans complained that they wanted to see the “love stories” on the show.
On The Ben & Ashley I Almost Famous podcast, Jared filled in for Ben Higgins. Jared and Ashley addressed the backlash against their Bachelor in Paradise season 8 appearance, including fan complaints that they did not want to see a married couple on the beach. Jared began by saying, “It just makes me sad.” He said that he thinks that the fans who did not want to see a married couple on Bachelor in Paradise do not watch the show for love, but for drama. He shared that what makes him “frustrated” is that people will say that they watch the show for love, “but love doesn’t end when people leave the beach.” The love stories continue and sometimes lead to marriage and children. Ashley revealed that there will be a lot more cameos from former Bachelor in Paradise contestants this season, but they are the only ones who stayed over in Mexico.
Jared & Ashley Are Grateful Despite The Negativity From Bachelor Nation
Jared and Ashley also addressed the amount of time that was devoted to their Bachelor in Paradise season 8 appearance. Ashley said that people thought that they were “filler content” because there are a record 16 season 8 episodes. Jared shared that it wasn’t their decision to have so much screen time, and that, in the grand scheme of things, they are hardly on the season. Ashley also addressed the fans who said that she and Jared took a date away from the current contestants by saying that they did not steal anything, and the Bachelor in Paradise producers are able to give as many date cards as they want. Despite the fan backlash, Jared revealed that the cast made them feel very welcome. They concluded their discussion by saying that, although they are currently feeling sad about the negative fan reaction, they know that they are so lucky.
Jared is right to say that Bachelor in Paradise love stories do not end when the couples leave the beach together. It was an interesting experiment to see an established married couple come to Mexico to renew their love. Jared and Ashley admitted that they knew that they would be perceived as the “old” couple and they never thought that they were “cool.” However, they did not expect the negative reaction because so many Bachelor in Paradise couples have such strong social media followings. Although there were some people who did not enjoy their appearance, many of their fans were happy to see them back on the beach. Bachelor in Paradise should follow up with couples more often, but perhaps in a different format from them actually going to Mexico. Maybe they could film segments in their homes with their families.
Bachelor in Paradise season 8 is longer than any season before, and has a lot of unnecessary content in the episodes, which is not good for the show. However, Ashley and Jared should not be considered filler, as they are a beautiful Bachelor Nation success story. Ashley and Jared should feel nothing but pride and happiness about the life that they have created with their son Dawson. They should ignore the negativity surrounding their Bachelor in Paradise return.
Bachelor In Paradise airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EDT on ABC.
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