Yuki in Paradise? It appears a popular Winter Games contestant has traded her down jacket for warmer weather attire for another Bachelor franchise spinoff. Bachelor Japan alum Yuki Kimura won over the hearts of viewers during her stint on February's The Bachelor Winter Games, and now Chris Harrison is hinting at her return to American reality TV. Um, is Yuki a Bachelor in Paradise bartender? A recent snap of her alongside some former Mexico drink-slingers has fans wndering how she'll fit into BIP's upcoming season.
Bachelor in Paradise master of ceremonies Chris Harrison took to social media to share a snap of himself seated at the BIP bar with Wells (Season 4's bartender), Jorge (Seasons 1-3's bartender), and Yuki (Season 5's bartender?!).
"Hip hip Jorge!!!! #BachelorInParadise premieres Aug 7th #ABC@bachelorinparadise," the host wrote, reminding viewers of the recently-announced Season 5 premiere date.
Perhaps Jorge, Yuki, and Wells — three true fan faves of the show — will all be collaborating when it comes to tending bar. The dating competition could be shaking up more than just margaritas.
"I think you're going to see some [surprises] behind the bar, let's just say that," Robert Mills, ABC's senior vice president of alternative programming, revealed to E! News in March.
Last summer, former BIP participant and Bachelorette suitor from JoJo Fletcher's season, Wells Adams (bringing color commentary and puppetry to the gig), got behind the bar when the beloved Jorge couldn't make it.
“Jorge’s not coming back as the bartender in Paradise because Jorge is doing his own thing,” Bachelor regular Ashley Iaconetti told US Weekly prior to last season's premiere. “He has his own tour company … so he’s building his own company and he won’t be here this year.”
Welp, it looks like he's back and he's got good company!
The introduction of inernational contestants on the heels of Winter Games' successful format was already something Bachelor Nation knew they could look forward to. The sports-centric four-episode spinoff pitted Bachelor and Bachelorettes from all over the globe to compete in a series of athletic challenges while they competed for love along the way. Robert Mills told E! News about how the new series would fit into BIP:
I definitely think you'll see some international faces, but not sure how many or where they are going to come from... we'd want people that you're familiar with from Winter Games unless there are people that are absolutely fantastic.
The winners of the Winter Games ended up being Ashley Iaconetti and Canada's own Kevin Wendt — the pair became the series' first-ever champions and shared a short-lived romance following filming. Times have changed since they skated to victory, as Ash is now engaged to Jared Haibon and his proposal is set to featured on Bachelor in Paradise. What a difference a season makes.
Ashley and Kevin's love may have faded, but affection for bubbly Yuki clearly has not. She had quite an effect on her Winter Games castmates and struck up a a friendly bond with Season 20 Bachelor Ben Higgins throughout in her time in Vermont.
“I want to marry a man I meet on The Bachelor,” Yuki told The New York Times in January. “Until that day comes, I will keep being on The Bachelor [shows].”
There's also the possibility that Yuki could be a contestant and not a bartender — but then Chris Harrison's picture would just be confusing. Fans are already reacting to his group photo with pure joy and enthusiasm, so fingers crossed she's not just making a quick cameo or something...
Whether Yuki will be making drinks or making out, Bachelor Nation is welcoming her with open arms.
Season 5 of Bachelor In Paradise premeires Tuesday, August 7 on ABC.