Almost paradise! Season 6 of the hit Bachelor/Bachelorette spinoff Bachelor in Paradise is set to premiere on August 5, so if you’re not quite sure how the whole thing works, we have plenty of time to get you up to speed! Sure there’s technically no “winner,” but contestants can certainly leave richer in love! You can also check out the cast here.

The Entrances

The season begins with a mass entrance of people. What makes this show different from The Bachelor or The Bachelorette is that there’s no lead that all of the contestants are fighting for. Instead, there are nearly equal amounts of men and women that vie for each other’s affection. So when these people show up, they’re usually ready to show off. When contestants enter on day 1, they’re usually welcomed with hilarious video clips to remind you who they are — though they’re all former castoffs from Bachelor Nation, some are from more recent seasons than others. They all gather on Sayulita beach in Nayarit, Mexico, enjoy a few drinks, and start to get to know each other.

The Process

Each episode, some contestants are sent home and others are added. The way it works is that each week there are either more women or more men. Whichever group is smaller has the power, and hands out roses at the rose ceremony. Anyone without a partner after the ceremony is sent home, and then more of the opposite gender are sent in so the power shifts to the other group.

Because there is no money at stake, there’s really no reason to fake a relationship besides staying on the island longer to have a chance to meet more people. However, that doesn’t mean people don’t flip-flop or change their minds about their partner as new contestants enter, which is what leads to unparalleled drama.

If contestants are able to stick with someone long enough to build a real connection, they can choose to leave paradise hand-in-hand as a couple, or take it a step further and propose. If they choose to go that far, Neil Lane will gift them with an extravagant ring, which is really the only financial benefit to being on the show. Of course, couples can also choose to break up and leave the island alone.

Angela, Krystal and Jenna bachelor in paradise season 5
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Date Cards

Just like on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, date cards are a big part of the game. Every new contestant that comes in after day 1 enters with a date card so they can have the opportunity to get to know someone they’re interested in. Sometimes this leads to drama when they pick someone who is already coupled up, and sometimes the date is a straight-up dud. Existing contestants are also given date cards once and a while to spend alone time with their current partner, or try to get to know someone new.

At the end of the season, existing couples are offered fantasy suite dates. If they choose to forgo their own rooms, they get to stay together at a swanky resort and enjoy a special date — an amazing change of pace after spending several weeks sweating in their cabanas surrounded by crabs.

Angela and Eric Bachelor in Paradise season 5
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The Host and Bartenders

Shocker! Chris Harrison is also the host of Bachelor in Paradise, as he is with Bachelor and Bachelorette. He pretty much only shows up for the entrances, rose ceremonies, and a few special surprises. Each season also has another person that becomes the go-to counselor, and that’s the bartender. For the first four seasons, that was a local Nayarit man named Jorge, but for season 5 in 2018 he left and was replaced with former BIP favorite Wells Adams and former Bachelor Winter Games star Yuki. No word yet on if they’ll both return for season 6, but their hilarious banter made them a really fun part of the show, so we hope so!

Chris Harrison Greets Wells Adams in Paradise
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