Say what you want about Bachelor in Paradise, but Bachelor Pad — which was basically a coed version of The Bachelor on a crack with a cash prize — was the best show to ever come out of the franchise. But despite its popularity and addictiveness, it only lasted three seasons and was canceled in 2012. Why? Well the short answer is… Chris Bukowski.
If you’re looking for the long answer, though, first we have to brush up on what this show was all about. In a time long before Paradise and SugarBear Hair, castoffs from The Bachelor and The Bachelorette headed to the Pad in hopes to mingle with other sexy singles while competing for $250,000. Sounds fun, right? Well, not quite. In order to actually win the grand prize, you need to do quite a bit of lying, manipulating, and did we mention lying? Each week, the cast would get smaller and smaller as someone had to be voted out of the house. It was crucial that the person you wanted to vote out wasn’t aware of your plan or naturally, it could backfire, hence the lying. In order to vote, each cast member had to go into a secluded “voting room” and drop the headshot of the person they wanted to go home into a wooden box. (So dramatic).
The cast of Bachelor Pad. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Ok, got that? Good. Moving on. So in Season 3 aka the final season, Chris Harrison threw the biggest curveball in Bachelor Pad history during one episode when he enforced a new one-time rule. Instead of voting out one male and one female, the entire cast was to vote out one woman, and she would then be responsible for choosing the man who leaves. This complicated things a great deal, because you couldn’t just vote out your biggest enemy in the house since they could bring you down as well.
A majority of the cast — including former Bachelor and Bachelorette favorites like Michael Stagliano, Rachel Truehart, Ed Swiderski, and Jaclyn Swartz — plotted to vote out Erica Rose who, by the way, is f–king fabulous, hilarious, and also appeared on Bachelor Pad in Season 2. The twist was, they were going to make Erica think Chris, who wasn’t well liked by the cast, was the one scheming against her, in hopes that she’d eliminate him.
“Gaming-wise, it is a pretty unbelievable feat if we pull it off. It is devilish,” Michael said in the episode. “Not to toot my own own, but I think I applied a stroke of genius [with this plan].” Little did he know, it was Chris Bukowski who was the actual genius.
Chris and Erica in the voting room. (Photo Credit: ABC)
So remember earlier when I told you that Chris single handedly ended this show? Here’s where that comes in. So throughout the episode, Michael’s plan appears to be working, and Erica Rose makes it very clear that if she goes home, she will take home Chris — that is, until Chris brings Erica into the voting room to show her that he wasn’t voting for her, something that has never happened on the show prior. Epic.
“We are making Bachelor Pad history right now,” Chris said. And he did.
Fans of the show know what went down from there. Erica Rose ends up getting sent home and she chooses to eliminate Michael, who was easily one of the most popular guys in the house. Chris continues on with the show and later makes it to the final two couples, but loses the grand prize to Nick Peterson.
After that, it was clear ABC couldn’t possibly bring this show back for a fourth season. How could the format of the show stay the same when there was now a clear way to call someone out for their lies? They couldn’t, so they didn’t.
“I’m a gamer and that was so much fun. It was scary… it literally changed the game,” Chris recently told Life & Style when we sat down with him at his new Chicago restaurant, Bracket Room. “Do I regret [pulling Erica into the voting room]? No. Absolutely not. It was the best decision ever. Bachelor Pad can’t even happen now, they’d have to make a whole new show.”
Check out the video below to see what happened to your favorite Bachelor in Paradise couples!