As the proverbial saying goes, Bachelor contestants just aren’t here to make friends.
That is, until they go to Mexico. Following a halt in production on season 4 of ABC’s Bachelor in Paradise, the cast was inevitably only given 11 days to potentially find love — and lust. But in the end, they scored something better than a Neil Lane sparkler: a new family, so says contestant Jack Stone.
“This has been such a tough season to go through for all the obvious reasons,” Stone exclusively tells Us Weekly. “So much could have gone wrong. This entire franchise could have gone under. So if the worst case scenario is that we all became friends and continue on that way in the real world, I think that’s great.”
Naturally though, the journey from start to finish had its dramatic moments. During his stay at the Playa Escondida resort, the Bachelorette season 13 alum witnessed DeMario Jackson and Corinne Olympios’ pool dalliance, romanced Christen Whitney — now infamously known as “Scallop Fingers” — and shot down twins Emily and Haley Ferguson.
“Overall, Paradise was a crazy experience,” the single hunk, 32, says. “But we all became close friends, even family.”
The Dallas-based lawyer, who is very much not a serial killer, takes Us on another dramatic journey.
Us Weekly: Let’s start at the beginning. Did you suspect anything wrong between DeMario and Corinne on day one?
Jack Stone: That first day everybody was just overwhelmed. There was so much going on. No one really ate a lot, there was drinking and you’re also just meeting everyone. I wasn’t really paying attention to what was going on with DeMo and Corinne. I was trying to just get to know all the girls. I was like, “Oh, there’s a rose ceremony coming up!” I don’t think anyone noticed anything out of the usual.
Us: What ran through your mind when producers said they were turning off cameras and sending the cast home?
JS: Truthfully, I thought someone died. We were about to go to the rose ceremony. The producers came in, the cameramen were gone and they said, “We have to talk to you guys.” It was a really surreal moment. Everyone was like, “What is happening?” They were very vague and said, “Two people were involved in something.” We could tell who the two were because they weren’t there anymore. It was a weird experience to go through.
Us: How would you describe your connection with Christen?
JS: Christen has a good heart. She’s quirky. She came into all this drama pretty late in the game. I think she knew she was about to go home and I thought to myself, “She deserves a chance to see if there’s a connection here, whether it’s with me or someone else.” That’s why I initially gave her a rose. I just looked at her as a friend, although there were some things that you do with more than friends. Because it was so expedited, I didn’t to get to know her better.
Us: During your conversation on the finale, why did you decide to go your separate ways?
JS: At the end of they day, I was like, “Hey, I came here to see if I could have a connection with anyone and it would be great to stay in touch afterwards.” I thought we could leave as friends. We were the first couple to have this conversation about the next step so there was a lot of confusion about leaving together or separately. That’s when I said, “Can we redo this?”
Us: And just like that you were sent home?
JS: Someone had to go pack my bags for me and give me my stuff later in the day! It was so silly because here’s a girl that I wasn’t in love with. We thought that we could get in the car together as friends but then we were stopped in our tracks when we were talking about it.
Us: Do you see yourselves together post-show?
JS: I don’t think that there was anyone there that if I met them right now in my hometown I would say, “I really want to go out with you.”
Us: Do you still talk?
JS: Yes, we’re all friendly with each other. I don’t know anyone that isn’t talking to each other!
Us: Alright let’s talk twins. Why did you turn them down for a date?
JS: When the twins came in, I just got bad vibes from them. I didn’t care to go on a date with them and I don’t think they cared to go on a date with me. Why would I want to waste my time with them when I could spend my last night with guys and girls who actually came to be like family? Another part of the reason was because I wanted to get to know Christen more. I thought it would be the right thing to at least try.
Us: You’ve talked a lot about the bonds between everyone. Are the twins just as close with everyone, too?
JS: I think they’re off on their own. They alienated themselves. I think that people are tired of the antics. At this point, we’ve seen it already. It’s not funny anymore. The first day they got there I tried to be nice. They just weren’t there to make friends. It was very clear they were there to promote themselves. Arguably, a lot of people are, but at least put on a good face.
Us: Do you think Corinne was there to promote herself too? She did shout-out her clothing line on the finale!
JS: I don’t know what everyone’s agenda is for going on the show and I’m not going to speculate. Hopefully finding a connection with someone is on that list. But to say that’s No. 1 on the list is very far-fetched.
Us: Taylor [Nolan] and Derek [Peth] got engaged on the finale. How do you think their relationship will fare?
JS: Taylor and Derek have the best chance of anyone taking it to the next level after this season. Just the way they were around each other from the very beginning was so natural.
Us: How about Raven [Gates] and Adam [Gottschalk]?
JS: They get along great. They’ve been hanging out and traveling a lot together since the show. I hope it turns into something real and continues to go down that path.
Us: OK, big question: Are Danielle [Maltby] and Wells [Adams] friends…or something more?
JS: I think they’re just friends. I think they’ve had a really strong friendship for awhile but haven’t been romantically interested in each other. Obviously, there was a little spark there but they’ve kind of gone back to being friends, which I think is great.
Us: Would you do this all again?
JS: As of now, I don’t think so!
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