“I remember when we did it — it’s funny because Sarah [Hyland, my wife] hosts Love Island USA — and yeah, we separated everybody and [they all] got so angry,” Wells, 39, recalled during the Thursday, September 7, episode of the “Viall Files” podcast, hinting the twist didn’t return for season 9.
During last year’s season of BiP, host Jesse Palmer informed the ladies that they had to pack their bags and leave the beaches of Paradise for a local resort. The men stayed put and each group was introduced to a new crop of Bachelor Nation contestants. The women even notoriously shouted, “F—k you, Jesse Palmer,” from their balcony after being taken away from their current partners.
Wells pointed out that he knows that the same situation is done “every season on Love Island.” The British reality TV series, which spawned a stateside spinoff on Peacock, eventually splits the group in half in what they call the “ultimate relationship test:” Casa Amor.
“Oh yeah, they’re like, ‘We’re in Casa Amor!’ I was like, ‘Yeah, we should do that.’ First of all, Love Island ripped off Paradise originally, so we can go rip off some of their good s—t,” Wells said.
He then declared: “No one’s making new s—t anymore!”
Bachelor in Paradise debuted on ABC in 2014, bringing a bunch of Bachelor Nation castoffs to Mexico for a second shot at love. Love Island, a British reboot from the early 2000s, debuted on ITV in 2015. A U.S. version was greenlit by CBS in 2019, moving to Peacock for season 4. (Casa Amor was first introduced on season 3 of the U.K. version in 2017, and season 2 of the U.S. iteration in 2020.)
Despite very similar dating show premises, Wells is still a fan of Love Island. “This last season of USA is really, really good,” he said of season 5, which just wrapped. “It’s funny because [Sarah] is such a Bachelor Nation fan, like, loves the show, where she will be like, ‘I don’t like so-and-so,’ and then I’ll be like, ‘I’ve filmed with them, they’re actually quite nice.’”
Wells — who married Sarah, 32, in 2022 — explained that his wife would get so angry at the contestants’ actions that she wouldn’t want to meet them in real life. Wells now does the same while watching Love Island — and has her back no matter what.
“One guy called Sarah [out for] being rude,” he said on Thursday’s episode. “And I have a couple thoughts on that. First of all, it’s like, ‘Dude: this is a television show. What do you think’s happening?’ Of course, the host is going to ask, ‘Are you sure you want to do this?’ because America and the audience is all like, ‘Really?’”
Wells added: “That’s kind of frustrating because if I was in her shoes, I would have been [yelling], ‘What? What are you talking about?’ But of course, she’s so sweet and was taken aback.”
During an episode of Love Island USA last month, Mike Stark accused Sarah of being “mad disrespectful” when she asked costar Vickala “Kay Kay” Gray if she really wanted to leave the villa with her dumped partner, Keenan Anunay.
“I’m being disrespectful? OK, then.” Sarah replied during the episode. “Boys will be boys.”
Bachelor in Paradise returns to ABC Thursday, September 28, at 9 p.m. ET.