What It's Really Like to Party With Bachelor Nation

Courtney Shea spends the night with some of Bachelor Nation's hottest dudes, but it's not quite the sweet fantasy she had envisioned

Bachelor Nation

From left: Brett Melnick, Robby Hayes, Tenley Molzahn, Vinny Ventiera and Jared Haibon (Photo: Monica Healy)

Full disclosure: I spent three weeks travelling in Europe this August—sunning and funning and eating my body weight in soft cheese. And still, the most exhilarating moments of summer 2016 may have been the day-long Bachelor In Paradise binge session that happened the day after I got home. That is an exaggeration, but only a slight one.

Point is I am an unabashed superfan, and for the record, this puts me in pretty good company (depending on whether you think Christian Slater is good company, which I do).

So of course I jumped at the chance to attend Eligible Magazine’s TIFF Bachelor Party in Toronto, held at a King Street West club called The Everleigh.

The early VIP part of the party was billed as an intimate “meet and greet” with the guests of honour: Brett Melnick, Robby Hayes, Tenley Molzahn, Vinny Ventiera and Jared Haibon. In my head I imagined a relaxed hang, similar to those moments on BIP where the whole gang lazes on giant beanbags, chatting about who is the most “vulnerable” going into the next rose ceremony and whether they are experiencing true love or just a drunken island bang-fest.

I even prepped some possible questions in advance, because lord knows coming face to face with Jared’s signature scruff was likely to render me speechless.

Question for Jared: Now that you have watched the entire season of Bachelor in Paradise, do you worry—as I do—about Ashley I’s mental health and/or your own safety? Do you think it’s possible she suffers from erotomania, which is the condition where you think someone is in love with you even thought that person is very clearly not?

Question for Robbie: What on earth were you up to this summer that was better than joining the gang in Paradise?

Question for Vinny: So are you a barber or a DJ?

Question for Brett: What, no lamp? (I admit, this is not the most original question, but what else do we know about the guy?)

Questions for Tenley: Who are you again? [Ed note: the extremely lovely Tenley is from Jake Pavelka’s season, and also last summer’s round of Bachelor in Paradise]

Alas, the chill chat sesh was not to be. My sister (also a BIP devotee) and I arrived at 8 p.m. sharp to watch the cast do red carpet interviews before entering a large, dark room that was very crowded and very loud. Sadly, the bartenders were a standard mix of buff twenty-somethings, and not Jorge. (But can you imagine?)

The crowd was mostly women, largely bandage dressed and armed with smartphones. For future ref, “meet and greet” actually means “stand in line to take a selfie with,” which was pretty much the order of the evening. In some ways it was a nice change from a typical TIFF event, where asking for a snap with a legit star generally gets you booted from the premises.

Each Bach alum stood in a separate area of the room surrounded by a gaggle of selfie seekers. Jared was the most popular attraction, but all of the guys, and Tenley, were totally swarmed for several hours.

Bachelor in Paradise

Vinny the barber is also a DJ  (Photo: Monica Healy)

The highlight of the night was easily when DJ Vinsane (a.k.a. Vinny the Barber) got behind the turntables for a set that included “I Want It That Way.” Even better was Jared singing along to every single word. Because of course Jared is the guy who is totally not embarrassed of his BSB lyric knowledge (watch it here).

Some other random observations:

Vinny has gotten a lot cuter since his time in Paradise, presumably inspired by his newly exploding DJ career.

Robbie is single. Actually, I’m pretty all of the guests of honour were single. (Can you imagine being in a relationship with a guy who got paid to show up at nightclubs so that women can hit on him??) At one point I overheard Vinny joking that he was onto his third little black book.

Bringing some CanCon to the festivities was Thomas, a.k.a. “Sexual Tongue,” from The Bachelorette Canada. My sister spotted him skulking around the bar, no doubt fantasizing about a future where he gets attacked by a swarm of female fans. For now, he seemed to go completely unnoticed.

As to whether there were any rose-worthy “connections” made over the course of the night, I can’t say since I left hours before the 4 a.m. closing time. I would imagine that part of the allure of attending these parties is taking your pick from a bevy of fangirls before bringing that special someone the girl who looked the best in a bandage dress back to the proverbial Fantasy Suite. My guess is there are at least one or two local ladies who woke up with serious beard burn on Saturday morning, but I could be wrong.

I myself woke up with a slight hangover and some decent swag (thanks Softlips and Blackfly beverages!). If I were recording an ITM, I would say that the night, while fun and definitely surreal, was not the dream date I had imagined. Just as what happens in the Fantasy Suite should stay the Fantasy Suite (paging Nick Viall), what happens in Paradise should probably remain there too. Much as I will always love Bachelor Nation, attending this event made me realize that there’s really no reason to take our relationship to the next level.

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