On Tuesday, Men's Health had our own heart-to-heart with the beloved bartender about the excitement that's played out so far, and the possible heartbreaks and engagements still to come. (Hint: He feels strongly about one couple going the distance, in particular.)
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.
As bartender, you're obviously helping contestants, but you also end up influencing some of the drama that plays out. How would you describe your role?
I would say it's one part therapist, one part wise advice giver, and then with, like, a dash of ability to actually make drinks.
Do you ever give people certain advice because you know it'll make the show more interesting if they follow through on it?
I have no desire to make people's lives more stressful than they already are in that situation. What everyone forgets is that I have such a helicopter view of everything, and by that I mean, everyone comes to the bar separatelythey'll kind of download me on what's happening. I hear everyone's perspective, and then it's easier for me to piece together what the actual truth is ... I'm able to give the best advice because I know how it really is compared to how one person is seeing it.
Can you think of a situation where your "helicopter" view helped you gain some new perspective?
I've been talking about the [John Paul Jones]-Derek feud a lot. It was a lot of JPJ saying, like, 'I know Derek is kind of a womanizer,' and then everyone else coming around being like, 'That's confusing. I don't understand where that came from.' I had to have conversations with JPJ being like, 'Unless you've got receiptshard evidencethis is just gonna come across as you kinda being jealous of someone else, and that's not a super great look.'
Speaking of JPJ, he and Tayshia seem like such an unlikely match. Is there something we're not seeing?
Not really. The problem that people forget is that everyone is on that show because whoever they thought their type was wasnt their type. If they knew their type, theyd be more successful [at dating], and wouldn't need to go on a television show to find love. What Paradise does well is it puts people who are not your type around you, and kind of forces you to broaden your horizons. You see unlikely duos come out of therethey're a very good example of that.
At this point in the season, who did you think was most likely to get engaged?
I think I thought Hannah and Dylan would. I was hoping Kristian and Demi would, but I didn't knowin the episode last night, her being super open and honest about having a hard time showing displays of affectionI didn't know that was all going down, so I think I hoped [an engagement] would happen. Watching, I was like, 'Oh man, there's a whole lot more to the story than I even knew.'
I thought Clay and Nicole were pretty strong, but we all knew that Clay had probabably a little bit of a phobia of settling down, considering him and Angela's relationship. I wasn't sure on that one. The one I was really hoping for, and was pretty confident in, was Dylan and Hannah.
This question is slightly different: Who seemed to be the strongest couple?
Dylan and Hannah were the strongest couple, I think. Once she finally gave her rose to Dylan and not Blake, I think from then on they were both ride or die.
What about Chris and Katie?!
I think I was less convinced of that one going the distance, only because there was a big age gap between the two, and I think that's a hard thing to kind of like, get over. Chris owns like three barshe's such, like, an old guy now[he hasn't] been in the Bachelor world for quite a while. If they have any problems, it's gonna be the fact that he's just in a different place in life than she is.
Who knows what's going to happen. I can be honest: I don't know whats going to happen with them. [Wells headed home before the season finished filming.]
What's up with Matt Donald? How would you diagnose his dating issues?
He's just in his head way too much. That's more of a 'being sent home night one' guy, because he's not used to ... being romantic and being super vulnerable with cameras around. So like, I get it. I understand him having a hard time with it, but like, my advice for him would be: you're just never allowed to bring up your mom. That's the biggest boner killer in the world, if you talk about your mom on a date.
At this point in the show, did you think he had a better shot with Sydney or Bri?
I was rooting for Sydney. I really like her. I thought she was super coolshe had been there for so long, and I wanted her to find somebody.
This show has such a short timeline. Did anyone in a couple ever come to you with concerns about being ready for an engagement by the end of filming?
I think everyone has those concerns. I would say, never get engaged if you don't think you're going to marry this person; have kids with this person; spend the rest of your life with this person ... Also, the beauty of Paradise istheres this unwritten expectation on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette that you have to get engaged at the end, whereas in Paradise that's not the case. You can leave together, you can break up and get back together outside, a la Joe and Kendall. There are far less rules. [But] if you know this is your person and you really feel strongly about them, then get that free ring yo!
What drinks are you making people most often?
Lots of margaritas, daiquiris, pia coladasat some point, a lot of tequila shots. And at some point everyone just starts drinking tequila soda. You start getting tired of the really fruity sweet drinks.
What about beer?
No one drinks beer because everyone is terrified of carbs. The only people that drank beer were Bukowski and...me, probably.