Zeel Brings the Bachelor to the Bay Area
It’s been five years since local vintner, Ben Flajnik, was the star of the Bachelor and the show hasn’t given the Bay Area much love—until now. Earlier this week a group of recent contestants, from the ABC hit show mingled with guests at an exclusive viewing party in Orinda. The event was hosted by Zeel, the on-demand massage app that brings therapists to your door. Think of Zeel as your at-home spa service. Order a masseuse in the morning and that evening you can be enjoying a deep tissue treatment in the comforts of your backyard. Zeel’s on-call team is available seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Apparently, all the Bachelor girls use the app, which is why they were happy to attend the chic outdoor affair. Ashley Iaconetti, Lace Morris, Carly Waddell, Evan Bass, and Chase McNary mingled poolside with the mostly female crowd at a private house overlooking the Orinda Country Club. Amanda Stanton was supposed to be at the party, but at the last minute she had to cancel—so she could hop on a plane and shoot Bachelor in Paradise in Mexico! Four Zeel massage therapists set tables on the grass underneath stunning trees and delighted guests with relaxing treatments mid party. Tiny cheeseburgers, asparagus gruyere pizza, and crab sushi were passed appetizers nibbled on by the stylish women, while a station served vodka lemonade and Sauvignon Blanc. In between snapping photos with their fans, Haute Living chatted with the contestants to see what they have been up to since their time on the show. In mid-May the franchise announced a new spin-off, The Bachelor Winter Games, which will debut next year around the same time as the 2018 Olympics. Both Ashley I. and McNary mentioned that they were interested in participating on the show. “No paradise for me this year,” Ashely I. says while eating strawberry and goat cheese salad out of a Chinese takeout container. “I’m open to the Winter Games.” The curvy brunette has launched two podcasts, I Don’t Get It and Almost Famous. In the first one, Ashley I. discusses love, relationships, and what it’s like to be a modern female with her sister, Lauren, and her friend, a television producer, Naz Perez. The second podcast she cohosts with former Bachelor Ben Higgins. They talk about the current season of the show and catch up with former contestants. She insists that she and Jared, who was her flame on Bachelor in Paradise (the summer spin-off which Ashely I. describes as “like camping, pretty much, with your own bathroom. Camping on the beach with plumbing.”), remain close. “Jared and I text almost every day or every other day,” she says, but denies that they are romantic. “Then, I’m really close to Jade. Obviously, I’ve been tight with Carly, Becca, Amanda, the twins, like a lot. Nick, I mean, really almost everybody. My posse for sure though is Jared, Tanner, Jade.” Ashley I. studied broadcast journalism and is well on her way into the business. She’s the Bachelorette correspondent on Access Hollywood every Tuesday and provides commentary on the previous night’s episode. She’s also not opposed to being the Bachelorette for a future season. “I would love to be! But it would never happen. I’m too polarizing.” We think she’d make an excellent star of the show; quite simply because she knows exactly what she wants—and she’s super dramatic! As for Waddell and Bass, the engaged couple who fell in love on Bachelor in Paradise, they are celebrating their one-year anniversary of meeting. Although neither one remembers the initial encounter on the beach, they did reminisce about the first day of filming for Bachelor in Paradise and confirmed it was exactly a year ago. Waddell explains that it was not love at first site, but “we do like each other now!” The adorable couple recalled their dates on the show. “Here is one thing I love about him. I would get really nervous about being in those weird situations—like I’m not taking my clothes off and doing sex art,” Waddell explains. “And he’d be like, ‘hey, keep your clothes on, but we’re going to go for this.’ And I would be like, ‘oh my god, okay.’ He would always hold my hand when I was feeling really awkward. He’s like ‘stop being weird, just do it.’ And afterward, I’m like ‘that was amazing! Why didn’t I want to do it?’ ” Seems like it actually could be true love the for the couple. What’s next for them? “We’re going to have babies,” Waddell says. One of the most interesting takeaways from our conversations is that all four of the contestants say that none of it is scripted, but a good majority is manipulated by the production team. “About 60% is guided,” McNary says. There is also a lot of love for their friends from the show and everyone is supportive of the current Bachelorette, Rachel Lindsay.