The Bachelor in Paradise season 9 premiere gave fans a lot to talk about! The season premiere of ABC’s hit series saw 18 singles from The Bachelor and The Bachelorette heading to paradise for a second chance at love in what was an amazing first episode of the season.
There was drama, there were sparks flying, and there were rivalries brewing that are sure to lead to some memorable moments. We also saw the episode end with the surprise arrival of Aven from The Bachelorette season 19 just as the episode came to an end, setting up what should be an explosive episode next week.
In addition to delivering upon everything we hope to see from new episodes, the episode ended on a bit of an unexpectedly somber note.
After the usual bonus scene finished rolling and before the episode faded to black, ABC aired a dedication to Craig Sjodin that has left many fans eager to know more about his connection to the show.
Craig Sjodin Bachelor in Paradise connection explained
The season 9 premiere of Bachelor in Paradise paid tribute to the late Craig Sjodin, a man who played a key role behind-the-scenes over the years not just on Bachelor in Paradise but in the entire Bachelor franchise. First, to answer the biggest question fans seem to have, no Craig Sjodin was not a former contestant on the show or any of the Bachelor franchise shows. Instead, he played a role in the behind-the-scenes aspects of the franchise.
Sjodin worked as a photographer for ABC TV and Disney for almost 40 years, working with several key ABC shows including the Bachelor franchise. While you might not immediately recognize his name, Sjodin is responsible for the many promotional stills taken of the casts over the years including not only cast promotional photos but also episodic images used to help promote the shows.
Sadly, Sjodin passed away on Sept. 15, 2023, following a biking accident at the age of 67. According to his obituary, Sjodin is survived by his loving wife of 30 years, Esther Bekhore Sjodin; his son, Ryan; sisters, Brenda (Dave) Rickey of San Diego, Nancy Nickoloff and Linda Hughes both of Phoenix, Arizona. He also is survived by his niece Kerri (Jeff) Lane; and grand-nieces Avery and Grace Lane also of San Diego, among other relatives.
The dedication in the premiere of Bachelor in Paradise‘s season 9 premiere was designed to honor the late Sjodin as a tribute to his incredible contributions to the franchise over the years and the legacy he leaves behind.
On behalf of the entire Accept this Rose team, our thoughts go out to Sjodin’s family and friends.