St. Catharines cosplayer gets the final word as Bachelor in Paradise Canada wraps up


Published July 11, 2023 at 10:33 am

As nice as he was, Lisa Mancini didn't gamble on Connor Brennan after the final episode's Casino Night. (All screenshots: Citytv)

And that’s a wrap on Season 2 – and most likely the final year – of Bachelor in Paradise Canada.

The reason viewers believe that the final curtain has fallen on the short-lived franchise is that Rogers Media announced there wasn’t a Season 3 in the works. These are filmed a year in advance so Season 3’s filming would be in the can or close to it by now.

Their rationale was that the show’s producer had moved to the United States, which was a bad thing, we surmise, because he was the only producer in Canada. Yup, 40 million people, one producer. It could happen.

Anyway, how did things play out with St. Catharines cosplay queen Lisa Mancini – the only contestant to do the full 10-episode run on both Season 1 and 2? (Her only competition in that regard, Alberta cowboy Joey Kirchner, left late in Season 1 for a buddy’s wedding.)

Back to Mancini, the professional cosplayer and frankly, most genuine and straightforward person on the show. Well, it pretty much played out the way most viewers saw coming. As great a guy as American musician Connor Brennan was – and he truly was a solid citizen – there just wasn’t that ‘je ne sais quoi,’ that X-Factor with him for Mancini.

She genuinely liked the man and his company but after a Casino Night with all the contestants, she had to have that “we need to talk” moment with him. Making it slightly more awkward, the couples had to bet on fellow couples in some categories at the casino and Mancini won “Most Likely To Get Cold Feet.”

As we mention soon, Lisa Mancini was the queen of facial expressions.

So they split up after 10 episodes of “will they or won’t they” and left the show just past the midway point, leaving the balance of the show to the remaining couples’ romantic liaisons… or lack thereof.

Here’s the first thing noticeable about her departure. There was no one to cut to for reaction shots with her gone. Mancini has the most expressive face for reaction shots – so much so that you know the editing bay had probably 50 of her facial reactions to plug in for any given situation.

Quite by happenstance, Mancini crossed paths on social media with inniagararegion last week so when the publicity company offered up a phone interview with her, that wasn’t necessary. We could just talk directly to her.

First things first, we were good-naturedly teased for always referring to her as “St. Catharines woman” in the headlines. She admitted she and her friends got a good laugh at that because it was “the worst superhero name ever.”

So here she is in all her candor. When we suggested the producers painted her as a lone wolf but asked nonetheless who she was tightest with, she disagreed. Strongly.

Lisa Mancini: “I don’t think I was painted as a lone wolf. I’d say I was universally liked amongst the cast and made lots of friends (and only one fake one)! I’d honestly say Connor was like a rock for me there, we spent the most time together and always had a good time. Maria (Garcia-Sanchez) is also up there, having spent a year as friends in the real world post-season one and being roommates.”

We got full agreement from her when we noted after two consecutive runs at this, this season, much more than last, made the setting seems like it was a fun place to be.

Mancini: “This season was 10 times better in EVERY way. The location, the cast, the dates, and just how I felt the entire time overall.”

Ahhh, yes, ridiculously oversized cowboy hats. The “Bachelor in Paradise Canada Rodeo” was a fun episode.

We were curious what she was most recognized for – her cosplay (which frankly is phenomenal) or being on Bachelor In Paradise Canada for two straight years?

Mancini: “Across social media, I’m for sure more recognized for cosplay. I’ve spent a lot of time building that brand. In a public setting, I am more likely to get Bachelor recognized.”

We also had to know if, miraculously, there was a third season, would she?

Mancini: “If I’m still cursed and single, I’d give it another go. End of the day, the show is really just a unique way to meet someone. My life is strange, I wouldn’t be surprised to find ‘the one’ on a television show.”

And finally, so she can get on with her life, who from the show does she still hang out with?

Mancini: “I would get together with some local cast every Monday to watch the episodes – (Toronto’s) Paige (Allen), Joey, (Stouffville’s) Nitisha (Ketheeswaran), (Brooklyn’s) Tessa (Tookes). I met up with (Brooklyn’s) Chelsea (Vaughn) and (California’s) Austin (Tinsley) in New York while I was visiting for Comic Con. I’ve ran into Jake (Ondrus) and Juan (Pablo Osorio) at Toronto music festivals.”

Since Season 2 didn’t end with a “Contestants Tell All” as Season 1 did, consider this the “Mancini Tells All” to cap off the year. Next up, she’ll kick it up into Full Cosplay Gear as she attends the mothership – the San Diego Comic Con July 20 to 23.

Lisa Mancini was the first contestant to land at Christie’s Mill Inn and Spa in Port Severn this season. 

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