This week on Bachelor in Paradise, the show opens with a cheesy, ’80s-style credits sequence and a cover of “Almost Paradise” ... the Love Theme from Footloose. I am not okay with this cutesy, in-on-the-joke intro for this televised bang-fest. No, ABC. You do not get to be all jokey and fun and do a Hell’s Kitchen intro when you’re telling all these people that they are failures if they don’t find love here.
If you wanted to create an intro that best reflects the crazed desperation of Bachelor in Paradise, it would be Lorna Muccio’s (née Morello) version plus backing vocals done by Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren, and titling the show Bachelor Is the New Paradise. Lock the bangtestants inside a minimum-security women’s prison and pump them all full of DIY wine and see what happens. A rolled-up copy of Time Hump Chronicles could be handed out instead of roses at the Rose Ceremony; “Will you accept this Rodcocker?” Give me my crossover Emmy.
We start this episode with Clare making her way down to the beach with a date card in hand. Clare is drawn first to Jared. Seriously? Another chick all over Jared’s dick? His beard looks like a kid started playing with a Wooly Willy and got bored halfway through and the dog knocked it over. Clare confers with some other blonde women who look just like her about whom to take on her date because it seems like most of the guys are already paired off and she doesn’t want to step on any toes. (Seriously, like half of the women on this show all look alike. It’s like they went to the White Blonde Women Depot and ordered a whole pallet. I’m gonna call them the wrong names, so let’s just get over it right now, okay?) Dan’s plus is that he looks like Hugh Jackman. OKAY, SURE. He fine, but he ain’t THAT FINE.
Clare’s plans are foiled when Dan returns from caring for High Priestess Ashley S. at the hospital. I feel like Clare is trying to get in on some of Ashley S.’s shtick and tries on some deliberate whimsy and also talks to a crab. Clare. Yeah. I’m talking to you. Bend down and look me in my eye. No one can do what Ashley S. does because it’s not an act, it’s her heart. It’s her soul made manifest as she communes with nature. She walks with the children in nature, and they hold their hands out to her and receive her powerful blessings. You back the hell off her gig, Clare, or I will come for you.
Clare isn’t left with many options, so when Mikey Bravo makes his intentions known and tells her he has a fifth-grade schoolboy crush on her, she shrugs and says, “Eh … I guess.” They go on Mexico’s most awkward first date: sexual yoga. They line up their dick and pussy chakras as they get into the pose “Downward-Facing Cultural Appropriation” as Mikey Bravo becomes one with Clare’s chakra. After yoga, Mikey Bravo tells her even more about his feelings, and Clare tells him that she’s open to lots of other possibilities and wants to take it slow. Mikey wants to kiss her. He’s like a puppy dog with a boner.
Mikey Bravo lets us know that the feelings are mutual and he’s really looking forward to getting to know Clare more because it’s getting real and getting good. Oh God, he’s the male Ashley I.
Our Supreme Mother Ashley S. and Dan take to the streets and dance their hearts out and make out a bunch. Could this be love? My money is on them right now to make it all the way to the end. You can’t count out two weirdos who are into each other.
As the bangtestants sit around and prepare for the cocktail party and Rodcoc— er, Rose Ceremony, people begin to take stock of where they are. Apparently Jonathon and Juelia are getting close, but we get zero footage of them. Maybe Jonathon talked continuously and in great detail about all the sisters he’s banged and they couldn’t get any of the footage past the censors. Tenley and Ashley I. begin engaging in a battle of dimwits over Jared because I guess there aren’t any college freshman trying to grow a beard for the first time available. When Tenley goes after Jared, Ashley I. freaks out because Tenley is so old and she can’t believe she’s going to lose Jared to an old lady. “I hate when they’re old.” Don’t tell Ashley I. what’s going to happen to her eventually as a result of the natural passage of time.
Tenley loses interest in Jared because she doesn’t believe she should work for it. Well, excuse me. Ashley I. and Jared sit down and talk about their feelings, and Jared lets her know that he’s open to everything and everyone. Ashley I. and her sister cope by counting all the fake boobs.
It’s time for the cocktail party. Kirk raves about how the men have the power for once. Thank goodness someone gave men power! J “When I travel, I don’t book a hotel room. I just find a woman on OKCupid” J plans to abuse this power to force women to please him. He’s just a regular guy havin’ fun on national TV. He’s already told Jillian that his rose is hers, but he gladly listens to her sing his praises. Then he goes and makes out with Tenley because she just has to stay on this show no matter what. She wants to stay on Bachelor in Paradise so bad that she will make out with JJ. Things are bleak in paradise.
Jared tells Clare he’s going to give her a rose. Have they spent time together? Where is this coming from? Which one is Clare?
Ashley I. weeps that no guy is ever going to like her back. Get it together, girl.
Let’s grade the couples:
Tanner & Jade: Silver Linings Playbook
Kirk & Carly: A-
Dan & Ashley S.: The daughter of Zeus and Leto, twin sister to Apollo
Jonathon & Juelia: As exciting as a silent E
Mikey Bravo & Clare: Oh, honey
Jared & … Ashley I.: The call is coming from inside the house
JJ & Tenley: You used your body to get what you want
Jillian goes home, and she didn’t get to show her new boobs to anyone. She also is scared that she’ll never find love. Girl, you are 25. You’ll be fine.
This season on Bachelor in Paradise: Grainy night vision footage of people having sex.
What is that your son is googling right now on the family computer while you’re at work, Alec?