This season of Bachelor in Paradise was shut down for ”allegations of misconduct” involving Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson. After a Warner Bros. investigation found no evidence of misconduct, production resumed. Vulture will continue recapping the season while providing resources for survivors of sexual harassment and assault.
I feel like we’ve been hearing about this season for an entire fiscal year, but we still haven’t gotten to the first rose ceremony. How much more do we have to suffer through before we see these damn Nasty Gal–clad women give out a damn rose? And then there’s the preview of DeMario’s emotional interview. This episode is already testing my patience.
What doesn’t help is how all the contesticles seem to be more interested in comparing bow ties and swim shorts than actually getting to know any of the women. Then these dummies turn around and complain that they don’t know where they stand going into the rose ceremony! Uh, dummies? Why don’t you at least make an effort to talk to a girl?
The first arrival of this episode is Adam (WHO?) from Rachel’s season and I swear to God if I see that li’l mannequin, I’m gonna FLIP. He’s got a date card and all the women are sick of the men and their male-only pool parties. They are lying in wait, licking their lips for this date card. Please let someone put in a modicum of effort! Adam sits down with the guys to get the lay of the land and they all tell him, “The pizza is really good and after five, they have board gam— oh, you mean with the girls? We’re all too scared to talk to them and Derek is the only one who is regularly getting some.” Adam asks Kristina if she’d be interested in going on a date, but she has pledged fealty to House Dean and is waiting for that dowry to come through.
Girl, Dean ain’t into you like you think he is. Go on the damn date.
The next morning, Adam decides to take Raven on his date and Ben Z. immediately thinks about what will happen to his dog. He already told his dog that he was gonna get a new mommy. Ben Z. is more hurt than when Robby took her on a date. Adam appears to be a non-garbage human and his hair moves with the wind, so I guess Ben should be worried. (Does anyone think they’re setting up a subtle “Raven as the next Bachelorette” PR campaign?) Meanwhile, Alex is freaking out because Amanda promised him her rose before the production shut down and literally no one has sympathy for him.
Kristina sits down with Diggy and complains that Adam is off the table because he went with Raven. Maybe telling him you’re wearing the banner colors of House Dean didn’t exactly endear him to you. Also, there’s a weird element happening not only with Dean and Kristina, but with this whole season: People were able to bond and date during the production shutdown and that created a whole bunch of expectations and relationships that now have to live up to the harsh light of Paradise. Kristina, I love you girl, but Dean doesn’t want to date you. He wants to date everyone else while keeping you on the back burner for a security rose, but he can’t just say that because he’s 25 and regressed from all the emotional maturity he showed on Rachel’s season. Just because a white man half-stepped and kinda called out Lee’s racism doesn’t mean he’s going to continue being a reasonable person. Considering that when Kristina asked to talk to Dean, he said he would only talk to her after his shower and then he melted off the daybed to get away from her. It’s not looking good, Kristina.
Adam and Raven have a good date. It’s your typical “two white people in port during spring break” date. Some margaritas, some off-the-beat salsa dancing. Adam and Raven seem to have a similar sense of humor and get along. I’m into this as long as I don’t have to see that li’l doll again.
A storm cloud rolls in before the rose ceremony, letting us know that even the gods find this distasteful. I’m surprised none of the guy’s Topshop knockoff short-sleeve button-ups or the women’s Fashion Nova outfits melted in the rain. Everyone except Derek is worried because they’ve been spotting each other by the hot tub instead of trying to date any of the women. Iggy launches his version of a charm campaign to try to get a woman, literally any woman to give him their rose. Meanwhile, the women are sitting pretty trying to sort out how to give their roses out. JACK STONE tries to get a rose out of that shark-ass bitch and she makes him give her compliments for 20 minutes and this part of Paradise appeals to me.
Ben Z. tries to appeal to Raven because they both have dogs, but Adam salsa dances with Raven and they have a full-on make-out. There has been surprisingly little making-out this season because the men are actively trash.
Robby tries to get a kiss out of Amanda and she swerves him so brutally. I’m really interested in the brewing takedown of Robby. I want someone to cut into that hair, remove the Infinity Stone he hides in there, and shut him down once and for all.
Iggy wrote down something in Hebrew to read to Lacey and it’s as cringeworthy as you expected. Diggy swoops in and kisses Lacey. Sorry, Iggy.
It’s time for the rose ceremony. Jasmine gives her rose to Matt. Raven gives her rose to Adam and Ben Z. is SHOOK. That shark-ass bitch gives her rose to JACK STONE. Danielle M. decides to throw Ben Z. a pity rose and WHY IS THIS HAPPENING? CAN THE WOMEN SEE HIM? HE’S BEAUTIFUL. Kristina give her rose to Dean, securing her spot as this season’s “Oh, Honey.” Amanda gives her rose to Robby, presumably to lure him into a false sense of security, only to slice open his hair later.
Bye Iggy, Vinny, Santa Claus, and Alex. They don’t even give Iggy a good-bye interview on his way out. St. Nick got one, but Iggy didn’t.
The next morning, Danielle L. arrives with a date card in hand and full face of makeup. She’s wearing drag levels of makeup on a beach. In the words of Trixie Mattel: They say paint for the back row, but she’s painting for the check-cashing place down the street. Everyone is immediately thrown into a tizzy and all the men’s penises wake up. They’re going to start trying now. Even Derek, who has spent most of the day between Taylor’s thighs, is saying he might risk it all. And Danielle L. is just fine.
She invites Dean on her date, creating a shame-and-anxiety spiral for Kristina. Kristina woke up thinking that she would have the day with Dean to bond and have fun. Bitch, we all knew he was going to get away from you as soon as he could. Dean and Danielle L. go ATVing and they make out looking over a vista. Dean’s make-out form leaves something to be desired. The sheen is coming off him.
Kristina is at home, staring into the sunset and weeping. Kristina doesn’t want to be made a fool. Honey, you picked the wrong show. Again, this week they spent roadtripping across Kentucky together is really strange and it feels like cheating the show somehow. There’s so much outside influence happening that it makes it hard to know what’s real and what’s not.
When Dean gets back from his date with Danielle, he keeps Kristina on his hook by saying he did miss her and they have to be open and honest with each other. He does so by lying about how intense his kiss was with Danielle L. They do a pinky promise because that’s the sign of a true, mature, and honest relationship. Later, by the bonfire, Dean is cuddling up with Kristina and runs off to get Danielle L. her half-birthday surprise. It’s one of those “watermelon” cakes that’s just a slab of watermelon with whipped cream on it. To call it a cake is an insult and a slap in the face. Dean is trying to have his fake-cake and eat it too when it comes to Kristina and Danielle L., but Kristina isn’t doing too much to make me sympathetic. We’ve all been 25 years old and this is some 25-year-old dating drama. I’m over it.
Note: I will be donating a portion of my writing fee to survivors of sexual assault. Join me this week by donating to RAINN. If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual assault or harassment, please call 800.656.HOPE (4673) to be connected with RAINN’s network of service providers. Trained staff can provide confidential support and connect you to resources in your area.