Who decided we have to do this? Who made the decision to air the footage from before production was shut down? Why? You couldn’t just air a little slideshow of who was into who and just get on with it, instead of teasing Corinne and DeMario being pulled aside by the producers and host Chris on the empty set like it’s Omaha Beach and he’s narrating a documentary about the brave boys in uniform who lost their lives? Host Chris forlornly considers the magnitude of the ocean and says it was emotional and stressful for the cast, crew, and for him, too.
Oh my God. Chris, I understand that this is all you have, and that if this show ever went away, you’d be selling Roombas on QVC, but this is not about you. Does anyone else think that between this and Rachel’s season, Chris got a little excited? Just the tiniest bit excited to talk about “serious issues”? He Googled racism and he read the entire Wikipedia page for consent. He’s sitting at home with his DVR and a copy of Final Cut, making a new reel.
Before we get this whole thing started, I need the show to start putting (R) or (D) next to their names. Between Robby hanging out with Tomi Lahren and “Make [INSERT NOUN HERE] Corinne Again,” I need to know whom I can trust.
It’s time for the opening credits. Dean flops out of the pool and spits water everywhere. Raven blows a kiss to the camera. Vinny kicks over a lamp? Is that … his thing? Amanda is being chased by an anthropomorphic slice of pizza. It’s not even a cheese-pizza costume. Kristina is eating a cheeseburger? I feel like only half of these are on theme. Ben Z. is sleeping standing up. Jasmine is choking a camera guy. That shark-ass bitch is a shark-ass bitch. And Lacey is rubbing a ridiculous amount of sunscreen in, but then again, I’ve got a natural SPF factor of eight, so maybe that’s normal for white people.
The weirdest part is that Corinne doesn’t get a fun li’l intro. She just has a clip of her laughing at the bar. But think of all the possibilities: She could have flown her nanny down to Mexico just to film her turn to the camera and hold up a duster back-to-back with Corinne. But really, all it does is remind us that Corinne left. And Corinne didn’t just leave — she went through an alleged sexual assault and decided not to come back, but after an “internal investigation,” ABC welcomed DeMario back with open arms. How the fuck can ABC put DeMario in their opening credits grinning and laughing? I guess the other option would be to somehow “punish” him in their opening credits. That’s even worse. Imagine if they put him in the stocks on the beach and let a seagull land on his head.
It’s time for Paradise, I guess.
First in Paradise is Raven. She’s hopeful and nervous. There’s a certain IDGAF quality about Raven, and she’s willing to call the boys out on their bad behavior and giggle with all the girls about how many abs are too many abs. The next two to arrive are Danielle M. and Kristina. I’m SO excited for Danielle M. to find love. She seems so pure. Kristina got new highlights. I’m happy for her. The first guy to arrive is Dean, and he’s already the object of everyone’s attention. Up next is Ben Z. I don’t even know how anyone can look at Dean when there’s LITERALLY BEN ZEE. I’ve got a saved picture of Ben Z. on my computer. Every now and then, I open it up and look at it. Iggy arrives and seems like he’s going to be the little fish that follows the shark around and eats the scales from between the shark’s teeth. Who is the shark?
Everybody. Everybody is the shark.
That shark-ass bitch walks up from the sea. She’s still saying that her costume is a dolphin costume. You gotta admire commitment to the bit.
As the next few people trickle in and the women sit around and start marking their territory, DeMario comes up. How many more clips of the women talking shit about him did ABC dig up to put in this episode? DeMario also doesn’t do himself any favors because when he arrives, he sticks to the story that he didn’t have a girlfriend and keeps saying, “I’m a good guy.” Hey, buddy? If you were a good guy, you wouldn’t have to keep insisting that you were a good guy. Even before this season, you’re literally DeMario, and you acted a damn fool on the Men Tell All.
Corinne arrives and she brought her own Champagne. She learned how to say “nap” and “cheese pasta” in Spanish, and she’s ready to play. Somehow, Iggy looks at her and thinks they have similar personalities. That would require Iggy to have some natural charisma or self-confidence. Lacey arrives, and it appears she’s going to be the WHO? of the season. Amanda arrives for a second time in Paradise, and she reveals she tried to join the Tinder for famous people and was rejected. I’m really glad that a dating app for celebrities rejects members of Bachelor Nation.
Corinne and DeMario immediately begin feeling each other. They storm in on Lil’ Alex’s in-the-moment interview, and Corinne falls into the pool. I could have done without this.
Host Chris sits them all down and says that this season is going to be a little different. The girls are going to give out the first rose. It’s treated like a feminist triumph. We didn’t get a female president, but the women are handing out the first rose. Jorge is going to be leaving to pursue his dreams. He’s starting his own business and breaks down crying. Jorge, don’t cry over these messes. The new bartender is going to Wells! How long before he ends up making out with someone over the bar?
Kristina gets the first date card, and she picks Dean to “sweep her off her feet.” They go to dinner and talk about nothing but their relationship. Suddenly, Mexican folk dancers storm the plaza where they’re having dinner and a confetti cannon goes off. They make out surrounded by no fewer than 100 Mexican folk dancers. St. Nick was interested in Jasmine, but he gets too drunk and starts inappropriately touching her face. She sends him to bed and takes Matt (WHO?) to the hot tub, and they start making out. But to be honest, if I couldn’t get with BEN ZEE, I would try to go after Matt. What can I say? I like a furry li’l dude. BEN ZEE talks way too much about his dog as if it’s a child. Your dog isn’t aware that there are other locations besides the one it is currently in. He just thinks you briefly ceased to exist, and he’s okay with that.
The next morning, the emerging couples are Dean and Kristina, Jasmine and Matt, and DeMario and Corinne. Iggy is into Lacey, but she comes down to say that there has been a death in her family and she’s going to leave. Robby arrives to throw another wrench into every man’s best-laid plans. Honestly, the men are more threatened by Robby than the women seem to be interested in him. He gets a date card and takes Raven Jet Skiing.
We need to talk about Robby’s hair. It’s as if a Ken doll got “The Trump.” It looks like a Velcro strap to keep the rest of the hair on. It looks like peach-fruit leather. When he gets off the Jet Ski, it’s somehow dried back in place. Does it have muscle memory? On their date, Robby talks to Raven in earnest about being “an influencer.” Instagram shouldn’t be a topic of conversation beyond “I’m really into watching videos of people frost cakes lately.” Raven drags the hell out of him for his fake-ass job and his surplus of abs. I’m into how dismissive the women are of most of the men. That’s my brand. The men seem more interested in lying around with each other and complimenting Robby, honestly.
Matt gets the last date card of the week, and he picks Jasmine to go with him. They end up at a drag show in Puerto Vallarta. Of all the dates ever given out on a Bachelor franchise, getting to dress up in drag in Mexico is the most amazing. Matt seems really game and is super complimentary to all the drag queens. It’s very “avant-garde beard queen who RuPaul eliminates week one for being sloppy.”
Leading into the first rose ceremony, Derek and Taylor are into each other, and all the other relationships from the night before are going strong. Raven tells BEN ZEE she’s going to give him her rose, and everything seems to be going well … until …
TO BE CONTINUED.