Get in here. Get in close. I want everyone to grab something that means a lot to them and just get in here. I want to tell you something.
We need this.
We NEEEEEEEED this. After two seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette that at times made me yank my hair out in thick clumps, and the world in general just being nonsense and garbage, I need this. I just want to turn off my brain and enjoy Bachelor in Paradise. Someone needs to inject the drama directly into my veins. I don’t want to write a scathing attack on how this show is somehow making it hard to be a woman in 2019. As much as I want to do that, I don’t want to do that. What I want to do is put on my pajamas, lie down on my couch, drink a full bottle of white wine with gummi bears floating in it, and shout at my TV. It’s been a hard year and it’s only August. Our pitiful little minds are holding on to any little bit of fun and joy that comes our way. Twitter exploded today about 30-50 feral pigs. We’re not doing great.
We neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed this.
I just want this season to be delightful and weird and I want to stare at JOHN PAUL JONES flip his hair in the sunlight. And — hold on? IS THAT MIKE IN THE SEASON PREVIEW??!??!? You guys. I cannot and will not stand for Mike finding love in Paradise. I know it’s a long shot for him to be Bachelor because … y’know … and there is a precedent for someone appearing on Paradise before taking on the mantle, but Mike being Bachelor is something else I need. C’mon, Bachelor in Paradise. I’m counting on you to not screw this up in so many ways. All right, let’s get to it.
We might as well start with the biggest piece of drama this season because it was swirling around the show even before this season began due to social media and spoiler sites: Blake. And folks, I’m here to take what I’m sure is going to be the unpopular opinion: I don’t get what his crime is. He had casual sex with someone … then had casual sex with someone else? Maybe I’ve just become a casual-sex apologist and realist in my old age, but what is the big deal here?
SURE SURE SURE. Ghosting someone is bad. That’s objectively bad. Fine, I’ll give Caelynn that. But what is the PROBLEM here? I’m going to try to lay out Caelynn’s case against him. They chatted and talked for a couple months. They met at a music festival. They had sex. The next morning, he was a bit rude. Then he told her that he’d had sex with someone else. Then he asked her to keep their relationship private.
Every piece of this seems fine, albeit a bit unseemly, to me. Blake was, as far as anyone knows, a single person having as much sex as he wanted. Caelynn seems to be punishing him for not being monogamous with her when they never seemed to declare their relationship exclusive. Monogamy isn’t a default state or something that just happens once a certain amount of time passes or a certain amount of feelings have been shared. It seems like Caelynn expected a level of exclusivity that was never talked about. Every woman knows the second you assume exclusivity is the exact moment you will run into the guy you’re dating with the cute pharmaceutical rep he’s dating. And your hair will be doing something very weird. If the guy you’re dating’s sleeping with other people is an issue for you, you have to bring it up. If the guy you’re dating’s talking to other people is an issue for you, you have to bring it up.
Also, Blake is entitled to ask you to not share his business around. He’s allowed to have a relationship be private, especially if it’s unfinished or vague. He probably shouldn’t ask for that so he can go on a dating show, but that’s not entirely out of line. That said, if the guy you’re dating tells you he wants to keep you a secret, you don’t have to agree. TELL EVERYONE. CALL HIS MOM. BURN HIS OFFICE DOWN. SET A RABID RACCOON LOOSE IN HIS CAR. But you didn’t. You said that when Blake told you he wanted you to lie you just said “… okay.” It seems like Caelynn doesn’t take to confrontation easily, and when someone she’s dating does something, it takes her a long time to work up the energy to do something about it. But my good bitch, the second you walked into Paradise, you should have set his world on fire. So I don’t have a ton of sympathy for her in this fight.
It’s yet to be proven just how much of a fuckboi Blake is. (My money is on him being just a regular dude having casual sex who picked a naïve, younger, possibly old-fashioned woman to have regular-ass 2019 casual sex with.) But Caelynn isn’t choosing to deal directly with Blake and let him know how much he hurt her, nor is she trying to lay out her issues with him to the other women. She’s not taking Tayshia or Hannah G aside to let them know. You gotta do something, my dear bitch.
So, aside from the love quadrangle that Blake is unknowingly wandering into, we get intro packages from Nicole The Cryer, Tayshia and her weirdly puritanical dad, Katie: America’s Most Beautiful Woman, and, oh fuck me — Cam. Cam does a full music video where he raps in the gym and onstage for an audience. I didn’t write down the lyrics of the rap but I did write down “HE’S DOING A RAP, IT’S SOOO LONG
If you’re worried that Cam has forgotten his “catchphrase,” don’t worry. It’s back with thematic variations. Always Beach Cam. What does that mean?
Someone named Jane is going to be appearing in Paradise, but no one has ever heard of her and her defining characteristic is she drinks Sriracha. I had to turn away from the TV to keep from gagging. And because ABC can’t help themselves, Demi is back and she’s started dating a woman. I’m a little confused on the logistics here: Demi is dating someone and feels really great about it so she’s got to go on Paradise to make sure that’s what she wants. Umm … okay? Also, it’s not lost on me that Demi’s sexuality isn’t played up as a looming threat to anyone like other women’s sexuality has been. Also, Chris Bukowski is back for his sixth time on a Bachelor-related franchise. He’s been around so long he’s been on shows they don’t even make anymore.
It’s time for everyone to funnel into Paradise, and folks start pouring onto the beach. So far, Hannah G and Blake are the ones everyone is interested in. The show also manages to have a few folks show up with very little fanfare. Bibiana, Annelise, and Sydney all arrive in Paradise with barely an intro moment. Also, Onyeka is here and she arrives with an air horn. I can’t with this woman.
Cam arrives and it sends literally every guy running from being near him. He’s wearing a leopard-print button-down and he insists on calling it “Purr-adise.” It’s barely a pun and it doesn’t mean anything. Cam also refers to every woman he’s interested in as his future wife or the woman to bear his mother’s grandbabies. So he’s not only obnoxious, but he sees women as vessels for his sperm.
JOHN PAUL JONES arrives by sprinting directly into the ocean, and he’s running so fast he skips across the water’s surface. He’s not heard from for seven hours. Once Clay arrives, Anneliese can’t help herself and tells everyone that Clay and Angela’s breakup was rough and she can’t believe he’s here. He’s just not ready for a relationship. First of all, who asked you?
The first week, the guys have the power and Blake gets the first date card. He picks Tayshia and Hannah G stares into the sun in disbelief. It should be noted that all of these people just text each other before the season begins, so she’s not just going by Blake’s behavior on the beach, but also in her DMs. Blake and Tayshia go to a room completely filled with string lights and make out in a hot tub. While Blake is away, Dylan takes advantage of the moment and tells Hannah that he’s very awkward and weird. They make out.
The next day, Kristina arrives and she picks Blake for her date. She puts her hair up in a ponytail and stares into the mirror. She’s taking this motherfucker … on a REVENGE DATE. I like this Kristina, and Blake is about to walk into a world of very arousing hurt.