BEEEEEP BEEEEEP BEEEEEP
THIS IS NOT A TEST. THIS IS NOT A TEST.
THIS IS A WARNING FROM THE NATIONAL ROMANCE WEATHER SERVICE.
TWO SEVERE WEATHER SYSTEMS ARE SET TO COLLIDE OVER PARADISE.
SEEK HIGHER GROUND BECAUSE A DEMI-CANE IS COLLIDING WITH A TAHZ-NADO.
BEEEEEP BEEEEEP BEEEEEP
Is all of this really necessary? In the year of Our Lady of Perpetual Zoom, we gotta deal with Demi? I know she’s a favorite in this fandom, but yeesh, how many emotionally fragile, sexually assertive white women does this franchise need? I haven’t worn an underwire bra in 18 months; do you think I want to deal with a tiny 26-year-old whose personality is defined by her ability to stir up shit and steal people’s boyfriends? Ain’t nobody stealing men. Why would you steal something that is worthless? I AM TIRED. I AM SLEEPY. And I just wanna watch hot people fall in love and sweat profusely.
Because really? Really? This show needs to figure out who the fuck it is. They aren’t the only game in town anymore; there’s a whole-ass show devoted to fuck boys being trapped on an island. So you’re either the Romance Show, or you’re the Scheming Boyfriend-Stealing Bisexual Show. Oh, none of us have forgotten that you put Demi on your program to get some clout for airing the first same-sex proposal after showing a bunch of straight women quietly freak out that Jaimi might ask them out. So bringing her back to have David Spade ask if she’s coming to the beach looking for “the P or the V” and portraying her as a chaos pixie who terrorizes straight women while getting mad at straight men for not immediately falling in love with her but cannot handle literally any pushback or anyone else’s opinions? You’ve outdone yourself, Bachelor in Paradise.
And the Demi of it all is very frustrating because it seems Bachelor in Paradise can actually feature some interesting conversations between people who are really into each other. Ivan and Jessenia? Gimme more of that cute shit. You can do it, Paradise! You can just let go and let hot people talk about their feelings! All of these people have already slid into one another’s DMs, and they want to hook up. You don’t have to do much. This is everyone’s last chance for a pandemic boyfriend, and they are champing at the bit. You don’t need Demi.
Let’s get to it.
We pick up in Paradise wi— OH HELL YEAH! THE PARADISE INTRO PACKAGE!!! YES! The thing that brings true joy regardless of who or what is in it. The song never sounds like the original version, and for half the women, the producers just went with “I dunno. She’s fucking hot?!?!?!” Brendan is wearing a turtleneck in his intro, and Kenny has a black box covering the junk he’s presumably shaking at us. Demi is literally stirring a pot. It’s a little “first thought,” producers. Tahzjuan is fanning herself with multiple fans and continues to be incredibly relatable. James is wearing a piñata costume, and it took me about 20 seconds to realize, Oooooh, it’s a box!!!!! It’s a type of BOX!!!
Well, it’s another beautiful day in Paradise, and there are already plenty of couples starting to form. Brendan and Natasha are sharing a banana and sharing chomping techniques. Demi is greeting Joe Dirt by flashing her teeth and doing “sexy girl” faces. Demi gets a date card and descends into Paradise. “I get to do what I want. Everyone is totally freaked out. They’re like, ‘Look at that sexy bitch.’ I look fine as fuck right now. These poor girls. I’m gonna steal all their men. I’m gonna fuck shit up.” Y’know what? Fine. Do it. Steal my boyfriend. Steal my boyfriend of two days, Demi.
All the women are freaking out that Demi is there because they’re worried that whatever fragile relationships they’ve built can be ruined by a blonde arriving in a Fashion Nova swim set. Demi’s flirting style is to look at a man, make a face she saw in a Maxim magazine photo shoot, and tell him, “Wow, you’re sexy.” It’s a flawless plan. She sets her sights on Brendan because he’s shy, but she can feel the sexual tension between them. Does she think sexual tension just means “eye contact?” Demi asks Brendan on the date, and Natasha walks along the railing of the lighthouse, looking out over the waves until Brendan returns.
Demi and Brendan have a Jet Ski date, and Demi tells Brendan she knew him from pictures on the internet. Brendan says, “I had no idea you even existed before this moment.” There has got to be a better way for Brendan to say that, even though it is very true and very hilarious. Demi kisses Brendan despite getting zero signals. Brendan pulls away and says he wants to keep his options open. Demi’s reaction is that of someone who has literally never not gotten her way in any situation. It is the reaction of a woman who brought her girlfriend onto a reality TV show and made us all watch her and her girlfriend’s relationship so we could all watch their proposal for … reasons?
Meanwhile, back at Paradise, rumors are starting to swirl that Brendan was actually dating Pieper right before the season and he’s just going to keep his options open until she arrives in Paradise. News spreads so fast in Paradise that we basically had the Serenas sprinting down the beach to scream-pant “BRENDAN HAS A GIRLFRIEND!” to the other contestants. And this is a completely new wrinkle for Natasha. Not only is Brendan on a date with Demi, but he may have a girlfriend. Natasha pulls her veil over her eyes and returns her gaze to the sea.
Victoria P., who is apparently a massive liar and manipulator and got into tons of fights with Tammy, has set her sights on James because she needs a rose, but she can’t even be bothered to remember James’s name. She thinks he looks more like a Jordan, so maybe that should just be his name. Meanwhile, I’ve put up a picture of Noah on my desk to remind me that he’s Noah and not Jordan from Bachelor in Paradise seasons past. Maybe Victoria P. needs to focus her attention on Noah because he definitely looks like a Jordan.
There’s another date card on the beach, and it’s for Jessenia! She picks Ivan, and he accepts before she can even finish the sentence. This is high-octane cute. Inject this shit into my fucking eyeballs. They head out to have dinner while sitting in standing chlorinated water. They talk about the reactions of the fandom to their seasons. Ivan got a lot of praise for starting conversations about race with Tayshia and how he felt he had to. Jessenia got a lot of anger and hate and, it sounds like, threats for merely reacting to and existing in a season with a lot of racism. Ivan says, “People tend to be harder on women,” and the bar is on the floor but he’s leaping right over it. They express to each other that they can have conversations about these big topics because they’re a part of who they are and neither one feels uncomfortable or unsupported. They make out in a pool.
Demi and Brendan come home separately from their date, and Demi starts whining about how Brendan didn’t immediately rip his pants off and ravage her on a Jet Ski. She feels like a fucking idiot for a mild rejection. Then Demi finds out that Brendan may be dating Pieper, and she turns the rejection into Brendan wasting her time and being a “tease.” Lady, hold on. He told you immediately that he was going to pursue other relationships and didn’t lead you on in any way. Demi tells him that he made her feel stupid, and he says, “Well, you’re entitled to believe anything you want” about him and Pieper. Demi then pouts and says, “I’m not entitled.” Oh! Different use of the word there, hun.
Natasha manages to get some alone time with Brendan, and they talk about his relationship with Pieper and how there were no labels on it and how he’s interested in Natasha. Pieper is going to show up TOMORROW. We all can feel that, right? Demi also sees Brendan and Natasha talking to each other, and she starts to cry again that he’s being so rude and so mean to her. Bitch, y’all were never dating, and if you were, you broke up!
With all of that settled, it’s time for the rose ceremony. Heading into the cocktail party, there are a lot of unaccompanied women and another rumor circulating about Victoria P. She’s got an aspiring country-singer boyfriend back in Nashville, and she believes she’ll be able to generate some fame for the two of them if she just hangs around Paradise a little longer. Did anyone else secretly hope for the country-singer boyfriend to be revealed as Jed? How delicious would it be if he strode out from the sea singing that one damn song he wrote three-to-ten years ago? But it’s not the birth of Jed on a clamshell; it’s Tammy. Tammy doesn’t give a single solitary fuck when she decides that someone is a liar and a manipulator. Tammy tells James that Victoria P. has this boyfriend in Nashville, and James gives Victoria P. the opportunity to explain herself.
She tells James that she had dated someone earlier in the year and he encouraged her to go into this process with an open heart. What the fuck? That doesn’t happen. That never happens. James also says Victoria mentioned her relationship that lasted for 14 years (DID I HEAR THAT RIGHT?!?!), but she didn’t mention this relationship that happened a couple of months ago? Victoria says, “Well, I don’t know your last name,” and James says, “You also don’t know my first name.” Victoria decides to confront Kelsey and Tammy, who brought this information to the beach. At some point, not this point, we need to continue the conversation about the therapy-ification of speech in the Bachelor Cinematic Universe because, in the course of a few conversations, Victoria P. says she wants to “set a healthy boundary,” when she really wants to get out of a conversation that makes her look bad. Victoria P. decides to self-eliminate in this moment.
Demi decides to move in on James since his only option has left the beach. Her genius tactic? To ask him if they’re going to have sex.
Time for the rose ceremony?!
Wells comes out to introduce the rose ceremony in his bartender uniform, and, as a reminder, three women will be going home. Ivan gives his rose to Jessenia, Noah gives his rose to Abigail, Joe gives his to Serena P., Connor gives his to Maurissa, and Tre gives his to Tahzjuan. Then come the wildcard roses. Karl gives his to Deandra, Brendan gives his to Natasha, Aaron gives his to Tammy despite making out with Serena C. to stop her from rapping. Demi says, “I feel like hell, and I hate it,” while she waits for a rose. Kenny gives his rose to Mari, and Kelsey has a meltdown and has to sit and drink some water. Demi knows this is a ploy to make James give Kelsey a rose. How does this ploy work, exactly? But James gives his rose to Demi, and Kelsey, Victoria L., and Serena C. are going home. The car door literally hits Victoria L. in the ass on the way out. David Spade drives away in a van, and it’s time for a new guest host TOMORROW!!!