Bachelor In Paradise
America, this is a level of pure tomfoolery, ludicrousness, and downright stupidity ne’er witnessed on this television program. I feel like I’m in the third act of Doctor Strange but instead of facing off against the primordial inter-dimensional entity, Dormammu has been replaced with a Hollister sales associate who has come to bargain, bro. God diggity damn. What is HAPPENING on this beach, and why am I forced to deal with these second-rate grifters? AND WHERE WAS THIS ENERGY LAST NIGHT FOR BRENDAN AND PIEPER?!?!? Joe has established himself as the new head of Local Bach 41, and Riley decided to show off his law degree and barbershop roasting skills in one exchange, but why hasn’t anyone roasted Brendan for looking like the Rock in that turtleneck and chain? Why hasn’t anyone called Brendan a “discount Bruno Mars back-up dancer” for rocking a mock turtleneck and gold collar on the beach? Can’t anyone just yell out at Brendan from a distance, “Get outta here with your combination James Franco and Jay Baruchel lookin’ ass”?!?! Someone please step up.
Because unless this behavior is shamed and driven out, this type of nonsense isn’t going to go away. People will continue to show up on the beach with a back pocket full of potential love interests in hopes of getting a free vacation and some Instagram followers, and we’re going to get people like Chris and Alana showing up to try to pull these schemes.
Chris and Alana? Literally who are you? Who. Are. You. Whomst is you? If Brendan and Pieper didn’t get their story straight enough to pull off a scam of this magnitude, you two have your story together to a degree that’s unsettling. Neither of you is talking like a real human, and we can all see through it. Is Chris a Transformer? Because when he talks about Alana, it’s “All Spark.” That is a joke for literally seven people, and I hope they find their way to this recap.
Chris and Alana make several tactical errors — including Chris literally telling Jessenia “Bee-are-bee” like he’s a sixth grader on AIM — but their chief misstep was being two people literally no one cares about. You’ve got nobody to ride for you on the beach, my dudes. Where are your allies? Where are your people? Even Mari and Serena P. are still having breakfast with Pieper.
Let’s get to it.
It’s a new morning in Paradise, and Abigail says, “Today is gonna be a great day.” Oooh, girl. You have cursed us. Before things go completely to hell, we are greeted by the incomparable Tituss Burgess. When he appeared, I just wrote the word “SINGING!!!!!” in my notes. More of this energy. Can Tituss and Lance Bass just trade off in the future? It’s time we hand Bachelor in Paradise over to the gays. This man has arrived with actual bits and jokes and a series of riddles written in iambic pentameter to introduce the Tight Ass Party.
Um … I guess? Whatever that is. Becca, Aaron, Noah, Abigail, Kenny, Jessenia, Chris, Riley, Deandra, James, Thomas, and Demi are all invited to the Tight Ass Party because it’s narratively convenient. All this party does is provide another opportunity for the people who aren’t attending the party to have a meltdown about the guy they like being invited to a cool party and they’re not. So it’s literally ninth grade, which is incredibly appropriate because the party is decorated like the ninth-grade class council got an extra $250 from the bake sale and they could afford COOL LIGHTS. Everyone hits the dance floor, Riley does the worm, and Demi gets on all fours and twerks her upper and lower back.
After some Heineken product placement, Tituss emerges from a cloud of smoke to announce that all bets are off and brings in four new VIPs. It’s Alana, Chelsea, Alayah, and Mykenna! This is a collection of women who were eliminated Week Six and under. The “I” in VIP stands for “Influencer.” Immediately, Jessenia has her eyes on Alana because apparently Alana threw herself at Chris in San Diego, which is a tragic sentence. Imagine attempting to seduce someone in San Diego. Chris literally tells Jessenia “BRB” and is gone before her head even has a chance to turn and see who was talking to her. He sits down with Alana and immediately makes out with her. This is what happens when medium-hot men suddenly have options. We must humble men. I don’t mean “Men should be humble.” I mean we must debase men.
Jessenia is looking for the bathroom and sees Chris making out with Alana. She stops and turns around and walks until she has ground her strappy neutral sandals into dust. Alana and Chris attempt some “sexy dialogue” from the playbook they drafted before heading into Paradise, and Alana asks Chris, “Do you feel bad? Do you wanna go back there?” Abigail intercepts Jessenia before she wades into the sea to let it carry her away. Chris sits Jessenia down and decides the best time to tell her that he’s been having doubts about their relationship is during a European techno song at a crowded party. This is a bad time to do this. Then Alana strolls up and tries to flirtatiously steal him away. This is a BAD TIME TO DO THIS. The eternal thirst of this bitch.
Chris tries to come up with a reason why it’s not working with Jessenia and bitch, stop. You can barely keep the grin off your face when you do your in-the-moment interview about how you think you found what you were looking for in Alana. We must tear down men and the infrastructure that allows for them. The entire party heads into another room to hear a concert from “Acclaimed actress and singer” Olivia Holt. I didn’t hate these songs! Okay, Olivia Holt! Chris starts making out with Alana right in front of Jessenia and everyone else. Riley calls it the most disgusting and dishonorable thing you can do, and I don’t disagree. Jessenia walks out of the party, and the transportation back to ninth grade is complete. If you or a loved one has cried in a bathroom while “Rock Your Body” by Justin Timberlake played in the other room, you might be entitled to compensation.
Back at the resort, Jessenia re-enters while the other women are discussing how worried they are about their men being at the party. Jessenia fills them in about the party, and Tammy makes this all about her in her in-the-moment interview while Jessenia breaks down. Maurissa is worried about Riley, but he’s basically treating the party like an office Christmas party and is doing a very chaste conga line with everyone else. Maurissa has a breakdown on the beach and calls herself stupid and says she wants to go home. You win, Bachelor in Paradise. You got multiple women to have breakdowns over guys they met six days ago.
Apparently there are other people on the beach?!?!?! Who have relationships and drama to figure out?!?!?! Mari takes Kenny aside and tells him that she really likes him, and Kenny says that she’s only interested when he has the rose. Mari’s response is “nuh-uh.” They tell each other that they would leave the beach together. Wait … when did this happen? Are they having feelings? For each other? And expressing them in a mature way? Oh lord, this is not what I signed up for! But before we can revel in this moment, Kenny sits down with Demi and she decides to take the opportunity to trash Mari and call her evil. Demi hides in her hair and breaks down crying. Demi brings up the fact that Kenny had sex with her and she’s such a fun time. Oh, girl. Please stop having sex with 40-year-olds to get them to like you because the girl they like didn’t reciprocate their feelings for a little bit.
At some point in her life, someone told Demi that her value in relationships with men was that she was a “fun time” and sex was the way to demonstrate that. It was probably also communicated to her that if she were “different than other girls” and a “cool, fun girl” who didn’t ask much of the men she was with and had casual sex (but it clearly meant something to her), then she would get all the men she wanted. And I’m sure that’s successful … but not in every situation, and it’s certainly not sustainable in the long term if you’re looking for a serious, committed relationship. I don’t know if Demi doesn’t know what she wants or if she’s doing this cool-girl routine to build a relationship, but she certainly doesn’t need to call other women “evil” or “entitled” while she figures it out.
Meanwhile, Chris is strategically moping around to try to communicate the human emotion “regret” to his fellow human friends. He also keeps saying he doesn’t know what he did. Bruh. Word is quickly spreading on the beach about what Chris did, and Tammy tells him to fix it, you fucking idiot. But before Chris can do anything, Alana arrives on the beach with a date card. NOT NOW, ALANA. NOT EVER. She asks Chris on the date, and Chris makes a declaration that he’s going to go on a date today and he doesn’t care who hates him. Joe says, “Dude, nobody cares. Nobody hates you because nobody knows who you are.” Those words fueled me. Chris tries to take Jessenia aside to talk to her after he’s accepted the date, and Jessenia shuts him down so quickly and so efficiently. She tells him that he doesn’t owe her anything and he already showed her who he is. Everyone in Paradise is #TeamJessenia.
Y’all. I don’t even want to talk about Chris and Alana’s date, because it’s so clearly scripted and they have decided to repeat Bachelor Cinematic Universe phrases to try to trick the audience into thinking that this is an authentic interaction between two people we care about. It’s all about their journey and their undeniable spark and they literally try to choreograph a better kissing position for the cameras while dogs eat their sexy date food. I cackled. Reader, I cackled at this heavy-handed metaphor nature gave us.
While they’re gone, Chelsea arrives in Paradise and takes Aaron on a date, and Becca gets a date card and asks Thomas out. Yeah, all this is fine, except for the fact that Aaron is somehow still mad at Tammy and gloats that this is all payback for Tammy going after Thomas. Aaron, please, the misogyny and righteousness is NOT flattering. You literally went on a date with a runway model and you’re laughing about your ex? Get a grip. We should be worried that Thomas continues to speak in generic TJ Maxx pillow sentences instead of having an actual conversation with Becca.
Everyone is waiting for Chris and Alana to get back from their date so they can bully them out of Paradise. Y’know what? I’m not mad at this. This is an incredible display of collective action, but I will need them to repeat this tribunal for Brendan and Pieper. Chris and Alana are at the top of the stairs delivering their final lines in a play titled Long Day’s Journey into Paradise. Riley and Joe are preparing the case for the prosecution: Chris arrived with a strategy playbook, and if you show up and are open and honest, things will work out for you. YES! TRUE! ACCURATE! Joe also says that Chris was asking him how Joe got so popular, which is clearly Chris being like, “Well, if you figured it out, there’s hope for a medium-hot guy like me” which is also so stupid because Grocery Store Joe is nothing but himself. When Alana and Chris return, everyone heckles them down to the bar and Joe swears Chris in on a bottle of Abercrombie & Fitch Fierce Oud Amour cologne.
Chris tries to meekly defend himself and whisper his answers and Joe keeps telling him, “Raise your voice, son!” After one not particularly convincing answer, Joe says, “Bullshit! Start again! You’re not making sense!” That type of energy feels like a South Side Irish bar after a Bears game and I AM HERE FOR IT. Riley’s approach is more just telling him, “No one likes you, so don’t expect a pity party.” Riley also asks Chrism, “If I go into your DMs, what is it gonna say?” Riley is LAWYERING, okay?!?! Riley says, “I believe you are a man with no honor, no respect, and no code!” The prosecution rests!!!
At this point, Alana strolls over from the bar and says, “Does anyone want to know what I think?” Jessenia says, “No.” Riley says, “You’re fine. Thank you, though.” I SCREAMED. I FUCKING SCREAMED. Someone cue up those guys dancing with the coffin because THIS BITCH HAS BEEN STRUCK DOWN. Hahahahahahaha, this is delicious. I will feast on this moment until the end of my days. On my deathbed, I will pass into the other world with a smile on my face and my grandchildren will say, “Why is Grandma smiling?” and my 39-year-old fourth husband will say, “She’s thinking about the time Alana thought anyone gave a fuck what she thought,” and he’ll kiss me on the forehead and put coins on my eyes for the ferry to the Underworld.
Then Jessenia, Riley, and Joe all heckle them to leave like they’re John Lithgow in Harry and the Hendersons except actually mean.
Chris tries to mend things with Alana, and she’s like, “What the actual fuck just happened? I thought I was gonna get a Flat Tummi Tea sponsorship out of this.” Alana says that leaving together means they’re going to pursue a committed relationship, and she doesn’t know if she can do that.
And readers, this is when I passed away. Imagine risking it all for this girl and she’s like, “Oh. Um. Nah.” The cackle is coming from deep within me. This is the cackle of my ancestors. Alana and Chris pack their bags and Chris tries to get into Alana’s SUV to the airport, and she tells him, “Chris, this is not your car.” Is Chris the rapid-transit system serving Chicago and the surrounding suburbs? Because the L’s just won’t stop coming! That is a joke for five people and I hope they find this recap.
Natasha ends the episode wondering if anyone is going to bring that energy to Brendan and Pieper. Justice for Natasha!!!!!