The Best ‘Bachelor In Paradise’ Recap You’ll Ever Read: Can’t Someone Just Love Rodney Already?

Welcome back to the beach, betches! This week, ABC has decided to give us a brief respite from the grueling BiP schedule by airing only one episode instead of two. Thank you, midterm elections. So, instead of feeling simmering amounts of anxiety watching Genevieve showcase the problem solving skills of a coconut, I can be completely submerged in my anxiety as I await democracy’s downfall and wonder if the guy on this show whose entire personality is bragging about the size of the banana leaf he wears in lieu of a swimsuit (“it’s the only thing that can contain me!!”) will have more bodily autonomy than me. 

This week’s episode was less focused on telling a story, and more focused on telling us which couples we are supposed to care about. Theoretically, the end of Paradise is in sight. “Paradise is coming to an end soon,” Brittany even says about a season that, by my count, still has 10 hours of footage left to air. Don’t lie to me, Brittany!!

With proposals only a few episodes away, the contestants are feeling the pressure to pair off into “serious” couples. This is a hard task to do when the only single men on the beach are Hayden, Jacob, and the stars of the next Disney Channel Original Movie about two twins who switch bodies, Justin and Joey. 

Enter production, who heard “geometry beach” was trending several weeks ago and would like to re-edit the footage to capitalize on that tired storyline. Who cares about things like “personal boundaries” and “happiness” when they can hogtie Eliza’s soul to a stick and roast it over the flames of America’s sick enjoyment? Two love triangles in particular became production’s focus: the very real one happening between Rodney, Eliza, and Justin, and then the one in which they promised Kate an extra $1k and a Tula brand deal if she just plays along. 

Let’s get into it!

The Princess & The Pauper

This week, Kate finds herself in a love triangle between herself, her ego, and her own delusions. Also, she has some dalliances with Hayden and Logan. Imagine you’re a producer and you have to make this love triangle sound enticing. Their names are Kate, Hayden, and Logan. They should be the subjects of the math word problem I couldn’t solve during the SATs, not the star-crossed love affair that defines the ages. 

If you’ll recall, last week Kate stepped out on her relationship with Logan by going on a date with Hayden. During the first 15 minutes of tonight’s episode, the two make up in the rain after Kate gets back from her date. “Are you sure about me?”, Logan asks. “I’m sure!”, Kate responds—but not before making sure the production team has successfully corralled every human on that beach within viewing distance of her answer.

Now Kate’s feeling unsure about Logan and their seven-year age difference. As she says: “My sister in Christ, he can’t even afford a trainer at Equinox!” In this economy? Who can??

Kate says there are things she doesn’t like about Logan, like the fact that she’s 33 and he’s 26, or that his idea of checking his credit score involves whispering the last four digits of his social three times in front of a mirror, and if the score doesn’t immediately appear in his reflection, then everything must be fine. And there are things Kate does like about Hayden, like that he spent more money on Rambo’s medical care than Elon Musk spent buying Twitter. 

The catch is, of course, that she hates Hayden with every fiber of her being. Ah, yes. The riddle all Miami club girls spend their lives trying to solve: is the top-shelf bottle service worth co-signing the dregs of humanity? To that I say, is it just liquor, or would they be open to ordering some Veuve for the table?

KATE: Call me old-fashioned, but I just want that provider energy.
ALSO KATE:

Well, if you go with Hayden, he will certainly be providing you with something. My guess is a long lecture about the power of Bitcoin. 

Kate makes a big show of being absolutely tortured over her decision (my sister in Christ, how can ABC ask her to choose like this??). I think she forgets that the men she’s torn between are two of evolution’s greatest mistakes. 

But in the end, it’s Logan to whom Kate begrudgingly gives her rose. “You’re gonna need to step it up for me,” she threatens, as Logan tries to hide both his fear and burgeoning chubby. Later, Logan whispers anxiously to the cameras that he doesn’t like how Kate treats him. Is that really fair to say, though, Logan? I think you like how she treats certain parts of you, don’t you? 

Good luck, Kate! I hope you can find happiness with this man and his Planet Fitness membership. 

A Moment Of Silence For Rodney

The second love triangle to decimate the beach comes in the form of Justin, Eliza, and Rodney. Ever since split week, when Rodney broke things off with Lace, things have been going well for him and Eliza. But then last week, production allowed Justin to return to Paradise. Outwardly, production tells us that they made this decision because they think Justin deserves a second chance. Justin, apparently, was always interested in Eliza and was hoping she would make it to Paradise before he was eliminated. 

When Justin asked Eliza on a date last episode, she didn’t initially want to accept. She wanted Rodney to forbid her from dating anyone else, as if he were the suspiciously young dad in a YA novel who cares a little bit too much about who his little princess dates. Since Rodney is not a cave drawing, he acts maturely and rationally. He insists she go on the date if this is what she needs to do to be sure about him. Naturally, Eliza responds by going on the date to spite him, but then develop real feelings for Justin.

Which brings us to tonight! Eliza is definitely feeling the pressure. Any time either Rodney or Justin breathes in her general direction, she looks like she might be violently ill. I definitely don’t think she’s emotionally mature enough for this decision. She might not be emotionally mature enough for an Ulta credit card. 

I will say, Eliza perhaps has more chemistry with Justin, but doesn’t want to dump Rodney. How do you dump the human embodiment of a weighted blanket? It doesn’t help that the rest of the beach cannot stop talking about how great Rodney is. Okay, so why don’t you sleep with him then? Hmm?

It all comes down to the rose ceremony. Eliza is crying so hard her sobs could create entire new fault lines in the earth. She wants to dump the weighted blanket for the human meme, but would like to do it without the rest of the beach getting together and casting a dark curse that damns her future lineage for centuries to come. The stakes are so high. 

Rose Ceremony Couples

Rose Ceremony Rejects

The level of joy these people exhibit at Rodney getting to stay another week is wild. They’re acting like Rodney and Eliza just did a blood ritual, binding themselves to each other for all eternity, and not like Eliza was so visibly distraught handing out her rose that she almost passed out in despair. Call me skeptical, but I suspect their relationship has a very real, very imminent expiration date. 

Case in point: immediately after giving Rodney a rose, Eliza grabs Justin’s hand and walks him to a secluded corner. She spends more time comforting Justin than she does reuniting with Rodney. 

RODNEY: It’s you and me until the end. I can’t wait to make you my wife and introduce you to my mother and we should start looking at apartments after filming and when the time is right adopt a labradoodle and maybe name it Paradise (Parry, for short) and—
ELIZA: 

Oh, Rodney. Sweetie, no. 

Eliza is an absolute mess. While Rodney is writing in his dream journal about their future life together, Eliza looks like she spent the night battling her own personal sleep paralysis demon. Her confessional is giving Kelly Kapoor straight off her juice cleanse.

Tell me this isn’t the same energy!

I meant it when I said Eliza is not emotionally mature enough for this relationship. No tea, no shade to her, but it’s just a thing that is pretty obvious. I think she’s maybe more scared of confronting Rodney than her actual feelings for him (or lack thereof).

Eventually, she does muster up the nerve to have The Talk. She tells him that she made the wrong decision and only picked him because she felt influenced by her peers. Eliza! Don’t tell him that! That’s a thing teens say when they have to explain to their parents why they vomited up a six pack of Bartles & Jaymes Strawberry Daiquiri wine cooler all over their Pottery Barn rug. That’s not a thing you say to soften the blow of dumping the most emotionally intelligent man to ever bless this franchise!! 

I don’t necessarily think Eliza did him dirty (the heart wants what it wants and all of that), but I do think Rodney deserved more than Paradise could offer him. I’ve been saying ever since Michelle’s season that he deserved to be the next Bachelor. It’s clear he has leading man energy. If only ABC had a space and platform for women to seriously date only one man? Oh wait. I forgot that ABC only celebrates eligible bachelors if they are mediocre white guys whose personalities are as compelling as rubber cement. 

And that’s all she wrote! Next week, we find out if democracy is dead, and also if Eliza can lock things down with the human meme. I’m on the edge of my seat either way. Until then!

Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin; Giphy (3); ABC (1)

The Best ‘Bachelor In Paradise’ Recap You’ll Ever Read: He Sold His Couch For Cash & I Cried Over Him

Welcome back to the beach, betches! We’re now officially halfway through the season. Let that sink in. Halfway. Through. The. Season. Even just typing that exhausted me. And I get paid to be here! I can’t imagine how I would feel if I was here of my own free will and not because I’m financially dependent on grown adults making sexual innuendos out of shrimp. Alas, we all have our crosses to bear. 

Last week, in an unprecedented move, ABC tried to switch things up with their show formatting. By “switch things up,” I mean they copied Love Island’s homework and hoped we wouldn’t notice. Well, the joke is on you, ABC, because I’m a single woman in my 30s who only derives pleasure from watching bikini-clad degenerates with stunted amygdalas hump each other for Instagram followers. Of course I noticed. 

After ABC separated the women from the men, the producers brought in newer, hotter cast members to tempt the original Paradise crew. “Tempt” implies that they have an urge or an inclination to do something wrong, but something tells me the only thing these guys find “wrong” is having to make do with their right hands. Now that ABC has wasted six hours of my life that I’ll never get back, they’re ready to send the OG women back to Paradise to reunite with their men. 

Let’s get into it!

Lace’s Last Stand

When last we left off, Lace had just returned to the men’s side of the beach. If you listen to Lace, the women are being kept in a secret bunker where they are denied food, water, and their skincare products. The only entertainment they are allowed is to listen to ASMR recordings of Jesse Palmer describing in detail which female body parts the men have corrupted since they left. The only reason Lace is even on that beach is because she was able to somehow Shawshank her way out of her cell.

LACE AT THE SIGHT OF WELLS’ TIKI HUT:

In reality, the women are living in a palace of AC and working wall outlets, surrounded by actual bartenders serving actual drinkable beverages and ogling their own harem of ridiculously attractive men. But Lace is not here to talk about semantics. She’s here to get Rodney back. She’s still waiting for Rodney to return from his date with Eliza, when she will demand that he either leave the beach with her or live out his days with the spectral energy of her hurt feelings haunting his future romantic connections. It’s his choice, really.

 I love how Jesse Palmer keeps saying Lace will “burn down” Paradise. The woman is 32. Whatever spark existed in her spirit was snuffed out the day she started taking antacids before happy hour. 

Meanwhile, the men are like “Yooo, Rodney is going through it!!” As if navigating a relationship with a woman in her 30s is the equivalent of walking through a field of live landmines. You know, erratic and could possibly kill you, but you don’t know when.  

Rodney, to his credit, is very sweet about the whole thing. He tells Lace he doesn’t want to waste her time and he hates thinking he hurt her. He’s really trying to soften the blow, but she’s not upset over you, buddy. She’s upset that she’s going to have to re-download Hinge. Don’t flatter yourself.

Lace does leave with one final warning: that all is not as it seems over on the women’s side of the island. “We’re getting to know the new guys, too,” she says. “NEW GUYS?”, Brandon shrieks as Lace evaporates into a cloud of smoke and tequila. That’s right, Brandon, there are new guys. Did you really think they were just doing face masks and syncing their cycles? Well, think again. Not all fun and games now, huh?

Boo, You Whores

Speaking of the women, they are absolutely blowing their one chance at having the upper hand over these guys. While the OG men have been desecrating hot tubs and sucking tequila out of other women’s navels, the OG women have been generating enough renewable energy with their tears to end climate change. The guys think they know where they stand with the women. They have no idea the women are being tempted as well. Why wouldn’t they use that to their advantage??

Jesse Palmer comes in and tells them that he’s not sure what they think is going on over at the guys’ side of the beach, but just to make it clear, they are 100% “connecting” with other women. 

ALSO JESSE: 

Yes, we’re picking up what you’re putting down. Honestly, this is the pep talk the ladies needed. Don’t they know that the best relationships are built on lies and schemes until eventually you wear the other person down enough with your bullshit? Newsflash: get your fucking ass up and work. It seems like nobody wants to work these days. 

The only one who’s even slightly doing this right is Victoria. Though she initially hit things off with Johnny, she decides to go on a date with Alex during Hotel Amour. “Physical touch is my love language, and Alex just gets that,” she says about a man who used his index finger to barely scratch her head once. I really hope that’s not a precedent for how else he’s going to use that finger. 

But just because she’s going on dates with Alex doesn’t mean she isn’t still conflicted about Johnny. “I’m used to doing life with Johnny!!”, she moans. Honey, sweetie, baby. IT’S BEEN THREE DAYS. That’s not doing life. That’s doing a vacation. Who’s gonna tell her?

Geometry Beach

Meanwhile, back on Fboy Island, Logan is torn between three women: Shanae, Sarah, and Kate. While he accepted Shanae’s rose at the last rose ceremony and went on a date with Sarah last week, now he only has eyes for Kate. I love that the only explanation production can come up with for these sudden romantic feelings is grainy footage of Logan and Kate mumbling incoherently to each other with a time stamp of 1:30am. Say less.

The thing about Kate is that she is also in a love triangle with Jacob, who is kind of dating Jill. This does not stop her from asking Logan to go on a date with her. They do a weird massage thing where Kate says things like, “I can’t wait to tear your skin off so we can start fresh and raw,” and then treats his back like her own personal slip-n-slide. She loses me when she starts beating Logan with a cactus paddle. “Am I expected to give a tip?”, Logan jokes. Honey, I think you’re already sporting one. 

But Logan is going to have to face the music at some point. During Tuesday night’s episode, Jesse tells the women that they are finally allowed out of their kennels and can return to Paradise.

JESSE: It’s time for you to go back to the beach
ME ALONE IN MY LIVING ROOM:

Shanae is one of the first to be set loose on the beach. She says she’s all in on Logan, as if she didn’t try with every fiber of her being to be all in on someone else. (She made a run at Tyler, but he was more interested in Brittany). I get it though. Logan has big “last man on earth” energy. 

“I went on a date with someone else but he wasn’t you!” she tells Logan, and leaves out the part where she tried to turn the boom-boom room into Tyler’s personal carnival stand. You can tell Logan was hoping she would admit to some more concrete cheating so he would have an easy out. Instead, he’s going to have to stare directly down the maw of the beast and tell it he’d rather exchange bodily fluids with a girl named Kate. Good luck. 

The one thing I don’t appreciate about all of these reunions is how the OG guys are acting like the OG women are monsters for having feelings. “Here comes Laceifer!”, they cackle when Lace walks calmly down the beach. “There’s the Shanaedo!!”, Aaron giggles as Shanae cries by the ocean. “Pompeii is about to explode!!”, Brandon squeals (also about Shanae crying). Don’t you guys think you’re being a little tough on them?  The scariest thing about these women is their reading levels. Maybe the peanut gallery should cool it. 

Speaking of scary things, I’m worried that this might be the end of Jill’s screen time. Jill is hoping their full moon ritual meant as much to Jacob as it did to her delusions, but their reunion doesn’t go as planned. 

JILL: My biggest fear is that Jacob didn’t miss me at all and I’ve just been sitting here rotting.
JACOB: But rotting is a form of growing, no?

Jacob admits that he “kissed” Kate while Jill was away. That is a very nice way of describing the UTI you gave that woman in a hot tub. He tells Jill that even though things didn’t work out with Kate, he would rather date a banana leaf than continue things with her. While I appreciate Jacob’s point of view, it’s a wrong point of view. Jacob and Jill are different sides of the same penitentiary. They’re meant to be!!

Personally, I don’t want to conceive of a Paradise without Jill in it. Who else is going to deliver us with such finite wisdom as this: “he sold his couch for cash and I cried over him??” You think Genevieve is going to have such prowess over her comedic timing? She has about as much control over her delivery as she does those hair extensions. They just don’t make them like Jill any more! 

But I know Jill is going to be just fine. Karma is a cat purring in her lap cause it loves her, and I can’t wait to see what she does next. 

Other Things That Happened

If you were hoping to come to the end of this recap and find something like “and then there was a rose ceremony” well, I hope you’re used to disappointment. For weeks now, ABC has been dangling the prospect of a third rose ceremony. No, there haven’t even been three yet. Yes, that high-pitched keening sound is just me screaming into the void. 

This week, ABC continues to focus on dragging out over-played plot lines instead of moving the season along. I, for one, cannot give more attention to their bullshit. So, with that said, here is a list of couples that production desperately wants me to care about and I absolutely refuse to. You’re welcome.

Genevieve + Aaron: Stay together. Watching these two on screen makes me feel like a prisoner of Azkaban. You can’t tell me Genevieve’s wailing doesn’t acutely feel like a dementor is feeding off your will to live. But good luck with Aaron! 

Brittany + Andrew: Break up. Like Victoria and Shanae, Brittany was one of the few women to explore new relationships in Hotel Amour. She tells Andrew she’d rather be with Tyler, and the only thing I wrote in my notes about the exchange is “Why does Brittany look like the Olsen twins’ medium?” So… do with that what you will, I guess?

Victoria + Johnny: Move into the gray area. Victoria would like to have her cake and eat it too. She tells Johnny that while she still really cares for him, she would also like to explore things with Alex. Ladies, this right here is what we’ve been marching for. Equality is being able to treat your significant other with the same care and respect a guy named Ian would give his iguana. You do you, honey.

The thing is, Victoria is right to have her doubts about Johnny. Is that a Sanskrit tattoo that says “live laugh love” on his forearm? Methinks it might be.

When Victoria asks him a simple adult question like “What are your career goals?”, his only answer is that he’s passionate and motivated. These are things you say in your interview to be a YMCA lifeguard. The woman said she’s ready to have kids, and his five-year plan is about as mature as Kraft macaroni and cheese. Of course she has her doubts!!

And that’s all she wrote, friends! The descent into madness continues next week. See you there!

Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin; Giphy (4); ABC (1)

The Best ‘Bachelor In Paradise’ Recap You’ll Ever Read: It’s A Lot

Welcome back to your regularly scheduled Bachelor in Paradise recap! Much like the contents of Salley’s “luggage,” we’re shaking things up this season. Moving forward, there will only be one recap per week. What can I say? I’m crying uncle. When I heard there would be four hours of new Bachelor content every week for the next five weeks, I immediately dissociated from my body. Is it even legal to show that much mild nudity in one work week? How many double entendres can I possibly make about that infestation of sand crabs? (“The crabs are everywhere!” one girl screams. Ah, the symbolism. First, you’ll find them in your luggage, and then in your nether regions). I’m sorry, but something had to give, and it certainly wasn’t going to be my sanity. Not again!

Does that mean the recaps will have a consistent narrative thread? Lol. It’s not that kind of programming, honey. The producers for Paradise do less building of legitimate storylines and more throwing dildos into a booze-infused crowd and hoping one of them takes the bait. I can’t make lemonade out of Lace. But I will do my best to tell as much of the story as I possibly can—or at least the parts that interest me most personally and/or spotlight my joke-writing abilities. As my kindergarten teacher told me when I asked to move seats away from the guy in my class who ate his boogers a little too enthusiastically: you get what you get and you don’t pitch a fit. 

Let’s get into it! 

Victoria F Is Nothing If Not On Brand

Victoria Fuller made her debut on the beach during Monday night’s episode. You may have to retreat into the catacombs of your memory for this one: Victoria F was on Peter Weber’s season of The Bachelor. For those of you who still go into a fugue state whenever Patchi’s name is mentioned (a totally natural reaction, BTW), she was the one who had a reputation for ruining the lives and relationships of every happy couple in Virginia Beach. When she wasn’t crumbling the foundation of Target’s core customer demographic, she was banging the country music talent from her one-on-one date. Iconic. 

She was the “villain” of her season, which sounds very sexist and slut shame-y considering her villainous traits are that she… got some? I’m pretty sure Arie was banging half of Nashville’s sorority girls before he became the Bachelor, but do carry on. I, for one, think it’s poetic karma that a professional mistress came on a show that promotes matrimonial monogamy. No wonder she thrived!

And I’m glad to see that Paradise won’t change her brand. Victoria spends all of two minutes on the beach before she sets her sights on two taken men: Justin and Johnny. Though it’s only been three days, Justin has a strong connection with Genevieve, and Johnny has been vibing with Hunter.

The first thing I notice about Victoria and Justin’s connection is that it’s built on a throne of lies. Victoria tells Justin that she lives in Nashville, but is definitely not a Broadway girl. Honey, we both know you moved to that town because you wanted to live in a country music song and send nudes to singer/songwriters. You’re not better than Broadway. None of us are. 

She ends up taking Justin on a date, but he still has eyes for Genevieve. Enter: Johnny. My god is Johnny perfect for Paradise. That man knows how to work women into a frenzy. Before her date with Justin, Victoria connects with Johnny on the beach. By “connects”, I mean Johnny pretends he didn’t know her name and acts generally uninterested.

JOHNNY: Hey Caroline
VICTORIA F:

HEY CAROLINE. Don’t pretend like production doesn’t hold cue cards up every time a new person walks out on the beach. You know her name, just like I know this intentional wrong name thing is your signature move at whatever Florida den of sin you crawled out of to be here. That boy is playing the long game. 

Incredibly, it works. On rose ceremony night, Victoria can see that Justin is still weak over Genevieve. But that’s okay, because she still has Johnny. Sure, he has a thing with Hunter, but did he call Hunter by the wrong name while licking his lips and picturing her naked? I don’t think so! They do things on that daybed that can’t be entirely hygienic, and Johnny gives her his rose. I do love a happy ending. 

Move Over, Ashley Iaconetti, There’s A New Human Tear Duct In Town 

And where is Genevieve during all of this? Deep within the bowels of her own delusions. She spends almost two whole days of filming wallowing in the pits of despair. By the end of the 48 hours, there’s not one inch of that beach that she hasn’t doused in a seemingly endless supply of her tears. Then comes the spiraling. She decides that men ain’t shit—no, Justin ain’t shit—and who needs them anyways? But definitely she won’t find love here, she can’t find love here, and she should just leave, right? Will anyone want her? Will she die alone with no one to find her body but her cats? IT’S TOO MUCH, and I say this as a girl whose college nickname was Moaning Myrtle, because I used to end Saturday nights drunk and weeping in my backyard about how nobody loved me. Even I know this is too much to be feeling on week one of Paradise. Sack up, WOMAN. 

ME TO GENEVIEVE:

Fortune’s Fool

Now that the porny doctor is no longer in the picture, Romeo is realizing that the only love triangle he’ll be in is the one with Jill and her multiple personalities. You can see the panic fully setting in with each smoldering look from Jill. He needs to get out now, before she offers him a replica of her taxidermy cats. 

Panicked, he makes a move on Brittany, but doesn’t account for the fact that he is 100 percent average in every way, shape, and form. She actually slithers out of his grip when he tries to kiss her. Yikes. See, this is why guys like Romeo should never be allowed to have two girls interested in them at once. He made the mistake of assuming that just because he’s technically been in a love triangle before, that makes him desirable in any way. Oh, sweetie. Let’s look at the women who were “fighting” over you. Kira would gladly hump a tree stump if she thought it was capable of getting her off, and Jill ‘s ideal man is any guy with a torso. Let’s not kid ourselves here.

Jill hears from Brittany about Romeo’s duplicities and begins emitting sounds that would make even the most feral of jungle creatures recoil in fear. Romeo takes this as his cue to have “the talk” with her. He tells Jill that he would rather just be friends. Imagine a man like Romeo telling you it’s not you, it’s just him living in his slut era? 

Like Icarus who flew too close to the sun, Romeo shoots his shot with too many women in close proximity. He’s practically playing musical chairs with the ladies, and doesn’t understand why no one is into it. 

ROMEO ON HIS 12TH GIRL OF THE NIGHT: Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.

My personal favorite is when Romeo, tail between his legs, tries to win Kira back, and she tells him that she can’t go there with him anymore because he’s been making “a lot of rash decisions” lately. This from a woman who showed up to the rose ceremony wearing a thong made out of banana leaves!

If I’m being totally honest, I don’t think Romeo did anything that egregious. Should he have communicated with Jill about exploring his options before hitting on every woman with a pulse? Absolutely. But this is only day three! He doesn’t owe Jill anything. Romeo’s real downfall is that he argued with too many women after too many margaritas. He’s lucky that didn’t result in his death. 

In the end, Romeo realizes that he is not better than the woman whose perfume of choice involves dabbing a little bit of Fancy Feast on her wrists, and Jill realizes that she is not above accepting a rose from Romeo, no matter how pitiful it makes her look. Guys? I think I’m rooting for them. 

Michael & Sierra Are Still Going Strong, Somehow

Monday night’s episode focused more on Michael and Sierra’s relationship, so I feel it’s worth commenting on for the sake of my readers. To be honest, I can’t really wrap my head around this couple. The thing they seem to have in common is that they both look fantastic in swimwear, but that’s where the similarities begin and end. Michael is a 37-year-old widowed, single father, and Sierra wears more body glitter than a Cullen. 

SIERRA ON THIS BEACH RN:

Case in point: the following interaction between the two. Michael tells her that he’s not used to dating. “This is all new to me,” he says, “I haven’t dated anyone since…” and trails off. “Oh right,” Sierra replies, “since the thingie.” The thingie?? Do you mean the death of his wife?? I’m paraphrasing of course, but it feels like these two are very much not on the same wavelength maturity-wise. 

But Michael’s not worried. “Sierra understands that old type of love,” he says as if he’s not talking about girl in a bedazzled thong bikini. I don’t think that’s proving the point you think it is…

Dumb & Dumber Are Back

After the first rose ceremony, the producers throw the women a bone. Or at least, two boners. Aaron and James make their Paradise return, and I could have gone my whole life without ever seeing this duo again. The women are acting like production just put Jesus Christ himself on the beach, and not two guys who def masturbate to their own workout reels. 

Tell me those aren’t the same people.

Aaron and James don’t come empty handed either. They come bearing date cards! Dumb (Aaron) asks Genevieve, and Dumber (James) asks Shanae. Yes, I’m sure that was a carefully considered choice and wasn’t at all influenced by production. Nice work, boys. Way to earn your Paradise bonuses. 

To her credit, Shanae only tries to drown Genevieve once, and she has the convenient excuse of blaming it on their pool games. But at least Genevieve is having a good time. Never mind that only 12 hours prior she was screaming about how Justin ruined her life and now she’s happily shoving her tongue down Dumb’s throat. She says that she feels “seen” with Aaron, which is a nice way of saying she’s happy he’s still willing to acknowledge her existence after they got to second at Stagecoach. Remember, these two were rumored to have hooked up sometime after Clayton’s season and before the Women Tell All. Stagecoach feels like a convenient setting for such an entanglement, if only because it fits the timeframe and nothing gets these horndogs more in the mood than a cowboy boot. 

Shanae, who went on a date with Logan on Monday night, seems very into Dumber as well. What does she like about him? Well…

SHANAE: I can shake my ass in front of you and not, like, really feel timid

And they say chivalry is dead! Finally, a man who respects our god-given right to twerk. 

Other Things That Happen

Salley makes her Paradise debut. Well, technically her luggage does. I think we can all agree that luggage is not actually Salley’s and is in fact a producer plant. I’m not sure what’s more horrifying to behold: the girls rummaging through her suitcase like rabid coyotes until they find a vibrator, or that Kira steals said vibrator and proceeds to use it on herself in the boom-boom room. Kira, honey, you’re a DOCTOR!! Surely you must know that using a used dildo is how yeast infections happen. I hope the Instagram follower growth was worth it…

Rodney joins the beach, which results in Teddi and Andrew breaking up. What’s that you say? You forgot Teddi and Andrew were even a thing because they’ve received zero screen time and have only exchanged a handful of awkward mumbles? When I put it that way, it’s absolutely shocking they weren’t meant to be. I’ll sum up the breakup like this: Rodney had the hots for Teddi and she found him mildly attractive. This causes her to question her four day-old connection with Andrew. When she can’t articulate why something is missing with Andrew, she flees Paradise entirely. That’s right. She literally flees the scene. To me, this reaction has less to do with her relationship with Andrew and more to do with her immaturity. I’m not saying all virgins are immature, but I do think Teddi was intimidated by how quickly things move in Paradise and wasn’t really ready for that kind of environment.  

And that’s all she wrote, kids! See below for rose ceremony pairings and rejects:

Rose Ceremony #1 Pairings

Rejects

Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin; Giphy (4); ABC (1)

The Best ‘Bachelor In Paradise’ Recap You’ll Ever Read: No, Seriously, What’s In Those Margaritas?

Welcome back to Paradise, people! Never mind that it’s absolutely blasphemous that ABC would air any sort of summer-themed content after the fall equinox. The last thing I want to see as I nose dive directly into October (and any pumpkin flavored abomination within 50 feet of me) is a hot person in swimwear. It should be illegal. I’m ready to drown myself in flannel and oversized sweaters; I don’t need to be reminded of the shape of bodies by looking at Serene’s near perfect form for the next 4-6 weeks. ABC, why can’t you let us have this one nice thing? 

For those of you who are new to Paradise, well then, welcome to this hedonistic den of sin that ABC calls a beach! Throw all your previous Bachelor franchise knowledge out the door, because this show is none of that. Instead, be prepared to spend four hours of your week watching a singular cold sore pass through an entire population at an alarming rate. It’s like a fun human experiment, except with less science and more tequila. Far too much tequila. Let’s jump into it! 

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Very early on, I’m clued in that this season of BiP is distinctly different from the other seasons—and not just because Jesse Palmer tells us that if we listen closely enough we can still “hear the sound of crying.” No shit. The spectral energy generated from Ashley Iaconetti’s tears alone would be enough to curse the land and ensure that nothing grows above or below. 


No, that stretch of beach is being haunted by something far more sinister than just human tears. It starts with the intros. Normally the intros are a time when contestants poke fun at the serious exteriors ABC crafted for them during their runs on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette. Perfect examples of this are Evan Bass, the erectile dysfunction doctor, peeling a banana mockingly for the cameras, and Becca Kufrin dropping her engagement ring in a glass of champagne à la First Wives Club. Unlike when they were trying their hands at polygamy, the contestants are now fully aware of their public narratives and are playing right into them. It’s not serious; it’s all fun and games!  

But there’s nothing fun about these intros. Instead, we’re assaulted with footage that makes a great case for why God should release another divine flood. Hunter, whose one memorable quality is apparently that she suffers from gastrointestinal issues, starts the episode off by taking a staged shit. Johnny, who just left Gabby and Rachel’s season minutes ago, cannot ignore the siren call of the Floridian blood running through his veins, and begins rapping. Jacob comes out wearing only a giant banana leaf. Jill packs a stuffed version of her cat and then feeds it a bowl of cream. Shanae makes out with a shrimp. Kira the “MD” (I need to see this medical license) drinks one margarita and then takes a blowtorch to her medical career with every word that comes out of her mouth. (I will never forget watching a supposed medical professional claim to treat any ailment with a “double dose” of her breasts, and then proceed to give herself a UTI by grinding into the sand). 

One thing is clear: if, during past seasons of BiP, the contestants were in on the joke, this season they are the joke. They’ve lost all creative control over their own narratives and are now just dancing for our own demented entertainment.

Michael, the daddy-turned-zaddy, is the first to notice that something is amiss. He steps onto the beach and can feel the wrong-ness permeating from the other contestants. It’s like when Odysseus watched all his men be turned into pigs. Michael thought he would be surrounded by attractive, emotionally intelligent singles, and instead finds himself among circus animals. 

ANDREW: First impressions of everyone?
MICHAEL: …youthful.

Oh, sweetie. It will only get worse from here. 

When Crazy Met Crazier

If Michael thought the first few hours of Paradise were crazy, it’s nothing compared to the cataclysmic force of Shanae and Lace meeting each other. They’re both chaos demons in their own right, and should never have been allowed to meet. In fact, I would not be surprised if their meeting is what caused the plane to go down in LostTheir love story may not be good for mankind, but it is certainly good for my entertainment. It’s still early, but this might be my favorite love story to come out of Paradise yet.

For those who don’t remember Lace: SHAME ON YOU for forgetting such a national treasure. Lace was on Ben Higgins’ season of The Bachelor and is representative of the kind of contestant I would be on the franchise. Drunk, hateful, eyelashes askew, and probably about to cry in 2.5 margaritas? Hello, it’s me. 

Then there’s Shanae, whose return to our television screens can only be the result of some dark séance gone awry. You can practically smell the sulfur in the air.

But like attracts like, and these two immediately gravitate toward one another. They become support systems for each other in the way that only two emotionally stunted barn animals can. When Lace is feeling down about the fact that she’s 32, and her Paradise debut happened when most of these girls were still learning how to use a tampon, Shanae is there to give her the pep talk she really didn’t need. It’s like when you coax your friend back out to the bars after she vomited on the street and took a nap in the bathroom stall. Perhaps we should let sleeping dogs stay passed out.  

Lace has never met a one-drink minimum that she didn’t obliterate, and I’m happy to see that a six-year absence from the franchise hasn’t changed her. After Shanae trickles some flat champagne down her throat to get her to rise and shine, Lace is stumbling back toward the beach, ready to feed off the life force of some unsuspecting man. Like a black widow weaving its web, she decides to lie and tell the guys that it’s her birthday as a ploy for attention. To this I say: ONLY RESPECT FOR MY PRESIDENT. My god, I love this woman. 

Does it work for her? Absolutely, if you define success as Logan calling her by the wrong name and her ending the night losing an eyelash crying in the confessionals. But it certainly worked for me and my personal enjoyment. Keep up the good work, Lace. You’re doing amazing, sweetie. 

Couples Alert

The sunscreen hasn’t even fully soaked into Jacob’s exposed ass cheeks before the hookups commence. Sparks are flying all over that beach. Well, it’s some combination of sparks and the obscene amount of tequila Wells is pouring down their throats. I’ll spare you the gory details, and instead give you my immediate reactions to these couplings (spoiler alert: I’m sickened).

Serene & Brandon: are kismet, I’m calling it now. They may have nothing in common beyond their poreless, perfect faces, but they are kismet nonetheless. The fates demand they procreate (or at least get to second on that day bed), lest an angel lose its wings. 

Shanae & Jacob: I’ve never seen two people who deserved each other more. It’s wild listening to a man in a loin cloth talk about how he’s here to find his future wife and then, in the next breath, worry that feeling up Shanae’s collarbone will end in a chubby. Or, as he so eloquently put it, his palm leaf may start sprouting into a full-blown tree.

Teddi & Andrew: Guys, they ain’t it. I hate to say this of my boyfriend Andrew, but this thing he has with Teddi is not cute, it’s awkward. He gets the first date card of the season, and then spends the next seven minutes of programming fumbling the English language. I have seen more romantic finesse at an eighth grade dance, and those things were pretty much just couples aggressively dry-humping to Usher while the guy tries to hide the wet spot on his khakis. They’re two hot people. This shouldn’t be so hard for them!!

Jill & Romeo & Kira: Yes, there’s already a love triangle, but I’m using the definition of that term in the loosest way possible. A love triangle implies that those involved in said triangle are desirable in some way. That is not the case here. Let me introduce the players: Jill, a woman who won’t date you if your astrological sign isn’t compatible with her cat’s; Romeo, an average-looking man with a less than average personality; and Kira, a medical professional who definitely prescribes a finger up the butt as the cure-all treatment for any ailment (again, I would like to see proof of that license).

Romeo knows Kira from college but had a “connection” with Jill before filming. Jill is worried that Kira will ruin her chances with Romeo, though I’m not sure why she feels so threatened. She seemingly had no prior knowledge of Romeo and Kira’s shared history, but she still treats Kira like a caged animal nonetheless. I can’t even verbalize the confrontation between Kira and Jill, because it makes no sense. My roommate’s dog has better conflict management skills, and her idea of gaining the upper hand in a confrontation is to hump her opponent into submission. When they finally stop screaming at each other, Jill runs off to sob in a sand dune, and Kira rebounds with Casey by rubbing his nipples until she feels something again. 

I get the impression that there is something that happened between Kira and Romeo that no one is telling Jill. There is also something that no one is telling Romeo, which is that both of these women are unhinged. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate unlikeable women (hello Lace). But Kira and Jill seem like the type who think re-enacting a Gillian Flynn novel is a fun anniversary surprise. My advice for Romeo? RUN.

Sierra & Michael; Michael may be an old dog, but you can teach him a new trick. You guys, what the fuck was Michael doing in the time between Katie’s season and Paradise? My god, that man is attractive. I did once write in a recap that Michael looks like the kind of guy whose idea of foreplay involves softly crying to Hallmark movies, and I am now walking back that statement. This is me eating crow. 

Early in the episode, he seemed alarmed by all the youths on the beach. After watching Jacob try to rub his exposed ballsack on every bikini-clad woman in his general vicinity, Michael lets out a fearful “I’m too old for this shit.” This is how I know Michael is about to end up with a 21-year-old. Case in point: he hits things off with 25-year-old Sierra, and can’t stop complimenting her skin. He’s like, “it’s so… smooth… and glowing!” WE GET IT, MICHAEL. Women your own age (38) have some waning elasticity in their faces. Must you drag us old spinsters in our 30s so publicly?! And, FYI pal, the reason why Sierra’s skin is glowing is because she’s still on her parents’ insurance. Call me when she has to start paying for her own pap smear and then we’ll talk.

On that note, I’m outtie friends! See you betches next week!

Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin; Giphy (5)

The Best ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ Recap You’ll Ever Read: Thank God It’s Over

Well, kids, we made it. I’m exhausted, I’m out of breath, and my liver is fighting hard not to crumble under the amount of boxed wine it took me to get through this season, but we did it. We have (supposedly) made it to the finale of Bachelor in Paradise. It’s not like I’ve been begging for this moment to happen ever since the producers started making food foreplay a thing before each rose ceremony. 

Speaking of rose ceremonies, this is a big week for the couples. We’ll get to find out which of these lovebirds will ruin their lives by getting engaged to a person they’ve known for about as long as I leave my suitcases packed after a trip and which couples will break up have just brought shame upon their households by dry humping anything with a pulse all summer. Let’s dive into it!

Abigail & Noah

Last week was a tough one for Noah and Abigail. Not only did Noah get a glimpse of their future and then promptly attempt to moonwalk away from it, but they were forced to have that conversation while dressed like extras from the set of Pretty in Pink. And not, like, the popular extras from that movie. God, imagine looking so heinous during a breakup that is broadcast to millions of people? That 80s theme was definitely crafted to humiliate them further. Bravo, ABC. Bravo. 

As Abigail gives a full-on Josie Grossie meltdown, Noah gives her a solid five extra minutes of his time before being like “well, good season everyone! It was fun while it lasted!” Sir, this isn’t the ending to a Mighty Ducks movie. What kind of exit speech is that? Hearts are on the line here!

NOAH: She’s a great girl, but are we each other’s soul mates?
ALSO NOAH:

I do appreciate how realistic Noah is being here. I mean, he’s not wrong. In a matter of days these people will have to get engaged to each other. And while the sanctity of marriage means nothing to this franchise, it still seems laughable to me that any of them feel the relationship they built on mimosas and tequila shots is strong enough to withstand an engagement. Noah is still trying to figure out how to layer all of those delicate necklaces, for god’s sake. He’s not ready for that kind of commitment! 

Oh, Jesus Christ. Why is Serena crying? Word gets out about Abigail and Noah’s breakup and the news rocks the rest of the contestants. Why they’re mourning this relationship like it’s a beloved grandparent and not some white dude with a penchant for wearing shirts unbuttoned to his navel turning out to be a fuckboy, I’m not sure. I can only assume it’s the Stolkholm Syndrome fully setting in that has these people in such stitches. 

Becca & Thomas

Every time I see Becca and Thomas on my screen, I’m taken aback. A former beloved Bachelorette talking to a man who was banished from his season with all of the power of a generations-strong witches curse? Make! It! Make! Sense! 

While Thomas and Becca were mooning over each other at prom and picked each other at the last rose ceremony, Becca is having doubts about attending the fantasy suite with him. Case in point: Thomas tells Becca that he’s all in with her, and she visibly cringes. Wow, not a strong start. 

BECCA: I’m just not sure I’m there yet. I think I need more time.
THOMAS: 

HAHAHAHA. Thomas is so messy for drama and I love it. Before Becca can even finish her thought, Thomas begins openly weeping on that day bed. He warbles something about one day maybe being able to love again and then stumbles for the exit. Becca chases after him to probably tell him to slow his roll, she just meant she wants to continue dating him, but Thomas has already committed to the main character energy and can’t be tamed. He’s like, “if you ever loved me just let me go!” and I’m dead. DECEASED. I’ve had less dramatic exits leaving a Macy’s dressing room in 7th grade. If you really want to perfect that method acting, Tommy, try embodying the mindset of a barely pubescent girl who is both looking for a “sexy” dress for the school dance and simultaneously afraid to shave her legs above the knee. 

Also, it feels very meta watching their relationship play out on the show because if you’ve been following either of them at all IRL, you’d see that they don’t go a single day without @ing each other on social media. So, like, what am I even watching here? They’re clearly still together. ABC, stop wasting my time with this old footage and give me the good stuff!!  

Maurissa & Riley

Riley and Maurissa continue to prove that love isn’t actually dead. They decide to go to the fantasy suites together, partly because they want to see if their relationship can make it in the real world and partly because they ran out of whipped cream on the beach anyway. Also, I love that they all think a night in the fantasy suites will properly prepare them for the real world. Yes, champagne and private hot tubs is exactly the harsh dose of reality they needed to get an accurate picture of life outside of Paradise. 

One of the most raw moments of Bachelor television I’ve ever witnessed occurs when Riley tells Maurissa that he has this recurring dream about Sunday mornings, one where he wakes up to a wife and kids and lazy days in bed and, Y’ALL, I AM CRYING IN THIS CLUB RN. 

RILEY: When I see you, I see Sunday morning
ME:

I AM NOT WELL. It’s actually unhealthy how happy I am for these complete strangers. I’m so happy for them that I will even ignore Maurissa slipping in a joke about sucking his toes during the proposal scene the next day. I’m so happy that I’ll even ignore how distracted I am by the fact that these people are melting right before my very eyes. My god, did they have to propose on the surface of the sun?! I’ve seen people leave less wet after a SeaWorld performance. 

Also, just gonna leave this here:

 

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Mari & Kenny

Like every other couple this week, Kenny and Mari also have to decide if they’re going to take their relationship to the next level. Kenny says that his only concern about Mari is her age, which is fun because last week his biggest concern was that she wouldn’t let him dip her entire body in queso on a Wednesday. Those seem like two contrasting concerns, but okay.

Going into the fantasy suites, Kenny continues to question Mari’s commitment to their relationship. He says that she’s never really been 100% with him. LOL. This coming from the guy who played topless volleyball with Tia and brought Demi to the boom boom room. But sure, Mari is the one who isn’t ready for marriage…

KENNY: No one expects me to get married, no one expects me to have kids.

Yes, well, that could be because of the smattering of star tattoos sprinkled across your ribcage. 

Cut to the proposal day and Mari looks absolutely stunning. Kenny, meanwhile, looks less like he’s about to propose and more like he’s about to shout “SPRING BREAK, BITCHES” into a crowd full of college kids and then pelt them with jello shots. His actual proposal isn’t much better. He says that it wasn’t love at first sight with them but it was “something.” Why do I have the feeling he’s referring to his boner here? At least class it up for this one thing, Kenny!

KENNY: *waggles eyebrows* I asked Mari to mari me
ME:

And just like that, they’re engaged! I can’t wait to see the tuxedo-printed bro tank Kenny designs for their wedding day. Should be magical. 

Serena & Joe

ABC tried hard to make the finale into something that wasn’t 180 minutes of footage of melatonin given physical form, only to fail miserably in that endeavor. They particularly focused those efforts on Joe and Serena’s relationship. I assume they took one look at Serena’s butterfly hair clips and Soffee shorts and struggled, as I did, to take this relationship seriously. It seems like low-hanging fruit to me, but who am I to judge?

The happy couple goes off to the Fantasy Suites for a night of Joe having to explain to Serena that it’s impolite to ask the waiter the alcohol percentage of each wine. Joe says that he thought he would be more confused going into proposal day, but instead he’s never been more sure about his feelings for Serena. I mean, actually his exact words were: “everything that just happened between us is just natural” and it’s like, we get it, Joe. She’s so young you don’t need lube. Enough. 

Cut to proposal day and Joe is standing on the beach wearing his best Costco bulk order polo when who should appear? KENDALL. Okay, this is just cruel at this point. What is the point of bringing Kendall back? Haven’t we exhausted this plot point already? And Kendall, girlfriend, I’ve defended you throughout this season but this is… too far. Which family member is ABC holding for ransom behind the scenes, because I can’t believe you did this of your own free will! 

Ultimately, Kendall’s reappearance does nothing to deter him from proposing to Serena. He says that even though he’s old enough to have a MySpace account and she’s young enough to have a Finsta, they can make it work (I paraphrase). Never mind that Serena isn’t even a U.S. citizen. I for one, cannot WAIT to see the 90 Day Fiancé x Bachelor Nation spin-off this relationship has the power to generate. I ask for so little, just let me have this one thing! 

JOE & SERENA: 

 

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KENDALL, A GIRL WHO IS TOTALLY DOING FINE:

 

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And that’s the season, kids! We have exactly two weeks until Michelle’s season of The Bachelorette airs, so I’ll be spending that down time constantly refreshing Maurissa’s IG feed to live vicariously through her happiness. Until then!

Images: Craig Sjodin / ABC; Giphy (4); @joeamabile1 /Instagram (1); @itskendalllong /Instagram (1); @bachelorettewindmill /Instagram (1)

The Best ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ Recap You’ll Ever Read: Off With Their Heads!

Welcome back to the best Bachelor in Paradise recap you’ll ever read! It’s your lucky day, betches, because you’re getting two recaps in one. This of course has everything to do with convenience for you, dear readers, and nothing at all to do with me being so violently hungover from LDW that my stomach still turns if anyone even thinks the words “green tea shots” near my general vicinity. I do it all for you!

And I’m not the only one going hard for America. It looks like this week ABC stopped being polite and started getting real. Monday and Tuesday night’s episodes were truly wild. At one point I had the distinct thought that next the producers might let loose live tigers on the beach to eat them all alive. It would be a kindness at this point. 

THE BiP CAST MATES AT ANY POINT THIS WEEK:

There is A LOT to cover from the last two days so, for those of you looking for more of a highlights reel situation (the audacity), luckily for you, I got lazy. So without further ado:

Batshit Things That Happened That Were Only Mildly Entertaining

• Noah’s neck started to look like a Francesca’s clearance rack with the amount of delicate necklaces he’s accumulated
• Tituss Burgess took over as host and I’m not impressed (smite me, I dare you)
• Noah and Abigail’s love was rekindled (or at the very least, they have agreed to go back to being friends who politely kiss for the sake of roses)
• Tia lusted over Kenny
• Mari lusted over Kenny
• Demi lusted over Kenny
• Kenny lusted over himself for being a heartthrob for the first time since the original 90210 aired
• ABC threw a house party
Becca made the moves on Thomas

And now for the real dirt…

Hurricane Kendall: Continued

Monday night’s episode opens with Kendall returning to Paradise. For those of you newbies to BiP, Kendall and Joe met and fell in love on this very beach a few seasons back. I think I speak for all of us when I say her return is the most shocking thing to happen all season. And by “shocking,” I mean a producer orchestrated the entire scene to within an inch of its life. 

The first thing Kendall does is pull Joe aside for a “talk”, and it definitely feels like this conversation didn’t have to happen under such high stakes circumstances. Like, Kendall, whatever happened to getting blitzed on wine flights with your girlies, realizing three drinks in that you’re the last single one at the table and the only guy to get fresh with you recently had the hobbies of a stock photo person, drinking three more drinks, and then ending the night crying in a bathroom, scrolling through photos of your ex before finally finding the courage to leave a tear-stained voicemail on his phone that sounds suspiciously like Olivia Rodrigo song lyrics?? Be a normal person, okay!! You’re not better than us!

I can already tell that Kendall’s interference with Joe’s new relationship will have America wanting to skin her alive like one of her taxidermy babies, but honestly I’m on her side. Supposedly the reason they broke up was over logistics. He didn’t want to stay in LA, she didn’t want to move to Chicago. I’m getting the feeling that the breakup was a temporary move to prove a point, except neither of them caved. And yet here he is dating some Gossip Girl-named Gen-Zer who lives in a whole-ass other country. THE FACTS AREN’T ADDING UP, JOSEPH. 

Speaking of which, where does this leave Joe and Serena? While at first it very much seemed like Joe would like to have his cake and eat it too, in the end he decides to only pursue things with Serena. He admits that Kendall’s arrival is bringing up old feelings for him, but they’re done 100%, which is not really how he phrases it to Kendall, but okay pal. 

And look, it’s not that I’m rooting for Kendall, I’m just actively rooting for Joe to date someone his own age (hi). Sorry to all you #Jerena shippers, but that’s just the way the cookie is crumbling, okay!!

The First Rule About Influencing Is That You Don’t Talk About Influencing 

Every generation needs a Bonnie and Clyde, a hot couple to upend society and blow up their lives for our own entertainment. This season our Bonnie is a girl whose name is spelled like it’s a mistake and a guy whose love language is turtlenecks. Not really what we asked for, but if you’re looking for the end of civilization as we know it, I think it might start with any offspring spawned by these two (and, yes, I’m counting any Instagram couple accounts). 

Monday night we saw the return of Pieper. For weeks now, Brendan has been dogged by rumors that he and Pieper were dating prior to his coming to Paradise, and that he’s actually currently in a relationship with her. He, of course, denied the rumors and pledged his feelings to Natasha (if vague affirmations and minimal touching can be considered a “pledge”). Now we know that story was absolute bullshit. 

Pieper walks into Paradise and WITHOUT EVEN READING HER DATE CARD OR LOOKING AT ANOTHER HUMAN ON THE BEACH chooses Brendan for the date. Sus. Then we get to their date. Brendan is trying to play it off like the two of them just have some sort of instant connection. Meanwhile, Pieper is blowing their cover story to smithereens. 

PIEPER: Why are you acting like we don’t know each other? We’re dating. Here, let me say it 1,000 more times on camera. WE’RE DATINGGGGG.
BRENDAN:

And this, friends, is why you don’t enlist someone whose resume is just a link to their TikTok to assist you in your grift. 

Okay, these two are both garbage monsters who deserve to be banished to a remote cave until the end of their days. Why did they do this? For followers? An Us Weekly spread? A free trip to a mediocre Mexican resort with no air conditioning and a bartender whose “official training” included two hours of liking things on Pinterest? I repeat: I. don’t. get. it. 

And what’s worse than Brendan’s betrayal of Natasha or their outright disrespect for the fandom is how supremely bad they are at controlling their own narratives. Brendan fully admits to Pieper that he manipulated Natasha into keeping him around so he could wait for her to show up. He says this ON CAMERA. Like, do they understand they’re being recorded? Just because you yell “cut!” doesn’t mean the cameras have stopped rolling. 

And then there’s Natasha. She has been so chill and mature throughout this whole thing. I just really want her to give herself permission to set something ablaze. Instead of acting petty or starting hurtful rumors, she goes straight to the source. She asks Pieper outright if they were dating already and Pieper is like “yeah, but it’s not like we even made a vlog about it yet, so what’s the big deal??” A VLOG. It’s sickening. 

While Pieper’s confrontation with Natasha made me want to scream violently into the void, Brendan’s confrontation actually made me consider commenting on his mother’s Instagram to tell her, in detail, what kind of trash her son is. Did you raise him to behave like this??

Instead of coming clean or acting remotely remorseful, he chooses to emotionally bully Natasha into silence. I think at one point he says that he never had feelings for Natasha and that her own “selective hearing” is to blame if she ever thought that was the case.  

BRENDAN: She had no viable options other than me. I didn’t keep her from anyone here.
ME TO MY DOG, ALONE IN OUR LIVING ROOM: 

Wow, the producers really are trying to get this man killed. Brendan keeps acting like Natasha is not gorgeous and sweet and someone absolutely anyone with working eyes and ears would want to fuck. But by all means, continue to bury your IG stats alive…

Do you hear that?? The sound of Brendan’s popularity plummeting? #bachelorinparadiseabc

— The Betchelor🥀 (@betchelorpod) September 7, 2021

More than anything, the thing that cements their fates is how obvious they are about their clout-chasing. The morning after their date, the cameras pan to them lounging in (what they assume is) a secluded corner. To the delight of the producers they then proceed to dissect their Instagram stats and predict how their fake love story will result in better magazine coverage and sponsorship deals. On camera. While talking directly into their microphones. Jesus fucking Christ. Okay, listen kids. The first rule of influencing IS THAT YOU DON’T TALK ABOUT THE INFLUENCING. YOU IDIOTS. 

What’s most infuriating is that they seemingly get away with their scam. When Natasha voices her frustrations about the situation to the other contestants, they mostly ignore her. The guys even openly side with Brendan.

By Tuesday’s episode, Brendan and Pieper’s clout-chasing is barely a plot line anymore. Instead, the focus shifts to Chris and Jessenia’s relationship, where Chris is accused, tried, and convicted of the very same crime Brendan and Pieper are guilty of. 

Let’s set the scene: One of Tituss’ first decrees as host is to invite a chosen few to a “VIP” party off site. “VIP” feels like a strong exaggeration of the vibe, given the high school gym setting and middle school dance flashbacks the scenery evokes. They might as well play Usher’s  “Yeah” and see how long it takes for these boys to pop an accidental boner in their khakis.

Side note: to emphasize the fact that ABC is done talking about the Natasha/Brendan/Pieper storyline, they don’t even invite our queen to their sad little house party. Like, if anyone on this planet deserves a drink rn…

NATASHA NOT GETTING INVITED TO THE VIP PARTY: 

The party creates maximum chaos for Jessenia and Chris. I wasn’t far off earlier when I mentioned ABC producers’ inclination to throw live tigers at these people. Sub out “tigers” for “random hoes” and the effect is about the same. That’s right, the moment the party begins, four new girls arrive on the scene to shake things up. Chris immediately hits it off with Alana, whom we are told is a person who was on this franchise at some point in her life. Seems fake, but okay.

Even though Alana has been in Mexico for less time than it takes to go through airport customs, Chris decides he’s in love and breaks things off with Jessenia. I tried to tell you, Jessenia. Never trust a boy with vocal fry. 

 

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Tbh, I barely even took notes during this section because it was so boring compared to the other drama that happened this week. But alas, this is what the people of Paradise choose to rally against. While Brendan and Pieper discuss which TikTok dance to use to debut their couple status, the rest of the contestants plan how to get away with Chris’ international murder.

Riley and Joe are at the forefront of this angry mob. Joe is talking like he knows people who could “handle” the situation. Just say the word, guys. Seriously. Say it. Though I appreciate them standing up for Jessenia, it feels a little hypocritical after Joe completely blew off Natasha’s concerns the night before. I mean, where is the outrage against Brendan?

Sure, Chris and Alana probably knew each other before filming. But I think it was more of a flirty crush and/or one-time hook up. I don’t think they were full-on dating like Brendan and Pieper clearly were. At the very least they gave a decent go at pretending to be strangers before the show. (Thank you for humoring us, btw). Their crimes feel juvenile in comparison. Chris is getting the backlash that Brendan and Pieper so clearly deserve, and it’s infuriating to watch. 

We’ll have to wait until next week to see if Natasha gets the justice she deserves. Until then I’ll just keep refining my manifesto that warns against the dangers of trusting men in skinny jeans. TTYL!

Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin; Giphy (4); @thebetchelor /Twitter (1); @bitchelorette_ /Instagram (1)

The Best ‘Bachelor In Paradise’ Recap You’ll Ever Read: Naked And Afraid

Welcome back to Hell! Once again, we find ourselves shackled to our couches for the sake of watching grown adults slowly poison themselves one skinny margarita at a time. Ah, yes. It’s good to be home. 

The Never-Ending Rose Ceremony

Speaking of home, when last we left off we were moments away from finding out which of the men would live to black out on the beach another day and which of them would have to take their talents back to the DMs (honestly, where all of these barn animals belong). Up on the chopping block tonight we have: Aaron, Thomas, Karl, Connor, Ivan, Chris, and Chasen.

In my last recap, I alluded to there being an undercurrent of sexual tension between Aaron and Thomas, and I’m happy to report that, boy, is that tension still alive and thriving. They both claim that Tammy is the object of their affections and yet “Tammy” appears to only be a thinly veiled excuse for the two of them to bump chests and make heated eye contact on a secluded corner of the beach. I’m picking up what you’re putting down, boys. 

Aaron is pissed because he thinks Tammy should be happy with their relationship. I’m sorry but, “relationship” is a bit of a stretch. The two of you have built some sort of connection off of looking hot on beaches and agreeing to generally stand near each other when the cameras are in range. That’s not a relationship, that’s a business transaction. 

Meanwhile, Thomas has, like, actually shown physical interest in Tammy. I know because I yell “hands!!” and cover my eyes in disgust every time the two of them start to go at it on a day bed. Idk, Aaron. I feel like this is a you problem, not a Thomas problem. 

AARON: I can’t believe she would do this to me… I gave her EVERYTHING!!
ABC’S GREEK CHORUS: 

Also, let’s talk about Aaron’s behavior for a second. For someone who has built a reputation on this franchise as some sort of knight in shining armor, slayer of bad-intentioned men, and self-proclaimed “savior” of grown-ass women who have working eyes and ears and can look out for themselves just fine—he is acting like quiet the fuckboy this evening. 

Tammy tries to have a calm, adult conversation with him about her feelings for Thomas. Sure, she could have been more honest and upfront with Aaron, but they’ve been dating for five days. Get over it. Aaron, in turn, starts gaslighting the shit out of Tammy. He says that Tammy “straddled” Thomas in front of everyone, and the use of that term feels very strategic and slut-shamey to me. This has everything to do with him feeling embarrassed and hardly anything to do with his actual feelings toward Tammy. 

Look at the way he positions this conversation. It’s all about what Tammy did to him. She humiliated him. She made him a laughing stock. And then he ends the conversation with a threat: you will regret this. Yikes.

Our women’s ally, everyone! It’s good to know that we’ll have Aaron in our corner, fighting the good fight, so long as we continually pad his ego and never engage in consensual semi-sexual acts with people he tried to control us from interacting with in the first place. The women’s movement needs more support from guys like this, amiright?

The rest of the rose ceremony is pure chaos. While Aaron sends smoldering looks toward Thomas from across the bar, another love triangle plays out between Karl, Deandra, and Chasen. Both guys have set their sights on Deandra’s rose, and have decided that the best way to go about winning her affections is by gifting her with heinous jewelry. A bold move, Cotton. 

Meanwhile, Tre decides to take himself out of the rose ceremony completely and self-eliminate from Paradise, despite absolutely no one asking him to do so. Like… you already had… a rose…? He’s like “me and Tahzjuan just aren’t clicking” and it’s like, is it that you’re not “clicking” or is it that she “clicked” with your uncle first? What’s the truth, Tre!

TRE’S UNCLE RN:

By now, the rose ceremony has dragged on for approximately three quarters of this episode. ABC does love to punish their audience, but this feels particularly Promethean in nature. For those of you uncultured swine whose eyes just stumbled over that analogy, Prometheus was a figure in Greek mythology who was punished by Zeus for gifting man with fire. His punishment involved having his liver devoured by an eagle every day for all eternity. Replace “violent removal of entrails” with “listening to Aaron moan about his romantic prospects on loop”, and I’m feeling Prometheus’ pain. Honestly, I’d take the eagle. 

Let’s look at the results of the rose ceremony, shall we? The lineup goes as such:

Seniors Night

That’s right folks! You read that last line right. At the tail end of the rose ceremony, Becca Kufrin makes her triumphant return to the Bachelor franchise. Well, as triumphant as you can be slinking into Mexico to find love with franchise rejects after breaking off an engagement with someone who probably thinks QAnon theories “have merit.” Good luck to you, sweetie!

I guess I’m the only one who’s unimpressed, because everyone is acting like ABC just dropped a Hadid on the beach with them. The girls are like “it’s over for us hoes, Becca can have anyone here!” but they do realize that Becca is just a mall-person from Minnesota… right? I mean, for god’s sake, Tahzjuan took one look at Becca and hopped in a cab back to the airport. It’s madness! 

 

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I wonder if it has anything to do with her age. At 30, Becca is one of the oldest women here. Perhaps it’s that air of authority, that knowledge that Wells won’t question her I.D. at the bar, that makes her so attractive. Like how when you’re growing up you think your babysitter is the hottest person alive, but in reality she’s just an 11th grader with a penchant for scrunching her hair. Yeah, like that.

Tia Booth also returns to Paradise this week. The addition of Tia and Becca to the cast effectively raises the median age of female cast members from “basically 21” to “if I drink two margaritas I’m going to need a Tums.” I love this vibe. 

While Becca hits it off with Aaron (ew), Tia only seems to have eyes for Kenny and asks him to go on a date with her. Joe’s like, “I knew it, Kenny is very much her type.” Okay, but who would call that man their type? He’s not so much a “type” as the kind of person you can’t avoid once you cross state lines into Florida. 

DEMI: Life is hard when you’re dating the hottest guy on the beach
THE GUY: 

Seriously, WHAT is the appeal here?

If Demi thought she had reason to worry about Tia, just WAIT until she learns about the other three naked people on their date. While some couples get to go jet skiing or enjoy a romantic candlelit dinner, Tia and Kenny get to play nude volleyball with random beach people. Well, ABC is certainly creating a mood here (even if that mood is “y’all need Jesus”). 

The amount of times I’ve heard “labia” and “flaccid penis” in the last five minutes is making me want to soak my brain in bleach. Like, this isn’t even sexy! It’s a miserable day for a beach volleyball game, naked or not. You can tell it’s humid as hell and in a constant state of drizzling. Wet sand has got to be everywhere. The vibes on the beach now are less “second chance at love” and more “naked and afraid.”

What’s crazy is how easy it is for Kenny to talk Tia out of her top. All it takes is a wink and cajoling smile from a townie cover band manager and suddenly she’s throwing away her morals and bringing dishonor to her family’s good name. It’s a tale as old as time. 

DEMI: I’m not worried. She’s not as fun as me.
TIA: *flashes china pot* 

Tia! What will the prayer circle back home say??

Hurricane Kendall 

Most of tonight’s episode highlights the love story blossoming between Serena P and Joe. By “highlights” I mean they show a clip of Serena asking Joe what his last name was and we are to understand that this means they’re connecting on intimate levels. The bar is so low here. 

But of course, ABC would never just let people be happy. No, no, no. The second they sense Joe isn’t about to fling himself into the ocean from despair, they decide to bring him right back to the brink by calling in the big guns: Kendall. That’s right, KENDALL IS BACK, BITCHES. Question: Has Kendall always had that slamming body? Or did she bring it out just to torture Joe in this moment? 

JOE: I’ve finally moved on. I’m so happy.
KENDALL: Hey butthead.

HEY BUTTHEAD. HEY! BUTTHEAD!!!

Can you imagine being Serena P in this moment? And having to watch your new love interest get emotionally ruined after his ex shows up and greets him with a third grader’s slur? 

I’ll be on the edge of my seat until next week!

Images: Craig Sjodin / ABC; @bitchelorette_ /Instagram (1); @floridaman_ /Twitter (1); Giphy (2)

The Best ‘Bachelor In Paradise’ Recap You’ll Ever Read: Dean’s Got The Van Running

Hello, Bachelor Nation! I think we’re in the bad place. We all survived a long weekend of drinking and debauchery only to be rewarded with writing a recap of a show where people are snotting out their spicy margaritas. Just me? Fine, you enjoy, I’ll suffer. Shall we get on with it?

Last night on Bachelor in Paradise, Derek eliminated himself because no one will ever love him wahhh wahhh wahhh, Old Matt Donald and Nick Viall’s pre-plastic surgery doppelganger showed up, and JPJ cried over Tayshia.

It’s the morning and Blake shows up to the bar, super confused that Derek left. Where were you when Papa gathered all the kiddies around his knee to tell them his bad news, Blake? Stealing a producer’s phone to DM future Bachelor contestants?

Blake tells us that he feels like he’s “burned” bridges with every woman here. Those quotes were his own. I do not think Blake knows how to use air quotes. I’ll be adding this to the list of grievances I have on him. We’re on to page two.

JPJ is still distressed about Tayshia and is seeking counseling from everyone. Chris B is not a therapist just because he’s old, John! This is a man who competed on the god-forsaken Bachelor Pad. I’m not even confident he has a high school education. Do not trust him!

Chris and Katie are talking about taking their relationship to the next level, and good for them, but I totally forgot they were a thing. But why is he dressed like Huckleberry Finn?

JPJ decides it’s time to talk to Tayshia after everything that happened between them. She says she needs him to trust her and not to question her, and he agrees and is this what it looks like when someone is hypnotized? Because JPJ seems very out of it. Tayshia also tells the audience that she can’t see him long-term. So I guess she just wanted to hypnotize him into sleeping with her, and then keep a lock of his hair in her memory box to sniff and reminisce when she’s old and gray.

Guys, Clay is in his feelings about Angela. He says that it’s hard for him to watch his ex hanging out with other men, but that he doesn’t have feelings for her anymore. His face tells a different story.

Chase from JoJo’s season shows up. I guess he wasn’t able to find love on the countless other reality shows he’s frequented since JoJo dumped his ass. He claims he’s into Angela, they had a good time at the wedding, and he’d like to get to know her better. Does this actually happen? Because anyone I’ve ever had a good time at a wedding with seems to have joined witness protection.

Chase gets a date card and immediately invites Angela. Clay throws up in his mouth, chokes it down, and claims he’s totally not jealous! He seems very stressed about the idea that he has to continue to see his ex dating, and says he didn’t sign up for this. I would say you should learn to read your contract a little closer, sweetie, because I’m pretty sure ABC puts “we live to f*ck up your life” over and over in the fine print.

Okay Clay is OBSESSED with Angela. He continues to talk about her. If I have to hear her name out of his mouth one more time I swear I’m shutting this TV off right now! And then turning it directly back on because I’m sure you all would burn me at the stake for missing this recap! But I would turn it off for a second! And then rewind the parts I missed! I’m so mad!

On their date, Chase asks Angela how she feels about her “ex on the beach” right now and he’s definitely confused about what show he’s on. Chase, honey, you WERE on Ex on the Beach, a show so atrocious not even me, queen of garbage, could make it through a season. THIS is Bachelor in Paradise. Work the correct name into casual conversation, or stop going on trashy reality dating shows. Your choice.

Blake is contemplating life, love, and what his mom is doing right now, when it dawns on him that he wants to be with Kristina. He says they’ve never been all in on each other, which must feel real nice for Kristina coming from a guy she f*cked, but that he wants to give it a try now. She asks him if they can continue this conversation tomorrow to see if he still feels this way, and by that I assume she means to see if he sleeps with Caelynn tonight.

Oh we’re headed to a rose ceremony. I forgot what these were like. Oh, Chris Harrison. I forgot what he was like. Oh yes, he’s a sassy b*tch, love you Chris!

Sydney asks Matt if he likes her and if he wants to kiss her.

Matt:

Okay Matt, it’s cute that you’re shy, but this is a dating show! Someone get this man 11 tequila shots. Wells?! Where you at?

Oh GOD, now even Chris has to give Matt a talking to. So last season he was forced to explain to Colton which hole it goes in, and now he has to coax a grown man into using a little tongue. I imagine Chris just walks around mumbling “I’m too old for this sh*t” all day long.

JPJ is giving Matt Donald the most action he’s seen on this show when he towels him down to get all the sweat off him. Once Matt is fully dried off, he heads over to Sydney to give us the cringiest makeout scene of all time. I watched it through my fingers and that was still too much of this.

“My mom is going to kill me.” I’m sorry, but doesn’t his mom know what this show is? Just because she’s deaf doesn’t mean she hasn’t heard about the trash that is Bachelor in Paradise, Matty. She knows you might put your tongue in someone else’s mouth. SHE KNOWS.

Clay decides to confront Angela, because he’s totally not still hung up on her, and says he wants to get things out in the open. The only thing I’m getting out of this conversation is that they disagreed on the amount of time a person should spend in the gym. I’m with Angela on this one—four hours a day is too much time for a person to spend anywhere other than on the couch binge watching old episodes of Criminal Minds. You’re a sick man, Clay.

Blake and Kristina have another serious conversation, and he asks her to give him a chance. She is skeptical because she has met him.

Oh wow, I forgot it was a rose ceremony again. I really never remember that there is a purpose to these shows other than to punish me for wishing my coworker’s children that are running around the office all day will trip on something.

The women have the roses tonight, and it goes as such:

Nicole picks Clay

Angela picks Chase

Kristian picks Demi

Hannah picks Dylan

Katie picks Chris

Haley picks Luke

Caelynn picks Connor

Sydney picks Matt

Tayshia picks JPJ

Kristina picks Blake

This means Mike has to go, which is a bummer for everyone, because even though Mike calls women his “queen” and says things like “it’s beautiful you say that,” he’s a freaking catch.

The next day, Kristina and Blake are talking about their future and what’s going to happen between them. He says if a new girl walks down the stairs, he doesn’t think that anyone would go on a date. And it appears he spoke too soon, because Bri shows up and Blake looks like if he had access to a genie, he would wish he could take the last 48 hours back.

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Bri pulls Blake aside and asks him to chat. His genie is working! Oh, apparently they met at the wedding too. Was this a wedding or a f*cking meat market? I’m convinced no vows were exchanged and this was just one giant orgy.

Blake asks Kristina to chat. He tells her that he did talk to Bri at the wedding, but that he turned down the date because he knows what he wants. And that’s to not have Kristina sever his genitals with her bare hands tonight.

Bri asks Matt if he would like to go on the date with her, and I think she’s going to be disappointed when she finds out what a prude he is.

Bri and Matt go surfing. Matt seems pleased with the distance these waves afford them. I think he’s hoping he’ll drown before he has to tell his mother he kissed another girl on national TV.

OH WOW. Matty has no problems getting it up for Bri! He definitely wasn’t thinking of his mom right now. Or maybe he was…

Hannah and Dylan start talking about life after Paradise.

Hannah: I can move to Cali and we can go on walks and be normal
Dylan: and we can wear cut off sweatshirts
Me:

Does Dylan remind anyone else of Tom Sandoval?

Caelynn tells Hannah that she and Connor are “going to the boom boom room” tonight. I really feel like all my trashy reality shows are being mixed into one large heap of garbage. Caelynn also says that she completely forgot about Dean, and she’s happy she didn’t end up with him. So naturally Dean’s about to come in like a wrecking ball.

Dean walks down the beach, mustache free, as if a quick shave will help redeem his awful personality. He immediately asks Caelynn if they can talk for a sec.

Oh good, he is giving Caelynn a full recap of what happened between them. Dean. This whole filming process is like nine days. She remembers. We remember.

He says he rented a car and drove to the Grand Canyon? Isn’t the point of living in your van the fact that you can drive it? In fact, you can drive it right off that cliff if you want!

Caelynn says it’s easy with Connor, and Dean says “who the f*ck wants easy?” I raise my hand alone in my apartment.

Caelynn is torn between her precious eighth grade graduate and the man who until recently had a pervy mustache and celebrates half birthdays. It’s a tough choice, I’ll give her that.

Dean says he needs to stop running from the good things in his life and he’d like to figure it out with Caelynn. He wants her to leave Paradise with him today. Why must it be today? Did he leave the van running?

Next week, Caelynn must make her very own Sophie’s Choice, and Paradise will mercifully come to an end. Can’t wait to see who pretends to get engaged!

Images: ABC; bGiphy (3); Immortal Illustrated Classics; bachelorinparadise/Instagram