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
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:
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
- Andrew picks Teddi
- Brandon picks Serene
- Zaddy picks Sierra
- Logan picks Shanae
- Casey picks Brittany
- Jacob picks Lace
- Justin picks Genevieve
- Johnny picks Victoria
- Romeo picks Jill
- Hunter and her IBS
- Kira and her second-hand dildo
- Hailey and her eternal sadness
Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin; Giphy (4); ABC (1)