First off, let me apologize for the late posts this week. I was on vacation in New Orleans and couldn't/refused to take time to watch the show. In any case, I'm back and ready to go.
For the second week in a row, Bachelor in Paradise opens with more Joe/Samantha/Juelia/everyone in the cast drama. It’s no surprise either. Joe and Samantha’s near pathological commitment to a lie is downright impressive. I haven’t seen someone continuously lie about trying to get rid of a white girl since OJ Simpson.
We begin with Joe storming off from JJ, who is still trying to fight him. Joe then sits down with Paradise’s bartender, Jorge, and declares he made JJ “his bitch.” I’m not sure what world Joe lives in, where running from a fight equals making someone your “bitch,” but I’d like to live there. I’ve avoided enough fights in my life to have more “bitches” than a Michael Vick.
He's totally a good guy now though, right?
Joe has considerably less confidence off screen, as he confides in Samantha that he “doesn’t know how much longer he can do this.” Samantha says, “Just stop thinking about it” and “I’m having a good time with you, that’s all you should be thinking about.” I’m sure Samantha thinks this is good advice, but in reality it looks more like a plea for Joe to shut the hell up for two minutes.
The pre-rose cocktail party begins with an admission from Joe. He stands before the group and admits to talking with Samantha before arriving in Paradise, a fact he has already stated and everyone else already knows. When multiple people try to question him further on this, Samantha steps in and tries to answer for him. While I totally understand her trepidation in allowing hillbilly Joe to speak for her, Samantha is really Yoko Ono-ing the shit out of this situation. She even tried to convince Tanner (the one person who has seen evidence of their plotting) that they did nothing wrong. That is a level of delusion I can barely comprehend.
Joe later backs up Samantha by saying, “I’m her guy... no, wait… yeah… I’m her guy and she’s my girl.” Either Joe is having some sort of gender identity crisis, or he’s having problems remembering the lines Samantha has been feeding him.
Joe is having sudden realizations about gender.
While this is happening, Ashley I pulls Jared aside to talk. She gushes about how wonderful he is before sitting in an awkward silence for several seconds. Realizing that their conversation isn’t going well, Ashley I tries to save it by coercing Jared into kissing her. Based on how obsessively Ashley I is pining for Jared, I wouldn’t be surprised if the phrase “Just the tip” had been uttered at some point in the night.
Throughout the cocktail party, multiple people try to convince JJ to give his rose to Juelia. At one point or another, practically every cast member voices his or her support for Juelia receiving a rose. Everyone, that is, except for Juelia. While she wants to stay on the show, she also does not want a sympathy rose. It’s odd considering Juelia has campaigned for nothing but sympathy from her fellow cast mates for two weeks straight. It would seem that for the first time ever on Bachelor in Paradise, roses do not equal feelings.
Finally, an hour into the episode, the rose ceremony begins. All the usual couples pair up (you know them by now) until only JJ and Dan are left with roses. The remaining women are Amber, Ashley S, Claire, Juelia, and Megan. In a surprise move, JJ gives his rose to Ashley S, with whom I don’t remember him having a single conversation. If I had to guess, this wasn’t so much JJ’s decision as it was the producers, in order to keep “Crazy Ashley” on the show.
"Pick Ashley S so we can keep pumping her full of booze to get shit like this."
JJ then gives a speech about how he broke up with someone else to come on the show, but now regrets it and plans to leave in order to win her back. The speech was actually very nice, but the Bachelor in Paradise scored it with a fallen soldier-esque march that made the entire situation a little ridiculous. JJ left the show to find love in a more legitimate way; he didn’t dive on a grenade to save Chris Harrison. Settle down, ABC.
As JJ is leaving he says, “I’m making a very grown up decision.” No, JJ. A grown up decision would be choosing to invest in your 401K, or doing your taxes before April 15th, or eating fiber. You are leaving a reality TV show to chase after a woman you scorned. Your decision is “grown up” at best because there is the possibility of sex involved.
Is this what grown ups do?
After JJ leaves to join the army, or whatever it is he was doing, Dan steps forward to give the final rose. He takes a moment to himself while trying to decide between Amber and Juelia, his Eros and Philla loves, respectively. While he is thinking, the entire cast comes together to talk about what a great person Juelia is and how she needs a miracle to stay on the show. Frankly, everyone spends so much time calling Juelia a saint that a miracle might be the final step needed to complete her beatification. It really is a bit overdone.
However, Dan picks Amber for his rose. A dejected Juelia says goodbye to everyone and walks to her waiting car. As she approaches, who should get out of the car but Mikey! He’s come back to rescue Juelia! According to the show, Chris Harrison called Mikey to tell him that Juelia needed his help. Mikey then got on a plane from Chicago and flew down to Mexico in under four hours to surprise her. In reality, Mikey was probably still in his hotel room smelling his own fingers when a production assistant came and got him. It’s less romantic, but definitely more accurate.
The two rejoin the group to the delight of everyone except Joe. “I think Juelia coming back is great,” he says through clenched teeth. When asked why he didn’t look happy about it Joe said, “My face never looks happy.” You and me both, Joe. Whenever you’re on screen, my face never looks happy either.
Once everyone is back at the bungalow, Tanner receives a date card and, of course, picks Jade. The two are to immediately whisked away to Tequila, Mexico. I, like Jade, did not know there was a Tequila, Mexico. However, like Hershey, Pennsylvania or Proctor, Vermont, it was pretty obvious what the town was famous for. More on their date later.
I assume Proctor, VT is full of Proctologists?
The next morning, Nick (Ashley’s season) arrives in Paradise. Like Joe, Nick, had also been talking to Samantha for several months before arriving on the show. He tries to capitalize on their previous relationship by asking Samantha out on a date, but is surprised to find her (for the last time) faithful to Joe. While he is confused by this rejection, Mikey gives a surprisingly lucid rundown of the relationship statuses of everyone on the show. Honestly, I’m surprised Mikey can remember his own name much less the names and love interests of a dozen other people.
With Mikey’s information in hand, Nick asks out Ashley S, who agrees. Nick describes her as “the obvious choice.” I think what he meant to say was, “She’s the obvious second choice. Because… You know… I already asked out Samantha.” At best, Ashley S was the obvious choice because she was the only single woman in Paradise.
Nick and Ashley S were scheduled to go to a small island off the Mexican coast. However, when they arrive at the dock a local worker informs them that plans have changed. In broken English, the worker tells them that they cannot go to the island because a hurricane is approaching. Nick and Ashley S say they cannot understand him because they don’t speak Spanish. Again, the man is speaking in broken English, so a lack of Spanish should not be a problem. I think what they meant to say was, “Your accent seems kind of Spanish-y and I’m too lazy to actually listen.” I’m sorry, Mexico. I swear we’re not all like this.
Let’s go back to Jade and Tanner’s date. The two have a wonderful time at the tequila distillery and eventually find a card from Chris Harrison offering them a fantasy suite. The two enthusiastically accepted the opportunity. Am I wrong, or were fantasy suites reserved for the final week of Bachelor in Paradise during the first season? Are they just trying to level the playing field after Kirk got a hotel room for himself and Carly? Once again, I have so many questions. All I want is Chris Harrison to come on the blog with some answers.
Don’t fail me readers. Make that hashtag happen.
The rest of Jade and Tanner’s date was as cute as you’d expect it to be. They promise to form a lasting relationship even after Paradise and even declare themselves boyfriend and girlfriend. The two looked like they were getting ready to leave summer camp and I couldn’t have enjoyed it more.
While Tanner and Jade are being adorable, Nick and Ashley S are getting weird. They finally figured out they couldn’t visit the island and are going to get massages instead. Nick and Ashley S decide to pregame their massages (because I don’t know why) by splitting a fifth of tequila in a hot tub. Shouldn’t this have negated the need for massages? It’s hard for me to imagine anything more muscle-relaxing than chugging tequila while in a hot tub.
Dedicated to the date, the two press on through their massages. They begin with a couples massage before Ashley S decides to try massaging Nick. As she rubs him, Ashley S receives a message from a nearby crow telling her to “Enjoy the fruits of Paradise” as the camera zooms in on Nick’s crotch. Talking animals aside, this show could not be less subtle if it tried. At this rate, ABC might as well replace Chris Harrison with a raccoon and the contestants with porn stars. It’s not that far off from what we’re seeing.
Still, he's not the worst Nick to be on the show.
Later on in their date, while both are blacked out, Ashley S tells Nick that she’s “like his sister.” There has been a lot of tequila involved on this date, so I won't dig too deep into this. But still… yikes.
Ashley S also says that she has much “bigger” chemistry than she ever had with Dan. Is bigger the right unit of measurement for couples' chemistry? I always assumed it was “more chemistry.” Or maybe a “murder of chemistry?” Yeah, that sounds right. A murder of chemistry.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Bachelor in Paradise unless we ended with more chaos surrounding Joe. He reveals that today is his birthday and he wouldn’t want to spend it with anyone other than Samantha. Perhaps overwhelmed by his offer, Samantha leaves to take a shower. Joe then follows her to the shower to ask if she really likes him. This is what you like, right ladies? You all love a complete lack of self-confidence and inability to function in the world without you right? If so, then I’ve got just the guy for you!
How'd you like to see this face staring at you from the bushes?
Later on in the night, Joe sets up his own birthday party (sad) and invites only one person (sadder) who then dumps him within minutes (saddest.) Samantha dumps Joe because she, in her own words, “couldn’t take the drama anymore.” Perhaps Samantha could have taken some of her own advice from earlier in the episode when she said, “Just stop thinking about it” and “I’m having a good time with you, that’s all you should be thinking about.” Instead of listening to herself, Samantha decides to leave Joe staring solemnly into his own birthday cake. That is cold.
While Joe is being dumped on one side of Paradise, Ashley I is being dumped on the other. Jared admits to her that he just doesn't have the same feelings for her that she does for him. Ashley I is also convinced that Jared is still in love with Kaitlyn (even though he never actually said as much) and even calls her to ask what she "did to him?" She then goes on to blame herself for losing Jared, the "perfect guy." This actually bummed me out to watch. Sometimes break ups are just sad.
You and me both, Ashley.
Joe ends the episode furiously ranting to Joshua about Samantha. He says that he will “take her down” by showing their text messages leading up to Paradise and calls her a “bitch” multiple times. I’d call Joe a misogynist for referring to a woman as a bitch, but he’s also called two other guys on Paradise the same name. It seems that Joe isn’t so much a misogynist as he is a colossal asshole.
More fallout from this episode in the next post! Until then.