Well, here we are. The final week of Bachelor in Paradise is upon us. It's been an… interesting six weeks for me, as I have spent most of my time actively rooting against nearly every couple on the show. They have ranged from dysfunctional (Grant & Lace), to abusive (Josh & Amanda), to downright meaningless (anything involving Nick now that he is the next Bachelor). And yet, somehow, I'm actually going to miss Bachelor in Paradise. Watching idiots do idiot things on an idiot show may be frustrating, but it is also deeply entertaining. Luckily for everyone, both football and the general election are ramping up, so there should be no shortage of potentially brain damaged individuals competing for the attention of the general public.
You're telling me this guy doesn't have brain damage?
With that in mind, I am not exaggerating when I say the first 20 minutes of Bachelor in Paradise was the most pointless thing I have ever seen. It began with the arrival of our final contestant, the already pointless "Chicken Enthusiast" Tiara. Much like her first stint on The Bachelor, Tiara quickly realizes that no one really wants her there and forfeits her date card to Nick. Nick, of course, has already been named as the Bachelor at this point, so anything he does from here on out is more or less meaningless. He opts to ask Jen (who is somehow now even more pointless) on the date, and the two leave in an attempt to waste as much of our time as possible.
After meandering around a small carnival, Nick and Jen find their way to a fortune teller. Jen expectantly asks the fortune teller if she and Nick will fall in love, while Nick grimaces next to her. The fortune teller says that Jen is more invested in the relationship than Nick is, which really only proves that the woman wasn't blind. Both Nick and Jen are shocked at the accuracy of their fortune, though it would have been a lot more impressive if she had correctly picked Nick as the next Bachelor. At least then we wouldn't have to sit through an obviously failing relationship.
"Why am I watching this when I could be killing myself?"
In Paradise, Lauren is becoming desperate. She has yet to find an interested man and is hoping to change her luck with Brett. After talking to him for five minutes, Brett decides to dump his current interest, Izzy, and give Lauren his rose tomorrow. Brett then decides to do the first and last noble thing of his life and tell Izzy about his change of heart before the rose ceremony. Actually, scratch that. It wasn't so much noble, as it was a basic level of human decency. Still, pretty good for Bachelor in Paradise.
Izzy handles the dumping about as well as you would expect. She looks at Brett briefly before realizing she has made a series of very stupid decisions. “I feel like an idiot,” Izzy says, “I should leave.” Brett was clearly done being a decent human being at this point, because he just shrugged and watched Izzy walk away in tears.
Only slightly less villainous than a Nazi.
With her bags packed, Izzy suddenly realizes that her previous relationship with Vinny was the best thing she had in Paradise. With her better option behind her, and the eyes of millions of judgmental fans upon her, Izzy decides to call Vinny and try to win him back. “I think this is the most romantic thing I can do,” she says, not fully understanding the concept of romance. Confessing your love for someone is romantic, but not when you’ve just dumped them three days earlier. That’s like saying you’re a good person for driving someone to the hospital after breaking their arm.
Despite Izzy’s best efforts, Vinny wants nothing to do with her. Izzy apologizes for how she treated Vinny on the show and wishes she had realized what she had when he was around. Vinny listens politely before telling her that he no longer has the same feelings for her after she dumped him for Brett. Izzy looks sincerely shocked after hearing Vinny’s rejection, saying, “I feel like I’m the shittiest person in the world.” Me too, Izzy. Me too.
I miss Izzy and Fat Ryan Gosling
With Izzy gone, the contestants prepare for the rose ceremony. It quickly becomes apparent that the only rose up for grabs this week belongs to Wells, the man who cannot seem to stop kissing different women. One of those women, Jami, pulls Wells aside for a little reassurance. To put her mind at ease, Wells makes out with her for a bit. Later in the evening, Ashley came forward with anxieties of her own, so Wells made out with her too. I’m sure Wells would have made out with Shushanna too, but she got annoyed with the show and left.
That’s right. With Wells in hot pursuit, Shushanna stormed back to her room to pack and leave. She explains that she no longer wants to be on a show where she has to constantly fight other women for a man she is interested in. Instead, Shushanna would rather go home and make her own way in the world. It was the biggest “fuck you” I’ve ever seen directed at a Bachelor show, and I kind of loved it.
I know next to nothing about her, and still I want Shushanna to be the next Bachelorette.
Once Wells returns from failing to convince Shushanna to stay, the Rose Ceremony gets underway. The usual couples pair up including: Josh/Amanda, Nick/Jen, Grant/Lace, and Evan/Carly. Despite telling Lauren that he was definitely giving his rose to her, he instead decides to leave his rose in Paradise and go home. Glad to see your one previous moment of kindness didn’t keep you from being a total douche, Brett.
Oh, also, Wells picks Ashley because at this point the producers think it’s just funny to keep dragging her along.
The next morning the remaining five couples awake to their last full day in paradise. Each couple will get one final date as well as time in the fantasy suite before deciding if they want to leave Paradise together. Everyone is excited about the potential fantasy suite date, however no one is more excited about the opportunity to fuck than Ashley. The self-professed virgin spends most of her morning wondering what makes sex good and getting sex tips from Carly. I hated even thinking about Ashley losing her virginity on national TV.
Wells apparently did not want to think about Ashley’s virginity either, because he broke up with her before they even went on a date. In his own words, he and Ashley shouldn’t prolong the relationship because, “We’re not going to get engaged tomorrow because that’s insane.” Obviously that would be insane, but how is Wells only now realizing this? He’s been on two Bachelor shows now, shouldn’t he have a better grasp on the situation around him?
Ashley, true to form, leaves in dramatic fashion, bawling, “Life is over!” For what it’s worth, Ashley said the same thing about Jared both times he dumped her. Realistically, I’m sure she’ll say it again after her next two-week relationship. I’m also greatly looking forward to that relationship because I won’t have to watch it.
But really, she's (probably) going to be fine.
With most of the riff raff cleared out, the four remaining couples go on their final dates. Grant and Lace are up first and share a relaxing walk through a local marketplace. Relaxing, that is, until they see a nearby tattoo parlor and decide to get matching “Grace” tattoos. Obviously this is a terrible idea and an even worse portmanteau, but I will say this about Grant and Lace’s tattoo. It at least gives them an easy faux-religious explanation of their dumb tattoos in the wake of their inevitable break up.
Also, it should be said that Lace not only does not like tattoos, but isn’t even sure she wants to spend her life with Grant. Lace spends half an hour hemming and hawing and listing all the reasons she does not want to do this before finally sitting down with no explanation and handing over her wrist for a tattoo. Interestingly enough, that’s actually also how most prison tattoos happen.
Later that evening, Lace finally tells Grant, “I love you,” though it certainly seems to be questionable timing, considering she had been permanently marked as his only hours before. Regardless, they take advantage of the fantasy suite where I can only assume they alternated between passionate lovemaking and acts of physical violence.
I feel like the police should have been involved in this date.
By comparison, Nick and Jen’s date was much more tame. The two tried (and failed) at standup paddle boarding and then sat on the beach and talked. Nick confessed that he wasn’t completely sure about his feelings, and that he loved Jen but wasn’t sure if he was in love with Jen. In actuality, “love but not in love” is as good as a breakup. Nick should have just ended it here.
Of course Nick didn’t end it there and he and Jen decided to spend the night in the fantasy suite. As they put it, they wanted to, “figure out their relationship” which seems like a really shitty euphemism for “fucking out of boredom.”
Lets keep pretending like this is a thing.
The next date went to the source of 60% of my daily anxiety: Evan and Carly. The two meet a large, topless Mexican woman in a park and rub paint all over each other. Then they take their gross, dirty bodies and rub it on a canvas and call it art. This is inexplicably called both a “good” date and “art”. Honestly, if you meet a large, topless Mexican woman in a park and you don’t end up with at least an eighth of weed, your date has gone very wrong.
But because they are both weird as shit, Carly and Evan love their date. Carly is still nervous that Evan might leave her since Kirk did exactly that to her last year. Honestly, if Evan ever leaves Carly I will find him and end him. I cannot sit through a second “Blindsided” single.
I would rather listen to a death rattle than Blindsided (A Song for Kirk)
Finally, the last date of the evening went to Josh and Amanda. They briefly try to play soccer with a group of local 12 year olds before realizing that these kids are really good at soccer and they are too white to be on the same field. Instead they sit on the sideline where Josh finally asks Amanda a question about her daughters. A word of caution to any single parents out there. If you’re less than a day away from being proposed to by someone else and they ask about your kids for the first time, you are completely within your rights to just walk away and never speak to them again.
Later that night in the fantasy suite, Josh says to Amanda, “I love kids in general.” That is not only impressively stupid, it’s the literal definition of pedophilia. Don’t worry though, Amanda hasn’t let warnings from her closest friends stop her from being with Josh, and she won’t let this ominous foreshadowing stop her either. The two retreat to their suite as the episode ends.
I have a
genuine general lust love for kids.
Watching these four couples date feels like watching four separate trains heading for the same collision. I can’t wait to run down their inevitable downfall with you all tomorrow night.