‘Bachelor in Paradise’ recap: Love stinks and she hates you
Who knew that Ashley I-Lashes virginity would be the boring part that no one cares about on the finale eve of Bachelor in Paradise? We’ve come a long way, dear readers. Contestants are dropping like flies! Every half hour or so, someone leaves the island because they are confident that love is not in Paradise—no matter what Jorge says.
I was worried that with so many SUVs schlepping the rejected away, one of two things would happen:
A. Rejects would be forced to ride together to save gas.
B. Environmentalists would storm the palapa in protest, demanding that the big network consider their global footprint and stop sending huge SUVs all over Guadalajara every other minute.
Then I realized that the rejects are probably being shuttled down the road to the Holiday Inn and I decided to not care.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. We need to start at the very begging. And that beginning is Ashley I-Lashes pending virginity, Jared’s perfect features mixed with an utter lack of interest and the knucklehead who thought it would be funny to put a bowl of cherries beside the “will they or won’t they” bottle of complimentary champagne. Ashley wants to give Jared the precious flower from her secret garden. Jared wants to spend the night with Ashley, which is code for, “My bed in the tree house is too firm and I need a good night’s sleep on a squishy mattress.”
Ashley’s admission of watching Jared sleep all night wasn’t creepy at all. She’s not obsessed. She’s dedicated. With that said, HIDE THE BUNNIES.
Meanwhile, the girls have asked Jorge to whip up a mimosa party down by the pool. As the dudes sit around waiting for their invitation, Mikey T. admits that he has to have a very serious conversation with Juelia. Newsflash: he’s no that into her. Mexican wrestling aside, he thinks they would be better off as friends. Zero people were surprised by this, excluding Juelia. Clearly, she thought she was in the driver’s seat since Harrison brought Mikey T. all the way back from Chicago (a suburb of Guadalajara) to woo her. As she begins crying in her thick tarantula eyelashes, Mikey T. reminds her that she was very special. I think Mikey T’s hair is special.
Juelia literally runs away from him. She rushes up to Jorge’s bar and hastily announces that she’s leaving. There’s absolutely no reason for her to be here! Rejection SUV #1 in route!
You’d think that this news would help Jaclyn with her date card dilemma. She walks around her prey like a lion, with a weird blur mark on her butt. I personally prefer the black modesty box, but I guess it left with Jillian when she got kicked off in week 1. Moreover, the blur allowed audiences to see actual material, so we know that the bottoms were not a thong. We decided that they were made of crochet and therefore merited the soft blur.
Why Jaclyn’s blur deserved a paragraph of its own is beyond me. Moving on.
Jaclyn thinks Mikey T. is dumb as a bag of rocks, so he’s out. She thinks Dan has a blah personality, even though is bear cries tears of awesome every rose ceremony. Nick is the dude who stole $250,000 from her best friend on Bachelor Pad a few years ago, so Justin is the only one left. She asks him to join her and he accepts. What could go wrong?
Cassandra. Cassandra is what goes wrong. She is from Juan Pablo’s season and because she’s breathing and has boobs, Dan immediately falls in love with her. She gets the low-down from the other girls and it’s decided that she is going to also ask Justin on her date. Justin is THRILLED. Dan is determined. And Jaclyn is going to cut someone. Justin tells her to crochet a matching top for those bottoms because he’s going horseback riding with Cassandra!
Jaclyn takes her card down to the outdoor bed and wonders why she came to Paradise in the first place. Nick wanders over and has the audacity to ask her for the date card so he can take Samantha out. Jaclyn says he can have it for a quarter of a million dollars and then laughs. Then she makes him roll around in the sand like a Victoria’s Secret model. As I listen from behind the couch cushion, I realize that this proves nothing other than the fact that Jaclyn has officially given up. At this point, she may as well give the date to the sleaze who is currently downward facing dogging her right now and seek out Our Host Chris Harrison, Jorge or the ABC Intern. Anything’s better that what is writhing before her.
While Nick is getting ready for his date with Samantha, Justin is ogles Cassandra as she takes off her shirt in slow motion, revealing a bedazzled bikini top. They bond over being single parents and this makes Cassandra cry. They take their PDA to the beach where Justin grabs it like he wants it. Cassandra has known Justin for approximately seven hours and is sure she’s in love.
Justin: What are you thinking?
Cassandra: Twice. It’s just another day for you and me in Paradise.
Back at the tree house, Ashley I-Lashes and Jared return. Everyone tries to figure out if Ashley looks different. Jared is stone-faced. She looks giddy, but that’s how she always looks with Jared. Since Ashley doesn’t announce it with a graphic tank top that says, “V-Card Swiped,” we can only assume that nothing happened. But then she shows up later in a “I’m a Kim” tank with a pencil skirt, as we all would wear to a beach bonfire, and you have to wonder if this this code for something? Is she trying to tell America that she’s pregnant with Jared’s baby and is going to name it after a beloved direction on a weather vane?
As Ashley tells Mackenzie that she’s in love with Jared, Jared gathers the same dudes that Mikey T. gathered earlier in the day and admits that he has to have a very serious conversation with Ashley. Newsflash: he’s no that into her. Tanner tries to give him one of the tiny knives Jorge uses to cut limes for protection, but Jared waves him off. He has to do this alone. Unarmed.
He takes Ashley to the rejection cabana and gently tells her that he wanted there to be more, but he’s just not that into her. And by the way, he’s called Rejection SUV #2 and is leaving Paradise. Ashley I-Lashes hold it together enough to walk him to the gas guzzler. She thanks him for proving to her that the total package is still out there. He apologizes for making her cry, steps into the car and pines over Kaitlyn as the driver makes his way across the street where Juelia sits swirling a glass of wine.
Suddenly the camera catches Jade and Carly talking about Samantha. Carly wonders why all the guys are falling over her. Jade wisely answers, “Because she’s stunning.”
Nick certainly thinks so. He can’t wait for Samantha to feed him delicious bites of Chef Josefina Santacruz’s (say that really fast with a Spanish accent) dinner. Samantha smiles, drawing him into her web of seduction. Nick habitually winks. The entire exchange was a bit disturbing, including Samantha’s tight-lipped grandma kisses. Somewhere in rural Kentucky, Joe raises a glass of moonshine to the television, convinced this is a sign from Samantha that she’s still interested.
Meanwhile, Carly and Kirk are huddled together, overlooking the ocean. In a moment of complete vulnerability, Carly tells Kirk that she can see them running around together with kids. She says, “You’re my person.” Kirk laughs and says, “We always said, ‘You’re my idiot.’” Carly giggles and tells him that he is her idiot.
If you didn’t pick up on the fact that Carly and Kirk were doomed at this point, you probably figured it out in the next several interviews with Carly when she only talked about the strength of her relationship with Kirk. And if that didn’t buy you a clue, everyone else talking about their love and commitment was probably the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Just kidding. Harrison canceled the cocktail party because he’s in the middle of a mean game of poker with Jared, Jorge and Juelia across the street. Nobody has time for this pretend love. Let’s get this show on the road.
Before Harrison can invite the “no brainers” put to the rose podium, Ashley I-Lashes makes an announcement that she is going home. Wise Princess Tenley told her that she had a “whimsical attachment” to Jared and now she knows the qualities of the man she wants to end up with for the rest of her life. Thank you universe for sending me the perfect man and then yanking him away from me! She sheds a few tears, hops into Rejection SUV #3, calls her sister to complain and then smiles because the driver is taking her, you guessed it, to the rejection holding area—where Jared is staying.
Well played, I’m a Kim.
Harrison rushes through Kirk/Carly, Tanner/Jade, Samantha/Nick, Joshua/Tenley and even newbies Justin/Cassandra. He calls Dan up next.
Dan strokes his glistening beard, confident that he could take on any of the bald-faced men standing before him. He thanks Ashley and Amber for their trysts and wishes everyone the best of luck before removing himself from the competition that has neither a win nor lose column. Harrison tells the ABC intern to fetch Rejection SUV #4 before commandeering Dan’s useless rose and calling Mikey T. to the stand.
Mikey T. is drenched in sweat, yet that does not deter him from asking darling little Mackenzie to accept his dripping rose. She cautiously walks up to him, careful not to stand in the perspiration zone, and tells him thanks, but no thanks. She asks Harrison to call her an SUV (#5) and meanders through the jungle to wait for her ride.
Mikey is unfazed. He tells Our Host that nobody else does anything for him (SORRY FRONT ROW SINGLE GIRLS) and he thinks the best thing for him to do is to go home. He waits in line behind Mackenzie for his own individual rejection SUV #6.
Harrison takes Mikey’s rose and hands it to the ABC Intern who turns around and sells it on EBAY. He asks Jaclyn, Chelsea, Amber and Ashley S. to say their goodbyes. So long numbers 7, 8, 9 and 10.
The next morning, Harrison is back after a long night of Texas Hold ‘Em where he took Mikey for every pesos he had in his pockets. All of the remaining couples agree that it feels weird to have only 10 people left in the tree house. It’s eerily quiet. Carly is thankful that all the drama is over and everyone can just bask in love.
Oh foreshadowing. Thou art a heartless tramp.
Harrison lets everyone know that they have one week left in Paradise. They will all be going on overnight fantasy dates. It’s time to decide if a five-week Mexican vacation can be an everlasting love.
The girls leave to talk about boys and butterflies in their stomachs and how they all wish their significant other had Chris Harrison’s eyes. Kirk gathers the same dudes that Mikey T. and Jared gathered and admits that he has to have a very serious conversation with Carly. Newsflash: he’s no that into her. And he hasn’t been for about a week. He needs to tell her. Ironically, no one told him to choose a different tank top color (Melon? Really?) for a conversation that will be immortalized on social media for at least a week.
Kirk makes his way up to the girls and asks Carly if he can talk to her. She agrees. Of course it’s Tenley who admits that she doesn’t have a good feeling with what’s going on. Jade is suspicious too. So the girls do what any of you would do at this point—eavesdrop. It’s not like it’s hard. The rejection outdoor cabana thing is RIGHT BELOW THEM.
Kirk tells her how wonderful she is for about 10 minutes. Then he tells her that unfortunately he is behind her when it comes to feelings for 10 minutes. Naturally Carly thinks this is something that can be fixed by simply slowing down. As I’m screaming for Kirk to RIP THE BAND-AID and LAND THE PLANE, Carly finally understands that this isn’t going to end up in her favor. She answers with two legitimate statements: I want to go home and I’m going to throw up.
Kirk continues respecting her and admiring her for another 10 minutes as Carly turns on her survivor mode switch. All she can say is that she wants to go home and that she doesn’t want to have a conversation about feelings unless that feeling is betrayal. She runs up to the girl’s room where Jade and Tenley embrace her with strong arms and shocked faces.
The next several minutes are a flurry of Kirk scratching his head, Carly packing and me slowly climbing on board Team Jade. She is clearly hurting for her friend and equally undone when it comes to the man she trusted with Carly’s heart. When Kirk comes back to try and talk with Carly again, Jade and Tenley tag team him, challenging Kirk to choose his words wisely. Kirk is hell bent on having a conversation with Carly who is hell bent on never speaking to him again. Jade finally steps in, wisely telling Kirk that he should respect Carly’s wishes. She sends him away as her friend collapses in her arms.
Did I get a little teary? Sure. It reminded me of that time on Sex in the City when Big leaves Carrie at the altar and Charlotte yells at him when he tries to apologize. I really liked Charlotte in that moment and have no doubt that Carly and Jade are probably friends for life as a result of this moment. This horribly, humiliating moment.
Kirk forces himself into rejection SUV #11 and begins to cry. He reminds the viewing audience that he was just trying to be honest. And Tenley reminds the viewing audience that he should have never allowed it to get this far if he wasn’t feeling it.
I don’t know where to land on this episode. I’m glad Kirk came clean, but it does seem like he could have let Carly know sooner. Or was it that talk about kids while they were on the beach that spooked him? Who knows. What we do know is that Ashley has her v-card, Janner are getting engaged tonight and Trista and Ryan are still going strong as Bachelor royalty.
All is sort of right in the franchise world.