ENOUGH WITH THE METAPHORS (BACHELOR IN PARADISE RECAP)
Is it possible for a show to have this much cognitive dissonance? To have a parody reenactment of a romance novel plot shown side-by-side with a Fabio lookalike unironically shooting the cover image? The answer is yes. Because on Bachelor in Paradise, you can look for love and be mocked mercilessly for it at the same time.
The ladies are saging. Yes, that is sage used as a verb. They have the power this week and they are ready to get drunk on it.
The cloud of lust around Jenna’s head might be clearing after Jordan’s tantrum last episode. She. Is. Over. Him. And Jordan’s confused. What are you confused about, Jordan? Huh? That people don’t want to be around you because you’re a spoiled brat?
Joe and Kendall are being cute and awkward, as usual. Suddenly, the winds shift and in walks stuntman Leo with his mane of unproducted hair and Kendall is reminded of what it feels like to actually be attracted to someone. In all fairness, she and Joe have only been together for two weeks. Sure that seems like a long time on this show but outside a beachfront property, it’s not very long. Kendall goes on the date with Leo.
I love seeing the guys feeling their status threatened. The contestants completely buy in to their power rankings. Last year, Raven had the upper hand because she had three men chasing after her. You can see each guy’s face as Leo speaks to the women one by one and their faces say “I’m toast.”
So Kendall and Leo go on their date, where we find Jorge, formerly of the Bartender Clan here in Paradise. He has written the aforementioned romance novel and wants Leo and Kendall to model for the cover. He tells them the story while we get the pleasure of seeing Bachelor alums reenact it, telenovela style. Arie and Lauren play one couple and Ben Higgins and Amanda Stanton play the other. And that’s it. That’s the entire time they’re on the show and I loved it. I like my Bachelor with some self-awareness attached which is ironic because this show goes to extraordinary lengths to be as unself-aware as possible.
So, yeah. Kendall and Leo make out. Kendall is sowing her oats. Kendall is enjoying herself.
You know who else likes Leo? Chelsea.
You know who else gets to make out with Leo? Yup.
Leo comes back from his date, tells Chelsea that he and Kendall have an arrangement to see other people, and then makes a serious move. Like, are we in a movie? I’m not saying Chelsea is unwilling – far from it, in fact – but the moves Leo puts on her are very, very intense. They’re sitting by the pool and he’s holding her hand and it’s like he didn’t question what would happen next. Is Chelsea pregnant now?
Also, Leo’s description of what he’s looking for is a manic pixie dream girl. That’s pretty much what all these guys are looking for. What they want is a girl who will confirm their lifestyle and make them slightly better versions of themselves.
The next morning, Colton gets a date card. This is confusing because ... why? So we can watch Colton and Tia make out in a new location again? But then Adam and Raven, the success story from last season, show up and it’s clear the producers are doing everything they can to continue the Torture of Colton. Even the church bells are trying to get in his way.
It’s interesting to hear Tia describe their relationship to Raven. She glosses over a lot of details, making it sound like this all came about very organically and not at all out of her desperate pleas. Now I’ll freely admit that I am not a fan of Raven. I thought she was very manipulative on her season in Paradise, controlling a lot of went down and not always for the benefit of her co-contestants. But I really like the way she handles this conversation. It is not easy to tell your friend that the person she’s dating might not deserve her. Raven isn’t pushy, she leaves room for Tia to make her own decisions, but she also makes clear that Tia is deserving of the best kind of love. She also threatens to castrate Colton.
This is a really nice conversation, even though it makes Tia super emotional. Poor Tia. She tries to parrot her deservedness in conversation to Colton, but it is so obvious that this woman wants to believe that but in real life will take any guy who looks her way for longer than ten seconds. I mean, she was with Chris for chrissakes. Keep affirming your feelings, by all means. But stop settling, man. Anyhow, now they’re boyfriend and girlfriend.
Next we have Benoit from Winter Games and these contestants did NOT do their research. Only Kevin and Eric know him, and that’s because they were on the show with him. Well, Tia knows who he is, and she gives the mini-recap.
Benoit and Clare broke up. Is anyone surprised? Is anyone shocked that declaring your love for someone as soon as you meet them doesn’t work out?
It doesn’t look like Benoit learned his lesson, though. After speaking to the blonde women of the group (including Chelsea, who clearly did not get any with Leo because she is thirsty, man) Benoit asks Jenna on a date. And once again, he puts it all out there.
Jordan is NOT happy. Jordan is NOT threatened, though. For REALS not threatened. He thinks he’s being led on? REALLY? I’m just ... yeah, I’m over Jordan, now, too.
Benoit and Jenna go out for dinner and holy lipstick transfer, Batman. Nonetheless, they are cute and possibly suited. Jenna is rightly nervous about Benoit’s intensity. They make out in front of the churro vendors. Jenna carries Benoit and I’m impressed.
They come back and Jordan has written big letters in the sand and holds it together long enough to pretend to be reasonable to Jenna. The contrast between his interviews and this conversation is astounding. Whiplash. It’s enough, though, to make Jenna seriously question who she wants to trust with her love.
Side note: I AM SO OVER THESE STUPID METAPHORS. I’m over hearing about eggs in baskets, I’m over hearing about dirty laundry, I’m basically over everything Jordan says.
Also, there is not enough Yuki on this show. They brought her on to sidekick Wells and help him bartend. Did the producers fail to get her translator a visa or something? She comes out to hug Benoit and the camera guy literally does a once-over because he’s fascinated by her. MORE YUKI, PLEASE.