Another week in Paradise, another week of enjoying the beautiful beaches, the perfect weather, the great activities that the Yucatan peninsula has to offer, and of course, the ups and downs of love and relationships. We begin this week seeing one of my favorite couples in Bachelor history—Graham and Michelle Money. These two serve as a crisp taco shell to wrap this episode, but we will get to that later. I know that Graham and Michelle may not count as a “couple” since they are not romantically involved (anymore), but they are such great friends that it’s fun to watch their dynamic and undying support of each other. Michelle was the source of much entertainment this week. (What else is new?) You gotta love a girl who will take the hit of not being taken on a date with Robert and then do the hair of the woman who did get asked. As Money says, “(it’s) tough, but I’ll make your braid look awesome.” Yeah, I bet that braid is pulling extra tight on Sarah’s head.
Despite all of that, Robert and Sarah went on their date, and they make for a very sweet couple. Their catamaran ride in Playa Del Carmen has Bachelor romance written all over it. I was certainly expecting a kiss in that environment—a bikini, crystal blue waters, and the much needed lotion application. It will be nice to see how this relationship grows over time.
The first new arrival this week is Cody. Cody’s a great guy with an insanely positive attitude. He’s the type of guy who is so cheerful and nice you could write it off as fake or insincere, but once you get to know him you learn that what you see is what you get. He rolled up into paradise with a clear idea of who he was after: Clare. RED FLAG. Clare is in some sort of “relationship” with Zach. Cody was sweet but persistent and almost talked Clare into accepting the date despite her “feelings” for Zach. In the end, she did not accept, and Cody, in a brilliant and kind move, decided not to make any girl feel like second choice and gave his date card away to his buddy Marcus. (Marcus, of course, took Lacy on a date and they further explored their Mexican paradise love affair.)
I find it interesting that Clare and AshLee are at odds because they are very similar in how they act in their relationships. They both have an aggressive way of attempting to find out how sincere their boyfriends are: by putting them to the test. Just as AshLee forced the situation and an answer from Graham, Clare forces Zach into answering a question she didn’t even answer herself. She never came out and told Zach how she feels and never committed to him. Instead she wanted Zach to commit and tell her not to go on the date with Cody. She wanted Zach to answer for her and got upset when he didn’t answer correctly. It’s a subtle distinction maybe, but you can clearly see how uneasy it made both Graham and Zach feel. In fact, instead of making them step up you can see both men retreating and questioning a relationship they both enjoyed up to that point. I could go much deeper into this because I see it quite a lot in relationships and I find it fascinating. People destroy relationships because they force unnecessary issues instead of letting it grow naturally and organically. Once somebody feels trapped or forced into something it’s only a matter of time before they run.
The next arrival this week was my favorite in Paradise: Kalon from Emily’s season walks into every room with a dark cloud over his head, especially when it’s a room full of Bachelor folks. Kalon mistakenly strolled into Paradise thinking he was going to be given a clean slate. Well, that didn’t happen. He asked Michelle out, which was a bad move because Michelle was good friends with Emily back when the “baggage” incident happened.
This started a new string of firsts: multiple date-asks met with a unanimous response—“no”—and maybe my favorite date ever, the first ever ONE on NONE. Kalon, as only he can, decided he had his date card and damn it he was going to use it, even if it was by himself. And so it went that Kalon gave us one of the more entertaining moments of the season by falling more and more in love with himself in dramatic fashion—in a spectacular underground watering hole, or cenote—in the lush region of Mexico. One thing is for sure, I could sit and watch Kalon for days.
As bad as Kalon’s situation was, at least it was funny. The AshLee hammock-gate, on the other hand, wasn’t funny at all—just remarkably bizarre. Let me see if I can recount this properly: AshLee was on the hammock relaxing with Zach and for some reason didn’t remember she had a microphone on and that we have cameras around on the TV show. Go figure! So AshLee, who apparently talks differently when she’s on or off camera, really let Zach know how crazy she thinks Clare is and how slutty she thinks it was that Clare got busy with Juan Pablo in the ocean. AshLee is the only person who has different on and off camera personalities—quite a strange trait for someone who chose to come to Paradise for the taping of a television show. For some inexplicable reason, AshLee, realizing she was busted, decided to start her own forest fire by running around telling everyone she got caught being candid in a conversation. This little fire led straight to Clare, and not so surprisingly she wasn’t too happy about it. I loved Graham’s realization that he may be in the midst of a s—storm. He and Zach may need to move into a safe house and ride this thing out together. What I found most interesting about the entire situation was when Clare confronted AshLee, AshLee played the dope. Instead of owning up to it or lying about it, she acted like she had no idea what Clare was talking about. Everybody in Mexico knew what happened at this point, why play the fool?
Later on at the rose ceremony, Graham got the full story of what AshLee had done, and let’s just say that it sat as well as a plate of week old enchiladas.
And so, we left this episode with Graham abruptly walking out of the rose ceremony. Did he have a sudden change of heart? Can Graham stomach all of this drama? And lastly, did you notice who went chasing after him to care for him? It wasn’t the woman with whom he is supposedly in a relationship with, it was his good friend and confidant, Michelle Money. Very telling stuff.
Put that in your taco and eat it…
This week we have a special two-night BiP event, so make sure you tune in to see the most dramatic, two-part Paradise event ever. Who leaves in an ambulance? Are Graham and Michelle rekindling their love, or will AshLee help Graham see the light? Can Clare’s raccoon help her navigate through these difficult times? It only gets better from here in beautiful Tulum, Mexico. See you Tuesday night.
More Bachelor in Paradise from EW: