Corinne tells her side of the story, while a Tickle Monster and a Canadian walk into Paradise.

By Isabella Biedenharn
August 29, 2017 at 11:56 PM EDT
Paul Hebert/ABC
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Another episode, another totally bizarre day in Paradise. Is anyone actually enjoying this season? Are they actively trying to run this show into the ground?

We pick up where last night’s rose ceremony left off: Matt has unceremoniously decided to send himself home, and Canadian Daniel from Jojo’s season has come in at the eleventh hour to give a rose to a lady in need. Lacey, who’s had her heart set on Daniel since she came to Paradise, apparently, jumps on him immediately, squealing, “I’ve been waiting for you!”

Daniel doesn’t seem into her — and he makes that clear when they go off to the side to chat and he remarks that he’s “left with the scraps” of Paradise. Lacey is sad that he doesn’t return her absurdly strong feelings, and I’m sad that Lacey’s self-esteem is apparently so low that someone can call her “scraps” and she’s still kinda interested. Lacey continues to be extremely dramatic and I can’t stand her. Or Daniel, honestly — he seems fun but then when he speaks he’s always a jerk?

Daniel talks to Christen (he’s enticed by the virgin thing, as slimeballs usually are), and Jasmine, who describes her breakup with Matt as, “I played myself.” Daniel calls himself “a great white hope” to Jasmine, and I can’t even address it.

At the rose ceremony, Daniel gives his rose to Lacey (oh?), and Jack Stone gives his to Christen. Matt comes back for a quick sec to give Jasmine his rose so it doesn’t go to waste, but he’s still leaving. I enjoyed Jasmine’s off-camera venting session (“Go back to your little town in Connecticut. Enjoy your life. You’ll probably regret it. You’re dead to me”). Derek gives his to Taylor, Robby gives his to Amanda (shudder), and Adam gives his to…Raven!

Then we get to Dean. Dean who was a perfect angel on Rachel’s season and the devil himself in paradise. An excerpt from Dean’s pre-rose ceremony interview: “Kristina’s definitely the right option, but Danielle’s the more exciting option. There’s a clear physical attraction…I want to be open to that as a relationship moving forward.” Okay — he likes Danielle. He feels guilty about Kristina, but he likes Danielle. So naturally, he gives the rose to…Kristina.

Well hey, at least there’s an obstacle cleared, right? Maybe with D. Lo out of the picture, Dean will remember how much he liked Kristina and things can go back to normal? Not so fast: Ben Z. gives D. Lo his rose. Will. This. Never. End? Sarah and Alexis go home. We’ll miss you, Alexis!

Then we get a really weird scene I don’t even know how to describe here (or if I should?) but Dean and Kristina are cuddling in a cabana post-ceremony, and Kristina dares him to “get a [CENSORED] right now.” Dean says, “Okay, give me a [CENSORED].” Kristina says he has to do it on his own, and he says “You’re not going to touch it at all?” And then he says, “Give me a second. Give me another 20 seconds.” This isn’t like, fun-Paradise raunchy. It was just…strange. Then we’re treated to a scene from the next morning, where, as Kristina insinuates later, it seems like they went all the way, and Dean’s shorts are censored.

Also that morning, a bunch of guys in lucha libre masks run through the resort wreaking havoc, screaming, and pulling peoples’ blankets off of their beds. It’s all just a weird preview of Daniel’s date card. He picks Lacey even though he’s obsessed with Kristina after their talk and thinks “she’s a total babe” and “it would be hard to be friends with her — you’re gonna want to sleep with her.” It’s interesting that Kristina is Daniel’s risk option and Dean’s safety pick.

At the same time, another tall man comes in with a date card: Jonathan, a.k.a. the Tickle Monster from Rachel’s season, who ends up being a surprising hit with the ladies. (It’s fascinating as a viewer to hear who the women say is way better looking in person. Jonathan is one such person.) They also all call him “Tickle,” as in first name Tickle, last name Monster. I’ll go with it.

Tickle and Christen immediately make out, which throws poor Jack Stone — who I’m suddenly obsessed with? — for a loop. Christen is immediately smitten: “I think it takes a lot of confidence to let your job title be Tickle Monster when you’re actually a doctor.” He picks Christen for the date.

While Daniel and Lacey go to a lucha libre wrestling match (yes, they’re the wrestlers), Tickle and Christen go to a dinner with scallops and play with Tickle’s tiny prop-hands that fit onto your fingertips. As strange as they both seem, they’re really getting along — and both seem pleasantly surprised by it. (“It’s actually pretty cool to see a girl get my sense of humor,” Tickle says in an interview. Yeah, Tickle, women can get jokes! It’s a new thing we’re trying.) I do have to say, regarding this whole Scallop Fingers thing…it’s kind of mean, right? All she did was get takeout one time, and maybe she was hungry but didn’t have a fork.
(Next: Dean finally makes a choice)

Back at the resort, Dean talks to Diggy about his juggling act. “Kristina is just so much more perceptive and smart and interesting altogether,” he explains. “But D. Lo is just so f—ing hot.” As if that weren’t clear enough, Dean goes further in an interview: “I don’t want to make anyone feel bad [read: Kristina] but I’m very interested in and attracted to Danielle L. That’s pretty much the long and short of it.” Wait, one more: “I know if and when I pass on Kristina to move on to Danielle, Danielle will never be as into me as Kristina is at this point.” If and when I pass on Kristina. Do we need to hear anything else? The guy is a jerk, he’s been jerking Kristina around (and D. Lo, for that matter), and he just can’t play the nice guy card anymore if he’s going to literally make out with one of them for an hour and then the next one an hour later. You can’t have it both ways, Dean.

Finally he at least tries to put Kristina out of her misery and sort of breaks up with her (“The second I lose you, I’m going to regret it…all I can ask of you is to be patient with me”). Kristina cries to Robby: “He and I stayed the night last night and you can assume what happened.” They look over at the pool, where Dean is canoodling with D. Lo. “So disrespectful.” Eventually, though, Kristina hardens and says, “I’m checking out. I tried.”

Meanwhile, feet away from them, Dean shockingly is initiating a conversation about “us” with D. Lo. “Every single time I talk to you, I know what I want. You’re the type of person I could fall in love with.”

Kristina says, “Right now, I think the orphanage is better than Paradise” — which is the most insulting producer-prompted question I have ever heard.

Obviously the minute the daters get back, they get stolen: Jasmine swipes Daniel away from Lacey, and Jack Stone grabs Christen right back from Tickle and makes out with her in a cabana. This is all too fast and too much! I don’t care enough about anyone except Kristina!

With that, the regular episode is over, and we’re back to another ridiculous live conversation with the cast as we wait for Corinne’s sit-down with Chris.

Wells, Amanda, Alexis, and Raven recap footage we literally just saw 20 minutes earlier. Wells kind of insinuates that he only kissed Danielle because he felt bad and she “deserved some romance,” and Amanda says Robby dated her friend Sarah so she’s hesitant about him. Raven tells the story of hanging out with Adam and Sarah again. Amanda got dinner with Corinne last week and says, “She seemed to be doing really well.” Thanks?

Then they do an entire segment on Jasmine and Matt like it’s After the Final Rose. Jasmine wishes he would have said how he really felt, and Matt says he kinda thought he did but he can see how that wasn’t clear. This is such a waste of EVERYONE’S TIME.

Finally, it’s time for Corinne. I’m glad they’re letting her speak, although it’s a little ridiculous that they’re pretending it’s her first major sit-down interview when she was on Good Morning America like 12 hours ago, but okay.

She explains that she was on a medication that doesn’t react well with alcohol, so the combination of the drug and over-drinking made her black out. She was acting normally but was completely checked out that first night. In the morning, she didn’t remember anything that had gone on, and was confused by the shutdown and what she was hearing about her and DeMario getting kicked off.

Chris repeatedly asks her how she feels about DeMario and whether she thinks he did anything wrong, and she repeatedly says there are no hard feelings and she doesn’t think he did anything wrong. Chris plays clips from DeMario’s interview last week and has Corinne react to them (she’s mostly like, “Yes, I know exactly how he feels, I also felt horrible”).

Corinne seems to mostly blame the media for jumping to conclusions — which, as a member of the media, feels unfair because those reports were based on actual reporting. But I see what she means: She tells a heartbreaking anecdote about just trying to go to the grocery store to buy eggs but having to see her own face on every magazine, and having cashiers and customers alike staring at her and wondering what happened.

Overall, though, she says she’s okay and maintains that the whole incident was “annoying” and frustrating. I’m inclined to agree — and while it’s great that Bachelor in Paradise addressed the controversy head-on instead of pretending it didn’t happen, I wish they’d focus their efforts now on making the show itself actually worth watching.

So, friends: thoughts? Are you rooting for anyone this season?

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Chris Harrison goes international with a cast of former bachelors and bachelorettes looking for love… and a chance to extend their reality fame.
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