Bachelor in Paradise recap: Blake has a romantic epiphany
After moping around alone for weeks, Blake suddenly realizes that his dream woman has been on the Paradise beach the whole time.
Tonight, we ended week five of Bachelor in Paradise with an unfortunate exit and an even more unfortunate return. Let’s recap.
Jon Paul Jones and Tayshia: Even though Tayshia broke things off with Derek, she hasn’t decided if she wants to continue moving forward with JPJ — and he knows he’s still in the dog house. “I feel like my heart is in it with JPJ but there’s a lot of things I’m, like, really skeptical about,” Tayshia tells Mike, and so he encourages her to “act upon” those hesitations.
Tayshia’s all, Yeah, but he really, really likes me, so… “I don’t know, I just have a soft spot for John Paul Jones,” she says. “He’s so sure about me, it’s really crazy.” Yep, unabashed adoration is hard to resist — and it’s really hard to say no to a man who can catch a fish with his bare hands. (He puts it back in the ocean before it dies.)
“There’s something wrong with him,” says Tayshia, “and I kind of like it.”
Katie and Chris: “I would love to be able to spend the night with you and take our relationship to the next level,” says Contestant Emeritus Chris Bukowski. He can barely say it without giggling, which leads me to believe he was giving the producers the soundbite they requested. (He for sure wants to spend the night with Katie, but that’s probably not how he would have expressed it if left to his own devices.)
Kristian and Demi: Everything’s going well between these two, though it seems that Kristian is worried about Demi’s adjustment to being “out” once they leave Paradise. “It’s a big deal to… come out, you know, to so many people,” she says. Demi assures her that she’s “proud” to be with her, and they share a smooch.
These two. Gotta love ’em. (And if you don’t, please keep it to yourself.)
Chase and Angela and Mike (and Clay): Yep, we’ve officially reached the “that guy” phase of Paradise, meaning when dudes arrive, everyone looks at the screen and says, “Wait, who’s that guy?” Case in point: Chase. He was apparently on JoJo’s season of The Bachelorette, which I watched, but couldn’t tell you anything about this guy if my life depended on it.
Anyhow, he’s here for one woman and one woman only: Angela. Even though Clay swears up and down that he’s over his ex, he says watching Angela date other guys is “brutal.” And now he’s wondering if it’s fair to keep dating Nicole when he’s so conflicted about Angela. “I don’t know what the right thing to do is,” he says. “If this continues, I might leave Paradise.”
Honestly, Clay seems even more upset about Angela’s date than Mike — and he’s relying on Angela to give him a rose this week. “For the sanity of everybody here in Paradise, I think it’s best for Clay to just sit Angela to the side and clear the air,” Mike says.
Blake and… Kristina? After showing us a bunch of footage of Blake moping alone while all the couples canoodle around him, suddenly the story takes a hard left turn.
“Oh my God, she’s right there!” says Blake. “Kristina’s been right there this whole time… Maybe all this time what I wanted was right in front of me.” Maybe, or maybe the rose ceremony is tomorrow, and you don’t want to go home a Paradise loser. With that in mind, Blake pulls Kristina aside for a “let’s give this a shot” pep talk. “I thought I really did just want to be friends with you,” he says. “Yet here I am saying that I can’t stop thinking about you.”
Kristina responds to this overture with an appropriate amount of skepticism. “This is weird,” she says, before telling Blake to check back in with her tomorrow. There’s a good chance, after all, that his feelings will have changed by then.
ROSE CEREMONY SCRAMBLE
The cocktail party opens with (Old) Matt Donald’s voice cracking again, and when Harrison arrives, he is quick to take advantage of the situation. “It happened to my son about the same age,” he says. “The voice starts changing, hair will start growing in places it didn’t use to be.” If that wasn’t emasculating enough for Matt, the show then goes on to troll him for being too shy to kiss Sydney. “Yeah, body language may not be his first language,” she notes wryly. “I’ll just have to keep laying it on a little more thick.”
Everybody else on the beach tries to give Matt a pep talk. “Like, don’t say, ‘Hey, kiss me.’ Just kind of lean in,” suggests Hannah. “Don’t force it. Just relax,” says Luke. “It doesn’t have to be, like, a full-on French,” adds Demi. Even Harrison sticks around the cocktail party long enough to tell Matt that he needs to get off his butt. “I would much rather be kicked in the teeth than to not take a shot,” says the host. At long last, Matt’s ready… once JPJ wipes all the sweat off his torso, that is. (Gross.)
Nice work, dude. For Sydney’s sake, I sure hope the smooch was worth the wait.
Clay, meanwhile, decides to take Mike’s advice and have a heart-to-heart with Angela. “I wanted so bad for [our relationship] to work, but I just don’t think I was as far along as you were,” he says. “I just felt like our goals and ambitions aren’t parallel.” For one thing, Clay continues, he didn’t like it that Angela never went to the gym with him, which I guess he equates with her career ambition because she’s a model. “Clay, you go to the gym for four hours,” Angela says.
The bigger problem, though, is that Clay wants “more” than someone whose goal is to be “a wife and a mother.” It seems that the pressure of being the sole breadwinner was a little more than he could handle — especially since his NFL career never took off. There’s a little bit more bitchy back-and-forth, but eventually Angela puts an end to the bickering. “Let’s just coexist,” she says. “I don’t see the problem.”
Great. Let’s casino-clap this whole situation and move on to Blake, who is still trying to convince Kristina to give him another chance. “I’m all in on you,” he says. “Mark my words.” (Yes, mark them with a big red X and run, Kristina!) Then Buh-lock-ay has the audacity to paraphrase Billy Crystal in When Harry Met Sally: “When you realize what you want, and the life you want,” he says, “you want it to start immediately.”
Kristina clearly wants to believe Blake is being honest, but she also knows better. “I don’t know if I can safely say I’m all in,” she tells him. “How can I trust you that this is actually what you’re feeling?” You can’t, honey. You. Can’t.
ROSE CEREMONY RESULTS
Nicole gives her rose to Clay; Angela gives her rose to Chase; Kristian gives her rose to Demi; Hannah gives her rose to Dylan; Katie gives her rose to Chris (they’re now officially boyfriend and girlfriend, by the way); Haley gives her rose to Luke; Caelynn gives her rose to Connor; Sydney gives her rose to (Old) Matt Donald; Tayshia gives her rose to JPJ; and Kristina gives her rose to Blake (of course). That means it’s time to say goodbye to this handsome devil.
SUCH a bummer. The only thing that would make this better is if Mike hops a plane to California and begins shooting season 24 of The Bachelor… but I’m not gonna hold my breath.
POST-ROSE CEREMONY RELATIONSHIP STATUS
Kristina and Blake: “I will put her first no matter what in the future,” Blake informs us. Cut to:
Yep, Brie the fake Australian from Colton’s season has arrived, and she wants to chat with Blake. (Apparently, the two hit it off at Chris and Krystal’s wedding.) Kristina is so stressed out about the situation she has to run to the bathroom and cry for a bit, but when Blake comes back from his chat with Brie, he announces that he turned her down. “I told her that I’m not seeing anybody else down here,” he says. Doesn’t Kristina look happy?
“I think she just needs time,” notes Blake. As for Brie, she needs a warm body, so she asks Matt on the date.
We don’t see much of that date, though, because all the producers want to show us is footage of Blake going on and on and on about happy he is that he’s not out with Brie right now: “Brie, she’s a gorgeous, gorgeous woman, but I want Kristina,” and “Even though Brie and I had a little bit of a connection at the wedding… this is what I want to do,” and ‘Brie’s got a lot of confidence. She carries herself very well, and she’s stunning. She’s tall, she looks like a model, but by not going on the date I’m going to bring all the romance to Kristina.” Of course, we then cut to Blake and Kristina having totally mundane conversations about things like the color of Blake’s pee when he’s dehydrated.
Welp, sorry Blake (and Sydney)! Looks like the S.S. Blonde has sailed away without you. That said, Team Paradise, Kristina is no one’s plan B! Blake is lucky she’s even giving him the time of day, so please stop making it out to look like he’s somehow settling.
Dylan and Hannah: These two are so happy, she’s talking about moving to California so they can be together after Paradise. Who’da thunk it?
Katie and Chris: These two are so happy, they’re talking about settling down and having kids. (Bukowski wants two.)
Connor and Caelynn: And these two are so happy, they’re planning on spending the night in “the boom-boom room.” (Hopefully, the room has been given a thorough cleaning after Dylan and Hannah used it in Monday’s episode.) Unfortunately for Caelynn, she’s not allowed to be happy in Paradise for long. Guess who’s back?
“Why are you here?” asks Caelynn wearily. She also refuses to hold his hand when he offers it to her. Stay strong, gurl! Dean starts by recapping their entire relationship, such as it was. After leaving Paradise, says Dean, “I flew back to San Diego, and the entire flight back I literally could not stop thinking about you.” And he kept thinking about her, even as he drove to the Grand Canyon like the nomad that he is. Rather than waiting for production on the show to wrap, Dean says he wanted to come back to Mexico right away before Caelynn forms a serious “connection” with anyone else.
But it might be too late. “Connor came down, and we’re trying to explore things. It’s easy,” says Caelynn. “Who the f— wants easy?” Dean shoots back with a grin. Now he wants them to “try and be in a relationship.”
Over on another daybed, Tayshia, Sydney, and Demi are watching everything unfold and speculating about whether Caelynn will go back to Dean. “I think they have more of a connection,” says Tayshia, seemingly oblivious to the fact that Connor is about three feet away. “I feel like her heart is meant with Dean.”
Dean must think so too because the episode ends with him offering Caelynn a ‘big, heavy” proposal: “I came here to ask you if you would leave Paradise with me today.” She is, in a word, shocked.
Holy crap is right. But we’ll have to wait until next week to find out whether Caelynn chooses the “dangerous guy” (Dean) or the “perfect man” (Connor).
SPOTLIGHT ON: BUKOWSKI’S CHYRON
Now we just need Gerard Butler to show up on the beach so producers can chyron him “Not Chris Bukowski.”
4 MOST GIF-ABLE MOMENTS
1) Blake doesn’t know how to use air quotes.
Dude, why did you put air quotes around “burned” but not bridges? Are you only half objecting to the idea that no one in Paradise wants to date you because you’re a man-whore? Watch this instructive video about air quotes and get back to me.
2) Tayshia hand-tackles Nicole
These two like each other… I think.
3) (Old) Matt Donald’s victory montage
Team Bachelor loves to mock contestants via montage, and they really went to town on Matt. We got a flower opening, dolphins swimming, horses stampeding across an open field, sports fans cheering (twice!), a rocket launching into space, a lion roaring, and more. Clearly, the producers had a lot of time to fill this episode.
4) Dylan feels the burn
The hair, the face, the bright green resistance band — it’s all working, buddy.
Week 5 is in the books, rose lovers! Who do you think Caelynn should choose? Is there any chance in hell that Blake is truly, suddenly into Kristina? And have you ever kissed anyone with a sinus infection? Post your thoughts below!
Bachelor in Paradise airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on ABC