Caelynn must choose between Connor and Dean, while Demi struggles with being out in public.
We’re down to the final full week in Bachelor in Paradise, rose lovers, and tonight’s episode served up some dramatic developments that resulted in two big departures. Let’s recap!
Dean and Caelynn and Connor: Last week, we left off with Dean, who returned sans mustache, asking his ex (I guess?) Caelynn to leave Paradise with him. Connor was all, Bro, that sucks, but he feels reasonably confident that Caelynn will stick around. “We’ve established a pretty solid relationship,” he says.
But Dean is giving Caelynn the hard sell. “I’m a changed man!” he says. “I’m not saying it’s going to be easy coming out of this. We’re definitely going to have things to work on — myself, mostly… But I wanted to try those things, and I want it to be with you.” When she goes to talk to Connor, he asks her to stay, but also reminds Caelynn that Dean “put you down and made you feel terrible — and it was on your birthday, too!… I don’t want you to get hurt by him.”
Caelynn’s all, “You’re right, you’re right, I know you’re right!” But then…
Yep, she’s gonna leave with him. Even though “it feels wrong!” Oh, honey, it absolutely is, but Dean’s gonna tell you everything you want to hear: “No, it’s the best decision you’ve ever made.” As the rest of the contestants gasp in disbelief, Connor’s reaction is more of a subdued disappointment.
Sorry, brah. And so is Caelynn. “It doesn’t make sense to you, and it doesn’t make sense to me, but my heart’s being pulled to Dean for some reason,” she tells him. After a tearful round of goodbye hugs with the rest of the contestants, Dean and Caelynn ride off into the sunset, still smooching.
Hope you like backseat ramen, mama!
Katie and Chris: Looks like Paradise’s cutest couple is experiencing a bit of a rough patch. Katie feels like Chris is a little too distant and not really giving her the “you’re the only person I can even dream of” vibes she wants from a life partner. Also, they’re both just grumpy and bored to death of sitting on the beach. “I think we need a date,” says Katie. Fortunately, JPJ just strolled into the bar holding a date card for Chris. Let’s do this, you crazy kids. “I feel like Chris has walls up,” says Katie. “If he doesn’t step up to the plate, I’m not sure this is going to work.”
At dinner, Katie dives right into it, asking Chris why he hasn’t been giving their relationship “100 percent.” He admits to holding back and says he’s always had a hard time expressing his emotions. “I’m only here right now for you,” says Chris. “I’ve been burned a couple times before. I’m giving you everything I have.” Long story short, Chris intimates that he’s falling in love with Katie and has a lot of optimism about their future. Awwww.
The date card mentioned a wedding, and just as Chris and Katie are finished talking, a newly-married couple comes dancing up the street with their wedding party. Chris and Katie join the parade, and all’s right with their world again.
Sydney and Matt and Brie: How did Matt end up in a love triangle? I guess because the season’s almost over and he, Sydney, and Brie need to earn their keep somehow. “It’s so weird that he’s the new playboy of Paradise,” muses Blake. It is weird, but not as weird as this pineapple “woman” Chase built to help Matt practice his kissing skills.
Chilling. Even though Matt is for sure awkward and constantly worried about what his mother will think of his time in Paradise, both Brie and Sydney continue to try to woo him. Brie takes him to the hot tub, but he just wants to practice his handstands and play Marco Polo. Then Sydney tries to give him a massage, but he can’t handle the pressure. (“Ow! Son of a bee sting!”) As Blake says, “Good luck, buddy.”
Revian and Connor: Wait, who? Apparently, she was on Colton’s season. (She went home night one.) What’s worse, rose lovers: Not being asked to come to Paradise at all, or being asked to come the last week when you’re clearly just there to fill time and everyone is already coupled up? The other women of Paradise are clearly not impressed.
Anyhow, Revian (Ravine? Reviana?) chats with the guys, and finding them all paired off, she asks Connor to go on the date. He half-heartedly agrees, because what else is he going to do? They ride Segways by the beach and watch a clown make balloon animals. And then they make out, because… well, what else are they going to do?
Demi and Kristian: “Are you guys going to get engaged or what?” Katie asks as the three of them relax on the daybed. Not so fast, lady — Kristian says their time on Paradise has been educational and therapeutic, but they’re still learning about each other. For one thing, Kristian is more affectionate, while Demi eschews PDA. “I don’t like PDA because I don’t like looking at PDA,” says Demi. “Kristian’s just flirty with girls, and it sucks. Like, I hate seeing it! It feels like she’s more interested in them than me.” Watching Kristian cuddle and giggle with the other women of Paradise is really starting to bother Demi… which means it’s a perfect time for producers to send them on a date!
But Demi’s not just being petulant — she’s struggling with some truly difficult feelings at the moment. “It has everything to do with me being comfortable with being gay around people,” she says. “It’s scary.” The more she thinks about it, the more upset she gets. “I feel so guilty,” says Demi, as she starts to cry. “I’m still uncomfortable with it because I don’t want people to be like, ‘That’s weird.'”
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: Whatever “rules” the producers broke to bring Kristian on to Paradise, whatever double standard they’re employing to maximize the drama, the most important result is that a mainstream reality TV dating show is featuring a same-sex relationship and treating it like any other relationship. Plus, tonight’s episode gave ample screen time to a newly-out woman coping with her anxiety about being out. This franchise does plenty of f—ed up things, but in this case, producers are using their powers for good, not evil.
Demi and Kristian’s date, meanwhile, involves a sacred cleansing ritual.
Though it’s a “spiritual” moment, Kristian says she could feel that “something was up” with Demi, so she asks her about it after the ceremony. Demi says she doesn’t like it when Kristian is “touchy” with other people — and she’s worried that in the end, her inability to be affectionate will be a deal-breaker for Kristian. “I get where you’re coming from,” says Kristian. “I’m totally okay with working towards whatever speed you’re at, to be publicly affectionate.” As for her touchy-feely behavior with other women in Paradise? “Why would I ever flirt with anybody when I have you?” she asks Demi. Awwww, hug it out, you two!
John Paul Jones and Tayshia: “She’s definitely my dream girl, without a doubt,” says JPJ. And because Tayshia never went to her high school prom, JPJ invites her to Paradise Prom — complete with a corsage, balloons, crowns, and champagne.
Yeah, JPJ drank the bubbly a little too fast. Gross. But the good news is producers paid for the rights to Air Supply’s “The One That You Love.” Crank it, fellas!
Blake and Kristina: To no one’s surprise (except maybe Blake’s), Kristina is still having a hard time believing that Blake will “prioritize” her after Paradise is over. Knowing this, Blake decides that he needs to take a page out of JPJ’s book and stage a Grand Gesture for the woman he (thinks he) loves. So he swipes a date card from production and invites Kristina to a homemade rendezvous in “the treehouse.”
It’s so romantic, Kristina can’t help but… break up with him? “I said I would give us a chance and try, but I don’t think I’ll be able to get where I need to get,” she tells him. Ooof, that’s gotta hurt.
“I’m sorry,” says Kristina. “Right now, I feel like this is the right decision for me to make.” Blake, as you can see above, is blindsided. “I don’t understand, what’s changed today?” he asks Kristina. “We had such a good day today!” Maybe, but Kristina realized she had already moved on from Blake, despite his late-in-the-game epiphany. “I didn’t think you would be coming my way,” she says, wiping away tears.
Too true, pal. Too true. We spend the last several minutes of the episode watching Blake cry in the confessional room and eventually mope his way out the door. “I thought we would leave together,” he sniffs. “How could I be this wrong every time?” Better luck next year, dude. Kidding, I hope for your sake that we never see you again.
Only two episodes left, rose lovers! While the previews make it look like Dylan and Hannah make it through the end unscathed (and possibly engaged), it also seems like either JPJ and Tayshia or Chris and Katie will break up. And it looks like we’ll get an interracial proposal, too:
Did you feel bad for Blake tonight, or was it slightly satisfying to watch him leave Paradise alone? How long do you think Dean and Caelynn will stay together? And how much would you pay for a placenta? Post your thoughts below!
Bachelor in Paradise airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on ABC
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