It’s been a long, sweaty “journey,” rose lovers, but we’ve almost made it to the end of Paradise. However, before you start fantasizing about the nearly five-month break we’ll have between the Paradise finale and the start of The Bachelor (or… am I the only one who does that?), we must turn our attention to the onslaught of end-of-season breakups and breakdowns.
The week begins with a date card, and it goes to the First Couple of Paradise, Jordan and Jenna. The card instructs them to get “camera ready,” and when they arrive at the date, this gentleman is waiting for them.
Yep, it’s time for some fake “engagement photos!” Jordan, of course, is happier than a Florida-based Wilhelmina model in a Macy’s menswear circular, but Jenna finds the whole thing pretty stressful. “I’m nervous about how I feel about Jordan,” she confesses. “I’m nervous about being nervous.” And that’s before the photographer asks her to change into this:
The move from fake engagement photos to fake wedding photos has Jenna in anxiety overdrive. “I’m scared,” she tells Jordan. “I just want to know that you’re here, all the way.” The male model, who has developed into a dream boyfriend over the past few weeks, assures Jenna that if she left him, “there would be no more romance.” Awwww. She LOVES it.
“I can actually picture a pretty healthy, fun relationship in the future with him,” says Jenna, before getting slammed by a wave and nearly losing her borrowed wedding dress entirely.
But just as Jordan can see his happily-ever-after Paradise ending with Jenna on the horizon, who walks down the steps but this guy:
A+++ on the chyron work there, Team Paradise. Amazing stuff. But the only influence Robby seems to have on his new castmates is to make them feel a mild wave of disgust. “Why is Robby Hayes here?” asks a clearly skeeved-out Cassandra. “Every single girl here knows his reputation. It’s not a good one.” Shushanna, on the other hand, is ready to “double-tap that.”
One by one, the women tell Robby that they’re in relationships and therefore off-limits, though Jenna is a bit more colorful with her language. “Jordan might peel your skin off and cook it,” she informs Robby with a throaty chuckle. Indeed, once Jordan finds out that the social media influencer asked Jenna out, he decides to go talk to his rival — but the “Ken-doll showdown” we were promised in the promos turns out to be a fairly polite conversation. Things are so solid with him and Jenna, says Jordan, that if Robby took her out “it would be a waste of a date card.”
Hearing this, Robby moves on to his next best (a.k.a. only) other option: Shushanna. And that’s when things get [cue the haunted house sounds] spoooooooky. First, a bottle of champagne (that in no way was left out in the hot, hot sun and then shaken vigorously by a Paradise intern) unexpectedly explodes on Wells at the bar. And then, during Robby and Shushanna’s outdoor dinner, fruit starts falling from the trees.
Oh, the horror! Yeah, well… it’s week 6, and producers still have four hours to fill, so what did we expect? (Next: Did Kendall seriously just break up with Grocery Joe?)
Speaking of filler, it’s time for an update on Cassandra and Kiwi Jordan.
Great. Moving on.
Kendall and Grocery Joe are cuddling on a daybed and talking about the future. “I like you,” says Joe. “I like your soul.” It’s ridiculously sweet, but when Joe brings up the idea of the two of them getting engaged — he’s sort of joking, but sort of not joking, too — Kendall gets visibly uncomfortable and tense. When Joe asks her what’s wrong, her response is awkward and clipped. “I don’t know,” she says. “I just want to sleep on it. I just feel weird, that’s all.” Gurl, sleep on what? The fact that you landed the most loveable and relatable guy this stupid franchise has ever produced?
Look, I’m going to be honest with you. Some other stuff happens next during the pre-rose ceremony cocktail party — John and Diggy compete for Olivia’s affections, and Olivia and Cassandra try to warn Shushanna about Robby — but the only thing that really matters is what goes down between Kendall and Grocery Joe. Our favorite produce-slinging hunk has spent the day worrying about Kendall’s sudden emotional distance. “She’s so involved in her own feelings that she’s literally pushed all mine to the side,” he says sadly. “I went to bed last night having no clue where we stood.”
Seriously, Kendall, what is UP? Finally, she and Joe sit down and talk it out. “I feel like when we were talking about being exclusive, I got a sense of it being not because we generally wanted to,” she says, “but because we felt we had to.” Huh? Girl, I’m sitting on a couch in another country and even I can tell that Grocery Joe is completely without guile. Instead, it’s Kendall whose feelings are not completely there. “Part of me, like, obviously loves you,” she tells Joe. “But I don’t know if it’s in love.”
Kendall goes on to say that Joe has “never expressed” how he feels about her, and the hurt on his face is gutting. “You don’t know how I feel?” he asks incredulously. “I’ve been falling in love with you since day two.” The only reason he hasn’t been dropping l-bombs left and right, Joe continues, is because Kendall talks so much about other boyfriends who “suffocated” her. “The truth is, you don’t know how you feel about me,” says Joe. “You need to stop saying ‘we,’ please.”
Excuse me while I scream into a pillow.
“We’re just not in the same place. That’s what I’ve been scared about this entire time,” Joe continues. Knowing this, Joe has no interest in Paradise. “I’m not staying,” he tells Kendall. “I’m going home.”
Cue the sad piano music, because Grocery Joe is leaving the building. (Or, you know, the collection of huts.) Kendall, meanwhile, is left sobbing on the daybed. “All of a sudden he was saying he had all these feelings and I was the only one who had doubts,” she tells Astrid.”This is stuff that he never told me before.” All of a sudden? WOMAN, IT WAS OBVIOUS HE LOVED YOU! Uh, is it too late to make Grocery Joe the Bachelor?
Having made the biggest mistake of her young life, Kendall climbs into the Rejector SUV and weeps. “I just want to see him again,” she sobs. “I’m just gonna miss him so much.” There, there, you fool — you’ll see him tomorrow night at the reunion episode.
As for the rest of you, let’s just get this rose ceremony over with: Cassandra gives her rose to Kiwi Jordan, Shushanna gives her rose to Robby, Annaliese gives her rose to her “boyfriend” Kamil, Astrid gives her rose to Kevin, Krystal gives her rose to Chris, Jenna gives her rose to Jordan, and Olivia gives her rose to Venmo John. Sorry, Diggy — thanks for playing!
Such good trolling this week, Team Paradise. Kudos. (Next: Not Astrid and Kevin, too!)
The next morning, Chris “Miami Vice” Harrison orders everyone to the rose palapa to pop their Paradise bubble.
That’s right — today is the last day in Paradise, and it’s time for the Bippers to decide between spending the night in the Fantasy Suite or ending things forever. There is no middle ground, rose lovers! With Kendall and Grocery Joe gone, does any of this really matter? Of course not, but in the interest of presenting you with a thorough record of this “journey,” here’s where the couples landed on the do-it-or-dump-it question:
John and Oliva: Though Venmo John has been whoring it up a bit in Paradise, when it comes to overnight dates the engineer admits that he’s not “ready” to spend the night with Olivia — but he’s also “not ready to say goodbye.” To that end, they leave Paradise together, with the intention of getting to know each other better in the Real World™.
Kiwi Jordan and Cassandra decide to consciously uncouple, as do Robby and Shushanna.
After some hemming and hawing, Kamil agrees to go to the Fantasy Suite with Annaliese. There’s no hesitation for Chris and Krystal or Jenna and Jordan. It’s gotta be the same with Kevin and Astrid, right? Uh-oh…
Hey buddy, whassamatter? It seems that the former (Canadian) Bachelor is having a little Fantasy Suite-related PTSD. “When I went into the Fantasy Suite the first time, I came out with more doubt than I had going into it,” Kevin explains, adding that he regrets his second Fantasy Suite trip (with Ashley I.) even more. “I just don’t know what to do.” Kevin also chooses now to reveal that he feels like “something’s missing” in his relationship with Astrid — and the idea of going into a third Fantasy Suite is bringing all his doubts to the surface. “I don’t know if this is forever,” he says. “But why don’t I know?” Dude, because it’s been two weeks — that’s why!
Naturally, Astrid is stunned. “Are you breaking up with me?” Yes, yes he is. “What the actual f—, man?” says Astrid, blindsided and angry. “I’m mind-boggled.” Poor Kevin feels like a “piece of s—,” but he knows his heart “isn’t fully in it.” Welp, there you have it. Astrid wipes away her tears and heads off to pack her bags. “Don’t leave me like this!” sobs Kevin, but he really hasn’t left her any other choice. Personally, I reject this breakup. I simply do not accept it. Like Joe and Kendall, I believe these two crazy kids will patch things up. Don’t @ me.
Ooof. The remaining three couples get gussied up and head to their respective Fantasy Suites. Chris and Krystal have a serious talk about commitment issues stemming from their troubled family lives growing up. Annaliese and Kamil, meanwhile, eat a thick slab of kielbasa.
Honestly, the producers are killing it with their contestant mockery tonight!
Over in the third Fantasy Suite, Jordan has just confessed his love for Jenna. Who knew the Male Model in the golden undies would become one of Paradise’s best boyfriends? “I’ve been praying for someone like you,” says Jenna. “I feel like God sent you to me… I love you, too.” Yes, I could not be rooting for these two goofballs more.
Oh no, Krystal just broke out her blindfold-and-feather kit. Fade to black, Team Paradise — please!
Thank the Lord, we’re done with night one — and man, it was rough. How are you holding up after Kendall and Joe’s split, rose lovers? Do you think there’s any chance for them or Astrid and Kevin? And will any of these damn couples stay together? Post your thoughts below, and then meet me back here tomorrow night.
The Bachelor in Paradise season finale airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. on ABC.