We did it, rose lovers. Six weeks, 12 episodes, 25 hours of Bachelor in Paradise down, absolutely zero to go (until next summer). And what a sh—show it has been. Let’s recap, for the final time this year.
We begin in the Tealight Candle Thunderdome, where Chris Harrison promises us “the most exciting television event of the summer.” (Reminder: Fall doesn’t officially begin until Sept. 22, so technically our host could be right.) Before we can get to the sure-to-be awkward-and-full-of-terrible-makeovers reunion show, however, we must wrap up our Paradise “journey” by finding out which, if any couples left engaged.
Poor Annaliese still hopes Kamil is going to propose, but I suppose she should just be happy that he didn’t sneak out of Paradise under the cover of darkness and hop a plane to Papua New Guinea. She’s all, “I know that not only am I the one for you, but you’re the one for me.” And Kamil’s all, “That’s cool, babe, but let’s just see how things go once we get back to the States.” Okay, I’m paraphrasing — Kamil tells Annaliese that he loves her, but he’s not yet ready to get engaged. In a shocking turn of events, Annaliese does not completely lose her mind. “I’m not worried,” she says. “I know that he wants to marry me.” (As we’ll see later, he does not.)
Up next, we have Jordan and Jenna. Though she has been a gigantic ball of nerves and quite wary of jumping into anything, Jenna suddenly wants her male model to put a ring on it. “If Jordan does not propose, I will be crushed,” she says. Once at the proposal platform, Jenna tells Jordan, “You’re all I ever wanted… I love you so much, and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you.” Jordan, bless his heart, is visibly nervous as he pledges his love to Miss Coconuts, saying, “I can’t wait to build a family and make all of your dreams come true.” And then…
She says yes! Dammit, rose lovers, why am I crying???
Last and definitely least, we have Chris and Krystal, the “imperfectly perfect pair,” as Krystal calls them. “Chris and I are both afraid of commitment,” she quavers. “Maybe it’s too good to be true.” It’s definitely too something, honey. But of course Chris is not going to turn down the chance to have his quasi-Bachelor moment of glory, so after a groan-worthy fake-out — “It would be unfair to us if I left here today holding your hand, because [excruciatingly long pause] I want to leave here holding your heart” — Chris makes his move. And she LOVES it.
Okay, sure. Congrats. Now let’s leave this crab-infested beach and get to the reunion, shall we? Here’s the latest on our “favorite” “couples” and rivals:
After Paradise, Olivia and Venmo John FaceTimed a bit and spent a weekend together, but ultimately John decided they were better off as friends. At the reunion, Olivia half-heartedly scolds John for not making the “effort” with their “relationship,” and calls John’s decision to publicly FaceTime another Paradise refugee, Chelsea, a “slap in my face.” (Next: Kevin and Astrid meet on the hot seat)
Eric and Angela rehash their Mexico dust-up — he claims they never moved past “friendship,” and she’s all “then why were you calling me your ‘queen,’ player?”
Tia and Colton: So obviously, rose lovers, this reunion was taped before Colton was (ugghhhhhh) named the Bachelor. Harrison asks the former couple how things are going between them, and naturally Tia pipes up first. “We were never on the same page,” she says with a wry laugh. “We tried, and it didn’t work, and I wish Colton the best.” Doesn’t he look totally happy and comfortable in his own skin?
When it comes to Kevin and Astrid, Harrison has the same question we all do: “What in the world happened?” Astrid still has no idea. She and Kevin have been talking since Paradise, but Astrid says they’re “in limbo” because “the trust is broken.” All right Kevin, get out here and explain yourself.
That’s the gist, honestly. After two relationships that failed post-Suite, Kevin says he just wigged out upon hearing that term in Mexico. Astrid, can you forgive him? He’s back in therapy, and he knows it was his own fault. “I brought baggage to Paradise,” admits Kevin. “And she got blamed for it.” Ooooh, you guys… she’s holding his hand! And now she admits to being in love with him. And now…
Huzzah! Hope for reality TV romance springs eternal! Let’s hope we can say the same thing for our next couple.
First, Harrison makes Kendall sit on the hot seat alone and watch her breakup with Grocery Store Joe. “I tend to run away from relationships that are serious,” she admits. As soon as Joe walked away, Kendall says she knew she made a huge mistake — so she headed to Chicago to plead her case with him. Of course, Team Paradise came along too.
Kendall admits to Joe that she was “holding back,” and that she really does love him. That is exactly what Joe had been hoping to hear, but he’s so hurt by Kendall’s sudden rejection that he’s not sure he can trust her again. Does he still feel this way a few weeks later?
Thank the reality TV gods, Grocery Store Joe and Kendall are back together! Oy, and curse the reality TV gods, because now poor Joe is going to be a contestant on Dancing With the Stars. Random, yes, but Harrison says it’s all in service of helping Joe and Kendall spend some time in the same city. Whatever, Team Paradise — I’m still not gonna watch DWTS. (Next: Annaliese gets blindsided… again)
Moving on to Annaliese and Kamil. Though she left Paradise thinking a proposal would be coming “soon,” now Annaliese tells Harrison that it’ll be “down the road a bit.” Long distance, after all, is “hard.” Little does she know that things are about to get even harder — even as Kamil sits right next to her on the couch.
To absolutely no one’s surprise — except Annaliese’s, of course — now that Paradise is over and the cameras are (almost) gone, Kamil says their relationship has lost its “spark,” and that he’s not the guy for her. “This is f—ed up,” mutters Astrid, speaking for all of us. Poor Annaliese has been the butt of the joke all season — and sure, she bears some responsibility for it, given how quickly she grew attached to any guy who smiled in her direction. But it’s still pretty sh—y of producers and Kamil to sucker punch her so gleefully in front of a studio full of people. “I don’t mean to shock you like this,” Kamil says weakly. “It’s been coming for a few days.” Say it with me, rose lovers:
Harrison asks Annaliese what she wants in this moment of abject humiliation. “To get off this stage,” she shoots back, before getting up and walking away as the audience claps supportively. Of course, the cameras follow her backstage to make sure every second of her misery is recorded for posterity. Wait a minute… Annaliese is coming back out now to read Kamil the riot act. Tia, for one, is INTO IT.
“I literally tried to break up with you like two weeks ago,” says Annaliese. “And you said, ‘I don’t want to lose you and I’m going to fight for you.’” Kamil’s all “I did fight” but Annaliese isn’t having his excuses or his lame pleas of “I wish I wasn’t doing it like this.” Listen buddy: If you didn’t want to do it on TV, then don’t do it on TV. It’s that simple. Unless producers are holding your grandma hostage or something, there is no other excuse. “Ladies,” please come give Annaliese a hug.
Gurl, leave this franchise behind and go find your happiness in the wonderful world of actual reality. We’re rooting for you. (Next: Paradise ends on a happy note)
Hey, here’s some happy news: Jenna and Jordan are still happy and totally weird and adorable.
Team Paradise set them up with a “happy couple” visit, where they ate chocolate and made a vision board to solidify their future together. And when I say “future,” I mean these two lunatics have set a wedding date: June 9, 2019, and of course, Chris Harrison will officiate. Welp, I guess we know how Bachelor in Paradise will kick things off in season 6.
If only we could end on that note. Instead, we’ve got one more couple to get through: Chris and Krystal. And even though they’re still “happy” and “in love” and all that, Chris can’t stop crying.
“I’m just like so thankful to have such an incredible woman who saw potential in me, and really helped transform me in Paradise,” says Chris, wiping away tears. According to “the Goose,” Krystal sat him down after the second rose ceremony and told him to stop acting like such a jackass, or he’d lose her and all of his Paradise friends. And it worked! He’s even met Krystal’s “family.”
Chris and Krystal’s moms are in the audience, and they seem cautiously optimistic about the whole situation. So, congrats I guess? Now please take your crystal goose and get out of here — Angela is on fire!
Gotta say, the bloopers were a bit disappointing. But the good news is, we now have a 117-day break until the new season of The Bachelor. Before you go celebrate, I want to hear your thoughts on these burning questions: Will you watch Grocery Joe on DWTS? Do you think Jenna and Jordan (or Chris and Krystal, for that matter) will really get married? And am I the only one who wants to be best friends with Yuki? Post your thoughts below. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to sleep until January 7, 2019.