Becca and Garrett have chosen to do the damn thing together. Mazel tov to them, but I think history has taught us that pretty much anyone can fall in love in a matter of weeks and celebrate scoring a big fat engagement ring courtesy of Uncle Neil.
Now Bachelor in Paradise, on the other hand, is way different. It doesn’t take itself too seriously. Everyone knows exactly why they are there and they embrace the meat market. If you don’t believe me, look no further than the opening montage set to the seductive tune of “Almost Paradise.”
There’s Kendall talking to the skull of an animal, Bibiana dropping a mic, Joe bagging some groceries, Jordan (still) showcasing his golden underwear — and my personal favorite, the girls slo-mo pillow fighting on the outdoor beach bed.
See what I mean? It’s just easier if you welcome the crazy into your home four hours per week. Trust me.
What I did find particularly disturbing is our host Chris Harrison raking the sand. Excuse me, ABC, but don’t you have some sort of intern to do that for Mr. Harrison? Shouldn’t he be sipping a Corona while Wells fans him with a palm frond?
Moving on… Harrison wants us to know that this season promises romance, tears, drama, more tears, panic attacks, and tears. It’s also the most emotional season ever, because ABC has gathered all of Arie and Becca’s rejects and pumped them full of alcohol to see if lightning can strike three times in Paradise. If it can happen to Jade/Tanner and Carly/Evan, it can happen to any one of these jokers, surely.
Let’s meet some of the cast.
Kendall (Arie’s season) is our favorite taxidermy enthusiast who just wants people to know she’s more than dead animals and has no intention of stuffing one of those sand crabs as a souvenir. Chris (Becca’s season) is embarrassed everyone saw his Crazy Eddie impression and he wants a do over. He also has a Paradise gang name. You can call him “The Goose.”
Krystal (Arie’s season) suffers from the way she was portrayed last season, and Annaleise (also Arie) suffers from everything, including but not limited to: bumper cars, dogs, sand, thunder, water, red heads, and birds. David and Jordan (Becca’s season) are doing fine. One lives with his mother and the other just wants to drink white wine and watch chick flicks. I’ll let you determine which is which.
Wills (Becca’s season) promises to keep his eyes open this time, and Bibs (Arie’s season) claims, “If my ass gets blurred, I’m doing something right.”
Ladies and gentlemen, Paradise is officially open. Use the appropriate amount of antibacterial hand sanitizer and proceed with caution. (Next: Tia hearts Colton)
Tia (Arie’s season) is up first and I don’t know if you know this, but she’s not over Colton. She spends the entire day waiting for him to come traipsing down the cobblestone steps into her loving arms. With every baritone greeting that calls over the ocean, she is left with disappointment. That’s why she barely registers Eric’s presence (Rachel’s season) and doesn’t flinch when he compliments her teeth and feet.
Kendall, Jordan, and Bibiana arrive next. Kendall is joyful as expected. Jordan is happy this place is “as beautiful as me.” And Bibs is waiting for her “hoo-ha” to whisper which lucky stud is the best one for her.
I love this show so much.
A few more of Becca’s discards arrive. Grocery Store Joe makes his official debut and we are treated to more than thirty seconds of his goofy personality. Kudos to him for making a bizarre “graveyard picnic” conversation with Kendall not so weird.
Wills meets resident bartender therapist Wells and Chris bellies up to the bar without saying much of anything. Again, his goal is to be the better man this go around. I think if he sticks to writing his feelings down in lyrical form like Richard Marx taught him, he should be fine.
Chelsea and Krystal from Arie’s season arrive and everyone is surprised to learn that Krystal no longer suffers from Snow White Voice Syndrome. Krystal immediately zeros in on Grocery Store Joe to the chagrin of Kendall. She and the guy who carried a watermelon bond over the fact that they are both part Norwegian.
A guy named Kevin who found love and lost it on the first season of the Canadian Bachelorette bursts through the tropical forest, followed by a topless Nick and Venmo John, both from Becca’s season. Venmo wastes no time and whisks Kendall away so they can nerd out together.
Nysha (Arie’s season) manages to show up on the beach without blowing over. Kenny (Rachel’s season) is the resident old dude who just wants to have fun. Nick’s former flames Astrid and someone named Angela (who is this girl?) round out this wave of contestants. Everyone goes ga-ga over the mysterious Angela while Venmo calls Tia out for staring in the general vicinity of the newcomer staircase.
Did you hear? She really wants Colton to come to Paradise. I’m not sure if I made myself clear earlier.
Jordan hits on Annaleise and admits that Chicken David (Becca’s season) is the worst. Naturally David comes bounding down the stairs next. Bless it. David is also the bearer of bad news: He’s the last one to arrive in Paradise.
This sends Tia into a fit of emotion, which is very dramatic, because everyone knows that new people show up to Paradise all the time. It’s a revolving door. You try islanders on and see if they fit. If they don’t, you hand them off to your friend in the dressing room next door. If they still don’t fit, they are sent to the bargain bin. Duh.
Harrison gathers the troops, does a little math, and points out that there are nine ladies and ten men. This is immediately confirmed by Venmo. Since the guys outnumber the girls, someone with a Y chromosome is heading home at the next rose ceremony before they even have a chance to get a sunburn.
Let the games begin.
Grocery Store Joe grabs Tia for a quick visit. He sits there like an adorably bored bump on a log while she drones on and on about Colton. She confesses that he is on her mind all the time.
The date card arrives and guess whose name is on the top? Why it’s Tia of course! The one girl who came to Paradise to find love with a specific former football player must ask another man to accompany her to dinner. Ugh. Her life is the worst.
After crying over her terrible luck that Colton is not here, Tia decides not to get into her own head because she knows she will regret that later. She must stop thinking about hunky Colton and starting thinking about what she wants. And what she wants is Chris.
Someone is pleasantly surprised! Not enough to button his Hawaiian shirt all the way, but surprised enough. Poor Grocery Store Joe licks his wounds, figuring Tia didn’t pick him because she doesn’t care for his accent. This is the moment when Krystal detects an injured gazelle near the watering hole and goes in for the kill.
Oh, and the nodes are back.
Krystal works her magic and is straight up appalled when Joe asks for another private audience with Kendall. The nerve. What’s the opposite of a glitter bomb? (Next: We have a love triangle)
Joe and Kendall lounge on the beach bed and Kendall comments on how none of the guys have been aggressively trying to claim the women. Joe laughs and says, “That’s what I’m doing right now!”
Kendal LOVES this and everything else about Joe. She proves it by making out with him. Joe concludes that Kendall is the best thing about Paradise. I’m sure he meant from this moment onward, because five seconds ago, Tia was the best thing about Paradise.
Naturally Krystal is playing a game of “I Spy” and drops Grocery Store Joe like a hot potato in lieu of a certain Canadian, eh? Kevin escorts her to another beach bed and shoves a thousand chips in his mouth. Between swallows, he tells Krystal that she is the hottest girl there. Then he makes out with her over his beloved bowl of salsa. How romantic.
Inside the hut on yet another bed, Nick tries to make a move on Chelsea. Although he can’t remember her son’s name and basically insinuates he is fishing for a rose, Chelsea claims digestive distress and leaves Nick to belly flop into the pool. Something tells me he and his abs are going home first.
Let’s talk about Tia’s date with Chris. Hold onto your sombreros, because Tia actually likes Chris and has officially squashed any false hope that Colton may be in her future. Chris is pumped at this news and toasts every other sentence.
Everyone assumes that Tia and Chris will end up in the Friend Zone after their date because the girl says Colton’s name five times per hour. You can imagine their surprise when Tia and Chris wake up the next morning all lovey dovey, invading each other’s personal space.
Tia giggles to the producers, “Colton who?” Then the clouds gather and thunder crashes. Metaphorically of course. It’s bright and shiny and very humid. I know this because Colton arrives in sunny Paradise with a touch of perspiration soaking through his skin tight turquoise tee.
The producers wisely gather everyone on the beach bed so the moment is extra uncomfortable. Colton waves his date card around in the air and then asks Kendall to join him on an adjacent lounger. Kendall remains calm and generously tells Colton that Tia went out on a date the day before. She also tells him he needs to figure out what’s going on with their relationship.
While Colton gets the 4-1-1 from Kendall, the rest of the women are livid that Tia was not the first person Colton snagged. All claim this is a huge red flag and all eyes roll when he talks to Angela next. They vow to make Angela’s giggle a drinking game. If someone gets drunk enough to cut her Disney princess hair in the middle of the night, so be it.
A random group of misfits (Jordan, Nick, and Chris) quickly form the Goose Gang and their sole purpose is to rag on Colton. They want to know Colton’s intensions. All believe he’s here for fame and InstaFortune. Plus, Jordan thinks that Colton isn’t a threat because Chris has three things Colton does not: Chris is not a virgin, Tia picked Chris for the date (even though Colton was technically not there to pick), and Chris has great hair. Boom.
Things really get tense when Colton asks Tia on the date. While bumming around on a yacht, they reminisce on their fabulous weekend that caused all sorts of chaos during Becca’s season. Tia flat out asks Colton if they should give this a shot, because she’s interested. Colton flat out answers with a vague “I don’t know” and then sticks his tongue down her throat.
Tia shoves her heart through the slightly open door. She goes all in on the jet ski and makes out with him the remainder of the date. Anything is possible in Paradise, right?
Of course, the girls are all concerned for Tia’s heart. They believe that Colton needs to commit to Tia or go home. If he commits, both Tia and Colton are off limits. If he doesn’t commit and he stays, he’s a jack wagon. Decisions, decisions.
The Goose Gang has a different tactic. They are ready to peck their way into victory. They claim they will shut Colton down since he’s clearly not interested in Tia for the right reasons. Chris is ready to fight for his woman.
Wherever you go, whatever you do, the Goose will be right here waiting for you.