Season 7 of Bachelor in Paradise kicks off with guest host David Spade, a bunch of randy singles, and the most night-one make-out sessions in the show's history.
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Hello again, rose lovers! In most parts of our country, the vision of a pandemic-free summer never quite materialized. (Get vaccinated, FFS!) But at least there's one part of the world where randy, attractive singles can throw caution, dignity, and common sense to the wind: Bachelor in Paradise, that little stretch of beach where tiny crabs run free and producers reserve the right to portray contestants in ways that "may be embarrassing, unfavorable, humiliating, and/or derogatory, and/or may portray him or her in a false light."

Let's recap!

The intros are a little different this time, perhaps because we don't have Chris Harrison to welcome us back and set the stage for a summer of "romance." Instead, the show opens with a montage of some of the incoming Paradisians (see the previously announced cast here) before transitioning into a few strategically chosen packages:

Serena P., 23
Last seen… dumping Matt after hometowns on The Bachelor.
Hoping to meet: Brendan from Tayshia's season. "He's… a very gorgeous man," says the petite Canadian publicist. "A gorgeous specimen."

Brendan, 31
Last seen… breaking things off with Tayshia on The Bachelorette because he wasn't ready for an engagement. But now… "I'm leaving the past in the past," says the model and roofer. "And the prospect of falling in love in Paradise is amazing and exciting and just the tiniest bit scary."

Tahzjuan, 28
Last seen… melting down over the heat on BiP 6. And wouldn't you know it? The show is once again giving Tahz the drama queen edit. See her first chyron:

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Tahz can't take the heat on 'Paradise'
| Credit: ABC

"Last time around on Paradise, I overheated," she explains. "I was just bogged down by the heat and couldn't even think about love." Now, though, Tahz says she's a "new person," and that person likes to refer to herself in the third person. "We are serious about finding love," she declares.
Hoping to meet: Ivan from Tayshia's season, because he's good-looking, he has a career, and he causes a "fiesta" in her "pantalones."

Ivan, 29
Last seen… getting dumped by Tayshia on The Bachelorette because their religious beliefs didn't coincide. Now the aeronautical engineer says he's "fully recovered" and ready to settle down and have kids. Here he is being goofy with his niece:

Bachelor in Paradise
Ivan and his niece
| Credit: ABC

Awwww, that's sweet.

Victoria L., 28
Last seen… wearing the wrong bra for almost every dress on Matt's season. Having thrown her "Queen" persona into the garbage, Victoria now sees herself as "the blonde Goddess."

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She's back, sigh.
| Credit: ABC

Straight out of Mount Olymptus [sic], y'all!

Mari, 25
Last seen… getting sent home on Matt's season.
Hoping to meet: Kenny, the boy band manager from Clare and Tayshia's season. "He's really attractive," says Mari. "Also, I like that he's older. He's more mature." Cut to…

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Burn that SUV, stat!
| Credit: ABC

Yep, that's Kenny. "I might be one of the oldest [contestants] ever to be in Paradise," says the 40-year-old, who appears to have zero percent body fat. "I'm ready to have the best summer of my life — no clothes, no cares. I'm gonna bare it all."

Kelsey, 30
Last seen… spitting champagne all over herself on Peter's season.

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'Memba this?
| Credit: ABC

Today, Kelsey says she's a totally different person. "I'm proud of the growth that I have done. I've started to learn to actually love myself, and I'm not looking for somebody to fill my holes." Oh, honey. No.

(I'm gonna skip right over the first Wells appearance because as you may remember, rose lovers, I am not a big fan of Wells — more accurately, I'm not a big fan of his smarmy demeanor and his smug, self-satisfied "humor.")

As for Kelsey's decision to use Milk of Magnesia under her makeup to keep it from running? Apparently, that's an actual thing people do! You learn something new every day.

Connor B., 29
Last seen… getting the boot from Katie's season of The Bachelorette for being a bad kisser.
Hoping to meet: Abigail? Brittany? Jessenia? Actually, Connor isn't interested in meeting any of the women he's currently singing about on the beach. All Connor is truly hoping to do is get a record deal, because this "math teacher" from Nashville is clearly just a wannabe musician. I really, really wish producers hadn't allowed him to bring his guitar. Blech.

Jessenia, 28
Last seen… getting dumped after professing her love to Matt on The Bachelor
Hoping to meet: Grocery Store Joe. Speaking of which…

Joe, 35
Last seen… on season 27 of Dancing With the Stars.
Though fans dubbed him "Grocery Store Joe" after he was eliminated on night one of Becca's season of The Bachelorette, Joe says he no longer owns a grocery store. He's too busy hosting Bachelor Nation podcasts and otherwise living dat influencer life. Sadly, Joe is also no longer with Kendall the taxidermy enthusiast, whom he fell for on BiP season 5. "Kendall and I dated for two years," says Joe. "We were in love, but our futures didn't align."

Here's the good news: Joe's mom and dad fully support their son's decision to appear on STD Beach for a second time. "As long as you don't cry, I'm happy, that's number one," grouses pops. "And number two is I would like you to meet somebody because I wanna have grandkids before I drop dead." Awww, Joe's dad is adorable, even if he does have outdated views about men expressing their emotions. 

Enough dilly-dallying. Isn't it time to get this "journey" started?

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He's not wrong.
| Credit: ABC

Yes, let's! Thank you, celebrity guest host David Spade. Abigail is the first one down the stairs, and naturally our host is charmed. "I see why everyone likes her," he notes. "She's a sweetheart." Joe's up next, and David Spade hits him with a grocery pun: "If any hookups happen here, you think you're gonna double-bag it?" (Ba-dum-bum.)

Ivan is the third to arrive, and while making small talk with Joe and Abigail, we learn that both Ivan and Joe are interested in meeting Serena P. Do I need to tell you that Serena P. emerges from the palm fronds next? Of course I don't. Grocery Joe is immediately discouraged. "Don't come here, people!" he tells America. "It's just a love trap." Correct!

Did we really need to see 64 full seconds of David Spade trying to open a champagne bottle for Kelsey? No, we did not. They have the Bachelor Interns for that.

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Nah, Wells can do the grunt work.
| Credit: ABC

Onward! Brendan saunters down the stairs next, and the whole jungle signals its approval. The other guys already know they're in trouble. "I know he's gonna be really popular out here," says Ivan, while Joe says Brendan's swag and style make him feel "insecure." It doesn't help that Kelsey suddenly makes fun of Joe's super-casual attire — "you look like you just came out of a gym" — which seems very rude. It's the beach, beeyotch! Of course he's not in a tux.

Hey, it's Natasha! This 33-year-old event planner was very GIF-able on Peter's season, so here's hoping she'll bring her expressiveness game on Paradise. Up next is Tammy, the spitfire from Peter's season, and she is very excited to meet our celebrity guest host.

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Tammy confuses David Spade with... yeah.
| Credit: ABC

Close enough! It's speed round time: Here comes Jessenia; Tre, 26 (Katie's season); and Aaron, 26 (Katie's season)! Then it's time for Kenny to make his grand entrance, along with that Black Box of Shame™.

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Sure, Kenny, this is totally normal.
| Credit: ABC

"David Spade, what the f--k are you doing here?" asks Kenny. Sir, you are walking around in public naked, so legally you have forfeited your right to question anyone else's actions. (Shall we just pretend that David Spade's joke equating women to "tuna" never happened? Yes, let's.)

So, how does one greet a naked friend? Let's let Ivan show us how it's done.

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The world's most awkward hug.
| Credit: ABC

The arm's length, pelvis tilt-out hug! It's a classic for a reason. "Kenny is fully nude and just blessing us all with his frame, his body," notes Brendan. Adds Natasha, "Kenny's naked, and I'm loving the scenery." Good thing there's no HR department in Paradise!

And the introductions aren't don't yet. Please welcome…

Bachelor in Paradise grab
Credit: ABC

Looks like he's thinking about growing back that mustache — the one Tayshia shaved off on The Bachelorette. More important, he's interested in pursuing Abigail, which is great because she's down on the beach worrying she won't meet a guy in Paradise. "Honestly, I was hoping you'd be here early so I could, like, get to know you," Noah admits to Abigail. And she LOVES it. "They're in love, you guys!" cries Kelsey, watching Noah and Abigail flirt.

When it comes time for Joe to flirt with his No. 1 choice, Serena P., things don't go as well. "You're from Toronto, right?" he asks. "Toronto is very ugly from the outside, but beautiful in… not like you! You're beautiful from the outside, but I just can't figure out what your inside is yet." Oh, poor Joe. Poor sweet, dumb Joe. Hoo boy, is that guy lucky he's handsome.

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Welcome back, Grocery Joe.
| Credit: ABC

And he knows it, too. "I can't believe how awkward I can be sometimes," he says, moaning. "But Serena's super sweet, and she was able to make me somewhat comfortable."

Unfortunately for Joe, Serena hops right from Joe to Brendan, whose flashy Hawaiian shirt caught her eye. As more Paradisians arrive — first Connor B., then Deandra, 25 (Peter's season) — Joe frets that he feels like a little bit of an outsider, that he just might not belong here in Paradise. "Do you want to know the truth? My conversation with Serena P. was like talking to Kendall," he confesses. "So… you know?" He fidgets for a bit. "It's weird. I probably shouldn't have came back."

Oh, pish posh, Grocery Joe! It's only been, like, half an hour. And besides, you haven't even met the next "lady" to come down the steps:

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Victoria has a new look.
| Credit: ABC

"Oh, okay, I didn't get cc'd on that," replies David Spade wryly. The "Sun Goddess" says she's going to bring "lots of life and love" to the beach. As if, honey. "She's gonna start some [bleep]," murmurs David Spade to the camera. Correct!

Is there someone else here? Our question exactly. The answer is yes, though I swear to you, rose lovers, I do not remember a single thing about Maurissa, 25 (Peter's season). Also arriving: Mari. Hugs all around! ("Hug, hug, hug, I love you," says David Spade, commentating from the bar above. "I'll hate you in three days…") Naked Kenny literally calls "dibs" on Mari, because… "she was the hottest girl on Matt's season."

Ewww… I really hope they burned this daybed after Kenny left.

Bachelor in Paradise grab
Is this technically a hostile work environment?
| Credit: ABC

Having raced back to his spot to greet the contestants, David Spade is there just in time to meet Tahz, who says she's excited — until she's not excited. You get it. Upon seeing her on the beach, Tre is excited. "I think I know her!" he says, rushing over to say hello. Indeed, they do know each other. "I know Tre because I went on a date with his uncle," she explains. I don't know about you, rose lovers, but I'm not close enough to any of my uncles to recognize a woman they went on one date with. Tre nearly does a full-body cringe when Tahz informs him that she and his uncle also shared a kiss. Poor guy.

Remember the guy who showed up to Katie's season in a giant gift box? Well he just came down the stairs! James, 31, is still sporting a pound of product in his hair — heat be damned! (Perhaps he has Milk of Magnesia under his gel)? Victoria P., 30, the nurse from Peter's season shows up next, followed by Other Serena, 25, the woman who picked a fight with Katie on Matt's season. So, we've gotta be done with the arrivals by now, right?

Of course not. Mount Vesuvius, as Aaron notes, went still for a day before erupting — and every Bachelor in Paradise premiere tricks viewers into believing that the flow of fresh meat has stopped… before starting it up again at least three more times.

Please welcome Karl, 34, the motivational speaker who had Wrong Reasons™ written all over him during Katie's season. "I'm looking to get engaged here!" says Karl. "We are going all the way!" Are you, though? The first thing Karl does is give Tahz a kind of 'sup nod. "I saw you last season. You were funny," he says, and then he walks right past her without even telling her his name, which she asks for twice. Say Tahz, sniffing, "Who wears a frickin' watch and tennis shoes to the beach?"

With that, rose lovers, the introductions are finally over. (For today… but more on that later.) David Spade gathers the cast in the "living room," as he calls it, and then brings in Wells to run down the "rules" of Paradise: "You find love, or you go home." This week, the men have the roses, so three women will be going home. (But by "this week," Wells actually means "next Monday," because there's just one episode of Paradise airing this week.)

Oh Lord, I hope they burned this couch after Kenny got up.

Bachelor in Paradise grab
Credit: ABC

The men are very excited to have the roses this week. "It's like a flip on the dynamic for dating for men, usually," says Tre. "Usually it's us kinda chasing and pursuing them." (Hmmmm… not sure how I feel about this somewhat old-fashioned take on the traditional dating dynamic — but this is Bachelor in Paradise, a trashy reality show I am watching voluntarily. Can't complain!) Current crush standing: Brendan has his eye on Natasha; Aaron has his eye on Tammy (and vice versa); Tre has his eye on Tahz… and she might want to reciprocate, even though it's a "sticky situation."

The women don't like the idea of having to pursue the men, even though they're the ones in danger this week. "I like being courted," says Victoria L. Too bad, toots! Get out there and hustle. Mari, if you don't want your crush Kenny to be talking to Natasha, then put down your plate of food and "steal him for a second"! Wouldn't you rather faint from malnutrition than die alone? I thought so.

Also, how can people eat when Naked Kenny is standing so close to the food?

Bachelor in Paradise grab
Get your junk away from the tacos, Kenny!
| Credit: ABC

That's gotta be a health code violation of some kind.

The first date card of the season goes to Abigail, as it damn well should. She is an angel who must be protected at all costs! Abigail chooses Noah, and I'll admit they do seem pretty cute together.

Meanwhile, Joe is moping around the beach alone, perhaps weighed down by the memories of falling for Kendall on this very same stretch of sand. "I'm thinking like, 'What am I doing here?'" he muses. Gee, producers are sure working hard to make us think that Joe might leave, but anyone who watched the BiP super-tease knows he stays around long enough to "form a connection" with Serena P. So let's move on.

Have you guys heard of the five-second rule? No, no that one — the one where you smile at a guy and he has five seconds to come chat with you or else… I dunno, really. Anyhow, it's Victoria L.'s rule and, well, it doesn't quite work.

Bachelor in Paradise grab
Victoria makes her move
| Credit: ABC

The theme for Abigail and Noah's date is timeless: Explosion at the piñata factory!

Bachelor in Paradise grab
Abigail and Noah on the season's first date
| Credit: ABC

"I feel like I'm in a haunted house," says a giggling Abigail, who is charmed when Noah pulls back her chair at the table. "You should be used to this," says Noah. That's right! Abigail should be used to men treating her with chivalry and respect. But Abigail says she doesn't go on very many dates, even though she gets asked out a lot. She likes to take things slow in a relationship, and Noah points out a strategy like that could be difficult to maintain on a reality TV show.

He's not being pushy or aggressive, he's just making it clear he likes Abigail and he's hoping to pursue a relationship with her — which, you know, is the point of the show she signed up for.

"I have to be so sure with somebody before I even call them my boyfriend," she says. "I friend-zone guys really easily. I need to stop doing that." Noah tries to push Abigail to Open Up™ a bit more, to find out what's underneath the "quiet, nice girl" exterior.

"I'm just not an outwardly emotional person," she says. But Noah isn't deterred. "I think you have a heart of gold," he says. "And the fact that everyone was clapping for you as we went on this date speaks to you… and I think you deserve it." Hmmm… is that an emotion I see on Abigail's face?

Bachelor in Paradise grab
Credit: ABC

Awww, she looks happy, doesn't she? Then they smash some piñatas with plastic light sabers (or something?) and Noah goes in for the smooch. Take that, friend zone! If you're wondering what's going on back at the beach…

Bachelor in Paradise grab
Credit: ABC

Yep, Connor B. still does that weird head-grab thing when he kisses someone. "Katie is wrong — Connor is a great kisser," reports Maurissa. [Cue "The More You Know" music.] Also sucking face this evening…

Bachelor in Paradise grab
Credit: ABC

This smooch happened immediately after Tahz said, "I need someone who's going to go for it." I suppose you can't blame Tre for making the move. "Ten out of 10 — great kiss," gushes Tahz. "I really enjoyed kissing Tre… more than his uncle." Shudder.

Though Noah thought he and Abigail had the first kiss in Paradise, apparently everyone is locking lips — including Tammy and Aaron, Kenny and Mari, and Ivan and Jessenia. Pretty much all of them think they're the ones who had the coveted First Kiss in Paradise. Only the BiP editing team knows for sure.

"There are just so many people kissing tonight," says Deandra. If only someone would kiss Joe, who's still sulking around and groaning about wanting to go home. Fortunately, Serena P. pulls him in for a chat, since their earlier conversation gave her "the fiesta flutters," which is a thing we're saying this season, I guess.

Serena probes Joe for some information about his breakup with Kendall. Turns out, it was a "mutual" decision, brought about in part because they couldn't agree on a place to live. Once Joe relaxes a bit, Serena P. begins teasing him to lighten the mood.

"You still freaking out about this whole thing?" she asks. "You still contemplating your life?" He blushes and laughs, and just when I was starting to ship these two as a couple, they start talking about their ages. Oh my God, how did I not make this connection: He's 35 and she's only 23. Abort! Abort! Abort!

"You're 12 years older than me," says Serena P. with a smile. "That's a whole different stage of life than I'm in." Correct! Abort! Instead…

Bachelor in Paradise grab
Credit: ABC

Sigh. Well, that's what your 20s are for, I suppose — dating handsome older men who wear footie socks with their flip-flops. Live and learn, Serena P.

The next morning, Wells fills David Spade in on all the make-out action in Paradise the night before. Kelsey, meanwhile, realizes that there are very few guys left for her to graft onto. It's going to be hard for her to strike up conversations, though, because by her own admission, she can't properly pronounce half the words in the dictionary. (Say it with us, Kelsey: Chiv-al-rous.)

Things are looking equally precarious for Deandra, both Victorias, Natasha, and Serena C., none of whom have formed a "connection" with anyone yet. The only thing that could make things worse is if a woman arrived next in Paradise. Cut to:

Bachelor in Paradise grab
Credit: ABC

Yes, it's Demi B., Bachelor Nation's first-ever (openly) bisexual contestant. And yes, she did just call David Spade "Joe Dirt." We have no choice but to stan, as the kids (probably no longer) say. Demi descends the stairs with a date card in her hand and enough self-confidence to crush a coconut. "I look fine as f--k right now," she announces. "Those poor girls. I'm gonna steal all their men!"

You'll have to wait until next week, honey, because this week's episode of Paradise is over. The "this season on" promo looked suitably overwrought — tears! romance! love triangles! more tears! fights! cake abuse! — and David Spade's closing riff on crabs ("they're spiders with good PR") was quite funny.

Now all that's left to do, rose lovers, is share your take on day one of this Paradise "journey." Which couples (if any?) are you rooting for? Do you think Joe is still hung up on Kendall? And have you ever tried Milk of Magnesia as a makeup primer? Post your thoughts below!

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Episode Recaps

Bachelor in Paradise

The Bachelor goes international with a cast of former bachelors and bachelorettes looking for love… and a chance to extend their reality fame.

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