Bachelor in Paradise recap: 'The entire beach chose chaos'
Rose lovers, don't you just hate it when you go on a reality TV dating show built entirely on the concept of "hot singles will try to steal your man/woman" — and then a hot single tries to steal your man/woman right in front of you? Well, Mari, Aaron, Ivan, and more Paradisians suffered through the aforementioned tragedy this week. Let's recap!
We begin with some new intros, including this little bit of foreshadowing:
It's also a nice callback to season 3 when Josh Murray kicked a soccer ball at Nick Viall's head. Ah, good times.
Day dawns on the beach, and Serena wants to know: Where are Maurissa and Riley? Right where we left them, silly — in the Boom Boom Room!
"Last night was the perfect date," says Maurissa. "Connor's such a sweetheart… but Riley, he is a dream man in my eyes." (For one thing, he doesn't break out his ukulele at every opportunity.)
Though Connor's about to get his heart broken, Ivan — currently coupled up with Jessenia — thinks he has nothing to worry about when new guys arrive. "If I told her that I did kind of want to be more exclusive, I feel like she'd be on board with that instantly, to be honest," he tells Noah. Oh boy, Ivan, now you've done it. Here comes…
Nope, doesn't ring a bell. "I was on Claire's season… barely," says this man I've definitely never seen before in my life. And he's not alone. Please welcome…
Okay, I do remember this dude. He's the one that called Tayshia a "smoke show" — which I guess explains why he and Chris C. keep saying that word to each other now. But… wow. Is this really the best Team BiP could get? There are so many other, better men from recent Bachelorette that seasons producers could have chosen! (See: Dr. Joe, Ben with the prominent clavicles, and Demar from Tayshia's season, or Brendan, John, Josh, Justin, Quartney, and both Andrews from Katie's season.)
Chasen and Chris arrive together, with a double-date card (!) — so two women will be leaving the beach for the day. Though Chasen has a somewhat encouraging chat with Mari, he asks Deandra on the date. (Sorry, Karl! Might be time to give yourself a motivational speech.) Chris C., meanwhile, came to Paradise hoping to see Jessenia — and he doesn't care if she's "boo'd up" (?) with Ivan. He asks Jessenia on the date, and she says yes, much to Ivan's surprise and chagrin. "This is crazy!" he laments. "I've got a lot to be worried about right now." Correct!
For one thing, here's what's happening on the date right now:
Yep, producers hired a local actress to play an "Intimacy Guru" and instructed her to wave around the Kama Sutra and lead the couples in a bunch of awkward and uncomfortably sexual first-date activities. (Note: Maybe this lady is an actual intimacy guru! But as you know, rose lovers, I tend to be quite skeptical.) Anyway, what follows is a montage of Ivan talking about how secure he feels about his relationship with Jessenia intercut with images of Jessenia's body intertwined with Chris' on the XXL beach bed.
After the intimacy exercises, Jessenia and Chris chat outside over glasses of champagne. "I feel good about [Ivan], but there's just one thing missing that I'm trying to figure out still," Jessenia tells him. "It's weird because you seem to fill that missing thing." Okay, but what is the thing? WHAT IS THE THING, JESSENIA? Don't keep us in suspense! Oh crap, too late — she and Chris are already sharing a strawberry/making out.
Back on the beach, Mari is feeling like it's time to tell Kenny that she'd like to keep things open. (Someone wants to flirt with Chasen when he gets back!) So she sits Kenny down in a big wicker egg chair and gives him The Speech™. "I want to keep nurturing this and growing this," she says. "But it's just like, if we're together… I don't want to have any regrets, and I don't want to have any what-ifs."
The boy-band manager handles it okay, but he's understandably a little confused. Is she breaking up with him? Is she saying he can go out on dates? Is she just expecting him to sit around while she goes and explores relationships with other guys? "You cannot have your cake and eat it too," he grouses in his confessional. "And that's what a lot of people want to do — especially when they have the rose." Kenny may be 40, but he's not wrong.
As soon as their conversation is over, Mari fills Demi in on the whole situation. "It was a hard conversation. It's not a fun conversation," she says with a sigh. "But I'd rather be upfront and be honest."
Demi, ever the pragmatist, doesn't see what the big deal is. "Proposals aren't happening tomorrow. We should all be dating each other!" And since Demi doesn't yet have a "connection" with anyone, she decides that Mari's talk with Kenny has left the door wide open. "It's my opportunity!" she exclaims. "Kenny's so sexy. I heard he likes to be naked. I like to be naked. I want to have some fun with that." Cut to:
Even before Demi and Kenny lock lips, Mari sees them from afar and starts crying. "I don't know what to do. I don't know what to think," she says, sniffling. And once she spots them smooching, the spiral begins. "She was, like, giving me advice, and then she turns around and does this!" Mari says, sobbing. Well, honey, things move fast in Paradise — so if you tell your guy that it's time to see other people, you should expect that to happen within the hour.
Speaking of which, Maurissa still hasn't told Connor that she spent the night in the Boom Boom Room with Riley last night. But the good news is, at least he'll be wearing this ensemble when he does find out.
"You woke up and chose chaos today," marvels Tre, while Aaron dubs the look "kimono convict." Will it be enough to persuade Maurissa to take him back? No. No, it will not. In fact, when they sit down to talk, she doesn't tell him the truth about what went down with Riley. "Did you get back late?" asks Connor innocently. "Not too late," she replies. "We just talked all night." Mmmm-hmmm.
It doesn't take a medical examiner to see that this relationship is dead — but poor clueless Connor isn't getting the hint. He invites Maurissa on a date that night, with a homemade date card and everything. She giggles and fidgets and plays with her nails. "We'll see," she says. "We'll see how the day goes." Oh for God's sake, woman, just put him out of his misery!
No dice. Looks like it's Tahz who's going to have to break the news to Connor.
Connor is, in a word, shocked: "Wait, what?" After the shock comes the disappointment and anger. "I just wish she had been more honest with me this morning," he says. "Right now, I just feel completely deflated."
From deflation to disconnection: Natasha is still not feeling the love from Brendan, and she is 1-800-Over-It. "He will not initiate kissing me or anything like that," she says. "So, I'm like, 'Where is this going?'"
Producers send in guest host and temporary GBF Lance Bass to offer a sympathetic ear. "It sounds like the big hang-up here is the initial kiss," he says, adding that perhaps it's time for Natasha to stop waiting around and make the first move. "Maybe he's the type of guy who would like that!" Cut to:
Okay, that's one way of making a move. "Things are getting hot and heavy over here," jokes Brendan as Natasha rubs him down. Once she's done, Natasha lays on the daybed next to him, signaling that she's open to an incoming smooch. Finally, he leans in and plants one on her — but it's a very chaste kiss by Paradise standards. Is he just kissing her because he wants her rose and knows he can no longer put it off?
Seems like it. But as you guys know, I'm a cynic. All that matters right now is that Natasha is pleased. "Things are going in a good direction," she says. "He's just very slow." (No comment.)
Awww, look — Serena and Grocery Joe are going on a date!
A romantic rendezvous in a wrestling ring. Sure! During "dinner," they talk about being in Paradise. "I feel like… you hate it there," notes Serena. He does not deny it. "If I'm not gonna meet someone," says Joe, "I just don't need to be here." As for why his relationship with Kendall, his last Paradise romance, didn't work out, Joe says it was all about location. "Her family's in California, and she just never wanted to live anywhere besides L.A.," he explains. "And my family and friends are in Chicago, and I wanted to move back." (In other words, Serena: How do you feel about moving to the Windy City?)
Serena's a smart young woman, and this isn't her first reality TV rodeo. Hence, her next question: "If Kendall comes down, what's that gonna look like?" Joe assures her that "there's nothing romantic there anymore." Hmmm… jury's still out on that one. But he and Serena are very, very cute together, and they both seem genuinely interested in pursuing a relationship. In fact, Joe just told Serena that he hopes they can get to a place where they're "more exclusive" — and it's only their first real date! But enough with these feelings and emotions. It's time for some half-hearted lucha libre wrestling.
"I am 100 percent all in on Serena," says Joe. "We both want to fall in love, and I think we're both ready."
Meanwhile, Deandra and Chasen and Jessenia and Chris return to the beach after their double date. As Connor takes his place as "the douchebag at the campfire with the guitar," Ivan prepares to win Jessenia back by asking her to be exclusive. Before he can do that, though, Jessenia hits him with this truth bomb: "I feel so comfortable with you, but there's, like, this spark that I've been looking for and I'm not sure if it's there yet… But with Chris, like, I feel that spark." Even though Ivan checks off a lot of boxes on Jessenia's "must have in a husband" list, it doesn't mean much if there's no spark.
Hooo boy, Ivan is stunned. Did he just get Connor'd by Jessenia? "I definitely didn't expect this at all," he confesses to Noah. "As far as our romantic relationship, it's done for right now."
And things aren't looking much better for Karl. He pulls Deandra aside for a one-on-one chat, so he can make sure she knows that he missed her while she was gone and wants to do something special for her. But before he can get more than a few sentences out, up walks Chasen, looking to spend more time with Deandra.
"I need a couple minutes, bro," Karl tells him. "I need a couple minutes." Chasen walks away… for about 30 seconds. Karl brushes him off again, just long enough to give Deandra a charm bracelet that he brought with him from Miami. (Is it cute that he brought a gift just in case he met someone special? Or is it weird and a little calculating, like he thought it might make a good "TV moment" if he gave a woman a bracelet preloaded with a rose and a palm tree charm? Discuss.)
Anyhow, Deandra thanks Karl… and then walks away with Chasen.
Elsewhere on the beach, the Paradisians are sitting around the bonfire answering Riley's naughty ice-breaker questions: Craziest place you've had sex? Person here you most want to have sex with? And so on. Kenny, it should be noted, says he most wants to have sex with Mari, but she just sits there pouting about everything that went down with them during the day. Then up walks Demi with a chocolate cake, which she presents to Kenny. "I know you had to spend a very important birthday in quarantine, and I wanted to make it a little special for you," she chirps, before leading the group in a chorus of "Happy Birthday." Mari does NOT love it. "Who does she think she is?" she fumes. "It's kind of comical that she's trying so hard."
And she has help! Look what the Bachelor Interns made:
(Sidenote: Can you imagine spending your 40th birthday quarantining in a hotel… so you could go be the oldest person on a reality TV dating show? Good Lord.) As Demi directs Kenny to smash the piñata full of condoms (sadly, not a joke), Mari stews on the beach. Then something truly horrifying happens. Shield your eyes!
NO, MARI! NOT A PERFECTLY GOOD CHOCOLATE CAKE! WHY, GOD, WHY??? "I wanted a piece of that damn cake!" moans Riley. "Damn!" I feel you, buddy.
The tension is spreading. (Just ask Tahz, who's standing on the beach screaming into the roiling ocean waves.) Then Mari pulls in Demi for the inevitable confrontation. "I feel betrayed!" she says. "I'm hurt by you." She then goes on to deny that she told Demi and Kenny that she wanted to be open and see other people. "That's not what I said! I very specifically told him, 'I am about me and you. The only difference is, if someone came down and asked me on a date, I would like the opportunity to see what that's about.'" Right… and then Kenny said he would like the opportunity to do the same. In other words, you're both open to dating other people!
Demi is equally perplexed. "Dude, you literally are gonna date other people, so why can't I date him?" Mari doesn't like this at all, so she goes for the jugular: "Are you cool with being a second option? Because two minutes before you walked down, he said he wanted to f--- me. How does that sound?" Demi's response is absolutely GIF-worthy.
Say what you will about her troublemaking tendencies, but the woman knows how to get camera time. The confrontation goes nowhere, and they eventually storm away from each other, muttering insults and profanity. "Mari wants to have her cake and eat it too," says Demi. "And so she threw mine in the fire."
Things don't go any better for Mari when she goes to find Kenny. "Now you want to talk?" he sniffs. "I was around all day." In keeping with her revisionist history, Mari tries to tell Kenny that he "misunderstood" the purpose of her "I want the opportunity to date other people" message from earlier. (Apparently, she meant, "I want the opportunity to date other people while you wait for me.")
Kenny has no patience for this. "You created this!" he says. "What did you think would happen if you're gonna talk to other people?" Misunderstanding or not, the entire experience has left Kenny disheartened and unwilling to continue things with Mari. "It became too, like, toxic, and it needs to, like, go away," he says. "The healthy thing to do is just, let's be done."
At least everything is going smoothly with Tammy and Aaron, right? Right???
Oh boy. Let's back up for a second. First, Tammy didn't even make eye contact with Aaron when she walked by him with Thomas, his archnemesis. Once they get to the daybed, Thomas starts laying it on thick with Tammy, as they bond over both being portrayed as villains on their season. "If Aaron wasn't here, I would have kissed you right when we sat down," he says. And that's when Tammy leans in and kisses Thomas, in full view of Aaron! Brutal.
"Why do I deserve that?" groans Aaron. "This is the most insulting thing ever. We literally made out on that bed, and she told me how much she liked me on that same bed. Literally, it was like two days ago."
Unrelated: Is Tahz okay?
"The entire beach chose chaos," notes Noah, as we watch Demi and Kenny head into the Boom Boom Room. Aaaand scene!
The next night, everyone is prepping for the worst as they head into the rose ceremony — including God, who's summoned torrential rain to pour down upon His messy, messy children. "A storm's coming in, both literally and figuratively," says Serena with a smile. She is not wrong! As soon as the guys filter in, Kenny declares to the room (no doubt prompted by a producer) that he and Mari are over and that he's really liking where things are going with Demi. Mari, once again, does NOT love it. "What you told me last night was that we would cool off for now and then revisit," she tells Kenny. "Not that we were completely finished… so that's a surprise to me."
We interrupt this drama for an awwwww moment: Lance is back, and he says he and his husband fell in love on the beaches of Mexico. "We even came back here to spend our honeymoon," he tells the group. "I hope you all get to find love yourself." I repeat: Awwwwww!
Okay, back to the cutthroat battle for the roses!
Aaron pulls in Thomas to confront him about Tammy. "Tammy kissed me," Thomas says. "I also know that what I feel with Tammy is the reason why I'm here." Fair enough, but Aaron is still mad about being publicly humiliated by the woman he thought he was dating. Why is he venting this anger at Thomas and not Tammy? Unclear. "I spent a week building this [relationship], and now everyone's pitying me!" huffs Aaron. "I deserve some respect and communication." (LOLOLOL, all of this over a one-week "relationship"! God, I love this stupid show.)
While the men fight on the beach, Tammy watches them from the daybed. "I don't know what I'm gonna do," she frets. Yes, you do, toots. Go break it up! But just as she starts walking to the beach…
Arrrgh! Our first "To Be Continued" of the season. And what a continuation it's gonna be: Becca, Tia, and Kendall are arriving tomorrow night? Damn! But let's not get ahead of ourselves, rose lovers. Before you go, a few questions: Does Mari have a right to be mad at Kenny, or is she being ridiculous? Would you date a man in a "kimono convict" ensemble? And am I the only one who would've tried to rescue that cake from the fire? Post your thoughts below!
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