For those criminally unfamiliar, ABC’s The Bachelor series is the basic reality show equivalent to college football’s signing day. There’s dozens of hungry suitors each willing to sell their souls and reach new depths of depravity in order to lock up the preening prized recruit.
I’m not trying to disparage either The Bachelor/Bachelorette or college football recruiting. I really like both of these things, and, generally speaking, all participants are willing, including the viewers of these hard-bodied phenomena. Sure, paying attention to things like the underbelly of recruiting or someone dating dozens of men or women on national television can make you feel a little dirty from time to time, but that doesn’t mean it’s not enjoyable. I, and many others like me, appreciate these things for their entertainment value. And if I have to compare The Bachelor franchise to college football recruiting in order to justify my masculine interest in it, then so be it.
Now, I’m telling you all of this as a preface my next statement: Bachelor in Paradise (the abbreviated, late-summer entry in the franchise) kicks the holy hell out of both The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. I love both The Bachelor and The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise is miles better than both. If you’re not watching this show, you’re doing yourself a great disservice. If The Bachelor is typical college recruiting, then Bachelor in Paradise is like what would happen if you put the top 20 high school football recruits in a room with the top 25 college programs. In other words, blood will be shed, lies will be told, people are getting screwed, and not everyone is coming out the other side a winner.
Lucky for you, all is not lost if you aren’t familiar with this televised gloriousness. As I’m writing this, there are still two weeks left of BinP. Even better, there’s two episodes a week for the next two weeks (Monday & Tuesday, 7 p.m. CST). That means there’s still time for you to get hooked on this fabulous shit storm of love and tequila. Equally fortunate for you is the fact that I’m going to catch you up on some of what you missed or, at the very least, give you the run down on the people and couples left.
First, though, let’s recap the ground rules of the show: The traditional Bachelor franchise shows have one man or woman picking from a host of suitors vying for their attention. Paradise throws a couple dozen former Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants together at a remote resort in Mexico. They are plied with booze and fall in love. Or that’s the hope anyway. One week the men hand out the roses to the women they’re feeling. You don’t get a rose, you go home. The next week, the women hand out the roses, and the men that don’t get a rose go home. Oh, and all the while, there are new men and women showing up randomly to break up couples or give one of the lonely leftover contestants a fleeting glimpse of hope. It’s not all that complicated, but it sure is fun.
In a typical season, there are a handful of strong couples, those people that end up hitting it off right away and stay together through the season. Then, there’s the second tier of folks who keep giving the same person a rose basically so they can ensure their spot on the show but little more. After that, there’s the free agents who date hop and just try to stick around until their “Mr./Mrs. Right” walk through the door.
At the end of the show, the couples have the very exciting opportunity to propose to their significant other (of roughly two to three actual weeks of filming). Hot damn. Somehow, there have actually been a couple of marriages resulting from this show. Best of luck to them.
With those basics out of the way, allow me to guide you through the couples and individuals who’ve made it this far in the season without being sent home rose-less.
Derek and Taylor: This is the strongest couple on the show, and I hope legitimately hope they stay together. They are both awful and can be awful together. Derek is a human manifestation of the word “milquetoast,” and Taylor is an unfortunate cocktail of condescending and pretentious. In other words, they’re perfect for each other. Things had been pretty smooth sailing for the couple until last week when, out of nowhere, Derek said, almost apropos of nothing, “Fuck you” to Taylor. I guess he was upset about something. It’s legitimately hard to tell because he only displays one facial expression.
Taylor, understandably, was upset, and then went on to say that Derek’s verbal vomiting made her feel “triggered.” She repeated this to the cameras roughly 981 times. If I’m dating someone and they say, for any reason, that they’re feeling “triggered,” they are getting dumped on the spot. Then again, I’m married so I’m not dating anyone anyway. Thank God. Dating in real life is awful.
Robby and Amanda: This coupling is a recent development, so here’s the build up: Robby looks like a Ken doll, and Amanda continually makes horrible decisions on the guys she dates. What could go wrong? Last season, Amanda spent the entire run of Paradise making out with Josh Murray (former Georgia QB Aaron Murray’s brother, fwiw). This season, she’s not making out with anyone. Last week, Robby tried to change that by doing supposedly romantic (i.e. incredibly staged) stuff.
Apparently, Robby brought glow sticks to Mexico and was waiting for just the right moment to unleash them. That moment came last week when he fired them up and tossed them into the hot tub. That got him an impromptu date with Amanda, who had previously held Robby strictly in the “friend zone.” Robby still got rebuffed on attempt at a kiss, but he persisted. Eventually, he wore Amanda down by constantly pestering her, teaching guys across the country a potentially valuable/disturbing lesson in courtship. This couple is destined to take selfies together, post them on Instagram, and then break up in 6 months.
The Love Triangle
Dean and Kristina and Danielle L.: Out of everyone on this show, Dean has damaged himself the most. Coming into Paradise right off the heels of his heartbreaking Bachelorette dumping, Dean had built up considerable goodwill with the audience. Then, he shatters said goodwill by jerking around the nicest girl on this show (Kristina). And that was before Danielle showed up.
With Danielle in the picture, Dean loses his damn mind even more. Danielle is pretty, as is Kristina, but Dean wants to have sex with Danielle. Dean thinks Kristina is smarter, but he wants to have sex with her considerably less. This was basically what he said on last week’s episodes.
Memo to Dean: You’re being an idiot. Danielle has two major strikes against her, regardless of how she looks. 1) She wants people to call her D-Lo. That’s a nonstarter, bud. 2) She laughs at the end of every sentence she utters. Unacceptable.
The Leftover Mess
Christen, The Tickle Monster, and Jack Stone: Christen is a virgin. I know this because it’s the only way that ABC can get you to remember who she is. So they tell you this. A lot. Oh, and now she’s also referred to as “scallop fingers.” The story is too stupid for me to recant her, so throw it into the Google machine if you’re so inclined.
Christen went on a date and made out with a guy who calls himself “The Tickle Monster.” I guess he’s a doctor, but no one cares about that. He likes to tickle people, so that’s his shtick. Strangely enough, he’s a complete weirdo. After their date, Christen comes back and immediately makes out with Jack Stone. Mr. Stone is not nearly as interesting as his name would imply. Point is, Christen’s a mess. In this week’s episodes, she apparently confronts the mean girls who christened her with the unfortunate seafood nickname. That’s going to be must-see stuff right there.
Daniel, Jasmine, and Lacey: Matt dumped Jasmine this week, as he decided that intentionally leaving the show would be the best way to get rid of the force that is Jasmine. He probably made a good choice. Where Jasmine turns now is anyone’s guess, but she did make a strong play for Daniel after he went on a date with Lacey.
Speaking of Lacey, she’s so desperate for love that she sat through Daniel the Canadian Wolf (his words, not mine) telling her that she was part of the leftover scraps that he was now forced to pick through. Again, his words, not mine.
Diggy and Dominique: These two are still around, although you’d hardly know it from the lack of airtime they’re receiving. They seem to like each other, but I have nothing to base that off of. You’d think that ABC might want to highlight one of the only all-black couples the show has ever seen, but ABC’s basically like, “Nah. America loves these crazy white people.”
Adam, Raven, and Sarah: Adam seemed to have made his choice last week week by giving Raven his rose. This was the right choice. Raven is a catch. While Adam seems like a fine dude, though, she probably could do considerably better.
That’s the thing with this season of Bachelor in Paradise. The guys are awful. Daniel is the most interesting one, but that’s only because he’s constantly toeing the line of appropriateness. Adam is probably the most well rounded package here, but that’s like being the tallest man in the land of little people. It’s not all that impressive.
Ben Z.: Ben Z. picked Sarah this week because Adam told him to. Otherwise, there’s nothing to report here, and Ben Z.’s constant stories about his new dog seem to have dried up. This is a travesty.
Alexis: Alexis gets a bum deal this season. There’s no one for her. She’s also in the unfortunate position of being very cool, very good-looking, and completely unable to translate that into romance with a guy. Guys want to hang out with her because she’s hilarious, but I can’t recall seeing her ever kiss anyone on this show. I hope she’s on every incarnation of this show until she finds someone.
Just so you know, this recap was done completely without Google. I say this not to impress you (or embarrass myself) but instead to tell you that I probably left some poor Paradise soul out of my roundup. Not to worry, though. There’s still two weeks left, and I look forward to being your humble guide through the always-choppy waters of love in Paradise.