Bachelor in Paradise is a television show in which the discarded men and women from The Bachelor and The Bachelorette come to a place called "Paradise" (technically a resort in Mexico) for a second (or sometimes third, and occasionally fourth) shot at love. Each week, they pair off in a game of sexy musical chairs. Throughout the season, the surplus human beings are granted blissful reentry to the real world, and two more men or women are added to the cast as tribute. Who knows how long this could last. Probably forever. We'll stick around for as long as it takes, because we need to know if love is real and we need to know what two dozen hot people will do to find it. We need to know if a game show about love in Paradise is more game or show or love... or Paradise or purgatory.
Lizzie Plaugic: Another week has passed in Paradise, and it's now clear that the rules on Bachelor in Paradise are an ever-morphing set of arbitrary schemes and non-coincidental coincidences constructed by shameless autocrats whose governing power extends only to this small group of people at a resort in Mexico. The producers were feeling particularly divine this week, as almost every interaction between the cast members carried the subtle scent of behind-the-camera intervention.
Leah (Ben's season) is the first new person to arrive in Paradise this week, and she immediately asks to go on a date with Chad, the man who has just been kicked off the show. Leah is shocked to learn that her dream murderer is no longer available for hot tub makeout sessions, but she quickly gets over it and asks Nick out on a date. They attend Margarita Festival, a highly sought-after Mexican tourist attraction, and then kiss on the beach. Leah is happy, but unfortunately this means nothing to Nick, as he has become the production team's beautiful tan puppet of drama, desire, and subterfuge.
leah is "unapologetic," like rihanna
Kaitlyn Tiffany: It's interesting that you mentioned the rules of Paradise, Lizzie, since Nick was handed a date card this week (two hours after his date with Leah) that said "There are no rules in Paradise." This was a cute little wink from the deranged people who orchestrate Bachelor in Paradise week to week, who were desperately hoping that Nick would give his date card to someone other than Leah and crush her spirits. Being a good puppet, Nick did just that.
Nick invited Amanda — who has, by popular vote, been elected the hottest person in Paradise and everyone can't stop talking about it — to join him for a strange job interview on the beach. Amanda compliments herself several times for being "nice but not a doormat."
Whilst Amanda prepared for this date, Leah stood behind her, yelling into the mirror "how weird, I have the same palette, the same bronzer! You and I look very similar! Stop trying to be me, Ah-maahnnn-duh!" Leah is also a self-proclaimed "Unapologetic," (like Rihanna) and therefore proceeds to mention that no one should really want to date Amanda because she's a "needy and dependent" mom. I have to say, the Claire Underwood groupies who make this show are excellent at what they do — which is misery.
LP: Bachelor in Paradise is a psychological thriller by way of the beach party dramas of 1950s drive-ins: where everyone's feelings and mental health are perpetually at risk and also there are piña coladas. Despite Leah's attempts to destroy Amanda's confidence using the confusing tactic of comparing their faces, Nick and Amanda's date ends with a makeout sesh next to a crackling bonfire, which is code here for "Leah is toast" and "Amanda and Nick are coupled up." Unfortunately for Nick and all sane people, the production team has another twist, and that twist's name is Josh Murray. (If you're not historically caught up with Bachelor Nation, which, God bless, Josh and Nick were the final two contestants on Andi Dorfman's season — Nick lost). So Josh shows up on the island next, and guess who he wants to go on a date with? Amanda! What a truly random, deliciously juicy situation a third-party spiritual being has gifted us.
'bachelor in paradise' is a psychological thriller
Josh and Amanda go on a boat date, where they make out on a boat. Then they make out on the sand and on a hammock and on a bed and next to the bar and spend the entire rest of the episode with their mouths pressed together. I don't think they eat or say words.
Fair to say at this point, things are not looking great for Nick.
KT: Meanwhile, Jubilee rides away in an SUV in tears, yet again, because no one on any Bachelor property possesses the proper enzymes to process her alt comedy. Jubilee takes up the Chad mantle and punches a nice shot through the Bachelor in Paradise veneer, noting "I'm more disappointed in myself for being into someone who would be interested in two twins he can't even tell apart."
It's true! This show does not even ask anyone to try to tell the twins apart: if either twin gets a rose, the other gets to stay too, because they exist to be indistinguishable sexual objects and they seem totally chill with that.
Now might be a good time to point out that three full hours of Bachelor in Paradise aired this week, across two days (a structure that will be repeated for the remainder of the season) and I only have very vague guesses as to why. It might be so the show has time to include things like Leah inflating a swan-shaped raft for 18 hours and Nick feeling the scoliosis "humps" on both twins for several minutes. It might be because ABC needs to fill two evenings of summer primetime television.
Or maybe spreading the show across so many hours is meant to add an element of prolonged suspense. As you mentioned, Josh won Andi Dorfman's season — so why isn't he married? Allegedly, he emotionally abused his fiance until she had no choice but to throw in the towel and write a tell-all book with the hopes of saving some other unlucky schmuck from the walking Crest Whitening Strips advertisement that is Josh Murray. Evidently, she failed, because the producers of Bachelor in Paradise (innocently unaware of this book's existence? I really, really wonder!) have invited Josh to appear on television yet again — this time to woo a single mother of two young girls and proclaim himself "the lion" to Nick's "sheep."
If all of this sounds like the plot of a horror movie, then good. I'm pretty sure that's what the producers are going for this year. But, and I can't believe I'm saying this, just because someone is boring and hot, it doesn't necessarily mean they deserve to suffer inexplicable horrors. Are we really going to make it through three more weeks of this, Lizzie?
LP: Hard to say. At a certain point each week I find my entire body going numb. I've also been getting really into the commercials. Should I buy a Lancôme anti-aging serum and a Chrysler?
We're strong enough and easily distracted enough to make it through three more weeks of this, but I can think of at least one person who's not: Evan. At first Evan tries to pair off with Carly, but Carly literally threw up after he kissed her on their date (to be fair, she had to eat a habanero pepper at the same time). Bad sign!
should lizzie buy Lancôme anti-aging serum instead of watching this show?
Anyway, one night Evan is in his room touching his nipples and thinking about dying alone when suddenly he realizes that he is an erectile dysfunction specialist with a lot of vigor and vim and the facial hair of a magician. For Evan (Editor's note: and Criss Angel Mindfreak), these are all highly desirable qualities that should make him irresistible to any and all women, especially women trapped on an island with an ever-decreasing number of available men. Evan takes two full wine glasses out of his fridge, as is the standard way of chilling wine, and trots onto the beach to interrupt Josh and Amanda's 17th hour of making out. Evan is going to ask Amanda on a date too and I wish that were a joke. In what other world would you interrupt a couple with their tongues in each other's mouths to ask one-half of the couple to drink some iced Chardonnay with you? I love it here.
KT: I've decided that today isn't my day to give up on love, so I'm going to hold out hope that Evan succeeds. The producers gave him some beautiful-looking lobster tails to share with Amanda, and honestly that would work on me. Nearly everyone was in Purgatory this week, but if you had to pick just one person who was truly doing the lion's (trademark Josh Murray) share of the suffering, who would it be?
LP: I guess I would have to say Nick. Nick really is our fallen angel this week. He started off as the object of affection of at least two women, and now he's alone, repeating the phrase, "I don't care about Josh and Amanda" while glaring at them wrapped in each other's warm embrace with dead eyes. Nick seems like a relatively stable person but it also seems like the producers are really hoping he loses it. Nick is making me sad, Kaitlyn. Who's in Paradise this week?
PARADISE: Sarah and Daniel
KT: I'm going to have to use "Paradise" extremely loosely, something I can definitely imagine becoming a theme as we proceed through the seemingly endless hours of this show that are left to watch. I am surprised by this answer, but Sarah and Daniel were the only people who were even remotely chill toward each other this week. Daniel is quite the odd bird (an eagle, specifically, in his own words), and has often compared the women on this show to "dogs in the street" and "pigeons." But Sarah told Daniel he had layers and he said "like an alligator?" which made her LOL. I don't get it, but I love mirth. Later Daniel told Sarah, "If I can provide you some happiness or make you laugh, then I'm doing okay," which is... a delightful thing to say to someone? Daniel strikes me as entirely too direct to be a good liar, so I think this lovely statement was sincere. Good for them. They'll need these happy memories to sustain them for the next 374 years in Paradise.
Join us next week when we find out whether Amanda and Josh have died from dehydration! We'll be doing this every Wednesday until someone finds their one true love, life partner, and best friend, or the world ends — whichever comes first.