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: We've spent four weeks in Paradise so far, which has been enough time for Josh to moan 237 times, Ashley to cry 16 times, and for some of the "strongest couples" (at least, according to BiP standards) to realize things are not always blueberries and paper airplanes in Paradise.
it's not always blueberries and paper airplanes in paradise
After having spent a total of four days together, Jared and Caila are now a couple, and they've never been happier, except when Caila can't decide if she wants to date someone else. Ashley spends the majority of the episode staring at them from behind giant ferns and trying to decide how to best convince Jared that Caila is a giggling, emotionless temptress who is not to be trusted.
The producers do their best to make Ashley look unhinged, but against all odds, she almost comes off as the most relatable person on Paradise. She is all of our worst selves after a breakup.
Kaitlyn Tiffany: Ashley is the only person I have truly rooted for in my entire life. I love her. I love her ‘90s chokers and the fact that she still says "bye Felicia" in 2016. I love that she conned everyone into letting her stay on this god-forsaken island for another week even though she didn't get a rose and quite literally had done nothing but cry and scheme since the minute she came traipsing out of the woods the week before. I love that, while not in control of her emotions, she is ceaselessly frank about them. Honestly, I need to see women like this on TV nearly as much as I need to see women like Simone Biles. Ladies, I've said it before and I'll say it again — "cry more" is a better catchphrase than "lean in."
After a long speech about how much Jared trusts her and how well she knows him, she admits she plans to use this beautiful friendship to plant seeds of doubt about Caila into his pretty little head. Jared is, I'll just say, not the most perceptive hottie in Paradise, and the conversation in which his BFF calls his girlfriend a "back-stabbing whore" doesn't give him much pause over his choice of girlfriend or his choice of BFF. Ashley also calls Caila a "robot," which I don't agree with, but do understand. Caila has that intangible "perfect girl" quality that makes it really, really hard to feel good about yourself in comparison. It's not her fault, I just suspect she may have made a deal with the devil to achieve that head of hair.
Ashley's main fear is that Caila and Jared will bone, a fear the show's editors had a great time dramatizing. This is achieved mainly by cutting together shots of Ashley bemoaning the fact that she'll never have any kind of sex appeal with shots of Jared and Caila getting down and dirty in their Calvins. It's heart-wrenching, and as a person who experienced high school before growing boobs — it incited some unpleasant flashbacks!
LP: Speaking of heart-wrenching, we were forced to watch Vinny cry this week, and I felt all of my internal organs turn to dust. It feels insane to even attempt to describe what happened between Vinny and Izzy, but it went something like this: Brett, an objectively hot man, arrives in Paradise, and Izzy immediately begins questioning her relationship with Vinny, because Brett's perfectly sculpted facial hair makes her stomach flip like Brett's flip-flops.
Despite having exchanged zero words with him previously, Izzy basically tells Brett that he is her king, and she will do anything to help rule his kingdom (penis). Then she tells Vinny that the presence of a more attractive man has lessened her attraction to him, and Vinny decides to leave Paradise. Good luck seducing Brett, Izzy, a true romantic who says things like "Haley is available and kind of into me, so game over."
anything can happen in paradise, but mostly just drinking and crying
The phrase "trouble in paradise" may have originated from this week's episode of Bachelor in Paradise, because not only did we see the dissolution of Vizzy, but Grant and Lace (this season's other power couple) stopped making out in hot tubs long enough to realize maybe they don't really know each other that well.
KT: Another phrase that originated in this week's episode of Bachelor in Paradise: "Anything can happen in Paradise." At least three people said it, as a means of reminding us that happiness is fleeting and we'll all end up dumped into an unmarked van at some point, probably. It's also patently incorrect, as most of what happens in Paradise is just the same five to seven terrible things over and over again.
Things really took on a serious pall when former Bachelor in Paradise contestants Jade and Tanner (who are married, lol) arrived to interview all the couples and use their Paradise expertise to openly declare whose relationships they see going down in flames. I didn't watch their season of Bachelor in Paradise but after five minutes with them I am prepared to say they are terrible human beings. First they tell Lace and Grant that they won't make it because Grant said "I love you" and Lace didn't say it back. Grant has what I think is a tattoo of the Flatiron building on his left shoulder and Lace has only known him for four weeks, but she immediately feels overwhelming guilt about her indecision and starts bawling.
Then they interview Nick and subtly suggest that if Jen breaks up with him he will be the laughing stock of America because it will be the 48th time he gets publicly heart-punched on a Bachelor franchise. Jen whispers "I'm not going to hurt him," but nobody cares because Nick's neuroses are already off to the races. He gets drunk and lies down in a stress position, which does not make him feel better. He says his biggest fear is becoming a Trivial Pursuit question. This initially made me LOL because it's a pretty extreme misunderstanding of Bachelor in Paradise's popularity and of what Trivial Pursuit is, but it also touched my heart. Fuck Jade and Tanner for making Nick think anyone cares about what he does on TV, and for getting in the way of love.
LP: Some new men showed up this week, and neither I, nor anyone on Paradise island, has any idea who they are. Carl is a man named Carl, which is exactly the kind of name you'd give a sitcom character who is always getting into dumb trouble, prompting everyone to say, "Caaaaarllllll." Lucky for Carl, Emily's type just happens to be "guys named Carl," and the two go on a booze cruise where Emily can straddle his body to her heart's content. During the date, Emily forgets what Carl's name is, but who can blame her? It's only one syllable, and could be easily mistaken for some kind of grunt or hiccup.
This sorts itself out in a delightful way at the end of the episode, because Carl sits next to Haley, mistakenly convinced that she is Emily. An inability to remember your partner's name or defining physical features seems like a recipe for true and lasting love.
KT: Much like the "faith(?)" that Nick has in Ashley's ability to stay chill for five minutes, I have faith(?) that we will make it through however many years are left of this television program, and come out on the other side as bloggers who are physically intact, if nothing else. Maybe all this will come in handy later in a game of Trivial Pursuit. Anyway, who is in Paradise and who is in Purgatory this week?
PARADISE: Carly and Evan
LP: Last week, Carly was in Purgatory because she was stuck with Evan, and this week, she's in Paradise because she's stuck with Evan. Evan and Carly go on a date in a 1,000-degree cave and are forced to baptize each other. Somehow, this awakens Carly's "lady boner." Truly, we should all be so lucky to be aroused by vaguely spiritual activities and the sight of Evan's goatee glistening with cave sweat. Maybe the lesson here is that Paradise and Purgatory are not so far apart.
PURGATORY: Kaitlyn and Lizzie
KT: We've been waiting for Wells (radio DJ / JoJo's season / certified QT) for four weeks now, and still he hasn't come. Four weeks of sunburn, booze pimples, and blistering UTIs and no Wells in sight.
If Wells doesn't show up next week, mark my words ABC, we will stop writing 1,400-word recaps of your twisted show and exposing all of its machinations for a global audience. We are not prepared to stand for it if Wells is not forthcoming. Wells is the only salve I will accept for the pain of losing Vinny, who is, I'm sorry, way hotter than Brett and I'm saying that as someone who is familiar with Vinny's alt career as DJ Vinsane. What is Paradise — what is any tacky beach party featuring plastic hurricane glasses and butt crack microphones — without a DJ? Give us Wells. We need him. Give us Wells, or else.
We'll see you back here next week, for what feels like the millionth time! Wait, actually... what is time? Does anyone know?