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.
Kaitlyn Tiffany: Hard to believe it's all over, after a mere 984 hours of prime time melodrama. This week we say goodbye to Paradise and hello to lifelong commitment, which can be anyone's for the low, low price of a $75,000 engagement ring.
In the end, the world is three engagements richer. Evan and Carly, Grant and Lace, and Josh and Amanda are the winners of season three of Bachelor in Paradise — so far as winning means finding someone to date, possibly marry, and definitely cooperate with to maintain relevance amongst the Bachelor Nation.
nick can't wait to tell america more about his heart knot
Dare we even speak the name of the losers, less it taint us with the inability of find televised romance? Let's do it quickly and get it over with, in keeping with the manner in which they were knocked out of the running for love: Wells broke up with Ashley after Nick noted that having sex with her on TV would make him a "national treasure." I hope he also broke up with his friend Nick, who was being very disgusting. Izzy got dumped by Brett (who also dumped Lauren H.) and Shushanna dismissed herself saying "I'm an adult, I don't want this." Nick, of course, rode away from Paradise with the glazed expression of Donnie Darko, muttering something about how his heart is a knot and he can't untie it, and this is his main hurdle to finding love, and he can't wait to revisit these themes on his upcoming season of The Bachelor.
Lizzie Plaugic: It was a torturous journey indeed for Nick and the other sad singles, but the subsequent journey of holy matrimony for the couples is likely to be just as torturous, if not televised. But at this point I'm no longer interested in what did happen — I want to talk about what could've happened.
Because of the way Bachelor in Paradise is set up, the contestants have the delightful option of cycling their way through several potential partners (or at least attempting to) before settling down forever after the culmination of summer camp. This means several possible pairings never made it past the first date (or, in the case of Evan, past a glass of wine chilled in his mini fridge). Here, we take Bachelor in Paradise to the sandy proposal path less traveled, i.e., the couples that would've, could've, but ultimately didn't.
Lace + Chad
LP: Who could forget Lace and Chad, the first-day couple that exemplified "happily ever after"? They started off with the gusto of two young, drunk cheetahs, and burned out just as quickly as two young, drunk cheetahs on fire. Lace and Chad's horniness was too pure for Paradise, but maybe there's an alternate world where Lace's wrist tattoo actually says "Lad" and Chad is doing pullups with a baby strapped to his torso.
Lace + Carl
KT: Remember when Lace sauntered up to Carl in a swimming pool and said "I think you should start talking to me now," right after Grant told her he loved her? If Carl hadn't been so concerned with Lace being the property of another, more muscular, land-holding male, this really could have gone somewhere. As we learned from the 1998 Gwyneth Paltrow film Sliding Doors, life is just a series of random occurrences and you'll almost definitely end up dead no matter what choices you make. If Lace had chosen the Carl door maybe she would be happily engaged to a slightly different person, who is also a firefighter and also has many tattoos and is also hot and not very interesting. Only, instead of matching "Grace" tattoos, Carl would have gotten "Carl" tattooed on his forehead as a helpful visual aid to remind us who he is.
imagine the dinner parties evan and amanda could have had
Evan + Amanda
LP: Evan and Amanda were more of a dream in Evan's head than an actual couple, but Evan made so many poor decisions while trying to make this dream come true that it would be cruel to ignore his efforts. Imagine the dinner parties they could have! Evan would serve lobster tails and wine with just a hint of freezer burn, while Amanda would regale the crowd with whispery tales of how Sweet Evan rescued her from the wily ways of Josh, a man she will only refer to as He With The Perfect Chin. Their collective four children will crowd around the fire and wonder why their parents look so unhappy.
Nick + Leah
LP: Nick was a busy little bumblebee this season, which, in hindsight, was good prep work for his upcoming stint as the Bachelor. Nick and Leah definitely went on a date at some point, but honestly who can even remember what happened? I think there was sand. Nick and Leah would be the kind of couple whose faces blend together into one single face and would sound like they're speaking in Webdings anytime you tried to have a conversation with them.
Nick + Carly
my heart beats to your soul, i would die 4 u
KT: According to his tweets, Nick is going to officiate Carly and Evan's wedding. Personally I feel there's no way something so cheesy would be permitted to happen by physics. So let's explore a different option!
You may think it's hard to envision Carly with anyone other than Evan, who told her "my heart beats to your soul." You may not want to imagine a world in which Carly did not tell Evan she would die for him and did not proceed to put his entire face in her mouth. But please, imagine it, for Nick's sake. Nick is alone, and about to be famous, but what if instead of that he was engaged to Carly? Earlier this season, Carly said she wanted to "test drive some cars" and at the end of this season she provided some voiceover for moody shots of Bachelor Nick saying "Nick is hot, Nick is so hot." She may be happy with Evan now, but as has been the main takeaway from Bachelor in Paradise and the first half of the 1999 Melissa Joan Hart film Drive Me Crazy, you can always be happier with someone just a little bit hotter.
Nick + The Twins
LP: Emily and Haley come as a package deal and Nick can't make a decision anyway, so why not? Nick is also pedantic and sometimes condescending but the twins aren't even sure what condescending means. The more I think about it, Nick and The Twins could've been BiP's strongest couple.
Nick + Ashley
KT: Nick spent at least 94 percent of his stay in Paradise providing helpful lectures to Ashley. Usually the theme was "stop having emotions, it has worked out great for me," with the occasional "HAHA VIRGIN" remix. It would be very compelling to watch this relationship play out. Would Ashley turn Nick into a relatable cry baby with incredible Dewy Beach Look skills? Would Nick turn Ashley into a frigid common sense dispenser with a perfect tan and a 16-pack of abs? Would they balance each other out, making one another into better and more beautiful human beings through the power of love, like in the 1999 Julia Stiles film 10 Things I Hate About You? This started out as a joke, but I now think it's a great idea.
Nick + Amanda
KT: Nick and Amanda had only one date before her Perfect Stud Man Josh arrived on the scene. But what if Josh had stayed home, with a large pizza and unlimited white button-downs to sweat through? Maybe Nick would have used his calming, disappointed father figure voice to explain to Amanda that ultimately her best option was to love him forever.
Nick and Amanda would be happily squinting and giggling at each other right now, or Amanda would be sitting on the side of road somewhere in Mexico, having fallen victim to the same classic "just run into Walmart and buy a pair of flip-flops while I drive the car around the block" scheme that derailed Natalie Portman's life in the 2000 film Where the Heart Is. It is Nick's destiny to be the Bachelor. Nothing can stand in the way of destiny, not even true love based on a foundation of almost nothing.
Next year in Hell!
Kaitlyn and Lizzie