‘Bachelor in Paradise’: Ride ’em, Cowboy

Bachelor in Paradise
August 5, 2019

It’s the hottest, sweatiest, most uncomfortable time of the year which means only one thing: exile to so-called “Paradise” for the next month or so. Prepare to have cheap tequila hangovers, sand in inappropriate places, a blinding headache from rolling your eyes so far back in your head they may never actually return, and a lingering concern for the direction of our nation as a whole that you’ll never quite be able to shake, long after we’ve left this Godforsaken place.

And before we begin, may I just extend my apologies to our neighbors to our south. It’s been an exceptionally rough week already and then we go and do … this to you. Lo siento, amigos. You give us tacos, and we give you our idiot bimbos and himbos to puke on your beaches and shed their crabs. It’s not a fair trade.

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Let’s meet the first of this season’s batch of Bachelorette and Bachelor rejects who will be infesting Mexico’s hot tubs. The rejects who are fortunate enough to receive the video package treatment include:

Tayisha whom I nicknamed “Piggyback Ride” because she made Colton give her a piggyback ride on her first night on The Bachelor: Piggyback — which is a really unfortunate name for a really lovely young woman — made it all the way to the Fantasy Suites where insult: nothing happened between her and the virgin Bachelor Dolton Colton, met injury: she was sent home. Piggyback’s family was her support during her difficult time, and now her father offers some advice for the next dumb Bachelor series she is about to be on: she should wear nothing but turtlenecks in Paradise. And actually, that would make for an interesting experiment on this show: how long would a contestant — of either gender — last in Paradise while dressing modestly? And which would come first: elimination at a rose ceremony or heat stroke? LET’S PUT THIS TO THE TEST.

Blake, whom I nicknamed “Cowboy” because he showed up on the “After the Final Rose” to meet Becca on a goddamned horse: This potato-faced dolt was thisclose to proposing to Becca, but she chose a tomato farmer with a fondness for ridiculous alt-right memes over him. Cowboy cried — a lot — but he assures us he’s spent a year really learning about himself and figuring out what he wants in a relationship. His plan is to be open and honest …

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… and communicative and after a few more shirtless pushups on this park bench to really show off his doughy dad bod, he’ll be ready to find love. Reminder: This guy was a fan favorite and apparently a Bachelor contestant favorite for reasons that COMPLETELY ALLUDE ME. HE’S NOT THAT CUTE, Y’ALL.

Katie, whom I nicknamed “V-Card” because she threatened to take Colton’s on the first night of The Bachelor: In a weird bit, V-Card is in the same park as Cowboy in a trench coat and hat, spying on him? And then she goes back to her apartment which is outfitted with a conspiracy board complete with pictures of her fellow contestants and a bunch of yarn? Is she going to be the QAnon contestant this season?

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Cam, whom I nicknamed “Vanilla Ice” because he’s a white boy who insists on rapping. Poorly.: Vanilla Ice raps on stage in front of an enthusiastic crowd. And if this jackass weren’t from Texas, I’d be able to enjoy his pure, unadulterated douchiness more. But he is, so I can’t. STOP EMBARRASSING OUR STATE, DONKEYHOLE.

Jane, whom I nicknamed “Dog Stalker” because …  alright, so you’re not going to remember this weirdo or her bad nickname because Colton eliminated her on the first night, but she arrived on the first night of The Bachelor with a framed photo of Colton’s dogs, WHICH, WHOA WHOA WHOA, SLOW DOWN, CRAZY. IT’S ONE THING TO STALK THE BACHELOR, IT’S A WHOLE OTHER TO STALK HIS DAMN DOGS: Her video is about her love of hot sauce and involves her brushing her teeth with Valentina. It’s a bit much.

Hannah G., whom I nicknamed “Empty Gift Box” because her gimmick on the first night of Colton’s season was to arrive with a gift, his favorite underwear, and when he opened the box, it was empty ~buh-dum-dum-tiss~: Empty Gift Box also made it almost to the Fantasy Suites with Colton — she was flown all the way out to Portugal only to have Colton show up at her hotel to dump her ass before they could even go on their date. This was certainly for the best as the Fantasy Suite itself would have just been an exercise in frustration for everyone involved. Anyway, she’s hopeful about finding love, and not just chlamydia, in Paradise.

Demi, whom I nicknamed “Red Flag” because ~gestures at everything~: I love Red Flag, but girl is, true to her nickname, a hot mess. Red Flag informs us via a conversation with The Beast herself, Hannah, that she has been seeing someone — a lady someone — not that she wants to put any labels on what that makes her, gay or bi or WHATEVER. But additionally, she’s not seeing her lady friend exclusively, even though she herself describes having fallen “head over heels.” And that’s why she’s going to Paradise because free trip to Mexico, free booze and free publicity she wants to figure out her feelings for said lady friend.

Clay, whom I nicknamed “Play-Doh” because he showed up on Becca’s first night with Play-Doh for some reason: Like Cowboy, Play-Doh was from Becca’s season, but he left the show early to pursue his NFL career. It didn’t work out. He then dated one of the Bachelor in Paradise rejects from last season, Batman, but that didn’t work out, either. Now he’s here.

Nicole, whom I nicknamed “Miami Mami” because I had nothing else to call her as her entire schtick for a while was that she was from Miami: She works out on the beach.

Chris Bukowski, whom I nicknamed “Smug Chris” because JUST LOOK AT HIM: I KNEW IT. I KNEW THIS ASSHOLE WOULD BE BACK. I MEAN, HE’S MY DAD’S AGE BY NOW, BUT IT SHOULD SURPRISE EXACTLY NO ONE THAT THIS GUY IS BACK. Alright so, Grandpa’s history: he was first on St. Emily’s season and then he barged his way on Andi’s season, and then he was on Bachelor Pad, that abortion of a show, before being on Bachelor in Paradise, seasons one and two. He swore he was retiring from “Bachelor Universe” after Bachelor in Paradise, season 2, but as I wrote at the time: “While I hope he finally finds whatever will make him happy and STOP COMING BACK TO BACHELOR SHOWS, I’ll believe he’s done with The Bachelor when I see it.” AHEM.

It’s then time to go to Paradise and greet the dummies as they arrive.

Empty Gift Box is the first to arrive, followed by Cowboy and V-Card. There’s much squealing and cut-off high-rise jean shorts happening.

Dylan, whom I nicknamed “Humphrey Bogart” because he showed up on the first night of Hannah’s season wearing a white dinner jacket (You know, like Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca. LISTEN, THESE NICKNAMES ARE HARD.) arrives next, followed by Sydney, whom I nicknamed “Another NBA Dancer” because she was yet another NBA Dancer, and Derek, whom I nicknamed “Charlie Brown’s Teacher” because he mumbles everything and I can’t pay attention to anything he says.

Next to appear is Kevin, whom I nicknamed “Fumbles,” because he arrived at Hannah’s season of The Bachelorette with a bunch of footballs that he spilled everywhere for the sake of a dumb pun. Fumbles here has spent the spring ingesting every steroid he could get his hands on to the point of being unrecognizable. He takes off his shirt within seconds of arriving and spends waaaaaay too much time explaining to V-Card why her romper is flattering on her.

Wills, whom I nicknamed “Harry Potter” for his geeky love of Harry Potter, arrives next, and excited to meet Empty Gift Box. He has a whole plan to ask her about what she’s looking for in a relationship and what her favorite foods are, which Cowboy is actually doing while Harry Potter is just yammering about it. (Empty’s favorite food is a charcuterie board, by the way.)

Red Flag arrives, to absolutely no one’s surprise because if Bachelor in Paradise didn’t already exist, they would have to have invented it for Red Flag to be on it. She makes an early connection with Charlie Brown’s Teacher, probably because he is literally her exact opposite: tall, dark and boring.

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Before we move on, I should note that this is the first time something or someplace called “Stagecoach” is mentioned, when Cowboy notes that he met Red Flag there and that the weekend was amaaaaaaazing. For those of us who do not live in California or give two shits about contemporary Country music, it’s a contemporary Country music festival held in California in the spring and apparently, it is mandatory for all Bachelor/Bachelorette contestants to attend. And we’ll circle back to Stagecoach about eleventy-three more times before this week is over.

A foghorn blaring in the distance announces the arrival of Onyenka, whom I nicknamed “Carrot Top” for her tendency to use props, like foghorns, to interrupt the other women on Colton’s season. 

Vanilla Ice arrives next, to the collective groans of every single person in Paradise who is not interested in his terrible rapping and his tacky-ass cheetah shirt that he thinks is awesome enough to wear not just during his arrival in Paradise but in his taped piece too, and just his general douchebaggery. He opens with asking V-Card if her eye color is real or if they are contacts, and then defends himself for doing so by comparing it to asking someone if their boobs are real, because that’s just a very polite thing to do. Vanilla Ice tries to join the other men on some pillows but they nope out because HELL NOPE.

Vanilla Ice tries to make time with Piggyback, explaining that he is in Paradise to “look for a wife, a best friend, the mother of my children, the bearer of my mother’s first grandbabies.” And there it is, the objectifying a woman into a baby vessel — it’s saying that kind of thing that makes this particular dingus stand out in a sea of dinguses. And he’s really stuck on this baby thing, asking this woman WHOM HE HAS KNOWN FOR ALL OF FIVE MINUTES what they might name their daughter one day.

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Fortunately for Piggyback, Fumbles sees that she is in trouble, and he rushes in to cockblock Vanilla Ice to everyone’s great relief.

John Paul Jones, whom I did not give a nickname because how do you beat John Paul Jones, arrives next, in a speedo, obviously. Chris Harrison rechristens him Juan Pablo Jones, but this, sadly, does not stick.

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Carrot Top tries to chat up John Paul Jones, but he, like the bird-brained goof that he is, is distracted by a shiny object — his own reflection.

Smug Chris arrives and immediately addresses the grandpa in the room. Yes, this is his sixth venture back into the Bachelor Universe, yes his first appearances on The Bachelorette were back before any of the rest of them were old enough to watch the show. (This is particularly painful for me, as his first season on The Bachelorette was the first season I recapped, and in conclusion, all of these DUMB CHILDREN CAN JUST SHUT IT.)


Our Dog Stalker arrives next followed by Annaliese whom I nicknamed “Trauma Care” during Arie “Needledick” Luyendyk’s season after she claimed she had a “traumatic experience” with a bumper car this one time, and Bibiana whom I nicknamed “Manguita,” which basically means “little hottie” in Cuban slang, because she is, and Miami Mami.

Play-Doh arrives and Trauma Care here, she is NOT HAVING IT. Apparently, she is good friends with Batman, with whom Play-Doh broke up a few months ago, and she has decided that a respectful enough amount of time HAS NOT passed for him to be trying to date again. Because 1. This is definitely her decision and 2. She definitely gets a vote.

And then Caelynn, whom I nicknamed “Miss North Carolina” on account of her being Miss North Carolina, she arrives and SHIT IS ABOUT TO GO DOWN. See, Miss North Carolina, after being dumped by Colton, put herself back out on the dating scene and she had a run-in with one of her fellow Paradisian — Cowboy — and it didn’t go well.

And it went so poorly, in fact, that when she enters Paradise, Cowboy is completely incapable of playing it cool, and begins exclaiming “OH SHIT!” before literally running away, muttering, “FUCKFUCK FUCKFUCKFUCKFCU–”

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But we don’t find out what sends him into such a guilt tornado, not just yet, because Chris Harrison calls everyone into the breakup palapa to welcome them to Paradise and remind them of the rules: dates, roses (this week the men are handing them out), people go home, some maybe get engaged. And with that, he wishes them luck and returns to his resort hotel.

The first date card arrives and it is for Mr. OH SHIT! himself, Cowboy, who, at the moment, is the man the women are the most interested in. Again, I have NO IDEA why, exactly, but here we are. Cowboy spends a lot of time flirting with Empty Gift Box — to Humphrey Bogart’s great disappointment, as she is the only person he is interested in — but when it’s time to choose someone, Cowboy asks Piggyback Ride to join him, seemingly out of nowhere, shocking everyone but especially Empty Gift Box and Miss North Carolina.

So Cowboy and Piggyback go on their date which is just a generic go-to-a-resort-eat-dinner-sit-in-the-hot-tub date. It’s boring and not worth discussing at any length.

Back at Paradise, Miss North Carolina tells our bartender and fiancé-to-ModernFamily-star-Sarah-Hyland All-4-Wells the whole dirty story about Cowboy, which she didn’t feel comfortable sharing with Daddy Chris Harrison.

SO, SETTLE IN. After she was eliminated from The Bachelor, Cowboy began texting her and Facetiming her every day and they had something — enough so that they talked about skipping Paradise altogether and coming out as a couple. But then he ghosted her. But then! The weekend of Stagecoach, they saw each other again, and he “sweet talked” her and the next thing you know …

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… BUT THEN, the next morning, she wakes up to find him DMing Empty Gift Box, and talking about how hot Piggyback Ride is and when Miss North Carolina is like, “EXCUSE ME?” he reveals that he spent the night before with Kristin, whom I nicknamed “Olya Povlatsky” after Kate McKinnon’s Russian character, see, because Kristin is originally from Russia. SO THEN, AS IF ALL OF THIS ISN’T BAD ENOUGH, Cowboy calls Miss North Carolina two weeks before Paradise and demands that she keep what happened between them secret — that they have to “lie [their] asses off.” HUH. WHY THOUGH? Miss North Carolina to her credit, refused to lie, telling Cowboy that if it comes up, it comes up.

All-4-Wells tells Miss North Carolina that it’s her duty to tell everyone about Cowboy for DRAMAZ because how shitty would she feel if she were Piggyback Ride right now, being charmed by someone who was a complete douchebag.

Elsewhere, Humphrey Bogart takes advantage of Cowboy’s absence and swoops in on Empty Gift Box, who is happy for the attention, and Red Flag and Charlie Brown’s Teacher furiously make out in the hot tub.

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The next morning, Piggyback is still glowing from her date with Cowboy, while Miss North Carolina begins sharing her story with the other contestants, starting with the foghorn herself, Carrot Top. She also tells Another NBA Dancer the whole messy story, adding that she knew that Cowboy and Olya Povlatsky had dated, but when they started talking, he made it seem as though they had broken up. They had not. Another NBA Dancer is NOT IMPRESSED, encourages her to tell everyone and wishes that the whole thing blows up in Cowboy’s face.

And that’s when Olya Povlatsky arrives in Paradise, duh. She explains to Chris Harrison that she dated Cowboy for a little while and then slept with him at Stagecoach, only to learn later that he slept with someone else the next night. Chris Harrison arms her with a date card and sends this ticking time bomb inside.

Cowboy is thrilled to see her.

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And obviously, she chooses Cowboy for her date.

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But he agrees because he’s clearly a glutton for punishment.

Before going on the date, Olya Povlatsky explains that she knows exactly what happened between Cowboy and Miss North Carolina, and she thought he had more respect for her than to do such a thing. But she will not be fucked over again, and, in fact, she intends to make Cowboy her little bitch.



Bachelor in Paradise airs Mondays and Tuesdays on ABC at 7/8 p.m.

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