Bachelor in Paradise
August 17, 2021
Welcome back to Paradise — or “Paradise,” as the case most definitely is. It has been two very busy years since the Bachelor producers have taken over this little stretch of beach in Mexico to conduct their ongoing experiments on human relationships and sexually transmitted diseases. In that time, we’ve faced down a deadly global pandemic and a national reckoning on race relations that ended with the long-time host of the show being fired when he suggested the show’s first Black lead was being too “woke” when she found it offensive that one of the frontrunners of the show had attended a plantation party all the way back in … three years ago.
But now, (hopefully) fully-vaccinated and (hopefully) having been through at least a small amount of therapy, 23 Bachelor and Bachelorette losers are back in Mexico racing against a three-week-long production schedule and the eminent arrival of the Delta variant to try to find true love and an engagement that will maybe last until the fall.
Let’s re-meet the dingalings who actually thought going to a foreign country to rub body parts with virtual strangers during a pandemic was a good idea:
Serena P. whom I called “Queen’s Gambit” because she played giant chess with Matt James on the first night of his season.
Queen’s Gambit claims that she’s known as the contestant who sent Matt James home — which, I mean, kinda? I guess? I mostly remember her for being Canadian. Queen’s has no regrets and nor should she since she was a 22-year-old CHILD who had no business getting engaged to anyone. As for who Queen’s wants to meet in Paradise, her first choice is:
Brendan from Tayshia/Clare’s season who I called “Bowtie” because he showed up on the first night wearing a bowtie.
LISTEN, YOU TRY TO COME UP WITH CLEVER NICKNAMES FOR 30 PEOPLE IN ONE DAY. Although if I had to do it all over again, I definitely would have come up with something having to do with this hilarious cowboy hat that he wore on a date with Tayshia. No one in the history of cowboy hats has looked less natural in a cowboy hat than this man in this moment:
Bowtie also has no regrets for leaving Tayshia’s season early, as he had a lot of “healing” as a man he needed to do. He has this profound realization while taking a long, shirtless shower.
Back in Paradise for her second time is Tahzjuan from Colton’s season who I called Tahzjuan because how can you beat Tahzjuan?
Tahzjuan reminds us that she was very hot — literally — during her time in Paradise but she’s back and ready to find her person and sweat and have a “fiesta” in her “pantalones.” Her words, not mine. She has her sights set on:
Ivan from Clare/Tayshia’s season, who I nicknamed “Bobby Fischer” because he’s really into chess.
Bobby Fischer says that he was heartbroken when Tayshia dumped him, but that he’s recovered and ready to be a husband and father. Bobby Fischer illustrates this by taking his niece to what appears to be a Chuck E. Cheese. Female viewers everywhere:
Obivously in Paradise is Victoria L., otherwise known as “Queen Asshole” from Matt James’ season since she arrived on the show wearing a tiara and declaring herself “Queen Victoria.” Like Red Flag before her, if Paradise didn’t already exist, they’d have to make it just for her.
But please do not call her “Queen Asshole” anymore — she’s had an awakening, a transformation. “Queen Asshole” is dead, long live “Goddess Asshole,” straight from Mt. “Olymptus.”
Also joining Paradise is Mari from Matt James’ season, who I called “Pageant Reina” since she is originally from Puerto Rican but was crowned “Miss Maryland 2019.”
She claims she’s best known for being hit on the arm by a vibrator by our Dildo Queen, Katie, but honestly she’s probably better known for having a big ass, which she insists is all real. (And this is a quick diversion, but my lawyer husband once represented the twenty-something Venezuelan girlfriend of a very wealthy man in the divorce of his wife of thirty years. One of the claims Wife brought against Husband was that he used company money to buy Venezuelan Girlfriend boob and butt implants. But during her deposition, the one thing Venezuelan Girlfriend said in English was — while pointing to her ample chest — “Zees is all real. God gave me zees.” So.)
As for who our Pageant Rein wants to meet in Paradise …
Kenny from Clare/Tayshia’s season who I called “Faux Lou Perlman” because he was the manager of a boy band cover band.
And OH HONEY, PAGEANT REINA, NO. DO YOU WANT TO RETHINK THIS? Because this man, who is 40, is completely naked in his package (pun high five) talking about how this is the best shape he’s ever been in and he shouldn’t hide it. “No clothes, no cares,” he says while in the embarrassing throes of a midlife crisis exacerbated by the sickening realization that he’s about to go on a show where he’s going to be surrounded by a bunch of dudes plumped up on protein powder and young enough to be his sons.
Also joining the season is Kelsey from Peter’s season who I nicknamed “Champagne Wishes” because …
Champagne Wishes notes that she’s learned to love herself, and not just look for someone to “fill [her] holes.”
And then there is Connor B. also known as Cat Man from Katie’s season since he arrived on the first night in a cat costume. He really committed to the whole thing.
He sings one of his stupid ukulele songs about the women he hopes to meet in Paradise and THIS IS GOING TO BE A REALLY LONG SEASON if this chucklehead actually packed that goddamned ukulele.
One of the women he sings about is Jessenia from Matt James’ season, who I called “Not Doormat” after I had called her “Doormat” for reasons that I can no longer remember. But apparently she proved herself not a doormat at some point, so good for her!
Not Doormat assures us that she “still believes in love” despite Matt James breaking her heart and adds that she would like to meet Grocery Joe in Paradise, which is a DEEP DIVE.
But he apparently will be there. Joe, who is famously known as “Grocery Joe” because he owned a grocery store when he appeared on Becca’s season, is returning for a second go-round in Paradise.
Last we saw Grocery Joe, he was leaving Paradise happily in love with Taxiderpy. And they stayed in love for two whole years before acknowledging that their futures just weren’t aligned. He asks his parents for advice, and his father tells him that he’ll be happy as long as Grocery Joe doesn’t cry, because toxic masculinity is real.
With that, we head to Paradise where we meet one of our several guest hosts replacing Chris Harrison, David Spade. (And this is just a little Bachelor gossipy sidenote, but reportedly, while Kaitlyn and Tayshia were hosting The Bachelorette, Chris Harrison was continuing to fight to come back as the host of the Bachelor franchises. But when he learned that David Spade was in Mexico, hosting Paradise, he realized the gig was up and negotiated an end to his contract.)
Anyway, five minutes in as guest host and David Spade is already receving mixed reviews:
David Spade takes his place at the entrance of Paradise to greet the contestants as they enter, and the first to arrive is Abigail from Matt James’ season. Abigail was nicknamed “First Impression Rose,” at the time, but whom I am going to rename “Little Miss Nice” because she’s just the nicest.
Little Miss Nice, as many of the contestants will be, is pleasantly surprised to be greeted by David Spade. She also reveals that she’s super nervous to be there, a nervousness that is not alleviated when she discovers she’s the first in Paradise.
Little Miss Nice is followed by Grocery Joe, who discusses the end of his relationship with Taxiderpy with David Spade, only to have David Spade crack a joke about Grocery Joe “double bagging it” in Paradise.
It is going to be, as always, a long season.
Bobby Fischer is next to arrive, and when he joins Grocery Joe and Little Miss Nice on the beach, he reveals he’s most excited to meet — appropriately enough! — Queen’s Gambit! Sexy chess time!
However, Grocery Joe reveals that he, too, was most looking forward to meeting Queen’s Gambit, and it is in that very moment that you can actually see his confidence begin to melt away as he realizes he’s 35 and has no business being on a reality show dating a bunch of 23-year-olds.
The ennui, it begins.
This is, of course, the moment that Queen’s Gambit is sent into Paradise because the producers are monsters and nothing is done by accident.
Champagne Wishes arrives waving around a bottle of champagne and two glasses because BY GOD SHE IS GOING TO HAVE FUN WITH THE MOST HUMILIATING MOMENT OF HER LIFE. SHE IS GOING TO OWN IT AND SHOW EVERYONE WHAT A GREAT SENSE OF HUMOR SHE HAS, DAMMIT. David Spade spends 15 minutes trying and failing to open the bottle, while complaining that sometimes “being too wet isn’t good.”
I need him to stop immediately.
Eventually, the bottle is popped, and they share a sip of what must be not very good champagne before Champagne Wishes hands David Spade the bottle and her glass and heads down to the beach.
Bowtie is the next to arrive and Grocery Joe sinks even deeper into his despair, noting that Bowtie has “that swag” that he feels like he’s lacking. Grocery Joe’s melancholy is not improved when Bowtie mocks him for looking like he walked out of a “gym catalog,” having arrived at Paradise wearing a well-loved t-shirt and some gym shorts.
LEAVE HIM ALONE, YOU MONSTERS, HE IS IN HIS THIRTIES. HE IS ALLOWED TO DRESS LIKE A DAD ON A SATURDAY AFTERNOON, IT’S HIS GOD-GIVEN RIGHT.
— kayla (@kkulwicki16) August 17, 2021
Natasha from Peter’s season is next, whom I nicknamed “Come Hither” because when she arrived on the first night, she simply locked Pilot Peter with a come hither gaze before marching into the McMansion. It’s not the best nickname, but it’s all I had to work with, guys.
She announces that she, like all vaxxed Millennials following the shitshow that was lockdown, IS READY TO HAVE SOME DRINKS AND MINGLE, and immediately sets her sights on Bobby Fischer.
Tammy, also from Peter’s season follows. I nicknamed her “Rowdy Roddy Piper” because she was a wrestler … somehow …
She greets David Spade as “Dave,” which takes him by bemused surprise. Later in an interview, it’s revealed that she thinks he’s Dave Chappelle.
Not Doormat arrives next, followed by Tre, who I called “Ball Pit” because he arrived at Katie’s season in a truck whose bed was filled with Ball Pit balls.
He’s followed by Aaron from Katie’s season, nicknamed “Aggro” because he got into a ridiculous fight with another contestant within five minutes of arriving on the show.
Rowdy Roddy Piper reveals that she has her eye on Aggro, and adds that she would like to see him naked.
Producers in their trailer: “SEND IN THE NAKED GUY!”
Faux Lou Perlman who shall be known from here on out as Old Naked Guy on account of being Naked and being Old, arrives, naked. After braving sunscreen jokes from his middle-aged peer, David Spade, he enters into Paradise in the altogether.
And honestly? People barely blink an eye, recognizing, I suppose, the desperate cry for attention that this is.
Noah from Clare and Tayshia’s season, who I nicknamed “Porn Stache” for the obvious reason on his face, is the next to arrive.
Porn Stache reminds us that he’s a nurse and has worked with deaf kids, before adding that this is why he’s interested in getting to know Little Miss Nice. And I know he means well, but I don’t know, isn’t this a little … condescending? If I were Little Miss Nice, I would want people to want to get to know me because of who I am, not because of my disability? Or am I reading this all wrong?
Whatever I might think about it doesn’t much matter, as Porn Stache and Little Miss Nice go off and chat and seem to hit it off.
Also chatting are Grocery Joe and Queen’s Gambit and it is very awkward but somehow still cute … until Bowtie whisks her off on a piggyback ride while Grocery Joe sadly looks on.
(SAME SAME SAME SAME SAME SAME SAME)
Grocery Joe is soon in an interview, talking about how his conversation with Queen’s Gambit reminded him of chatting with Taxiderpy, and OH NO HE IS STARTING TO CRY, SOMEBODY DO SOMETHING.
Grocery Joe then retreats to a beach bed where he sits, alone, for the rest of the afternoon and evening, in full mope.
— Caroline (@carolineee1108) August 17, 2021
Cat Man arrives, followed by a becrowned Goddess Asshole, who, as David Spade notes, is going to start some shit. This is a straight-up fact.
David Spade apparently grows tired of waiting around at the front gate and heads inside Paradise to get the dirt on what’s happening from our bartender (and actual host) All-4-Wells. All-4-Wells gives us a quick recap: Everyone’s hot for Queen’s Gambit; Grocery Joe is having a sad. The end.
Narrator: Let’s see what fun Joe is up to!
— pettybachnation (@pettybachnation) August 17, 2021
While David Spade is catching up on this nothing news, Maurissa, who I nicknamed “Nip/Tuck” because she worked at a plastic surgeon’s office, arrives …
… quickly followed by Pageant Reina, and David Spade suddenly realizes that he needs to go out and do his damn job.
Pageant Reina and Old Naked Guy immediately head off to chat about where they’re from and how much older he is than her (15 years, gross), and if she’s ever dated older guys before. She has, and I really wish I were surprised by that.
Tahzjuan arrives next, and David Spade is like, “Hey! I know you! You’re the sweaty one!”
Actually, he was not quite that rude, but …
Tahzjuan heads into Paradise where she is immediately approached by Ball Pit, BUT! PLOT TWIST! SHE WENT ON A DATE WITH BALL PIT’S UNCLE!
NO IT’S FOR REAL!
As they chat, Tahzjuan admits to Ball Pit that she went on a date with his uncle and kissed him, and Ball Pit, he’s like, “Uhhhhhhhhh … ”
But I mean, come on, he had to have known that, right? After he was chosen to be on The Bachelorette, his uncle had to have mentioned that he had gone on a date with a previous contestant, right?
Too busy w work rn to think of a clever way to do this, so I’m just gonna drop this here and dip. To those who care, meet Uncle Anthony 😅 pic.twitter.com/NNDFbuNcOp
— Tre Cooper (@trecooper_) August 18, 2021
So Uncle Ball Pit is pretty handsome? AND ALSO, WAIT, HOLD UP, HE’S A DOCTOR?
James from Katie’s season, who I cleverly nicknamed “James-in-a-Box” because he showed up on night one in a giant box, is the next to arrive.
And he is swiftly followed in by two women, who are so swift, that they don’t even bother telling us who they are. Because I love you, I did some research and I believe they are:
Deandra from Peter’s season who I nicknamed “Windmill Costume” because she showed up on the show wearing a costume of a building in which he reportedly had sex four times with another woman, which, when it’s put like that, is just weird?
And Victoria P. from Peter’s season, who was ingeniously nicknamed “Miss Louisiana” on account of having been a Miss Louisiana.
The last person to arrive is Karl from Katie’s season, who would like to be known as “K-Swiss” but whose name is and will always be “Shit-Stirrer” after the little stunt he pulled on Katie’s season.
Aside: I just now realized this but Shit-Stirrer? Literally has one pose:
Although, to be fair, there is a variation:
Anyway, yes, Goddess Asshole might start some shit, but you know who is REALLY going to start some shit?
As he comes in, Tahzjuan tries to say hi and ask if he has a name, and this asshole, he’s all, “yeah, I have a name,” before turning his back on her and talking to someone else. But HA HA HA, it was just a joke, why is she so insulted?
David Spade calls everyone into the Breakup Palapa, where he then brings out All-4-Wells to remind everyone of the rules of Paradise: One date every day; rose ceremony every week; if you’re not in a relationship by rose ceremony time, you’re going home; men have roses this week; there are 10 men and 13 women. Good luck and godspeed and for the love of everything holy, use protection.
The men and women are then sent to their bunks to unpack and then sit in a circle to announce who they are interested in — for all intents and purposes, calling “dibs.” Oh, and the women whinge about having to be aggressive and not being “courted” by the men, because apparently, we traveled back to the 19th fucking century or something. DON’T SIT AROUND WAITING ON A DUDE; GO GET WHAT YOU WANT, LADIES.
That evening, the men and women are reunited to circle one another at the bar, and eventually, James-in-a-Box announces that a date card has been delivered: “Little Miss Nice: It’s finally your time to fall in love.” Little Miss Nice invites Porn Stache to join her and as they leave, everyone is like, “OMG THEY ARE AS ADORABLE AS A PAIR OF PUPPIES, YAY THEM!”
Well, except for one person.
The entire cast: omg look at Noah and Abigail getting a date!!!!! So cute!!! So happy for them!!! 🥰
— Brett S. Vergara (@BrettSVergara) August 17, 2021
The pair go to the nearby resort where they enjoy dinner in a room filled with pinatas, because, in case you have somehow forgotten, they are in Mexico. There, Porn Stache is taken aback at how appreciative Little Miss Nice is for small gestures, like him pulling out her chair for her, gestures which he thinks she should take for granted. And yes? Maybe? But someone needs to remind Mr. Oklahoma that not everyone is from the South and has been raised with good manners. (I’m actually being 100% serious right now, I know it can sometimes be hard to tell.)
Little Miss Nice explains that she doesn’t actually date much and that it takes her a long time to get serious about someone. Porn Stache points out that they don’t actually have time, that’s kinda the entire point of Paradise, that they spend all their time together in a short, but intense period. In response, Little Miss Nice fires a warning shot, telling Porn Stache that she has a tendency to friendzone guys.
Porn Stache continues telling Little Miss Nice that she’s worthy of being treated well and finding happiness, and then they start bashing the pinatas because a room full of pinatas is the ultimate Chekov’s Gun. He also kisses Little Miss Nice, and is pretty proud of himself for landing the “first kiss in Paradise.”
EXCEPT, no, because at the same time they’re making out under a confetti gun, Bowtie and Not-Doormat are making out; Aggro and Rowdy Roddy Piper are making out; Old Naked Guy and Pageant Reina are making out; Ball Pit and Tahzjuan are making out (he’s better than his uncle, she reports in the most upsetting report of the evening) and, in a surprise move, after telling All-4-Wells that after a long day of moping he’s ready to go home, Grocery Joe finds himself chatting and making out with Queen’s Gambit.
This is where the next variant will come from, mark my words.
Not making out with anyone: Goddess Asshole, who is convinced that she can make any man approach her by staring at him for five full seconds. Because that’s not creepy at all.
She stares at a bunch of dudes; it doesn’t go well for her.
— Christy Rae (@itmeginge) August 17, 2021
You know, there was another goddess who tried to control men by staring at them. It didn’t end well for her, either.
The next morning, the Old Naked Guy has found some clothes, thank God.
David Spade has also found his way back to Paradise to get the lowdown on what happened the previous night from All-4-Wells. TL;DR: a date, and a bunch of people exchanged COVID antibodies through their mouths. Some of the women, notably Champagne Wishes and Goddess Asshole, are starting to become worried that they are about to get their asses eliminated on account of math. So the last thing they need is another woman entering Paradise and tipping the numbers further away from their favor.
ENTER: RED FLAG.
AWWWW YEAH, NOW, FOR REAL, SOME SHIT’S ABOUT TO GO DOWN!
Bachelor in Paradise airs Mondays and Tuesdays on ABC at 7/8 p.m.