Bachelor in Paradise
August 24, 2021
It’s a new day in Paradise, and with it, a new host who is introduced via a boom box with a message attached: “PLAY ME.” Once these Gen Zers figure out how to operate this ancient piece of technology, “It’s Gonna Be Me,” by N’SYNC begins playing, serving as the entrance music for the new host, one Lance Bass.
No one is more excited to see Lance Bass than Old Naked Man who professes he owes his entire career to Lance Bass and his fellow N’SYNCers. Imagine being a 40-year-old person and having that be your truth.
Lance Bass then takes a few women aside for mimosas to discuss what’s going on in Paradise, including Nip/Tuck who explains she received Cat Man’s rose, but is excited to see who else will be arriving soon
because Cat Man just isn’t doing it for her.
Because … the shift of power changed over to the women after the previous night’s rose ceremony. This also means that they can expect at least a couple of men to be joining Paradise, as having an equal number of men and women at the beach just takes all the fun out of it.
As for who will be joining them, the men from Katie’s season are fine with anyone as long as it’s not Thomas, who I nicknamed “Half-Witted Villain” on account of his being a villain on Katie’s season, but a half-witted one who just blurted out all of his evil plans.
So obviously, enter: Half-Witted Villain.
And he’s armed with a date card.
The men receive him with as much cool politeness as they can muster, while the women are all, and I quote Nip/Tuck: “D-D-D-D-D-DAMN!”
As the other men glare nearby, Half-Witted Villain goes through the process of chatting with each of the women, beginning with Little Miss Nice. Meanwhile, the women demand that the other men explain to them why they HATE this guy so much, and Aggro fills them in: he’s insincere, has a superiority complex, told Katie he was in love with her on the second GROUP date, and literally told the entire cast of Katie’s season that he came on to the show with the intention of becoming the next Bachelor.
When Half-Witted Villain asks to speak to Tahzjuan, she is like, “so, everyone is talking shit about you. Why is that?” and Half-Witted Villain feigns surprise that the other men would be talking about him when he wasn’t even in Paradise. Girl, come on.
Later Tahzjuan reports to the others that all Half-Witted does is talk about how tall he is, which is then followed by a montage of him making a point with multiple other women to make a big show of ducking underneath the frame of one of the beach beds, and telling them that they’ll have to remind him to duck because he’s just sooooo talllllll.
As someone who is married to a very tall guy, I assure you, when you are that tall, you don’t need to point it out to people, they will eventually get around to asking how tall you are themselves. Feeding people prompts to ask you about your height is … just so embarrassing.
Eventually, Half-Witted Villain invites Queen’s Gambit to go on the date with him, and she agrees, to Grocery Joe’s annoyance. On the one hand, he admits, it’s too early for anyone to be committed to anyone else, and of course the point of Paradise is to go out and explore your options, so he can’t begrudge her that.
But on the other hand … Grocery Joe reminds us that this is similar to what happened with him and Taxiderpy: she went on a date with Kahl Drogo, and when she came back, she was … unsure how she felt. For obvious reasons, he does not want to go through that again, and just hopes that when Queen’s Gambit returns, that she is clear on where she stands one way or another.
As for the date itself, Queen’s Gambit and Half-Witted Villain ride around on giant inflatables pulled behind a speed boat, and make out.
Back in Paradise, Grocery Joe tries, and fails, to take a nap.
Queen’s Gambit and Half-Witted Villain enjoy a picnic on the beach where she asks him why the other men from his season don’t like him, and he claims it was as much of a surprise to him as anyone. He then explains that it began with Ball Pit — whom he loves and thinks of as a younger brother, in part because Ball Pit is “emotionally not strong.” Half-Wit admits there were also issues with Aggro which started when Half-Witted Villain interrupted Aggro’s time with Katie after Half-Witted Villain had already talked to her twice. He then pivots to compliment Queen’s Gambit on her forthcomingness and promises to always be transparent with her.
And before we move on to the next part of the episode, I must mention that we spend a solid two minutes watching Shit-Stirrer practice his kickboxing moves on the air, which is amazing and perfect and they need to include footage of it in every episode, please.
ALSO, the person who writes the chyrons this season deserves a raise. Immediately.
Arriving next to Paradise is Riley from Clare/Tayshia’s season, whom I nicknamed “Groany McBadJoke, Esq.” because he opened Clare’s season with a corny joke and he’s a lawyer. What I do is a science, folks.
Groany McBad Joke, Esq. leads with his biceps and everyone in Paradise is like, “HOT DAMN LOOK AT HIS BICEPS” — even the dudes. Everyone gathers at the beach to greet him but Tahzjuan who, hiding in the bar with All-4-Wells, reveals that Groany is the only person she wanted to meet here, AND NOW SHE DOESN’T KNOW HOW TO EVEN ACT. Groany McBad Joke, Esq. asks her to join them, and she mostly just stands on the beach, spinning around, unsure what to do or even where to even look.
Groany reveals that he has a date card: “Welcome to Paradise. Love can be found in those arms.”
He then invites the women to chat, beginning with Nip/Tuck, who reveals that despite being a former Bachelor contestant and despite being a full adult at 25-years-old, she has never been on a real date. This is the saddest thing I have ever heard in my life.
Groany eventually talks to every woman on the beach, leaving poor Tahzjuan last, only to eventually ask Nip/Tuck to join him on his date.
While Cat Man brushes away concerns that his presumed rose is going on a date with another man because they “have a strong connection …”
… Tahzjuan is PISSED, and Ball Pit can’t help but notice and be concerned.
That evening, Queen’s Gambit returns from her date with Half-Witted Villain and wakes poor Grocery Joe up to tell him the good news: she told Half-Witted Villain that he should pursue other women because she ain’t it. Grocery Joe, who literally spent the better part of the day in a depression nap, is all, “Yeah, I knew you’d choose me all along. I was never worried.”
As for Half-Witted Villain, he whines to All-4-Wells and Tahzjuan that the other men are ruining his repuation with the women before he’s had a chance to meet them. Tahzjuan just tells him to his face that the vibe people are getting about him is that he’s a manipulative liar. He’s all, “ABSOLUTELY NOT!” but Tahzjuan is like, “Lol, OK, well, things are about to get real dicey for you, friend.”
That’s when Shit-Stirrer arrives and, stirring up some shit, drags Half-Witted Villain over to the other men of Katie’s season to talk. There, Half-Witted Villain explains that his date with Queen’s Gambit was derailed because she heard about the drama from Katie’s season. Half-Witted Villain then offers an apology to the men for everything he did wrong; for putting his time above theirs; and for lying to them. The men are like, “I mean, I guess,” except for Aggro who flat-out tells Half-Witted Villain to stay away from him, he’s not ready to forgive and forget just yet, Half-Witted Villian is going to have to prove his sincerity through actions, not words.
MEANWHILE, Queen’s Gambit is out there tattling to Tahzjuan that Half-Witted Villain said that Ball Pit “has been through a lot” and “needs to be boosted up” because he’s “not emotionally strong.” Tahzjuan immediately tells Ball Pit, who is obviously pissed, having just been served up a pile of complete steaming bullshit by Half-Witted Villain.
Ball Pit confronts Half-Witted, and is like, “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME WITH THIS? YOU WERE ACTUALLY TALKING SHIT ABOUT ME FIVE MINUTES AGO? AND NOW YOU EXPECT ME TO BELIEVE YOUR APOLOGY? I DO NOT THINK SO, GOODBYE.”
Team Ball Pit on this one.
And then there’s Groany and Nip/Tuck’s date. Nip/Tuck arrives on the beach wearing … I don’t even know how to describe this … a leopard-print shorts jumper with a severly plunging neckline and attached hip cape? It’s sexy, and everyone on the beach definitely takes notice, including poor Cat Man, I just don’t know what the actual term for this garment is. Anyone?
Anyway, Not-Doormat encourages Cat Man to take Nip/Tuck aside before she goes on her date and tell her how he’s feeling, but instead, he pulls her aside and wishes her a fun time on her date.
Oh, sweetie, she’s going to have a great time, don’t you worry about that.
Nip/Tuck and Groany McBad Joke, Esq. head to the resort where they go to “Lance’s Basserie …”
They are greeted by Lance Bass who is standing at a treat-laden table. He offers them seats at the head of the table, at which are placed those fancy serving platters with the silver domes on top like you see in old cartoons. Lance Bass explains that this date is all about honesty and trying new things, and towards that end, they’ve prepared a special menu for them. The domes are removed to reveal platters of offal, stinky cheeseas, and edible insects. Lance Bass then explains that they are going to play a game: he has a list of questions that they must answer, or they have to eat something of his choosing from the platter.
So basically they’re playing James Corden’s “Spill Your Guts or Fill Your Guts,” a game that Corden had to apologize for after people pointed out it was culturally insensitive. Got it.
Question #1: Have you ever slid into a celebrity’s DMs?
Groany McBad Joke, Esq.: No
Question #2: Have you ever said “I love you,” and not meant it?
Groany McBad Joke, Esq.: No
Question #3: How many people have you slept with?
Groany McBad Joke, Esq.: What are we eating?
Nip/Tuck: Yeah, no way I’m going to answer that.
Lance Bass instructs them to take a bite of the enormous cow’s tongue on the table, and they oblige, noting that it’s not all that bad, honestly.
Question #4: What’s your most embarrassing story?
Groany McBad Joke, Esq.: NOPE. What are we going to eat next?
Lance Bass has them eat a piece of tripe, and I mean, OK, but that’s a regular part of my family’s dim sum menu so, I mean, big deal? MAKE THEM EAT THE GRUBS, LANCE.
Question #5: Where on your body should someone touch you to turn you on?
Groany McBad Joke, Esq.: Grab my ass
Nip/Tuck: Pretty much anywhere.
Question #6: How many times a week do you masturbate?
Nip/Tuck: Every day if I get the chance
Groany McBad Joke, Esq.:
Question #7: What is your secret move to pull close to someone?
Groany McBad Joke, Esq.: The ol’ chin grab …
Which he then demonstrates on Nip/Tuck, pulling her into a kiss while Lance Bass just … stands there.
Back in Paradise, Tahzjuan is giving an interview that is interrupted by maurauding crabs …
Tahzjuan, who is making a strong case for being my all-time favorite Bachelor/Bachelorette/Bachelor in Paradise contestant ever, eventually makes peace with the crab and asks him for advice on her relationship with Ball Pit. She then takes Ball Pit aside for a conversation about where, exactly, they stand, and they essentially agree to continue getting to know each other better. Listen, it’s not love, but it’s something. For now.
Elsewhere, Come Hither is whining to Grocery Joe that Bowtie has not tried to make out with her, and that there is no romantic chemistry between them. She posits that either he’s the most complicated person she’s ever met or a con artist.
Wait wait wait … hold up … the guy who every single person told you was in Paradise to meet someone he had been hooking up with outside of Paradise doesn’t seem interested in making a romantic connection with you? HOW COULD THIS BE? Yes, it must be that he is very complicated, or a gifted con artist, and not just a common liar who blatantly lied to your face, but whom you chose to believe even though everyone gave you multiple reasons not to. (Girl, I am sending a shuttle bus to the Puerto Vallarta airport to pick you up and take you directly to Miss Therese’s Home for Credulous Idiots the minute you get eliminated.)
And then there’s Cat Man who is biding his time waiting for Nip/Tuck to return from her date, by playing his guitar and insisting that he’s happy Nip/Tuck is on this date, because it will give her clarity.
Oh, it’s going to give her clarity all right.
After a Lance Bass-less dinner over which Nip/Tuck and Groany talk about their dreams of marriage and kids, and Nip/Tuck is honest about her need for constant reassurance, and opens up about her past struggles with her weight. Groany insists that she would be beautiful at any weight, and the next thing you know — literally, the very next thing you know — they are back in Paradise and heading to the cursed “Boom Boom Room,” to, you know, boom boom.
How’s that for clarity?
Alright, see you next week. In the meantime, put this on my gravestone:
Bachelor in Paradise airs Mondays and Tuesdays on ABC at 7/8 p.m.