‘Bachelor in Paradise’: Bonfire of the vain

Bachelor in Paradise
October 5, 2023

We begin the second episode with the briefest of recaps: Bullhorn came to Paradise hoping to see Aven. Aven was not in Paradise. Bullhorn receives a date card. Bullhorn asks Swaggy to go on the date with her. Swaggy agrees, despite having just made out with Big Toe an hour earlier. Big Toe is PISSED. Swaggy is smitten. Bullhorn is so-so.

So obviously, that’s when the monsters who produce this show send Aven from Rachel and Gabby’s season — who I nicknamed “Junior” because they did a photoshoot where he dressed up as a pregnant man … LOOK, I KNOW IT’S AN OLD REFERENCE, BUT I’M OLD —  into Paradise.

“Junior” = Aven (ABC/Ricky Middlesworth)

And it should be noted here that Junior was Bachelorette Rachel’s runner-up because it will not be mentioned once on the show. Not a single time. They never even acknowledge each other. Nothing. Which is weird, right?

Anyway, Junior is armed with a date card before entering Paradise because of course he is, and after greeting everyone, he asks to chat with Bullhorn. They agree that it’s exciting to finally meet, there’s been SO MUCH buildup leading to this moment.

When Junior returns Bullhorn to the group, he asks Big Toe to talk because the producers told him to, and she giddily accepts, hoping to steal Junior out from under Bullhorn the way Bullhorn stole Swaggy from her.

However, when all is said and done, Junior invites Bullhorn to join him on the date and she excitedly accepts while Swaggy becomes nauseous. Before she goes on her date, Bullhorn does take Swaggy aside to be like, “You’re a really nice guy, but I’m going on this date, and who knows, maybe it will suck, but it probably won’t, OK BYEEEEEE.”

As for the date: they go on a boat. They drink champagne. The only thing remarkable about the date is that no one becomes sick because I would definitely be throwing up over the side, the water is so choppy.

Back in Paradise, Firebug notes that Swaggy is a mess, and calls him “Mopey Dick,” which … my hat off to you, sir. Well played.

Elsewhere, Grizzly Adams and Glitter Bomb compare their favorite curse words, and Glitter Bomb really goes to town with whatever it is that she says.

And we again take note of which couples are starting to take shape: Julia Roberts and Dangly Earrings; Legend and Firebug; Big Check and Bachelorette Rachel; the aforementioned Grizzly Adams and Glitter Bomb; and A-A-RON and Henry the Pig’s Mom German Sausage.

Yes, last we left A-A-RON he was very definitely shoving his tongue into Henry the Pig’s Mom’s face, but now he’s hanging out with German Sausage, and apparently, no one has told her about Henry the Pig’s Mom.

Some important backstory about German Sausage: when she was in Paradise last year, she found herself in the nicest love triangle of all time with Rodney and Justin, my two favorites from Michelle’s season of The Bachelorette. It apparently ended in so many tears, though I don’t really know why since, as I’ve mentioned, I didn’t watch a single minute of last season. Why didn’t she just choose one of them and live happily ever after? I will never know because I have no intention of watching and finding out.

THE POINT IS: When A-A-RON finally gets around to telling German Sausage that he was up in Henry the Pig’s Mom’s mouth the night before, German Sausage proceeds to FREEEEEEEEEEEEEAK OUT, worried that she’s going to find herself in yet another love triangle.

A couple of things:

1. It is day two (2).

2. No one is in love.

3. She is acting like she wasn’t the cause of the love triangle last year when from all accounts she absolutely was.

4. Everyone — LOOKING AT YOU, TOO, SWAGGY — needs to calm the fuck down.


Right, so, then who should arrive to Paradise but Bachelorette Hannah. Jesse Palmer notes that the last time we saw her she had broken up with Jed, that asshole, and was maybe seeing Tyler again, and she’s like, “Oh ho ho, a lot has changed since then, Jesse.”

Jesse Palmer then gives her a card and sends her into Paradise.

Bachelorette Hannah heads down to the beach where everyone has clearly been gathered to welcome a new arrival, and they begin to lose their minds. “BACHELORETTE HANNAH??! WHAT IS SHE DOING HERE? IS SHE HERE TO DATE? ZOMG ZOMG ZOMG I AM JUST GOING TO PACK MY BAGS AND GO HOME BECAUSE I CAN NOT POSSIBLY COMPETE AGAINST THE BACHELORETTE HANNAH!!!”

A couple of things, dear reader. Even though I write about these dumb shows, I must admit that I do not pay the slightest bit of attention to what happens to these idiots once the cameras turn off. Sure, I’ll note when a Bachelor or Bachelorette couple breaks up, but what happens after that? I do not give a single shit. So I am deeply unfamiliar with Hannah Brown’s post-Bachelorette dating life aside from the occasional TMZ story suggesting that she and Tyler Cameron were seeing each other again. But also, I do not give a shit. But it turns out other people are very invested in the post-show lives of these people including the contestants on this season of Bachelor in Paradise, and though the show doesn’t tell us, many of them know perfectly well that Bachelorette Hannah has been in a serious relationship with a very handsome man for a couple of years now (and post-Bachelor in Paradise, they announced their engagement). Hence, all of the drawn-out drama about whether or not she’s here to steal everyone’s man or not.

The other thing I have to note is that upon seeing Bachelorette Hannah, Julia Roberts explains that Bachelorette Hannah’s season of The Bachelorette was the very first season of any Bachelor show she had ever seen. And you’ll excuse me while I go place myself on an ice flow and drift off to sea.

The point is, after teasing the group with the idea that she is there to date and chatting with the men two at a time, Bachelorette Hannah reveals that she is in a happy relationship and will not be joining them on the show. That said, she leaves the card with the group and promises to see them later.

As for the card, it’s not a date, but rather a threat: “It’s time to put your feet in the fire and answer some burning questions. Meet me at the bonfire tonight and prepare to get real.”

That evening, the group gathers around a bonfire where they are joined by Junior and Bullhorn, back from their date. Bachelorette Hannah arrives and welcomes them to the first official Paradise Bonfire, where she will be asking all of them some burning questions and they need to be honest with their answers.


Gabagool: Who would you like to have a connection with in Paradise?

Answer: Pilot Peter, Jr. for some unimaginable reason (he’s the only man who has not paired up with someone)

Brooklyn: If you could kiss someone on the beach, who would it be?

Answer: Pilot Peter, Jr. for some unimaginable reason (see above)

Big Check: How are you feeling about your current connection?

Answer: Pretty confident!

Bachelorette Rachel: How are you feeling about Big Check?

Answer: Pleasantly surprised!

Big Check: Is there anyone else you have your eye on here?

Answer: Yep — Glitter Bomb.

Bachelorette Rachel and Glitter Bomb:

Grizzly Adams: Are you open to meeting other people?

Answer: I don’t know that I would risk ruining my connection with Glitter Bomb, but I am open if someone came down.

Glitter Bomb:

Julia Roberts: Do you think your current connection could last in real life?

Answer: I see it having a future.

Dangly Earrings: If there could there be someone here other than Julia Roberts, who would it be?

Answer: I’ve got a one-track mind for Julia Roberts.

Julia Roberts: Are you waiting for anyone else to come to Paradise?

Answer: In fact, Tyler Norris and Tanner.

Dangly Earrings:

A-A-RON: Do you have eyes for multiple people here?

Answer: I don’t. I do have eyes for German Sausage, though.

Bullhorn: Who’s the best kisser in Paradise?

Answer: Junior


Junior: If you had to choose someone else to go on that date, who would it have been?

Answer: Big Toe

Big Toe: Do you feel like you’ve been done dirty by anyone?

Answer: Duh, Bullhorn.

Swaggy: What does finding happiness in Paradise look like for you?

Answer: Leaving engaged.

And having planted those seeds of doubt, Bachelorette Hannah takes her leave to go sleep in a hotel bed and never think about these dummies again.

As for Swaggy, he finally has an opportunity to take Bullhorn aside and ask her how she’s feeling about him and Junior and the whole situation. Bullhorn is like, “Yeah, you’re a really nice guy but it’s gonna be a nah for me, dawg.” And we’re done here.

Day three is Rose Ceremony Day, and three women are going to be on tomorrow’s Southwest flight back to Los Angeles. After Jesse Palmer collects them all in the Breakup Palapa and reminds them that one conversation can change everything, the dingdongs are sent out into the night to make connections and find a way to stay in Paradise.

Henry the Pig’s Mom takes Swaggy aside and tells him he’s a really nice guy, and he literally bursts into tears, and says it should have been Henry the Pig’s Mom all along because his grandma’s name is also Mercedes Henry the Pig’s Mom.

It’s very sweet if a bit completely unhinged. Let’s maybe get Swaggy into some therapy when this is all said and done, yes?

Meanwhile, Pilot Pete, Jr. is improbably the hot commodity in Paradise as he is the only man who is not in a relationship. Gabagool and Blackface Defender circle him, while my favorite, Rodeo Girl, she can’t even pretend to be interested, because ugh.

But Pilot Pete, Jr., he’s only interested in one woman who is already paired up: Legend. He approaches her while she’s in a conversation with Firebug, and Firebug is like, “Dude, not now.” So Pilot Pete, Jr., he goes back to the bar and chats with All-4-Wells until it’s clear that Firebug and Legend are done with their chat.

LOL, OF COURSE HE DIDN’T DO THAT. Instead, he chooses to start dancing behind Firebug like a weirdo.

Finally, Legend goes to chat with Pilot Pete, Jr., who implies to her that Firebug is too immature for her to date.


Firebug soon finds out that Pilot Pete, Jr. called him immature, and interrupts his conversation with Big Toe to be like, “EXCUSE ME YOU SAID WHAT?”

And yeah, the men’s reaction to Pilot Pete, Jr. at Charity’s Men Tell All Special, it’s beginning to make a lot more sense.

Finally, it’s Rose Ceremony time, and everyone returns to the Breakup Palapa for the inevitable.

Dangly Earrings: Julia Roberts
Grizzly Adams: Glitter Bomb
A-A-RON: German Sausage
Swaggy: Henry the Pig’s Mother
Big Check: Bachelorette Rachel
Junior: Bullhorn
Firebug: Legend

And finally, the only rose that was a mystery:

Pilot Pete, Jr.: Big Toe, because the producers are messy bitches.

Which means we must say our goodbyes to three of the most entertaining women of Zach’s otherwise BORING-ASS season: Rodeo Girl, Gabagool, and Houston’s own Blackface Defender. Adios, chicas.

“Blackface Defender” = Greer (Zach’s season)
“Rodeo Girl” = Brooklyn (Zach’s season)
“Gabagool” = Cat (Zach’s season)

Here are your Bachelor in Paradise contestants who remain in Paradise. For now.

Bachelor in Paradise airs Thursdays on ABC at 8/9 p.m. and streams on Hulu.

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