“I cheated myself, like I knew I would. I told you I was trouble. You know that I’m no good.” Amy Winehouse, You Know I’m No Good
Hello everyone. I’m back. I apologize for not posting last week. I was on vacation and had every intention of doing so- I watched both Monday and Tuesday’s episodes and took notes like a good little blogger, but I got caught up in the spirit of vacay, which, in my world, anyway, is to hang out by the pool and do as little as possible. So before we get into the meat of the most recent episodes, let’s do a quick recap of last week- the arrival of some randos nobody has ever heard of (Carl, Brett and Ryan, anybody?), the Ashley, Caila and Jared love triangle and the exit of Sarah, and Ashley, who returns five minutes later to ask if she can stay. (Spoiler alert- everyone agrees to this.) And the biggest surprise of last week- the demise of Vizzy, thanks to Brett and his lamp. And then we will get into this week, which, quite honestly, was a bit of a snooze for me, but the arrival of new people every other day continues to make my head spin, mostly because they all look a little bit similar and I’m having a hard time keeping them straight. To say nothing of Wells, another new arrival, who goes on three dates with three different girls in as many days. But at least we got to find out who the new bachelor is, and I’ll definitely be getting into that later. So let’s get started.
So most of last week centered around Caila and Jared and them trying to continue to start a relationship with crazy Ashley lurking around every corner trying to break them up. At the rose ceremony, the guys have the power, and only Daniel’s rose seems up for grabs, which Ashley, the twins and sweet Sarah are all vying for. Emily convinces Hayley to “take one for the team” (literally) and kiss Daniel to secure the rose. She’s not into Daniel but she does it and the rose ceremony goes as follows:
- Grant gives his rose to Lace
- Josh gives his rose to Amanda
- Nick gives his rose to Jen
- Vinny gives his rose to Izzy
- Evan gives his rose to Carly
- Jared gives his rose to Caila
- Daniel gives his rose to Hayley (saving both twins)
Sarah and Ashley are both sent home, but as soon as Ashley’s car takes off, she asks to go back and pleads her case to stay and find love with someone other than Jared. They all agree to let her stay (big mistake on Jared’s part- I’ve said before that he’s too nice) and she’s back in Paradise, ready and willing to try to sabotage Jared and Caila at every turn. Some dude named Carl shows up- nobody knows him. He’s followed by some dude in skinny capri pants carrying a lamp that nobody knows either. Apparently he is named Brett and they are both from Andi’s season. Carl uses his date card on Emily (who subsequently forgets his name on the date but readily makes out with him) and Brett asks Caila out (to which she accepts, then declines, then accepts, then declines again, for a total of about 20 times before they actually end up going on the date. I’m not such a fan of Caila.) It’s a double date and while on it, Caila comes to the realization she shouldn’t have gone because of Jared. But Ashley uses the alone time with Jared to try to convince him that Caila just isn’t that into him (which I whole-heartedly agree with, for the record.) Another new guy arrives soon after and it’s… Ryan, another random dude (from Kaitlyn’s season) that nobody knows. He’s into Hayley and she reciprocates. This doesn’t make Daniel happy. But they go on a date, only after Jared tries to convince Ryan to take Ashley on the date. Hayley finds him attractive. I think he looks like a member of the 70s supergroup The BeeGees, and not the cute one. Meanwhile, Izzy mentions to some of the other girls that she was insanely attracted to Brett from the moment she laid eyes on him (the lamp guy with the skinny jeans, really?) and eventually, she shares this thought with Vinny too. Ouch. A little later, Izzy pulls Brett aside for some alone time and totally downplays her relationship with Vinny. Long story short- Vinny is done. He leaves the next day, and I feel kind of bad for him. But Izzy does not seem to, as she quasi-couples up with Brett and his beard practically the second Vinny exits.
Later Evan and Carly go on a date and their relationship takes a turn for the better. I still can’t help but recoil every time he touches her because, well, it’s Evan, but she’s a little weird, too, so maybe they are a good match. Lace and Grant fight over him saying “I love you” and her not being ready to say it yet. Jared and Caila go on a date (hand-picked by Jade and Tanner, newlyweds and last season’s success story of Paradise) and Ashley whines and cries the whole time they are gone. Shocker. She mentions that she doesn’t get the appeal of Caila and I have to agree with her on that one. But I think for Jared, the main appeal is that she isn’t Ashley, so there’s that. Ashley tries to warn Jared that she doesn’t think Caila likes him as much as he likes her and Caila later confronts her about it. I do find it strange that Caila has a forced smile while saying things like, “Apparently, I’m a bad person.” And she flips her hair way too much. And that’s where we left off last week.
So this week, we open on the Caila/Ashley confrontation. Caila tells Ashley Jared “loves her like a sister.” Oooh, not-so-subtle burn. I think Caila might be a little less innocent than her Disney princess exterior might suggest. Later, Jared and Ashley discuss it and he tells her (again) that while he cares for her (Ashley), he wants to continue to pursue Caila. I noted that Jared has patience to rival that of my 3-year-old’s soccer coach, because at this point, he’s made himself very clear and I’m not sure why he’s even bothering to talk to her again. Ashley leaves the conversation saying she wishes she had a “distraction” and begins drinking heavily. And just like that, we have a new arrival and it’s Wells, the skinny DJ from JoJo’s season. Ashley is excited about him and Jared is stoked that this may just make things a little easier on him. Wells talks to Grant, who tells him which girls are available. Wells seems intrigued by Ashley. Just wait, dude. She’s gorgeous, but slow your roll on this one. Everyone is pushing him to ask Ashley out (presumably to shut her up about Jared) and the poor sucker buys it, hook, line and sinker. When he asks her on the date, the rest of the residents of paradise hoot and holler like a rodeo crowd at a bull-ridin’ and I just want to shout, “Run, Wells! Run as far and as fast as those skinny little legs will take you!”
Ashley and Wells go to dinner and she is oddly well-behaved. He asks her about her history with Jared and she explains that it’s been tough to watch him with Caila, which makes Wells question whether he is only there to make Jared jealous. Ashley tells him that she’s excited to like someone else. They talk a little about music (his favorite band is The Talking Heads. Hers is… Hanson. Ummm, bop, something tells me this isn’t a match made in heaven.) Wells calls her beautiful, which I don’t deny. She’s absolutely gorgeous. But she’s also wildly insecure and crazy. They make out and she says she thinks she could like him more than Jared. And in a moment of perfect foreshadowing, they participate in a fire lantern “wish fulfillment” type thing on the street, whereby you make a wish and light your lantern and let it go into the sky, which is supposed to make your wish come true. Literally, the second they walk away, theirs catches fire and crashes and burns.
Grant and Lace fight back in paradise. She is flirting with one of the randos in the pool (what were their names again?) and she is hammered and hearing none of what Grant has to say about it. Nick calls them always “one fight away from total destruction,” and he’s not wrong. She’s being a total bitch to Grant (sorry Lace, you know I like you in paradise, girl, but this is not a good look) and she walks away and goes to talk to Amanda and Ashley. She even goes so far as to say she wants to go home (which I doubt she will even remember once she sobers up) and she asks to be left alone for a moment. Lace later awkwardly goes to sit next to Grant (“anyone sittin’ here or no?” is her actual ice breaker) and they talk a little, but she makes another scene and storms out again. He follows her and convinces her to stay, even though she insists she’s going home. He tells her he loves her again and she cries and asks him to stop saying it and now I feel bad for her. I totally get it. Back in my 20s (and- ahem- maybe part of my 30s) I was sometimes that drunk, guarded, picking fights just to avoid real emotional connections kind-of-girl, and that shit ain’t easy. But Grant seems all in, so crisis averted, at least for now. Just wipe the tears off those eyelash extensions and have a glass of water, girl. We’ve all been there.
Nick and Jen want to spend the night in the private room to see what kind of connection they really have. Josh is being a total dick about it and trying to claim that he and Amanda are sleeping there, even after Amanda offered it to Nick and Jen. (I’m very confused about this room- does it belong to Josh and Amanda? Or is he alpha-dogging everyone as usual? Is it fully stocked with cheese pizza and sweat towels, thereby making it the perfect place for Josh and only Josh to sleep? It’s unclear.) Amanda has gone to her own room to sleep and his fully passed out in bed when Josh accosts one of the producers, shouting, “WHERE IS AMANDA?” The producer replies that she’s asleep and Josh inexplicably points his finger at Nick and says, “I’m not trying to cause drama like this guy does all the time.” He goes to Amanda’s room to wake her up and try to make her feel guilty for going to bed alone. He is not coming off well here at all. In fact, he’s kind of creeping me out and I don’t think it’s the edit, as I’m sure he will later claim.
The next day is the rose ceremony and the girls have roses this time. There isn’t a lot of ambiguity here, but certainly more than there was last week, thanks to the multiple arrivals this time. According to the ladies, Carl, Ryan and Daniel are “on the chopping block.” Good- so does that mean I don’t even have to learn who Carl and Ryan are? Because I have no interest in knowing anything about either of them. CH enters and says one guy will be going home. Lace and Grant chat over wine (obi) and her romper is really cute. She tells him she woke up feeling good about them (read: not black-out drunk) and they make out. I can’t help but like them together. Carly is also wearing a romper. It is not as cute, and I think I just saw a flash of her spanx. Carly is sweet, but the more I think about it, the more I think she may just be perfect for someone like Evan. They are both a little awkward, both a little dorky, and both try so hard but often miss the mark a little. And I’m saying that as someone who makes many a fashion and social misstep on the daily, so it’s certainly not a judgment. There is truly a lid for every pot. Daniel is confused as to why he doesn’t have a rose locked down and keeps trying to make it happen with Hayley. When he sees that may not be working, he angles for Izzy’s rose, since she is no longer solidly coupled up. Amanda and Josh go to the big bed to chat and I notice how long his fingernails are and it kind of grosses me out. He kind of grosses me out, full stop, to be honest. He seems so controlling and crazy and jealous. He tells her he’s falling for her and she reciprocates and I can’t help but think of the Whoopi Goldberg line from Ghost; “Girl, you in danger.” The twins agree with me and they pull Nick aside to get his take. He calls Josh’s temper a “red flag” and they agree. CH enters and tells them it’s time for the rose ceremony. The rose go as follows:
- Carly gives her rose to Evan (ugh- but good for them)
- Ashley gives her rose to Wells
- Jen gives her rose to Nick
- Izzy gives her rose to Brett
- Caila gives her rose to Jared
- Lace gives her rose to Grant
- Amanda gives her rose to Josh
- And the twins give their roses to… nobody
They cry and say they are sad but that they haven’t found love in paradise. Instead of giving their roses out, they’ve chosen to leave, which means that Daniel, Carl and Ryan will be leaving too. But before they go, they want to address their concerns about Josh with Amanda. They say they want her to be careful but I don’t think she hears a word of it. Amanda says she’s confused and we see Josh, lurking creepily, saying, “You alright baby?” She tells him about her conversation with the twins and he seems annoyed. His temper seems right on the edge of exploding when he storms off and yells for everyone to gather around so he can find out who has been talking about him. “Is there anybody who wants to say something to me?!?!” Nick says he has concerns, and Josh shouts, “I don’t even know you, man!” Josh passes it off as Nick being bitter because Amanda chose him. Then he offers a thinly-veiled threat to Nick, “You better hope things are good with her.” Honestly, I tried to find some snark or a joke or something here, but it’s truly kind of terrifying. I’ve seen the future here, Amanda, and it isn’t pretty. Even Evan would be a better choice, and you know I don’t say that lightly, based on my utter disdain for everything Evan is and all that he stands for. Josh gets overly dramatic and tells Amanda he has his bags packed, but she assures him that she trusts him and wants him to stay. She says she’s “really tired” of people telling her who she should or shouldn’t be with, and is annoyed that people don’t “bother” the other couples. Well, if the other couples had people who flew off the handle and raged as frequently as Josh does, they might, but all they really have that even comes close is Lace getting drunk and crying, and that’s not really the same thing. (Sorry Lace. I still love you, girl.) They grossly make out, yet again, and Amanda insists she’s a “good judge of character.” Whatever you say, sweetheart.
The next morning Jami (again, who?) from Ben’s season arrives, and she has her sights set on Wells. Am I missing something with this guy? Or is it just that he’s the only one awake? Anyway, they chat a little and she of course has a date card, so she asks if he wants to go out. He agrees, but feels like he should talk to Ashley first because he knows she’s “emotionally fragile.” That’s like saying Donald Trump is “a little bit racist” or Evan is “slightly annoying.” But Ashley is still asleep, so they leave for their date before Wells has a chance to give her a heads-up. Once she wakes, Nick breaks the news to her. Everyone is tensely watching her reaction and she… shrugs it off. What the whaaaaaaaaat? About five minutes later, however, we see the old Ashley we know and love when she says, “I need to go talk to Jared.” Nick hopes that she doesn’t use this as an excuse to get all pyscho about Jared and Caila again. Meanwhile, on the date, Jami and Wells ride ATVs and he calls her “fun and gorgeous.” Jami puts the cart way before the horse and confesses that she hopes they “leave the date as a new couple.” But Wells does later call it “one of the best dates I’ve ever been on,” so maybe she’s on to something. They make out and all I can think is that she shouldn’t have gotten her hair wet in that waterfall cause now it’s super frizzy.
Back in paradise, Jared and Caila are in the midst of some weird flirtfest. Caila says, “You smacked my butt so hard last night,” as she shows him a bruise. Ashley flips her shit, as expected. She storms off to fix her makeup and then returns to ask Caila to not “full on make out in front of me.” Caila says she’s feeling guilty but also says that it’s hard to focus on getting to know Jared with Ashley there. She eventually decides that it’s time for her to go home. She tells Jared that she is leaving. Ashley lurks in the corner and calls Caila “an awful person” in between bites of her giant tostada. Producers, here is where Wells’s awkward “let’s taco bout it” jokes may have been appropriate. Jared approaches Ashley to tell her Caila is leaving. He’s angry and blames her for it. Ashley once again tries to tell Jared that Caila said she didn’t like him. They fight a little and she (you guessed it) breaks down in tears. And for some unknown reason, he is STILL being nice to her. He tells Ashley that he’s leaving too. Ashley calls him a “golden soul” and it’s the one time I don’t disagree with her. He seems like a really good guy. Again, I don’t get the draw to Caila but he does, and he goes after her. I hope he doesn’t get his sweet little heart broken. He chases her van and leaves with her, saying that he sees a future with her. Sadly, I don’t, but they leave paradise, and all the Ashley drama, behind and head back to the real world. Some of the folks back in paradise blame Ashley for Jared’s departure. Ashley sobs that she “ruined her friendship with Jared” but says that “right now, I have to focus on me.” As opposed to all those other times when she put everyone else’s feelings first? She goes to once again freshen her makeup to look “bomb” when Jared gets back from his date. Trust me, honey, your look isn’t your problem. Which then got me thinking about something interesting- we must only get to see a tiny smidge of her actual crazy, because looking the way she does, I would think guys would be all over her, all the time. I mean, a lot of guys love crazy- like basic crazy, great in bed, will probably look through your phone as soon as she cracks the password and maybe burn your clothes after an argument, young Angelina Jolie-style crazy. So whatever Ashley has that we haven’t seen yet must be way, way worse, or she would never have so much trouble landing a man. Just food for thought.
When Jami and Wells return, they recap their date quickly and Nick fills them in on the Jared/Caila exit. Jen suggests that Ashley may implode upon seeing them come back happy. Wells is nervous about the “storm brewing.” He goes to talk to her and it turns out, nobody has anything to worry about because Ashley is acting calm and rational. For once. “I’m breezy.” Turns out, Ashley admits in her confessional that she is going against every one of her natural instincts to try to turn herself into the kind of cool girl that Wells will like. I can’t help but think of George Costanza and his “opposite plan” where he makes all of his decisions based on the exact opposite of what he would usually do. Doesn’t seem like the best basis for a lasting relationship, but A for effort. Wells says he likes Ashley and Jami both and is confused. But just wait, buddy- you haven’t seen anything yet.
Jami didn’t like how close Ashley and Wells were during their talk. Wells is surprised that two hot chicks are into him. Not any more so than the rest of us are, you skinny hipster. A new girl arrives and it’s Lauren H from Ben’s season. Izzy thinks Lauren has the “potential to break up a couple” which I guess means that Izzy considers herself and the lightbulb (or was it a lamp?) guy to be an official couple. Brett (lightbulb guy) calls Lauren “scrumptious” and I’m instantly grossed out. I also think it’s a little karma headed Izzy’s way for basically dumping Vinny the second she saw a guy she thought was hotter. Lauren talks to Jen and Jami about who is available. Wells is hoping not to be asked out because he’s already got his hands full. And two seconds later, in walks another girl and it’s Shushanna (Shu) from Ben’s season, the Russian temptress. I only remember her because my husband has a thing for Russian accents and would look up from his phone whenever she spoke during Ben’s season and ask, “Who’s that? She’s cute.” Shu immediately seems into Wells and Ashley is freaking out. Of course both girls have date cards and they discover that it’s a double date. Ashley calls Shu “Eurotrash” as she (Shu) pulls Wells aside and flirts unabashedly. She asks Wells out and Lauren asks Brett out and both guys agree. Izzy is not happy. Ashley looks like she’s about to burn paradise to the ground. Jami thinks she and Ashley are “bonding” over their mutual disappointment. You say that now, Jami, but wait until she tries to smother you in your sleep.
On the double date, they learn how to surf. I find Brett super cheesy and annoying. Lauren does not agree- she calls him “hot and funny.” Wells is digging Shu’s “derriere” (his words, not mine) and she’s as bad at surfing as she is good at flirting and sexual innuendo. She is all over Wells and he refers to her as a “sexy Bond villain.” They make out, and it should be noted that Wells has now kissed three girls in as many days. I don’t find him hot at all, but in paradise, he’s a commodity. Lauren and Brett are also getting to know each other’s tongues and I’m not sure what kind of accent she has (certainly not a sexy Russian one) but it is rough. Brett says he’s confused. Meanwhile, back in paradise, Izzy whines about Brett, Nick tells Ashley not to act “possessive and desperate” and Evan and Carly go at it like horny school kids. Watching them make out gives me a physical reaction, and not a good one, and when the editors have to black bar his “boner” (again, his words, not mine) I throw up in my mouth a little. Evan, wearing a striped tee that I’m certain he bought in the women’s department, is trying to reignite the feud between Nick and Josh. And I swear, Nick talks to Jen more about Josh and Amanda than he does about her. Is Jen his date or his therapist? Amanda has a date card and I can honestly say I have no interest watching her and Josh go on a date. So I tune out a little during this part, because it’s always the same. They make out, Josh talks and talks and seems so insincere, she tells him she trusts him and looks at him with loving eyes, he waxes poetic over pizza. He’s so sweaty, as usual, and they basically share that they are falling for each other. Snooze. She says she wishes everyone else could see the sweet side of him that she sees. And maybe they would if he didn’t act like a superdouche all the time to everyone but her. Fireworks go off (literally) and she says she loves him. She’s so cute. I really hope he’s not a crazy person because I fear for her safety if he is. She’s quite small.
Back in paradise, Ashley assesses her personal situation as such; “It’s between me, and random girl from Canada and a Russian hooker.” Jami pulls Wells aside to tell him that she was “kind of annoyed” about his date but that she’s over it. Then they make out. Then Shushanna straight up tells Ashley she and Wells kissed on the date. Ashley isn’t happy and goes to talk to Wells. And they make out. So it should now be pointed out that he has made out with three girls in THE SAME DAY. We end on Shushanna stating that she doesn’t see Ashley as competition and based on the previews, it looks like maybe next week is the finale? I have to say, in summary, that so many new cast members were added in the past two weeks that it’s been a little distracting. And certainly hard to care about any of these “new relationships.” I’ll say it again- I miss Chad.
So there’s one more thing that needs to be discussed this week, and that is the reveal that Nick V is the new bachelor. I did NOT see that coming. I had heard it was likely Luke, I was hoping for Chase (just cause he’s hot, but can you imagine how boring that would be?) but never in a million years did I think it would be Nick. Nick, who finished second place on two previous seasons and clearly isn’t finding love in paradise, on his third try on the franchise, seems like such an odd choice. And it got me thinking- what if Nick was only put on paradise to get people interested in him again for the new season of the Bachelor? I did find it odd that not only did I not like Nick in his previous two goes on this show, but rather, I pretty much hated him. And then suddenly, on paradise, I started thinking, “He’s not so bad. I even kind of like him.” I would lay odds on him being offered the bachelor long before they cast this show, with him going on paradise given as a condition to raise his profile again. And he was likely promised a highly flattering edit, which I would say he has gotten this season, to make him walk away looking like a good guy so that people would want to watch him as the Bachelor. It’s an interesting theory, anyway, and I’m curious to see if the Nick I like will be showing up as the Bachelor, or the one I can’t stand. With that, I’ll sign off, with apologies again for this late post. But we are all caught up and back on track, so I’ll see you next week for the finale. Until then, I’ll be working on perfecting my Russian accent so I can convince my husband to watch the rest of my bad reality TV with me this week. Cheers.