“Good times for a change. See, the luck I’ve had can make a good man turn bad. So please, please, please, let me, let me, let me, let me get what I want this time.” The Smiths, Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want.
Hello everyone. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again- Chad’s gone and without him, the whole thing falls a little flat. I mean, don’t get me wrong- part one and two of this second episode were both better than anything we saw on the previous season of The Bachelorette, but without Chad and his madcap brand of crazy, I just don’t see it being the same show as it would be with him. But that’s the risk you run when you get blackout drunk, call everyone names and then shout “F*&^ you, Chris Harrison- come at me!” within the first 24 hours in Paradise. So let’s get to the episode, shall we?
I can’t believe I didn’t mention this last week, but the opening credits are the WORST. It’s a cheesy cover of the 1984 “hit” “Almost Paradise” by some guy from some band (Mike Reno) and the brunette sister from Heart (Ann Wilson) circa 1984 playing in the background, with terribly staged “pratfalls” from the cast. Evan eats a banana, Daniel pours maple syrup on himself while dressed in Canadian paraphernalia and some of the girls do awkward dance moves. It’s so bad. Anyway, after that shitshow, we open right where we left off last week, with the cast doing a slow clap that once again, Chad has been banished. Chad is shown getting aggressive with CH, and then says he’s going to “Tijuana” or going to walk home. At any rate, he gets in his goodbye van and eats cold cuts and drinks whiskey out of a bottle while saying that everything he said was intended to be funny and nobody should have taken him seriously. He thought all the girls were “vibing” his “meat taste” (yes, that’s an actual quote. I couldn’t make that up) and was disappointed that none of the girls stood up and said they wanted him to stay. His final words are, “Do you know how many people I have to kill?” I still say that if we see Chad on the news one day charged with murder, it will not come as a shock to anyone.
Meanwhile, back at paradise camp, the girls are worried that minus Chad, they are one rose down and one more of them may have to go home. They don’t want any more girls to come, but lo and behold, another lady enters and it’s Leah, from Ben’s season. I felt bad for having no clue who she was, until the rest of the ladies from Ben’s season pointed out that she practically has a new face. Anyway, none of the girls seem happy to see her but she comes in asking everyone where Chad is because she has a date card and wants to ask him out. Damn it, Chad! If you could have kept your drunken rage in for just one more night, we could have had a real shot at groundbreaking television here! She’s disappointed but wants to get to know the other guys. After a brief flirtation with Daniel and Vinny, she asks Nick out and Amanda is a little upset.
Lace is drowning her sorrows with tequila shots at the bar because she feels like the Chad-a-palooza from the night before ruined her chances of getting a rose. But then Grant comes over to talk to her, and I’m not even sure how she can see him through her thick eyelash extensions and tequila fog. She is white-girl wasted and it’s the middle of the day. But it seems that she hasn’t messed up her shot with Grant, and they appear to hit it off again.
Leah and Nick go to the “festival de margaritas” on their date and she comments that she’s attracted to his “lumberjack look.” They awkwardly make out in the ocean while Amanda, back at the compound, whines about how jealous she is and FaceTimes with her kids. Upon their return, Daniel approaches with another date card that says, “Nick- in paradise there are no rules. Your next date is tonight.” Leah assumes he’s going to ask her, but he asks Amanda instead. Amanda admits that she has a “huge crush on him” and Leah cries. She kind of psycho stalks Amanda while she’s getting ready for the date and points out all the makeup they own that is similar, half-joking, “Stop trying to outdo me, Amanda.” The twins call her creepy and say that she’s intimidated. On the date, Nick tells Amanda that he’s interested in her and inexplicably calls her “edgy.” I would be certain it’s the first time that adjective has been used to describe sweet, blonde, baby-voiced Amanda. She calls it “the best first date I’ve ever been on” and they make out in front of a bonfire. Busy day for Nick. Leah lurks on the beach nearby and says she’s “flabbergasted” and wonders why everything always gets “taken away” from her. I don’t know the answer to that, but I do know that if she says the word “disappointed” one more time, I’m going to shove a thesaurus up her ass.
Sarah is unsure about her chances of getting a rose, but admits that she’s kind of interested in Vinny, though he seems to be coupled up with Izzy. She pulls him aside to chat and Izzy isn’t happy about it. Vinny rubs Sarah’s leg and tells her she has “beautiful eyes” so he’s obviously not that coupled. Evan and Carly flirt a little and she wonders what it would be like to kiss him. I think I have a vague idea- maybe an endlessly annoying nightmare that would likely be punctuated with a poem and perhaps an awkward back rub. I hate him, and his tank top, so hard. Carly mentions that she would like him to have some game and be aggressive, but come on- it’s Evan. That’s not going to happen. They sort of kiss. He calls it “magical” and “perfect.” She runs away and says, “That kiss was so terrible.” But with that, she thinks she might still be interested in him and wants to get to know him more. Ugh. No thank you.
Lace and Grant make out anywhere and everywhere and suddenly, they are in someone’s bed. She thinks she covers up the cameras, but we can still hear what’s going on and it is, in the words of R Kelly, “a little bump and grind.” She says, “You have to get on top” and then suddenly, there’s another camera that picks up the feed and the whole thing is caught on tape. Oops.
The next night is the rose ceremony, where the guys are handing out the roses. None of them (except maybe Lace) feel confident. CH enters and says at least two of the ladies are going home. They all mingle a little and Jubilee awkwardly tries to vie for Jared’s rose. But so does Emily. Sarah takes Vinny aside to tell him he’s awesome (desperate bid for a rose, perhaps) and they kiss. But then Izzy steals him away and they kiss, too. Do these people have no shame? Leah steals Nick away from Amanda and in her confessional, says that Amanda would be “needy and dependent” because of her kids. She might be crazy, but I have zero memory of her from Ben’s season. Nick tells her he connected a bit more with Amanda and will likely give her his rose. So Leah starts doing shots and trying the “any port in a storm” tactic, which leads her right to Daniel. His only criteria for wanting to potentially further their relationship is, “I saw you in a swimsuit today and I was like, damn, girl.” Charming. Daniel is not great at flirting. Or talking. Or existing. He says, “I’m an eagle, and I’m not going to drop down to a pigeon level. But if I were just going to hook up with someone tonight, it would be one of the twins.” Crabs circulate endlessly in the sand and I can’t help but wonder if it’s a metaphor for the cesspool of diseases that may be running rampant in paradise.
Finally, it’s time for the rose ceremony and it goes as follows:
- Grant gives his rose to Lace
- Nick gives his rose to Amanda
- Evan gives his rose to Carly
- Jared gives his rose to Emily (which means Hayley is safe, too, as they are “playing as a team”)
- Vinny gives his rose to Izzy
- Daniel gives his rose to Sarah
Jubilee and Leah are sent home. Jubilee cries and disses the twins upon her exit, saying she could never be with anyone who would be into one of them. I like how nobody, including me, is even attempting to see them as separate entities. Leah sobs in her car and seems wasted. Perhaps she can meet up with Chad, who is presumably still walking home.
The next week, it’s the ladies’ turn to hand out the roses. Josh Murray, the winner from Andi’s season (where Nick was the runner-up, the first time) enters, and all the ladies are a-flutter. He has the biggest, whitest teeth I’ve ever seen- like a packet of chiclets. Sarah calls him “next-level handsome.” He has a date card, and he wants to find out who to give it to. He talks to the ladies to get to know them and to see who is already “coupled up” but tells Carly he will probably ask Amanda. Nick is visibly about to shit his pants. Poor Nick- always second place. Amanda says yes to the date and Nick thinks Josh is doing it to get to him. Everyone talks about Nick losing to Josh yet again. But don’t forget about when he also lost to Shawn on Kaitlyn’s season, guys.
Josh and Amanda go sailing. He calls her beautiful and claims that his end-game from paradise is to get married. Back at the villas, everyone is talking about how Josh and Nick are both in Andi’s tell-all and the elements about Josh are far less than flattering. (Note to self: buy Andi’s book, because I am a garbage person and I live for that kind of thing.) Daniels calls Josh “fake” and I marvel at how much stronger his Canadian accent gets the longer he’s away from Canada. Back on the date, Josh tells Amanda that he can’t comment on the book because her depiction of him is “fictional.” Josh and Amanda kiss and he says he could see himself falling for her. Nick mopes on the beach and looks pathetic. Later, Nick angrily works out on the beach while noting that Josh and Amanda have been gone for quite a while. He wants to talk to Josh because he’s annoyed.
Evan wears yet another tank top and whines endlessly over Carly. He sure falls fast, doesn’t he? Carly talks to Lace and tells her about the kiss but explains that there wasn’t a lot of chemistry. Then, for some reason, Carly says in her confessional that her very first boyfriend now “has a boyfriend.” Is she implying that Evan is gay? Cause I don’t buy it. He lacks a way with the ladies, for certain, but I just don’t think he’s cool enough to be gay. But Evan has a date card and a one-track mind, and he finds Carly (even though she’s trying to avoid him) and asks her out. She doesn’t look excited. I think he’s mentally planning their wedding. They arrive at the date and it’s a huge audience of fans and CH. They are told that their task is to break a world record- they each have to eat a spicy habanero pepper and then kiss for 90 seconds, thereby breaking the previous record. I’m not sure what Carly looks more disgusted by- eating the pepper or kissing Evan. They eat their peppers and he dry-heaves while she cries. Then they kiss and it looks like torture. They pull apart and a long string of spittle drips from their mouths. And even that isn’t grosser than the idea of kissing Evan to me. And presumably to Carly, as well. They find out they’ve broken the record, and she promptly runs to the bathroom to vomit, and says it’s from both the pepper and the kiss.
Back in paradise, Jared and Emily spend some time together. She’s trying to get him to make a move and her commentary is priceless. She claims Jared has “no game” and says “I’m not ugly. I have really, really big boobs and a nice butt.” Are all of the people here so shallow, I wonder? And then I remember what I’m watching, so it’s as if I just answered my own question. They finally kiss and she’s into it. Meanwhile Nick is whining to the other twin about how annoying Amanda and Josh are. Amanda and Josh don’t seem to notice or care, as they are involved in a pretty consistent lip lock, during which I’ve had to see way too much of both of their tongues. Nick eventually confronts Josh, who says that as he heard it, nobody was serious yet so Amanda was fair game. Nick doesn’t like this and calls Josh “unapologetic” and “super obnoxious.” Josh and Amanda continue gropefest 2016 and Jared calls Josh “Mr Steal Your Girl.” Aw, poor Nick. Three time loser Nick. Maybe this franchise isn’t how you’re going to find love, buddy. Josh is smug though. He says, “Nick and I are on different levels. There are lions and there are sheep. Roar.” Ugh. I don’t like either of them.
In part two, we open with someone (not sure who) counting his abs in bed. Like, actually lying down and counting his abs on his bare torso. WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE? Josh and Amanda haven’t taken a break to come up for air. Nick pretends he doesn’t care but it’s clear he’s lying. Sarah and Daniel have a strange flirtation. Come on, Sarah- I thought you were better than that. Daniel says, “I waited my whole life for you,” and she laughs like she’s actually buying it. Sarah asks for his take on her, to which he confidently replies, “I think you like me.” He says in his confessional that he wants to solidify things for a rose. But a new guy arrives and it’s Christian, also from JoJo’s season. Sarah thinks he’s cute and he hones in on her from the get-go.
It turns out that Christian comes equipped with a date card and pulls the guys aside to see who is available. Josh basically calls “dibs” on Amanda, who is one of the girls Christian is considering. The other is Sarah, so he asks her out and she says yes. Daniel is not happy. Nick and Daniel “bromiserate” about their lady woes and then talk about Evan and his trouble with the ladies. Daniel is convinced that he can give Evan a “makeover” of sorts to make him more successful. I can think of nobody less equipped for the job. At the same time, we see Carly complaining to the other girls about how awful the date/kiss with Evan was. Evan has no such awareness, and he is singing the praises of his newfound “love” with anyone who will listen. Carly thinks she needs to “break it off” and says that he has “no swag” and should be more concerned with a “lady boner” than his erectile dysfunction specialty. She finds Evan and basically tells him that she only wants to be friends. He seems surprised. The rest of the world is not. She feels bad and he takes his tank top upstairs to curl up on the bed and have a good cry. Jared has a good point while trying to console Carly, who feels guilty. “You guys went on a date and you threw up,” he says. “I don’t think it’s going to work out.” Habanero or no, that would be my exact reaction to a date with Evan, too. Evan thinks he’s likely going home now. Daniel wastes no time trying to get Carly’s rose to save himself a similar fate.
Sarah and Christian zip line on their date and rappel down a cliff. They seem to be having fun. But we cut back to the others, where Evan (wearing multiple bracelets and his ever-present tank) has an epiphany that he wants to “try again.” Also, someone named Brandon from Desiree’s season show up, and literally nobody (not even CH) remembers him. I sure as hell don’t. But apparently Carly’s brother was also on Des’s season, and Brandon knows him. Carly thinks he’s cute. And he has a date card, which she really wants to get in on. They chit-chat and he also chats with Hayley. And I find out that Carly is a singer-songwriter, and yet all this time, I thought she was a hairstylist. Anyway, Brandon asks Hayley out and Carly isn’t happy about it. We cut back to Sarah and Christian’s date, where they are still being outdoorsy. They share a very platonic-looking kiss and I don’t see a romantic connection. When they return, Daniel is jealous and calls himself “an eagle” who is “going in for the kill tonight.” What is with these guys and all the wildlife metaphors? Amanda and Josh haven’t come up for air in days and Nick remarks that Josh “has a steady diet of Amanda’s tongue.” But he’s not wrong. It’s unsettling. Get a room.
Daniel creeps to find Sarah and has set up a “date” for them. She thinks he’s sweet and funny. I heartily disagree on both counts. They try to connect on a more emotional level and he almost seems- GASP- sincere. I am shocked to my very core that he even has another side. She says she sees “layers” and that she likes him. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat the what? Come on, Sarah!! You’re better than this. She’s conflicted about the rose- thinks Christian is the better match but is more intrigued by Daniel.
Hayley and Brandon leave for their date. Honestly, the whole thing is a total snooze except for the fact that the twins pull the classic “twin switch” and Brandon has NO IDEA. He even tries to kiss Emily as she’s pretending to be Hayley, even after claiming before that he was way more into Hayley than Emily. Hayley is disappointed.
Back at the hotel, Josh calls the three couples (Josh/Amanda, Grant/Lace, Vinny/Izzy) the “sexy six.” I don’t remember him being this much of a dick on Andi’s season. And he and Amanda really need to take it to their room. I’m tired of seeing both of their tongues. But Evan, in a sure-to-be-ill-fated moment of overconfidence, has decided to go after Amanda. He creates his own “date card” that says, “Evan, you deserve love. Take Amanda to the tree house.” He thinks they will bond over their kids or something. So he dresses up in his finest sweatpants (no tank top in sight) and goes to try to steal her from Josh. While their faces are firmly planted together, where they have been for at least the previous three to four days. And he awkwardly forges on, but I can’t look away. It’s a train wreck, but one that I will willingly pop popcorn and refill my wine glass to watch. He approaches them mid-makeout (in fairness, that was a pretty safe bet. They’ve barely come up for air) and we are… To Be Continued. Aaah, why do you do me like that, ABC?
In summary, I still miss Chad. I feel like he and Leah could have made for some explosive craziness previously unparalleled on this franchise. But Lace and Grant might be able to take that baton. I guess we will have to wait and see. And I still hate Evan so hard, but I can’t wait to watch him try to steal Amanda away from Josh. Who will get the rose? Who will get obnoxiously drunk and make a scene? Who will be the “multiple marriage proposals” CH promised? Only time will tell. Until then, I will be crying in my sauvignon blanc that the Olympics are cutting into all my normal reality TV programming. Because I don’t care about medals, people. I’m in it for the RamonaCoaster. See you all next week!