Before we get into things, we need to address that brilliantly cheesy ’80s-themed cast intro that aired at the beginning of the episode with “Almost Paradise” (from 1984’s Footloose) playing in the background. Well done, ABC. Watching Chris "The Host" Harrison read his own book and Ashley I.’s sister Lauren get knocked over by that wave was a great way to kick off part 2 of the season premiere episode of Bachelor in Paradise, which aired Monday night.
I am really looking forward to watching that intro every week as it changes with the ever-evolving cast. Now, we return to the reality dating show’s standard drama that picked right up from where it left off on Sunday night’s episode.
Ashley S. Returns from the Hospital, Basically with a Boyfriend in Tow
Is anyone else confused by the fact that we still don’t exactly know why Ashley S. went to the hospital? All we get is a vague comment from Dan that “Ashley hadn’t been feeling well day,” which is why the Hugh Jackman look-alike jumped in the ambulance and went to the hospital with her.
“I definitely didn’t think my first date in paradise would be in an emergency room, but I’m glad it was,” said Dan. It’s kind of a cute – in a semi-bizarre way.
When Ashley S. got a date card later in the episode, she invited Dan and the two go for dinner, dance to live music (classic: it wouldn’t be a Bachelor episode if there wasn’t at least one live band performance – seriously, there is one every. single. time.) and share a few kisses. Their date seemed to go really well, and Ashley S. actually behaved rather normally.
“I like that in a short period of time she kind of gets me, and I get her,” he said. Might this onion queen have found her onion king?
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Mikey, She’s Just Not That into You
After some thought (and a deep discussion with a crab that was an excellent follow-up to her raccoon powwow last season), Clare didn’t even end up getting to choose who she wanted to ask out because Mikey basically asked out himself for her.
The date ended up being a Tantric yoga session, and Clare was understandably not overjoyed: “All I keep thinking of is, I hope I don’t have to rub privys with Mikey on our first date.”
On his end, Mikey was over-the-moon about all the touching involved in the date and made so many gross comments it was actually ridiculous.
“I mean, to touch your body parts like that right off the bat is cool, a lot of fun” – please no.
“It was a turn-on, it was steamy. I felt everything,” he continued. “Everything feels good on Clare, everything. Forget the adventure, I’d rather be lying around sweaty with Clare any day of the week” – no really, he actually said that.
“My favorite position was Downward Clare, and hopefully one day I’ll get to experience that firsthand instead of in front of all you people” – methinks not, Mikey.
When they went for a swim after the yoga session, Clare did her best to explain to Mikey in the nicest way that she’s just not that into him. Mikey displayed impressively poor listening skills and responded with: “I really want to kiss you right now.”
Watching Clare physically put her hands on his face and push him away was so bad it was good.
Jared is Playing the Field in a Big Way
While I wouldn’t actually call him a sleaze because he hasn’t kissed or linked himself to one woman in particular yet, in this episode alone Jared had flirtatious conversations with Ashley I., Tenley and Clare – something tells me this will not end well.
As for Ashley I., I couldn’t quite keep track of this episode’s cry count or the number of times she said she was going to “die alone.” When she saw Jared walking alone with Tenley on the beach, she reported to the bar immediately for some Dutch courage.
“I’m going to have to claim my stake,” she vowed – so close but that’s not quite it, Ashley.
She interrupted Jared and Tenley on their walk and sat down with him to “solidify” their relationship. Jared treaded carefully, keeping things purposely vague: “I mean, the thing is, you never know what’s going to happen. And that’s what I’m trying to set my mind to right now, and just take it slow, take it easy and just see what the hell happens.”
Later in the episode at the cocktail party before the rose ceremony, Jared and Clare had a “beat around the bush” type of conversation in which she basically said she knew she would get a rose from Mikey but that she wasn’t interested in him – and was actually interested in Jared. Jared, on his end, promised that, if Clare didn’t have a rose by the time his name was called, his rose would go to her.
Ironically, Ashley I. was being interviewed while this whole Jared-Clare deal went down, and she completely lost it when she saw the two of them sitting together. Note to Ashley: Relax, sweetie, you’re golden so long as Mikey is oblivious to the fact that Clare isn’t interested in him (and spoiler alert: the guy is clueless).
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Ouch. Sorry, Jillian
It was the first rose ceremony, and the men had the power: there were nine girls and seven guys, with Ashley I. and her sister Lauren counting as one, which means one girl would be sent home.
Almost all of the guys’ picks were fairly obvious: Tanner gave his rose to Jade, Kirk gave his Carly, Jonathan offered a rose to Juelia, Mikey gave his to Clare and Jared gave his to Ashley I., which meant her sister Lauren would stay on as well.
Actual quote from JJ before the cocktail party: “I’m relishing the role of having the power ’cause the girls need to step up their game. A small gift, you know, bestowed at my feet is a good start.”
On her end, Jillian was extremely confident, revealing that JJ had kissed her and promised her his rose the night before. (This turned out to mean very little as JJ also made out with Tenley during the cocktail party).
“This is the palm of my hands, and this is JJ,” Jillian gloated to the camera, mimicking him eating from the palm of her hand.
Needless to say, that made for an extremely awkward scene when JJ ended up giving his rose to Tenley and Jillian legitimately ran out of the room as she made her exit.
It will be a real treat to watch JJ squirm next week when the tables are turned and he actually has to convince a girl to like him back.
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Bachelor in Paradise airs Sundays and Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.