The Bachelor fan-favorite came out as queer on this season of the ABC dating show
WARNING: The following post contains spoilers.
Another week, another love triangle.
As Tuesday’s episode of Bachelor in Paradise began, the focus was on one very conflicted Demi Burnett. On the one hand, she had real feelings for Derek Peth, but on the other hand, she couldn’t stop thinking about Kristian, the woman she’d been dating back in Los Angeles before the show.
She decided to confide in Chris Harrison, admitting she couldn’t imagine not having Kristian in her life. And the closer she got to Derek, the more she thought about Kristian.
“I don’t want to lose anyone,” she said. “One of them deserves to have all of me — but I’m scared that I’m not going to make the right choice.”
Derek was as understanding as could be, but he couldn’t help but feel hurt that Demi’s heart was divided.
“Demi confirmed that she still has these feelings for somebody else and I don’t care if that’s a man or a woman,” he said. “It’s just hard to know that there is another person there.”
Kristina v. Caitlin
Meanwhile, the rest of the beach was very much coupled up: There was Tayshia Adams and John Paul Jones, Nicole Lopez-Alvar and Clay Harbor, Caelynn Miller-Keyes and Dean Unglert, Katie Morton and Chris Bukowski, and Hannah Godwin and Dylan Barbour. The only floaters were Kristina Schulman, Blake Horstmann and newbie Caitlin Clemmens from Colton Underwood‘s season of The Bachelor.
Caitlin was still interested in Blake after their date, but was starting to feel like Kristina — who had saved Blake at the last rose ceremony — might hinder their relationship.
“I like Blake. I’m still curious about him. I definitely want to show him that I’m still super interested,” she said. “I just think it will be very difficult for me to progress anywhere with him with Kristina hanging around.”
Kristina, for her part, said she didn’t have feelings for Blake, but rather wanted his “friendship rose” so she could stick around. But not everyone was convinced it was platonic.
“Every time [Blake] has a connection, [Kristina] gets in between,” Caelynn said. “And I don’t know how he hasn’t realized it yet.”
And Tayshia claimed it was “known” that Kristina still had feelings for Blake. “Unfortunately, I wouldn’t put it past Kristina to try to ruin any relationships,” she said.
As the evening went on, Caitlin got more and more worked up, calling Kristina “awful,” “atrocious” and “f—ing manipulative.”
“Kristina is like the mosquitoes here,” she said. “She’s just sucking the life out of everyone. And tonight we’re going to squish the mosquito.”
She eventually pulled her aside and asked what her “motive” was with Blake. Kristina insisted that Blake was just a friend, but as Caitlin continued to question her intentions and accused her of chasing “friendship roses instead of letting people find authentic relationships,” Kristina got heated. The confrontation ended with Caitlin walking away, calling Kristina “impossible” to talk to.
“I don’t know how Kristina can sit there and be happy with herself at the end of all of this, knowing that she’s doing this to her friends,” she said.
Jen Makes Waves
The next girl to make her entrance was Jen Saviano from Paradise season 3. After making the rounds, she ended up picking Chris for her date. While Chris had been clicking with Katie, she had told him that morning to pursue other girls if he wanted to, and he was hoping the date with Jen would bring him “clarity.”
After choppy waters interrupted their catamaran excursion, they returned to the bungalows to wrap things up. They hit it off and started making out in the hot tub, with Katie just down the beach seriously regretting her earlier “self-sabotage.”
When the date was over, Chris admitted to Katie that he wasn’t “completely clear” and still had some “doubts” about their relationship, much to her dismay.
Time was running out for Demi to make her decision — and Chris Harrison decided to make things a little easier (or harder!) by flying Kristian down to Mexico, marking the first time a non-Bachelor franchise alum was brought onto the show. Demi was shocked to see her, bursting into tears as the two embraced.
“I came all the way down here to pursue and show Demi my level of commitment,” Kristian explained. “I have a lot of hope and a lot of excitement.”
When Demi informed her that she had connected with an “amazing” guy, Derek, Kristian made it clear she didn’t want to just be “an option” — but by then, Demi had made up her mind.
“The second that I saw you, I knew — it’s you,” she said. “It’s always been you. I want to be with you.”
But the hardest part was yet to come: Demi had to break the news to Derek.
“I think that you are super amazing and you’re the best dude on this beach, hands down. I’m so lucky that I met you and I’m really glad that you were here,” she told him. “But [Kristian] is here now and I wanted her here so I could get some clarity. When I saw her, I knew it was her. That’s just where my heart is and this is going to suck for you and this isn’t fair, at all, but she’s going to stay here and I’m going to pursue my relationship with her.”
He took the news as best as one could, but it clearly wasn’t easy. “It’s really hard,” he admitted, choking up. “To go from kissing you to this, I don’t know how to feel.”
He decided he needed to talk to Kristian to get “closure,” so the three of them sat down and had a mature, candid conversation. Ultimately, both Derek and Kristian agreed that they wanted what’s best for Demi.
“I don’t think that it helped me to meet Kristian, but I wanted to do that because I thought it would help Demi,” Derek said later. “I do just want Demi to be happy.”
After Kristian met the rest of the cast, she and Demi headed out on a date. Kristian admitted that it had been “really hard” to hear about Demi’s relationship with Derek, and Demi apologized for hurting her.
“Being with Derek, the more I was with him, the more I thought about you,” she said. “And I don’t want to run from it anymore. I want to risk it because I will do whatever I need to do to make sure that I’m with you.”
“I want to commit to you,” she promised. “And I’ve never wanted to commit to someone like this before.”
Bachelor in Paradise airs Mondays and Tuesdays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.