Bachelor in Paradise Finale Part 1 Recap: Kirk Calls It Quits with Carly in the Most Shocking On-Air Breakup in Bachelor History
Plus, in a dramatic twist, nine of the other contestants leave the show
Host Chris Harrison warns us before every episode that this one will be the most dramatic one of all time – but this time, it actually might deserve that title.
A lot happened in the two-hour part 1 season finale of Bachelor in Paradise, including the fact that basically half the cast left the show, but it’s safe to say the most insane part that still has us reeling was that Kirk broke up with Carly. We’ll get to that … but first, a quick rundown of all the other relationships that crashed and burned (and the few that blossomed) on Sunday night’s episode.
Juelia Just Can’t Catch a Break
Poor Juelia must really be regretting her decision to be on Bachelor in Paradise because the girl has really just gotten rocked since she arrived.
First, she had to endure the whole Joe-Samantha saga, which we won’t get into again because we are just so happy it’s over. Then Mikey came back to Paradise to give it a second shot with her – and you knew she must have been desperate because she kept calling Mikey and his terrible man bun her “knight in shining armor.”
Then, on Sunday night’s episode, she was shown gushing about Mikey in an on-camera interview, and the second she said she really “trusted and adored” him, we knew it was a red flag.
Cut to Mikey breaking up with her, saying he felt like he had been “forcing it” with her since he came back to Mexico. Ouch.
Juelia cried, packed her bags and left the show, which we soon discovered would be a common theme this episode.
RELATED VIDEO: Go Inside the Bachelor in Paradise House with Chris Harrison
Jared Breaks Up with Ashley I. Yet Again – But This Time It’s for Real
At this point, Justin had already gone on two first dates, one with Amber and one with Mackenzie. Newcomer Jaclyn, who realized her options were very limited, decided she would also ask Justin on her date. He accepted. And what could possibly go wrong?
Cue the arrival of Cassandra Ferguson from Juan Pablo Galavis‘ season of The Bachelor. Of course, Cassandra asked Justin on her first date as well because by now Justin was just the go-to first date guy, and Justin accepted. (Did we mention Cassandra is absolutely stunning?)
Of course, then Justin had to tell Jaclyn that he would be going on a date with Cassandra instead of her. Jaclyn’s face throughout this entire conversation was priceless.
“Justin made it seem like he had more of a connection with Cassandra because they both have kids,” she said in an on-camera interview. “So, like, I didn’t get knocked up when I was 19. Sorry.”
“I never thought the key to success here would be to a.) have a kid, b.) talk to fruits and vegetables, c.) talk to animals and raccoons and d.) be a complete psychopath,” she continued. “So I can’t tell if I’m winning or losing.” JACLYN’S QUOTES ARE GOLD, PURE GOLD.
Justin and Cassandra went on their date, which was honestly pretty boring because everything went perfectly and they are now obsessed with each other.
(Side note: Did anyone else notice Justin has really big nipples, or am I just going crazy from watching this show so intently every week?)
Nick Has Fallen Under Samantha’s Spell
At this point, Jaclyn still had a date card but had no one else to give it to. Nick, seizing the opportunity, decided to swoop in and see if he could get her date card and use it with Samantha.
The only catch? Jaclyn hates Nick because he eliminated her from Bachelor Pad season 3 and kept $250,000 from her.
“If you were just giving away the date card, I’m asking you if you would consider giving it to me?” Nick asked Jaclyn.
“Do you have $250,000?” she responded. Genius.
“Are you still holding that grudge?”
“A $250,000 grudge? Of course I’m still holding it!” This interaction was fantastic.
Jaclyn, a true evil genius, then proceeded to torment Nick by having him roll around in the hot sand before she finally gave him her date card.
She may not have found love in Paradise, but she did find sweet revenge, and that’s got to be some consolation.
Nick then ran off to tell Samantha he had gotten a date card, and Samantha accepted. (While we’re on the topic of Samantha, I’ve got to say I love the creepy suspenseful music they play in the background every time she’s on screen.)
I think the only verbal interactions these two had on their date consisted of Nick telling Samantha how beautiful she was. Seriously, the number of time he said it actually got uncomfortable. WE GET IT, SAMANTHA IS REALLY PRETTY.
Samantha to Nick: “Why did you want to pursue me so much?”
Nick’s response: “You are absolutely the most gorgeous girl I’ve ever seen in my life.”
Glad to know there’s so much depth to this relationship. Good work, guys.
RELATED VIDEO: Which Bachelor in Paradise Star Is the Most Flirtatious?
The Last Cocktail Party That Never Was
We finally got to the last cocktail party of the season, and of course Chris Harrison came in and canceled it immediately. He announced they would be going straight to the rose ceremony, in which the guys would be handing out the roses and added that, at this point, the guys should only give out their rose if the girl was somebody they truly saw a future with.
Before the ceremony began, Ashley I. decided she would be leaving. She said her goodbyes and shed some tears, because it wouldn’t be an Ashley I. exit unless crying was involved.
At the ceremony, the predictable roses all went first: Kirk gave his rose to Carly, Tanner gave his rose to Jade, Nick gave his to Samantha, Joshua gave his to Tenley and Justin’s went to Cassandra.
Dan went next and, after making a quick speech thanking Ashley S. and Amber for their relationships that unfortunately didn’t work out, he decided to gracefully bow out.
The last guy was Mikey. Instead of making a respectable exit like Dan, he decided to give a last-minute desperation rose to Mackenzie. I’m sorry, what? We’ve never even seen these two interact on air. She (thankfully) refused the rose and, with that, she, Mikey, Chelsie, Jaclyn, Ashley S. and Amber all left the show.
Kirk Broke Up with Carly, and It Was Really, Truly Heartbreaking
The morning after the rose ceremony, Chris Harrison showed up and told the remaining five couples that everything was about to change – there would be no more new arrivals and, instead, the final week would be for them all to take the next steps to figure out if their love could grow and exist outside of the show.
This was right about when things got seriously difficult to watch. Up until now, Carly and Kirk had been known as the "married couple" of the show. They were basically together since day one, and we’ve barely even talked about them in our recaps because their relationship had been so solid and drama-free.
The second Chris made the announcement that the remaining couples would each be getting another Fantasy Suite date, we got the first inkling that Kirk was having second thoughts – while Carly was legitimately giddy with excitement.
After the announcement, the girls convened upstairs on the balcony while the guys met up downstairs. At this point, we already know something is up with Kirk based on his on-camera interviews, and he finally admitted to the guys that he had been having doubts about his relationship with Carly for the last week and was going to be breaking up with her.
“Kirk owed Carly more than this,” said Tanner in on-camera interview. “To wait until the 11th hour to break her heart is kind of an a–hole move.” Preach, Tanner.
Kirk made his way upstairs as the girls were giggling happily together and took Carly aside for a talk. Carly literally jokingly asked him if he was breaking up with her as they made their way down to the beach. Oh God.
As the conversation started, Carly was still blissfully unaware of what was about to come. It was genuinely painful to watch her come to the realization what was happening as Kirk finally got to the point and blurted out that he was “a lot behind” in terms of their relationship.
Carly interrupted Kirk as he fumbled for his words, told him she would be going home and ran off to find the girls, who had been watching them from the balcony and had gathered what had happened.
At this point, Carly, Jade and Tenley were all crying. As Carly began to pack her bags, Kirk came back and tried to continue their talk.
“You deserve a conversation,” he said to her.
“No, you don’t deserve a conversation,” she responded. YES, GO CARLY, you tell him! Honestly, Carly handled this as maturely as anyone as blindsided as she was in this situation possibly could. “You broke my heart. I don’t want to talk to you ever again. I want nothing to do with you, ever again.”
After the painful breakup, both Carly and Kirk packed their bags and left the house (separately, of course). This was really, truly one of the most shocking on-air breakups we’ve ever seen on a Bachelor show. It was so real that it honestly felt wrong to be watching it all play out on television, like we shouldn’t be privy to such a private moment between two people.
Jade said it best: “He could have stopped it. He could have slowed it down,” she said tearfully in an on-camera interview. “Instead, he just let her free fall.”
Tune in to the second part of the dramatic season finale of Bachelor in Paradise to find out how it all wraps up on Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.