In what was surely the most unorthodox start to any Bachelor Nation show ever, we met our 17 hopefuls, went on a few dates, called the whole thing off, and then started back up again. Let’s discuss!
Get those margaritas ready because the newest season of Bachelor in Paradise is officially upon us! Perhaps the wildest and most exciting show of the Bachelor franchise, this season is sure to bring the entertainment… But not without controversy. As reported by the tabloids earlier this summer, contestants Corinne and DeMario were involved in a sexual misconduct lawsuit that caused Paradise to shut down. Chris Harrison, the host of the show, promises to take us through what exactly happened—but first, we’re told to experience the moments leading up to the shutdown. Raven, the runner-up on Nick Viall’s season of The Bachelor, is the first to arrive in Paradise, and it’s safe to say that she’ll be one of the most sought-after women on the show. Next comes Dean—the golden boy of the season. The rest filter in afterwards and promptly make their way to the tiki bar.
The episode ends with the rose ceremony coming to a halt, and the crew dismantling their mics and camera rigs. Premiere night #2 picks up with Chris Harrison telling us that all will be explained in due time, but first, we’re invited to watch Carly & Evan’s wedding: a juxtaposition for the heavy controversy set up to be discussed later in the episode. After the wedding, Chris Harrison & the contestants delve into everything we need to know about the intense first few days of filming. The conversation covers everything from producer involvement, drinking responsibly, consent, and how race plays a factor in the media’s reports on the scandal. By the end of the episode, full blown relationships have blossomed, and we even get our first veritable breakup of the season.
Without further ado, let’s get to our roundtable. Welcome to Paradise! (Spoilers ahead!)
Haley (@hstrong_) – Amateur tv watcher, amateur podcaster, amateur blogger. Here for the wrong reasons.
Julie (@JusJulez) – PR/Social Media Maven, Advertising Specialist & Live tweeter
Kathleen (@KatLikesUFOs) – Reality TV enthusiast with a high key addiction to all things Bach Nation and a penchant for snarky live tweeting
Kaitlyn (@bachbrack) – Co-founder of Bach Bracket, an online fantasy league site for The Bachelor franchise
Nicole (@Buffalogal) – Social Media Manager in the streets, TV binge-watcher in the sheets
1. We saw three 1-on-1 dates by the end of night 1: Kristina and Dean, Robby and Raven, and Matt and Jasmine. Which date stood out to you? Who do you think should get a date card next?
Haley (@hstrong_): I think all of the dates stood out for different reasons. Kristina and Dean because it really felt like the beginning of a relationship, Robby and Raven because there was such a stark difference on their impression of how the date went, and Matt and Jasmine because the date itself was something we don’t see often on this show and because Matt and Jasmine are such an odd pairing.
Julie (@JusJulez): The date that stood out the most was Robby and Raven only because I felt that they had the least chemistry and I was curious to see how it would play out. I just don’t see them together. I think that Danielle should get the date card next, only because I want to see if she would ask Wells, even though he is off limits.
Kathleen (@KatLikesUFOs): I’m going to take this opportunity to state that I find BIP dates to be an absolute snoozefest. It’s obvious production phones them in. Out of all of the dates Jasmine and Matt’s was probably the most entertaining. RuPaul’s Drag Race is one of my favourite shows and I always enjoy a drag makeover. Especially since Matt’s beat was pretty busted.
Kaitlyn (@bachbrack): Poor, poor Matt. He is so not into Jasmine as much as she is into him. Their date was fun, but damn, Jasmine came on strong. Actually, all of the girls are pushing the DTR talk so early this season. Like, you’ve known each other for a day. I feel like the desire to get a rose & not have to leave is so strong that people really just want to lock it down. Robby & Raven – LOL. Raven is my hero & sees right through Robby’s bullshit. And Kristina & Dean’s one on one was sweet, but I think too much time passed between that & their return to Paradise for that spark to carry through the rest of the season. I love when new people show up & immediately get to give out date cards. I live for that kind of drama.
Nicole (@Buffalogal): I think of these 3, Matt and Jasmine were the most comfortable and fun. Kristina and Dean have the most potential. He better not screw it up! I want to see Dolphin Girl go on a date with someone. She deserves it!
2. Robby chose Raven for the second 1-on-1 date of the season. Robby seemed really into her, but Raven wasn’t exactly feeling it. Who do you think is most compatible with Raven at this point? What about Robby?
Haley (@hstrong_): I don’t think anyone in Paradise right now is perfect for Raven, so I’m looking forward to seeing what’s on the horizon for her. For Robby? I think the mirror might be his most compatible pairing.
Julie (@JusJulez): I think the most compatible with Raven would have been Derek! He is just so sweet and handsome and I just don’t see Taylor and Derek working out together! I see Robby with Amanda.
Kathleen (@KatLikesUFOs): Can I just say I am so here for Raven reading Robby for filth! I was getting worried we might be in for a Robby/Raven filled season but I am so glad she wasn’t feeling him. Especially since Robby is the definition of trash.
Out of the guys there currently I feel like she would probably be most compatible for Ben Z, BUT that doesn’t mean much since I’m sure she’s pretty meh on him.
Kaitlyn (@bachbrack): Tbh, I’m not really feeling any of these guys for Raven right now. She needs someone fun and sassy, but not too full of himself like, ahem, Robby. She’s a Southern girl, and she doesn’t want to be anyone’s Barbie. Still sad James Taylor found a girlfriend before he came on BIP. He & Raven would have been adorable. For Robby, he just needs someone who thrives on being an ‘influencer’ like him… *eye roll*
Nicole (@Buffalogal): Robby is more into himself than he is in Raven. And he just seems to be interested in winning and what works for him. I think Raven would actually get along super well with Matt! He seems very down to Earth and fun.
3. One major surprise of the season is that Wells has replaced Jorge the bartender! What do you make of this epic twist?
Haley (@hstrong_): It’s a little sad! I’m glad Jorge has been able to do something he’s always wanted to do, career-wise, but I love Wells so I am totally down for whatever they need to do to bring him back.
Julie (@JusJulez): This is such a weird twist, I’m not completely sure why it’s happening but I feel that along the line he will give in to one of the ladies.
Kathleen (@KatLikesUFOs): I’m pretty cool with this since I’m pretty high on Wells, which is rare for me with guys in this franchise.
I feel like production MAY want to boost Wells’ Bachelor potential. Maybe pull another one like they did with Nick last season. This may also be wishful thinking because all signs point to Peter who I am meh on.
Kaitlyn (@bachbrack): That was such a sweet moment. Jorge is such a great guy, and deserves everything in the world. Paradise won’t be the same without him, but I couldn’t have chosen a better replacement than Wells. He’s sweet, and smart, and funny… And he’ll be great at the drunken heart-to-hearts BIP bartenders are known for.
Nicole (@Buffalogal): I’m mostly just confused about this. Is Wells trying to be an actor or did he come back to try and win someone’s heart?
4. According to rumors that have been floating around the web, contestants Corinne and DeMario got too drunk & a little too physical, blurring the line of consent and putting into question safe drinking practices. How do you think the producers handled this conversation?
Haley (@hstrong_): It could have been worse, but it could have been better honestly. I appreciated hearing everyone’s opinions on the matter and that they were supportive of both parties.
Julie (@JusJulez): I think the producers should have explained everything to the viewers themselves, if there was no misconduct then what exactly happened and why. Putting the cast in that situation was wrong; it had nothing to do with them. I even think that the “scandal” was something way blown out of proportion for ratings that hurt one individual the most. (DeMario)
Kathleen (@KatLikesUFOs): Ugggh. Okay, I’m going to try to be concise as possible because I could honestly pen an entire think piece about everything wrong with the way the show handled the allegations and the temporary suspension of production.
Although I think the idea of this conversation is cool, it seemed so incredibly forced and not genuine at all. That isn’t to say the cast members don’t feel that way, but it just appeared to be forced. Also, it feels icky to me that neither of the involved parties were there to speak for themselves, Corinne in particular..
Also felt like they still did the “Even though Corinne shouldn’t be getting flack she still should have not drank so much!” thing and that is victim blamey as hell.
Kaitlyn (@bachbrack): I think this whole situation was difficult, and producers handled it the best they could. None of us know all of the facts, so I don’t think it’s our position to speculate what happened. That being said, nothing negative can come of reinforcing the importance of consent, and hopefully, the incident will prevent similar things from happening in the future.
Nicole (@Buffalogal): Initially I was annoyed at ABC for making light of a serious situation in the promos. However, I thought the show did a good job of not sugar coating answers and talking with the cast honestly. But overall WE STILL DON’T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED. More information would avoid gossip and accusations.
5. The interesting thing about Bachelor in Paradise is that, potentially, connections have a week-long expiration. This opens the door for people to feign interest in someone for a rose, only to break off that relationship the following week. Which of the couples do you see this happening to? Which are in for the long-haul, if any?
Haley (@hstrong_): It’s pretty clear Dean and Kristina are headed in that direction, as are Matt and Jasmine. I think that the other relationships are too new to tell.
Julie (@JusJulez): I see this happening with Dean and Kristina of course! Dean is way too hot to just fall for one girl in one day. We can’t blame her though. As of now, I don’t see any potential long-haul relationships. I thought maybe Taylor and Derek but I feel that Taylor will mess it up soon because she’s afraid.
Kathleen (@KatLikesUFOs): Derek and Taylor are obviously gonna be our boring summer staple. So we’re stuck with them for the season.
There are a few in particular that I think are gonna just be a 1 week deal but post return Jasmine and Matt seems like that they might one of those. Jasmine seems to be more invested…. But I’m totally here for any potential of Jasmine dragging someone.
Kaitlyn (@bachbrack): Right now, it doesn’t really feel like anyone is being lied to about their relationship other than Jasmine. Like, everyone else is pretty much on the same page. I think Taylor & Derek are locked in. They’re the only current couple that feels solid enough and smitten enough to make it for the full filming. Also, if you find someone you really like spending time with, why not just stay together so you can stay in Paradise longer? I’m actually surprised more people don’t just couple up for all of Paradise just for the free vacation.
Nicole (@Buffalogal): Def Dean and Kristina, because Dean is a mid-20s boy, and not mature enough for Kristina. I think Taylor and Derek could make it…but from the previews, I don’t know!
6. The episode ends with Derek receiving a date card, and, predictably, asking Taylor out. What do you think of Taylor and Derek as a couple? Do you think date cards should be given to established couples or singles trying to forge a connection?
Haley (@hstrong_): I actually quite like them as a couple, even though I’m not Taylor’s biggest fan, nor do I really remember Derek at all. But I’m a sucker for a good love story and I hope they work out. I’m fine with date cards being handed out to a mix of established couples and singles. It keeps things interesting.
Julie (@JusJulez): As I stated above, I feel that Taylor will mess things up because she’s afraid of something so good. Derek is in it for all the right reasons. I think it’s good to give a date card to established couples every now and then because that is the purpose of this show, for these bachelors and bachelorettes to find love, they need a date. Giving a date card to a single just stirs things up which is awesome!
Kathleen (@KatLikesUFOs): They’re an aesthetically pleasing couple, but they’re are boring AF to watch. Not gonna lie, I strategically made snack runs during their scenes because I just can’t watch them without dozing off.
Personally, I don’t have an opinion on whether singles or couples should get date cards to be honest. I feel like they should just have a space they can go off to so they can hang out one on one. It would probably be less boring.
Kaitlyn (@bachbrack): If you had told me Derek & Taylor would be my favorite couple in Paradise I would have been like hellllll no. Yet here we are. I love how giddy they are around each other, and how quickly they became smitten. Even though they had a sweet date, I was a little bummed that they got the date card. Like, they’re obviously going to be together for all of Paradise. And they would have been just as happy making out on the beach than getting all dressed up for dinner. Would have enjoyed seeing another couple try to make it work on the date – even if it didn’t go well.
Nicole (@Buffalogal): I love them. I think she is really growing and opening up with him. And he seems very fond of her. She needs that! She was the last one I expected to couple up right away. I think the date card was fine in this case. People need more of an opportunity to get to know each other besides bikinis and the beach.
7. Are you surprised that Dean and Kristina ended their relationship towards the end of the episode? Should they have pushed through?
Haley (@hstrong_): I’m a little surprised, but it’s kind of like, it’s been 2 weeks, there’s more hotties on their way.
Julie (@JusJulez): I wasn’t surprised, Dean is a very handsome guy and he knows it. He is opening up his options and Kristina was a little to obsessive, but can we blame her? He’s gorgeous! He probably got what he wanted when they were on the scandal break.
Kathleen (@KatLikesUFOs): Nope. Based on body language it doesn’t look like Dean is looking for anything serious, whereas Kristina definitely is. Honestly, I feel like they’ll reconcile before the rose ceremony for sure. But I don’t know if Dean and Kristina are gonna last long after that based on the second episode.
Kaitlyn (@bachbrack): Not super surprised, honestly. I love Dean, and I love Kristina. But it doesn’t seem like they’re that great as a couple. I thought the first night that they would be great, but after they spent the time in between filming together, I think Dean saw that their relationship wasn’t as ideal as they had initially thought. It’s clear that Dean came to Paradise to have fun and play the field, and Kristina – like all of the other women there, would rather remain in something secure the whole time.
Nicole (@Buffalogal): No, because Dean is a child (sorry, Dean fans). I think if you are on that show for the right reasons, you will push through. Kristina, yes. Dean, no.
8. Finally, in your opinion, which contestants are in danger of leaving at the next rose ceremony?
Haley (@hstrong_): I feel like Alex doesn’t have much of a chance of staying, which is FINE BY ME.
Julie (@JusJulez): I think Diggy & Iggy are in danger maybe even Alex! We will see. I really hope Kristina gives Dean her rose!
Kathleen (@KatLikesUFOs): I think it’s pretty obvious that Alex is leaving (yaaaaaay!), along with Iggy (double yay!). Guys in danger seem to be Diggy, Robby, Ben Z, Jack Stone, and Vinny. Other than Diggy, Vinny and Ben Z, I’m okay with any of them leaving.
Kaitlyn (@bachbrack): It feels like anyone who isn’t in a solid relationship, or good friends with the crew could be leaving. No one seems that into Iggy, even though he’s GREAT, we haven’t seen Diggy hit it off with anyone… It feels like Jack Stone is everyone’s friend so he’ll probs get a friend rose…Nothing is certain, but I’m excited to finally see a rose ceremony!
Nicole (@Buffalogal): Iggy. Can we please get rid of Iggy? He looks larger than on The Bachelorette. Maybe that steroid claim was true???
Final Verdict: If these two over-the-top premiere episodes are anything to go by, this could be the wildest season of Bachelor In Paradise yet.
Overall, the group meeting covered some pretty important topics. One peculiar choice, though, was not including DeMario and Corinne in a conversation that was essentially all about them. Although a lot of the contestants made some really good points, it could have been better had they given a voice to the two people at the center of the controversy. As for the couples, it seems like Derek and Taylor are poised to remain strong all season long. Matt and Jasmine are on the rocks; Jasmine is WAY more into Matt than he is into her. And finally, Dean and Kristina are no longer. It’s fairly obvious that Dean doesn’t want to dive into anything too serious just yet, while Kristina is looking for longevity.
The best thing about Bachelor In Paradise is that the contestant pool reshuffles every week, so even if someone doesn’t vibe with anyone just yet (poor Raven!) doesn’t mean they won’t find love. And even if they don’t find love, at least we can revel in their epic meltdowns. Cheers to a crazy season ahead!
Bachelor In Paradise returns next Monday, August 21st at 8/7C on ABC.
Keep watching to see which couples are in it for the long run.
Want more of Bachelor Nation content? Head over to some of our other posts on the steamy ABC reality series!