There was a time, a few seasons back, in which I insisted that you, that I, that WE pour one out for Bachelor Pad, a bizarre, stake-less relic of a television program (from 2010, y’all) in which those sent home from Bachelor-land competed in half-baked challenges and ultimately got a lot of money for reasons I cannot decipher.
Thanks to a sort of self-correcting renaissance on The Bachelor(ette) and the ineffable charms of Unhelpful Therapist™ Chris Harrison, we have the closest thing possible to it back in our lives.
Because things are going to get complicated and Kafkaesque, I will do my best here to lay out the rules as I understand them at this time, knowing that, like a good Raymond Chandler story, or the ramblings of an incoherent maniac, things are going to get dicey and incomprehensible pretty quickly.
1) There will be 6 men and 7 women on an island (Paradise, as Chris Harrison calls it; I call it Hedonism III ). All will have appeared on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette. All are varying degrees of sane.
2) At the end of this episode – or maybe at the end of every episode (not unlike Club Med in the 1970s, there aren’t a lot of rules except to let go and have fun until you sob with regret) the men will each give a rose to the woman who they want to continue courting. So one woman will go home tonight. (The women will get to hand out the roses next week).
3) Other The Bachelor(ette) castoffs will arrive weekly to shake things up and give everyone more options.
Basically, it’s a combination of The Thunderdome, Musical Chairs, Speed Dating, and that time I couldn’t get a date to the Valentine’s Day Dance and ended up road-tripping with my brother to LeMoyne College and sleeping on some random dude’s floor. That is, of course, if those “chairs” are “vaginas.” (Or next week, “penises”).
We open with clips of screaming, swimming, “Mehico!,” lots of making out, lots of overwhelming lack of perspective (the tone of some of this interactions is of a “you need to recreate the species” tenor), handcuffs, blood, and drama.
Side note: Can we do that show? Where these The Bachelor(ette) cast-offs are told that they need to recreate the human race? Can Lars Von Trier make himself available to direct?
Introductions, Arrivals, and Night One
Here’s our cast:
Clare: The real winner of JP’s season, the one who isn’t stuck with him.
Marcus: Complex stripper semi-finalist from Andi’s season
Sarah: The one-armed* lovely girl from Sean’s season
*No one ever shuts up about it.
Marquel: The one they don’t have the balls to cast as the Bachelor.
Daniella: Sean’s season; she explains that she is who she is.
Graham: Clare explains that Graham is older (he’s 35); Graham is from DeAnna’s season.
“Lacy”: She was on JP’s season, she says, but she could be lying; I am all, “If you say so, “Lacy.”"
Ben: Patrick Bateman-with-a-toddler, from Desiree’s season.
Michelle K.: a “troublemaker” from Jake’s season (that would be the “On the Wings of Love” season) .
Robert : The finalist from Desiree’s season, who seemed like a nice dude.
Dylan: The sad one from Andi’s season.
Elise: From JP’s season; she is ill-equipped to walk in her platform shoes.
AshLee: From Sean’s season; she says she came here to meet Graham. With that attitude, you know everything is going to be smooth sailing.
Everyone is pretty immediately DTF, and everyone starts drinking a lot. “Lacy” comments that Ben has a bad-boy reputation and she keeps hanging with him, so we know what her deal is.
Marcus unironically comments that Ben might not be here for “the right reasons.” I don’t know what you think the RIGHT reasons are, Marcus, but I suspect the WRONG reasons are exactly why one shows up on The Bachelor in Paradise.
Elise is pretty certain she and Dylan are falling in love at first sight.
Michelle K., when asked in Chris Harrison’s introduction if she is single, says smarmily, “Maybe.” Graham gets up and moves. Chris explains the rules and also that there will be date cards in order to engage in the time-honored ritual of courtship. You know, the kind that involves getting to third base in the ocean and sitting on a couch in the middle of nowhere, drinking champagne, not talking about anything real.
The women, so far, seem varying degrees of bananacakes (with the exception of Sarah, who I love), and the men, aside from Ben, who I DO NOT care for, are all ringers from previous seasons.
There’s a lot of reiterating the points. Lacy immediately strips down and drags Robert out into the water. AshLee won’t shut up about Graham. Lacy has decided that the way to be remembered and to not get sent home is to aggressively flirt with everyone.
I don’t want to unpack the rationale here.
Meanwhile, Marcus sadly wanders into the surf in a skimpy pair of shorts and comments that he still misses Andi. “Lacy” takes the opportunity to throw her likely still-wet bikini back on and throw her legs around him, too.
Robert gets jealous and he immediately approaches her after her swim and begins flirting with her. So “Lacy” has it figured out.
Marcus and Clare observe from the sidelines as Dylan and Elise make out in the ocean.
The Next Day
AshLee gets some alone time with Graham. She is pretty sure they are meant to be. No, make that completely sure of it. Daniella explains that AshLee is pretty quick to assume a guy is going to be her one-and-only before exploring the idea fully.
Michelle K. reads the first date card. “Nothing can ruin this day.” It’s for Clare. She gets it right away, since she had a dream about it the night before; it’s “The ruins!”
Clare gives the date card to Graham. AshLee’s meltdown begins immediately. She closes the door to a room and talks to herself and delivers a terrifying narrative to herself.
Everyone is freaked out by AshLee’s rant, which includes her muttering that Clare a slut, not pretty, and that Graham betrayed her. My writing cannot do justice to what is happening here, except to say that it is skin-crawlingly insane.
Clare goes outside and cries and tells a raccoon that this what she dreamed of and it’s not fair. The raccoon backs away in fear.
Clare grabs some time with AshLee and she gallantly – because Clare’s very likeable – offers to take another guy. AshLee, since she is convinced that she and Graham belong together, is quite pleased.
Clare ditches Graham for the date and takes Robert instead, and Graham says that he is “uber-uncomfortable.”
Um, yeah, dude. You’re playing with fire.
Meanwhile, Clare and Robert go to ruins and Robert gets covered in fire ants. Solution for this is that Robert take his shirt off. It’s horrifying. However, the date recovers, and Clare gets to have her dreams of visiting the ruins come true. She and Robert seem to have a terrific time.
“Lacy” turns her attention back to Marcus, while Sarah gets a date card. Sarah invites Marcus, and “Lacy” is not pleased, but she doesn’t have a weird possessive breakdown about it.
They are led to a cave, and have to jump into this deep pool of water. Sarah then says she wants to kiss him. So they make out. I love Sarah.
Clare and Robert return, and “Lacy” is sad as she talks him. She asks him if they kissed, and they didn’t, and “Lacy” is reassured and feels that they are back on track.
Someone called a “Michelle Money” shows up at the door, meaning that there will now be eight women and six guys. Graham hugs her, and then she takes him off for a walk with the date card that she brought with her.
Michelle Money and Graham hooked up on a Bachelor Pad of Christmas Past. AshLee is freaking out.
The Morning After That
Michelle Money comments about how she needs to pick someone to go out on a date. AshLee meets Graham on the beach to apologize. It’s awkward as AshLee tries to rein in the red flags.
Michelle asks Marquel, to which I say, “Yes.” They go horseback riding and for a walk on the beach. Marquel is awesome.
“Lacy” gets a date card, and she has to choose between Robert and Marcus. She describes herself as “80/40” in one direction. Apparently the “80” is Robert, who she selects to go have dinner with her on the beach.
Well, we know “Lacy” didn’t get lost on her way to a Mensa meeting. Marcus is devastated. Dylan gives Marcus some specious advice as Robert and “Lacy” go swimming. Marcus is re-traumatized from the experience of meeting and being rejected by “Lacy” in a period of 48 hours.
Cocktail Hour and Rose Ceremony
After much vibing, connections, and connecting, and other words for “lusting,” we arrive at the cocktail party.
Ben susses out that he and Marcus are the two “wild cards.” AshLee is pretty sure she’s going to get a rose, and she feels sorry for all of the girls who will be going home. Graham looks like a hostage every time they speak to each other.
Sarah is not expecting a rose, as she explains, and she has a conversation with Marcus where she explains that he does not have to give her the rose unless he wants to. Marcus thinks that Sarah deserves the rose, but he acknowledges that he’s connected with “Lacy.” Whatever the heck that means.
Call me an old person, but I just cannot imagine why he would choose “Lacy” over Sarah. Marcus is making me sad AND angry.
Chris reminds them of the rules, which is 6 roses and 8 girls, meaning 2 go home. Or in “Lacy”’s math, 3 girls will go home.
Michelle K. stops the rose ceremony and peaces out. I kind of respect that choice, although it seems Michelle K. showed up to remind us that she exists, which, thank you for that.
Now on with the handouts:
Marquel = Michelle Money
Graham = AshLee (her love makes you a prisoner!)
Dylan = Elise
Marcus = “Lacy” (the ramifications of this cannot be overstated. By the cast of the show.)
Robert = Claire
Ben = Sarah
Sadly, Daniella, who narrates this show LIKE A BOSS, is going home. Chris Harrison intones, “Another Week in Paradise.”
Things are going to get weird when we find out what Michelle K.’s damage is (hint: it involves two broken ankles). Someone has a girlfriend, there’s a letter, and there’s tears.
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