This week in Paradise was an absolute mess.
Bachelor in Paradise—because it’s August and what else is ABC doing—has managed to snag two nights and four hours of airtime per week, the last hour being a hilariously unnecessary after-show that will never again receive mention here. In that very extended period of time, Lauren left in a flurry of tears and Xanax, the entire house reared up in Christian fury against a cast member who admitted to having once done recreational drugs, Clare was called a cougar approximately 19 times, and everyone sweated profusely.
In addition, five cast members cried a total of 17 times. Here is a breakdown of their trauma:
Lauren: 3 times
On night 1 of week 2, Lauren, sister of Ashley and noted non-virgin, decided to peace out. Her first sob occurred in the first 5 minutes of the show, because “this is hell to me, I’m hot, there are people everywhere.” Lauren just wanted to go home, but first, she decided to hit on newcomer Joshua, which she did by talking about a blood test that she was afraid she might fail. This was not effective.
Lauren eventually told everyone she’s a “mistress,” and that she’s too in love with her man—who is unmarried but does have a girlfriend, prompting another cast member to muse that Lauren “doesn’t really know what ‘mistress’ means”—to stick around. She and Ashley cried and cried, and then she left. No one outside of the Iaconetti family cared, especially Juelia, who asked, “Who’s Lauren?”
Ashley: 7 times
Unsurprisingly, Ashley I. contributed the bulk of the tears that make up this week’s roundup. She cried when her sister Lauren left, she cried when her crush Jared gave Clare (a “cougar”) his date card, she cried when Clare (whose “eggs are almost dead”) bragged about her date with Jared, and then she cried all over again while being interviewed about these events.
I have honestly had it with Tenley, who Bachelor in Paradise is apparently determined to make its heroine. I am not interested in watching an unnaturally positive yoga instructor squeak ad nauseam about her “journey,” and the fact that three separate men are vying for her heart (one of whom called her “an ‘elevenly’”) is totally perplexing.
But that’s beside the point. The point is, Tenley cried this week because she found out that Joshua, her favorite suitor, drank Molly out of a coconut one time in Vegas. The video above is not short, but it’s worth 3 minutes of your time for the utterly bizarre sight of a mob of professional binge drinkers, including Ashley S., collectively turn to stone when they sniff out a “pill popper” in their midst.
Jonathan, the only non-white contestant in Paradise, has, unsurprisingly, gotten the short end of the stick this season. He poured all of his courtship energy into Juelia, a sweet but clueless single mother with a penchant for unflattering lipstick shades. But Juelia wanted Joe, who flopped in on night 1 this week and offended half the cast with his sheer unfriendliness.
Jonathan intuited, correctly, that Joe wasn’t there for Juelia. Joe was there for Samantha, who hadn’t arrived yet, and was using Juelia to get a rose so he could stick around. But Jonathan didn’t know this for sure, and backed down in the face of Joe’s scary southern serial killer vibe; Joe managed to spin the situation so far in his favor that Jonathan agreed to apologize to both Joe and Juelia for “upsetting” her. Jonathan’s tearful mini-breakdown was observed by cold, empty eyes, his apology accepted with patronizing good humor. Later, Joe boasted to producers that “Jonathan came to me like I was his pimp.” It was horrible.
Clare: 4 times
Clare cried after Joe “disrespected” her, which was edited to look like she was talking to a raccoon; she also cried after Mikey yelled at her for accepting Jared’s date card. One thing she most notably did not cry about was the end of her brief romance with Jared (a romance that included a bungee jumping date in which Clare screamed for 30 seconds straight and then implied she’d had an orgasm). The breakup consisted, confusingly, of this: Clare: “You rocked my world.” Jared: “You’re eight years older than me.” [Both parties walk in opposite directions.]
At the end of last night’s episode, Clare flipped out in front of everyone, ranting that she “genuinely came her for love” and that everyone else was a big faker. This was peak Clare: the sassy head-shakes, the angry shrugs, the victimized speech peppered with long, irrational pauses. “I do think this is Clare’s last shot at love ona Bachelor show,” observed Juelia, on point as ever. Let’s hope she sticks around; if this show becomes any more about Tenley, I’m not sure I can keep watching.
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.