There was a moment in Tuesday night’s Bachelor In Paradise episode that felt like a horror movie. Not because a masked serial killer was running around a Mexican resort, because it was hard not to scream, “Run, girl, run!” at the television screen. Towards the end of “Week 3, Part 2,” Jordan Kimball confronted his sole Paradise love interest Jenna Cooper on the beach. Despite the pair’s instant connection, Jenna still went on a date with dreamy newcomer and Bachelor Winter Games alum Benoît Beauséjour-Savard. The reason Jenna was even open to Benoît’s advances in the first place was because of Jordan’s prior erratic behavior, where the model choked Jenna’s stuffed dog, tossed it into the ocean, and then told multiple people to “shut the fuck up.”
When a woman is first dating a man, such aggressive displays become an immediate red flag. Yet, Jordan posed his crush’s romantic conundrum as an issue of Jenna not knowing her worth, telling her, “You’re just wonderful and you should know that. You deserve someone that’s willing to do anything.” Essentially, he was gaslighting her to believe she couldn’t even understand why she was so upset with him in the first place. His anger issues weren’t the problem — her feeble self-knowledge was. And, Jordan isn’t the only man gaslighting the women of Paradise. Rather, it’s a rampant problem that needs to stop ASAP.
Jordan’s closest friend in Paradise is Chris Randone. So, it should be no surprise Chris is pulling the same kind of bad behavior as Mr. Blue Steel. Viewers saw as much in Monday night’s “Week 3, Part 1,” when he attempted to Jedi mind trick Tia Booth into not believing her own eyes and brain when she could simply trust his lies instead.
During the prior week, Chris, a man who voluntarily gave himself the nickname “The Goose,” promised Tia he was serious about pursuing her, as opposed to the constantly hesitant Colton Underwood. Chris even claimed he wouldn’t agree to go out with any woman wielding an infamous date card. Then he made out with Krystal Nielsen on a daybed the moment Tia fell asleep.
When Tia confronted Chris over this betrayal, he evaded her every question. He promised his pledge to Tia was “real,” despite admitting to having a “moment” with Krystal, and used the fact that he didn’t specifically accept a date card as proof. When Tia said she couldn’t believe Chris due to all of his shady activity — which he confirmed — he insists that’s simply how she feels rather than reality.
This is when the master class is gaslighting pops up, Chris calmly decalared, “There’s no facts … What are you talking about? You’re making no sense.” When Tia reiterates actual facts, Chris countered by saying, “That’s a lie … I didn’t say anything wrong.” If Tia wasn’t so obsessed with “fucking reality,” as she put it, she would have walked away from this conversation convinced she was mentally and emotionally unhinged.
Instead, she walked away, removing herself from the chaos of the Tia-Chris-Krystal love triangle. Somehow, the gaslighting doesn’t end there, as Chris claims he had “already made the decision” himself for Tia to exit the prospective relationship, despite the five-minute conversation they had. The one where Chris alleged he was still interested in pursuing Tia, and his kiss with Krystal was a minor aforementioned “moment.” It is unclear how Tia didn’t run from this encounter screaming into the night.
But, with the Tuesday night entrance of Fabio look alike Leo Dottavio, who has become a controversial Bachelor Nation figure since filming, it seems one bachelor may out-gaslight the women of Paradise. During Leo’s first date on the show, he tells Kendall Long he doesn’t really need to talk to other women, stressing, “I like you.” During a confessional interview, Leo added, “If Kendall wanted to commit and just be with me right now in Paradise, I’d want to do that.” When the pair returns to the beach, they seem pretty couple-y, making out at the entrance. Kendall, who was previously in a settled couple with fan-favorite Joe “The Grocer” Amabile, has an entire conversation in the middle of the bar about how interested she is in Leo. Yet, when Leo tries to pursue Chelsea Roy, he attempts to convince her otherwise, and it works.
When Chelsea points out Leo went on a date with Kendall moments earlier, he mitigates that fact, spinning a fantasy that he and Kendall are dating other people (while, in reality, Leo seems settled on Kendall, and she is simply supposed to figure out her grocery-themed love triangle). Leo’s trickery works, as Chelsea sets aside everything she has observed and heard to accept the stuntman’s story. The pair immediately kisses by the hot tub.
Well, it appears all of this subterfuge and manipulation will lead to at least one man's downfall next week on Bachelor In Paradise. The final shot of the trailer for Monday's episode shows Leo blowing up on Kendall and Joe before security grabs him for a fight with everyone's favorite grocery store owner. Is this a sneak peek at reality TV karma?
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