I'm going to sound like Chris Harrison here, but season 6 of Bachelor in Paradise is unlike any we've seen before. And after the August 20 episode, I mean that in the best possible way.
Demi Burnett and, Kristian Haggerty, a woman who was not even supposed to be cast member on this show and has never been on a Bachelor Nation series, are now the couple of the season.
We don't have a new Carly and Evan. We don't have a new Jade and Tanner. We don't even have a new Coach Krystal and What's His Face. We have Demi and Kristian. And they're so sweet. (We also have a very annoying fight between Blake defenders, the arrival of another Stagecoach attendee, and vomiting on a boat, but we'll get to that.)
As a quick recap, on episode 5 of Bachelor in Paradise, Demi met with surprise guest (and recent Bachelorette) Hannah Brown and they talked about how Demi has feelings for both the woman she was dating back home, Kristian, and Derek Peth, who she grew close to in Paradise. Demi then talked to Derek about this — like she had multiple times already — and said she was still into both him and Kristian. It seemed like this was going nowhere, but then the episode ended with Demi asking to speak to Chris Harrison.
It turns out that Demi wanted to come out to the host and tell him about Kristian. Chris asks her about her feelings for both Kristian and Derek, and she really can't decide what to do. This whole storyline is left dangling. Again. But we come back to it later. Just know the seed has been planted.
On a completely different note, the next big scene includes one very infuriating argument. Kristina Schulman asks to speak to Blake Horstmann, because they've gone back to being friends, apparently. Kristina just wants to chat and give him a hard time and see if she's going to be getting a "friend rose" from him, like how she gave one to him. This upsets Caitlin Clemmens, who went on a date with Blake last episode, and she starts ranting to Caelynn Miller-Keyes about how Kristina is "awful" and a "bitch" and compares her to mosquitos "sucking the life out of everyone." The issue seems to be that she and Caelynn think that Kristina is trying to mess up Blake's connections with other women on purpose.
So, Caitlin decides to confront Kristina and pulls her away for a conversation. The whole vibe is uncomfortable off the bat with Caitlin saying, "Hey, girly!" about someone she was literally just insulting. She starts questioning Kristina and Blake's relationship and whether Kristina is trying to take his rose. Kristina gets immediately defensive — as anyone would when being questioned about having bad intentions. She says that if Caitlin has an issue with where Blake's rose is going, she should talk to Blake. Caitlin says that Kristina is too "heated" and impossible to talk to. Kristina eventually says, "I'm not going to chill, honey!" Caitlin then resorts to "You should respect women, and women should always respect women."
Caitlin, let me let you in on something: Women respecting women has nothing to do with this conversation. Also, Kristina has no obligation to do anything you're asking of her. Three, you just called her names including "bitch" and "mosquito." Saying a woman doesn't respect or support other women is not a foolproof way to win an argument or show you're better than someone else, yet some people seem to think it is. The madness must stop.
And on this show, it does, because next up we get a new arrival at the beach. Jen Saviano (Bachelor in Paradise 3) shows up and — I can't believe I'm saying this — she was at Stagecoach. Caelynn says in her confessional, "When Blake was ghosting me, he was hanging out with her. She might have been at Stagecoach. Who knows." Then, we hear from Blake and he confirms, "Jen Saviano was at Stagecoach. We did not hook up." Amazing.
Jen asks Chris Bukowski on her date and he says yes, because earlier in the day Katie Morton told him that he should do whatever he wants if new people arrive. This disappoints Chris, who feels more seriously about Katie than she seems to feel about him. But, by the time he says yes to Jen's date, Katie realizes she's made a huge, self-sabotaging mistake because she was scared of being too committed to Chris.
Jen and Chris' date involves a boat, which is a romantic, champagne-filled time at first, but then the seas get too rocky and Chris throws up. (Nausea on a boat is a bad omen in the Bachelor franchise.) Back at the beach, Chris tries to make it up to her with some drinks in a palapa. They talk relationships and end up kissing in the hot tub.
Later, Chris and Katie talk, and now she's willing to say how into him she is, but he's doubting things because of the date with Jen. This is a classic Paradise situation that other couples have made their way through. I think these two could actually end up working out.
Anyway, we need to move on because it's time to get back to Demi and the most important segment of the night and, really, the most important segment this show has ever had. Chris Harrison shows up to talk to Demi again and says, "All I care about is what's best for you ... How can I help you find love. We’ve come to a decision that I think is going to put you in the best position. So, why don't you head upstairs."
Obviously, we all know who's going to be upstairs: Kristian! Demi starts sobbing. They start kissing. The chemistry is palpable. Kristian says, "I've never been in a relationship like this ever." Demi says, "The second that I saw you, I knew that it's you and it's always been you." Aww!
Demi knows that she needs to end things with Derek. Of course, he handles it well, because he's handled everything well this entire time. While he's disappointed, he gets that Kristian and Demi's relationship is on a level his and Demi's wasn't. I mean, the woman was flown down to Paradise and is changing the entire game. That really means something! Also, this entire scene really seems like it could be doubling as a Bachelor audition for Derek, and he's nailing it.
Demi invites Kristian to stay in Paradise because "it’s where you can really explore a relationship." Does this make real-world sense? Not really. But Demi and Kristian are bringing some LGBTQ representation to this show in a big way, so who cares. I can't complain about something seeming unrealistic or overproduced when it's providing something that's actually useful and important for the world.
Naturally, Demi and Kristian then get a date card, and at dinner Kristian expresses how Demi going on the show and hanging out with Derek made her feel like Demi had to test their relationship, when she never felt that way. Demi explains that they're different people; she's a skeptic and wishes she could be more like Kristian. They move on quickly from that — I mean, they are clearly into each other — and end up saying they love one another and making out by the pool.
It's unclear exactly how things are going to work from here. Presumably, Demi and Kristian would just always give each other their rose at the ceremony, so that doesn't really matter, but in the trailer Chris Harrison says, "I'm going to change the rules." We'll have to see if this is actually necessary next week. Until then, we can all bask in the love that Demi and Kristian have for each other... or had for each other? We still don't technically know how this all turns out.
Best Moment You Might Have Forgotten: Nicole Lopez-Alvar singing a silly song she wrote for Clay Harbor and it coming off cute and natural, instead of forced and douchey.
Best Twitter Info of the Night: Demi tweeting that Kristian was at Stagecoach, too (!!!), and even met Blake. Stagecoach 4ever.