Bachelor in Paradise Season 7, Episode 2 Recap: The Real World

Photo: courtesy of ABC.
Last week on Bachelor in Paradise, we got Sad But Then Happy Grocery Store Joe, a lukewarm date between Abigail and Noah, and a star turn from Tahzjuan — a woman who was previously known for being sweaty, but is now known for making out with a man whose uncle she previously kissed. The cliffhanger of the episode was the arrival of Demi Burnett (Colton Underwood’s Bachelor, Bachelor in Paradise season 6), who is there to stir the pot, as evidenced by her intro gimmick of stirring a literal pot. Speaking of, man, it’s nice to see that cheesy intro again. It always makes me smile at my TV like a weirdo.
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This week, Demi enters the beach with a date card and a ready to “fuck some shit up” attitude. Instead, she gets rejected on a date and isn’t able to actually cause much drama. A truly welcome turn of events. Here’s what goes down. 

Brendan brings the drama

Demi asks Brendan (Clare/Tayshia’s Bachelorette) out with her date card, and they ride jet skis and kiss in a cabana. But, Brendan tells Demi that they should still talk to other people and “see if our paths cross again along this journey.” Demi is very upset about being rejected because she fancies herself the best person on the beach, even though Brendan lets her down easy and is simply telling her something we hear on this show regularly. 
Meanwhile, other contestants are gossiping about how Brendan is actually holding out for the arrival of Pieper (Matt James’ Bachelor), who he was supposedly dating in the real world. When Demi finds this out, she’s pissed and confronts Brendan. He says he and Pieper aren’t in a relationship, but hung out a couple times. 
Natasha (Peter Weber’s Bachelor), who is also into Brendan, is concerned, too. When she asks Brendan what the deal is, he says he and Pieper met a month and a half ago, and she’s cool, but they never had any labels on their relationship. Natasha then asks why they didn’t just date outside of the show. Brendan stumbles over an explanation about how things were casual with Pieper, and, in fact, he has the “strongest connection” with Natasha and they’ve had deeper conversations than he ever had with Pieper. Natasha is pleased. So, yeah, Demi really was rejected. It’s not just about Pieper. 
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When Demi sees Natasha and Brendan together she wipes away tears that aren’t there and complains about how this means she won’t get a rose. In her eyes, she’s the victim even though she only talked to one guy and was let down gently. Also, she herself went on Paradise season 6 while in a relationship, so she can’t really complain about the Pieper aspect, either. 

Jessenia & Ivan have a heavy conversation

Jessenia (Matt’s Bachelor) and Ivan (Clare Crawley and Tayshia Adams’ Bachelorette) seem like a couple that could continue to exist outside of the show. They’re cute, drama-free, and very into each other. At dinner, they talk about the ongoing conversation about race in Bachelor Nation. Jessenia tells Ivan that she really liked how he had serious conversations about race with Tayshia. Ivan says he was pleased to not get racist backlash after talking so openly about race on the show, but recognizes that “people tend to be harder on women,” so he knows he was lucky in that sense. Ugh, this guy is the best. Jessenia says that she did experience racism after appearing on The Bachelor, which made her feel conflicted about doing Paradise. This is a wacky show overall, but this serious conversation between two people of color about their experiences in the franchise fit in seamlessly.

“The truth about Victoria P”

Photo: courtesy of ABC.
Tammy Ly, who was a major gossip on Peter’s season, shares that she has heard Victoria P (also Peter’s season) has a master plan and is, you guessed it, there for the wrong reasons. According to Tammy, Victoria has a country singer boyfriend back home in Nashville and they want to be on a reality show together, so she’s trying to gain more fame by being on Paradise. Adding credence to this theory is the fact that Victoria openly admits in her confessional that she is pursuing James (Katie Thurston’s Bachelorette) — who she keeps calling “Jordan” — only because she wants to stick around longer. 
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Tammy tells “little sweet James” all about this. Kelsey (Peter’s Bachelor), who lives in Nashville and says she runs in similar circles, corroborates the story. 
James confronts Victoria, who denies having a boyfriend, but admits she broke up with someone not long before the show. She gets very frazzled and goes to talk to Kelsey and Tammy. She opens by asking if they’re “friends." Tammy says yes, but says she would call out her real friends on their shit, too. (Read: They aren’t actually friends.) Victoria gets even more frazzled and leaves the conversation after Tammy says she “has receipts.” 
Victoria goes back to James again and self-eliminates. Well, that doesn’t make it seem more likely that she has a secret boyfriend at all. She says Kelsey and Tammy are “better than this," and James responds, “I was appreciative of them coming to me, so I have no issue with them.” This whole thing only makes me like James more, where I previously thought he was about as interesting as that box he arrived in on The Bachelorette.
Victoria leaves. As she drives off, she says with a smile, “I tried to make something work, and I realized that I don’t have to search for what I already have at home.” Is that a confirmation of a boyfriend? Or did she actually break up with her ex and just means she wants to get back together? Who knows, who cares. Bon voyage, Victoria P. 

Who Went Home

The pairs at the rose ceremony are: Ivan and Jessenia, Noah and Abigail, Grocery Store Joe and Serena P, Connor and Maurissa, Tre and Tahzjuan, Karl and Deandra, Brendan and Natasha, Aaron and Tammy, Kenny and Mari, and James and... Demi. Yes, we have to watch her attempt to bring the drama for another two episodes at least — the women have the roses next.
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Kelsey is sent home even though she, like Demi, made a last-ditch effort to get James’ rose. Serena C is sent home despite a last-ditch effort to steal Aaron’s rose. And Victoria L is sent home despite an unenthusiastic last-ditch attempt to get Tre’s rose, even though that one was very much not available. Damn, former Queen Victoria really didn’t deliver in Paradise, and I am here for this unceremonious end to her character arc. 
Best intro gimmick: I’ve gotta give it to sweaty Tahzjuan cooling herself with two fans. 
Best fourth wall-breaking moment: Noah asking “She can’t send Brendan home, right? It’s not The Bachelorette?” when Demi returned from her date alone. No, Noah. No, she can’t.
“Huh?” quote of the night: “When you wake up in the morning do you pee outside or do you pee in the toilet?” This is something Victoria actually says to James. She claims that some men in Louisiana take their first daily pee outside. Louisianians can you confirm?

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