During Tuesday night’s episode of Bachelor in Paradise, bartender Wells Adams says before the rose ceremony, “This has been the craziest I’ve ever seen Paradise, so congratulations.” Congratulations to us all. This season is messy.
The messiness has everything to do with the multiple dramatic love triangles happening. There's Mari, Demi, and Kenny and their bonfire birthday cake, Connor, Maurissa, and Riley's trip to the Boom Boom Room, and Tammy, Thomas, and Aaron’s—if you ask Aaron—ultimate betrayal (Tammy and Thomas making out on the daybed where he once spent time with her).
In episode 5, all of those triangles are put to rest. Also: two longtime franchise alums show up, two contestants self-eliminate, and two guys battle it out over questionable jewelry. Plus, naked beach volleyball with three total strangers. Why not?
Tammy, Aaron, and Thomas’ Conflict Is Resolved...ish
The Tammy, Aaron, and Thomas love/hate triangle is seemingly put to rest when Tammy tells Aaron that she’s more interested in Thomas. She says she didn't intend to hurt him by making out with his “mortal enemy” in front of him; he calls her a liar for telling him he should trust her. It’s done. Aaron gets a confident boost later on when a certain former Bachelorette shows up.
Deandra, Chasen, and Karl’s Jewelry Feud
The other continued beef from Monday is the Deandra/Chasen/Karl drama. Chasen tries to one-up Karl’s bracelet present to Deandra by giving her a flashy necklace that he got… somewhere? Who knows. After getting the necklace from Chasen, Deandra returns Karl’s bracelet to him, because she doesn’t see them going anywhere. While Karl takes it well to Deandra’s face, he lashes out at Chasen for copying his jewelry gifting. Meanwhile, Noah makes shady comments in his confessional: “Karl got her a Pandora bracelet. I got my mom one of those in 2000. I think that they were great then. Maybe it will still work now.”
When Ivan suggests to Deandra that they go spy on her “two boyfriends” fighting, I realize something: Ivan should get Deandra’s rose instead. But, alas, this is the Bachelor franchise. I am probably asking too much.
Who Went Home
Two major things happened during the pre-rose ceremony mingling. First, Becca Kufrin (Bachelorette season 14) shows up and gets a big, special introduction from guest host Lance Bass. This marks the first time a former lead has participated in BIP. She explains that she’s “trying to be more of a ‘yes’ woman.” (Becca broke up with her Bachelorette fiancé last year.)
Second, Tre self-eliminates, explaining to Tahzjuan that he just doesn’t see their relationship going anywhere. She seems to agree. But, not long after, she leaves without telling anyone and without giving much explanation. “I’m just, like, done with love,” she says, packing her bags. “I give up.” Noooo, Tahzjuan. My favorite character!
At the rose ceremony there are 10 pairs: Natasha and Brendan, Maurissa and Riley, Serena and Joe, Abigail and Noah, Jessenia and Chris, Tammy and Thomas, Demi and Kenny, Mari and James, Deandra and Ivan (!!!), Becca and Aaron. (Aaron and Becca bonded when he told her she was his Bachelorette crush.)
Deandra sends Chasen and Karl home with their jewelry by giving Ivan a friendship rose, because she thinks he deserves to stay on the show. Connor the Cat is sent packing, too, because Maurissa, obviously, goes with Riley.
Tia’s Very Naked Date
The next day, we get the arrival of another franchise alum, Tia Booth from Colton’s Bachelor season and BIP 5. She hits it off with Kenny, so he asks Demi what he should do if he’s asked on her date. Demi says she wouldn’t be happy, and if it was her, she wouldn’t go. “I wouldn’t be happy if you did either,” he says. “So, should I not do it then..?” So, yeah, he gets asked and goes on the date. Mari calls it payback.
On Tia and Kenny’s date, they are invited by three people to play beach volleyball and then the three people immediately get naked. There is no explanation other than a sign pointing out that it’s a nude beach. But, like, clearly, these people were cast on the show.
Tia and Kenny don’t seem particularly pressured into joining the nudity, but they begin discussing how much clothing they should remove. They agree that Kenny—a man who is known for being naked—should take off everything, while Tia should just remove her top. Then, they actually play volleyball. It’s not clear what we’re supposed to make of this. It’s not sexy or funny or even that awkward. They’re all just kind of fine with it. Good for them! But what was the show going for?
With the three naked randos gone, Tia and Kenny enjoyed some clothed champagne. They talk about his connection with Demi, and he confirms that they went in the Boom Boom Room. “So that was, like, yesterday?” Tia asks. He corrects her that it was two days ago, and he didn’t know Tia was joining the show then. “You fucked her?” Tia says, hysterically laughing. “If you sleep with someone, they’re going to freak out if you go out with someone else!” Thank you for the explanation, Tia. In the end, they agree that they had fun on the date and kiss. Tia also notes that she will probably be “murdered in my sleep” by Demi.
Abigail and Noah’s Tough Convo
Abigail and Noah are seen as one of the strongest couples on the beach by their castmates, but their relationship is shaky. Abigail decides to confront Noah and explains that she can’t tell if they are “friend-zoning” each other or if there’s something else going on. Basically, the passionate physical connection isn’t there, but they really like each other’s company. Noah is somewhat caught off-guard—he’d just been trying to follow Abigail’s lead. They don’t resolve their status just yet, but Abigail cries in her confessional about being a self-sabotager.
The pressure will be taken off of their supposedly solid relationship for now, though, because supposedly solid couple Joe and Serena are going to face some drama next week: The episode ends with the arrival of Joe’s BIP and real world ex Kendall Long. She greets him, "Hey, butthead" and says in her confessional that she misses him. Oh no.
Cutest moment that could’ve been cringey: Riley performing a romantic rap for Maurissa, which she absolutely loved. “She had a sexy ass body, smile brighter than pearls.”
Realest moment: At one point, Tammy says of Ivan and Jessenia right in front of them, “We thought this was a solid couple and look at where that went!” In response, Ivan and Jessenia laugh and give each other a playful pat on the arm. It’s a nice reminder that these people have known each other, maybe, like, a week and a half, so there don’t necessarily have to be hard feelings about “breakups”.
Quote of the night: “Becca standing up there with the rose is like natural habitat. You know, you see a dolphin swimming in the ocean. It’s like something so beautiful about seeing something doing what it’s supposed to do, you know. It was built to do that.” —Aaron describing Becca at the rose ceremony.