Before we begin, an explanation: After last Tuesday’s episode, which left a pretty bad taste in my mouth (that discussion on consent was terrible), I looked at ABC’s schedule and saw there wouldn’t be an episode during its usual time on Monday night. Instead, there was one airing at 1 A.M. on Tuesday and then another tonight. I assumed the 1 A.M. airing was a re-run, but it wasn’t—some people actually watched a new episode last night because some NFL thing had to air live across time zones but not others and…even now, I’m still not totally sure what all went down. I get the same feeling every time I look at an electoral map, but that’s a different discussion. The point is, Anna Moeslein gamely watched episode 2A and provided this recap for everyone’s edification:
“Dean and Kristina are fighting for like, unknown reasons? Then Adam
(the guy with the creepy doll) shows up. He comes with a date card and
is interested in Kristina and Raven. Ben Z and Robbie are mad because
apparently they’re into her. Kristina goes to talk with Dean about
stuff, but he acts like a kid. Then it’s the rose ceremony, so people are freaking
out. Robby tries to kiss Amanda, but she turns him down.
Rose ceremony: Taylor gives to Derek, Jasmine gives to Matt, Raven
gives to Adam, Alexis gives to Jack Stone, Lacey gives to Diggy,
Danielle gives to Ben, Kristina gives to Dean, and Amanda gives her
final rose to Robby.
Going home: Vinny, Alex, Iggy, and Nick. Byeee.
The next day, Danielle L (D.Lo) joins and all of the guys FREAK OUT
about how hot she is. Their eyes bug out of their heads, it’s
weird. She asks Dean out. Naturally, Kristina is upset.
Alexis and Jaz are weirdo BFFs together, I enjoy it. Dean talks to
Kristina before his date with D.Lo and it’s awkward. He says that thing
all guys who are being dicks say: “Don’t hate me.” Dean and Danielle
kiss on their date. When he gets back, he makes up with Kristina.
BUT THEN: Dean brings a cake out with candles to celebrate Danielle’s half
birthday because of a convo they had on their date. I don’t know what happens after that because my
DVR cut it off.”
So now that we’re all caught up, let’s see what fresh shenanigans this week brings. Dean is caught between two beautiful women who are both into him. Poor, poor Dean. Kristina cries to Matt, and he gives her some good advice so now I like Matt. Raven flirts with Adam to try and secure a rose, but now some girl named Sarah shows up. (Apparently she was on Nick’s season.) I’m sorry, but half these women look exactly alike because they all do their makeup the same. Anyway, Sarah has a date card.
Raven tells the story of how, during the shutdown, Sarah and Raven both spent the night in Dallas at Adam’s; in the morning, she saw Sarah and Adam “cuddling.” When Raven started telling the story I thought she was recounting a menage a trois, and now I’m disappointed. Raven craftily tells Sarah that suuuuuure she can have Adam if she wants but Beeeeeeen is just sooooooo cool and he’d be an amaaaaaazing dad.
Ben tells Sarah his life revolves around his dog, his dog is the best dog, he loves his dog. I am paraphrasing, but I am not exaggerating: This guy is obsessed with his goddamn dog. A dog he left for weeks to film this show! Unimpressed, Sarah uses her date card to take Adam out. Adam, who is 27 years old, says he has “never been on like, a date?” He and Sarah sip margaritas and talk about…dating…and Sarah makes good on her promise to do whatever it takes to let Adam know she’s interested.
“All in, all in fast, I wanna go now…I’m very attracted to you. I
feel like I have chemistry with you.” – Sarah
Sarah describes BiP as “A Nicolas Sparks book in real life” which is a pretty terrible thing to say, considering someone always dies in a Nicholas Sparks book. Who will it be this time? My money’s on Robby.
Bach on the beach, Danielle M and her bestie Wells are like, “Well, we’re both in our early thirties, so five years from now if we’re both still single, let’s get together,” but I bet it’s more like five episodes from now.
Lacey is still complaining that no one is interested in her and she can’t get a one-on-one. Then she gets a date card and starts interviewing guys to see whom she wants to take. She asks Diggy, and he accepts! I appreciate that Lacey is upfront about being a needy mess.
For their date, Jorge takes Lacey and Jorge horseback riding to a pristine beach where they drink champagne and get to know each other. Jorge tells them this beach is special because it is where his parents conceived him. Aww. Lacey and Diggy by land and by sea, light every lantern for them!
When Wells Met Danielle M is still unfolding back at the cabana. Is it worth it to risk their friendship for love? Oh, and Danielle is going to leave to do aid work in Africa.
A woman I don’t recognize, who is apparently named Dominique, shows up and is immediately embraced by many of the girls. Sadly for Lacey, Diggy is smitten. I’m now hearing word that she was on Nick’s season, but I literally don’t remember her at all. She has a nose ring, though, so she’s automatically the coolest person on the beach.
We now repeat the bizarre ritual of the girls who are already on the beach choosing a man for the new girl; Taylor chooses Diggy for Dominique. Maybe the best strategy here is to make a lot of female friends so they set you up with the best guys? Oh, it’s all so complex.
Happy, relaxed Dominique is the definition of a Chill Girl compared to uptight Lacey, who is going head-to-head with equally rigid Taylor, who empathizes but clearly doesn’t care.
“So now I’m left with no one.” -Lacey
“I know.” – Taylor
While Dominique and Diggy make out in a hot tub, Danielle M packs to leave, certain that her soulmate is not on this particular Mexican playa. But first, a farewell to Wells, who kisses her by the light of the car’s taillights. Has he never seen even one romantic comedy? RUN TO THE AIRPORT, WELLS. RUN TO THE GODDAMN AIRPORT. Wells is, Danielle M says, a good kisser, lending further credence to the fan theory that the show is setting Wells up to lead The Bachelor next season.
Now, before we continue: The next part of this article contains a recap of a discussion of an alleged sexual assault; please skip it if that’s the best decision for your mental health. If you are struggling in the aftermath of a sexual assault, call The National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.
In that big hangar where they host live events, Chris Harrison tells a cheering crowd that he’s going to “give [us] some answers” about what caused the shutdown; DeMario will appear tonight and Corinne next week. I’m already skeptical of the cheery tone here. The set is decorated with candles and flowers and some of the contestants—two girls, three guys—are smiling wide as they talk about how much fun they were having before the shutdown. Why is that at all important? The question is whether the producers were irresponsible and whether contestants crossed the line. Who cares if it was fun before?
The contestants talk about how it seemed like Corinne and DeMario were getting along great and Corinne didn’t seem upset, but the fact that they’re still laughing about this is just…I don’t want to blame people for having an inappropriate reaction because maybe they’re just uncomfortable, but this whole segment is disappointing. Why can’t we hear from the producers?
Both Raven and Jasmine recount how “right is right and wrong is wrong,” and they didn’t like what the media said about DeMario. They basically present themselves as objective witnesses—but if we’re all being upfront and honest and setting the record straight, then why hasn’t anyone said the words “drunk” or “consent” or “sex” yet? Chris Harrison mumbled something about misconduct and may have even said sexual assault, but this is not a frank discussion of the facts; this is an effort meant to paint “the media” as the villains to avoid blaming Corinne, DeMario, or, especially, the show.
And if you need any more proof that this is all about the show, we’re now watching a montage of all of the happily married couples that met on Paradise. Why on Earth are Carly and Evan coming out in the middle of this supposedly serious segment about a sexual assault allegation? They shoehorn in a segment to talk about how Carly and Evan are still cute and in love, and Carly announces that she’s pregnant before they do a live ultrasound of the fetus.
Finally, DeMario comes out, to thunderous applause. As the audience laughs, DeMario tells the following story: He met Corinne, they both got drunk, she suggests they go into the pool, he obliges, the pool gets “intense,” and he didn’t see or experience anything amiss. He even says he had a positive conversation with Corinne the next day.
But then, DeMario says the executive producer told him a “third party filed a complaint” about him and Corinne and the show was shutting down. He cried in his hotel room after hearing the news. He reiterates that their interaction was filmed and witnessed and that neither he nor Corinne initiated the complaint (by all accounts, true), so how could something be wrong?
The fact that DeMario had no idea of the gravity of the situation until he saw it on the news, in my opinion, speaks to a failing by the producers. I don’t know how the confidentiality of the complaint worked, but didn’t the show have a responsibility to tell DeMario why he was leaving? Did they not care about Corinne or DeMario?
We then get a recap of all the media coverage, and DeMario specifically cites an article about him allegedly having sex with “a limp Corinne” (what he’s describing is rape of an unconscious woman). He quotes Michelle Obama’s “go high” line, a sort of denial by omission, and cries. Next week, we’ll hear from Corinne.
Even with her side of the story, it’s likely we’ll never know for certain what happened between them. It’s not really our business, anyway. I know I don’t want to see the tape. What I do need is some reassurance that the show took the situation seriously, still takes the topic seriously, and is making its absolute best effort to ensure all contestants’ safety in the future. So far, I haven’t seen any of that seriousness of purpose. Instead of just having a one-night special to dispense with the Corinne/DeMario PR and then moving on to the frothy fun, the show is dragging out the scandal even longer for ratings. It’s disappointing, and it’s really frustrating. Please do better, Bachelor in Paradise.