ABC cares about the environment, so they’ve recycled a bunch of used people from past Bachelor/Bachelorette shows and put them on Bachelor in Paradise. They’ve even installed Chris Harrison as the host, just as I repurpose supermarket plastic bags to dispose of poop when I walk my dog. Everyone is enjoying a free trip to Tulum, Mexico, where they must avoid drinking the water, although it’s likely they will be not be discouraged from exchanging bodily fluids.
As you study up on all the participants’ famewhore histories to prepare for this seminal television event, you’ll notice that there are eight women, but only six men. Maybe the producers think they can fit more of those undernourished waifs per hot tub. Or maybe this really is a bachelors’ paradise. I am too intellectually numbed to understand the rules of the show, but I do know that there are Rose Ceremonies, people being sent home every week, and enough product placement to stock a suburban Wal-Mart.
Chris welcomes us to “an exciting new show” that gives former franchise cast-members a second chance to find love. Well, for Marcus, something around a 37th chance. But if they fail, Chris warns, they must leave Paradise forever! Really? Does ABC have the power to revoke their passports now?
First to arrive among the tiki huts is Clare, who told off Juan Pablo. She’s been spending time “getting back to Clare,” but now she has a chance at a new start. Maybe getting away from Clare was a better way to go. Here comes Marcus, wearing flip-flops and his usual gloomy expression. He has apparently sufficiently recovered from the heartbreak of Andi’s rejection. Maybe he formed a support group with Nick.
Sarah is principally known for having only one arm, or actually three-quarters of a second one, which she feels creates issues in meeting men. I’m more curious about how she buckled her sandals. She finds Marcus attractive and well-dressed, despite the flip-flops. Next is Marquel, who distinguished himself for not trying to kiss Andi and resenting alleged racism. Clare thinks he has a beautiful smile. Season 17’s Daniella babbles. Graham comes across as mature, which Clare likes. It’s certainly a rarity int hee parts. Lacy catches all the guys’ attention because she is so beautiful, mostly in the chest area.
The group drinks, and already the sniping has started. Ben had a bad reputation on his season of Bachelorette. This observation offers someone the opportunity to debut the first “here for the right reasons” citation. Michelle arrives–she had a bad rep, too. Was this possibly deliberately arranged? Robert turns up next, and is gratefully declared attractive, as if there were a possibility of Quasimodo appearing on the deck with a mojito and cargo shorts.
Elise has a hard time getting down the stone steps in her four-inch wedges. She is blessed to be there. I would feel the same way with an open bar. AshLee turns up next. She likes Graham. If they hook up, he’ll have to start spelling his name GraHam.
Chris addresses the group, and first confirms that everybody is single. They’re certainly single-minded. He explains that each week, selected people will go on dates offered by cards. Those people can choose who their dates are. At the end of each week, whoever is not part of “a couple,” which I presume means “inquired about each other’s STD status,” they get the kibosh. Oh, wait, it’s seven ladies, and six guys–thanks a lot, Time magazine, for the accurate reporting. One lonely, publicly humiliated lady goes home this week, only to be replaced by another Star Trek alien with freshly done roots. Next week, the guys undergo the same process. It’s like musical chairs, only with sluts and manwhores.
The house is very nice, right on the beach with a pool and lots of colorful throw pillows to fling your sobbing self upon. Robert is concerned about the guys fighting over the women, not unlike moose in heat, only with better haircuts. To launch the festivities, he and Lacy, whose bosom resembles a locker shelf in a high school coach’s office, wade into the ocean and start climbing all over each other like a pair of koalas scaling a eucalyptus tree.
Night falls, and we learn that the producers did not spring for outdoor lighting. Marcus dons a Speedo and wanders alone into the water, where his crotch displaces a number of sea creatures from their habitats. Lacy follows him out there. She’s making all those myths about busty women look true. Or maybe just those myths about people who appear on reality shows. But Robert thinks Lacy is “good and kind,” and he believes he could fall in love with other parts of her.
Clare and some other guy it’s too dark to recognize lounge on a chaise, drinking and watching another couple frolicking in the ocean. They report on the action like Bob Costas covering a swim meet: “Did they kiss?” “That was a kiss.” Graham and AshLee take a walk together to get to know each other. “I want to love on him and kiss on him, but I don’t want to be overbearing,” she explains, in a voice that makes Fran Drescher sound like a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Back at the house , Michelle K. finds a date card. It goes to Clare, who has her choice of man to accompany her. I would choose George Clooney, but that’s me. She approaches Graham. He’s certainly popular. The other girls look dismayed, but AshLee is downright angry. She rushes away to mutter about it behind closed doors. “Everyone knows he’s into me,” she hisses, and accuses Clare of being a slut for sleeping with Juan Pablo. But AshLee just met Graham this week. Next she’s going to ask him to play Misty for her.
Clare is very upset about AshLee’s reaction. No one likes to be reminded that they slept with Juan Pablo. She sobs outside on a rock wall. The whole episode is so compelling that a raccoon approaches out of the foliage to listen in. He’s only seen rabid foaming at the mouth in other raccoons.
All of these women look alike–except for the one-armed chick, and the one with the gravity-defying bust–it’s like visiting the Barbie aisle at Toys R Us. Ultimately, though, Clare tells Graham that she can’t take him on the date because of AshLee’s unhappiness about it, cleverly communicating to him that AshLee is a lunatic. She invites Robert instead. Graham then confronts AshLee, whom he finds searching the fauna for a bunny to boil.
Finally, to the date. They walk out onto a vista, a word Clare claims she has never heard before, and climb onto some lovely ruins. A lizard regards them disapprovingly. Then a swarm of fire ants attack Robert, who is advised by Clare to remove his shirt. Sure, that’s how it happened. They climb to the top of the ruins, and do the ol’ “I’m king of the wooooorld” pose. She says she wants a man who gets her jokes, which apparently include getting wet and rolling in the sand before jumping on him. She’s a regular Dorothy Parker.
Back at the house, there is more swimming and drinking. Marcus gets chatted up by I dunno who, who has now given up on Robert. They talk about the Christian existentialist view on the human condition. Or they would, if only his eyes weren’t so astonishingly blue that it must be remarked upon.
Time for another date card, which goes to Sarah. She asks Marcus. Wow, the girl who settled for him when Robert went out with Clare is going to get a complex. Not to mention, my flow chart is a mess now.
Since Sarah and Marcus probably can’t go rock wall climbing or target shooting, they strip to bathing suits, climb down into an underground cave area, and jump in. “It was so romantic,” she informs us. In fact, Elizabeth Bennett and Darcy did the same thing when they first met. Once out of the water, Sarah tells Marcus she wants to kiss him, which he does, but without really touching her. Cretin.
Clare and Robert return from their date–wait, is it the same day? The girl who likes him confronts him, crying. She asks if he and Clare kissed, and he says no. She could have just passed him a note in homeroom.
Then a new roomie, Michelle M., arrives, accompanied by threatening shark-attack music. Now two girls must go home this week. Time was right! Sorry, Time. She already has a date card, too. She asks to talk to Graham, whom she knows well and has a connection to. Is this show only about four people?
The girls watch out of the window as AshLee confronts Graham yet again on the beach. She apologizes and they hug. Moving right along. Michelle M. does have someone she’s honing in on for her date. It’s Marquel. She just wants cookies.
Michelle is concerned about finding love, as she is 33, with a nine-year-old child and stretch marks–presumably nine-year-old stretch marks. But she is optimistic about Marquel. They will go horseback riding, which is a new experience for him. They ride along the beach on Carmen del Playa, and Marquel calls it the “ideal day in paradise.” Not for the horses.
Marcus and Sarah chat. He likes her, but there’s an attraction to Lacy’s breasts there. By some mysterious whim of fate, Lacy gets the next date card. She likes both Marcus and Robert, but chooses Robert. Has he recovered from his fire ant bites? Embittered, Marcus says he will give his rose to Sarah. I’m sure she will be touched. This is difficult, though, because meeting Lacy mesmerized Marcus. He couldn’t take his eyes off her bikini top. Dylan advises Marcus not to fight for Lacy, as she should fight for him while he plays hard-to-get. Always trust the wisdom of a guy who got ditched by the same woman who dumped the guy he’s advising on how to attract a new one.
The Lacy date is dinner on the beach. Robert likes Lacy. Greater love hath no man for a D cup.
Time for the Rose Ceremony, and an end to our torment for this week. “You feel that love is possible in this environment?” Chris asks the group. I realize all these people are about as deep as a radiator leak, but love was “possible” at Auschwitz, so shut up, Chris.
Sarah fears she will not be getting a rose from Marcus. She tells him he must give his rose to someone he’s truly interested in. With brutal honesty, he tells her that he’s interested in Lacy, who has larger breasts as well as two arms, but that Robert will give her his rose. “But I believe you deserve one,” he says to Sarah reasonably, as if it were a rebate she earned for sending in the coupon that came with her new cell phone.
Marcus just can’t let the Lacy thing go, consulting Marquel about it next. His gut says one thing, but his PR rep says another. We learn that even though all the guys are yakking about who they’re going to give their roses to, they could change their minds at the last minute! Or the producers could change their minds.
The eight girls and six guys line up on opposite sides of the room like at a junior high dance, only with a better class of liquor. The girls can decline a rose, but they’d better get another offer or it’s ¡adiós! amiga. Marquel is first, and offers his rose to –wait, Michelle K. speaks up. She thinks it’s best for her to go now, since she didn’t have a connection with any of the guys AFTER ONE WEEK. She probably leaves restaurants when she can’t choose between Thousand Island and vinaigrette by the time the waiter arrives.
Michelle M. gets Marquel’s rose. If they marry, they’ll be Michelle Money and Marquel Martin, and so must name their children all M names. AshLee gets Graham’s rose, as well as the eye rolls of everyone. Dylan offers his rose to Elisa. Looking like his usual Bergman film character, Marcus steps up and says, “Lacy.” She takes his rose. Robert is stunned, an expression which makes him resemble Knucklehead Smith. Now it’s his turn. He gives his rose to Clare, who reasons that more guys are coming in, so why not stick around. She is really in it to win it. The final guy is Ben, who has claimed to feel no “wow factor” with any of the girls. He offers his rose to Sarah, who accepts it in her one hand. Daniella is out. She doesn’t understand what happened. She says Ben told her that all the guys wanted her to stay. No, no, he said they wanted her to stray.
The group returns to the house as a thunderstorm rumbles menacingly overhead. Next week: the real reason Michelle K. left, and it isn’t that she got a better fare flying out on the weekend. Also, an ambulance, a letter, and the urgent summoning of Chris Harrison for something other than making scripted speeches to people in cruisewear.