We’re entering the serious phase, where people have to have serious chats about their relationships amidst all the drinking.
We’re into the penultimate week of Paradise — and we’re only being subjected to two episodes this week, thank goodness!
In regular Bachie, there’s an initial getting-to-know-you phase for a few weeks, where the Bachie feels out the contestants (and sometimes literally feels them), followed by a shit-gets-real phase, where suddenly people all of a sudden have capital-F Feelings. However, Paradise operates a little differently. Because newbies are getting introduced every five seconds, we’re permanently in a getting-to-know-you phase, until right near the end, when suddenly everyone has to be like, ‘oh, shit, yes, feelings, shut up, I haven’t just been drunk on a beach for a fortnight, I totally have real emotions, let’s be in love.’
We’re on the verge of the shit-gets-real phase now, as Jarrod and Keira prove when they agree to officially become ‘boyfriend’ and ‘girlfriend’ on the outside, and take their relationship beyond the Fijian beach of drunkenness.
This is played as a big fucking deal, but it is SO different to US Bachie, you guys. SO different. In the US, you get engaged or nothing. If you don’t get engaged, then you’re not committed to the relationship. The priorities between the two franchises … I will never get over how deeply and incredibly different they are.
Not everyone is in the shit-gets-real phase, though. Some people are still feeling each other out (and definitely not up). American Jared, for instance, is anxious that Leah know immediately that he wanted to give his rose to Rachael at the last rose ceremony, and only gave his rose to Leah ‘as a friend’.
As a veteran of a way-too-intense relationship with Ashley I in the US, I think he’s a bit taken aback when Leah recoils. ‘Ewww, I don’t want a pity rose!’ she says. ‘We’re through.’
‘…okay,’ Jared says.
I’m pretty sure he thinks it’s a trick, but it’s not. ‘I’m totes going to fall in love with the next hot dude that comes in,’ Leah declares, because after thirteen episodes, we’re apparently still in the getting-to-know-you phase.
After he’s adequately recovered from his shock, Jared goes to talk to Rachael. ‘So you know how I wanted to give you my rose at the last rose ceremony?’ he says.
‘Yeah?’ she replies.
‘Well,’ he says, and, taking a deep breath, launches into a long monologue about Leah and Paradise and his feelings and everyone’s feelings, and hang on a sec, I need to wheel out a whiteboard, and does anyone have an overhead projector? Will you stay here while I go and make a Prezi real quick? I really need some charts and diagrams, and — hang on a sec, Rachael, just a sec.
‘Yeah, Jared really likes the sound of his own voice,’ Rachael says, wrinkling her nose. ‘Weird.’
That’s when a date card arrives. The recipient is Thomas of the excellent manbun and rose ceremony shenanigans, and he wastes no time in asking Rachael out. ‘She said yes!’ he bellows to Paradise at large. ‘No more milk bath bro dates for me!’
Happy for you, Sexual Tongue. Honestly, I’m happy for you (and your amazing hair).
When Thomas and Rachael have gone, American Jared goes to sit sadly by the pool. ‘No one wants to hang out with me,’ he says.
‘Yeah, you’re the creepy kid at kindy that no one wants to play with,’ Jake says.
OMG YOU GUYS
THEY LITERALLY SAID HE WAS THE WEIRD KID
Off on their date, Thomas and Rachael are having quite a nice time. ‘Oh, it’s love golf!’ Thomas says, looking at the weird putt-putt setup, like ‘love golf” is a totally recognisable sport that people play all the time.
Rachael wins at love golf, which Thomas finds hot. He tells Rachael he found her attractive the second she walked in, which she finds hot, and pashing ensues.
Rachael compares this pashing to The Notebook,which makes me think she has neither read nor seen The Notebook, but eh, they’re pretty cute together. I’ll allow it.
Also it slays me that Thomas has been here for three seconds and has pashed two ladies, but no one will go within an inch of American Jared. SLAYS. ME.
Back at the beach, the fuckboys are fuckboying around (‘I want to pursue Elora, who is super not interested in me!’ quoth Eden, and ‘That’s good,” replies Jake, because they’re both garbage), when an avenging angel descends from the heavens.
We have a returning guest to Paradise, you guys. Florence is back, and she is baying for Jake’s blood.
A lot of the other ladies are like, ‘ooohhh, Florence, that’s maybe not such a good idea,’ but eh, screw that. GET HIM FLORENCE.
…though to be fair, Florence does talk about Jake a lot, and I could see how that would get pretty boring.
There are plenty of other fuckboys ripe for vengeance, though — eg Eden, who is apparently unable to understand words, and has not picked up that Elora does not want to be anywhere near him. ‘There’s definitely a future for her and me!’ he halloos to the reverberate hills.
‘Um, Eden, there is definitely no future for you and me,’ Elora tells him. ‘None. Not even a little bit.’
;BUT I AM A MAN WHO MAKES DECISIONS, HOW DARE YOU FEEL SORRY FOR ME?! I AM LEAVING PARADISE NOW, AND THEN YOU’LL BE SORRY!’
Eden storms out of Paradise like the fuckboy he is. When Elora tells the group what’s happened, Keira accuses her of being selfish and making it all about her, but honestly, it just sounds to me like Elora is being way too charitable. The truth is that Eden was a dickhead who refused to read very clear signals, and they’re all better off without him.
Meanwhile, a date card arrives. This time, the recipient is Tara, and she promptly invites Uncle Sam. ‘I hope there’s cheese!’ she enthuses.
Tara might be the most charming contestant ever to grace this franchise, but I utterly refuse to find her and Uncle Sam together charming in any way. Nope. Nope nope nope.
They go and take a dance class, and they’re both very bad but they laugh a lot, and NO I AM NOT CHARMED BY THIS NO. When they sit down on their Couch of Wine and Intimate Conversation (at which there is no evidence of cheese, btw), Sam tells her how happy she makes him, and that he’s falling in love with her.
‘I’m falling in love with you too, Sammy,’ Tara tells him. ‘I’m not just romantically attracted to you, but you’re my best friend.’
I REFUSE TO BE CHARMED BY THIS YOU CANNOT MAKE ME BE CHARMED NO NO NO NO NO.
(but this whole thing about them being best friends is very handy for my research)
(still not charmed)
(you can’t make me)
Also worth noting that it’s been thirteen episodes — plus the eight of The Bachelorette he made it through — and I’m still no closer to working out how Sam’s hair functions.
Back at the beach, the Florence/Jake/Megan drama is continuing … except I think we’re supposed to be on Jake’s side now? Because he really, truly does like Megan? And we all know being in love now completely erases any acts of fuckboyery previously undertaken?
Anyway, Jake takes Florence aside so they can hash out their drama, so he can Move Forward™ with Megan.
‘How could you tell me you were super into me right before you sent me home?’ Florence asks him.
‘UGH WHY ARE YOU SO DEFENSIVE LET ME TALK,’ Jake rejoins.
‘You really hurt me, Jake.’
‘I WAS HURT TOO. IT WASN’T EASY FOR ME TO ELIMINATE YOU!’
Florence and Jake somehow end up hugging this out, but honestly, Jake comes across as an enormous shithead in this conversation. (What a surprise, since he’s universally come across as an enormous shithead this whole season.) And yet the editing is trying to make us side with him, and … ugh. Romantic attraction to one person doesn’t erase all the sketchy shit you did to other people.
Keira doesn’t approve of any of these shenanigans, thinking that Florence should have aired her issues with Jake via Insta-DMs instead of coming back to Paradise. Clearly, she is not aware of the nightmare scenario Insta-DMs wrought in the last season of US Bachie (where the Bachie slid into the runner-up’s DMs and then ended up leaving his fiancée — the winner — for her). I’m pretty sure Insta-DMs are basically part of the Bachie diegesis now.
Florence and Leah are both pretty keen for some fresh meat to enter Paradise for them to sink their teeth into, but the next day, Osher comes bearing bad news: there will be no new people in Paradise. Recappers everywhere, exhausted from the two marathon weeks, utter a tired hurrah, but the inhabitants of Paradise are shocked. Whatever are they to do without new people coming to get drunk on the beach with them?
This prompts Leah to do what she’s been threatening to do for like a hundred years now: actually leave. ‘Bye, everyone!’ she proclaims.
‘Yeah, bye,’ everyone says, distracted, having farewelled her eighty-seven times already.
It’s notable that, despite the fact there’s no one there for him in Paradise, American Jared continues hanging around. That weird kid doesn’t know when to quit.
Tomorrow: Apollo apparently does some shirtless fire-twirling, so you can just hook that up to an IV and pump it directly into my veins.
The show airs on Channel 10 on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7.30pm. You can catch up on previous episodes via TenPlay.