Dr Jodes is back, and she’s put aside her jetlag to bring us a master recap of last week’s Bachie in Paradise shenanigans.
I’m back! I know I was very neglectful of my recapping duties last week, but I was in the US at a conference, and sometimes my work life has to take precedence over the Bachelor franchise. It’s rare, but it happens.
So I can catch back up, I’m going to do all three episodes from the second week of Bachelor in Paradise together in one mega-recap, so settle in for the long haul, folks. This one is going to go for a whiiiiiiiiiiiile.
Also, full disclosure: I’m writing this as a way to keep myself conscious, because it turns out crossing the globe twice in a week (36 hours each way!) will give you some very nasty jetlag. Sorry if it turns a little loopy here and there.
A quick recap of where we are (though just, like, read my recaps):
- Alisha ditched Paddy, went on a date with Davey, but now seems to be into Jules.
- Brooke, human swarm of bees Bill, Australian lady Alex, American man Alex, Nathan, James, and god knows how many other people are embroiled in a love polygon of an indeterminate amount of sides.
- Paddy is basically stalking Brooke around the island, despite the fact she’s told him no SO many times.
We begin the fourth episode with the introduction of a new person:
Ivan (Ali’s season): oh, Ivan. Ivan’s stated desire is to be a professional dancer, but the thing he is notoriously remembered for is, in an attempt to make avocado mousse, putting TWO WHOLE AVOCADOS, pits and all, into a blender. He’s the only millennial in the universe who doesn’t know how to smash an avo.
Ivan is — how do I say this delicately? — a joke of a person. But you know who else is a joke of a person? Conga line Brittney: and when Ivan enters, she just about loses her mind with joy. She doesn’t have a date card, but she doesn’t let that stop her, whisking Ivan away for wine time. ‘Do you know where commas go?’ she demands of him.
‘Um… no?’ he replies.
‘Me neither,’ she confesses, and they basically fall in love on the spot.
It’s so fast, and so weird, but you know what? It’s weird enough to work. I’m into it.
And speaking of into it: the first actual date card of the episode goes to Jules, who takes Alisha. This couple should not work — ‘when I first saw him on the Bachelorette, I thought he was a real weirdo,’ Alisha admits — but their chemistry is off the wall.
It’s a food date, where they eat food that (supposedly) increases dopamine, the chemical in the brain that promotes desire. They try and feed each other, and it is not in the least sexy – the phrases ‘sometimes, you just have to finger the oyster’ and ‘did you just deep throat that asparagus?’ are uttered – and somehow, that makes it the most romantic thing of all. They kill themselves laughing, they can’t stop talking, and… Look, if you told me I’d get invested in one of the mean girls from the Honey Badger’s season getting it on with the moustache kid who rode the Segway in Ali’s season, I’d have been very surprised, but it just totally works.
It might work because Jules is (unlike basically every other dude there) not a monster. ‘I’m not about the politics of Paradise,’ he says. ‘The men are forcing it so much when they’re campaigning for their roses, but I don’t want that. I just want to talk to a darling — talk to a girl — because it feels right.’
Alisha regards him for a moment. ‘You have some chocolate on your face,’ she says, and leans in and kisses him.
His eyes open wide. ‘I’m not a cool person — I don’t know how to — ’ he says in a panic, before Alisha kisses him again.
And it is ON.
The rest of the men are still monsters, though. For example:
- Paddy is still basically stalking Brooke around the island, despite her repeated requests to stop, to the extent where even Bill — Bill! the human swarm of wasps! — tells him he’s going a bit far.
- Nathan tries to mack onto Brooke while American man Alex gives an interview right outside the door, then laughs about it with fellow monsters Bill and Paddy.
- Bill tells Australian lady Alex that he’s broken it off with Rachael, when he in fact told Rachael that he was equally interested in both of them.
But! Let us focus on the romance. There’s another date card, and it goes to Australian lady Alex. (Interestingly, Richie is the one chosen to read it out, which he describes as a ‘minor stitch-up’.) ‘I know exactly who I want to take on this date,’ she says, a smile playing across her lips.
The crowd of monstrous men all lean forward.
‘Brooke,’ she declares.
And then the monstrous men don’t know what to do, because they’re caught between gross horniness and fear. It would be great if the two girls pashed! they declare. That would be super hot, and they would all enjoy watching! But if they do pash… Oh noes! what if they exchange roses, and five monstrous men, rather than three, get eliminated from Paradise?
I deeply want to see a Paradise where all the ladies conspire and Lysistrata this shit. They should all exchange roses and eliminate ALL the men.
So Brooke and Australian lady Alex make pina coladas and flirt and hold hands and it’s the cutest thing that has ever happened in Paradise, in my humble opinion. Then Brooke takes Alex’s shoes off, which I’m less into, but…eh, you do you, ladies.
‘What are you thinking?’ Alex asks.
‘What are you thinking?’ Brooke rejoins.
‘…so much,’ Alex says.
‘You want to kiss me,’ Brooke says. ‘You’re just being shy about it.’
And they kiss: the very first queer kiss in Australian Bachie history! And not only is it the first one, it gets the magical violins of destiny over the top!
Maybe it’s the jetlag, but I’ve spent a lot of this episode with heart-eyes, and I was not expecting to.
Brooke and Australian lady Alex return from their date hand-in-hand, and walk straight into a pre-rose ceremony cocktail party: something which throws a variety of men into a panic. Bill’s worried! American man Alex is worried! James is worried! Nathan’s worried! What if these two ladies opt out of their heteronormative patriarchal rose economy and some of them can no longer hang around and get drunk on this beach?!
There’s begging. There are ultimatums. There’s emotional manipulation. The phrase ‘wife material’ is tossed around in desperation. I’ve spent enough time describing how terrible the majority of these bros are. You can fill in the gaps.
Probably the only thing that needs to be mentioned is that James decides to leave before the rose ceremony. ‘You need to explore things with the other people here,’ he tells Australian lady Alex. ‘If you’re still interested in me when you get out — then you can call me.’
Also he gives her a teddy bear, for…reasons? It’s sweet, in any case, and it is sad to see one of the few men who’s (probably) not actively a monster leave.
That means that two more men (minimum) are up for elimination. Cass gives her rose to Richie; Alisha gives hers to Jules; Brittney gives her to Ivan; Rachael gives hers to Nathan (…why?).
Then we enter the controversial roses. Australian lady Alex is next, and gives her rose to…Bill.
Brooke, not especially discouraged, gives her rose to American Alex and his abs. Finally, Shannon, after some manufactured drama wherein she nearly faints, gives her rose to Connor. Byeeeeeeee Paddy, byeeeeeeee Davey, don’t let the door hit you in the arse on the way out (or rather, do, because I would find that entertaining).
Here endeth the fourth episode. But we have a week’s worth of these to catch up on, and writing this recap is the only thing keeping me tethered to consciousness, so: onwards to episode five.
We begin this episode with a game. ‘Yeah, it’s nice that you’re all coupled up, but Paradise is all about exploring new connections,’ Osher says, and splits the group into two teams, basically splitting every single couple up while he does it.
…with one notable exception. Brooke and Australian lady Alex are on the same team (as is Richie, which, like, awks).
I’m not even going to bother trying to explain the rules of this game, except to say that the Bachelor franchise really needs to hire me to come up with better dates. It’s some kind of water volleyball? But there’s a fishtank? Or maybe lots of them? I’ve been on a plane for a day and a half. I can’t be expected to understand this.
Anyway, the team with Richie, Australian lady Alex, and Brooke wins, probably because it’s clearly the team with the most potential for draaaammmmmaaaaaa on the ensuing group date.
This group date involves zipping around fast on the water, ie. exactly the same thing as about half the dates in Paradise, because they have precious little imagination and, as stated above, really need to hire me as a consultant.
‘I’m going to sit between Brooke and Alex, so they can’t flirt, and Brooke will fall in love with meeeeeee!’ Nathan proclaims.
Brooke and Australian lady Alex proceed to ignore him and grope each other heavily in waist-depth water.
Nathan yanks Brooke aside for a chat. ‘MY FEELINGS,’ he bellows in her face.
Brooke, who clearly does not want to be in this conversation, starts crying.
‘I care about you enough to let you go,’ Nathan proclaims, like this was a Nicholas Sparks novel and not a drunk week on a beach with twelve other people.
Back on the beach, conga line Brittney proves that, even though she is a joke person, she is actually very sensible. ‘I think I need to try again with Richie,’ Rachael says to her. ‘He smiled at me a couple of times at the rose ceremony.’
‘Um, no you don’t,’ Brittney says forthrightly. ‘You’re reading way too much into it.’
Then she proceeds to crowdsource choreography for a dance to impress Ivan when he gets back from the group date. She’s won me over. I love her.
There is also other drama developing. Shannon asks to see Osher. ‘Um, I know I gave my rose to Connor, but I think I might still like Davey?’ she tells him. ‘Could we bring him back?’
‘Yeah, nah,’ Osher says. ‘But you could leave and pursue Davey if you want.’
‘…’ Shannon replies, which I assume is a no.
Then we get a new person entering! Meet:
Zoe (Blake’s season): this is a blast from the past! Blake’s season was a million years ago. I don’t remember much about Zoe except that there was another contestant on that season to whom she was IDENTICAL. Also I think she might have dated Michael (best known for his inability to understand how shirts work on last year’s Paradise, and for lying about being a Socceroo on Sam Frost’s season) at some point, but I might be making that up.
Zoe has a date card, and declares she doesn’t want to know who’s coupled up, so she can follow her heart with impunity. ‘Who wants to chat?’ she asks brightly.
No one says anything. Ouch.
She decides to wait until the other people get back from the group date, and immediately strikes paydirt with Nathan.
But when it rains, it pours:
- Ivan comes over to chat to Zoe, much to the chagrin of conga line Brittney. I’m immediately enraged, because HOW DARE YOU hurt the feelings of conga line Brittney.
- Shannon tells Connor that she’s considering leaving to be with Davey. ‘Welp, I guess I can explore my options, then!’ he says huffily, and makes a beeline for Zoe.
The dude Zoe ultimately decides to take on the date is Connor (which immediately gives Shannon a crisis: ‘I really do want to be with Connor!’ she wails). They do a high ropes course, she has a minor freakout, he helps her through it, etc etc, you all know how this song goes.
But then it all goes horribly wrong. There’s wine, and there’s cheese, and ‘I want to hang out with you more,’ Zoe tells him.
‘I need to ask Shannon,’ Connor says.
Zoe sighs. ‘Okay,’ she says, asks the producer if they can end the date, and then bursts into tears.
The second they get back to the beach, Shannon and Connor start snogging. ‘Well, that was a waste of a date,’ Zoe declares. She’s not wrong.
However, there’s an unofficial date going on at the same time which has much better results. Jules — who has solid romantic instincts, despite never having had a girlfriend — pulls Alisha away for some wine and cheese. ‘I’m a catch, aren’t I? Living with my parents, never had a girlfriend, got a cat called Yogi,’ Jules declares to her.
‘Yet I’m still so keen,’ Alisha says wryly, and they pash.
…I don’t know how much of this is the jetlag, but I’m so into these two.
With her own romantic life settled for now, Alisha sets about meddling in other people’s. ‘Hey, what’s up with you and Cass?’ she asks Richie.
‘I like her, but we’re taking it slow,’ Richie says. ‘I don’t want to be that guy kissing everyone here, you know?’
Australian lady Alex, coming up and overhearing, snorts. ‘My dude, you’ve literally been that guy,’ she says. ‘Remember when you were the Bachelor and kissed a whole bunch of girls? Including me?’
‘Just sweep her off her feet,’ Alisha orders Richie. ‘Get your broom.’
‘Exactly,’ Australian lady Alex says. ‘Start sweeping.’
As far as exes go, Richie and Australian lady Alex really are quite functional, tbh.
They’re more functional than Richie and Rachael, certainly. He’s aggressively not interested, and she’s looking for any moment to pounce. The second Cass is distracted, Rachael’s like, ‘hey Richie, want to chat?’ and springs a candlelit dinner on him.
Cass isn’t pleased. ‘I’m going to fight for Richie,’ she declares.
And apparently this is a cliffhanger, because it’s the end of the episode. One more to go. Stay with me here as we head into episode six – if I can do it under the influence of this much jetlag, so can you.
At the beginning of this episode: Bill has disappeared! And instead of being delighted, people are…worried?
I was pretty sure he’d disintegrated into his constituent parts, ie a swarm of poisonous bees, but apparently not. He’s been pulled out of Paradise to go on a date with a new entrant:
Florence (Matty’s season): Florence is a very cool lady with terrible taste in men. Last time she was in Paradise, she was torn between the already-departed Davey and Jake, two men who practically have ‘fuckboy’ tattooed on their forehead.
…considering she’s elected to start her Paradise 2: Electric Boogaloo by going on a date with Bill, her taste in men has not improved. In fact, it might have got worse.
This date is framed very interestingly, because Osher tells Bill that if the date goes well, he and Florence will have the opportunity to spend the night — apart or (DUN DUN DUN) together. Considering how allergic the main Australian Bachie franchise is to sex, this is a big fucking deal: it is, essentially, an American-style fantasy suite date.
But it might not be the first time for Bill and Flo. ‘I’m one of Bill’s girls from the dog park,’ Florence tells the camera, winking. ‘We’ve been on a few dates.’
‘Nah, we’ve never been on a date,’ Bill tells the camera, separately.
THIS FUCKING PATHOLOGICAL LIAR OF A SWARM OF LOCUSTS. I CAN’T EVEN.
So they swim around, and they pash A LOT, and then it’s night, and they shift from the ocean to a pool, and they swim around, and they pash A LOT. ‘So…we get to stay here tonight,’ Florence tells him. ‘Is there someone who’ll be waiting up for you?’
‘…nah,’ Bill says, because he’s never met a lie he doesn’t want to tell.
While Bill’s getting his mack on with Florence, back at the beach, Australian lady Alex is telling Brooke that they can’t be together. ‘My feelings for Bill are too strong,’ she says. ‘You should go your own way. Be with American man Alex, or whoever you like.’
Brooke accepts this with good grace, even though it’s hard for her. She has some thoughts for the camera, though: ‘Alex can definitely do better than Bill,’ she says. ‘I get a sly vibe from him. He’s a snake.’
SING IT, SISTER.
While she initially seemed quite cool with Alex’s choice to pursue Bill, Brooke mulls it over all day, and makes a decision. ‘I’ve decided to go home,’ she tells Australian lady Alex. ‘My heart’s not in it. You were the person I wanted to get to know the most, and now you’ve closed the door on us…well.’
‘Oh, Brooke…’ Australian lady Alex says helplessly, and they hug it out, but then — after she breaks it to American man Alex — Brooke goes anyway.
Obviously Brooke’s made this decision on her own, etc etc, BUT OMG THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT, BILL, YOU TERRIBLE MONSTER.
At least this leaves Brooke free to be the Bachelorette in a year or so — potentially with male and female contestants. That’s something.
(If you want a good piece about Bachelor in Paradise and how it’s dealt with representing Brooke and Australian lady Alex’s relationship, read this one by my brilliant pal Hannah McCann: Bisexuality in the Present Tense.)
Ugh. Anyway. That Cass/Richie/Rachael drama hasn’t gone away, but it’s not very interesting. ‘It’s hard for me to watch you and Richie, when he might want to be with me,’ Rachael declares to Cass.
‘…yeah, um, Richie and I are kind of a thing,’ Cass replies.
‘I think you’ll find he’s confused about things,’ Rachael responds. ‘He and I are more than just friends.’
I’m not sure how much of this is editing, but…Richie is not coming across as especially confused. He pulls Rachael aside and tries to tell her that he doesn’t want to be with her. However — as we all saw on his season on The Bachelor — he is not a terribly eloquent man, and it takes him an excruciatingly, awkwardly long time to get his point across, and it all ends with Rachael taking a sadness walk on the beach, weeping.
Everyone in this whole triangle is extremely awkward and, for a few moments, the secondhand embarrassment managed to pierce the fog of my jetlag.
Then, another new entrant:
Tenille (Nick’s season): Tenille legitimately ran away from Nick Cummins’ mansion in the last season of The Bachelorette. I can’t recall her doing much else memorable, but this instinct alone proves she is very intelligent (although technically she was fleeing the mean girl triumvirate of Cat, Romy, and Alisha, not the Honey Badger himself).
She’s also smoking hot, and all the dudes’ eyes practically fall out of their heads — especially Ivan, who literally starts dancing in front of her in order to attract her attention. Jules also seems to have a little crush: he pulls her aside right in front of Alisha for a chat — which feels like a bit of a dick move, although not undeserved, considering how mean Alisha and co were to Tenille on their season of The Bachelor.
Alisha is really upset by how drawn Jules is to Tenille, because she’s all in, and she thought he was too. She goes off and starts crying, then he realises he’s hurt her, and he runs off and starts crying, and at this point like seven people are on various parts of the beach crying, and it’s just…a lot for someone as jetlagged as me to keep track of.
The next morning, Bill and Florence have a chat before they head back to Paradise (and it is revealed that they didn’t go full fantasy suite and sleep together — but that it was Flo’s choice, not Bill’s). ‘The worst thing about my last time in Paradise was the lack of communication and the lying,’ Florence says to Bill.
‘I’d never do that to you,’ Bill promises her, because he is physically incapable of telling the truth, even when he’s going to get IMMEDIATELY rumbled.
…I don’t want to be an armchair psychologist, but I’ve been indulging in a lot of true crime recently, and this chronic lying and self-aggrandisement is 100% the trait of a sociopath.
Back in Paradise, Osher has arrived with a) the news that Bill has been on a date, and b) a date card for Tenille. She has to pick quickly, and she chooses avocado Ivan — much to the relief of Alisha, but not of conga line Brittney.
Tenille and Ivan get picked up in a helicopter and get flown to a private beach, where Ivan promptly throws Tenille bodily into the ocean. ‘He’s, like, a big child,’ Tenille says distastefully.
But then she adds, ‘and it’s kind of working on me,’ and they pash.
Sigh. Poor conga line Brittney.
See also: poor Australian lady Alex, because Bill comes striding back to the beach, hand-in-hand with Florence, shit-eating grin plastered all over his face like the trash person he is.
‘So…what’s the deal?’ Australian lady Alex asks him.
‘I got put in this position!’ Bill exclaims. ‘I didn’t do it!’
‘Look, dude, I don’t want to go to the rose ceremony and get a pity rose from American man Alex,’ Australian lady Alex says. ‘Give it to me straight.’
‘I thought what we had was nice –’
‘Have!’ Bill backpedals hastily. ‘Have!’
OMG Australian lady Alex, let this be the sign you need to kick him to the kerb. Leave. Go to Brooke. Be with her always. Or not. Just FLEE FROM THIS SWARM OF WASPS.
When Ivan and Tenille get back from their date, it’s to a pre-rose ceremony cocktail party. ‘Guess I’m going out with a bang,’ conga line Brittney says gloomily. ‘I’ve got my batteries on charge.’
…she really is quite witty, if you can see through the constant dancing. And she has a good sense of what she deserves: ‘If he doesn’t want to be with me, he could at least tell me,’ she says. ‘This is really very disrespectful. I’m going to pack.’
Brittney, I’m sorry I didn’t always give you the credit you deserve. I see you now. #savebrittney
So, Brittney is great, but let us not forget that Bill is terrible. He sidles up to American man Alex, and is like, ‘um, hey bro, you don’t have anyone to give a rose to, how about you give one to Flo? It’d be sweet if she could stay too.’
He doesn’t say ‘so I can string both her and Australian lady Alex along’ but you’d have to be extremely not bright not to be able to read between those lines.
Nathan, of all people, is the one to break it to Flo that Australian lady Alex and Bill have been a thing, and Flo is scandalised. ‘He’s such a fucking dirtbag!’ she exclaims. ‘He literally took me aside to tell me not to stress about the rose ceremony, because I would definitely be staying!’
‘…this is a little bit awkward,’ Nathan says. ‘Maybe Bill was caught up in the fairytale aspects of the date?’
‘He’s 32,’ Flo says flatly.
She has terrible taste in men, but god, Florence is good people.
Because she’s good people, she goes straight to Australian lady Alex and spills allllll of the beans. ‘Girl code,’ she tells Alex. ‘I thought you should know.’
Alex forms a plan. She’s going to keep her mouth shut, and take Bill’s rose – and then, next week, when she has the power, give her rose to someone else and boot him out in ignominy.
Then: it’s rose ceremony time (when, it must be noted, Osher is wearing the sharpest double-breasted linen suit I have ever seen — and I, it also must be noted, am a noted double-breasted suit hater).
We get the easy ones out of the way first. Connor gives his rose to Shannon; Nathan gives his to Zoe; Richie gives his to Cass; and Jules gives his to Alisha.
Ivan is up next, looking distinctly uncomfortable, due to the fact that Brittney is staring daggers at him, and gives his rose to Tenille.
That leaves two: Bill and American man Alex. ‘I’m feeling a lot of pressure,’ Alex says. ‘My decision will send people home.’
First, the resident human-shaped swarm of bees offers his rose to Australian lady Alex, who takes it.
Finally, the crucial rose of American man Alex. Will he do what Bill wants and give it to Flo? Will he give it to Rachael or Brittney? Or will he turn tail and leave, now that the one lady he was actually interested in — Brooke — has gone?
He caves. He gives it to Florence.
‘Fuck yes,’ Bill says behind him, in open view of literally fucking everyone.
I had a soft spot for you, American man Alex, because you seemed like you might not be a monster and you have the body of a Greek god. But if you pal around and abet monsters, turns out you’re a monster too, and your eight-pack means nothing.
So, farewell Rachael. Farewell, conga line Brittney. May flights of angels, etc etc.
After the rose ceremony, Alex — apparently throwing her plan to the wind — confronts Bill with what Flo told her. ‘She told me you were ready to sleep with her,’ she says.
‘Bullshit!’ Bill exclaims.
‘Why would she say that?’
‘Because she’s a fucking salty bitch,’ Bill says. ‘She’s a fucking conniving piece of shit.’
That’s not paraphrased, by the way. That’s verbatim. Did you need any further proof that he’s a monster? Because he’s an enormous fucking monster.
…what a note to end this monster of a recap on.
The show airs on Channel 10 on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7.30pm. You can catch up on previous episodes via TenPlay.