We start off right where we left off. Kristina is consulting all-knowing Wells after she and Dean had an unsatisfying conversation about their status. Wells gives Kristina the only advice that matters:
“I think you gotta play this world like you give zero fucks.”
Correct. It’s just super hard to give zero fucks when you are really into someone, and it’s clear Kristina is all about Dean.
Adam Gottschalk, i.e.: Adam Junior’s human counterpart, arrives in Paradise. And he’s got a date card, ladies! Adam sits poolside and holds court with the boys to see what’s cooking. The consensus is that Taylor and Jasmine are off limits, but everyone else is fair game. Adam expresses his interest in getting to know Kristina, and Dean gives Adam his blessing. Dean, you’re a glutton for punishment.
Raven reveals to us that she and Adam spent some time together in Dallas during the shutdown. She’s def interested, but she’s also feeling conflicted because she’s been talking to Ben Z, and he is just such a good guy…
The night carries on and we see some of the boys lying on their bellies in a friendship circle discussing the interpersonal turmoil of Paradise. Before the crew hits the hay we get a night camera glimpse of Adam Jr. himself tucked away in the bunk right above human Adam. The sun rises on Mexico and we see some serious shots of Wells cutting fruit for tiki cocktails. Jack Stone offers his two cents on the whole Dean and Kristina thing:
“Dean’s great if you are in middle school. Dean’s not great if you’re an actual adult with a career.”
– Jack Stone
Seconds after this poignant quote we see Kristina approach Dean while he’s lounging on a beach bed. She clearly wants to have a conversation about the non-conversation they had the night before. Dean says that he wants to shower and look pretty, so he tucks and rolls off the bed to avoid this necessary conversation about the strange shift in chemistry between the two of them. #whatsyourfavoritedinosaur
Adam decides to cash in his date card on Raven. These two get some alone time in a beachside town to sip margs and learn salsa, all while chatting about what they’re looking for. Raven is blossoming into a full on powerhouse. She’s kind, she keeps it real, and despite the fact she has multiple men interested in her, she never once comes across as cocky. Raven is clear that she needs someone strong like her. Meanwhile Ben Z is back at the resort jogging up and down the beach to stay sane.
It’s time for our first Rose Ceremony of the season. We see everyone getting ready with quick shots of lipstick application, tie straightening, shirt buttoning, horizon gazing, etc. I was not emotionally prepared for Vinny playing barber again. I totally forgot this DJ is also a barber and he buzzed and clipped the hair of Jojo’s men back in the day. What a treat it is to see real human interactions, particularly men getting themselves clean and fly with the spirit of brotherhood intact.
Rose Ceremony pre-game took place amidst a full on tsunami. That did not prevent all the men except Derek (he’s getting Taylor’s rose) and Matt (he’s Jasmine’s rose) from trying to win the ladies over to lock in a spot for next week. Raven and Adam sneak away to chat and revisit some of the salsa moves they learned earlier that day. Raven admits she’s not sure what to do with her rose, but Adam still goes for it and plants a kiss on her. Robby pulls Amanda aside and they address the fact that Robby is indeed buddies with Amanda’s ex-fiancé, Josh Murray. To make things easier on Amanda, Robby decides to refer to Josh as “Anonymous.” He tells Amanda that he’s pretty damn sure “Anonymous” wouldn’t love the fact that he’s trying to get it in with her, but he’s fuckin’ doin’ it anyways. Robby tries to kiss Amanda, but she puts the kibosh on his moves because it’s just not the right moment. She can come across as mousey, but she’s not completely fire-less, and she ain’t stupid.
Iggy knows he’s on the outs, so he throws a Hail Mary and conducts a Jewish blessing over the cocktails that he and Lacey are enjoying. Lacey is Jewish, so therefore this is a normal, Kosher course of action. WRONG. She laughs, but is it funny? Is it? Iggy’s Partner in Paradise, Diggy, rocks up to Lacey next and they end up kissing. Interesting. That’s the nail in the coffin for Iggy. Alex is bouncing around from lady to lady trying to score some affirmation that he’s not headed home tonight. That’s a fool’s errand, my man.
Dean speaks up and admits to the confession cam that he feels like he and Kristina rushed into a romantic relationship without really getting to know each other. He’s feeling like there’s a lot of pressure to uphold this relationship, especially after he went home with Kristina during the shutdown. Poor Kristina.
The Rose Ceremony final results:
Taylor – Derek
Jasmine – Matt
Raven – Adam
Alexis – Jack Stone
Lacey – Diggy
Danielle – Ben Z.
Kristina – Dean
Amanda – Robby
Bye, bye, bye: Nick, Alex, Vinny, and Iggy.
Alex wins the Awkward Exit Award as he waves goodbye with both hands and starts walking down the wrong set of stairs and has to then turn around and jog up the correct set of stairs. I knew Vinny was gonna get the axe, but I wish that he could have stuck around longer. We get some fun, stupid footage of him in his getaway car struggling for what seems like hours to get his damn seatbelt on. He asks the producers if this struggle is symbolic of life just choking him out, or what? Fair question.
Another night down, and here we go with some rich shit. Everyone is waiting for what the next day in Mexico will bring, and then BOOM. Danielle Lombard, i.e.: D Lo, of Nick Viall’s season comes sauntering down those treacherous stairs in her standard tit defying gravity dress, long hair down, and full face of make-up. She’s got a date card. Gird your loins. She makes the rounds and hugs everyone in an oddly specific way. Most people are familiar with the one arm hug tactic that is often employed as a substitute to the sterile, no-fun handshake. You use one arm to reach around someone’s neck/shoulders/back and often times your head is basically next to the other person’s head, depending on height differential. I often find myself activating my calf muscles to grow a couple of inches and get my head up to someone else’s headspace. Danielle is playing her own game here. She uses one arm but instead of reaching up with her head and neck she cutesy bends to place her head on the pectoral of the man she is side hugging. Alright! Anyways!
D Lo pulls the girls aside to learn what the dealio is. She tells the crew that she’s interested in Dean, and asks Kristina to confirm that she did in fact go on a date with him. Kristina says yes, but you can see in her eyes she’s not pleased there’s competition in the mix. D Lo then kicks off mini 1:1 meetings with the dudes. Dean tells D Lo that he and Kristina are “talking” and that they’ve decided to take a step back. Meanwhile, Danielle M. is braiding Kristina’s hair. Another human interaction infused with sisterhood and I’m melting. The braids can’t fix the inevitable. D Lo asks Dean to join her on her date, and Dean is ready to rock.
Before Dean and D Lo depart we see Jasmine and Alexis fake fighting in the pool, singing Daddy Would You Like Some Sausage, and live narrating Derek and Taylor’s cuddle sesh like Steve Irwin. Dean goes to find Kristina. “Hey, Kris are you in there?” I’m weak in the knees with the nickname. Dean asks Kristina to not hate him, and he assures Kristina that he told D Lo about the two of them. Kristina can’t promise she’ll be emotionally available when he returns.
Dean and D Lo are literally made for each other with their annoying nervous laughter. They have the pleasure of donning yellow helmets, rainbow tinted ski masks, and black bandanas over their mouths as they ATV through the jungle-forest. D Lo is in the driver’s seat with her deeply distressed almost capris. We are gifted this strange moment mid-ride where D Lo randomly tells Dean her birthday is December 28th and that it’s a tough time of year being next to some major holidays, and all. Remember this.
After their rough ride D Lo and Dean are seated on a hilltop where D Lo toasts “to getting super dirty.” These two chat and Dean reveals that:
- Nick Viall seems super boring.
- He didn’t watch Nick’s season, and knew none of the Nick’s ladies, but he did know about her.
D Lo asks how he knew who she was, and Dean nervous laughs his way through his answer: Idk, I just thought you were really pretty or something ahahahahaha. Send help now. Of course these two MO. It’s so clear that Dean knew D Lo would be in Paradise. He admits that she is 100% his type physically. Yes, he hit it off with Kristina in the beginning, but he knew he wanted to see what D Lo was all about; ergo, he freaks out and throws some major walls up rather than being clear with Kristina. What a pickle you are in, my friend.
Alexis tells us she’s all set with Dean’s bouncing back and forth between Kristina and D Lo. Kristina is starting to lose it. D Lo KNEW that Kristina and Dean went on a date and spent the hiatus together, yet she still showed up, asked Dean on a date, and is blatantly flaunting and flirting in front of everyone. Ouch.
Dean does not know what the fuck to do. Matt suggests that Dean orders two drinks, finds Kristina and talks to her. Dean is blown away by Matt’s ingenuity. Kristina meanwhile has escaped to the ladies lair with Danielle M. and Amanda. Dean wanders up, comments on the pig sty status of the girls’ sleeping quarters, and awkwardly perches. He tells the ladies that he didn’t mean to interrupt anything. Danielle and Amanda speak for him and say oh, we thought you were here to talk to Kristina. Dean, come the fuck on and just ask the lady to step aside for a moment.
Eventually Dean and Kristina chat and Dean shares that he and D Lo shared a “little peck.” This was Kristina’s moment to be like hey, honestly I can’t fuck with this dynamic, but she doesn’t. And hey, that’s the whole Paradise model, right? Love Triangles are the standard. Drama is necessary. Broken hearts, confusion, and terrible communication is straight bread and butter. Plus, ultimatums aren’t cute, ya know?
The night wraps up with the crew making s’mores around a campfire. Dean and Kristina are snuggly, and D Lo is seated close by. Dean steps away for a moment, and then with his production-fed lines memorized and prop in hand, he reappears with a half birthday cake to commemorate D Lo’s half-birthday because it’s super rough having a bday that falls between Christmas and New Years. Kristina is devastated. She refuses to look the producers in the eye while they interview her. She tries to seek solace in sobbing into her pillow. Luckily, trusty Alexis comes through to lie beside her and comfort her crying friend.
Honestly, I just wish I were there.
Tears on my pillow,