Bachelor In Paradise (2018): Season 5

By: Jenna Zine (Six Pack, plus a tequila shot)

What to do when you want to take advantage of summer, but are also obsessed with recapping? You take your damn vacation and Hulu every episode of the franchise that has somehow invaded your life! Yes, friends – I took copious weekly notes and distilled them into one giant post for your reading pleasure. Please enjoy the hot tropical mess that was Bachelor In Paradise Season 5.

A Toast

It’s August and that means four things – crabs, cocktails, bikinis, and beach time. That’s right – the luxurious Playa Escondida Resort in Sayulita, Mexico is as open as those Bachelorette castoff DMs and this crew came to play! Of course Tia Booth (Arie Luyendyk’s season/thorn in Becca Kufrin’s side) is one of the first to arrive, as has been her glaring game plan since her stint on The Bachelor. She is there for one man, and one man only – and that would be virginal former-NFL pro Colton Underwood, in case you’ve been living under a rock. (And/or have an actual life that does not include tracking cast members of this misogynistic show that I cannot seem to shake.)

But wait… where is Colton?! Tia’s breasts rise and gently quiver with each held breath as contestant after contestant strolls down the stairs, only to deflate when her former hookup fails to show. But you know what? She’s, like, totes over him! So much so that she decides to go out with Chris Randone (the disgusting rage monster from Becca’s season). Take that, Colton! Tia and Chris have a magical date that includes talking about how much she is over Colton. There are kisses and fireworks! You can see it in the sky – TIA IS OVER COLTON, OKAY?!

Meanwhile Grocery Store Joe (Joe Amabile, eliminated Night One on Becca’s season, who’s since become a Twitter sensation/obsession) and Kendall Long (Arie’s season, who was always way too cool for that prat) make an early connection. Will it turn to love for these two adorable goofballs who have nothing in common? Stay tuned!

Also on the beach is Krystal Nielson (the simpering drama queen from Arie’s season), and Ms. Glitter herself has her eye on Grocery Store Joe. So does everyone, lady – good luck with that! Krystal has also managed to change her voice from a husky whisper to that of a fairly normal timbre, and Twitter is fascinated. Did she have vocal cord surgery? Or was her annoying baby voice put on for Arie’s benefit? I’ll give you one guess.

Of course the ever-quotable Jordan Kimball is amongst the singletons, as is his nemesis David “The Chicken” Ravitz (both from Becca’s season). Will they duke it out over another lady, or will they finally admit they’re in love? Also in the mix is Nick Spetsas (Becca’s season). If you’re asking “Who?” you’re not alone.

Kenny King (Rachel Lindsay’s season/professional wrestler) takes Krystal on a date. Rage Monster Chris wants to be called Goose for reasons that are never explained, but haunt us the entire season. Annalise Puccini (Arie’s season/Bumper Car Trauma gal) arrives and catches Jordan’s eye. They go on a dinner date that consists of two glasses of champagne and nothing else. I like that they’re skipping a typical meal and going straight for the business.

There’s a stirring in the air. Palm fronds bend, toucans caw, bartenders Wells Adams and Yuki Kimura (JoJo’s season/Bachelor Winter Games, respectively) shake those drinks a little faster. What’s disrupting the Paradise ecosystem? The “surprising” arrival of Colton Underwood! (You know, THE GUY THAT TIA IS TOTALLY OVER.) Colton and Tia chat. She tries some emotional blackmail in hopes of getting him to commit to her right then, right there. He doesn’t take her up on this alluring offer. Instead, Becca Kufrin arrives for a brief cameo, throwing Colton into an emotional tizzy. Turns out he’s still not over Becca (hahahahaha), so how could he possibly move forward with another woman? Colton cries, Becca consoles, they hug. Colton now “has the closure” he needed. Wow, how convenient!

There’s a Rose Ceremony – Wills Reid (my bae from Becca’s season) and Nick (who tried to make time with Chelsea Roy by telling her he “didn’t mind” that she was a single mother) are both eliminated. In what god damn universe is Wills eliminated in the first episode?! This show is garbage. I keep watching.

Beer Two

Jenna Cooper (Arie’s season) arrives and, despite one glorious date with Annalise, it is love at first sight for Jordan. Annalise, the tender soul who should really be in therapy, is devastated but J&J do not care. It’s Paradise – tingling private parts have priority over feelings and if you don’t know that, you’re definitely on the wrong show. (Don’t worry – I’ll get into Jenna’s alleged Text Gate scandal later.)

Caroline Lunny (Arie’s season, who insists on forcing her relevancy via friendship with Becca) and Venmo John (John Graham, the nerdy Silicon Valley hottie from Becca’s season) go on a date. But then Jubilee Sharp (the badass war veteran/model from Nick Viall’s season) arrives! John’s eye is already wandering…

David the Chicken tries to bait Jordan by making the moves on Jenna. He gives her a gigantic stuffed dog (which he surely showed up with on his own that was in no way provided by production) that Jordan later throws in the ocean. Yes, this is a show starring adults. Meanwhile, Annalise talks endlessly about her “connection” with Jordan. No one has the heart to tell her how pointless that is.

Krystal friend zones Kenny after a nighttime picnic. She and Chris kiss in the shadows. But wait, isn’t Chris supposed to be into Tia (and vice versa)? Tia confronts Chris about the smooch. Chris attempts to gaslight Tia by creating a circular conversation that goes nowhere because he is a creepy, emotionally abusive fuckwad. Don’t get me wrong – I am no fan of Tia’s, but no one deserves that kind of treatment, ever. She’s rightfully exasperated and ends their brief fling. ABC’s vetting process is again called into question. Why is this man allowed on the show? It is gross and disturbing. That said, he and crazy Krystal are made for each other. At least these two nutballs can keep each other off the market.

In the Rose Ceremony, it’s Caroline and Bibana Julian (Arie’s season, Bachelor Winter Games) who go home. Bibi has grown on me and I hope she finds someone in real life soon!

Leo Dottavio (Becca’s season, the stuntman turned creep) arrives and Kendall is immediately smitten, for some unknown reason. Girlfriend has been attached at the hip to Grocery Store Joe and is still swayed by this unworthy Fabio? Taxidermy must’ve pickled her brain, for she agrees to go on a date with Leo, much to Joe’s chagrin. Kendall and Leo have a mega makeout session, and it’s as baffling and gross as it sounds.

Colton and Tia dominate much of the season, with an ever-shifting “relationship” status. This week, Colton gets a coveted date card and uses it to take Tia on an excursion where – surprise! – Raven (Nick’s season/Tia’s bestie from Arkansas) shows up with her beau, Adam Gottschalk (Rachel’s season), for a random double date. It’s all a ruse so Raven can warn her friend that Colton may not have the purest of intentions, for she believes he only likes the “It Girls.” This is nice foreshadowing, but it (of course) falls on deaf ears.

Beer Three

Woot, woot – Benoit Beausejour Savard (Bachelor Winter Games, who was briefly engaged to the wholly annoying Clare) has arrived, looking suave. Jordan is immediately on high alert – and he’s not wrong, for Benoit indeed sets his mind to winning over “Jordan’s Jenna.” Jordan hilariously nicknames the French Canadian a “millennial Napoleon.” I demand a duel at dawn with the two men armed only with hair products!

Connor Obrochta (Becca’s season), another fan of the coif, arrives and claims he “came here for Krystal.” I don’t care how well he wears glasses, my opinion of Connor immediately drops several notches. Krystal demures when Connor requests a date, much to the relief of Chris, but then changes her mind and goes on a date where she and Connor exchange smooches. Homeboy better change his name and leave the country. Chris’s jealousy issues surely are not to be trifled with…

Kendall is still torn between Leo and Joe. (HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?) She feels like she “knows Leo.” But Kendall apparently doesn’t know him that well, because she’s completely in the dark about his secret kiss with Chelsea. Kevin Wendt (Bachelor Winter Games/ Canadian James Marsden), friend to all and current boyfriend to Astrid Loch (Arie’s season), believes Leo should ‘fess up to Kendall and tells her about the interaction. If you think you’d piss yourself silly seeing Chris “The Goose” angry, it appears to be nothing next to Leo’s ire. (Pssst… neither are appropriate.) Leo storms around Paradise, demanding to know who told Kendall “the truth.” Kevin faces the music and the two have a tense talk. Fun times!

But it gets better! Leo lashes out at Kendall, calling her a “phenomenal actress,” as well as “a fake and a liar.” Then he attempts to deny her reality with more gaslighting (a favorite tactic of Goose’s – both these men are garbage). And with that, Kendall and Leo are done. Sometimes it’s the small things.

Jenna stalls with Benoit, then makes out with him. Jubliee leaves Paradise with little fanfare after Venmo John tells her he just wants to be friends. Kenny and Annalise had a small fling that looked promising, until Kenny leaves in favor of attending his daughter’s dance recital. Chelsea is buddies with everyone, and into no one. Joe says Kendall is worth fighting for. The man has the patience of a saint. Kamil Nicalek (the horrible 60/40 guy, eliminated Night One from Becca’s season) has arrived and taken up with Annalise. Is he really into her, or does he have a hidden motive? (It’s the latter.)

Beer Four

Benoit is hung up on Jenna, even though she’s decided to go full on with Jordan. (Um, for now. Cough, cough.) Benoit tries to hit on Chelsea, but that goes nowhere. Jordan requests that Benoit “stop rifling through his briefcase of passion.” I’ve never heard the words “briefcase” and “passion” together before, and that is what makes Jordan so… unique.

Eric Bigger (Becca’s season) and Angela Amezcua (Nick Viall’s season) get a date card that essentially amounts to a premature Fantasy Suite (forgive me). They loll around in a fancy hotel room, consuming ice cream sundaes, cheese platters, and copious amounts of champagne. It is a sugar and dairy orgy. They decide they are “all in” with one another. Is it the calories talking, or is it true love? I can’t wait to find out!

Kendall, now free of Leo, decides to makeout with Venmo John because… what in the actual fuck, lady? Do I need to keep reminding you that YOU ARE DATING GROCERY STORE JOE? Kendall claims to have “a lot of curiosities,” but it’s the kiss with John that makes her realize being with Joe is what she wants. Joe is gracious, and they finally make it official. Joe adorably says, “Hopefully guys will stop kissing my girlfriend now. That would be nice.”

Of course, the biggest thing to come out of this episode is Leo’s “toast” during the cocktail party, which consists of him calling Kendall “full of shit” before tossing a drink in Joe’s face. A brawl nearly ensues. Security intervenes. Joe looks hot as hell defending his lady. Leo finally leaves Paradise. Good riddance, asshole.

Chelsea briefly comes into play, as it’s also a Rose Ceremony night and she has the only available flower. David, John, Connor, and Benoit all make heroic plays for the gorgeous single mom, but it’s John who triumphs to stay another week. That means Benoit, David, and Connor are all going home – none of whom even bother saying goodbye to Chelsea. Class acts, all!

This is also the episode where we also learn that Colton likes to freeball, knowledge I could’ve successfully lived my entire life without. (I mean, like NO underwear, even when he’s wearing jeans! Does our next Bachelor wax his scrotum? Because otherwise how does that work? Seems like it would be painful if he’s rocking a bush. Things I’ll be thinking about when Underwood’s season of The Bachelor debuts January 7th!)

Speaking of Colton and, of course, Tia, our star-crossed lovers take a momentary backseat so some other hot singles can secure coveted screen time. Oliva Goethals (Arie’s season, eliminated Night One) shows up to whisk Venmo John away on a date. Cassandra Ferguson (Juan Pablo’s season) also arrives to turn some heads – specifically Eric’s away from Angela’s, despite being “all in” the other night. Does a bathtub full of champagne mean nothing to you, Eric?!

Eric apparently lives emotional light years while the rest of us sleep. He informs Angela that “he woke up feeling differently” and just can’t see them together. Does it have anything to do with Cassandra asking him on a date? Um, yes – it does! Meanwhile, the cast is freaking out. If a “rock solid” couple such as Eric and Angela can change, what does that hold for the rest of them? Like sand through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives!

Beer Five

Is the dramatic Eric/Angela/Cassandra triangle a harbinger of foreshadowing? Indeed! The next thing ya know, Colton is looking uncomfortable (not as uncomfortable as when he’s wearing jeans!) as he reveals to Kevin that he’s forcing it with Tia. Oh, you don’t say! Color me shocked over here. From heartbroken over Becca, to unsure about Tia, to officially becoming an item, to single and ready to mingle. Yes, folks – Colton’s Bachelor In Paradise arc has reached its zenith and now it’s time for him to bid us adieu. But not before breaking Tia’s heart as they both leave the show in separate depression mobiles. (Though, dare I say, Colton wasn’t too sad. ABC released the news that he is “America’s next Bachelor” the very next day! It’s almost like they had this planned the whole time.) Am I a terrible person if I admit that I don’t feel bad for Tia after what she pulled on Becca? Asking for a friend, and that friend is me.

The show has now gone from “sexy times on the beach” to “holy crap, everyone is desperate and living in mortal fear of elimination.” These couples are dropping like flies! Who will hang on to the end? I’m at the edge of my couch.

Jordan and Jenna talk baby names. Annalise is still acting nuts. Eric is now flip-flopping on his Angela to Cassandra decision. Does he want Angela back? Does he have regrets? Most importantly, why is he always talking about cheese, especially if he doesn’t like dairy? All will have to remain a mystery, since Eric decides to leave the show – the only decision he actually sticks with.

Meanwhile Canadian James Marsden, aka Kevin, and Astrid are still going strong. There’s been barely a ripple in their solid partnership. That is until the producers bring Kevin’s ex back! That’s right – Ashley Iaconetti (Chris Soule’s season, plus a ton of other franchise appearances) and Jared Haibon (Kaitlyn Bristowe’s season, ditto) show up, breeze past the miserable contestants, and get engaged on the very beach that Ashley spent three seasons crying over Jared, with barely a nod to Kevin. That shit is ice cold! Ashley and Jared are deliriously happy; Kevin mopes the rest of the day. Will he pull out of his spiral and realize the perfect woman is still in his sights? The world waits with breath that is bated.

Kamil comes back from a date with Shushanna. Did I mention that Shushanna Mkrtychyan (Ben Higgins’ season) is a late addition to this summer fun fest? Because she totally is, and she’s already got her heart set on Kamil, therefore proving she has terrible taste. Annalise is on the verge of a mental breakdown. But then something magical happens! Kamil chooses her over Shushanna! The angels sing, the relationship gods take a bow, and Twitter starts betting on how long this ridiculous mess will last.

Also in the mix is Christen “Scallops” Whitney (Nick’s season, named “Scallops” because she ate leftovers in the limo with her bare hands and then touched another girl’s dress. That offense will get you 10 to life on the Bachelor Nation grudge list!). Don’t even bother clocking her; girlfriend is not long for this beach.

Almost everyone is after Venmo John. Jordan Mauger (Bachelor Winter Games, aka “New Zealand/Kiwi Jordan”) is yet another late addition, as the producers vie to shake things up. He has a brief moment with Scallops. When Christen attempts a New Zealand accent, NZ Jordan tells her she “sounds like a drunk Mary Poppins.”  NZ Jordan is pure gold.

The normally nice Chelsea turns naughty in the hopes of staying one more pointless week in this crab-infested resort. She suddenly makes a move on Kamil, but it’s fruitless. Another Rose Ceremony arrives – Chelsea, Scallops, and Angela are all going home.

Beer Six

We’re rounding the corner to the end of this ceviche of bikinis and lies. Annalise and Shushanna have a crazy-off. It is impossible to tell which one is the more unstable of the two. Bartender Wells continues to propagate the “Shushanna is a Russian witch” narrative. Why her when there are so many other Russian witches to hunt? Annalise continues to insist she and Kamil are one of the “strongest couples” in Paradise, and I continue to insist that this woman desperately needs counseling.

In real couples update: Kevin and Astrid feel great! There’s no one left for Kendall to “explore” – she and Joe are happy as well. American Jordan and Jenna are swellegant. But wait! Is that USA Jordan’s doppelgänger Robby Hayes (JoJo’s season) strolling down the stairs in a pair of starched pink shorts? Yep, and his arrival is met with very little enthusiasm – from both the men and women, as his reputation as a total jerk definitely proceeds him. He has difficulty finding a lady who will agree to go on a date with him. Shushanna finally accepts.

The beloved Diggy Moreland (his live-Tweets of the franchise are stellar) is all-too-briefly in the mix. I don’t know why you’d bring in a thoroughbred to run one lap – Diggy is totally wasted here and should’ve had a shot at being around the entire season. There’s barely a moment to make a connection – he’s left vying for Chelsea, neck in neck with Venmo John for her rose…

Grocery Store Joe says very sweet things to Kendall, including hinting at a possible engagement, which freaks the shit out of the commitment-shy taxidermist. She tells him he couldn’t possibly mean it and picks a fight. She is terrified. Listen, lots of things scare me: the current state of politics, global warming, mass shootings – or really any shootings, of any kind. Things that do not scare me: super-hot dudes hailing from Chicago that magically arrive out of nowhere and confess their undying devotion. Perhaps Kendall needs a copy of my list? Things spin quickly out of control – so much so that Joe up and leaves Paradise while Kendall weeps on the beach before going to pack her suitcase. Holy margarita, Batman!

If people were freaking out over Eric and Angela, the couples are definitely shook to the core over this bust-up. Kevin comforts Astrid. Jordan tells Jenna he’ll be there for her, no matter what. Psycho Chris and Crazy Krystal are also taking solace in one another’s arms.

There’s no rest for the wicked – it’s the final Rose Ceremony! Shushanna and Robby hang on for another week, as do Cassandra and Kiwi Jordan. All the so-called solid couples seek granite status. Kendall and Joe have already (tragically) gone home. Diggy unfairly gets eliminated.

Tequila Shot

We’re out of beers but not episodes, so let’s bust open a bottle of booze! Chris Harrison shows up with his typical dire message. This week he has news: the couples need to take a Fantasy Suite date (with the presumption of engagement), or break-up. There is no leeway and Harrison ain’t playing. Here’s how it shakes out:

  • John and Olivia agree to keep seeing each other, but not at that accelerated pace. They happily leave Paradise.
  • Kiwi Jordan tells Cassandra he doesn’t really see things moving forward. He wishes her the best and they both leave.
  • Robby and Shushana also agree a romantic relationship doesn’t exist, so it’s adios for them both.
  • In the most dramatic twist ever, Kevin breaks up with Astrid out of the blue. Her transgression? She said the words “Fantasy Suite,” and that is apparently a loaded phrase for Kevin. How dare she not know every nuance of this near-stranger’s baggage? They leave Paradise, both inconsolable with grief. Sexy!
  • Annalise is ready for marriage and babies, and is convinced Kamil is ready for the same. Kamil is ready for Instagram followers, potential relevancy, and access to hotter women. This shall potentially be obtained if he makes it to the end of this mess. He agrees to the Fantasy Suite. Way to take one for the team!
  • As one might guess, Krystal and Chris, Jordan and Jenna – are all in, in every sense, for their respective Fantasy Suite dates.

It’s the morning after and… yuck, I do not want to think about it. The image of Krystal tickling Chris with a feather is enough to horrify me to the end of time. Annalise continues her dance with delusion – she and Kamil agree to leave Mexico un-engaged, but still together as boyfriend and girlfriend. Jordan and Jenna get engaged. (Whoops!) Chris and Krystal are also headed to the altar. It’s a banquet of damaged goods!

Verdict

Wondering how things ended up post-Paradise?  Here’s the sitch:

  • Venmo John was the secret player of the season – he kissed nearly every girl there, and took none of the heat. He and Olivia briefly dated post-show, but rumor has it he’s actually with Chelsea now…
  • Tia and Colton are “finally on the same page.” Tia is TOTALLY OVER Colton (sure, I believe that!), and Underwood has been named the next Bachelor.
  • Kevin apologizes to Astrid onstage – they kiss and reunite. Aww!
  • Speaking of reuniting – Kendall is in the hot seat. We see footage of her flying to Chicago to beg Joe for another chance, which… he gives her! Girlfriend is lucky five ways to Sunday. It’s also revealed that Joe has been given a coveted spot on Dancing With The Stars. Nice try, ABC – nothing will get me to watch DWTS, not even this stunt casting.

  • Not so lucky is Annalise. She’s onstage raving about how “solid” she and Kamil are, but it’s short-lived. He strolls out, takes a seat, and barely waits two beats before DUMPING HER ON “LIVE” TELEVISION. We all knew he was garbage. Now we have proof. The upside? Airbnb offered Annalise a free stay anywhere she wants to go. For the love of god, I hope she goes alone to self-reflect. It won’t happen, but we can dream of a day when Annalise finds her self-esteem.
  • Jordan & Jenna take the stage to rave about their engagement and how in love they are. They’ve picked a wedding date – June 9th– and ask Chris Harrison to officiate. This is all very sweet, but sadly it’s swimming with deceit! The day before the broadcast, Reality Steve dropped the bomb that Jenna is a big old meanie who’s been playing with Jordan’s heart the whole time. It would be brilliant, if it wasn’t the mark of a sociopath. Jordan has since broken up with Jenna. And Jenna has hired a lawyer to clear her name. Don’t worry, Jordan still has his first love, which is himself.
  • We wrap with Chris and Krystal, intertwined on the couch as Chris sheds tears of joy and relief. He was on the path to being an asshole, until he found Krystal, and now he is just so grateful. I get that Chris thinks he’s been redeemed. He has not. But I don’t care, as long as this douche canoe stays off my television.

And with that, we wrap. Thank you for taking this most dramatic journey with me. See you in January, rose lovers! Remember, even though Colton will be greeting his ladies in a suit, his balls will be free.

Bachelor In Paradise (Season 5) Drinking Game

Take a Drink: every time a new suitor arrives to disrupt the action!

Take a Drink: every time you see a crab. The beach is literally crawling with them.

Take a Drink: every time there’s a hot hookup.

Take a Drink: every time someone loses his or her cool.

About Jenna Zine

Jenna Zine is a writer, unashamed Bachelor franchise recapper & live-tweeter (@JennaZine1), drummer, and occasional standup comic. She's probably somewhere complaining about her bangs. Find more at www.jennazine.com

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