Game of Thorns: ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ Week 1 reminds us it’s the reason we watch ‘The Bachelor’ and ‘The Bachelorette’

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Soak up all your tears from Blake’s breakup and top off your wineglass, because “Bachelor in Paradise” is back in full swing! The best D-listers from past “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette” seasons are here on Reject Island™ to find love and improve their Instagram follower counts.

Chris Harrison is back to hype us all up for the new season, welcoming each contestant as they come. Tia Booth is first to arrive. Chris Harrison asks what she is looking for, and of course she says “love,” which is “Bachelor” code for “more screen time to stay relevant.” Up next is Eric Bigger, as infectiously happy as ever. Kendall Long comes in, obviously entering the wrong show because she hopes there won’t be a lot of drama. Everyone’s favorite sassy man baby Jordan Kimball is back and excited to be in “a place as beautiful as (him).”

Mic-dropper Bibiana Julian is ready for some new meat, telling Chris Harrison that walking on the bumpy road to get to the resort was the most action her uterus has gotten in a long time. Chicago’s own Trader Joe Amabile is ready to make it past the first night with his so-darn-likable personality and accent, which is so strong you’ll constantly crave deep-dish pizza and wonder how the Cubs are doing. Wills Reid is back in cornrows and with presumably many more floral shirts to show off.

Of course, “Bachelor in Paradise” is nothing without its controversial contestants. Chelsea I’m-not-a-bitch-I’m-a-mother Roy is ready for some action. Chris Randone is ready to redeem his image and finally go on a date that doesn’t involve writing songs. Of course, Krystal Nielson, infamous for her fake personality and equally fake voice, is here to cause some waves.

Kevin Wendt from “The Bachelor Winter Games,” Nick Spetsas from Becca’s season, Astrid Loch from Nick’s season, Annaliese Puccini from Arie’s season and everyone’s favorite wrestler dad, Kenny King from Rachel’s season, arrive. John Graham, who is a rare unicorn in Bachelor Nation for having a stable, well-paying career that isn’t related to Instagram shilling, is there to remind the audience that the franchise really strives to add diversity to this multicultural show. First a Black Bachelorette, and now an Asian man on a show filmed in Mexico? Someone get this franchise an Emmy!

 

Some girls named Nysha and Angela — who apparently were on the show, although no one seems to remember them — also arrive. Bunk bed adversary David Ravitz is the last to walk into Paradise, giving Jordan a reason to spew angry Jordanisms again. Chris Harrison gathers everyone into a room to make sure everyone knows the rules — each week, either the girls or the guys will have roses to give out to someone whom they’re in a potential relationship with. Anyone who doesn’t get a rose goes home, because in the “Bachelor” world, you are literally a loser if you don’t have a date.

Everyone has barely taken their shirts off, but the horny sparks are already flying. Joe wastes no time making sure that he will not be kicked off after the first night, talking with each of the girls and finding a connection with Kendall. They have awkwardly cute chemistry, as evidenced by their awkwardly cute flirting, which includes romantic quips such as “Is there no, like, parks or something in Chicago?” and “Have you ever seen a dead person?” They’re lucky they’re hot.

Although Krystal was initially into Joe, after seeing how into Kendall he is, she sets her sights on Kevin, and the two bond over being really into fitness. Nick seems to be into Chelsea, even though he can’t remember her kid’s name, at one point guessing that it’s Slippy. This man is a lawyer, folks.

There is no Paradise without drama, which is brought to you this week by Tia and the fact that she can’t seem to get over Colton despite, in his words, only going out with him for a weekend in January. Tia is moping over Colton not being in Paradise and cannot believe she is the first one to get a date card. Her life is rough — she’s on a free vacation in Mexico with her best friends and a handful of hot, eligible bachelors. She has the chance to take one of them out on a free, romantic date, but the man she wants isn’t there! And people say Syrian refugees have it hard.

Tia pulls herself out of her spiraling depression to ask Chris out on the date, which surprisingly goes well, even though Chris has decided to unbutton too many buttons on his shirt. After addressing the Colton-sized elephant in the room, the two actually seem to have chemistry. Tia declares she is officially over Colton, and they make out while fireworks burst in the background. Subtle, ABC.

The producers really know what they’re doing, because the next morning, when Tia and Chris are kissing and basking in their post-Paradise date bubble, Colton walks in looking like a more Midwestern version of the already very Midwestern Chris Pratt.

Colton seems to have forgotten this memorable weekend he shared with Tia that made Tia go crazy for him for almost half a year, as he pulls Kendall away first. Then he has some flirty conversation with “who is she” Angela, who really impresses Colton by telling him that she can throw a spiral and “likes sports.” Go break those glass ceilings, girl!

Despite having short-term memory loss around Tia, Colton asks her out with his date card. Chris is not happy, and as Jordan so eloquently puts it, “Colton showing up is Chris’ personal Vietnam.” While Colton and Tia lounge around on a boat and go water skiing, Chris gets worked up about Colton. Jordan gives Chris some really good reasons for staying confident — as he points out, Chris isn’t a virgin, Tia picked him for the date, and Chris has great hair product, while Colton doesn’t even have enough hair. Nick reassures Chris that after their amazing date, Colton is Tia’s “sloppy segundos,” even though Chris getting Tia’s date card after she wanted Colton means that Chris was the sloppy second.

Tensions are running high as Colton and Tia return to the villa, unaware of Chris’ stewing. Although the episode ends here, the promo promises many fights and many, many more tears to come. After all, take tequila-laced drinks, mix them with the cloud of pheromones and fragile masculinity floating around, and there is bound to be two hours’ worth of drama, which millions will tune in to every Monday and Tuesday night.

Contact Julie Lim at [email protected].