One of the hilarious things about Bachelor Nation, and the reason that the whole bring-back-someone-from-a-previous-season gimmick is so farcical, is that everyone on the show knows exactly who all of the previous seasons’ contestants are – this is literally the concept of Bachelor in Paradise. So, when chunky-but-chiseled Blake shows back up looking for a chance with his third Bachelorette in a year, the only thing that all of the existing men will likely remember is him performing chakras with Tayshia and solidifying their position as the least chemistried couple of all time. As if to compound the cross-season synergy, it was Tayshia who gave Blake’s introductory gambit. Some of the men were clearly hoping that Tayshia was going to hijack her second season in a row, but alas, it was not to be for those out of Katie’s favor fighting for their reality TV lives. It was just Blake – the most disruptive Canadian force since Nickelback released Photograph.
Blake was very candid about the reasons for his return, and it should come as absolutely no surprise that his name was on the 1-on-1 date card. Blake’s reaction was priceless, the perfect mix of awkward smugness and faux humility, and he correctly noted that “This is obviously best-case scenario for me” before proceeding to rub his date in everyone’s faces by boldly announcing his departure. Katie attempted to do a little damage control by hosting a 30-second, 1-question town hall. A short aside, in last week’s blog, I was wondering what Blake was like in the DMs – apparently all he said to Katie was “nice job on the season.” Short, sweet, poetic.
Katie and Blake’s date was unspectacular, and while they talked extensively about how compatible they were with each other, I really didn’t see much of anything. Katie has travelled a lot… to the most random places on earth. Ireland and Taiwan were the two places she mentioned… what kind of travel package includes those two locales? Expedia are you drunk? They rode some horses and then Katie looked like she was trying to find Blake’s needle in the haystack as they were rolling around making out in the hay. At their dinner date Katie once again shared details of her past experiences and despite a glaring gulf between Katie’s candor and Blake’s pained expressions and lukewarm responses, he managed to get a rose. This season the little-known country artist who had the pleasure of serenading the happy couple was Laine Hardy. Nothing will ever come close to eclipsing the majesty of the Chase Rice Victoria F Pilot Pete love triangle, but nonetheless the song was sappy and Blake started manhandling Katie in what couldn’t really be described as dancing. I won’t be satisfied until Mason Ramsey is the singer in the weird 1-on-1 make-out-the-whole-time mini country concert.
The Bachelorette Bash Ball Battle – what a mouthful, and an even more delicious concept! Making the men engage in physical pursuits is always a winner in my eyes, but this was a whole new level of violent and vengeful. Michael A described the basketball-ish game as “the worst day I’ve ever had in my life” and Hunter solidified his place as the biggest prick on the season by running around head-hunting like a prime Sean Taylor. The game ended when Michael A got absolutely lit up from behind and proceeded to lie on the ground in the fetal position for 20 minutes while receiving doting sympathy from and very concerned looking Katie.
As a result of Michael A’s inability to take a hit, everyone was invited to the evening date rather than just the winning team and it was Michael who stole the show, rendering the other contestants teary-eyed and riddled with emotion at his ability to endure and remain positive through his amazingly difficult personal circumstances. Greg was ugly crying like a guy talking to the bartender at closing time about how his junior prom date didn’t respond to his messages are, and while his story is really sad, the full-blown breakdowns were maybe a little bit much. There was something a little different about the slate of men that evening, maybe their dehydration following the Bash Ball Battle got them way more fucked up and emotional than usual?
Hunter got the group date rose?! Are you fucking kidding me? This little critter who just scurries around ruffling feathers was rumored to have been turned down from Netflix’s hit show Tattoo Fixers because his sleeve is unfixable in its hideousness. He showed Katie a picture of his kids and she somehow fell for it despite having watched him play in the Big Bash Battle earlier that day. While I don’t want to cast aspersions about his parenting style, there’s very little doubt in my mind that he’s challenging little league umpires to meet him in the parking lot after games where his kids strike out…
Andrew S’s date was a very strange combination of activities. Breaking hearts, snatching envelopes, bursting balloons, I was half expecting them to have to play Professor McGonagall’s magically transfigured giant chess set to try and save the Philosopher’s stone from Quirrell next, but no, it was just more deep, soul-searching conversation, this time about family, and the variable experiences of interracial children. Andrew S is incredibly sweet, although it was kind of oxymoronic of him to say that “all I want is to have a beautiful family, regardless of how they look…” About half way through their dinner date Katie started giving off major Clare-shut-the-whole-season-down-right-now vibes – a sentiment embodied by Katie’s line “I just want sex, give me the sex.” While neither of them got “the sex,” Andrew did get a rose… he’s a serious contender in a field of serious contenders.
The latest contrived controversy involved Hunter, who stole Katie away on the final evening’s group date in order to show her his telescope that he brought from home. Now in a week where space travel has been top of mind, I love a bit of space and telescope action, but he pointed his telescope at Orion’s belt? The most easily identifiable constellation with the naked eye? Come on Galileo, if you’re a telescope guy at least tap in some obscure dwarf planets or something. I guess Hunter was too busy railing lines between scenes to bother looking up any other constellations!
If the wildly out of context clip compilation at the end of the episode was anything to go by, we are in for quite the ride for the rest of the season. Strap in, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride!