Bachelor In Paradise Season 6, Week 3, Part 2: When The Bachelor Franchise Got Gay

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Wow. That was the most exhilarating episode of Bachelor in Paradise I’ve ever seen. Everyone is crying, two women are making out and we have some Russian interference. Seriously, if you missed Monday you should catch up before we jump in. Or don’t. I’m not obsessing over what you do! I’m not Dylan!

Last we saw, Demi was feeling conflicted about her relationship with Derek. Even though the two have had a pretty strong connection since week one, Derek feels that Demi still has her walls up. We don’t like walls in Mexico! Or in the Bachelor franchise! The rest of the group is beginning to see a change in behavior, too, and Blake mentions that “Demi hasn’t been as bubbly as usual.” Demi hoped that being in Paradise might help her get over the girl she had been seeing back home, but she fears it has only done the opposite. When Demi sits down with Chris Harrison and explains what has been going on, he thanks her for feeling comfortable enough to share with him and he tells her that he loves her and accepts her any way she is (I’m crying, too, it’s cool). Derek has been incredibly accepting and protective of Demi’s secret and Katie probes Demi on what she intends to do next. Dun dun dun…

I guess it’s slim pickings on the beach because for some reason Caitlin is really feeling Blake, but they’ll be lucky if they even get the opportunity to do but one twirl if Kristina keeps interrupting. Kristina seems pretty dead set on receiving Blake’s rose and even goes so far as to pull him aside and attempt to steer him away from Caitlin. She says it’s because she doesn’t want Blake to look back and regret any of the choices he made here in Paradise, which is naive. It implies Blake is capable of feeling remorse. Kristina’s hovering strikes a chord with Caitlin who receives support from all the women Blake has scorned. When Caelynn tells her that Kristina had called this whole process a “rose hunt,” Caitlin decides to confront her.

Caitlin doesn’t feel it’s fair that Kristina is in Paradise pursuing friendship roses, but Kristina feels that she can do whatever she wants. To be honest, after being orphaned in Russia as a child and humiliated by Dean her last time on Paradise, she should get to do whatever she wants.

Kristina must feel the same way because she blows up on Caitlin as Blake hides in the shadows listening like the gargoyle he is. Caitlin has difficulty getting a word in and tells Kristina she is impossible to talk to because she gets too heated and that women should support women. She returns to the group sobbing to Caelynn “Oh God. She’s awful.” Kristina shares in her confessional that she doesn’t know how she keeps ending up in the middle of things. It’s like the denial of Russian interference almost confirms that there is in fact Russian interference. Art really does imitate life.

Chris Bukowski and his caretaker/love interest Katie are still inseparable, but they have yet to define their relationship. Katie overhears a conversation Chris is having where he mentions “whoever is on the other side” at the end of this process and feels insecure about how vague he was. Because of this Katie tells Chris to stay open to other connections, but Chris takes this as a sign that Katie isn’t as serious about this as he is. Don’t worry, Chris. She has a full-fledged, incoherent panic attack when she isn’t interested in someone.

Speaking of interesting, Jen Saviano from Ben Higgin’s season of The Bachelor. However, she’s best known for her time spent with Nick Viall on season three of Bachelor in Paradise. When she walks onto the beach everyone is taken back by her beauty. Dean says that it’s nice to put a 3D body to the Instagram handle and it’s like WE GET IT, DUDE! You have a mustache and live in a van, but stop saying stranger danger stuff! Jen asks to speak to Blake first because- you guessed it- she was at Stagecoach too and then much to Caelynn’s dismay asks to speak with Dean. She ultimately decides to take Chris on their catamaran date (it’s like a sexy boat) and he says yes. He checks in with Katie first, sharing that he would much rather go on a date with her and hopes at the very least this gives him clarity. It is at this moment Katie realizes that she wants to pursue something serious with Chris and shouldn’t have let him go. But that ship has sailed. Literally.

Chris and Jen start their afternoon applying sunscreen to one another so it’s shaping up to be a romantic day on the water, but this is the Bachelor and you know what they say: if there’s a boat there’s puke. No one eats on this show! It’s the only way they’ll be able to get a flat tummy tea deal one the show ends! The day portion of the date shortly comes to an end, but they pick up later in the evening because Chris tells Jen he’d like to make it up to her. He’s candid with Jen about his apprehensiveness with Katie and there’s something reassuring in Jen that leaves Chris feeling like she might want the same things he does.

Back at the resort, Katie talks everyone’s ear off about her regrets with Chris and when he returns she shares this with him. But that ship has sailed (it’s a catamaran joke in case that wasn’t clear the first time) and Chris tells Katie there’s something missing in their relationship and he needs to think about things.

At this point in the episode I’ve called off my search party for Mike and Sydney who get five whole seconds of screen time. Even Nicole was able to drunkenly sing Clay a song she wrote for him, but it looks like it’s time to dive into the main course of the evening.

Everyone keeps asking Derek what’s going on with Demi, but he refuses to indulge in the specifics of their troubles because he feels that the fact that the other person is a woman doesn’t really matter. But now it’s time for everyone to find out what’s really going on. Chris Harrison pulls Demi aside, telling her that he only wants what is best for her. So he asked himself what would help her find love. The answer waits for Demi at the top of the staircase. It’s Demi’s girlfriend from back home, Kristian and okay let’s be honest SHE’S HOT! The two immediately run into each other’s arms kissing and repeating how much they have missed one another. They continue to hug and catch up and as we go to commercial, you can hear the sound of their heartbeats racing in their microphones as we zoom in on Derek’s puzzled face back at the beach. I watch Bachelor in Paradise for the cinematography.

When Demi and Kristian sit down, Kristian shares how difficult this experience has been for her. After all, it’s not every day you lock down Bachelor Nation’s sweetheart. Demi tells Kristian that she gave a lot of herself to Derek emotionally and physically. Kristian, obviously upset by this news, tells Demi that she didn’t come to Paradise to be an option for Demi. But Demi tells Kristian “the second that I saw you I knew [it was you.] It’s always been you.” They hug and Demi leaves to break the news to Derek that she will be pursuing her relationship with Kristian. I’ve always felt seen by this franchise as a hysterical drama queen, but now I also feel seen as a gay woman. It’s a moment so poignant, I almost forget what show I’m watching.

When Demi tells Derek, he is clearly heartbroken and it doesn’t help that Demi and Kristian will be staying in Paradise to pursue their relationship. Derek wonders if there was anything he could have done differently because it seems that someone always gets picked over him and he’s never enough. Nevertheless, he wants Demi to do what makes her happy. Hm… sounds like something the next Bachelor would say. Derek asks to talk with Kristian before they go back downstairs.

Derek and Kristian both agree that the most important thing for both of them is Demi’s happiness and that there is no animosity between them. Although it is hard for Derek to see the two women’s connection in person, he walks back downstairs and remains tightlipped when asked what is going on. “You’ll all see in a minute,” he sighs as he takes a seat.

Demi introduces everyone to Kristian, explaining their relationship prior to Paradise filming, and shares that she would like to test their relationships in the Paradise environment. And what better way to really test a relationship than at a 4-star resort with an open bar and recreational activities?

The group is incredibly supportive and Hannah gushes that the two are “so freaking cute” while Dylan shouts “We love you Demi!” in support of his friend. In short, they’re here. They’re queer. And everyone got used to it.

Except for Derek, who is obviously upset when Demi and Kristian receive a date card. Whichever cameraperson decided to focus on his face as the date card is read aloud is my new best friend.
While Kristian is excited to catch up with Demi, she is clearly hurt that she was pursuing a relationship with someone else. She admits that she’s pretty mad and Demi apologizes for being such a skeptic saying that she wishes she could have been as sure as Kristian was. Demi says she doesn’t want to run anymore and that for the first time in her life she wants to commit to someone. The two tell one another they love each other and continue to flirt and make me cry as the episode comes to an end.

And that’s the story of how the Bachelor franchise got gay! See you all next week!

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