Wednesday, March 22, 2023

‘Bachelor in Paradise’ Recap: Becca Kurfrin Dates Former Villain Thomas Jacobs

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not watched the Sept. 7 episode of “Bachelor in Paradise.”

New “Bachelor in Paradise” celebrity guest host Tituss Burgess ushered in a new week for the bachelors and bachelorettes on the beach. But familiar behaviors remained, as Chris Conran was accused of coming to the show with a pre-existing relationship.

Tituss arrived to invite several cast members to a VIP exclusive party with guest singer Olivia Holt. Chris and his current love interest Jessenia Cruz were two of the 12 on the guest list, but the pair split halfway through the party when four newcomers were introduced. Chelsea Vaughn and Alana Milne from Matt James’ season of “The Bachelor” and Allayah Benavidez and Mykenna Dorn from Peter Weber’s season joined the party as special guests. It was revealed that if they made a connection, they would join the cast.

Chris quickly abandoned Jessenia in pursuit of Alana. Jessenia and others were confused by the whiplash behavior, as Alana was relatively unknown to Bachelor Nation after going home during week two on “The Bachelor.” However, it was revealed the two had history: they previously spent time together in San Diego. The cast questioned their authenticity, accusing Chris of leading Jessenia on with “disgusting” and “dishonorable” behavior.

Chris and Alana quickly reignited their connection. Jessenia caught them kissing once in private before the pair spent the night unabashedly making out on the dance floor. She was distraught by Chris’ actions and left the party early, returning to the beach in tears.

There, she joined several other unhappy contestants who were not invited to the original gathering. Jessenia updated them on her situation, which perpetuated fears from Maurissa Gunn about Riley Christian and from Mari Pepin-Solis about her relationship with Kenny Braasch. Mari hoped to pursue Kenny after a breakup earlier in the season led him into a love square with her and two other women (Tia Booth and Demi Burnett). Tia and Kenny shared a date earlier in the week, and he and Demi spent time together in a “boom boom room.”

The next day, Mari approached Kenny about their relationship. While he enjoyed Tia and Demi’s company, he admitted he and Mari had a special bond and he wanted to see where it would go. Demi was less than receptive when he told her about his feelings, and she responded by disparaging Mari, calling her an “evil pageant girl.” She brought up their time in the “boom boom room” together, saying she was feeling like a “one night stand,” before they eventually parted ways.

Meanwhile, Jessenia moved on from her relationship with Chris. He moped around the beach with regret from the previous night, but his peers had little sympathy. They were all vocally “Team Jessenia.”

The teams had solidified just in time for Alana to formally join the cast. She came down to the beach with a date card in hand, and promptly asked Chris to join her. The pair was particularly unpopular as they left for a date of zip lining.

Chelsea met with Thomas Jacobs and Aaron Clancy before asking Aaron on a date. He agreed, despite wanting to spent time with former Bachelorette Becca Kufrin, who gave him his rose.

Becca expressed disappointment as she dealt with the transition from being the sought-after Bachelorette to just another contestant. But her resilience was rewarded with a date card. She was conflicted on who to pursue, as her primary crush, Thomas, was already coupled up with Tammy Ly. Becca pulled Tammy aside to ask for her permission to invite Thomas on the date, to which Tammy agreed.

Becca and Thomas then spent the evening together, talking over dinner. She was familiar with Thomas’ reputation and referenced that he was involved with drama during his “Bachelorette” tenure. However, she was determined to offer him a clean slate, and the two spent the evening discussing previous relationships and vulnerabilities. The date was short, though, and they ended the night dancing to a mariachi band and making out.

Meanwhile, Tammy was hysterical at Thomas’ decision to go on the date, despite giving her blessing.

While Chris and Alana, Chelsea and Aaron, and Becca and Thomas were on their dates, animosity brewed surrounding Chris and Alana. The cast started to piece together their timeline, realizing that the two had previously known each other. They were protective of Jessenia, and Joe Amabile confronted Chris about his intentions when he returned from the date.

Joe channeled his Italian mafioso while interrogating Chris and called him “structured” and “calculating.” Riley joined in, and the two men ganged up accusing him of being a clout chaser and desperate for screen time. Alana tried to interject and was quickly discounted before Chris was bullied to leave.

He discussed his exit with Alana, who was upset at the idea of leaving paradise. However, they both agreed separately that staying on the beach wasn’t an option considering the hostility from other cast members. They both pack their bags and left without saying goodbye.

“Bachelor in Paradise” airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.


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