The Bachelor in Paradise trifecta was present on Tuesday: break-ups, make-ups, and major screw-ups. Let's begin!
We pick up right where we left off last night, after Demi asked to speak with Chris Harrison. She explains her situation to him, and says she can't imagine not having Kristian in her life. Chris asks if she can imagine not having Derek in her life, and she sounds less sure. "He would give me a lot of what I need," she starts... but it sounds like she's more conflicted about Derek being such an amazing guy and so understanding, and less conflicted about whether she actually likes him more than she likes Kristian. Chris asks if Demi wants to go home, and she's not sure. All she knows is she wants to find love.
And Derek really is amazing. In a conversation with Contestant Chris, he says that he just wants to be happy and worries he's always out of his league with women, but then says Demi is probably going through much more turmoil than he is. Could Derek... possibly be in contention for The Bachelor? He's saying all the right things, he's gorgeous, and I don't know about you, but I'm definitely feeling for him.
You know who I'm not feeling for? KRISTINA. I admit, I was completely on her side through the whole Dean-D.Lo thing last season (even though she really needed to stick up for herself). But now I'm solidly team Caitlin, even though we barely know her.
Since their date, Blake and Caitlin seem to be casually dating. Wells asks them how things are going, and Blake says, "Good!" in a tone that also sounds like, "Eh!" and they tease each other about it. Seems good, right? But in an interview, Caitlin says she feels like it's going to be hard for things to progress with Kristina still around.
Then, we see Kristina in an interview saying "I'm not ashamed of a friendship rose." Not only is she not ashamed — she's actively seeking this "friendship rose." She pulls Blake aside while everyone's at the bar and says she wants him to find love (honestly, is a woman gaslighting a man for once?). "She's cool, but you're allowed to have your own happy ending," Kristina tells him, and implies that if he gives her a friendship rose, they'll both have more chances at love.
As they chat, we also see footage of Caitlin and Caelynn chatting (Kristina's BEST friends!). "Every time he has a connection, she gets in the middle of it," Caelynn warns. In a beautiful feat of editing, Blake says to Kristina, "These girls love you!" just as Caitlin says to Caelynn, "I've only been here one day and I've already realized this girl is atrocious."
Obviously, it's time for a confrontation. Caitlin pulls Kristina aside to ask about her motivations and what she wants from Blake, and Kristina just keeps saying variations of, "So I'm not allowed to talk to my friends?" Every time Caitlin asks Kristina about wanting the rose, Kristina says of course she wants Blake to find love, but Caitlin should focus on her own relationship. It's infuriating, honestly. Caitlin says everything I was thinking as a viewer: "You're difficult to talk to because you get very heated." Kristina responds, "I'm sorry my tone isn't good enough for you." Um... what? Caitlin ends up walking away, saying, "You're impossible. Women should always respect women." Honestly, I'm impressed Caitlin was able to keep her cool so well and knew when to walk away. I can't believe I'm saying this after being such a fan in the past... but I'm ready for Kristina to go home.
Speaking of keeping your cool... Katie is a little too good at keeping hers. Everyone knows that more women will be coming to Paradise today, and Katie mentions as much to Chris. "You can do what you want," she tells him. "You're a free man." He's visibly confused. "Do whatever I want?" Katie tells him she wants him to be happy, but right now they both seem anything but.
In an interview, Chris says it "sucked" to hear Katie say he could go on a date. Almost immediately (to other people), Katie realizes her mistake. She's self-sabotaging as usual, she explains. It seems like she wanted Chris to say, "I don't want to go on a date." And later, Chris says in an interview that he also wanted Katie to say, "I'm gonna cut your arm off if you go on the date." Alas, neither of those things happened, so we must have some drama.
And it's bad: The person who comes down the stairs is Jen Saviano, who first appeared on Ben Higgins's season and then dated Nick on Paradise (before he dumped her on the show to, er, be The Bachelor). She's stunning — has she ever put a filler into her face? — and everyone knows it. She pulls Blake aside to chat (who DIDN'T Blake meet at Stagecoach?!) and then Dean, but ultimately chats with Chris and decides to take him.
Katie is spiraling a bit, but at first, it seems like she has nothing to worry about. She's realized this is a wake-up call for her, and now she knows how she feels. And Chris and Jen go on a catamaran for their date, but the water is choppy. The champagne spills; Chris can't stop barfing over the side. This has to be a sign, right?
Not quite. Chris and Jen get back to the resort, and Chris wants to continue their date and actually get a chance to talk to her. They chat in a cabana upstairs, and seem to have a lot in common. They're both serious about finding someone, and Chris says he thinks the next person he gets serious about is going to be his wife. Apparently Jen has good one-liners, which... I'd love to hear? (Not doubting it, I'd just love to hear them.)
They head down to the hot tub, and things get romantic. Could they actually have a connection? Jen keeps asking about Katie, but all Chris says is that he has doubts now. Elsewhere, Katie is getting a pep talk from Derek, but still feels like she brought this all upon herself, which... she did.
After lots of making out with Jen, Chris comes to find Katie, and she finally confesses her feelings. "I really like you," she says. "I want to fight for you... I want to be with you." But it turns out, it's not going to be that easy. Chris says he still feels a little bit of doubt — he doesn't want Katie to have needed a "wake-up call" to want to be with him. She should have been confident about it yesterday, right?
While Nicole sings for Clay (she's pretty good), Mike and Sydney do cartwheels on the beach (Mike ripped his pants), Tayshia and JPJ continue to hang out, Hannah and Dylan cuddle in the pool, and Dean and Caelynn... also cuddle in the pool. But Demi and Derek, the strongest couple since Paradise's earliest weeks, are facing a reckoning.
Chris Harrison asks for Demi, and explains that they want her to find love no matter what, so to help her do that... they've flown Kristian to Paradise. Upon seeing her, Demi starts crying immediately. Poor Derek has no chance at all: Demi and Kristian clearly still have incredibly strong feelings for each other, and they kiss and talk about how much they've missed each other.
Kristian says it was really hard for her to let Demi go to Paradise, but she knew she had to let her go to show her support. Demi explains that she met a guy, Derek, and that she's been feeling conflicted. "He's amazing, and I did give him a lot of me, emotionally," she confesses. Kristian, understandably, isn't happy to hear this. "I only came here for you," Kristian says. "I don't want to just be an option for you." Judging from Demi's words and actions, it doesn't seem like Kristian will just be an option, either.
Kristian is cool! She's so soft-spoken. She doesn't really sound like anyone who has been on the show before (and she has short hair), which is almost as refreshing as Jen's plastic-free face. Also, Paradise has been teasing this relationship for so long, it's surprisingly easy to forget that showing — and more importantly, celebrating — a same-sex relationship is such a huge first for the franchise. Cheers for progress! And for another seemingly stable couple to round out Paradise.
Speaking of that... now that Demi's feelings have been made clear, she has to break up with Derek. She tells him that she's lucky to have met him and that he's such an amazing guy, but her heart is with someone else. He takes it as well as he possibly could (again, Bachelor?), but is upset that this is what people always say when they break up with him: You're amazing, you're perfect, you're such a great guy... but it's not you. "I want you to know I'm not blaming you," he says. "I feel like I'm just in the same situation as always, where someone picks someone else over me." Derek! You're breaking my heart! Demi tries to build him back up as best as she can, telling him he's perfect, wonderful, amazing, everything. I think he appreciates it, even if he can't fully believe her in the moment. He even assures her that if this is what makes her happy, she's definitely making the right decision. What a catch!!! I see why this franchise hasn't let Derek go yet.
The one thing Derek requests is to speak with Kristian before she's introduced to everyone else. It's a little bit tense at first, but Derek and Kristian are both sweet and polite as they talk about how hard this is, and how wonderful Demi is. Kristian says she appreciates Derek's genuineness, and Derek says he appreciates her saying nice and positive things, since this conversation could easily have taken a different turn. Seriously, Demi really knows how to pick 'em. Can we get a spin-off where Demi and Kristian try to find love for Derek?
Finally, it's time to introduce Kristian to the group, and for Demi to come out to the folks she isn't as close to. Everyone is sweet and welcoming to Kristian and thrilled for Demi's happiness. The conversations couldn't have gone better. It's also pretty nice for Demi and Kristian that they're committing to each other here and just get to enjoy the rest of Paradise in a relationship.
Speaking of, Hannah G. brings a date card for Demi and Kristian to "rekindle their flame." They head to dinner, and Derek gives Demi a sweet hug goodbye. When they first arrive, it's not like the whole relationship is just back on track. Kristian is hurt that Demi found a relationship in Paradise — it seems like she expected her to go on a few dates, but not get serious with anyone. She's hurt that Demi doubted them and had to come here to figure that out. (Anyone else feeling a little Katie-Chris déjà vu right about now?)
Demi explains that she's always been afraid of commitment because when you give up control of your emotions to someone else, you also open yourself up for hurt. But she says Paradise helped her figure out her feelings, and she's ready to commit to Kristian 100 percent. "I don't want to run from it anymore," she says. "I will do whatever I can to be with you." Kristian says that any negative feelings she had going into this have dissolved, and they exchange "I love yous," which definitely makes it feel like their relationship must have been pretty serious before Demi left. The dinner ends with even more declarations of commitment and love from Demi. Could they actually get engaged at the end of this?
Either way, kudos to Bachelor in Paradise for celebrating this relationship. And please, please can we send Kristina home next week?
Bachelor in Paradise airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8/7c on ABC. It's available to stream on Hulu.