“I want Chris to be my rainbow.” – Elise
There's fresh female meat on the island in the form of Danielle Ronco, who had the very unfortunate position of arriving THE SAME NIGHT AS THE ROSE CEREMONY. Mean producers!
Michelle continues to prove likable by declaring of Danielle: "She’s beautiful. Like, beautiful."
It may not sound like much, but it's harder than you'd think to find a pretty girl who can just admit another girl is pretty. Case in point, AshLee in Week One, about Clare: “She’s not even pretty.” I mean, come on.
Oh, and for the record, Danielle really is gorgeous. Like, one of the most stunning people I've ever seen in real life. She's also very smart and funny. I'm not biased, I'm just speaking truth.
Plus, just when I thought I couldn't like her any more, Danielle delivers a direct-look-into-camera within the episode's first five minutes:
At the house, Elise finally gets her very own date card, and the excitement is almost too much to bear:
I couldn't help but be reminded of the (must-see) How I Met Your Mother "Crazy Eyes" episode:
If you think I'm too hard on Elise, just re-watch last week's episode.
As Michelle does Elise's hair, she voices what we were all thinking: "Today is a new day. And I don't want to talk about Dylan ever again."
Unfortunately, while Elise has moved on from talking Dylan, she's just begun on Chris.
Elise on Chris: "Chris means to me, hope. Hope that it’s worth the wait. It’s worth going through pain and just all this nonsense with mixed signals and guys who aren’t ready. He’s so the opposite of that. He’s a man who’s ready, knows what he wants, isn’t afraid to fight for it, is confident in fighting for it, and doesn’t look back."
Chris on Elise: "She’s beautiful and she’s got a bangin’ body. She’s hot. Overall super hot."
As everyone whispers amongst themselves what a player Chris is, there's a priceless shot of him looking his playeriest, preening topless:
Elise goes to pick up her newly-injured date and this strange conversation ensues:
Chris: "I don’t know if you know, but I hurt my knee."
Elise: "No. When?"
Chris: "In the ocean."
Did anyone else find it strange that that was it? No "Oh no, how bad is it?" or "Are you sure you're okay to go on this date?" Instead, in her ITM, she states: "I’m definitely bummed that Chris injured his knee, but I'm not going to let anything get in the way of this amazing adventure." Got it, Elise. She isn't at all concerned about him and his knee beyond it later giving her the opportunity to show off her "caretaker" skills. Fantastic.
Fresh Woman Meat #2 arrives. Jackie brings with her a slightly-less-shitty but still shoddy date card:
She chooses Marquel. Despite his just having returned from his date with Danielle mere hours ago, he jumps at the opportunity. Michelle's face says it all:
Don't get me wrong. I blame the game, not the players. The whole premise of this "process" is so strange and makes these individuals just interchangeable in each other's eyes. INORGANIC, I SAY!
Marquel is entitled to go on whatever date he wants with whomever. But what irks me is his high-and-mighty air as he does it. His telling Michelle last week that she drinks too much is a bit pompous considering he agrees to go on a date with someone else later that same night and again the next day.
I can’t believe I'm saying this, but Lacy and Marcus were refreshing to watch. Just in that they’re on the same page and one isn’t completely out to lunch about where the other stands. There's banter and ease and their scene was a much-needed reprieve after the Marquel stuff:
Clare and Zack have their moment where she talks about her dad. I like Clare and I like Zack, but I just don't buy these two together. It could be his ITM confessing he would have wanted to go for Jackie if he wasn't already attached, but I don't even think that's it. There just seems to be an auto-willingness to her and an auto-complacency to him. It's like a mutually convenient arrangement in that they were each other's only option, and mutually beneficial (if you can call it that) in that they keep each other around longer. Just my take.
Obviously a highlight is a "little gift from Heaven" in the form of a massive turtle giving birth on the beach, which in Clare-speak is an obvious sign from her late father that "there’s something new" on the horizon for her:
Elise is gaga for Chris and Sarah thankfully tries to talk reason into her. Their exchange makes me want to rip my hair out because Sarah might as well be talking to a brick wall. Then, in her ITM, she says what any girl with self esteem and a screwed-on-straight head would:
Oh my god, you guys. AshLee and Graham's date. I'm not going to lie; I kind of love Graham. He's so go-with-the-flow, despite the serious red flags. In that sense, there's something pure "guy" about him and it's endearing. Plus, who didn't laugh out loud when AshLee told him the reason she had a "feeling" about him based on his Instagram and he:
AshLee really bewilders me. She's so ridiculously beautiful, I really want her to defy all hot-girl stereotypes and be cool and normal. But I'll be damned if those aren't some of the craziest eyes I've ever seen:
I'm reminded of the Hot/Crazy Scale, also from How I Met Your Mother. So, since AshLee is SUPER hot, I guess she can get away with being almost SUPER crazy. Sigh.
Let me explain: I do NOT think it's crazy to follow someone on Instagram. I DO think it's crazy to get on a plane to Mexico solely to meet the person you follow on Instagram on a television show because you've got a "feeling" about them. As I've said in the past, AshLee easily could have reached out to Graham at any point. She almost definitely could have gotten his phone number from a mutual friend and Bachelor/ette alum, or direct messaged him on Twitter. (Most of us automatically follow the other if they follow us) This stuff happens in the Bachelor Family all the time. So, for AshLee to book off a month or more of her life – possibly quit her job, who knows – to meet Graham, with zero interest in any other man, is putting a lot of eggs in one very tenuous basket. True, she got paid to do this show, but not a crazy amount. In my opinion, she probably wanted to be on TV again, which most of them do and which is perfectly fine. But, she should have come into the equal parts men/women scenario with an easy-going attitude and not staking claim of someone she barely knows and talking about how her dad would approve of her choice.
Anyhow, AshLee and Graham dance while a Mariachi band plays and then make out while the musicians silently look on:
At the Rose Ceremony, Michelle is "saved" by Chris, who says she deserves to be there more than anyone he knows. She then goes on to say that is the sweetest thing anyone's ever done for her.
You know I'm pro-Michelle, but uh, I have to imagine she's a bit dramatic and has a tendency to speak with superlatives. Because come on. (That said, I was relieved when she stayed on as I'm sure most of America was as well. She's great TV.)
One thing I really like about this show is that it isn't pretending to be something it's not. It knows it's trash and makes incessant fun of itself and its cast. A great example is the soft-focus slow motion montage of Chris and Elise's relationship:
I have to admit that fact alone somewhat eases the embarrassment and pain of watching Bachelor In Paradise.
My Best Dressed was none other than Danielle in her Rose Ceremony jumpsuit, making me even more sad that she wouldn't be sticking around to give us more fashion wins:
THIS JUMPSUIT. It's spectacular. It's ultra sexy but still sophisticated and interesting. I loved it so much I asked her where she got it and ordered one for myself. The best part? It's $46. You're welcome.
Runner-up was once again Michelle, with her "double-date" tie-dye fringe number:
LESSONS LEARNED THIS WEEK
1. Just because someone got a flattering edit on The Bachelor/ette doesn't mean they'll be protected in Bachelor In Paradise.
DRINKING GAME WORDS OF THE WEEK
2. Unnggghhhh (Chris B)
Until next week, fellow pandas!