We are only halfway through Paradise and I have never seen Bachelor Nation so fired up. I can’t remember a more controversial person than Joe in Paradise history and now, with Samantha in the mix, I feel like people are more upset, angry, and just totally confused than ever before.
The week kicked off with Clare saving JJ, who has gone from a villain to somewhat of a folk hero in no time flat. It’s impossible to know which JJ is the real JJ, but as long as this JJ wants to hang around, we’ll take it.
Before we get into the drama of the week, I want to talk about Kirk and Carly’s date at the Vidanta Resort. From real talk to fireworks, this new couple is exactly what Bachelor in Paradise is all about. I, for one, support Carly’s decision to skip her brother’s wedding to take a shot at love. He was supportive of her decision and she knew that if there wasn’t someone special for her in Paradise, she could always leave and make it to the wedding on time. But she found Kirk, and as you could see, this is a love affair that was worth sticking around for.
There’s always a moment in every season of The Bachelor or Bachelorette that changes everything. Last season it was Nick arriving, and for this season of Bachelor in Paradise, it was right when Samantha walked up to the pool. Juelia was still beaming from her great (but difficult) night with Joe and was sure that all of the drama was behind her. Joe’s face, when Samantha walked in, told the whole story. It was the first time he had really, truly smiled since he arrived at beautiful Playa Escondida.
Samantha picked Joe without hesitating, and then neither Samantha or Joe spoke to Juelia before they left on their date, hand in hand. To say that all of us were completely confused is a massive understatement. Jonathan had apologized and Mikey had confirmed that he thought Joe was a good guy so to see him completely ghost Juelia was surprising. I mean, you’d think at least he would try to hide it.
Samantha and Joe get comfortable on their photo-shoot date
And that’s where things started going totally off the rails. Apparently, Tanner knew the whole time that Joe had been talking to and was waiting for Samantha, but was trying to give Joe the benefit of the doubt and assume that maybe he has actually found a connection with Juelia. But with that knowledge, and with Jared and JJ being aware of it, watching Joe spin his web of lies only became all the more painful.
Soon, Dan got in on the action and before long it was pretty clear that it was Joe vs. Everybody in Paradise. Just when we thought things couldn’t get any more confusing, it turned out Samantha may have been in on the plot all along. Of course, she couldn’t have known what was happening in Paradise before she arrived, but what exactly did she tell Joe? We may never know, or we may find out on After Paradise live next week when Joe joins us on the couch.
I think the most telling moment was when Samantha was whispering to Joe about what to tell people. Was she just trying to get their stories straight? Was she just confused? Again, we’ll need to hear Samantha’s side of the story at some point.
For now, though, Juelia is in danger of going home and it feels like that would take a lot of heat off of Joe, and he could focus in on his relationship with Samantha. What will happen? The only way to find out is to tune in next Sunday at 8 p.m. on ABC, and next week, the moment you’ve all been waiting for arrives when we will announce the new Bachelor LIVE on After Paradise. See you all on Sunday!
Bachelor in Paradise airs Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC; After Paradise airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on ABC.