No one understands "Bachelor in Paradise" better than former cast member Krystal Nielson, who met her now-husband, Chris Randone, during production of the show last summer. Every Wednesday, Nielson will recap "Bachelor in Paradise" for "Good Morning America," weighing in on her favorite couples and all the jaw-dropping drama. Her latest entry is below. Missed last week's? Catch up here!
Hey guys! I can’t believe that next week is the finale of "Bachelor In Paradise"! This summer has absolutely flown by and I just realized that we won’t get our next Bachelor fix until January!
Paradise comes to an end
"Paradise as you all know it is officially over."- Chris Harrison
No more new friends will walk down the stairs of Paradise as the beach has officially closed. This week, we saw many last-minute attempts at love. Some flourished with bold moves and romantic gestures and some ... well ... didn’t make it out.
Let’s go over the major highlights of this week's episodes!
"I know the decision I want to make but I’m scared."- Caelynn
I’m not sure if I was more shocked that Dean came back to Paradise with a total baby-face, or that he gave Caelynn an ultimatum: play it safe and continue to date Connor, or take a chance at a wild, crazy romance and leave Paradise with him ... right now.
Caelynn is confused, scared and frustrated because she closed off her heart to Dean and has been developing a strong relationship with Connor. So strong in fact, that they were headed to the boom-boom room to make their relationship official. Connor becomes protective over Caelynn and is angry that Dean came back after what he put Caelynn through.
"If it’s closed then close it, why re-open it?"- Connor
Ultimately, Caelynn follows her heart and leaves Paradise with Dean. A decision that I am sooo for!! I thought that Dean’s grand gesture was incredibly romantic and I am so happy to see this couple thriving.
"I know we’ve had our differences but if something goes south, call me "- Kristina
As for Dean and Caelynn, the "vantasy" suite has officially kicked off.
Kristina breaks up with Blake
"I can’t get there if I’m being real."- Kristina
The relationship we never could understand has finally ended. Blake poured out his heart to Kristina, who shared that she doesn't reciprocate his feelings. She decides her time in Paradise has ended and says her goodbyes, leaving Blake alone and brokenhearted.
"I’ve made mistakes but I'm not a bad person."- Blake
Although Blake put in some great effort over the last few episodes, there seemed to be too much baggage for Kristina to trust Blake ... and frankly, I don’t blame her. Perhaps since the show, they’ve had time to rekindle their romance off-camera? We can only hope and see for next week’s finale!
Demi struggles with coming out
"I’m still holding back because I’m scared."- Demi
Will Demi be able to get past her fears of the judgment of what people will say and think about her and Kristian? Or will those fears prevent this relationship from going to the next level?
This week, we saw Demi really struggling about being affectionate in public with Kristian. Their relationship before Paradise was very private and behind closed doors, which allowed a safety net for Demi to explore her sexuality. But now that they are an official item, the pressure and fear of judgment are really getting to her and causing her to doubt if Kristian will be patient enough and wait for her.
"I see you getting more touch from someone else, innocently, playfully and I feel like I’m not enough."- Demi
Kristian assures Demi that she is good enough and her absolute priority and she will be as patient as she needs to be. This made me really appreciate Kristian for how compassionate and understanding she is. I am really surprised by her and I have to say that she has been one of my favorites this season.
Red flags fly for Katie and Chris
A couple that has so much potential but yet, something is missing, Katie and Chris show us glimpses of what a strong couple looks like in Paradise ... but also what a not-so-strong couple looks like. Chris is having a tough time opening up, which scares Katie, understandably. It’s the final days of Paradise and she has spent her entire time developing a connection with Chris, only to now see that he is uncertain of his emotional availability to put into a blossoming romance and potential engagement. The inconsistency causes me to think there is uncertainty in Chris’s mind about what’s coming at the end of Paradise.
Chris doesn’t want to hurt Katie, but he also doesn’t know how to express his true feelings. Katie continues to try to get it out of him but she continues to hit a roadblock. With fantasy suites coming up, I’m hoping the extra "alone" time they have will give them the clarity they need on whether this a relationship that can succeed or even exist after Paradise.
JPJ takes Tayshia to prom
"I didn’t expect it but love is definitely knocking at my door." -JPJ
Who would’ve known this couple would actually be a thing? John Paul Jones gave us all the rom-com vibes this week with his love for Tayshia. Let’s not forget the first prom in Paradise that ended up making me wish I were there for a slow dance with my hubby.
I have to say that even though JPJ made a huge ruckus at our wedding, I still have a soft spot for how much he loves Tayshia and as a woman, I appreciate all the effort he puts into developing their relationship.
While JPJ is all in, Tayshia shocks us all and breaks up with him, leaving us all brokenhearted.
Nicole, he's just not that into you
"I think I’m falling in love with you, but I’m not in love with you."- Clay
It’s always tough to say those three words everyone wants to hear in a relationship, and all Nicole wants to hear from Clay right now is "I love you." But Clay has played the slow pace game throughout Paradise and I don’t think we’ll see him speed up now. It’s been clear that Clay likes Nicole but love seems to not exist just yet.
Nicole still takes a risk and heads to the fantasy suite where I’m sure she will get the final answer on where Clay stands with his feelings towards her.
Bri makes Bachelor history
You know that feeling when you ask someone out that you really like and they shut you down? Well, imagine that happening on a national TV show! At the final rose ceremony of Paradise, Luke S. asked Bri if she would accept his rose so that they could continue to get to know one another. She replies, "I came here to find love and don’t see that with you." Jaw drop. Chris Harrison explains that no one in Bachelor history has ever turned down a rose and asks if any girl wants to accept Luke's rose, but no one does. Just. Wow.
Fantasy suites are here
This week in Paradise was full of ultimatums and final stabs at love, but ultimately only a few couples will make it to the fantasy suites next week: Nicole and Clay; Hannah and Dylan; Chris and Katie; and Demi and Kristian .
Will Demi’s fear of coming out inhibit her relationship with Kristian?
Is Clay ready to commit to Nicole?
And are the red flags we’ve seen with Chris and Katie still flying high?
We can only wait and see for the "Bachelor in Paradise" finale next Tuesday!