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. Their nuptials will be televised on a future episode of "Bachelor in Paradise" this year. Every Wednesday, Nielson will recap "Bachelor in Paradise" for "Good Morning America," weighing in on her favorite couples and all the jaw-dropping drama.
Here's her latest entry.
Welcome back to week 2 of "Bachelor in Paradise"!
Before we get into the disaster that is paradise at the moment, this past weekend, I attended Ashley and Jared's wedding in Rhode Island, and it was nothing short of royalty filled with love! It’s crazy knowing Ashley and Jared found each other and got engaged on the same beach I got engaged to Chris. "Paradise" can create beautiful, everlasting love and we’re crossing our fingers things turn around for the better this summer to continue that momentum!
We begin with the first rose ceremony of "Paradise" where I had some MAJOR flashbacks to last summer when I struggled with who I wanted to give my rose to. The first rose ceremony is interesting because those roses are primarily friendship roses, as only a few (but long) days have passed. There are very few monogamous relationships at this point as everyone is still trying to decipher who is the best match for them.
The first big shock of the night was Chris B. giving the final rose out to Kristina, leaving Annaliese dumbfounded because she was certain that rose was hers. This left everyone saying goodbye to Annaliese, Bibiana, and Jane. I spoke with Annaliese before she left for "Paradise" and she was hopeful that this was her time to shine! I’m sad that she didn’t find someone, but let’s find the lesson and the blessing here: Where focus goes energy flows, so if you spend your time talking about another relationship... well… you’re not building your own.
As for Bibi, she deserves love. Her time ended too soon yet again on the beach and it breaks my heart not seeing her find love yet.
Now that the women have the power, we welcomed four eligible men into paradise: Jordan, Mike, Christian as well as Dean...and his mustache.
Jordan was first to arrive, and he got shutdown by Hannah after she originally said, "Yes" to going on a date. While it was refreshing to see Hannah step up and realize her plate is currently overflowing and that adding a side of Jordan is not the greatest move, Jordan becomes upset with the fact that Blake is having his “spoon in all the puddings.” As a consolation, Jordan decides to take Nicole on a date, which surprises Clay and makes him question his relationship with Nicole.
This date begins the downfall of others as we see big Mike come and steal Caelynn away, leaving Cam in solitary confinement.
When Dean arrived at the beach, Caelynn was feeling defeated over the drama she has been in with Kristina. Dean pulls her aside to talk and decides that he’d like to “turn her frown upside down” and asks her out. This date stood out to me because, unlike many of the other men, Dean isn’t trying to boast himself, but rather is super honest about living in a van, showering at gyms -- or any body of water -- and how his passion for travel has been the source of conflict in past relationships.
Dean shares about the growth and self-awareness he’s gained since his last time on the show. “I look back and I’m pretty ashamed of how I acted...I was an idiot. The more things you try to hide the trickier things become.” Amen, Dean, amen.
Caelyn then reveals, “We all have our things. I was trained to put on this persona that everything is perfect and it’s always good.”
I just want to take a moment to say how much I appreciate the vulnerability, self-awareness and personal growth that this date showed us. In my opinion, this relationship has the most substance so far this season and I am LIVING FOR IT!!!
NICOLE: THE BACHELORETTE OF PARADISE
Remember the one girl in high school who everyone loved and wanted to date? Well, you’re looking at her in "Paradise," because Nicole has become this year's Venmo John. After going on a date with Clay last week, Nicole raised the stakes and went on two more dates with Jordan and Christian. An interesting move on Nicole’s part. Does she really like Clay? Or is she wanting to make him work for it? Either way, Nicole, Jordan and Christian have all begun buying real estate in Clay’s head.
From what we’ve seen, the strongest connection Nicole is having seems to be with Christian. The passion and chemistry she has with Christian are as palatable as a jalapeno margarita -- spicy but dangerous if taken in copious amounts. Christian’s confidence and aggressiveness seem to be driving Nicole wild and making her question if Clay is too “sweet” for her.
Clay continues to act a bit too soft. I love that he could tackle any guy on the field but it’s not the sexiest thing to have a guy be quiet and not stand his ground. I like Clay a lot and I hope that he can show Nicole a side she’s wanting. With three dates down and one rose to give out, Nicole continues to play this game of "Bachelorette" and it might distract her from knowing which guy of the three is the right guy for her to continue pursuing.
I can’t figure out what seems to be running through Hannah’s mind right now. Dylan is the clear front-runner and best guy for Hannah, but she continues to get sucked into this Blake wormhole. Blake impresses her with his dance moves and follows up with a hot make-out sesh with Hannah in front of everyone (including Dylan). Dylan is confused and I don’t blame him, he’s hearing and seeing two different things.
Blake has made it clear he’s now all-in on Hannah and we know why -- they hung out right before paradise! As if this wasn’t another dagger into sweet Dylan’s heart, but now we know there are feelings there between Hannah and Blake because they’ve been there since before paradise. I couldn’t imagine being Dylan at this moment, but he must really like Hannah to the point where he’s unsure about where he stands and he doesn’t have the power this week.
This triangle of love frustration spreads out to Tayshia when she hears about the “Alabama hangout” and takes Hannah aside and confronts her. You could feel the tension and Tayshia is disappointed she wasted time with Blake knowing there was no possible future there. Blake has not admitted to hanging out with three of the girls before "Paradise" leaving everyone confused and unhappy.
Here are a few of the most notable moments this week.
DEMI COMES OUT
Demi lets us in on something that she’s been wanting to let out for quite some time: Demi is bisexual.
Derek had been feeling hot and cold with Demi before hearing this so it finally gives him a little clarity, which he needed to not let anything hold him back in the relationship. Derek is a little caught off guard when hearing this, but respects her for being open about her relationship and standing up for herself. Demi showed us strength and courage to let us into her life a little more with such a big secret that’s been holding her back from her higher self. Derek doesn’t get bothered too much by hearing Demi’s secret and wants to continue pursuing this relationship because he genuinely likes Demi, and her being truthful allows him to trust her to see where this goes.
MOST AWKWARD MOMENT OF THE WEEK
Then the notable Dylan and Blake stand-off happens that made all of us watching at home a little uncomfortable.
Blake finally gets a moment to spend with Hannah during the night, where their kiss on the beach gets interrupted by a frustrated Dylan. Dylan asks if he can spend time and this rubs Blake the wrong way. Blake chimes in and speaks for Hannah rather than letting Hannah speaking for herself. Dylan persists that he needs to talk with her after spending the entire day with Hannah. The back and forth between Dylan and Blake leaves Hannah silent, giving all of us awkward pauses tied with cringe-worthy moments between this love triangle.
BEST CRY OF THE WEEK
Wills pulls Katie aside to tell her that she “deserves the world.” She responds by breaking down sobbing and telling Wills that he is everything she would want in a guy...but just not him. Katie then leaves and goes to talk to Chris B. about how awkward she felt. Chris then confides that he has feelings for Katie and wants to pursue her... She feels the same way.. And boom, our newest "Paradise" couple emerges.
RED FLAG OF THE WEEK
Christian may have walked down the beach of "Paradise" with major suave moves, but I can see right through those “passionate” tendencies. When Christian comes up to Clay after he spent all day on his date with Nicole, he aggressively tells Clay to leave Nicole because Christian got all day with her. This felt super possessive, controlling and every reason that Nicole should run far, far away. I know she wants Clay to “be more aggressive with her” but be careful what you wish for.
I can’t wait to see what happens next week and how these relationships unfold. Until then, let’s remember that this show can serve as a great example of how we relate to love. We can be inspired by courageous moves, learn from mistakes, and choose to let go of the past and grow into a better person because of it.