Because she’s been there and done that, literally, former Bachelor contestant/tear fountain Ashley Iaconetti is recapping this season of Bachelor in Paradise for Cosmopolitan. With insider insight as well as a clear eye for what’s going down both in front of and behind the cameras, read on for her thoughts.
This post contains spoilers for last night’s episode of Bachelor in Paradise.
Congratulations to all our engaged Bachelor in Paradise couples! Last night, we saw Hannah and Dylan, Demi and Kristian, and Chris and Katie get engaged on the beach. All the proposals were beautiful and heartfelt...Hannah only faked us out for a second!
Dylan spoke first, which should have alerted careful watchers that something was up (the proposer or breakup initiator usually speaks second). Hannah expressed concerns about her family, but he totally disregarded her statements, being like, “Okay, but I’ll meet them tomorrow." Hannah was immediately fine with it. That’s all it took? Then she was all, “Okay! Good plan! Yes! I’ll marry you!”
Honestly, Dylan and Hannah’s engagement was the most expected ever since Hannah chose him over Blake during Rose Ceremony #2. Also, Dylan was never going to let Hannah go into the wild (real life) without staking his claim, or as I said in BIP season 2, “claiming his steak” (which I still think makes more sense).
After watching Demi propose down in Paradise and then Kristian propose at the reunion, how can you not root for these two? Their relationship hasn’t been without its struggles and hurdles, but there’s always been a warmth between them. I can feel their chemistry and love the strongest through the screen out of everyone. I’m looking forward to seeing how this relationship will change the show forever. This is a beautiful, powerful moment for everybody. Demi and Kristian’s journey will no doubt encourages others to be brave in the face of judgment. And for those out there still hating, I hope their story melts your cold hearts and opens your closed minds.
Chris and Katie’s engagement was clearly a game-time decision. It’s usually engagement or bust during the finale of BIP, but I thought given Chris and Katie’s rocky road that he was going to suggest a boyfriend/girlfriend scenario. But I was wrong, the man got down on one knee! Chris himself has been a pleasant surprise all season. Raw, emotional, and honest. Katie has been her normal elegant and empowering self.
I'm a little worried about the tension between the two of them on last night’s reunion. Based on the episode and speaking to them briefly today, I think the number one thing they’re trying to work on is understanding each other’s love languages. They both say their relationship is much stronger and happier since they taped the reunion show in August, especially now that they’ve been able to spend more quality time together in person (Chris’s love language).
Nicole and Clay broke up and apparently, we shouldn’t care? They had a segment filmed at the reunion with both Clay and Nicole on the “hot seat” with Chris Harrison. Angela had words too. It got cut from the TV version we saw. Why? I don’t know. Maybe it was more of the same thing. Clay willing to date Nicole IRL, but Nicole wasn’t down to just be a girlfriend. I was Team Clay when they were leaving Paradise. BIP is about 3.5 weeks long. It’s completely normal for him not to be able to say he’s in love with Nicole yet. My husband didn’t say “I love you” until 2.5 years after we left our first season.
People fall at different speeds. Sometimes, it’s love at first sight. Other times, it’s a slow burn. According to Nicole, either they’d leave together in love or leave single. I didn’t understand her approach. After seeing this play out, I don’t think Clay should have come to Paradise. He obviously wants to be in a more stable place in his life, perhaps professionally or financially, before launching into a serious relationship. I don’t think his breakup with Angela or Nicole had anything to do with the ladies or Clay’s lack of feelings for them. I think both relationships ended because he’s got his own insecurities to deal with.
Just as I predicted, Tayshia and JPJ got back together after the show stopped filming. John Paul Jones clearly has his faults, based on his behavior at the wedding, but I’m still a fan. He has a big heart and clearly is 100% in on Tayshia. He has some growing to do, but I hope he and Tayshia continue to let their love blossom. Tayshia is one of my favorite people from the franchise. She has so much going for her and could have pretty much anyone she wants. I loved it when he asked her to be his girlfriend. It was so cute and innocent. Like a teenager asking the girl he has a crush on to go to prom with him.
The reunion played out pretty much how I expected it would: Jordan and Christian yelling at each other and Blake getting yelled at by everyone. The only big drama that came out between filming in June and the reunion in late August was Blake releasing his text messages with Caelynn from Stagecoach. I think both Caelynn and Blake have made mistakes in this situation, but Blake shouldn’t have exposed their private correspondence.
I wish I could have told him that Bachelor Nation’s memory is a short one before he went off. There’s always new drama to talk about next week and his reputation will heal with time. The producers were never going to make him out to be a Luke P. Plus, being the guy who “exposed” a hurt woman was never going to help him look like a better man. All that being said, Blake has definitely become a more thoughtful, respectful man throughout his BiP journey.
OMG! You guys! We’re done until 2020. This year, four Bachelor franchise couples (including myself) got married and all the Bach Nation engagements still standing have resulted from Bachelor in Paradise. Gotta love those stats. Thank you to everyone who reads these and follows our love stories! If it weren’t for loyal fans like you, I may never have found my person.
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