The last two nights, we watched with bated breath and intermittent pours of cheap red wine this week's episodes of Bachelor in Paradise.
This morning, after a long night of reflection—both about who I am as a person and what Bachelor in Paradise means as a franchise—I’ve come out with the latest edition of our Official Unofficial Bachelor in Paradise Leaderboard.
A quick note on our criteria: basically we’re answering the question, “Did you kill it, or did you sit by the pool narrating other people making out like a dweeb?” Note, too, that not everyone will make this week’s list. Though it is our sincerest hope they will try harder on a pre-recorded television series to do so next time.
20. Christen aka “Scallop Fingers” (last week: not ranked)
Christen, a 26-year-old virgin—geez, you can’t like where this sentence is going if you’re Christen—first tried to steal Matt away from Jasmine, then failed (Matt left of his own accord; more on that later), then was saved due to a 25th hour makeout with none other than Jack “Hey, still here” Stone. In the second part of this week’s episode, she became embroiled in a love triangle with Jonathan, a hot-nerdy doctor who was famous for coming on Rachel’s season as the “Tickle Monster,” and who Christen affectionately refers to as “Tickle.” Personally, I am very afraid of Christen. She’s like a cross between Isla Fisher’s character in Wedding Crashers—pre-reveal that she’s just pretending to be a virgin—and Reese Weatherspoon’s character in Election, if you robbed those two of their dignity and nicknamed them “Scallop Fingers” behind their backs. About that: I can’t judge the veracity of Alexis’s sordid tale, but if she is to be believed, Christen took scallops to-go from a restaurant, left them in a hot car for a few hours and proceeded to take them out again to eat on the way to a club, the result being a hot car that smells like old scallops and fingers greased with seafood. In the words of Amanda, social media influencer and BiP soothsayer: “I can’t trust someone who takes scallops to-go.” Neither can I, Amanda. Neither can I.
19. Robbie (last week: not ranked)
Robbie, who I’m beginning to think is an Instagram come to life, is having a rough time. He asked Amanda for a kiss twice, and was rejected twice. Several times she has commented on how hot he is, and he tried to play it off like she was referring to his good looks, but of course she was referring to the fact that he was sweating profusely. (Per my theory: Robbie is still coruscating in a Lynchian transition between being a photo on an app and a person in real life, who is 70% muscle mass, 20% hair and 10% colorful bathing suits.) The first adjective Amanda uses to describe Robbie is “persistent.” Hmm. Later, in a grand romantic overture, Robbie threw a few glow-sticks in the pool and brought Amanda over to witness his creation. (Robbie, to the producers: “Get me some glow-sticks, a pookah shell necklace and a nine-iron.” Producers: “What?” Robbie: “Just do it.”) Amanda is nonplussed but so easily persuaded that she goes along with it, and eventually Robbie secures a kiss. Evidently, he wore Amanda down. This is the saddest relationship in Paradise.
18. Jasmine (last week: 13)
“You want good TV, ABC? I’ll give you good TV,” Jasmine says, as she races across the sand to confront Christen for asking Matt out on a date. What follows is a pretty casual conversation in a bedroom. Christen doesn’t even bother to stop brushing her teeth! Jasmine, next time you make a self-aware proclamation about giving us good TV, make sure you deliver. She should be ashamed of herself. Rough week for Jasmine.
17. Jack Stone (last week: not ranked)
Jack Stone starts the week off playing a friendly game of “Guess what’s going in your mouth” with Alexis, which is pretty cool. Then he gets offended because Alexis tries to stick a dead crab in his mouth. Things go downhill from there, because he pivots to Christen, who may or may not like Tickle Monster better. I imagine Jack Stone must have a running monologue in his head, going: “You’re cool, they like you, you’er cool, they like you, you’re cool you’re cool you’re COOL.”
16. Ben Z (last week: 20)
Ben Z. saved D-Lo in the rose ceremony, only to have her make out with Dean in the pool. On the plus side, though, Ben Z. did not talk about his dog this week.
15. Taylor (last week: 14) and Derek (last week: 14) (tie)
Below is a snippet of conversation between most cerebral couple, Taylor and Derek.
Taylor: “I worry that the way you cope with my annoyingness is that you abandon it and runaway.”
Derek: “Fuck you.”
Guys, I’m not sure this is going to work out.
14. Sarah (last week: 12)
Sarah laid her heart out on the line for Adam, but he picked Raven. On the one hand: respect. On the other: I’m not sure Sarah understands the rules of attraction.
13. Alexis (last week: 2)
Jack Stone did not pick Alexis because she attempted to put a dead crab in his mouth. What a fucking legendary way to go out.
12. Lacey (last week: 18)
Lacey started off the week by yelling at Diggy, only to have Diggy explain to her calmly that he was never going to give her the rose in the first place. She ended the week in the arms of self-proclaimed Great White Hope, Daniel, who, realizing she was his best chance of getting laid, decided to take her on a date. Watching Lacey for me is pure schadenfreude.
11. Amanda (last week: not ranked)
Amanda is content to rest on her laurels this season, which include “being attractive” and “not that crazy.” Her approach to Paradise seems to be a resigned shrug combined with an “I guess I’ll love this guy.” It’s cavalier, in a weird way. She’s also accidentally responsible for some of the best lines on the show thus far, including the one I quoted earlier re: scallop fingers, and her solemn response to Matt’s departure: “He’s no longer with us.” To Amanda, a social media influencer par excellence, if you’re not on TV, you’re literally dead.
10. Wells (last week: 3)
Now that Danielle M. is gone, it seems all Wells does is drink and play with puppets. Take that as you will, Danielle M.
9. Kristina (last week: 15)
Sure, Kristina is being played for a fool by Dean. Yes, she keeps giving him chance after chance, despite continually suggesting the opposite. But she also appeared to dare Dean to get a boner right in front of her, without any touching. If I were to guess, I’d say this is a Cold War-era Russian mind game she learned from her babushka. Ultimately, after 20 seconds or so, Dean gives up. In an informal survey of three heterosexual friends, two said they could do it, no problem. One said he was “not so sure.”
Confession: That was me.
8. Danielle L., aka “D-Lo (last week: 11)
D-Lo is also getting played by Dean, but seems to care less than Kristina about it. I’m not really sure where D-Lo’s head is at.
7. Diggy (last week: 8) and Dominique (last week: 9) (tie)
Presumably made out by the pool all week and watched the drama unfold from off-camera. Tight.
6. Matt (last week: 13)
Matt, aka, the “before” picture in a Rogaine commercial, just came here to hang by the beach, chill with his bros, nap, drink a few beers and maybe, if it came to pass, make out with a girl or two. He did not anticipate having to juggle Jasmine (crazy) and Christen (crazier). I would never recommend anyone leave Paradise—I mean, would you leave heaven?—but sometimes you have to know when to throw in the towel. There were no good options for Matt. Jasmine and Christen ruined this poor man’s vacation.
5. Adam (last week: 4)
Adam, aka, the “after” picture in Matt’s Rogaine commercial, is going for it all. You have to respect that he bailed on Sarah—a perfectly good, albeit “safe” option—to pursue Raven full-force. Will he get his heart broken, once Raven realizes she has a better option? Maybe. Will he be able to call Sarah up afterwards and be like, babe, I screwed up, you were the one all along? Probably. Things are looking pretty good for Adam.
4. Raven (last week: 5)
Raven maintains her title as the Queen of Paradise. I think part of her realizes she can do better than every guy here (she probably could), and is content to kind of lead Adam on until someone better wanders down the sandy front steps of Playa Escondida. Raven is the Dean of the girls.
3. Jonathan, aka “Tickle Monster” (last week: not ranked)
From Raven, Queen of Paradise: “Tickle is actually really cute, really funny and is actually a successful doctor.” High praise. Also, Jonathan had one of the quickest post-arrival make outs in history with Christen. He must’ve been there all of ten minutes, nine of which involve tickling or tickle-related badinage. Let that be a testament to both the power of being a successful doctor and the emotional randomness of being Christen. Alternatively, Jonathan is a nerdy-hot doctor whose nickname is Tickle Monster and Christen is a nerdy-hot virgin whose nickname is Scallop Fingers, so they’re probably made for each other.
2. Drunk* Dean (last week: not ranked)
An exchange involving Diggy, Drunk Dean and Kristina by the pool this week really says it all. Kristina sees three other couples fooling around in the waves at sunset. She suggests to Dean that they go down and join them; Drunk Dean, not responding, asks Diggy instead if the food on the plate is chicken. Drunk Dean cares more about identifying random Paradise meats than making out with Kristina in an ocean. Sober Dean knows how perceptive and smart Kristina is; Drunk Dean says stuff like: “But D-Lo is so fucking hot.” Sober Dean picks Kristina at the rose ceremony; Drunk Dean makes out with D-Lo in the pool right in front of Kristina. Sober Dean can’t will himself to tumescence; Drunk Dean has to have his morning wood censored out by a large rectangular black box.
Long live Drunk Dean.
1. Daniel (last week: not ranked)
Nobody comes in hotter to Paradise than Daniel, who is brought in to clean up the “scraps.” In less than an hour of screen time, Daniel, declaring himself “the Great Canadian Wolf” and the “Great White Hope,” tells Christen that she can play with his balls if she wants. He informs Lacey, nonchalantly, that although he gave her his rose last night, he’s not going to automatically ask her on his date: “I’m not going to just give it to you,” he says straight-up. “It doesn’t work like that.” Later, on their date, he stands behind her in Lucho Libre garb and proclaims that he is “unraveling like a pool noodle.” He is not afraid to declare that he likes sex, or that he's here to get laid. In a strange inversion of traditional tropes, Daniel, the Canadian, is the id of an otherwise all-American Paradise. May he remain unchecked.
Not ranked: Ben Z.’s dog. Woof.