'Bachelor in Paradise' premiere recap: What happened before the shutdown

The "Bachelor in Paradise" cast.
The "Bachelor in Paradise" cast.

Before we get to the "Bachelor in Paradise" premiere recap, a note from TV Lust's longtime "Bachelor" franchise recapper, Abby Draper:

Season 4 of "Bachelor in Paradise" has begun, and for the first time in years, I will not be providing a snarky recap to TV Lust for you to read the morning after … when the haze of Paradise has (kind of) worn off.


It has been an absolute pleasure to share my thoughts with all of you every week. I appreciate your engagement, your support and, mostly, your reciprocated snark.

I am absolutely certain Katy Primosch will do a wonderful job every week moving forward. I am excited to follow along.


I am also always available anywhere on social media @abbydraper to discuss all things "Bachelor." Or Tim Riggins.

Thank you, guys, for the fun. Don't be a stranger. Now, back to your regularly scheduled recap:

Following a shutdown in production and an investigation, 'Bachelor in Paradise' producers talk with contestants about safety.

Hi, my name is Katy, and I'm a Bachelor-holic. I'll be taking the reins from the infamous Abby Draper for your "Bachelor" franchise recaps, and while I couldn't possibly fill her shoes, I'll fill my wine glass and hope for the best.

Welcome to Season 4 of "Bachelor in Paradise." After seeing the trailer for this season during last week's "Bachelorette" finale, I'm left wondering how much ABC paid the standards department to look the other way on this season's content. It is entirely possible that Chris Harrison's ubiquitous promise of "the most dramatic season ever" may finally ring true.


We open to shots of an empty resort with dramatic music and audio clips of news stories about the "Bachelor in Paradise" production shutdown in the background. Chris Harrison strolls in and sounds downright cheerful, which is weird, because he's here to give background about the "accusations and allegations" of potential sexual misconduct that led to a decision to halt production 2 1/2 days into filming. Chris explains that before addressing what happened, the show will recap what happened before production halted, and we begin the episode.


Raven, the dark-haired dark horse from Nick's season, is the first to enter. She drops every Bachelor Nation platitude in her first breath, and she's looking for a Jade and Tanner love story, but a Carly and Evan one would be OK too. Ouch.

Deanie-baby is next, and he might be wearing silk boxers instead of a swim suit.

Next up is Kristina, the fan-favorite Russian beauty who is now a blonde. She says it feels like a 2-on-1 date, and there must be another boy coming next … which of course means another girl will arrive.

Danielle M. enters and immediately ends every sentence with a comment about how hot Dean is.

Ben Z. joins the crew with an eye for Raven. He pulls her aside and launches in to a monologue about his dog and possibly his entire pet ownership history. He says his dog, Zeus, needs a dog mom, and even I, a crazy dog lady, am weirded out.

Finally, we get a romantic embrace — between Dean and new-arrival Iggy.

Former Disney princess Jasmine arrives and is looking forward to meeting the guys from Rachel's season, in particular.

Jack Stone, who everyone agrees is not just Jack but Jack Stone, appears and goes on the record that he is NOT a serial killer as everyone thought during Rachel's season.

There's a gap in my notes here, because Alexis walks up the beach path in her shark suit, and I'm laughing hysterically and screaming with joy. She is an American treasure.

There's a break in the arrivals for everyone to grab a drink and begin gossiping. The ladies gather to discuss Demario and whether he really had a girlfriend while on Rachel's season. They appear to be very anti-Demario, and say they hope he won't show up, so of course … he shows up. Who would have thought?

The season finale of "The Bachelorette" was different, and not in a good way.

Demario wants to set everything straight, but he doesn't really answer Chris Harrison's questions, and he still refers to the events of last season as "happening to him." He sees that Raven is clearly the pack leader and attempts to get to her to plead his case and show her he's in paradise for the right reasons. Raven is conciliatory, but then the show cuts to an interview of her that shows she's not quite buying it.

After the heart-to-heart, Derek sneaks in and has to introduce himself as the one who cried on JoJo's season, because no one saw him come in and no one knows who he is.

His frenemy and Chief Narrator, Alex, joins the cast. He's excited to see his buddy Derek, who is simultaneously suggesting that Alex might be overcompensating for something.

Corinne tells Chris Harrison she's "Making Paradise Corinne Again," and I'm not sure how that works, but I'm quickly distracted by Corinne's stellar language skills. She learned how to say "nap," "cheesy pasta," and "champagne" in Spanish. She's in charge and is ready to have a siesta fiesta.

"Camel girl," aka Lacey, joins the group, and Iggy is already interested. It seems to be reciprocated, but the dream is short-lived because, unfortunately, Lacey has to leave immediately to attend to a death in the family at home.

Vinny and Diggy make nondescript entrances and remain boring for the rest of the episode.

While we wait for the remainder of the cast, we are treated to flirtation and a back massage between Demario and Corinne, and another cute chat between Dean and Kristina.

Alex delivers some snark about guys who rely on gimmicks, just as Matt the penguin, and St. Nick arrive in their respective costumes. Not to be out-snarked, Matt says Nick's Santa Claus beard is a cop-out and he should have gone for a full costume.

Immediately, Nick confesses that he's in paradise specifically to meet Jasmine and they have the first kiss of the day after a dare.

"Bachelor in Paradise" veteran Amanda is back for another shot at love. Her engagement to World's Worst Dude Josh Murray didn't work out "because he's a sweaty person." She returns her Neil Lane engagement ring to Chris Harrison and (in my favorite moment of the night) he takes a sniff and says the ring smells like pizza.

The final entrance is reserved for Taylor, a Johns Hopkins University and Stevenson alum who is nervous because her season didn't go very well. She pairs up with Derek almost immediately, and tells him that she wants the kind of man who can make her a fire. Some awkward camp-talk flirting ensues, and I don't understand it really, because my most outdoorsy activity is drinking wine on the patio.

In my favorite conversation of the night, Amanda and Alexis discuss the awfulness of dating via phone apps, and Amanda complains that she was waitlisted for the celebrity dating app and never got accepted. Alexis shares that she knows she's not feeling anyone yet because her vagina isn't dancing. Another gap in my notes here, because I needed resuscitation.


Demario and Corinne hop into the pool behind Alex doing an interview with producers. He awkwardly narrates it and everyone in America knows that this is actually a bigger deal than it seems in the moment.

Drinking and sexual hookups have long been part of the "'Bachelor" franchise. But a recent incident that led to the temporary shutdown of "Bachelor in Paradise" has led some to call for changes.

Chris Harrison returns to give the run-down. There are no real surprises here, except we get some very dramatic news… Jorge the Bartender is leaving paradise. This alone should be reason to cancel the show, to be honest. We get an acceptable replacement though, as Wells is joining the cast, but as a bartender only, not to participate in the romance.


Vinny, for his only contribution to the episode, shows up with a date card for Kristina, who of course picks Dean. They have a very sweet, very giggly dinner date that breaks into a dramatic dance scene, followed by a confetti waterfall. It is one of the rare Bachelor Nation dates that actually looks like fun, and I think I can get on board with this cute couple. Unfortunately, from the teasers, I fear this cuteness is short-lived.

Danielle, who cannot stop talking about Dean, is jealous and seeks advice from Wells, who apparently is her longtime friend from Nashville. They have a rapport, and I immediately just want the two of them to date instead.

Back at the house, Nick is gunning for Jasmine, but he's almost too drunk to function, so Matt swoops in and he and Jasmine hop into the hot tub for a steamy moment. This penguin's heart has melted.

In a TOTALLY WILD AND UNEXPECTED TWIST (just kidding, we knew this would happen), another gentleman arrives. It's professional-swimmer-turned-Instagram-influencer Robby and he has a date card. As he makes his late entrance, the men have more to say about his perfect hair, teeth, and abs than the women do. He picks Raven and they go jet-skiing which, as Robby says about 1,000 times, is right up his alley because he grew up on the water. We are treated to more hair flips from Robby than Raven on this date.

It’s been weeks since Taylor Nolan was eliminated from ABC’s “The Bachelor,” yet the mental health counselor’s life is still jolted in the show’s aftermath.

In what was a truly artful dig and some excellent post-production, bitter Ben Z. says that he's a "beer at a barbecue" guy while Robby is a "wine spritzer on the beach" guy while we see clips of Robby talking about his denim speedo and his personal growth journey. The good news for Ben Z. and his dog Zeus is that Raven doesn't seem too impressed by Robby's status as an "influencer" on Instagram.

Matt scores the next date card, and is instructed to "pick his queen." It's Jasmine, and they go on what looks like an incredibly fun expedition to a local drag bar. Surprise, surprise, they need a last-minute replacement for a drag queen and they pick Matt! He's dressed up head to toe in glitter and sequins and he handles it perfectly. Jasmine eats it up, and they have a lot of laughs. It's early, but this couple seems to have some oompf.


With nine minutes left in the episode, the rose ceremony is about to begin, but I have a hunch that we won't get there, because every commercial break teaser has been about the production shutdown, and we haven't reached that point yet. Before we do, we get to watch the guys scrambling for the hearts of the women in order to get a rose for the week, and I'm here for it. I would dig it if the women were in charge every week.

Corinne agrees to give Vinny her rose, in a surprise deal. Iggy makes a last minute play for Alexis, but calls her crazy in the process. Downvote for you on that, Iggy. We catch a quick moment with Taylor and Derek who appear to be heavily infatuated, and have a classic "Bachelor in Paradise" cabana make-out.

Ben Z. awkwardly interrupts an awkwardly chatting Raven and Robby. He steals her away and they have a very cute moment where he says "paradise is more than just a place; it's a feeling you have with someone where everything else just falls away." 100 percent cheese but 100 percent sweet. Keeping an eye on these two as well.

With about three minutes to go, producers pull Corinne and Demario away from the group. Everyone is confused and senses something is wrong. The camera men put the cameras down and the crew disappears. The episode ends with a cliffhanger: "a chill fell over paradise."

That's it for today, but I'll be back Wednesday to break down what happened and why. Here's to hoping that ABC can address this serious issue with the gravity it deserves and it can be a learning experience for all.


"I think Alexis is great, but I have to question her porpoise for being here." - Jack Stone

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