It's been said that there's a fine line between pleasure and pain, and perhaps nowhere is that more true than on Bachelor in Paradise. The President of Bachelor Nation, Chris Harrison, kicked off the second season of the spinoff by reminding us that all of the familiar faces about to hit the beach were here for a second—or third—chance at love.
Just in case you have any doubts: All of these Bachelor alums are here in hopes of finding a life partner—the fact that they get to hang out in the luxurious tropics with free-flowing booze is just an added bonus.
So who are these romantics at heart? The episode wasted no time re-introducing these former castoffs.
Meet the A Team
As you know, the cast is fluid since new people arrive as others are sent home, but it's safe to say the starting lineup came out strong. Ashley I., the self-described virginal Kardashian wannabe, mixed things up by arriving with her younger sister, Lauren, who quickly branded herself as the promiscuous version of Ashley I. (Harrison later revealed that the sisters would be treated as a package deal, much to the delight of the guys and the chagrin of some of the other ladies.)
Ashley S., aka "Onion Girl" from her season with Chris Soules, arrived shortly after the sisters and was quickly living up to her reputation by paying more attention to a gang of caged parakeets than Harrison. Another Soules vet, Jade (whom the farmer sent home after she confessed to having posed for Playboy) was also in the mix—and quickly became one of the guys' favorites. Rounding out the Soules gals was bubbly blond Carly.
Jared, Jonathan, JJ, and Tanner, all still licking their battle wounds from their time with Kaitlyn Bristowe, arrived ready to mingle and move on. (Though, to be fair, Jonathan, JJ, and Tanner all seemed pretty over her.)
Jillian returned with her infamous butt and a new set of breasts. Also in the mix was Juelia, who noted that her 2-year-old daughter had picked out Kirk for her to date—and yes, Kirk was there too. Dan (from Desiree's season) was also back, but now he's "older and wiser" (according to him).
Perhaps one of the more surprising players, franchise vet Tenley, showed up. She admitted what a heartbreak it was separating from Kipton (whom she met on Bachelor Pad and dated for a whopping five years without tying the knot), but insisted she was really ready for love.
Rounding out the gang was meathead Mikey, who promptly promised the other guys he could get them as "jacked" as he was in just a month. None of them seemed to keen to take him up on his offer.
The First Five Minutes
Naturally, people started forming opinions about each other (and pairing off) in roughly the first five minutes. Tenley didn't think it was "fair" that Ashley I. showed up with Lauren, but Jade didn't seem threatened. "I just don't see Lauren as the kind of girl that guys want to marry," she quipped. And while Mikey may or may not want to marry Lauren, he certainly did want to do something with her and practically dragged her into the ocean upon meeting. (Lauren seemed less enthused about Mikey.)
Meanwhile, Carly zeroed in on Kirk and Jared, which might end up being a problem since Ashley I. also declared her interest in Jared—oh, and so did Lauren.
Once everyone had settled in with a cocktail or three, Harrison laid out the groundwork for how the next few weeks would go. "It's about each of you having the opportunity to find true love," he began. "The tough thing about paradise is that at each rose ceremony, if you're not in a relationship where you could possibly see love happening, you'll be going home."
He then revealed that this week, the guys would be handing out the roses, which meant that at least one lady would be going home. (Two ladies would be going home if neither of the sisters received a rose.) Tenley took the opportunity to reiterate that she didn't think it was fair that they were a two-for-one. Sorry, Tenley!
To prove that true love can be found in Paradise, former contestants Lacey and Marcus tied the knot in a beautiful beach ceremony, which Harrison officiated, in front of their family and friends (and the current cast).
Everyone was stunned by how in love they seemed as they exchanged personalized vows. "They have such an amazing connection," Ashley S. cooed. "You can literally feel it right now." She might have felt the love, but it was Juelia who caught the bouquet.
Lauren and Ashley I. Struggle
Before the first night ended, Lauren had a total meltdown. "I just don't think this could be fun," she cried to her sister before complaining about Tenley and Juelia being "old." Ultimately she decided, "I'm tired as f— right now too, maybe I just need sleep." Good idea.
Meanwhile, Ashley I. had managed to completely clam up when trying to talk to her crush, Jared. Ultimately, she spit something out about how Jasmine was her favorite Disney princess and seemed pretty pleased with herself—until Jared grabbed Jade to head down to the beach. "I didn't even think about another girl stealing the guy I like away," she confessed to the camera as she broke down in tears. "I would pick Jade over me." (Err, did she know what show she was going on?)
Ashley I. Gets First Date Card
In Paradise, date cards are handed out at random, and Ashley I. got the first one — which meant she got the first pick of the litter. (Naturally, she wanted to ask Jared.) Instead of being happy, though, she got even more upset. "I feel like Jared knows I'm going to pick him but he doesn't want to go," she confessed to her sister.
"Just pretend like you're someone else," Lauren helpfully suggested.
Finally, Ashley I. got up the nerve to ask Jared out, he accepted, and they enjoyed what appeared to be a lovely (if tame) time off-roading and drinking champagne on the beach. "I really like Jared," Ashley I. declared after—though Jared seemed a bit lukewarm on her."
Later, Jade received a date card but mercifully chose Tanner despite the fact that she was toying with the idea of asking Jared. Even though she seemed to pair off with Tanner for the time being, her sparks with Jared weren't out just yet and there may be more kindling there than Ashley I. would like.
First Kiss of the Season
Meanwhile, Carly and Kirk were busy hitting it off as they awkwardly flirted while talking about what tiny hands she had. "I didn't expect to have an actual emotional, physical connection right away," Kirk admitted before planting a kiss on Carly (though later she would insist that she was the one who made the first move). Either way, Kirk and Carly paired off and nabbed the honor of having the first kiss of the season.
Before the episode ended, however, Ashley S. ended up in the hospital (Dan graciously went with her) and another player, Clare, showed up. Upon arrival, she announced that she had her eyes on Tanner, Kirk, and Jared. Let the games begin!
Tell Us: Do you think Jared will end up with Ashely I. or Jade?
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