The Aug. 23 episode of Bachelor in Paradise began with Joe, aka the biggest villain in Paradise, continuing his villainous streak by bragging about how brilliant it was to play Juelia to get her rose so he could stay in Paradise to meet his "dream girl" Samantha. Though no one was cheering him on (even Samantha had recently given him directions about how to behave when she'd thought no cameras were around), Joe remained pretty pleased with himself.
"Samantha knew that I was coming to Paradise for her," Joe said to the camera. "But I do think that Juelia needs to understand where I'm coming from and respect my space."
Though JJ tried to make things right for Juelia by offering to give her his rose in the upcoming ceremony, the mother of one politely declined. "I am honest and trustworthy and kind and I know that I'm a good mom," Juelia cried to the camera, knowing that by refusing JJ's offer she was likely going home. "I know that I will make somebody really happy."
The stress of being the most hated man in Paradise was starting to get to Joe, but Samantha didn't seem to have a care in the world. "Samantha isn't taking any responsibility right now," Joe said to the camera (hey, he and Tanner agree on something!). But while Tanner was irked by Samantha's behavior, Joe was at peace with bearing that burden. "I can be a man in this relationship and step up to the plate," he explained.
Samantha (Sort of) Usurps Joe's Title as Paradise's Biggest Villain
But while Joe was willing to give Sam a pass, the others weren't. Clare confronted Sam for not asking Juelia, her "good friend," if there was anyone she was interested in before pouncing on Joe.
Sam then turned to Jade for support—and got a cold shoulder from both her and her love interest instead. "I have zero respect for Sam," Tanner said to camera. "Joe is just the puppet. Sam is the evil puppet-master."
Rose Ceremony Is Full of Surprises
Prior to the rose ceremony, Juelia had a heart-to-heart with Chris Harrison, telling him about Joe and Samantha. "You feel like Joe used you to stay to get to Samantha," Chris said.
"100 percent," she replied. She then went one step further to tell the host that she wished that she had given her rose to Mikey the week before and asked if there was any way that Mikey could come back to Paradise.
That request made, the rose ceremony began. Predictably, Joe gave his to Sam, Tanner to Jade, Kirk to Carly, and Joshua to Tenley. JJ ignored Megan's plea and gave his rose to Ashley S., while Jared gave his rose to Ashley I. Dan was last to go, and while he was clearly torn between keeping his friend Juelia around and keeping his romantic connection Amber around, ultimately he went for the sparks and Amber got the final flower. This meant that Megan, Clare, and Juelia were going home—or not.
Though the first two ladies made swift exits (Clare's highlighted with the announcement that this marked her "retirement" from Paradise), there was something different in store for Juelia.
JJ Leaves Paradise
After handing out his rose to Ashley S., JJ made what he called the "grown up" decision to leave Paradise (which he noted was populated with some of "the world's most beautiful women") — because his heart was with someone else: "a girl in Colorado." Explaining that "time is of the essence," the father of one decided he was willing to make the sacrifice to leave the show to pursue the chance for true love.
"I need to find this girl back home, and I need to beg and plead and grovel for her to take me back," he revealed. And just like that, JJ departed. Though his castmates were a bit shocked, it was hard not to cheer him on.
Mikey Likes It!
As she exited Paradise, the heartbroken blonde was overjoyed to be greeted by Mikey. Harrison then brought the happy pair back into Paradise and said they were they to stay. "I'm so happy right now!" Juelia cheered. And she wasn't alone—though he hadn't been a favorite in the house at first, Mikey seemed to be welcomed back to the group with open arms by everyone… well, everyone except Joe, that is.
"I think Juelia being back here is great," Joe said to the camera with an expression that looked like he wanted to kill someone.
Jade and Tanner Fly High
Bestowed with a date card, Tanner took Jade on a luxurious date in a private plane to Tequila, Mexico where they toured a tequila distillery, walked around the town, and took their relationship to the next level by opting to spend the night away from Paradise and on their own.
In a quiet moment between the two of them, Tanner opened up to Jade about his feelings. "I'm starting to have actual feelings for you; it's scary though," he said. "I'm not scared of anything you're going to do. I'm scared of being in love with you at the end of this and that being it. That's the truth."
Jade responded by telling him she was in the same boat. "I'm falling for you too," she said. "I'm right here with you." Then they made out some more and decided to make it official that they were boyfriend and girlfriend. When they returned to Paradise the following day, they looked more in love than ever.
Nick Arrives—and Asks Sam on a Date
Nick arrived in Paradise ready to sweep Sam off her feet, only to be rebuffed by her when he asked her to join him on his one-on-one date. "I'm seriously shocked that Samantha said no to my date offer because she told me she'd say yes," Nick said to the camera. He then went on to tell Mikey that Sam had been talking to him before their arrival, apparently at the same time that she had been talking to Joe.
It's probably worth mentioning that Nick opted to take Ashley S. on the date instead. They got sensual massages and drank a lot, but he later described her as "a little out there," which is not exactly a ringing endorsement, but you never know.
Jared (Finally, Officially) Dumps Ashley I.
Not that they were ever really a couple to begin with, but Jared finally laid it out there for Ashley I. in clear terms that she had no choice but to understand. "I don't think it's fair for me to not at least try to experience things with other guys," he said to the virginal brunette, who immediately started to cry.
"That's not going to happen," she snapped. Later, she sobbed to the camera that Jared was "so perfect" and that "every guy" she's ever liked "hasn't liked" her back.
That's when she got a great idea—or maybe a not-so- great idea: She called Kaitlyn Bristowe. "What the f— did you do to Jared?" Ashley I. shouted at the engaged Bachelorette. "He's obsessed with you? He can't stop thinking about you? He can't get over you and he's completely consumed and it sucks for me!" (It was unclear what Kaitlyn said to that.)
Sam and Joe's Relationship Implodes
But despite the fact that Sam didn't go on the date with Nick, she didn't seem into Joe very much anymore, either. "Sam is distancing herself from Joe," Mikey confirmed. "I think Joe is definitely a little insecure at this point. He seems a little worried."
Perhaps in an attempt to mask his worry, Joe set up a romantic birthday dinner — for just himself and Sam. Unfortunately, Sam had other plans. Shortly after showing up, Sam broke the bad news to Joe.
"I just feel scared and not right and I don't want to start a relationship off in that way," she explained. Citing the drama, she said she couldn't "handle it" and then told him she wanted to go on dates with other guys.
Stunned and angry, Joe confided in Joshua, vowing to expose Sam. "I think it's time to put some stuff straight, clear the air, and watch them squirm," Joe vowed. "I'm gonna be like this, 'Gotcha, bitch!'"
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