First, the cast learned their new guest host was Lance Bass. He introduced himself by playing ‘NSync’s “It’s Gonna Be Me” on a boombox. He then announced that new men would be arriving soon as control of the roses shifted to the women.
The first to come in was Thomas, bringing with him a date card. The guys from Katie Thurston’s season — specifically Tre Cooper, Aaron Clancy and James Bonsall — immediately put their guards up given their past bad blood with Thomas and warned others about his alleged motives. Thomas set his sights on Serena Pitt, and she agreed when he asked her out because she thought it was too early in her relationship with Joe Amabile to be fully committed to him.
Joe, meanwhile, spiraled over the prospect of reliving the situation he went through with his ex Kendall Long during season 5, when she was interested in both him and Leo Dottavio. He debated whether he should leave Paradise if Serena wanted to pursue Thomas. Serena was physically attracted to Thomas, and they kissed during their date. But after he tried to explain his drama with the men from his season, she told him to pursue other women because she didn’t want to be wrapped up in the controversy.
Thomas was upset that his former Bachelorette castmates hurt his chances with Serena, so he decided to apologize to Tre, Aaron and James. Tre opted to forgive Thomas, but then he discovered that Thomas told Serena during their date that Tre was not emotionally strong. Tre confronted Thomas, informing him that he planned to focus on himself and would never speak to him again. He didn’t even let Thomas defend himself before walking away.
Riley Christian arrived later in the episode, leading Tahzjuan Hawkins to confess that he was the only man she wanted to meet in Paradise. He hit it off with Maurissa Gunn, though, so he took her on a date. Connor Brennan, who was loosely coupled up with Maurissa, insisted he wasn’t worried about her going out with Riley. However, Maurissa and Riley’s chemistry was apparent, and they went to bed together when they returned from their date.
Although she was disappointed about her missed opportunity with Riley, Tahzjuan and Tre decided to continue seeing each other.
Elsewhere in the episode, Natasha Parker struggled to connect romantically with Brendan Morais and felt like they were both waiting on someone else to show up on the beach. She revealed that they had not even made out yet and wondered if he was conning her.
Scroll through the gallery below to see where the other couples stand after the third episode: