On Bachelor in Paradise, Demi chooses between Derek and the woman she left behind
|Toronto Star 21 Aug 2019 at 08:03|
Who would have thought the Bachelor franchise, that bastion of heteronormativity, would give us an indelible moment between a same-sex couple?
When Demi Burnett was reunited with girlfriend Kristian Haggerty on Tuesday’s Bachelor in Paradise it was as sweet and genuine a moment as anything we’ve seen between a man and a woman throughout many seasons of Bachelor, Bachelorette and Paradise combined.
Love is love is love, and Demi and Kristian certainly seem to be in love — delirious, can’t get enough of each other love.
There’s also something to be said for a prime-time reality TV show treating a same-sex couple like any other. We got to listen in as Demi and Kristian talked about and to each other, follow them on their date and witness their passionate makeout session and yet …
I couldn’t help but wonder if two men would have got the same treatment.
Furthermore, while host Chris Harrison seemed genuine in his care and concern for Demi during their chats, there’s no denying that bringing Kristian to Paradise helped amp up the drama that is the series’ bread and butter.
You could argue that flying Kristian to Mexico was the best way to help Demi decide once and for all if she wanted to be with Kristian or Derek Peth, with whom she had formed a romantic connection. All it took was for Demi to see and hold Kristian again to know she was the one she wanted.
But isn’t that where it should begin and end in the context of the show, with Demi and Kristian riding off into the sunset, leaving Derek to lick his wounds in peace?
Instead, Kristian agreed to stay in Paradise to work on the relationship, which means not only rubbing salt in the hole in Derek’s heart but providing Kristian with a daily reminder of Demi’s infidelity. So yes, more drama — unless Derek decides he’s had enough and sends himself home.
The good news for Derek is that he’s suddenly jumped to the top of the list of potential Bachelors. We all still love Mike Johnson, of course, but Derek now has quite a back story to work into a Bachelor monologue: dumped by Bachelorette JoJo Fletcher; got engaged to and then broke up with Bachelor in Paradise cast mate Taylor Nolan; now dumped by Demi. As he put it, “I feel like I’m just in the same situation as always where somebody picks somebody else over me.”
Beyond all that, Derek was just so nice about the breakup. He told Demi, “If this is what makes you happy, you’re making the right decision.” He met Kristian and told her he had no hard feelings. If this isn’t a guy who deserves to have 30 women throwing themselves at him I don’t know who is.
Before the Demi and Derek and Kristian drama, things were downright boring on the beach.
We had a minor skirmish between newcomer Caitlin, who was trying to get something going with Blake, and his old friend with benefits Kristina, who was unashamedly campaigning for a friendship rose from Blake.
Caitlin, who called Kristina awful and atrocious (points for the alliteration and the three-syllable insult), tried to convince Kristina to back off because she was really interested in Blake, but Kristina was completely unsympathetic.
Katie, meanwhile, who had been in what appeared to be a promising relationship with Chris Bukowski, suddenly told him she’d be cool with him dating other people. She didn’t mean it, she tearfully explained to Demi; she was trying to protect herself by pushing him away.
But Chris decided that perhaps Katie wasn’t as serious as he was about finding a lasting relationship so he took up Jen Saviano — a veteran of both Ben Higgins’ Bachelor season and Season 3 of Bachelor in Paradise — on her offer of a date.
The date went horribly: a bumpy catamaran ride had Chris barfing into the ocean. But Chris took Jen for a private champagne swilling session back at the resort and then some smoochies in the hot tub.
When he finally did get around to talking to Katie, who assured Chris she really liked him and wanted to be with him, Chris was the one holding back: “Like there’s a feeling that I have that’s a little bit of doubt,” he said.
Yeah, it’s called I kissed a(nother) girl and I liked it.
Speaking of song lyrics, perhaps the less said about the song Nicole wrote for Clay the better. “Your biceps are so yummy / I want you in my tummy.” Huh?
Next week, we can look foward to John Paul Jones stepping out on Tayshia with not one but two women; newcomer Tahzjuan having a freakout; doubts being raised about Dean’s fidelity to Caelynn and “a surprise ending you’ll have to see to believe” in Chris Harrison-speak.