Bachelor in Paradise recap: How did Nicole become queen of the beach?

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Hello, and welcome to night 2 of week 2, rose lovers! Everything is still a disaster, but at least Jordan is part of the intro now.

Also, it doesn’t seem safe for production to let John Paul Jones fall asleep in the pool. But Paradise isn’t about saving people from drowning — it’s about love! To that end, let’s recap.

RELATIONSHIP STATUS
Demi and Derek: Everyone thinks these two are the strongest couple in Paradise, and why wouldn’t they? The guy is even willing to smell her stinky armpit.

But Demi is feeling “conflicted” about their relationship because she’s still thinking about the woman she was dating before she came to Paradise. Though she’s not yet ready to tell Derek what’s bothering her, Demi does confide in Katie. “I’ve been dating a woman back home,” she says. “I do miss her, and I think about her all the time.” Being on Paradise, Demi adds, was a way for her to “figure out stuff” about herself. “I’m always afraid of how people are going to take it,” says Demi, tearing up. “There’s layers to me… This is about me embracing that side of me.”

Demi recently told her parents that she “likes boys and girls,” and they supported her. That’s nice to hear, especially since Demi says she’s been surrounded by people who made her feel “really bad” and “unworthy” her whole life.
Dylan and Hannah and Blake: Having failed to talk to Hannah during her dance lesson with Blake, Dylan manages to pull her aside the next day for a WTF chat. “I just don’t see why you’re so open to other things right now if we’re doing so well,” he says.

Hannah insists that she owes it to herself to stay “open-minded,” even about a guy who is garnering a reputation as the Town Bike of Paradise. Oh, and there is one other thing: Before Paradise, Blake flew to see Hannah in Birmingham, Ala., uninvited but apparently not unwelcome. “Like, we kissed there,” says Hannah.
Poor Dylan. Isn’t this something that could have been brought to his attention yesterday??? “This is just like the ultimate slap in the face,” he moans. Not just for you, buddy. Tayshia is pissed that Hannah didn’t mention Blake’s little visit before her date with him last week. When confronted, though, Hannah claims that Blake’s trip to Birmingham was a “private thing” and she didn’t tell anyone “out of respect for him.” On top of that, she feels “attacked” by Tayshia. “I feel like she Mean Girled me,” she whimpers. Honey, pleeeeease.

Dean and Caelynn: Yep, Dean’s here, rose lovers, and he’s… homeless?

Plus, he doesn’t have a job. “You are a catch!” jokes Harrison. “What woman wouldn’t want to lock you down?” To that end, the host hands Dean — who says he’s back in Paradise to “atone” for his past sins — a date card. Do your worst, buddy.

After chatting with Katie, Onyeka, and his Paradise ex Kristina, Dean sits down with Caelynn, who is, in his words, “an absolute mess right now.” You see, earlier that afternoon, Kristina rather cluelessly had a conversation with Wells about Caelynn, even though Caelynn was sitting right next to her. The beauty queen is understandably annoyed at Kristina for “spreading my business to every guy on this beach.” Still, she pulls it together long enough to say yes when Dean asks her on a date.

Though Caelynn says she’s “very guarded” going into her date with Dean (“he has a reputation”), that guard comes down pretty quick.

Mmmm… is there anything sexier than a wet mustache? (Don’t answer that.) This development between Caelynn and Dean leaves Mike and Cam out in the cold, at least for now. “I think the Caelynn ship has sailed,” sighs Cam sadly. “It’s fine. It’s fine. It’s fine. I’ll be fine.”

Christian and Nicole and Clay: Who’s Christian, you ask? He claims he was on Becca’s season of The Bachelorette, which I didn’t believe until I went back and found photographic proof.

“He was a night-one guy on Becca’s season,” explains Jordan. “Stood by the meatballs the whole night and was just the guy with the mustache.” Then, he made a scene at the Men Tell All, just so he could have a “TV moment.” Now he’s hoping to secure another 15 minutes by romancing Nicole. And she LOVES it.

“I was kind of expecting her to maybe say no because she already had a good connection here,” says Clay. “But she didn’t, and she agreed to go on a date with him.”

And it’s going to be hard for Clay to compete with Christian because the new guy is completely Nicole’s type. “The typical Latin guy is up to no good, that’s the problem,” she says with a smile. “He reminds me of a man I would have dated in Miami… I just met him and he’s already making me feel like he’s my boyfriend.” Cue the romantic guitar soundtrack!

Hoo boy, Clay. Might be time to start packing. “I worry that he’s a little too passive,” says Nicole. “What I like about Christian is he’s totally unafraid to just go for it.” She wants a man who’s going to be (respectfully) assertive about getting her attention, and she tells Clay as much. “You definitely have the opportunity to pull me aside,” she says. “I had a good time on today’s date mostly just because Christian was really assertive, and that’s kind of a quality I do like.”

Clay quickly gets a chance to prove how assertive he can really be. Christian strolls up to the day bed, drink in hand, and announces that he wants to finish his date with Nicole. “She’s all yours tomorrow, if that’s what she wants,” he says. Clay begs to differ. “Your date’s over when you come back to Paradise,” he says calmly. “You had a date, and your date’s over.”

Nicole looks like she can’t decide if she loves it that two grown men are fighting over her, or if she’s mortified that two grown men are fighting over her. But she for sure doesn’t like it when Christian puts her on the spot by asking her to settle the dispute. “I’m just catching up with [Clay] now,” she says. Finally, Christian walks back to the bar, where he and the lizard crawling up his shirt have some much-needed quiet time.

ROSE CEREMONY SCRAMBLE
Harrison helpfully does the math for us: “The numbers are even worse this week. Nine of you ladies, thirteen guys here. Four men are going home tonight.” You heard the man, folks — get to work!
Demi has no doubt that she wants to give her rose to Derek, but first she needs to tell him the truth about her love life: “I have, like, been casually dating someone, and… it’s a woman.” Derek doesn’t flinch, so Demi plows forward, telling him that she’s still “very much interested” in dating him, provided he has no issues with her revelation. Derek truly seems unfazed, though he is a little worried that Demi might have stronger feelings for the woman back home than she does for him. The two agree to take it slow, and all is right with the world. “How he handled it was so perfect,” gushes Demi. “He exceeded my expectations entirely.”

Ewwww, did Dean just tell Caelynn that he sometimes “showers” in “lakes or rivers”? Judging by her face, I think he did.

Given that Caelynn is all up in Dean’s dirty business, Mike is now working to get a rose from Sydney. His move involves bringing her a banana split sundae and praising her “core values.” John Paul Jones, meanwhile, is hoping to woo Tayshia by performing an excerpt of Romeo and Juliet for her.

I was full-body cringing during his monologue, but Tayshia LOVES it. “Usually guys that talk like him don’t have a brain like him,” she purrs. Over on another daybed, the battle for Nicole rages on. Christian sets up a little beachside rendezvous complete with champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries, and… a piñata? Okay. Clay watches from afar and decides that he needs to interrupt Christian’s romantic tableau. If Nicole wants him to be more assertive, he’ll be more assertive dammit!

But when he tries to “steal” Nicole for a minute, Christian puffs his chest up and barks, “I’m not gonna let you take her!” Nicole looks so uncomfortable, Clay backs down, much to the chagrin of the other guys — especially Jordan. In an effort to avenge his friend, the pot-stirring model jogs over to where Christian and Nicole are sitting and tries to yank the piñata down. It does not go over well.

Chaos! Jordan, what are you doing? If this stunt gets him sent home after one week, I’ll be very bummed.

4 MOST GIF-ABLE MOMENTS
1) Kevin bench-presses a clay jug

This dude hasn’t made much of an impression so far, but at least we know he’s staying fit.

2) Mike and Derek hear about Blake’s trip to Birmingham

Thanks for the classic “that’s gonna leave a mark” reaction GIF, guys.

3) Harrison sees Dean’s mustache for the first time

Once again, Chris Harrison is all of us. “It’s a little ‘70s,” says the host. “Like you might be shooting videos in the Valley somewhere.” (That’s where they used to shoot porn, kids.)

4) Jordan is disgusted by Christian’s footwear

“He wore athletic shoes to Paradise,” says Jordan, appalled. “Like, on entrance.”

So rose lovers, a few questions: Who are you rooting for in the Clay-Nicole-Christian triangle? Is it possible that Tayshia is truly into John Paul Jones? And would you date an unemployed van-dweller with a porn-star mustache? Post your thoughts below!
Bachelor in Paradise airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.
Related content:

Bachelor in Paradise preview: Jordan and Demi are the Statler and Waldorf of Paradise
Bachelor in Paradise episode 3 recap: ‘She’s a freaking player!’
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