So, Bachelor in Paradise was really interesting this week. But who cares?
Ben Higgins is The Bachelor! (Breaks into victory dance. Pops cork on an $8 bottle of champagne.)
They tried to trick us. No one was fooled. Ben H. has been anointed since the moment he galloped on horseback over the lush green fields of Ireland and strutted into the castle of our hearts.
He was so sweet, smart and open to expressing his fears that you couldn't help but root for the guy to find love. I mean, his last beak up made him wonder if he was unlovable. Who hasn't been there?
Welcome into America's loving bosom, Ben. We'll commence questioning your judgment as a parade of eligible women who probably wanted to meet you but also really waned to be on TV tamp down their crazy for long enough to woo you.
I guess we still have to talk about Week 4 of Bachelor in Paradise though, so here goes.
Seriously, it was awful what happened to him but hard to feel bad. He ruthlessly pursued love and found out too late he was chasing a shark and not a tuna.
Samantha is the game master and you volunteered as tribute, man. You either win or die in The Bachelor Games. The odds were not in your favor.
Sam admitted no fault in the whole "Joe uses Juelia" debacle and laid back and watched everyone eat him alive. Being deeply misogynistic (Joe called Sam both a trophy wife and an 8 point buck), he felt it was only right to take rap and protect his lady.
Nick Peterson from Ashley Herbert's season of The Bachelorette showed up and was excited to take Sam on his date. She declined, even though, they had met, talked and texted before she got to Paradise.
He was confused, mostly because she said she would date him if it came down to it. Joe was buoyed by that, but his happiness was not long for the world.
After setting up a romantic birthday surprise for himself, Sam came and dumped him for essentially doing what she had asked and remaining in Paradise to meet her.
Carly said it best Monday night. "She keeps talking about not want to be caught up in all this drama. She is CREATING the drama. She loves it. Well played."
So with Nick and Joe ostensibly out of the picture, Sam found herself free to mingle once again.
Dan Cox made Ashley S. look less and less crazy with each interview. Each time he talked to producers it was bashing Joe and ruing in his broken heart as if his sadness somehow changed any of what was happening with Dan. It was only after Justin, "The Poor Man's Matt Damon," asked out Sam that we found out the why behind all the seemingly irrational hate. "Of course I don't want to see her go on a date with Justin because I want to get to know her better." Pfffffffft.
Dan, honey, Sam has been revealed to be a shark. Who exactly did you think you were courting over there with your water wings?
Justin, Paradise's newest arrival, does ask out Sam and gets the okay, but we won't know if they've hit it off -- leaving Nick and Joe on the chopping block -- until next week.
At this week's rose ceremony, JJ went out like a rock star and gave his rose to Ashley S. before leaving Paradise to get back the girl he dumped to join the show. His image rehab was complete. Everyone hated Joe so much they couldn't even process that he had broken the cardinal sin of dating reality and been in a relationship before he arrived. JJ is President Snow.
All the selfish people who already met someone tried to pressure Dan into giving his rose to Juelia to save her, but after waffling he picked Amber for the same reason that he picked Ashley S. Dan Cox likes girls who like him. He is a coward. A hot, bearded coward, but a coward nonetheless.
Juelia was eliminated with Clare and Megan. She tromped up the stairs only to prove something I've known all along about The Bachelor universe. Chris Harrison is omnipotent. Chris Harrison is Suzanne Collins.
Earlier in the day when Juelia sensed she was going home, she went to the Harbinger of Doom and asked him to bring back Mikey because she had made a mistake. He didn't answer, but you could see the wheels turning. After Juelia was eliminated Mikey was waiting for her at the top of the stairs.
With Mikey Testosterone back, Juelia got a one-on-one date to see Mexican wrestling in Guadalajara and a fantasy suite. They seemed like too spacey people who would undoubtedly make cute babies, but the kisses just felt forced. We'll know by Labor Day, but let's be honest. Can you see Mikey playing tea party with Juelia's 2-year-old, Ireland? Me neither.
Nick was sidelined by Sam's need to protect her image, so without a clear prospect he turned to Ashley S. who accepted his invite and all 18 shots he poured her. That date should have been the whole episode it was so epic. Tequila massages followed up by hot tubbing followed up by more tequila shots and Nick being weirded out that Ashley S. called herself his sister.
So. Much. Win.
The break up we all knew would happen eventually played out. Jared pulled Ashley I. to the side and told her he just wasn't that into her in the most Jared way possible. "I think that you should experience Paradise." He admitted to still being in love with Kaitlyn which sent the Weeping Virgin into a tailspin.
At the bottom, she made a friend. She commiserated with Joe and even tried to help him win back Sam with some pretty cute advice about trying to reintroduce himself since she was looking for a fresh start. Alas, she did not mean a fresh start with Joe.
Now, that our Kentucky boy has been used and abused, he's determined to go down swinging. Next week, he'll reveal the truth that Tanner has known all along. Using Juelia was Sam's idea and she's #sorrynotsorry.
If Dan still wants to get to know her after that, well, then we should all feel sheepish for being worse judges of character than the girl who talks to birds.