Settle Down Bachelor Nation, Demi Is Nothing Like Jed

TBH, leave the Queen of Paradise—and her girlfriend—out of it

Katherine Singh
(Photos: ABC; Illustration: Aimee Nishitoba)

Another day, another Bachelor franchise drama. And this time it’s coming for the unofficial Queen of Paradise.

The fan fave has been steadily building up a relationship with John Krasinski lookalike Derek—and only four episodes into the season, the couple has given us *tons* of cute (if not a little too comfortable) moments.

For example:

But, as Demi revealed to viewers at the start of this season, she was a little conflicted. See, before Paradise she’d casually been dating a woman, and wasn’t sure how strong her feeling were for her girlfriend, Kristian Haggerty. Talking to fellow contestant Katie on episode 4, Demi says that her Paradise process is about realizing her queerness is “OK.” On the August 13 episode of Paradise, Demi opened up to Derek, telling him about her relationship outside of Paradise and her bisexuality. But while Derek was cool with both developments (as he should be), some former Bachelor alum weren’t.

On August 14, Paradise season 2 alum called out Demi (in a now-deleted tweet) as a hypocrite, comparing her to Bachelorette season 15 villain Jed Wyatt (and semi-spoiling this season of Paradise). ICYMI, Jed ended the latest season of The Bachelorette engaged to Hannah, only for it to come out afterwards that he had a girlfriend back home.

Later, Bachelor blogger Reality Steve chimed in, tweeting: “No joke, I’m legit confused now. So now it’s ok to go on this show while dating someone back home as long as you announce it from the get go and not hide it? Bc that’s how I’m reading this. My head hurts.”

All we have to say is: Guys, calm down. Because Demi is *nothing* like Jed. Here’s why:

She’s been upfront from the beginning

It’s important to acknowledge that a lot of how we perceive the show—and the people on it—is thanks to editing. So who knows how long into Paradise Demi and Derek even had this talk or if they’d had a similar talk off-camera before.

Regardless, the point is that Demi was open, with both Derek and the Paradise audience before making it too far into the season, and her relationship with Derek.

While Jed was…not. Like at all. He straight-up lied.

ICYMI, the dog-food-jingle writer only fessed up about his other relationship after Hannah said “yes” to his proposal (which is deceptive AF), and even that wasn’t the whole story. Hannah only found out the true extent of his relationship (you know: going on tropical vacays, saying “I love you,” and sleeping with his GF the night before he left for the show) from a June 18 People article.

Demi’s reason for remaining slightly guarded was completely valid. Not only was she opening up to Derek about another relationship she’d been in, and was still thinking about, but she was also coming out to him as bisexual, revealing a part of her identity that she hadn’t shared with everyone. And unfortunately, it’s a part of her identify that for some reason can make people super hateful. As she tells Derek during their chat: “I’ve been uncomfortable talking about it because it’s scary.”

Whereas Jed’s only fear was being caught for the lying, cheating scum-bag he is. Big difference.

As Hannah said in the finale, she felt like she didn’t know what she was saying yes to. And Demi is giving Derek the opportunity to know her whole story. And we’re here for that.

She’s not *blatantly* here for her career

We’re not going to pretend that people don’t go on these reality TV shows for their careers. Because they do. Even if you’re not a full-on Jed, just showing up on one (or several) of these shows, making a good go of it and leaving with a fairly untarnished rep, will inevitably help you in some way; whether it’s garnering you a couple thousand more Instagram followers, landing that coveted sponcon with an eyewear brand or launching a podcast, Bach nation alums usually come out with something.

But then there’s Jed. From the very beginning the singer-songwriter told Hannah that he had come on the show to help his career, before saying he was falling in love with her. And while their moment of honesty seemed refreshing for the franchise, the number of times Jed brought out his frickin’ guitar in the weeks afterward signalled that he was definitely still there for his career.

It was a lot.

Every time he pulled out that guitar, we were pretty much like this:

And justifiably so. Guys, Jed is not a great singer.

In comparison, Demi really seems like she’s in Paradise to make a connection. I mean, do people even know what she does? (She’s an interior designer, FYI). And we haven’t seen her running around Paradise stringing up light fixtures! She wanted absolutely nothing to do with that ill-fated piñata!

It’s not the same show

Demi’s personal stuff aside, the biggest reason that she is *nothing* like Jed? Because they’re not on the same show. Yes, Paradise  is part of the Bachelor franchise, but the intentions of the show aren’t at all the same.

While the premise of  The Bachelor and Bachelorette is pretty crazy—that two people would fall in love in a matter of weeks, to the point that they’d be ready to get engaged. It’s what happens time and time again, and it’s what people sign up for. Contestants like Jed apply for and go on to the show explicitly to date one person—the star Bachelor or Bachelorette–and to get engaged to them. In essence, going on the show is telling the lead that you’re there for that one person. You’re all in. And that’s a serious commitment.

On the other hand, Paradise is the place where people come to have fun. Sure, there’s the hope that you might come in and find someone, but it’s not as absolute. And it’s not even really the expectation. Numerous contestants have left Paradise with no connections at all or without an engagement.

And, with numerous potential love interest and copious amounts of alcohol, Paradise is explicitly *the* place where contestants aren’t meant to focus on one person. We live for the numerous hookups (onscreen at least, Blake). Paradise is the place for these Bachelor nation alums to see what (and who) they like. Which is *legit* what Demi’s doing. Countless times she’s told the viewers that for her, Paradise wasn’t necessarily a place to find everlasting love, but to explore her sexuality and find out what she likes in a partner. And TBH, all the power to her.

In the words of Hannah “Beast” Brown: “…not the same.”

So, leave the Queen of Paradise alone.

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