So… Chris’s “redemption” story? Yeeeeah. That’s not going so well right now. If that is indeed what he’s going for, this is one SLOW, roundabout play. Episode 3 was such a terrible look I don’t even know where to start, and incredibly, he came off even worse than on Becca’s season. At least one could argue his argumentative, righteous, aggressive behaviour then stemmed from a legitimate interest in and affection for Becca, an addition to the well-documented stressor that is the Bachelor Bubble. But the stressors in Paradise are not only different but less. Chris can’t blame being trapped in a hotel suite, being forced to sit with and talk about his enemies day in and day out, or using forced tunnel vision for one woman as his excuse for morphing into misogynistic hypocrite last night. Let us dissect…
Exhibit A: Hypocrisy
Chris says, “I’m going to leave [Tia] open as an option”, a day or two after crucifying Colton for essentially doing the same.
Exhibit B: Deception
He tells an insecure Tia, “Like, honestly, like, I like you. Don’t worry about any other girls. Like, be that confident, strong, independent woman that you are. Just trust this and see where it goes… I think there could be something amazing between us… Trust me, just trust me.”
And ON THE SAME NIGHT (and still in the same outfit!) proceeds to make out with Krystal…
Exhibit C: Remorselessness
The next day, Chris brags about having made out with Krystal to his guy friends, gloating about the “line” he used.
Exhibit D: Misogyny
That same day, Chris (with the enabling of Jordan), talks about the “tricks up his sleeve” and proceeds to break the women down according to what course they would serve as in a 4-course meal date plan. They call Annaliese the “appetizer,” Krystal the “main course,” Bibiana “drinks and dessert” and Tia “the late, all-night palapa thing, the sobering moment.” I would have thought this revolting conversation was a bro-talk moment caught by a hidden camera, but at one point Chris LOOKS DIRECTLY INTO THE CAMERA. Which leads back to Exhibit C.
From a villain perspective, this is downright impressive. Like, it’d be legitimately difficult to stuff an ounce more of bad behaviour into a 14- or so hour span. But from a “good guy” perspective, it’s downright disgusting. Furthermore, it’s disappointing. Given his excellent apology during Becca’s season—where he took responsibility, didn’t blame anything on his edit, and generally seemed to have learned and grown from the experience—it’s clear Chris views himself as a slightly flawed but generally good guy. But that’s becoming less and less believable with every minute he spends on our TV screens. I might’ve agreed with him after reading that apology, and was certainly keen to see that redemptive story, a JJ Lane 2.0. But the boy has officially cried wolf more than once and now it’s hard to see him as anything more than a dreaded “Nice Guy.”
The real irony here is that Nice Guy Chris spends so much time and energy shitting on the character of others; in this specific case, on Colton’s. But Colton has proven an actual nice guy in his HONESTY, not to mention genuine concern for Tia (which was touching). In fact, even former villainess Krystal, who came onto Paradise with far less “redemption” fanfare than Chris, has already begun to redeem herself. She’s been drama-free and most notably, was courteous but direct with Kenny when he (basically) asked her to go steady. Her making out with Chris wasn’t a faux pas in my books, because she cleared her iCal before doing it, even though doing so risked her rose.
Speaking of honesty, that seems to be the theme of this season. Jordan, too, had a moment of brutal honesty with Annaliese when he returned from his date with Jenna. He could have fudged the truth in the interest of pussy-footing around her feelings, but he ripped off the Band-Aid with an efficient,”Today’s date was fantastic. The romantic connection is there. I spent an awful lot more time with Jenna than I have with you… Today, what happened on that beach, the romantic connection there, it just doesn’t happen. Never.”
I’m torn on Jordan. On one hand he definitely enables Chris and becomes a fratty bro around him. But on the other, he’s honest with the women, is sincerely excited about Jenna (and doesn’t whisper sweet nothings into her ear only to then turn around and call her an “option”), and generally seems more respectful of the fairer sex. So I’m blaming that unflattering behaviour on Chris, who has given us endless reasons to just that.