Contestant Colton Underwood’s reasons for remaining on Bachelor in Paradise may involve the paycheque, but with the way the Bachelor producers are torturing him, we’re wondering when it stops being worth it. And oh, are they torturing this 26-year-old football free agent! Colton was a broken man at the end of episode 2, and the sound of his wracking sobs will haunt our dreams forever. Also haunting: the pure evil in Chris Harrison’s eyes as he announced the return of season 14 Bachelorette Becca Kufrin, there to crush Colton once more for old time’s sake. But more on that later…
TBH, Bachelor Nation producers have had it in for Colton since his Bachelorette days. There was the trotting-out of the virgin story line, and the way in which his lack of a sexual past was treated as some dark secret that he and Becca had to “work through” as a couple. The word “road block” came up a lot. This is different, we should note, for how the virginity of female contestants is treated as a positive, vaguely-festishized attribute—but therein lies a whole *other* conversation.
Next came the Most Shocking Ever arrival of Tia Booth into Becca’s season of The Bachelorette, flown in to stir up trouble declare her true and abiding love for Colton after they apparently dated for five seconds in January of this year. Up till that point, Colton and Becca seemed like they were progressing well on their Journey Toward Love. (They volunteered at a children’s hospital together on his Hometown date, for Pete’s sake.) She was the first girl he’d ever brought home! (Despite dating gymnast Aly Raisman for two years, but hey, not the topic). And then—almost as a if a producer had pulled a string somewhere—Tia arrives on the scene and tells Becca she still has feelings for a guy she went on one date with. Becca ends up sending Colton home, and he was both blindsided and VERY SAD.
And now, of course, we arrive in Paradise. Colton, clearly still “in love” with Becca, seems just as confused as we are that he’s there. He repeatedly tells anyone who asks that he’s not ready to move on, appears epically disinterested in Tia (of course she’s in Paradise too) and seems, frankly, a little fragile. *Producers rub their hands in glee*
Enter Becca, who is ostensibly on hand to advise the women of Paradise on how to find love within a show format she herself has never experienced, but we all know why she’s really there: so the producers can have a little fun with their favourite punching bag, Colton. They even engineered it so Bibiana—looking like she’d rather be having a root canal—saves Colton with a rose so he can stick around for this very special surprise. We’ve yet to be treated to Becca and Colton’s actual conversation (that’ll happen tonight, in episode 3) but given Colton was full-on ugly-crying at the mention of her name, it’s going be…the Most Dramatic, right?
As for why the producers are so obsessed with Colton, we’re really unsure. He’s neither charismatic nor *that* good looking—in the words of one FLARE staffer, he looks like “every baseball card ever.” Maybe his bland, Wonderbread-y appeal just makes him a malleable, blank canvas upon which the producers can work their machinations? Who can really say? What we do know—and this is the best part—is that they aren’t even trying to hide it.
— Bachelor in Paradise (@BachParadise) August 13, 2018
And for his part, Colton appears to be well aware of the target on his back. As he tweeted during last night’s episode:
I’m not watching paradise right now… but I lived it. Are you as confused as me? pic.twitter.com/nzdq0dbXTt
— Colton Underwood (@Colt3FIVE) August 14, 2018
The more important question Colton should be asking, however, is this one:
Get out while you still can, bud.