Well, Abigail wasn’t picked to be Bachelorette. She was, however, cast on the summer spinoff “Bachelor in Paradise.” While she’s too sweet for the
trashy show, it will increase awareness about listening and spoken language. And maybe she’ll even find love!
True to form, the first episode opens with some eye candy. The montage includes Connor B. from Katie’s season of “The Bachelorette,” which just ended. He plays his ukulele and sings, “I hear Abigail’s a sweetheart…”
Because Chris Harrison is no longer part of the franchise, BIP will have a series of celebrity guest hosts. The first one is David Spade, who I’ve always thought of as smarmy. But I have to say he nails the gig. He has the right casual, humorous, devil-may-care attitude that fits with the show.
“Welcome to the show where the guys are good looking, the girls are good looking, and I’m the host…” he says.
The First Contestant!
The first “contestant” to enter is Abigail! More screen time for her! She’s shocked to see David Spade. With her hands over her face, she exclaims, “OMG! I’m so starstruck right now!” She asks if she can give him a hug. “You feeling ok?” he asks. “I’m nervous,” she says. “You’re making it worse.”
Spade asks what happened on Matt’s season. Abigail explains, “It didn’t work out between us, obviously, that’s why I’m here.”
“You looking forward to seeing anybody here?”
“I’m trying to keep an open mind for the most part. Just see who’s on the beach, who I vibe with, we’ll see how it goes.”
“Do you think there’s a chance to find some love here?”
“I think so, I think so.”
“You hope so, right?”
“I hope so!”
He then tells her she’s the first one to arrive. She puts her hands over her face again and utters, “Why?” He asks why that’s bad. She says she always walks out and starts talking to people right away because she’s nervous. As she walks out into the lion’s den, Spade says he can see why everyone likes her; she’s a sweetheart.
Abigail sings the praises of this crappy Mexican resort. “Omg, it’s so nice…omg, this place is incredible. I’m here!” she shouts, with her hands in the air. “Paradise, I’ve arrived!”
And her journey is summed up when she tells the camera, “Going into Paradise, I’m really excited to show the guys I’m not just this fragile thing that can only talk about her hearing loss. I’m an adult trying to find my partner. You know, people have met here, married here, and it makes me really excited ’cause I know it works. There’s like no one to talk to yet. I feel like I could fall in love if the right guy comes, so I’m just hoping, hoping that that guy will be here.”
The second person to arrive is someone nicknamed Grocery Store Joe, ‘cuz he owned a grocery store. Only he doesn’t anymore. He says Abigail is super sweet. He was on the fifth season of BIP and tells her he didn’t think he’d be there again, and that shouldn’t be her goal either. Abigail didn’t expect him to come down and describes him as “really good looking.” She wants to get to know him as he seems like a great guy, but smartly, she also wants to keep her options open and see who else is coming down to the beach.
Ivan is next. So now it’s Abigail with two guys. She thinks Ivan is super hot, taller than expected, and predicts he’ll be a hot commodity. Both guys say they’re hoping to see Serena, so Abigail calls it the first little love triangle.
Of course, Serena is next. She and Abigail are excited to see one another. Serena even calls her Abby.
After several people have arrived, they’re all standing by the ocean, chatting. I can’t help but wonder how Abigail is faring in this situation. It’s got to be harder to hear with the noise of the waves and everyone talking.
When Brendan arrives, Abigail says she can’t look at his eyes for too long because she feels like she’s going into a trance. “He is definitely a major upgrade to Paradise,” she adds.
Cue Noah Erb, the Love Interest
Noah Erb, 26, from Tayshia’s season arrives. When asked who he wants to see from other seasons, he tells Spade, “Abigail. Because I’m a nurse, I used to do clinical with kids that were deaf. I think it’s powerful. She’s been through adversity. It’s not really a disability to her and I think that speaks a lot about a person.” Ok, this guy gets it!
Spade jokes that Abigail might like a goat roper like him from Oklahoma. Noah tells the camera, “I do want to get to know Abigail. I think she’s somebody that I can like vibe with and like pursue an actual relationship with.” Yup, they both say “like” a lot, so it’s already a match made in heaven!
When he comes down, Abigail is talking with someone else and turns around to see him. She recognizes him and tells the camera he’s cute and funny. She doesn’t know that much about him, so she wants some 1:1 time with him, not in a group.
Once Noah has a drink in hand, he approaches Abigail, who’s drinking in a group, and asks if they can go chat. He tells the camera, “I’m excited to talk to Abigail. I want to make sure we’re both on the same page that we’re both here to find somebody.” They talk on one of the large gazebo beds. She asks what he’s expecting to get out of Paradise. He tells her he wants to focus solely on finding somebody that he gets along with. If they’re vibing, he can go further with that person and pursue it. Otherwise, he’ll explore other options. She agrees and tells him she was hoping he’d get there early so she could get to know him better. “Awww,” he responds, as he touches his hand to her face. Looks like they’re definitely on the same page!
Everyone else notices their immediate connection and ships them. “I love them together!” “I love them together too! They’re really cute!”
Noah demonstrates that he’s the funny guy Abigail’s looking for when he tells her to look straight ahead. “Ok.” “It’s pretty.” “It is pretty.” “Ok, now look to her right,” he tells her. “Lower,” he directs her, which means she’s now looking right at him. “Noah!” she laughs.
Kendall tells the group, “They’re in love, you guys!” They’re deemed the first Bachelor couple.
More people arrive, including some douchebags (not my word, but Aaron’s, from Katie’s season). A character from Matt’s season who called herself Queen Victoria is now the Blonde Goddess, complete with a golden tiara. One girl went on a date with contestant Tre’s uncle. One guy shows up completely naked, with a black box over his privates. Supposedly he was really wearing a Speedo, but they certainly all act like he’s naked.
How This Show Works
Spade calls a family meeting once everyone has arrived. The bartender, Wells (also a former Bachelorette contestant) explains the rules. You’re probably wondering what they actually DO on this show, besides each other. “The rules are simple,” Wells says. “You find love or you go home. That’s it. New people will be coming all the time. There will be dates pretty much every day. At the end of the week, there’s a rose ceremony. If you’re not in a relationship, you’re gonna go home. If you don’t get a rose, kick rocks, you’re out of here. Some weeks men have roses. Some weeks, the women have roses. If you count everyone, there are 10 guys and 13 girls. The gentlemen have 10 roses to give, so three women are going home this week.”
[soft dramatic music]
At dinner, Abigail and Noah are sitting closely to each other and talking. Noah says there’s 50 people there, and Abigail says it’s definitely overwhelming.
She tells the camera, “I feel like in the beginning of the day, I was in my element and then as more and more people started coming, I like get really overwhelmed like in group settings. I’m so much better one on one.”
Abigail’s First 1:1
Then the first date card arrives. Guess whose name is on it and who is FINALLY getting her due? The 1:1 date she was denied on Matt’s season? Abigggaaaaaillll!
The date card says: “It’s finally your time to fall in love.” Abigail claps and says, “It’s finally my time!” Everyone cheers and applauds. She’s excited about her first date card and doesn’t have to ponder long who she wants to take. She asks Noah if he’ll go on a date with her. He hugs her and says, “Let’s do it!”
Again, everyone approves. “I think they’re really going to hit it off.” “Abigail and Noah, so cute. They looked really great walking away together.”
Walking into their date, Noah asks Abigail if she thought her name would be on the date card. She says no, and was thinking she’d sneak away to go to bed. Noah already had his eye on her, so he was definitely excited when she asked him to go on the date, he says, adding that there’s no better way to kick off Paradise.
They walk into a dark room with lit up pinatas. It feels like they’re in a haunted house. Noah says Abigail is the girl that’s like wife material, someone he feels he could get engaged to. When he pulls out a chair for her, she tells him, “Oh stop!” He says she should be used to this. He later calls her out on this, saying she notices every time he does something like that, and is so grateful. But he feels she should have this anyway.
She confesses that she doesn’t really go on many dates. When he asks why, she says she’s asked that a lot. She doesn’t know, but has gotten comfortable being single and moves very slow.
“Like physically?” Noah asks.
Abigail says she talked with her ex for eight months before she wanted to make things official. Noah says it’ll be hard for him to move slow. “Nonstop, we’re gonna be together all the time,” he tells her. She admits there’s going to be pressure but she has to be sure about someone before calling them a boyfriend. It’s hard for her to get guys out of the friend zone.
Noah says he’s going to help her relax. She asks if she seems uptight. He says he can’t tell yet, so she makes the WHOA! face, but he reassures her that he’s just kidding. To the camera, he says he wanted her to have fun and for it to be a special first date, but he can tell she’s withholding and has some walls built up. He wants to know what makes her Abigail.
“There’s obviously more to you than just the quiet, nice girl,” he says. She clearly doesn’t like being called that. She says she’s just not an outwardly emotional person. She doesn’t cry a lot, nor does she express how she’s feeling. She buries it all inside.
“Well, I feel like you have a heart of gold, and the fact that everybody was clapping for you as we went on this date speaks to you,” Noah says. “I don’t think that you hear that enough, and I think you deserve it.”
After the serious talk and a toast, they smash some pinatas. Determined to get out of the friend zone, Noah kisses her. He calls it a great kiss and the first one in Paradise. Turns out there’s lots of kissing, and everyone thinks they’re the first.
Noah picks up Abigail and carries her out as confetti streams all around them. He tells the camera she’s the only one he’s interested in. They kiss.
The irony is that this place really doesn’t seem like Paradise. One veteran says sand will get everywhere. It’s muggy, buggy, wet, hot, with cramped conditions and bunk beds. Oh, and crabs. Crabs that are everywhere.
In the season preview, Abigail is shown telling Noah that he makes her really happy. But there’s lots of “crazy shit,” drama, a love triangle, and relationships that will be tested. Here’s hoping Abigail and Noah make it! Looks like we’ll have two nights a week to be voyeurs…