What better way to test your compatibility than with babies … right?
“They are people who actually made Paradise happen,” says Kendall Long. “I think it’s seeing couples like that that allows me to think no matter what kind of story you have here and how you get to that point, love can be found here.”
After interviewing each couple to determine who deserves the date, the group decides on Long and Joe Amabile. But this wasn’t just any typical Paradise date.
“So we have prepared the most exciting, glorious, epic date in Bachelor in Paradise history,” explains Bass.
“Unfortunately, you both will not be going on this date,” adds Waddell. “We are going on this date because we need Mommy and Daddy breaks! So you both will be babysitting our babies.”
And while Jade and Tanner’s daughter Emerson Avery took a while to warm up to Amabile (queue an hour of crying), the couple proved that they could handle a couple of toddlers together. The experience brought Amabile and Long closer together.
“This is a new side of Kendall I haven’t seen before,” says Amabile. “I can see Kendall being a good mother one day. It really makes you think a lot about the future and how serious this whole Paradise experience could turn out to be.”
“It was cute to see Joe with the kids,” adds Long. “It could be a glimpse into our future.”
As an award for successfully taking care of the babies, Long and Amabile finally get their date. While sitting beachside and sipping cocktails, the two decided to be exclusive.
“You’re the only person I want to date,” says Amabile. “I really like you.”
A Sudden Goodbye
But while Long and Amabile are happier than ever, Eric Bigger begins to crumble. After sending Angela Amezcua on Monday following a date with Cassandra Ferguson, Bigger begins to question his place in Paradise.
Bigger tells Ferguson he just wants to be friends — which leaves her feeling pretty confused.
“Everyone is coupled up and it’s kind of hard to see how happy they are,” she says. “Eric and I have this really weird thing going on. I keep trying to show him signs that I’m interested on my end and I just feel like he’s not reciprocating those feelings.”
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And when Ferguson tells Bigger she doesn’t think he’s ready to fall in love, it sends him spiraling.
“This is the first time in my life that I really want a relationship but that doesn’t mean I’m really ready,” he says. “I’ve been looking for the answers and I don’t know what to do.”
Bigger confides in Kevin Wendt that he’s feeling conflicted about his place in Paradise.
“I’m emotionally drained from the Angela situation. It isn’t fair to Cassandra that she had to come into that. She got pulled into my mess,” he says. “I don’t want to give Cassandra half of me.”
Ultimately, Bigger decides to leave Paradise.
“I’m emotionally drained,” he says as he begins to cry. “The best decision is just to leave Paradise and move on.”
After breaking the news to Ferguson (who handles it extremely well), he says goodbye to the rest of the group — much to their protest.
“I’m emotionally just done,” he says. “I can no longer be here if I’m not fully myself.”
Lucky in Love
And with Bigger gone, the couples begin to evaluate where they are on their own relationships. After getting a surprise date card, Chris Randone decides its time to tell Krystal Nielson how he’s really feeling.
“Seeing Eric leave really shed light on how I feel about Krystal,” he says. “I can honestly say I feel lucky as hell right now. I feel like I hit the Bachelor in Paradise lottery.”
The two set out for a romantic candle-lit dinner, where Randone tells Nielson those three special words.
“I know not too long ago I expressed to you that I was starting to fall in love with you,” he says. “Since then there has been nothing but amazing memories, amazing conversations and being here right now, sitting across from you I can honestly say that … ”
But just as he’s about to express his love, a huge raccoon runs by and ruins the moment. Luckily, Randone is able to recover.
“This whole experience so far has really changed me in a lot of ways,” he says. “I’m not actually beginning to fall in love with you, I am in love with you.”
“I’m in love with you, too,” replies Nielson.
A Russian Witch Hunt
Back at the house, things are getting heated between Shushanna Mkrtychyan and Annaliese Puccini.
Even after Kamil Nicalek decided to give his rose to Puccini in Monday night’s episode, Mkrtychyan can’t seem to let go of her feelings for Nicalek after their date.
“I always catch Shu staring at me,” says Nicalek. “It’s like an owl. I told Shu there’s no connection there, I don’t like her. I’m trying to be clear to her but she keeps staring at me with those piercing eyes, and it’s creepy.”
It doesn’t help when Mkrtychyan denies a date card from Jordan Mauger in order to try and get closer to Nicalek. But again, Nicalek makes his feelings clear.
“You’re a great girl, I just don’t feel there’s a connection,” he tells her. “It’s not there between us. There is no spark. I can’t see it work between us.”
And when Nicalek jokes that Mkrtychyan is using her “Russian witchery” to break up him and Puccini, rumors about her potential spell-casting powers run wild on the island. Fed up with the whole situation, Puccini accuses Mkrtychyan of practicing dark magic during a heated discussion.
“You’re doing like witchcraft and stuff trying to put spells on us to break us up,” she says.
Naturally, this upsets Mkrtychyan.
“First I’m European trash and now I’m a witch,” she says crying. “I’m so over it.”
“Call me a bitch but don’t call me a witch,” she adds.
Later, she’s seen throwing a photo of Nicalek into a bonfire she’d made for Mauger, who she suddenly decided she did have feelings for once he was on a date with another woman. And when he too rejects her, she flings herself on a bed and bursts into tears.
Bachelor in Paradise airs Mondays and Tuesdays on ABC at 8 p.m. ET.