Bachelor in Paradise featured Katie Thurston and Blake Moynes reuniting two years after their split, Katie suggesting she's still in love with her ex-fiance, Aaron Bryant asking Eliza Isichei to be his girlfriend, and a roast that set the beach on fire during the Season 9 episode that aired Thursday night on ABC.

The Bachelor in Paradise broadcast began with new arrival, Michael Barbour from Charity Lawson's The Bachelorette season, asking Olivia out on a date. Olivia joked with the cameras about how she was about to be taken and so producers may want to jot down her ring size.


Olivia and Michael danced on their date, and Olivia found him hot, exciting and refreshing.

The couple kissed and definitely made a connection, even though Olivia's breakup with her Paradise ex, John Henry Spurlock, was still in the back of her mind a little bit.

John Henry, meanwhile, appeared totally smitten with Kat, who admitted that she had made some mistakes on the beach and John Henry handled everything with  maturity and grace.

"I see his love, compassion and attentiveness, and that's what you want in a husband and the father of your children! And he is that... John Henry makes me a better person at the end of the day, and I think this is something I could see forever," Kat gushed to the Bachelor in Paradise cameras.

"I can see myself falling very in love with him," she added.

And John Henry felt he had made the right decision between the two women.

The next day, Rachel Recchia wondered if Tanner Courtad really cared about her -- and wanted to date her -- or if he was just after a rose. Tanner had given her a rose at the previous Rose Ceremony, but she wasn't sure if feelings had been attached to it.

Rachel's The Bachelorette ex, Jordan Vandergriff, then arrived in Paradise along with Taylor Pegg from Charity's season.

Rachel had eliminated Jordan during her first one-on-one date of the season, and he felt his time with her was cut short. Jordan apparently thought he had some unfinished business with Rachel, and she felt the same exact way.

The racecar driver pulled Rachel aside to chat first, and Rachel admitted she had sent him home too soon and felt bad about that. Jordan sweetly told Rachel that he just wanted her to be happy, and Rachel found herself genuinely wanting to go on the date with him.

Jordan ended up asking Rachel out, and Tanner was admittedly shocked and disappointed. Tanner was beginning to feel exhausted, doubting if his "person" was going to be on that beach.

For their Bachelor in Paradise date, Rachel and Jordan participated in a tantric yoga session with other couples on a beach. Rachel noticed Jordan had bulked up and looked sexy, and when they straddled each other in a pose, their strong eye contact resulted in a makeout session.

Rachel said the kiss was as good as she remembered, and she acknowledged how so much can change in a year.

When Rachel returned to the beach from her great date with Jordan, Tanner was feeling a little down. Rachel asked where he stood with her, and Tanner explained how Rachel seemed to have her guard up and he wanted her to let her walls down with him.

Tanner couldn't figure out what Rachel wanted, and he could tell that she was holding back.


After receiving some advice from bartender Wells Adams to just confront Tanner about her concerns, Rachel asked Tanner if he was just after her rose. Tanner insisted that if Bachelor in Paradise was going to work out for him, it'd be with her -- and her only.

"Well, I want to try," Rachel revealed, adding how she had been approaching the process with too much caution.

Tanner told Rachel that he wanted so badly to leave Bachelor in Paradise happy with a woman and stay in a relationship back home. Tanner said he wanted to start businesses, take over the world, and then go home and watch Netflix with his partner.

"That's the most attractive thing I've heard on this beach," Rachel responded. "I want to try, if you want to."

"I want to try," Tanner agreed. "Let's try. Why wouldn't we?"

Rachel said she felt more like herself with Tanner than ever before, and so she had a renewed sense of hope and optimism on Bachelor in Paradise.

Later on, Aaron Bryant surprised Eliza Isichei with a sweet date. He set up a little charcuterie board for her with a bouquet of flowers, and Aaron expressed how he wanted to commit to her.

"I want you to be my girlfriend. Will you be my girlfriend, Eliza?" Aaron asked.

"Aaron, yes! I will be your girlfriend!" Eliza responded, acting ecstatic and giddy.

Eliza said she was so happy she had followed her heart and "stuck it out" with the bachelor, who was clearly serious about being with her and having a future with her.

"I can see us leaving together and us being engaged, and I'm very, very happy," Eliza gushed to the Bachelor in Paradise cameras.

Wells then read some notes aloud in the Paradise "Truth Box." One person wrote that John Henry and Kat were going to "go the distance," and another person dropped a bombshell on the Bachelor in Paradise cast.

"[Tyler Norris], everyone knows you're not that into Mercedes, so you better come clean. She deserves the truth," one person wrote.

Mercedes realized that whomever wrote that note was looking out for her, and she began to wonder if Tyler was just looking for a fling and a fun vacation with his boys.

Mercedes noted how she and Tyler were coasting, with no vulnerability or true romance. But she wondered if Tyler was just protecting his heart since he had gotten burned by a Bachelor in Paradise love before.

Mercedes therefore confronted Tyler about their romance, and Tyler confirmed that he felt happy with the bachelorette and thought she was beautiful. The pair discussed potentially having a long-distance relationship outside of the show, but Tyler said, "If it works, it does. If it doesn't, it doesn't."

Mercedes wanted to feel wanted, seen and loved by a man, and so she didn't think she and Tyler were on the same page. Mercedes questioned if Tyler was her "person" and if they were going to last.


The next day, Kylee Russell and Aven Jones got to go on a double date with Peter Cappio and Sam Picco. The Bachelor in Paradise group danced, twerked, and played silly games in front of a crowd of people.

Peter was in his element, while Aven felt a little uncomfortable. Kylee, however, loved seeing Aven come out of his comfort zone for her, and she thought their playful day was a glimpse into their life together outside of the show.

Peter and Sam P. agreed that they only wanted to do Bachelor in Paradise with each other and would like to continue dating after the show, and Aven assured Kylee that he was "falling for" her and wanted their romance to work after the show.

"I'm falling for you, too," Kylee shared with her man.

Meanwhile, Blake Moynes and Jess Girod were shown playing Frisbee on the beach and kissing. Jess felt wanted and pursued, and she said Blake made her feel like she was the only girl in the room.

"I'm just happy that I finally found my person," Jess gushed.

But then, suddenly, The Bachelorette's Season 17 star -- and Blake's ex-fiancee -- Katie Thurston stepped on the beach.

Katie shared with host Jesse Palmer that she was "shaking" about the thought of seeing Blake again. Katie said that while they had ended on good terms, she moved on pretty fast with John Hersey, which left a salty taste in Blake's mouth.

When Katie walked into Bachelor in Paradise, Blake couldn't hide the shock and panic on his face. He called her appearance "the worst scenario," and the pair hadn't seen each other in two years.

Katie announced to the cast how she was single, and then she asked Blake to talk. Jess appeared upset and worried since she and Blake were finally hitting it off and prioritizing each other.

Katie and Blake discussed how they had broken up, over the phone, in late October 2021. Blake confessed that he was "tripping" over their reunion, and the conversation started out awkward.

"We haven't talked, [but] I sent you a bunch of voice memos. I don't know if you even listened to them," Katie said.

"I did. There were six different voice notes and I remember them all pretty clearly," Blake confirmed.

"I could feel the emotion in those voice notes, but I was also super bitter in that moment, and so I didn't want to respond. After what happened, you were in a relationship and I wasn't overly excited about that. It was a bit of a dagger, and so I said, 'I don't owe her that.'"

Katie said she totally agreed with him and that's why she never reached out again and respected his boundaries, his peace and his space.

Katie proceeded to apologize to Blake for the way things played out, and she added, "If I could go back and redo it all, I would. I wanted you to know that what we went through was real to me."

Katie's eyes were filling up with tears as she spoke, and Blake said that when he looked at her, there was a lot of "good" to remember.

While Katie and Blake spoke, Jess acknowledged how she wouldn't be able to compete with any lingering feelings Blake might have for Katie. Jess was on the verge of giving up. She felt like an idiot, and she said her ego had been bruised.

"My experience here went to sh-t. I just feel like nothing went the way I thought it would," Jess complained to Rachel.

Jess continued in tears, "At this point, I thought I'd be hopelessly in love. I have an engagement dress packed here. This is not how I thought I would be... I want to be in love and happy, but I'm not there yet. But I don't want to give up, because I want that so bad."

If Blake wasn't 100 percent all in with Jess, she said she probably wouldn't stick around for him to figure that out. Jess, at this time, contemplated going home.

Meanwhile, Blake shared with Katie how his relationship with Jess was interesting and confusing. He admitted that he was struggling to navigate things with Jess in Paradise.

Katie explained to Blake how she felt a natural energy, familiarity and comfort with Blake after everything they had been through. Katie said it was "a lot to take in," but Blake admitted he couldn't think about them as a couple because it really threw him off.

Katie said she regretted how she had handled everything but their love, connection and memories were all very real to her.

"You're definitely throwing me for a loop right now," Blake said.

Katie explained how everything was stacked against them after the show, including how they lived in different countries.

"I stayed true to my feelings in the moment, even after... our relationship, even after other relationships. It's always been Blake; you've never been a default," Katie told Blake.

Katie concluded that she was happy to see Blake, and then when a producer asked Katie if she still loved Blake, Katie said, "Don't ask that question!"

As Katie fidgeted around and avoided contact with the camera, she suddenly looked up and had eyes full of tears.

"Oh f-ck!" she said.

Blake didn't know how to react or deal with the situation. He felt totally overwhelmed and confused.

Katie then addressed the group with a couple of jokes that fell flat. She proceeded to reveal how she wasn't on Bachelor in Paradise to date; she was in Paradise to host a roast.

The Paradise cast split into pairs to deliver jokes at the roast, and Olivia pointed out how nobody was safe. Jess and Rachel, who were admittedly sensitive and vulnerable at that time, predicted the night was going to end with them crying.

Katie kicked off the roast that night by saying, "It's no surprise Jess' name is 'Baby Jess.' Blake used to make me call him 'Daddy.'"

A lot of the jokes were funny and went over well. Kat, for example, was told that -- like Sam Jeffries -- she was "full of sh-t the whole time."

But Mercedes didn't appreciate a joke Tyler had made at her expense, and Jess quickly grew tired over jokes about her age.

And some of the jokes pointed at Rachel were particularly rough and seemingly hurtful.

"Rachel, you are a pilot and you had 33 men on your flight. How is it that you crash landed on Paradise and you still can't find a man?" Aaron announced.

Tanner quipped, "We were all really, really excited when we found out there was going to be an ex-Bachelorette on the beach. Obviously, we were really hoping for [Gabby Windey] but we got Rachel."

Rachel had opened up to Tanner like never before, and so she couldn't believe he'd say something that night. Rachel, did in fact, end up crying that night, and multiple people felt burned and upset.

Olivia could tell that feelings had been hurt, and so she cursed Katie's Bachelor in Paradise appearance.

Jess insisted to Blake that she was fine, but she and Mercedes were both acting quiet and melancholy.

The following morning, all of the cast members were recovering from the brutal roast.

There were 11 men and eight women left on Bachelor in Paradise, and so three guys knew they'd be going home at the Rose Ceremony that night.

During the cocktail party preceding the Rose Ceremony, Jess gushed about how Blake was so mature and attentive. She was excited to further their connection and have a good night with her match.

But Blake -- who claimed he had received closure from Katie -- asked Jess to speak in private before the Rose Ceremony, and she immediately became tense and nervous.

Blake apparently realized that felt real love for Katie during their relationship, and that he was missing that feeling with Jess.

"I spent way less time with Katie but still understood the love that I had for her in that time. And I'm spent so much more time with Jess, and I just should've felt it by now," Blake explained to the cameras.

Blake told the Bachelor in Paradise cameras that he didn't feel aligned with Jess, and he explained to the blonde beauty how their relationship wasn't really progressing.

Blake admitted that he wasn't feeling love with Jess, nor were they moving in that direction.

And then the Bachelor in Paradise episode ended on a cliffhanger, with a look of shock on Jess' face.


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About The Author: Elizabeth Kwiatkowski
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.