'Temptation Island' recap: Chelsea kisses Blake as Thomas feels "helpless," Erica and Chelsea send boyfriends powerful messages
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/31/2021
Temptation Island featured Chelsea Orcutt giving into her feelings and kissing Blake Eyres, Thomas Gipson feeling "exposed" and "helpless," and Chelsea and Erica Washington giving their boyfriends powerful messages in different ways during the USA revival's Season 3 episode on Tuesday night.
Temptation Island follows four dating couples at a pivotal time in their relationship in which they must decide whether to stay committed to each other for the rest of their lives, go their separate ways as singles, or leave the island with a new partner.
The four couples are New Jersey-based couple Kristen Ramos, a 26-year-old physical therapist and Julian Allen, a 26-year-old personal trainer; West Hollywood-based couple Chelsea, a 29-year-old marketing coordinator, and Thomas, a 37-year-old investment trader; Los Angeles-based couple Erica, a 24-year-old personal assistant, and Kendal Kirkland, a 26-year-old business owner; and San Diego-based couple Erin Smith, a 24-year-old behavioral therapist and Corey Sobczyk, a 25-year-old concierge manager.
Kristen and Julian were together for a whopping 11 years prior to Temptation Island, Chelsea and Thomas had dated for over a year before applying, Erica and Kendal dated for two years prior to the show, and Erin and Corey had been involved for one-and-a-half years.
The Temptation Island broadcast began with the boyfriends returning from another bonfire meeting, and Sophia Perez, a 22-year-old makeup artist from Miami, FL, could tell that Thomas was upset and something had hurt him.
Thomas said he just wanted to be alone because he was feeling "exposed."
"I feel helpless... I didn't believe she would come here and f-cking cheat on me," Thomas cried in a confessional.
He was starting to regret ever bringing Chelsea to Temptation Island, acknowledging that going on the show had been "a real gamble."
"Had I honestly believed that there was a real chance that this might end our relationship, I wouldn't have come here," Thomas confessed.
And Alexcys Homan, a 23-year-old personal assistant from Van Nuys, CA, admitted to Kendal there was a little bit of a pit in her stomach because she felt she was in "a waiting game." Kendal assured Alexcys that he felt content and asked her to trust him.
Alexcys thought Kendal was being honest about Erica but not really expressing himself and showing how he truly felt at the same time. She could tell that Kendal was "holding back."
As for Erin, she revealed at the bonfire that she had been in an abusive relationship before.
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"The way that I was talked to and manipulated, I feel like I'm kind of doing it to Corey. My biggest fear is he's going to realize that he could be treated better and that I'm going to realize the grass isn't always greener," Erin told the cameras.
Erin told the singles that she was with the right person all along in Corey but had pushed him away because she couldn't accept the fact that someone might actually love her and treat her right.
Shaquille Urie, a 24-year-old personal trainer from Denver, CO, however, had a huge crush on Erin and was just waiting for Corey to screw up or make a mistake so Erin would invest herself in the process and potentially give him a chance in the romance department.
Chelsea had seen Thomas rubbing lotion all over a single woman's butt, and she said that was fine with her and she didn't need "a playboy" in her life.
Blake Eyres, a 34-year-old dentist from St. Louis, MO, noted that Chelsea didn't deserve that and Thomas' behavior was going to allow them to go to a deeper level.
Later on, Thomas lamented to Sophia about how it looked like Chelsea was falling in love with another man and his heart was hurting.
Although Julian recognized at this point he wanted to stay with Kristen through the end of the process and prove his love and loyalty to her, he found Maya Morsi, a 32-year-old web developer from San Jose, CA, intellectually stimulating and mature, and he appreciated how Maya challenged him.
Maya, however, was labeled "the mom of the house" by the other single women. An argument sparked over when and how to cook chicken, and Maya vented about the single "b-tches" at the villa disrespecting her.
As tension and drama heightened at the guys' villa, Julian told the cameras that the person he had been connecting with in the house was "acting off the wall" and he was seeing a different side to her.
The next day, Julian pulled Maya aside for a chat and wondered whether she could continue being his support system going forward. Maya apologized to Julian for allowing him to see that anger in her, but she expressed how she didn't like women being mean to her and would always stand up for herself.
Kendal and Alexcys then spent some time on the beach together and Kendal admitted he was going to make "a game-time decision" at this end of his journey on Temptation Island.
"I think that feelings are growing, emotions are growing, and I don't know what to do at this point. I'm still in love with Erica. I want me and Erica to work, but I only want us to work if she's growing on her side of the island. So we'll see," Kendal explained.
The future was also uncertain for Thomas, who said cracks had been established in the trust in his relationship with Chelsea. Thomas thanked Sophia for making him laugh and smile during a difficult time, but he said he wasn't sure he could reciprocate her feelings just yet.
Thomas didn't want to take things too far and betray Chelsea, and Sophia in turn asked Thomas to remain true to himself because he's a good man and that's the type of man she'd like to be and end up with.
Meanwhile, Erica -- who came to Temptation Island lost and insecure -- was seeing herself under a different light. She was feeling more confident and finally understanding her worth, but she admitted she was afraid to "fold" with Kendal at the final decision.
And Blake wanted Chelsea to see that she could do better "than the Toms out there."
That night, Chelsea and Blake soaked in a sunset together, and Blake was trying to lean in for a kiss. Their connection was building, and Blake noted Chelsea's walls were crumbling down.
Blake apparently waited for the perfect time to kiss Chelsea because the pair shared a sweet and romantic kiss. Blake told Chelsea that his "heart was racing" after the kiss.
"I feel right now that I'm very happy I finally let my guard down, because honestly, it was the most romantic thing that's ever happened to me," Chelsea said with a laugh. "And now, I'm like, open to anything. I'm like, 'Let's see where this goes!'"
Temptation Island host Mark L. Walberg then approached the boyfriends and revealed it was time for another elimination. The guys chose to eliminate Madilynn "Maddy" Brown, a 24-year-old dancer from Norfolk, VA, and Grace Hagan, a 25-year-old PR assistant from New York, NY.
Grace cried about not being ready to go, saying she thought her progress on the island was showing.
The women also chose to send the following men packing: Shaquille and David Silvia, a 27-year-old sales representative from Barrington, RI.
Erin cried about letting Shaquille go because they had become very close at the villa and he helped her to grow tremendously. However, Erin said she was always trying to make other people happy and had to focus on herself and Corey, whom he truly loved.
Even Shaquille broke down into tears when telling Erin how much she had meant to him through the journey and how badly he wished they could be together.
"This sucks. I never expected it, but I guess you never really know when you're going to find them, do ya? She's f-cking incredible," Shaquille said in a confessional, holding back his tears.
Erin said she didn't want to lead anybody on because she had too many emotions to juggle at once.
Mark then asked the women to record 30-second messages for their boyfriends or choose to not send a video at all. Since Erica had watched Kendal change before her eyes -- or be his true self -- she didn't know what to do and whether to reach out to him.
But first, things got turned up at the ladies' villa with a toga party.
Erin had some playful banter with Griffin Libhart, a 25-year-old business owner and retired pro soccer player from Baltimore, MD, and Chelsea was wrestling with her strong feelings for both Blake and Thomas.
While Chelsea was kissing Blake again, the men enjoyed an ABC -- anything but clothes -- party.
Sophia admitted it was "tough waiting for that kiss" from Thomas but he was worth the wait, and Amanda Spain-Butts, a 24-year-old operations coordinator from Austin, TX, advised Corey not to settle for anything less than he deserves because he's an incredible man.
Nickole Ciszak, a 22-year-old marketing manager from Oak Ridge, NJ, hoped to have another threesome with Kendal and Alexcys, but Alexcys insisted that was a "one-time thing" and she wasn't up for that.
Kendal wanted to get to know Nickole better and hook up with both women simultaneously again, but he didn't want to hurt Alexcys' feelings either and make her jealous.
"I didn't feel like doing that. I love Nickole but I just feel like she's getting in the way of things, kind of. I'm not feeling it tonight and I was like, 'I'm going to bed and that's final,' and they were surprised that I said that," Alexcys explained to the cameras.
Kendal told Alexcys that she was "trippin'."
After a night of partying, Erin was prepared to watch her 30-second clip from Corey, and she feared that Corey was going to say he didn't want to be with her anymore because she missed him so much.
In the video clip, Corey said he missed her and he never felt good enough -- in all aspects of his life -- in their relationship. Corey said being on Temptation Island made him feel more confident and he was standing taller and feeling like the man Erin had fallen in love with.
"I don't know what the future holds for our relationship, but I do know I'll leave here a better man," Corey said.
Erin felt "confused" after watching the video because Corey seemed to go out of his way not to profess his love for her, which hurt Erin a lot. Erin acknowledged, however, she could have been overthinking things.
Corey watched Erin say that she was working on herself, and she apologized for letting her past affect their relationship. Erin said she was ready to be vulnerable with Corey, let go of the past and be a better version of herself.
Corey was so happy that Erin was conquering her demons and realizing what she had put him through because he said he didn't want to flip back to the person he was before the show.
Erica said not having Kendal around as a distraction helped her to find herself and so she almost hoped Kendal hadn't sent her a video.
However, Kendal sent Erica a message and reminded her that they arrived on Temptation Island with no rules and already had a strong foundation.
"I'm been fully committed to this experience. Our goal was to grow as individuals and see if you could define your own true identity. There were times when I questioned you, and I don't want to have any more questions about you or our relationship," Kendal said.
Kendal hoped Erica was answering the questions she had about herself and turning into the woman he knew she could be.
"I know we can come out of this thing stronger together. I love you and I appreciate you," Kendal told Erica.
Erica was "pissed off" that Kendal automatically assumed she'd forgive him and go back to him. She said things don't work that way.
"We didn't make 'no rules' just so you could F around," Erica complained, adding that Kendal wasn't paying attention to anything that had hurt her in the past.
"Stronger how? That's impossible right now. I don't think he realizes who he's dealing with now. Because the Erica now is not the same Erica he came in here with."
Kendal didn't receive a video message from Erica at all, which he admitted was "disappointing."
Kendal said he could understand Erica's pain of seeing "snippets" of his experience rather than really understanding where he was at.
"I don't know what the guys at the villa are telling her. So if you can't think on your own, it just says a lot," Kendal griped. "All I can control is what I do and my efforts, and what is meant to happen is going to happen... I just don't know where Erica is at, at this point."
As for Kristen, she hoped Julian hadn't given up on her yet because she had forced him to feel constantly discouraged in their relationship.
Julian said he wanted to get past the roadblock in their relationship and being on the island had made him dig deeper and ask himself real questions about his past mistakes. Julian shared how he had been challenging himself and gained a new perspective on their relationship.
"I want nothing more than to be better for you, myself and our families. I really hope this experience has helped you grow in ways that it's helped me, and I'm so excited to start this new journey in our lives together," Julian said. "I love you."
Kristen explained to Julian in her video message that the issues she had were superficial and she was beginning to pull back layers of herself that she didn't know she was hiding from.
Kristen said although there were unknowns, she was certain she'd continue to work on herself and that she'd stop avoiding.
Julian noted it was "amazing" to hear how well his girlfriend was doing and he'd always feel blessed and thankful for Temptation Island.
Chelsea didn't know where Thomas' head was at, and so she was hoping for clarity through his video message since he seemed to be partying and "flirting with every girl in the house" -- without figuring out "why he's so flirty."
Chelsea said she was tired of watching "Bachelor Tom."
Thomas told Chelsea that he missed and loved her so much. Thomas said the process had been challenging for him and he was embracing the flirty side of his personality while maintaining his integrity and keeping his word.
"[I'm] staying true to our promise and I want you to know that I can be a committed boyfriend and that you can trust me," Thomas said. "I just can't wait to see you and be with you."
With that being said, Chelsea broke down into tears and felt "more confused" than ever. Chelsea felt like Thomas' message was fake because she wasn't seeing him working on himself.
"This whole process is showing that we might not be compatible," Chelsea shared in a confessional.
Thomas hoped Chelsea's video message would tell him that she wanted to be with him and had been faithful to him, but Thomas was experiencing new suspicions and doubts that drove him crazy.
In her video message, Chelsea explained their relationship was "on the line" and she had been truly present in the experience. Chelsea said she was becoming a better person.
"I don't know what the future holds, but I know that I can't go backwards. I need to keep moving forward, and that's what I plan on doing," Chelsea noted.
Thomas and Chelsea's videos were polar opposites and he expressed feeling disappointed and angry. Thomas didn't feel loved and thought Chelsea was just trying to defend her actions without letting Thomas know what she had done.
"That to me is an indicator that all of her insecurities and her worries I would cheat were really projected on me -- but were about her," Thomas pointed out.
Thomas wasn't sure Chelsea even wanted to salvage their relationship.