'Temptation Island' recap: Julian picks out an engagement ring, Erica kisses Jesse and Thomas gives into his feelings for Sophia during overnight dates
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/14/2021
Temptation Island featured the girlfriends and boyfriends going on final overnight dates with the singles, Julian Allen shopping for an engagement ring, and Erica Washington and Thomas Gipson kissing their crushes for the first time 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, a 26-year-old personal trainer; West Hollywood-based couple Chelsea Orcutt, a 29-year-old marketing coordinator, and Thomas, a 37-year-old investment trader; Los Angeles-based couple Erica Washington, 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 Erica realizing her worth and what she wants in a partner.
"Regardless of how much I feel betrayed, I still love him," Erica acknowledged. "I think the biggest thing for me is yes, I love you, but I've learned to love myself more -- which is why I'm going to walk away," Erica revealed.
Dr. Blake Eyres, a 34-year-old dentist from St. Louis, MO, surprised Chelsea with a romantic date outdoors to show she's special and how much he liked her, and Chelsea said the doctor made her feel secure in her self-worth and self-love.
After Thomas watched Chelsea kiss Blake at a bonfire meeting, he told Sophia Perez, a 22-year-old makeup artist from Miami, FL, that he had feelings for her but she shouldn't feel any pressure to reciprocate.
Sophia told the cameras she was excited to see what could happen between them in the future, and then Thomas gave her a little kiss.
"I did not expect Tom to kiss me at all. I really didn't think it was going to happen, but it did!... I have butterflies and I feel happy. This is what I've been waiting for!" Sophia gushed.
Nickole Ciszak, a 22-year-old marketing manager from Oak Ridge, NJ, regretted holding back and not trying harder to pursue Kendal as Alexcys Homan, a 23-year-old personal assistant from Van Nuys, CA, questioned if Kendal was truly the right man for her.
Alexcys wondered if she was just a place-holder, but Kendal explained to the cameras he liked embracing challenges and new things.
"I still don't know if I'm leaving the island with Alexcys. It's all in the air right now," Kendal said.
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Alexcys was angry about Kendal and Nickole's connection and began second-guessing everything she had been thinking and feeling about her romance with Kendal, who could tell that Alexcys was a little angry at him.
"Is Kendal going to hurt me like he hurt his girlfriend? It hasn't happened yet but I feel it coming," Alexcys lamented in a confessional, later adding, "I noticed he likes to go for the underdogs."
Alexcys even told Kendal that she wasn't going to look at Nickole the same way again -- as a friend -- because it seemed like she was giving Kendal something that she wasn't or couldn't.
It then became time for the girlfriends and boyfriends to each pick a single with whom they'd enjoy a final overnight date.
Erin selected Juwan Haynes, a 25-year-old entrepreneur from Los Angeles, CA; Chelsea asked Blake out; Erica invited Jesse Stephanos, a 25-year-old business owner from Palm Beach Gardens, FL, on her date; and Kristen chose to spend the evening with Lex Lindquist, a 28-year-old event planner from Miami, FL.
Griffin Libhart, a 25-year-old business owner and retired pro soccer player from Baltimore, MD, was disappointed to leave Temptation Island without love, especially considering he would've liked to get to know Erin better, but he wished Erin the best of luck.
Julian asked out Lauren "Tula" Poindexter, a 28-year-old digital content creator from Waldorf, MD, over at the guys' villa, and Corey invited Amanda Spain-Butts, a 24-year-old operations coordinator from Austin, TX, on his overnight date.
Kendal chose to enjoy a date with Alexcys, and Thomas predictably invited Sophia on his overnight.
"It sucks that it came down to this, but at the end of the day, if [Kendal] wants to have the same problems he's had with Erica, it's going to happen with Alexcys," Nickole said on her way out of Temptation Island.
"I'm definitely going to be awaiting a text message from Mr. Kendal."
For Julian's date, however, he asked Tula to go ring shopping with him, as he clearly planned to propose marriage to Kristen at the end of their journey on the show.
"I'm not really sure where Kristen's head is or even if she wants to pursue a relationship with me, let alone engagement," Julian said, "but I know that Kristen is the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with, so I'm going to leave it all out on the table for her."
Meanwhile, Erica and Jesse enjoyed a romantic helicopter ride and Kendal told the cameras he and Alexcys could definitely work out as long as he'd be willing to make some major shifts in his life.
Kendal told Alexcys that she's "outstanding" and deserved all of him.
Thomas and Sophia jumped into a waterfall, and Thomas revealed he was finally open to exploring the romantic interest he had in Sophia. The pair kissed again on their date and Sophia hoped Thomas would realize his relationship with Chelsea wasn't what's best for him.
As for Blake and Chelsea, they went sailing and continued to connect and build their chemistry. Chelsea said she realized what she wants and deserves in a relationship through how Blake treated and respected her.
On Kristen's date, she expressed to Lex how she needed to figure out whether Julian was on the same page and she'd be his priority down the road. Kristen wanted to feel certain Julian wasn't all about partying and going out with his friends.
Erin also shared with Juwan how she was carrying so much resentment from her past failed relationships.
"I love my boyfriend and I want to be with him, but do I think he wants to be with me? I genuinely don't know. But I don't compete with anyone, so if you like someone else, you'll leave with someone else -- and I'll leave by myself, and I'll be okay," Erin explained.
Erin was concerned Corey may have moved on from her, but she insisted she'd be fine regardless after everything she had learned about herself on Temptation Island.
Corey was then shown telling Amanda that he hoped his future with Erin would be "bright" but Erin needed to be scared to lose him.
Amanda told Corey that she really liked him a lot and didn't want to leave the show without telling him that. Corey explained to the cameras Erin had created "confidence issues" in him while Amanda made him feel safe and relaxed.
"I could see myself being with you," Corey told Amanda.
Later that evening, Thomas called Sophia "a glowing light" and determined his feelings for Sophia were real. The pair agreed they could see a future together, and then they entered the same bedroom.
And Chelsea said her feelings for Blake were "indescribable" and she "couldn't stop smiling." However, Chelsea apparently didn't invite Blake to spend the night with her in the same room.
Erica also kissed Jesse before bed, and she gushed about feeling so happy. Erica finally allowed herself to open up because she said Jesse had proven himself to be someone she could feel safe around.
With that being said, Erica invited Jesse into her bedroom.
And Kendal and Alexcys kissed in a hot tub, with Kendal saying Alexcys already felt like his "lady" in his arms, and Alexcys admitted she was falling more and more in love with Kendal every day.
Kendal insisted his judgement was "not clouded" and he wanted to be with Alexcys for who she is, not just because of how she looks physically.
Thomas and Erica woke up feeling great after spending the night with Sophia and Jesse, respectively.
The episode concluded with Julian asking Kristen's father Jose for his blessing and permission to propose marriage to Kristen. Jose said "yes" and called it "outstanding" news, and Julian promised to take care of Kristen forever.
"Even though I'm already a part of her family, I'm ready to make it official," Julian noted. 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.