'Temptation Island' recap: Thomas watches Chelsea cheat on him and feels "betrayed," Kendal connects with Nickole behind Alexcys' back, and Erin defends Corey
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/07/2021
Temptation Island featured Thomas Gipson watching Chelsea Orcutt cheat on him and feeling "betrayed," Kendal Kirkland trying to form a connection with Nickole Ciszak behind Alexcys Homan's back, and Erin Smith fighting with Alex Alvarez in defense of Corey Sobczyk 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 Washington, a 24-year-old personal assistant, and Kendal, a 26-year-old business owner; and San Diego-based couple Erin, a 24-year-old behavioral therapist and Corey, 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 Thomas hitting "rock bottom" after watching Chelsea's video message to him. Thomas figured Chelsea had cheated on him and didn't feel bad or guilty about it.
"I feel like I'm losing my best friend," Thomas lamented to the other guys.
Thomas said if he found out Chelsea had definitively been cheating, their contract would be void.
"I would say a lot about how much I overestimated my faith in my partner," Thomas noted, before crying about how "cold" Chelsea came across in her video message.
Sophia Perez, a 22-year-old makeup artist from Miami, FL, hoped Thomas would be able to disconnect from his thoughts about Chelsea because what they had on the island was "real" and she wanted Thomas to be able to explore their connection.
Meanwhile, Chelsea explained to the girls that she had seen two totally different sides of Thomas and didn't know what to believe. Chelsea said Thomas wasn't proving anything to her and his flirtatious behavior made her resent him.
The girls also couldn't believe Kendal had made a comment in his video message to Erica about coming out of Temptation Island stronger in the end. Erica said his message had "no substance," and she clearly wasn't buying what Kendal was selling.
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That night, Thomas tried to get out of his head and "a very dark place" by playing a game with the single women that ended with him giving Sophia a sexy lapdance. Thomas said it was hard to be unhappy when in Sophia's presence.
Alexcys, a 23-year-old personal assistant from Van Nuys, CA, then felt the need to tell Kendal that she was not game for a consistent threesome with Nickole, a 22-year-old marketing manager from Oak Ridge, NJ.
Alexcys said having a little fun once in a while was okay but their relationship was about the two of them.
Kendal, however, admitted in a confessional he was developing a connection with Nickole, who cried about feeling hurt considering she seemed to be the outsider in their love triangle.
All of the girlfriends and boyfriends then went on fun and friendly dates, and Chelsea was shown expressing to Blake about how she felt "chemistry" with him, which is a big deal to her.
Blake explained that he thought about Chelsea a lot and wanted to spend more time with her, and Erica expressed to Jesse Stephanos, a 25-year-old business owner from Palm Beach Gardens, FL, that a lot of the qualities he has are qualities she loves in a partner.
"If something continues after the island, then something continues after the island. There's no need to push anything, but if something feels right in the moment, just go for it. You know what I mean?" Jesse asked.
"Yeah!" Erica said, before resting her head on Jesse's shoulder and holding his hand. "I'm a new woman -- who is she?!"
Sophia worked to shake Thomas out of his funk, and Alexcys strived to dig deeper with Kendal. Kendal told Alexcys that he was developing trust with her, and Alexcys explained that she wanted real love and compassion.
Deep down, Alexcys seemed to fear that Kendal could emotionally disconnect from her as quickly and easily as he had from Erica, but Kendal said he could be the man Alexcys wanted.
However, Kendal also continued to get to know Nickole a little better and said he'd be open to leaving Temptation Island with Erica, single, or with someone else -- maybe even Nickole.
Corey also started to form a real connection with Amanda Spain-Butts, a 24-year-old operations coordinator from Austin, TX. Amanda said she admired how selfless Corey seemed to be, and Corey pointed out that Amanda filled up his love tank and made him feel valued and respected.
Julian then opened up about how he had cheated on Kristen with one of her friends in 2014 at a party that had been thrown for him. Julian struggled to dish on the painful things in his past, but he noted that's what this journey was all about.
Later on, Erin got into a fight with Alex, a 29-year-old medical recruiter from Sacramento, CA, because Alex called Corey "boring." Erin insisted Corey was not boring or insecure, but the single guys believed Erin had led them all to believe that.
Erin yelled at Alex and said she wasn't going to listen to what he said because his opinion didn't matter.
Erin said she was always going to stick up and defend Corey, especially since she's learned she's actually the insecure person in her relationship.
Before heading into the next bonfire meeting led by Temptation Island host Mark L. Walberg, Kendal spoke about how Erica would never hook up with a man on the show and she couldn't find another guy who would give her what he had been able to give her.
But Kendal said he'd be happy for Erica if she found a man who could fully give himself to her.
Lauren "Tula" Poindexter, a 28-year-old digital content creator from Waldorf, MD, however, accused Kendal of being a "b-llsh-tter" and said he needed a woman who could check him.
"My goal is to be with a woman, and I wanted that woman to be Erica. I think she understands who I am. When I do have the opportunity to talk to Erica, I think it's going to be great. I think we'll really be able to hash some things out and see where we're at," Kendal said.
Kendal didn't think Erica would leave him for another guy because she never felt like she was good enough for him.
Thomas went into the bonfire meeting expecting "the worst," that he was going to watch his girlfriend cheating on him, and Kendal hoped Erica had refused to send him a video message just because she was trying to process her feelings for him.
At the bonfire, Kendal watched Erica tell Jesse that she loved certain qualities about him and those are things she looks for in a partner.
"I'm starting to really care about you. I love being around you," Erica told Jesse, who suggested they could continue a relationship off the island.
She added, "My heart is beating fast, boy!"
Kendal said he'd have an opportunity to talk to Erica at the end of the day and it was going to be difficult and hard. Kendal admitted if he watched footage of Erica in bed with Jesse, it would be "devastating and rough" and he may not be able to reconcile with her at that point.
Corey observed Erin flirting with Griffin Libhart, a 25-year-old business owner and retired pro soccer player from Baltimore, MD, who, at one point, hugged Erin's butt as he was sitting and she was standing next to him.
Corey admitted the clip brought up fear for him and he hated watching her being touched by another guy. Corey said leaving Temptation Island without Erin would be "heartbreaking" for him but he wants a woman who will "go through thick and thin" with him.
Corey hoped Erin would be there for him at the end of this process.
Julian saw a clip of Kristen explaining to Jesse that she wondered if Julian wanted to spend the rest of his life with her because she's "so chill" and let's him hang out with his guy friends all the time and do whatever he wants.
"I don't know if he feels he can take advantage of me," Kristen lamented. "I don't want that!... But [Julian] is like, '[I don't want to be single]. You're The One. I love you.' I believe him, but it's like, you have to show me!"
Julian bragged about how his girlfriend is not controlling and maybe he had taken advantage of her grace a little bit. Julian told Mark that he finally opened up about his "mistakes" at the villa and needed to do the same with Kristen in order to move forward in their relationship in a positive way.
"A conversation has to happen," Julian noted.
Thomas then watched footage of Chelsea and Blake enjoying their first kiss during a sunset.
"It confirmed my suspicions. I figured she was cheating. She's cheating on me!" Thomas said. "I think she saw clips of me being very flirtatious and she used it to go with another man and betray me... [I feel] betrayed."
Thomas complained, "We had an agreement, a commitment, a promise -- and she broke that! A kiss in the grand scheme of things, it's not the end of the world and it's not a big deal. But a broken promise to me is... It's done. It's gone now."
Thomas accused Chelsea of being so preoccupied with him potentially cheating on her that she never looked in the mirror and questioned herself on whether she could be faithful to him.
Thomas left the bonfire feeling "pissed off" because he believed Chelsea was acting and behaving without having much regard for his feelings.
The women then headed to the bonfire meeting and Erin watched Corey bonding with Amanda and hugging her. Erin said she was proud of Corey because he was clearly gaining confidence and opening up to someone.
"But I can see that I'm losing him, and I knew this was going to happen the second day of coming here. This clarified why he didn't tell me he loved me in the video I got. Now I'm scared I lost him and that it's too late," Erin cried to Mark.
Erin acknowledged that she had changes to make in order to make her partner and herself happy, and she concluded that she was truly in love with Corey.
Erica saw footage of Kendal confessing his compassion for Erica had subsided because the more he got to know her, the more he started finding things wrong with her.
Erica said she should have put her foot down with Kendal but was pretty submissive for a year-and-a-half. Erica had watched her mother sacrifice and give everything she had to her father and then go sleep on the couch and cry every single night while saying everything was fine.
"I always said, 'I don't want to be like my mom,' but I'm like that. I'm just like my mom, and I don't know what love is supposed to look like," Erica cried. "I want to be happy... I'm stopping me, but I'm done stopping myself."
Kristen observed Julian partying hard at the guys' villa and running around with a girl on his shoulders. Kristen said she was concerned and scared Julian didn't have his priorities straight and that he wouldn't prioritize his love for her.
Kristen said partying isn't a big deal but cheating is a big deal to her. Kristen admitted it seemed like she had more love for Julian and she couldn't continue living that way.
And finally, Chelsea watched a clip of Thomas giving Sophia a lapdance and wrestling her in an inflated pool filled with what appeared to be bubbles. Chelsea said watching this footage made her not miss him, which was a huge departure from "the sweet Tom" she had seen in her video message.
"I feel like he brought me here so that he can do whatever he wants and have fun, and at the end say, 'Oh, did you get my 30-second video?!'... I'm still feeling disrespected, so this doesn't make sense," Chelsea explained.
Chelsea realized she may have been getting what she needed from another man, Blake.
Chelsea told the cameras it was time to worry about herself given Thomas seemed focused on his "Magic Mike" moves at the guys' villa. 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.