'Bachelor in Paradise': Queen Demi and Derek's chemistry is steadily waning, but how long will she have to pretend like this?
It looks like Queen Demi's long-teased girlfriend will finally be appearing on Bachelor in Paradise. By episode 6, it really feels like Demi has had enough of pretending to feel things for Derek, and sounds pretty much like a bored woman reaching the end of her rope.
“Demi would like to see Chris Harrison.”
Oh yes, please. Episode 6 of Bachelor in Paradise ended with Demi calling regally (okay fine, through a producer) for Chris Harrison, and now that the Blake vs everyone-at-Stagecoach drama seems to be winding down, it looks like it’s finally time to put self-appointed (and fan approved) Queen Demi out of her awkward misery, ringing in ‘Bachelor in Paradise’s newest big storyline.
Back at the beginning of the season premiere of ‘Bachelor in Paradise’, we saw Demi sit down with recent ‘Bachelorette’ Hannah Brown to talk about how she had recently been seeing someone just before ‘BiP’, and, “plot twist!” (god, Demi really is her own story’s best director, producer and narrator), it was a woman. Demi told Hannah B that she had fallen “head over heels” for the unnamed woman (who we now know is actor, assistant director and self-identified Christian minister Kristian Haggerty), but that as of now, there was “no exclusivity, nothing like that”. Of course, this is the kind of thing Demi necessarily has to say to simultaneously introduce her queerness to Bachelor Nation, lay the groundwork for the clearly pre-planned entry of her lady love (who, unlike every BiP contestant with the exception of Ashley Iaconnetti’s sister Lauren in season 2, is not a former ‘Bachelor’ or ‘Bachelorette’ contestant), and attempt to still prove to viewers that she didn’t come into Paradise while in a pre-existing relationship (an obvious Bachelor world no-no).
This delicate, difficult balancing act seems pretty emblematic of poor Demi’s time in Paradise these first six episodes. Demi obviously wouldn’t be talking about her queerness on camera with Tayshia, Hannah G, Derek or Hannah B if it wasn’t a talking point or a storyline previously approved by BiP producers, and in fact, ‘Bachelor’ alum Tanner Tolbert recently tweeted that even he had heard rumors of Demi’s intention to get engaged to her girlfriend Kristian way back in May (‘BiP’ starts filming in June). Which means that Demi has been in this weird limbo since the very beginning, and has had to modulate her time and behavior on the show keeping this impending arrival in mind. Out of pure necessity (given that the men in Paradise were handing out roses first) or perhaps even initial chemistry, Demi and BiP veteran Derek became a thing early on. But really, really soon, you could see the cracks begin to show.
In an early episode, Demi had a tight-lipped conversation with Derek about being queer and having seen a woman before the show. When Derek mentions that he can’t even imagine what Demi’s been going through, she replies with uncharacteristic reticence but her usual smarm, “just, feelin’ anxious, you know!”Derek mentions that he’s heard her say this a couple of times before on the show, but only just realized the significance of what she meant (but did he though? Did he fully?).
In this most recent episode, you see the awkwardness intensify. Demi and Derek seem to have been spending their time getting used to the new information Demi had revealed, with a few shots in earlier episodes of Derek looking terse while Demi tries to flirt with him after her big “confession”. Still, thus far, it doesn’t seem like Derek really knows what’s to come, but is earnestly taking his time getting comfortable with the fact that Demi’s bi. And by episode 6, it really feels like Demi has had enough of pretending to feel things for Derek, and sounds pretty much like a bored woman reaching the end of her rope.
In a kind of hilarious exchange early on in episode 6, Demi drawls to Derek that he has such a juicy butt. A tense-looking Derek replies that it’s his best feature, and clearly the “Brazilian side” of his body. Demi snickers, and tellingly says that that’s the best thing he’s said all day. A few minutes later, you hear Demi morosely introspect in a voiceover that sometimes she feels like kissing but Derek, but at other times doesn't even want him to touch her. Poor Derek. Poor Demi, too.
Later on, she has another conversation with former ‘Bachelorette’ Hannah B, talking tearfully about how she came out to her parents, and how she’s generally feeling confused and anxious about “dating” Derek with Kristian still on her mind. She takes Derek aside to fill him in on where’s she’s purportedly at, and the teaser promises big news on the Demi-Kristian front.
Given the stress of being on reality TV in general (remember how Katie burst into what felt like totally inexplicable tears when sweet, nerdy Wills was trying to express his feelings to her), and the added dread of waiting to see when ‘BiP’ producers would finally bring her girlfriend on the show, it’s a wonder Demi’s been able to function at all. In fact, only Queen Demi could deal with this kind of pressure and still come up with gems like “Blake is like a turd that just refuses to flush”. Imagine how witty and excellent she’ll be once they just bring her girlfriend on the show, put her out of her misery and let her relax a little bit.
I for one can’t wait for Demi’s girlfriend to come on, and for the awkward tension between Demi and Derek to dissipate or better still, disappear quickly and completely next episode. Not in the expectation of a particularly liberating storyline or anything, but just for the excitement, I believe episode 7 is bound to be a killer one.