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Bachelor in Paradise Recap: Is Samantha an Even Bigger Villain Than Joe?

Bachelor in Paradise
Joe and Sam compete for the title of the ultimate villain. 

As the Aug. 17 episode of Bachelor in Paradise began, Juelia was still absorbing the blow Joe gave her when he did exactly what Jonathan and Mikey had warned her about, and ditched her the minute Samantha showed up. Reasoning that she was protecting her friend Samantha from suffering the same fate, Juelia set out to tell her exactly what had happened in the days leading up to her arrival. Feeling for Juelia, Jade was on hand to lend some moral support during the talk.

"I feel like once she hears how badly Joe treated Juelia, I think Sam will just dump him," Jade predicted—but it turned out that she was very (very!) wrong.

Juelia had barely gotten two sentences out when Samantha stopped her and said she didn't want to continue the conversation unless Joe was in the room. Stunned, the mother of one tried to press on, but Samantha cut her off.

"I can't even tell you how good I feel in that situation though," Samantha said of her connection with Joe. "I'm just on cloud nine." Both Jade and Juelia were taken aback by the newcomer's response, but she didn't seem to care one bit.

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"It's just so silly, her calling him out," Samantha said to the camera. For her part, Juelia called Sam's reaction "fishy."

After her chat with Juelia and Jade, however, Samantha did broach the topic with Joe. He mumbled something about how she knew he wanted to pursue her (specifically) before they ever got to Paradise. Apparently, whatever he said was enough for her because they immediately started making out.

Samantha Becomes Public Enemy No. 2 

Joe had already nabbed the title of Public Enemy No. 1, but at this point, Samantha was giving him a run for his money.

"Joe definitely screwed Juelia over, but what Samantha did is 10,000 times worse," Clare lamented to the camera. "It's so s—-y of Samantha to come in and have this 'good friend' Juelia and just walk all over her and not care who she likes, what she's doing, or even what makes her happy."

Tanner also began to sour toward Samantha, explaining, "Watching Joe take the fall for this is just painful because I know Sam is just as guilty as he is." He then confessed to the camera that Joe had straight-up told him before the show started that he'd been communicating with Sam.

"Before Paradise, Joe sent me a screen grab of a text message from Samantha telling Joe to do whatever it takes to stay in Paradise until she arrived," he revealed. "I thought about intervening to prevent Juelia from being hurt, but you never know, maybe Joe developed real feelings for her." Then again, maybe not. Ultimately, Tanner decided he needed to do something about the mess Joe had created. "We need to talk to him and tell him to come clean," he declared.

Tanner and Jared joined up and confronted Joe and Sam, but the newbie quickly shooed the guys out — along with all the cameras (or so she thought).

Though Samantha denied any wrongdoing during her official sit-down interview with the crew, Samantha was filmed talking to Joe sounding not so innocent at all.

"The extent of me and Joe's relationship before we got here was purely social media and a couple text messages and that is it," she said on the record. "There was no plotting with Joe at all, zero plotting, I wouldn't do that."

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She then instructed Joe to say that he had contacted her, but she had said she didn't want to communicate with him and when they both ended up on the show, things just magically worked out. She had just finished coaching Joe on appearing less "defensive," when she realized they were being filmed by a camera parked just outside the door. Oops!

Amber Arrives in Paradise and Makes a Play for Dan

Ashley S. was still really upset that Dan had effectively broken up with her the night before when Amber arrived to join the group. At first, Ashely S. was thrilled to see her friend, whom she described as the most "pure-hearted" and "innocent" person, but her feelings quickly changed when Amber used her one-on-one date card to make a play for Dan.

Unlike Joe, however, Dan handled the situation like a gentleman and asked Amber if it was okay with her if he spoke with Ashley S. before formally accepting the date offer. Unfortunately, his attempt to smooth things over with Ashley S. kind of backfired as she only got more and more upset the longer they talked.

At the end of it all, Dan ended up going on the date with Amber while Ashley S. had some quality time with the birds. "Crazy Ashley is back," Jade laughed to the camera. 

Dan and Amber Kiss — A Lot

Dan and Amber enjoyed a romantic evening in Puerto Vallarta. In between a moonlit walk and (presumably) dinner, they cozied up to each other. When some of the locals starting cheering them on, they shared their first kiss, followed by a second (and third).

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Though Ashley S. did come up when Dan reiterated that at the beginning "there was definitely something" between them, Amber barely seemed to hear it. Dan said that if he was creating any "tension" between the friends, he would back off from her, but she promised him he wasn't doing any such thing (not sure she consulted Ashley S. about that).

"I'm really feeling good about it so far because Amber's amazing!" Dan confessed to the camera. "I was going to make a concerted effort not to make out with her tonight, and I just couldn't help myself." Looking totally awestruck, he added that he could really see a future with Amber. Thankfully, Ashley S. was not on hand to hear that.

JJ and Megan Might Actually Have a Love Connection

In a perhaps unexpected turn of events, JJ and Megan headed out for their date to discover they actually (gasp!) liked each other. They enjoyed jet skiing and hanging out on a boat and JJ admitted that, even though they were "different intellectually," he thought she was "gorgeous."

He even went so far as to say that she didn't need to worry about the rose ceremony and he was feeling a connection for the first time since getting to Paradise. Aww.

JJ Leads the Charge Against Joe

By this point, everyone had pretty much decided that Joe and Sam were full of it — but while Joe seemed at least mildly concerned about upsetting the rest of the cast, Samantha didn't appear to care at all.

That's when JJ tried his hand at confronting Joe, who rebutted with the assertion that although he had a real connection with Juelia, he just had a better one with Samantha. He then asked JJ about some list they had to fill out naming people they might hope to see in Paradise, but it didn't seem like he got anywhere with that logic.

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Then the conversation turned, for the bazillionth time, to whether Joe had lied to Jared or not. Joe argued that Jared had asked if he had ever met Samantha, not if he had ever spoken to her, but JJ wasn't buying this technicality as an excuse.

Looking on, Jared asked, "What planet am I on that I like JJ better than Joe?"

Tempers continued to flare and by the end, JJ looked like he was out for blood.

"That's a man that thinks that nothing can happen. He feels immune," JJ said to the camera. "I'm going to make him look like the hillbilly he is." The episode ended, however, before he was able to do that, though it is important to note that Tenley and Joshua, Tanner and Jade, and Kirk and Carly were all still going strong.

Tell Us: Do you think JJ can make Joe admit that he lied?


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