Our local-ish contestant Caelynn Miller-Keyes had a rough first week on ABC’s “Bachelor in Paradise,” rehashing some past drama with Blake Horstmann, the wanna-be Casanova of Paradise.
Caelynn’s second week started out much better.
The former Miss North Carolina USA got a rose from Cam (cut her some slack, her survival instinct was kicking in) which secured her place for another week. And her ability to endure an awkward advance from Cam the next day was rewarded with the arrival of a Knight in Shining Armor, swooping down into paradise — literally aglow (nice editing, “Bachelor in Paradise”) — to save her from more icky Cam encounters.
We’re talking about Big Mike.
Big Mike Johnson is the hero from Hannah Brown’s “Bachelorette” season — suave, kind, big-hearted with a glorious-smile Mike. (If Mike doesn’t find love in “Paradise,” he’s a fan favorite to be the next “Bachelor.”)
All of the girls lost their minds over Mike when he strolled onto the beach. He chatted with Caelynn and Onyeka (Caelynn’s buddy) and then asked Caelynn on a date. (Poor Onyeka was crushed!)
Caelynn seemed relieved to be rescued from Cam, but it was hard to tell just how much she was into Mike. But Mike was all grins on their date, and told her that he likes her. Then they were serenaded by a Mariachi band.
“Mike makes me giddy, Mike makes me smile,” Caelynn said. “I expected him to be great but he has even exceeded my expectations.”
The two danced and kissed.
“For the first time in a very long time, Caelynn has me wondering about a future,” Mike said to cameras. “This may be our very last first date ever.”
Meanwhile Cam was crying and carrying on, and swear to God it looked like he was going to walk into the ocean and drown himself. After two conversations and one brief kiss, he thought he was going to marry Caelynn.
Buck up, Cam, it’s “Paradise.” (Pretty sure Cam will exit soon.)
A note about the Caelynn-Blake drama
There were some developments in the Caelynn and Blake situation last week after our recap posted.
I won’t rehash the whole crazy story —read Night 1 here and Night 2 here — but it’s worth noting that Blake released some of Caelynn’s text messages last week in an effort to defend his behavior. (I still contend that if Blake had thought everything was cool between him and Caelynn, he would not have run and hidden from her when she arrived in Paradise.)
The messages didn’t make Caelynn look great. But they didn’t make Blake look good either. In fact, show host Chris Harrison told The Hollywood Reporter that Blake was wrong to release those texts, and that it wasn’t something a gentleman would do.
Let’s just hope all of that is over.
Some background on Caelynn
Caelynn was the 2018 Miss North Carolina USA and also the 1st Runner-Up in the Miss USA pageant. She grew up in Fredericksburg, Va., but moved to Asheville to compete for the Miss NC USA title. When Caelynn appeared on last season’s “The Bachelor” (aka The Colton Season), Caelynn was listed as living in Charlotte.
Caelynn had an eventful time on “The Bachelor,” clashing hard with Hannah Brown, the former Miss Alabama USA who went on to become the most recent “Bachelorette.”
Go here to read all of our coverage of Caelynn on “The Bachelor” (bios, recaps, all that good stuff).
PREVIOUS ‘BACHELOR IN PARADISE’ COVERAGE
It should be noted that Raleigh’s Jenna Cooper was on Season 22 of “The Bachelor” and then made the jump to “Bachelor in Paradise” last summer. She got engaged to Jordan Kimball, and then all that fell apart very quickly and in dramatic fashion. (NOTE: Jordan returned to “Bachelor in Paradise” on Night 3 and alluded to this failed relationship but didn’t say anything specifically about Jenna.)
Watch: “Bachelor in Paradise” airs at 8 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays this summer on ABC.