‘Bachelor in Paradise’ Season 7, Episode 2 Recap: Secret Off-Camera Romances Rule the Beach

While the premiere episode of Bachelor in Paradise Season 7 was all about introductions, Episode 2 got right to business. Hurricane Demi and the whisperings of pre-Paradise-off-screen relationships took the beach by storm. Here’s what happened.

Natasha Parker, Jessenia Cruz, Tammy Ly and Kenny Braasch attend ABC's "Bachelor In Paradise" And "The Ultimate Surfer" Premiere at Fairmont Miramar - Hotel & Bungalows on August 12, 2021 in Santa Monica, California.
Natasha Parker, Jessenia Cruz, Tammy Ly and Kenny Braasch of ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ | Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Demi uses her date card on Brendan

When Demi was welcomed into Paradise by David Spade, she told the temporary host: “Honestly, I’m into both men and women. But I want to date some dudes here… I want to take over the beach. I want to shock some people. I want to stir some s— up. I love causing trouble. It’s actually my favorite thing to do.”

The BIP second-timer strutted onto the beach with a date card in hand. Ultimately, she decided to ask Brendan to accompany her because they had sexual tension that was “so good.” He said yes, leaving Natasha, whom he’d begun to form a connection with, in tears.

The two spent the afternoon riding around on jet skis. Once on dry land the pair made out and Demi told Brendan that she wanted to “have fun” with him and just keep things light and casual, but that she wanted to get to know him better. In a separate interview, she told the camera that she was giddy over Brendan and that her cheeks hurt from smiling. But the feeling wasn’t mutual. Brendan told Demi that he wanted to keep his options and “talk to other people, go on other dates, and see if our paths cross again along this journey.” Demi felt rejected and like she wasted her date.

“This has never happened to me before,” she told the camera. “Except Colton, and that was brutal, but he was gay!”

Before Demi headed back to the main beach (separate from Brendan), she declared that Hurricane Demi was a-brewin’. She was not happy.

Were Brendan and Pieper dating before ‘Bachelor in Paradise’?

That was the big question back at the beach.

Several contestants mentioned hearing about Brendan and Pieper (from Matt James’ season of The Bachelor) hanging out prior to Paradise. Mari and Deandra felt he was “holding out” for Pieper to walk down the Paradise steps. Natasha called the situation “f– up,” but wanted to hear Brendan out.

When Demi returned from her date, the women told her the rumor about Pieper. When she confronted Brendan about it, he said: “Pieper and I, we’ve hung out. We spent some time together. We’ve communicated. We’ve enjoyed each other’s company. And that’s that. There’s no relationship.” She wasn’t satisfied with his answer, still believing that he was “holding out” for Pieper.

RELATED: Greg Grippo and Mykenna Dorn Were ‘Talking’ Before Katie Thurston’s Season of ‘The Bachelorette,’ Says a Source

Brendan spoke with Natasha next.

“Pieper and I met about a month and a half ago,” he told her. “I think she’s cool, and we’ve talked a little bit, and hung out a little bit. We don’t have any labels on anything. I don’t know if she’s going to be here or not.”

“My relationship with Pieper’s just been super casual,” he continued. “I’ve had deeper conversations with you than I had with Pieper. I don’t have anything more to say than that. I really, really like spending time with you, and I think you’re a sweetheart, and you seem to be a lot of fun. I have the strongest connection with you.”

Natasha seemed happy with her conversation with Brendan. In the end, he gave her his rose.

We’ll just have to see what happens when Pieper does get to Paradise.

Jessenia gets the second date card and deepens her connection with Ivan

Jessenia received the second date card of the episode. It was a no-brainer for her to pick Ivan, whom she’d been connecting with since the first day.

They shared a meal at a table in the middle of a shallow pool of water that reflected the night sky. They spoke about their already budding connection and Jessenia opened up about her hesitancy to come on Bachelor in Paradise because she received so many racist messages after appearing on Matt James’ season.

RELATED: Blake Horstmann Was Talking to Becca Kufrin Before She Went on ‘Bachelor in Paradise,’ Says ‘The Show Doesn’t Want to See Us Together’

“Coming off of Matt’s season, a lot of the aftermath essentially overshadowed what should have been a really special experience for all of us, especially for Matt, and really kind of started this conversation about people of color,” she said.

Ivan’s season with Tayshia Adams also touched on race. But Ivan said he received overwhelmingly positive messages from viewers, acknowledging that women of color often have a harder time than men.

At the end of their conversation, Jessenia said she was glad she decided to come to Paradise. “I feel safe with you,” she told Ivan.

The rest of their date was spent making out in the pool.

Flirting for roses

Meanwhile, the women are back at the beach doing what they need to do to secure roses.

Things are solid between Noah and Abigail, Karl and Deandra, Joe and Serena P., Kenny and Mari, Maurissa and Connor, and Tre and Tahzjuan. But the rest of the women were sweating.

RELATED: ‘Bachelor in Paradise’: Was Kenny Really Naked?

Serena C. attempted a last-ditch effort to woo Aaron by rapping for him. They made out a little bit but, soon after, Tammy claimed her man by straddling him on the daybed in plain sight of Serena C. When Tammy got up, Aaron didn’t move. “I’m definitely pretty excited, so I can’t get up,” he said, laughing.

Victoria L. also tried her best to make moves on Brendan and Tre, neither of which manifested results. Tahzjuan confronted Victoria L. for trying to get a rose from Tre. The goddess called her “crazy” before storming off in tears.

James and Victoria P.

And then there’s James and Victoria P.

In Victoria P’s confessionals, she admitted to not having a romantic connection with James but said she wanted his rose so she could stay on the show longer. She also repeatedly forgot his name. Meanwhile, James was smitten. That is, he was smitten until Tammy told him that Victoria P. has a boyfriend waiting for her back home.

“She has a boyfriend who’s, like, an aspiring country singer back at home,” Tammy told James. “She was with him literally Thursday. They share a dog together… I want you to find a connection like me and Aaron have a connection and this is not a genuine connection… I don’t want to see you played.”

She also told him that Victoria P. didn’t even know his name.

When James calmly approached Victoria P. to get her take on things, she said: “Take a deep breath because I feel like you may be coming at me a little.” She didn’t really give him a straight answer.

After their conversation, Victoria P. confronted Tammy and Kelsey (who corroborated Tammy’s story about Victoria P.’s boyfriend). Victoria P. hardly let Tammy and Kelsey speak. When Kelsey managed to ask her if she was denying having a boyfriend, Victoria P. made the conversation about how Tammy and Kelsey were being bad friends to her.

RELATED: ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ Season 7, Episode 1 Recap: A New First-Night Kiss Record

“I am literally in a place where I am willing to own my mistakes,” she told them. “I am of course disappointed that you guys felt like you needed to go to him to talk instead of coming to me.” 

Talking over Kelsey and Tammy, Victoria P. said she needed to set “a healthy boundary” and exit the conversation.

“She’s caught in a lie that she doesn’t know how to get out of,” said Kelsey when she left.

“I know this is going to make me grow… I’m upset because the words I’m giving the people that I love, the words are being questioned,” Victoria P. said in a confessional. “I did not come into this without an open heart because that would require me to lie to somebody else. I can’t fake it. I can’t lie.” 

After her conversations with James, Kelsey, and Tammy, Victoria P. decided to go home.

“I tried to make something work and I realized I don’t have to search for what I already have at home,” she said during her drive to the airport.

In the end, James gave his rose to Demi. Kelsey, Serena C., and Victoria L. did not receive roses and were sent home.