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The latest spitting hydra head of ABC's reality franchise The Bachelor/ette is The Bachelor in Paradise: a clique of hotties on a booze cruise minus the boat have to pair up each week or get kicked out of ABC's resort compound.

Much like predecessor Bachelor Pad, it's also a chance for the hardworking editors and producers to have a little fun at the expense of their reality stars, in this case they've intercut Claire venting to a presumably offscreen producer with b-roll of a rapt raccoon, like she's some kind of hot mess Disney Princess out to get her little forest friends mixed up in her beef. The raccoon's quiet chittering is even laid under her vocals as though expressing sympathy. This is basically an SNL skit about Bachelor in Paradise, airing in the actual premiere of Bachelor in Paradise.

The dignity of each Bachelor and Bachelorette is assiduously preserved despite a globe trotting jet-lagged fever dream production schedule, and the Bachelor's ritualistic sampling of three sets of genitals and pursuant nationally televised rejection of one runner-up is framed as a fairy tale through careful editing.

But Bachelors in Paradise doesn't have to put anyone on a pedestal. These former Prom Kings and Queens are scrapping in a snake pit for low level celebrity and two months at a rent free open bar, and God bless 'em, but that kind of unabashed opportunism seems to unleash the more sardonic impulses of the show's story-makers. As in this moment, which boils down to the thesis statement "Get a load of this bitch's shoes!"

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(It's also worth noting that while Bachelor-franchise host Chris Harrison has been single for about two years now, there's no talk of him entering into the matchmaking process he has so long shepherded America's finest himbos through. If Jimmy Dean is gonna sell the sausage, Jimmy Dean should also eat the sausage, bros.)

Is the production crew behind this glittering tornado of hurt feelings crying out for a break? Have we pushed them, in their search for love, too far ? Does host Chris Harrison need to just take a few months off to shake the sand out of his loafers and forget the words "this journey" ? Why is it necessary for ABC to idolize the Bachelor and Bachelorette but unnecessary for them to protect the dignity of a couple singles looking for love on equal terms?

[ Videos via ABC]

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