Bachelor in Paradise Premiere: Hello, David Spade! Goodbye, Grocery Store Joe?

Bachelor in Paradise returned on Monday night.

But it didn’t exactly look the same as the last time it aired — which was back in 2019.

For starters, of course, Chris Harrison left the franchise earlier this year due to the way he handled a race-based scandal on The Bachelor… and he was replaced on the Season 7 premiere by David Spade!

Yes, that David Spade!

“I’m actually star struck right now,” said Abigal, a contestant who had hoped to marry Matt James when she met the actor.

Grocery Store Joe, who dated Kendall Long after the two met on Season 5, appeared next.

He informed the host that he hoped to leave the show in a relationship once again.

“It worked the first time, I’m hoping it works again,” Joe told Abigail on the beach.

From there, the arrivals continued with:

  • Ivan from Clare Crawley/Tayshia Adams’ season of The Bachelorette came next.
  • Serena P. from Matt’s run.
  • Peter Weber’s ex Kelsey, whom David welcomed with a bottle of champagne. 
  • Brendan from Tayshia’s season.
  • Natasha and Tammy from Peter’s season.

Jessenia (from Matt’s season) showed up, as well, and so did Aaron from Katie Thurston’s season and Tayshia/Clare’s ex Kenny… who wore his birthday suit for the occasion.

“I never thought that someday I’d meet David Spade naked,” he confessed.

“I’m loving the scenery,” Natasha said of Kenny’s bare body. “It’s very bold, but he’s owning it.”

As the cast continued to fill out, Joe had second thoughts about leaping back into the dating pool.

“I think I thought this was just going to be fun,” he told the cameras. “I did it before. But now I don’t know if I want to do this.”

Queen Victoria Larson then dubbed herself with a brand new nickname.

“The goddess is here to take over,” she said, wearing a sun goddess headpiece.

Once everyone had touched down on the island, Wells Adams rounded the group up in the living room to lay out how the summer would unfold.

“I’ve seen people fall in love, I’ve seen people get married, I’ve seen babies come out of this place,” Wells said.

“So suffice it to say, anything is possible here in Paradise. You could actually fall in love and get engaged at the end of this thing.

“The rules are simple: You find love, or you go home.”

Cut to the dates…

Abigail invited Noah to go out with her, and the latter felt like he could get engaged to Abigail right away.

“She’s the girl that’s like, wife-material,” he said in an on-camera interview.

The reality stars down to eat and Noah asked Abigail why she was still single.

“I just got comfortable being single,” she said. “I move very slow.”

This response concerned Noah because he and Abigail found themselves in a situation that offered limited time to find love.

“I have to be so sure with somebody before I even call them my boyfriend,” Abigail explained.

“That’s what I mean by move slowly. It’s so hard for me to get guys out of the friend zone. I friend zone guys really easily.

“I need to stop doing that.”

Dead set on getting out of the friend zone, Noah kissed Abigail towards the end of the evening.

“The kiss was great,” he said.

Meanwhile, back on the beach…

… there was even more smooching!

Connor B. (from Katie’s season) talked with Maurissa, and then saliva was swapped.

“He’s very genuine and very sweet and Katie is wrong,” she told the cameras. “Connor is a good kisser.”

Tahzjuan freaked out about a bug while chatting with Tre, but he took care of with the scary insect.

“I just want you to know going forward, I’m excited to see what this turns into,” he told Tahzjuan.

“I like talking to you. You have really good energy. You are a very quality woman so far. I’m very interested in getting to know you.”

And then, yes, these two kissed, too. (Tahzjuan graded it a “10 out of 10.”)

Joe, for his part, still didn’t know if he wanted to stick around.

“I don’t want to be here just to hang out,” he said.

“So unless I actually meet somebody that I’m really interested in, I just don’t see the point of staying. Do I want to go through all this again?

“I just don’t know. I don’t know if I’m up for it right now, to be honest.”

Serena P. took note Joe’s hesitance and approached him for a discussion.

Mr. Grocery Store explained that he and Kendall split over disagreeing about where they wanted to live.

“We were growing apart a little bit,” he said.

Serena and Joe also talked their 11-year age gap — and then kissed.

“Starting to develop feelings for Serena does make me want to stay,” he admitted in an on-camera interview.

As you can see, the opening night ended with romance in the air.

However, the next morning, a new arrival threatened to shake things … as Demi, who got engaged on her last run on Bachelor in Paraddise, entered and introduced herself to Spade.

“I look fine as f–k right now. Are you kidding me?” she said to the cameras before joining the group.

“Those poor girls, I’m going to steal all their men.”

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