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Culture > Entertainment

The Things I Took Home From Paradise

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCF chapter.

What are some things that come to mind when you hear the word “paradise?” Most people automatically think of luxury, vacation, relaxation, peacefulness, fun, friendship, memories, and let’s not forget drama. The only place you can find drama while on island time is at the Paradise Hotel. The Paradise Hotel is the ultimate location where the reality show, Paradise Hotel, is filmed live. In this show, contestants live together as couples. These couples work together to win or split up to half a million dollars while experiencing the chance to fall in love with their partner. After finishing up the plot-twisting, yet fire first season, I learned a few important life lessons from watching this show, and realized how they apply to everyday life in our society.

Appearances are often misleading. 

Paradise Hotel is one’s own getaway towards love. All the single contestants enter with the mindset that other than playing the game, they are here to search for their significant other and have personal goals and preferences in mind when it comes to the world of dating. This show introduces and presents the guys and girls as good looking, with perfect figures, clear skin and faces, and flexing in the most up-to-date, stylish fashion. Their personalities and background are alike for the most part, which makes it easier for them to connect and relate to one another on a personal level. Because of high beauty standards and similar interests, each individual has an idealized image or expectation of how to look and act in a certain way that’s considered normal. For example, if a girl is pretty, it can be assumed that she’s a model, she takes care of herself and her body image, she was popular in school, or she was part of a sorority. If a guy is good looking, he works out or is athletic, he has strong game, he is respectful of women, and he has a good sense of humor. We tend to see this everywhere, especially with the rise of powerful social media apps such as Instagram, where a user’s profile equates to their first impression that’s displayed for others to see and judge.

Fight to the finish with what you are given — but play it smart!

Paradise Hotel is a game — it isn’t all lounging around the poolside or sleeping in bed, so competition is at its fiercest. As a contestant, this means using strategy to the best of your advantage when an opportunity arises. We all know the houseguests do whatever it takes to win over allies’ support to remain in the hotel. Keeping that in mind, this creates strong or weak bonds alongside or against others, which can either make or break your standing and even reputation. Take, for instance, Tatum and Papi Sazon. Originally, Tatum is presented as a character of scheme and emotion. She jumps from Hans, then to Bobby Ray, and more recently to Papi Sazon, due to her ultimate masterplan of reaching the end. Her act of stealing other women’s men becomes detrimental to their friendships and eventually backfires on her when the truth comes to light. Although you have to work with what you have and make the most out of it, be careful not to play with fire — it could dig a deeper hole of trouble for you and lead to distrust. Know who’s on your side when it comes to conflict and be lowkey as possible. What goes around comes around.

Karma is a bitch.

Yeah, that’s right, karma is one. Why? It’s reflective of one’s behavior and morals over another. For instance, Tatum screwing over Bobby Ray by running off with Papi Sazon, and him telling his current partner (who he has genuine interests for) Kaitlin, who then runs off to tell Bobby Ray the truth and reveal Tatum’s dark play. Payback comes when it’s between her and Bobby Ray at the season finale, as they fight to split or spoil the money. Bobby Ray remembered how Tatum cheated, so instead of being willing to split half a million in addition to forgiving her for her wrongful deeds, he chose to bring home a quarter of a million dollars — leaving Tatum completely empty-handed. Many fans were torn on both sides, some saying how she was in the wrong and deserved that as a consequence, while others felt that she deserved to win because she was being fair in their eyes. However, let’s not forget the power couple, David and Kendall, who lasted the whole season. They ended up becoming too closely attached and were strong enough that they became a threat. It’s a wonderful feeling to fall in love, but the price of falling in love came with a cost of eviction since nothing could separate them. The truth hurts but it will eventually set you free.

Paradise Hotel is definitely a 10/10 recommendation for anyone who may be fanatics of drama or reality TV shows. The cast members always have something good or bad going on for them, and they leave everyone curious and expecting the unexpected. These features have helped contribute to the show’s uniqueness and popularity. Season 1 is available to watch on Hulu. Paradise Hotel has also produced international versions in various countries. So what are you waiting for? Sit back, relax, and enjoy the vacation-filled Paradise Hotel, or even become the next new guest (if you’re 21 years or older)!

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Morgan is a Hospitality Management major with a minor in the French language. She is an international travel bug who loves to explore the world and experience different cultures. She is a history enthusiast at heart. Catch her anywhere from reading travel blogs, writing, watching historical dramas or docs to tanning at the beach, shopping till she drops, and eating out.
UCF Contributor