Paradise Hotel’s finale was explosive - and the final twist left one of the show’s winners walking away empty handed. The show was notorious for its way of shaking up the game in every episode, but the final twist that one of the finalists could take home the whole $250,000 prize, leaving a partner emptyhanded, was the most shocking of all. The winner really smashed the relationship to pieces in the two-hour season 1 finale.
The show has similar gameplay as Survivor: exotic locations, challenges, voting, and alliances - except these alliances are created with more than just taking a walk to the beach and talking. The couples are forced to find a partner to 'hook up' with, in this case, co-exist in the same hotel room, meaning a lot of actually sleeping in the same bed and actual hookups. This created a lot of drama because when you broke alliance with someone, it wasn't just bad strategically, but it would leave the hotel guests feeling heartbroken and shedding tears like they have been cheated on.
The finale revealed the two Paradise Hotel season 1 winners: Tatum and Bobby Ray. The jury of voted off guests chose the power couple because they were the most strategic and made the most alliances with the cast. The couple hooked up early on and proved they could stick it out for the quarter-million dollars. The power couple managed to room together and stay loyal even with all of the twists and temptation of new beautiful girls and handsome guys entering the hotel. That is, until host Kristin Cavallari, revealed the shocking final twist: the winners would test their partners' via one last game: taking a golden ball in their hands and walking on a line of dollar amounts, ranging from $5,000 up to the $250,000.
They were to smash the ball on the amount that they wanted get - or they could meet in the middle and split the quarter-million dollars together. When they both reached the $200,000 mark, Bobby Ray smashed his ball - securing himself $200,000 and sending Tatum home with nothing.
The move was especially surprising, given that it was Tatum who repeatedly suggested to the other hotel guests that she was the strategy behind the couple - often coming up with schemes that would put the couple in the best position for winning the game (and sometimes outrageous ones that ended up backfiring on her). Up until the finale, the power couple managed to stay loyal - even with all of the twists and temptation of new girls and guys entering the hotel. Fans even forgave Tatum for betraying Bobby Ray when she kissed another contestant - believing that the winners were strong enough to win the money and have a chance at real love after the show.
However, it's possible that, even if fans had forgiven Tatum for the indiscretion, Bobby Ray might not have - or at the very least, the kiss put in perspective for him that he'd rather walk away with a lot of money over a chance at love. The shock wasn't lost on the voted off contestants either - seeing Bobby Ray, the well behaved and trustworthy one in the couple, turn face. Still, no one was more surprised than Tatum - who ran off the stage crying.
It's safe to say there is little hope fans will see Bobby Ray and Tatum in an off-screen romance after the show but the more interesting thing to consider is how the last-minute shocker could set the tone for future seasons of the show. Had Bobby Ray and Tatum left the series, married, and lived happily-ever-after, it's likely future contestants might have prioritized love over money during their time on Paradise Hotel; yet, Bobby Ray ultimately set a very different tone - one that will, without a doubt, have the next round of Hotel guests plotting and scheming until the very end.