By Emily Duvall
This season of Bachelor in Paradise is definitely one for the books. It arguably is the craziest season to spin off so far. With past exes being brought back in by producers, lying couples, and messy age gaps, this season of Bachelor in Paradise’s drama does not disappoint. The reality TV show consists mostly of contestants who got “dumped” on either the Bachelor or Bachelorette, or have been connected to the franchise in some way. Before you continue reading, as a warning, there will be spoilers up to the current point of the show in the following parts of the article.
The two contestants who have stirred up the biggest storm on the beach this season are contestants Brendan Morais and Pieper James. Twenty-six-year-old Morais attempted to win Tayshia Adams’ heart in Season 16 of the Bachelorette, but ended up sending himself home towards the end of the season. Twenty-three year old James was a contestant on Bachelor Matt James’ season; she got the boot in week seven of his search for love.
Flash forward to Paradise; Morais was announced as one of the 23 members of the official cast for this season, season seven. However, it was rumored through Reality Steve that James would be a late arrival to the season. Prior to paradise filming and the cast being announced, Bachelor Nation (the fan base of the franchise) spotted Morais and James together and speculated a possible romantic relationship between the two.
As the season on the beach commenced, Morais and 33 year-old Natasha Parker, a past contestant on Peter Weber’s season, began sparking a relationship. No mention of James was brought up in the beginning of the season. Later, Morais got called out by contestant Demi Burnett on the beach for having a relationship with James prior to coming to paradise. He described his relationship with James as “super casual.”
James arrived in Paradise on Sept. 6, and Morais proceeded to take James on a one-on-one date. Additionally, James spoke with Parker prior to the date, sharing that she spent some time with Morais prior to filming. The conversations on this date definitely turned heads in Bachelor Nation. People on the beach already knew about their previous relations before the show, and this only dug them into a deeper hole. Morais admitted that he used Parker as a buffer to wait until James’ arrival at the beach. James also mentioned how she noticed the influx of press and social media followings she was getting once they were spotted together previously. All of this information about how they are really only there for the social media attention angered other cast members.
In the episode released on Sept. 14, the couple fled the beach to free themselves of all of their angry castmates. Despite gaining popularity prior to the show’s release, both James and Morais have now lost tens of thousands of Instagram followers since the episodes aired. Bachelor Nation and Reality Steve both speculate that they are still in a relationship after leaving the beach. Be sure to check out how the rest of the season unfolds on ABC Network on Mondays and Tuesdays up until Oct. 12.
(Sources: Variety, Refinery 29, US Weekly)