The 37-year-old Bachelor season 21 alum arrived ahead of the rose ceremony as Michael, 38, prepared to say goodbye because he didn’t believe he was going to receive a rose.
“I felt defeated and now it feels like there’s a little bit of hope here,” the single dad told the ABC cameras.
While the episode was airing, bartender Wells Adams revealed that he played a role in setting up Danielle and Michael.
“They cut it, but I told @MichaelAllio I had someone for him and then walked up the steps of paradise, welcomed @daniellemmaltby and told her to go find Michael,” Wells tweeted before agreeing with another fan who wrote she was “pissed” that they cut that scene. “Honestly same,” he responded.
During their candid one-on-one date, Michael and Danielle bonded over the respective loss in their lives. (While the Bachelorette season 17 alum’s wife, Laura, died in 2019 after a battle with breast cancer, the nurse’s fiancé, Nick Haag, overdosed in 2011.)
“There’s a lot of guilt that I really didn’t see what he’s doing but then there’s also guilt around how happy I am and, like, this person that I’ve grown into. Like, that wouldn’t have happened if it hadn’t been for this tragic event,” Danielle said.
Michael, for his part, noted that it’s “way harder to choose happiness and work toward it.”
“Sometimes when it starts feeling real, the guards go up and you start to look for, like, not reasons for it to fail, but not approaching it with the same open way that you would do it before tragedy kind of hit our lives,” he said.
After the duo kissed, Michael told the cameras that he may have just gone on the “last first date of my life.” Earlier in the season, he spent time with Sierra Jackson, breaking things off during the October 10 episode because he didn’t think he was ready to move forward with her.
“I feel highly disrespected. I’m gonna go meditate. #bachelorinparadise,” Sierra tweeted during the episode, referring to Danielle’s arrival as “#convenient.”
Sierra went on to call out Michael, revealing that he and Danielle had spoken before, tweeting, “He said ‘a little bit of history’ 🧐.”
Bachelor in Paradise airs on ABC Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET. Keep scrolling for more reactions to Monday’s episode: