Bachelor in Paradise duos Pieper James and Brendan Morais and Alana Milne and Chris Conran are both under fire for their pre-show relationships, but only one couple has been kicked off the beach (so far). Blake Horstmann joins Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast to discuss what likely went down behind the scenes on the Monday, September 6, and Tuesday, September 7, episodes of the ABC series.
“I don’t know what the plan is and whatever plan they had planned, it didn’t work, like, they muffed it,” Blake began of Pieper and Brendan, who were first linked two months before production started in Mexico. “I think maybe they had a plan going in, but once you’re in that environment — and she’s been quarantining for a minute, close to, like, seven or eight days with COVID [protocols] and everything and then [the] first few days on the beach — those producers can get to you. … The producer over five days, could’ve somehow convinced her, like, ‘Don’t waste your time with the other guys. Just go for Brendan. Don’t waste your time.’ By the fifth day, she was [probably] like, ‘That was my idea!’”
In addition to coming under fire for seemingly using Natasha Parker to keep Brendan on the beach, Pieper and the commercial roofer were caught discussing follower counts, appearing to admit they were on the show for fame.
“These conversations happen and they’re not the first people to have a conversation on the beach about followers and who has the most followers, blah, blah, blah, blah, but this is the first time they’ve ever aired anything like that, which was kind of shocking,” Blake told Us. “Brendan having a girlfriend back home would have been enough, like, I think he would have been the ‘villain.’ And that’s why I think that the producers were like, ‘No, no, no, no, you try to bamboozle us, we’re going to destroy you.'”
While Pieper and Brendan joined the group after upsetting Natasha with their romance, Alana and Chris, for their part, were asked to leave Mexico by their castmates after rumors suggested they had a pre-show plan, too. The group kicked them off in defense of Jessenia Cruz, who was also dating Chris.
“I think it was mob mentality,” Blake told Us. “I saw it firsthand and felt it firsthand. If producers are getting in your ear about how bad somebody is or what they did was so bad, there’s this mob mentality. And they just wanted to get Chris and I’ll never understand why. Chris was trying to talk to Jessenia alone and Joe [Amabile] came over and wouldn’t let them talk. And then Riley [Christian] came over and people were calling them ‘scum, horrible human.’ I’m like, ‘Relax, he kissed a girl in front of another girl and yeah, that’s messed up, but it’s Paradise, like, that happens all the time.’ … I think it was blown [out of proportion]. Where was that energy for Brendan and Pieper?”
Blake added, “In my opinion, Alana did nothing wrong. She went down there, the man she liked was there and then she went after him, like, that’s the name of the game down there. So there was just a lot of hate that I think didn’t need to be thrown at Alana — and Chris, for that matter.”
For more from Blake, including his reaction to watching ex Becca Kufrin date Thomas Jacobs, listen to the “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast.