Bachelor in Paradise viewers may be surprised to learn Chris Conran and Alana Milne are still going strong after their rocky stint on the beach during season 7 of the spinoff — but many of their Bachelor Nation friendships never recovered.
“Holding a grudge just hurts us. But I gave everyone, like, a couple weeks to apologize to me after it aired,” Alana said on Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast with Chris. “And when [they] didn’t, I just went ahead and blocked them everywhere. The only control I have at this point is to, like, cut off their access to me. To, like, be in control of the situation and, you know, you forgive, but you don’t forget. I’ll never have any of those people in my life in any capacity.”
Bachelor Nation may recall several of their season 7 cast members accusing Alana and Chris of pre-planning their relationship before they went to Mexico. The couple were among several Bachelor and Bachelorette alums who met up in San Diego weeks before filming began for the spinoff.
“We’d all been told we were gonna be [in Paradise], but I guess you don’t really know you’re going until you are on the plane,” Alana told Us of the group who met up in California.
Chris added, “That was kind of the mentality all of us had. I mean, if you think about it, just at that dinner alone, there were probably six people who ended up actually being [in] Paradise and probably a handful of others who have been told [they were going].”
Jessenia Cruz, who appeared on season 25 with Alana, was one of the people in San Diego.
“We were both living in San Antonio at the time. We got dinner once in April , I think before I met [Chris] just because, you know, we were on Matt’s season together and we didn’t really get to know each other. So I’m like, ‘Hey, let’s get dinner. Let’s be friends.’ Clearly didn’t go very well,” she told Us. “I mean, I thought the dinner was fine. We were cool in San Diego, but we weren’t really confide in each other kind of friends. We were just, like, acquaintances because we had close mutual friends.”
On the show, Jessenia had connected with Chris before Alana arrived. The former Miss El Paso subsequently alleged that the Canada native “threw herself” at Chris in San Diego.
“I literally woke up one morning in bed next to our friend Stephen and I was like, ‘Chris was so annoying last night.’ Like, I mean, there was nothing going on,” Alana told Us. “We played Piccolo and listened to music, went out to dinner. It was really innocent.”
There was also a scene that suggested Alana had talked to Jessenia about wanting more Instagram followers.
“It didn’t happen, but, like, it’s my word against hers. So it doesn’t really matter, you know? And it happened months ago, but it’s frustrating. It felt like in that moment, that was said just to make me look even worse,” she said. “It was like, ‘How many things can I say about this girl to make her look so bad that she, like, hopefully can’t recover from this?’ That was what I felt like she was trying to do on a dating show where we’re all supposed to date each other. We’re going on TV, so clearly like we’re all kind of into, like, being in the public eye.”
Chris added that the pair “never hid the fact that we knew each other,” but he “didn’t think I had anything that could potentially get me in trouble for anything.”
Jessenia wasn’t the only one who got upset with Chris and Alana, with several costars accusing them of having a pre-show romance and insisting they leave Mexico.
“I was completely shocked. I mean, you could see it on my face when I’m down there on the beach. I’m just sitting there stunned,” Chris recalled. “I wasn’t the popular kid and I felt like I was in high school again. I was getting picked on by the big bullies who were really well-known and knew that they had the supporters back home to back ’em up, no matter what they said on the show, no matter what they did. So I think that was kind of, you know, the tough part and the tough realization for me. And I just looked like a puppy with my tail between my legs. And there were so many things that I wanted to say, and I wish I could have said or wish I would have, but I just, in that moment, I think for me, I just wanted to be the bigger man and not bring up things and not make it worse than it already was or potentially throw other people under the bus.”
After the twosome left the show in tears, they reconnected post-show and have since moved in together in Mexico. For the complete story of how they got back together and more from their time on BiP, listen to the “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast.