The 30-year-old Just Curious author appeared on the 2021 season of The Bachelor spinoff alongside ex-boyfriend Joe Amabile. The former couple dated for nearly two years after meeting on season 5 of BiP in 2018. On season 7, Kendall had to navigate seeing Joe fall in love with Serena Pitt.
“Going back to the beach, I felt I had, like, a romanticism toward Paradise because it was such a romantic experience the first time I went. And then the second time I went, I really had hope for it to be that — not in terms of rekindling anything with my ex, because why would I do that publicly when we had a two-year relationship and there’s so much stuff we can’t talk about on TV? That would’ve taken more than a couple weeks in Mexico to fix,” Kendall explained on the Tuesday, May 17, episode of the “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast. “But I really had hopes of being able to find someone and to connect with someone, and I did. I had a little romantic thing with Ivan [Hall] and that was great. But ultimately, seeing your ex in the place where you fell in love initially — it was very difficult for me and I didn’t anticipate that at all. I didn’t think I would be as emotional. I didn’t think that it would affect me. I thought we’d be cool, [we’d be] friends.”
Kendall told Us that she didn’t watch the episodes when they aired last summer, but it was hard for her to escape the reaction from viewers — many of whom accused her of still having feelings for Joe. There was more backlash when Kendall seemingly returned to talk to the Chicago native moments before he was set to propose to Serena.
“I was under the impression that Joe was going through a lot of mental difficulty with our relationship and me being there,” Kendall told Us. “And so, for me, coming back to talk to him, it would be a way to be like, ‘Hey, this chapter’s closed. It was kind of weird the way we ended it, but let’s make it not weird and let’s move on.’ [I had] no idea there would ever be any sort of proposal at all. … And I even said, like, ‘If there’s gonna be a proposal, I don’t want to talk to him. I don’t want to go to the beach because that’s not my day — that’s their day.’”
As fans may recall, however, Joe did get down on one knee shortly after Kendall left the platform.
“Finding out later that there was a proposal actually made me really upset and a bit angry,” Kendall continued. “But that’s just what it ended up being. And hopefully, the situation that took place didn’t affect — it seems to not [have] affected their relationship [in] any way or their proposal in any way. Hopefully, it felt just as special, but I would’ve preferred not to be there that day.”
For more from Kendall, including the details of her new relationship with boyfriend Mitch, listen to Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast.