Bachelor in Paradise's second episode packed in more drama than most reality shows get in an entire season.
As fans already know, most of the drama so far has centered around BiP stars Blake Horstmann, Caelynn Miller-Keyes, and Kristina Schulman (with a few other contestants thrown into the mix). What started as a typical Paradise love triangle (wait, maybe rhombus? pentagon? I give up) quickly escalated into a much bigger ordeal when Horstmann took to Instagram during the airing of the second episode to address what viewers were simultaneously watching onscreen.
Needless to say, this particular Paradise web is a confusing one at best, and untangling everything is no easy feat. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Ahead, a breakdown of what happened on screen, what later took place on Instagram, and what to expect from the rest of what might truly be “the most dramatic season ever.”
What happened during the first two episodes of Paradise?
Over the course of several taped conversations and ITM (“in the moment”) interviews, it was revealed that Horstmann and Miller-Keyes were romantically involved prior to arriving at the Playa Escondida Resort to film BiP. Miller-Keyes claimed that she and Horstmann FaceTimed multiple times a day, talked for months, and hooked up during the Stagecoach Festival in April 2019.
But apparently Miller-Keyes wasn't the only BiP contestant with whom Horstmann was linked prior to filming; it was soon revealed that he also hooked up with Schulman — the night before hooking up with Miller-Keyes — and he allegedly was DM’ing with even more contestants the same weekend.
To say that this got messy quickly would be an understatement; during the second episode, Horstmann was confronted (separtely) by both female contestants. Miller-Keyes also alleged that she was later ghosted by Horstmann, claiming that he called her “a mistake” and instructed her to keep their relationship a secret.
OK so what happened on Instagram?!
“I made a lot of mistakes this past year that I’m not proud of,” he wrote. “I know some people don't think this show is real, but it is…. I take full responsibility for my actions at Stagecoach and will forever regret the decision I made that weekend. The women involved did not deserve that. I realize now that I hurt these women and I deeply regret that. I’ve done a lot of self reflection since and have learned a lot from my mistakes.”
Hortsmann’s post went on to deny much of Miller-Keyes’s on-screen allegations. “I NEVER ‘sweet-talked’ her at Stagecoach,” he wrote. “Caelynn and I were NEVER in a relationship. I NEVER ghosted Caelynn, I NEVER called her a mistake and I absolutely NEVER EVER EVER silenced Caelynn.”
In order to further defend his “name and character,” Horstmann then posted screenshots of text messages between himself and Miller-Keyes: a conversation that took place the night of Stagecoach, and another where the two discussed whether to reveal their relationship to the Paradise team. The screenshots were later deleted, after Horstmann realized that Miller-Keyes was being attacked on social media.
How did Caelynn respond?
“Blake was not a one night stand at a music festival and the 5 am text exchange that Blake chose to share is not an accurate representation of our past relationship,” she wrote, going on to apologize for some of the things she said during filming. “I take ownership for what I said on the beach. I was upset and I let my emotions control my words.”
Miller-Keyes added that she was “mortified” by the publishing of her text messages, addressing some of the online bullying that she has received as a result. “What infuriates me the most is that I’m being trolled for having sex because of what I’ve been through,” she said, referring to the fact that she is a sexual assault survivor, which she first discussed while appearing on Colton’s season of The Bachelor. “I want to be very clear that I am not looking for sympathy. I took the necessary steps to move on and heal, but I will not be abstinent for the rest of my life because of it.”
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What are other people in Bachelor Nation saying about all of this?
a ‘public figure’ sharing private text messages in an attempt to salvage whatever is left of their fragile ego....— Dean Michael Unglert (@deanie_babies) August 7, 2019
Bachelor host Chris Harrison described Horstmann’s entire drama as a "dumpster fire,” telling E! News: “I think what everyone in America will be asking is 'What were you thinking when you went to Stagecoach and not only hooked up with two women in two nights, but two women in our franchise, that know each other?'”
Whew. Alright. Now what?
Given all of the above, it's easy to forget that we still have an entire season of Bachelor in Paradise ahead of us. Previous teasers have hinted that there will be multiple engagements during the finale, and we know that the season will heavily focus on Demi Burnett’s relationship, as the franchise’s first LGBTQ+ couple.
“It was a big deal for us,” Harrison told USA Today of Burnett’s Paradise storyline. “We took a lot of pride in how we were handling it, that we were going to embrace this.”
Harrison also added that he appreciates the bigger-picture conversations that emerge from the Bachelor franchise. “I know it’s entertainment, I get it: I have a lot of fun with the show as well," he said. “But over the years, if you look back, we have pressed a lot of social issues, whether it’s slut-shaming, race, gender, double standards, you name it…. We don’t create these issues. We don’t drive them. But I think our show evolves with these social issues, and then it becomes a topic of conversation. If nothing else, that’s pretty cool.”