Nikki Idelson ’22
Now in its seventh season, Bachelor in Paradise is currently in full swing. Although every season of the reality series, like those of the other shows in the Bachelor franchise, includes much drama, this installment has been like no other.
Whereas The Bachelor and The Bachelorette feature one lead and approximately thirty contestants, the format of Bachelor in Paradise is quite different. Former Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants who are single are sent to a resort in Mexico for about three weeks. There, they have the opportunity to explore relationships and find love with the ultimate goal of becoming engaged.
Similar to The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, every week there is a rose ceremony in which each individual must be chosen by another in order to remain at the beach. In the other shows in the franchise, this responsibility falls to the lead. However, on Paradise, the male and female contestants take turns offering each other roses, switching off with every ceremony.
Two contestants on the show, Pieper James and Brendan Morais, came under fire this past week for allegedly having a relationship prior to the show. Morais was on Tayisha Adams’ season of The Bachelorette, which aired last fall, and James was on Matt James’ season of The Bachelor, which aired last winter.
According to US Weekly, the pair “connected during the spring of 2021. That June, U.S. Weekly confirmed their relationship wasn’t strictly platonic.” Despite neither of them being single, later that month, both Morais and James filmed Bachelor in Paradise.
Morais arrived before James, but did not appear to be waiting for her to join him. Instead, he quickly gravitated towards another contestant, Natasha Parker, a contestant from Peter Weber’s season of The Bachelor.
Just as quickly, other contestants questioned Morais about his relationship with James. As US Weekly explains, he “insisted that his relationship with her was ‘super casual,’ and that he believed that he had the strongest connection with Parker.” This response seemed to satisfy his castmates, and he and Parker moved forward with their relationship.
However, once James finally made an appearance, Morais’ sincerity and intentions towards Parker were called into question. According to US Weekly, when discussing his and Parker’s relationship with producers off-camera, Morais claimed, “she had zero prospects otherwise. It’s not like I was keeping her from anyone. I don’t know if she would have a single, actual, viable prospect otherwise.”
To add insult to injury, Morais attempted to take advantage of the situation to gain attention and fame on Instagram. For instance, he posted a now-deleted picture of himself with the caption “here for the wrong reasons” and a smirking face emoji, making light of his wrongdoings.
Both Morais and James have received much backlash in what is exactly the opposite reaction of what they were hoping for. According to US Weekly, “Brendan has lost more than 100,000 followers—and Natasha who had roughly 84,000 before the drama, has officially surpassed him with more than 316,000 followers. Piper has also lost thousands of followers.” These statistics show that fans of the franchise, otherwise known as Bachelor Nation, are completely siding with Parker.
Following the release of the episode detailing this drama and upon experiencing backlash, Morais made a public apology to Parker. As Page Six explains, he said, “I apologize to you Natasha, I hurt you. I am deeply sorry for doing so.”
Since Morais only made this statement on Sept. 9, several months after filming took place, fans are skeptical of his sincerity. They are firm in their belief that the way he used Parker to stay on the show until Pieper arrived was completely heartless.
Needless to say, the drama in Paradise has only just begun.