Bachelor in Paradise: Another Couple Exits After Admitting to Starting a Relationship Before Show
"This environment, I guess, isn't where we want to be at this particular moment," Brendan Morais declared on Tuesday's episode
This post contains spoilers from Bachelor in Paradise season 7, episode 7.
Following Chris Conran and Alana Milne's departure — after being called out by their Bachelor in Paradise castmates for their pre-existing relationship — the reckoning came for Brendan Morais and Pieper James.
"If you're already in a relationship, that defeats the purpose of coming here," guest host Tituss Burgess told the group.
Natasha Parker felt like she'd been "completely manipulated, completely lied" to by 31-year-old Brendan, who seemingly feigned interest in her in order to stick around until Pieper, 24, arrived in Paradise.
"He completely downplayed their relationship to me to wait until she got here," Natasha, 33, told her costars.
So with Grocery Store Joe Amabile leading the charge, the BiP stars approached Brendan and Pieper to get the real story.
"People feel like you two had a relationship prior to the show and you came on the show just to come on it and you knew you were going to be together and you knew you were leaving together and it was pretty much set up," Joe, 35, told Brendan and Pieper. "And that was the beef between Chris and Alana."
Brendan claimed he and Pieper had only gone out to dinner "two or three times just us," but that they'd hung out in a group setting "a handful of times."
"So it's not like, 'Hey Pieper, do you want to be my girlfriend? Hey Pieper, are we exclusive or not?' That never happened in any way," Brendan continued. "So I was hopeful that she was coming. I liked Pieper before the show. Natasha and I had a certain connection that was void of any romance and I tried to get there and I never promised Natasha that we were going to be anything more than what we were."
Brendan admitted to seeing Pieper the day before he arrived in Mexico, and Pieper said she came on the reality show because she saw it as "an opportunity to completely focus on a relationship."
But Joe explained, "Everybody is under the impression that you come here open [to finding love]."
Natasha, 33, reiterated that people come on Bachelor in Paradise single and hoping to find a connection rather than expecting to grow one they already established outside of the show. "Being open to this process isn't waiting for someone who I already have a strong connection [with] walking down those stairs," she said. "That's not being open to this process."
Brendan called the conversation a "pathetic attempt to intimidate me," and Pieper told him that she didn't need to come on the show to earn Instagram followers. "I have an entire master's degree in marketing," she said. "I think I could figure out how to get a few more followers."
Even though Pieper didn't find what she and Brendan did to be "taboo," they decided to leave Paradise together anyway.
"This environment, I guess, isn't where we want to be at this particular moment," Brendan announced to his costars. "I think you all know and I am well aware, this is the girl I want to be with and I feel comfortable in saying that."
Ahead of the rose ceremony, Maurissa Gunn had a sexy surprise for Riley Christian: a game where they'd each write the name of a body part and that would determine where they'd lick whipped cream off one another. "I'm about that," Riley, 31, said after licking her thigh.
They followed up the game with some time in the Boom Boom Room. "It was the best chocolate sundae I ever had," Maurissa, 25, declared to the cameras.
Meanwhile, Thomas Jacobs explained to Tammy Ly that he felt a stronger connection with someone else after going on a date with Becca Kufrin. "Things just feel a little more stable elsewhere," he said, adding, "Its' just how my heart's feeling."
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After breaking up with Aaron Clancy for Thomas, 28, Tammy, 26, felt "like a fool."
"You are hurting me," she told Thomas. "I took a huge risk with you."
Even worse: the breakup happened on her birthday. "Last year I got COVID on my birthday and this is 10 times worse," Tammy said.
Before bartender Wells Adams turned it over to the men to hand out roses, he made an announcement. "It doesn't sit well with me that one person in particular had their opportunity at love torn away from them," he began. "She was all in for one person that just wasn't honest with her. This rose right here is for a second shot at love that you deserve. Natasha, come on down."
Natasha accepted the rose in tears, and then the men started making their selections.
Riley kicked things off by giving his rose to, of course, Maurissa and then Joe offered his to Serena Pitt. Ivan Hall presented his rose to Joe's ex Kendall Long, Noah Erb gave one to Abigail Heringer, and Kenny Braasch to Mari Pepin. James Bonsall continued by giving a rose to Tia Booth, Thomas offered his to Becca, 31, and Aaron, 26, concluded by presenting a rose to Chelsea Vaughn.
That meant Tammy, Demi Burnett, Jessenia Cruz and Deandra Kanu would head home.
RELATED VIDEO: Jessenia Cruz on Exploring Potential "Connection" With Chris on 'Bachelor in Paradise'
Once the rose ceremony wrapped, new guest host Lil Jon entered. Not long after, so did Blake Monar from Clare Crawley's season of The Bachelorette. Blake, 32, came armed with a date card and invited Tia, 29.
They took a UTV ride through the jungle and then sipped champagne. "I just feel comfortable with you, which is huge to me," Tia told Blake.
Blake noticed a spark, too. "I'm obviously attracted to you," he said to Tia. "You're smart, funny."
Tia said the date made her feel "hopeful" about a possible relationship outside of the show, "which I haven't really felt like that on any other date I've been on," she said.
They kissed and Tia felt a physical connection as well. "If it doesn't make your vagina dance, it's not worth it," she said in an on-camera interview.
Another physical connection grew back on the beach as Mari, 25, and Kenny, 40, headed to the Boom Boom Room. "I feel like we're leaving here together," Kenny told Mari.
Then Dr. Joe Park from Clare and Tayshia Adams' seasons showed up with a date card of his own. He asked out Natasha and everyone wanted the date to go well after what Natasha had been through with Brendan, which she laid out for Joe, 37, over some giant margaritas.
"I am enjoying to get to know you and I do know you and Brendan are close," she told Joe. "He talked about you a lot when he was here and he was excited to see you but you guys aren't going to see each other for a while because he's no longer here. But if I am going to be honest, he really almost ruined this whole experience for me."
That came as a shock to Joe, who claimed he didn't know that Brendan and Pieper "were dating-dating."
"When I told him who I had been talking to on the beach, everything changed," Natasha said in an on-camera interview. "I could just see the conflict. It was written all over his face."
Joe concluded the date by deciding he and Natasha should "just let it ride and just be" and see where their connection went "organically."
Over at Joe and Serena's impromptu date that the grocer planned, they took their connection to the next level. "I'm falling in love with you," Serena, 23, told Joe.
"I'm falling in love with you too," Joe responded.
Watching Joe and Serena kiss and canoodle proved to be too much for Kendall, 29, though.
"I just don't know how much longer I can do this," she told the cameras. "For Joe to be thriving and him seeing that I'm not, it's just such a painfully vulnerable place to be."
Bachelor in Paradise airs Tuesdays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.