As time in Paradise draws to a close, the remaining couples must decide where their relationships stand.
On Monday’s penultimate episode of season 5, the women have the roses and are preparing to cut just one man, thanks to the arrival of Robby Hayes. Despite being a Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise alum, the self-proclaimed social media influencer claims he isn’t best known for being the runner-up on JoJo Fletcher’s season, or breaking Amanda Stanton‘s heart after Paradise last summer.
“I’m probably most well known for being @roberthunter89 on the social interwebs,” Hayes, 29, tells the camera before walking onto the beach with a date card.
“Why is Robby Hayes here?” Cassandra Ferguson asks. “Every single girl here knows his reputation. It’s not a good one.”
Hayes pulls Jenna Cooper, Shushanna Mkrtychyan and Krystal Neilson to figure out who he wants to take out. The Florida native decides he’d like to go out with Cooper, 29, but her boyfriend Jordan Kimball won’t stand for that, especially after their successful engagement photo shoot date.
“It’d be a waste of a date card,” Kimball, 26, tells Hayes, adding in an on-camera interview. “Robby’s like a handsomer version of David. I get chicken vibes.”
Hayes decides to take out Mkrtychyan, and they have a great time together. But back at Playa Escondida, the women make sure to warm the 30-year-old about getting hurt by Hayes.
“I just want to express concerns about Robby and his past,” Olivia Goethals tells Mkrtychyan. “His relationship with Amanda ended because he cheated. I just feel like his intentions here are not pure, and I don’t want that happening to you. I don’t want you to be manipulated in some type of way.”
So Mkrtychyan sits Hayes down and asks him point blank if he was unfaithful to Stanton, 28. He replies with adamant “no,” adding, “I’d like to think that that’s in my past” — though he admits he’s been unfaithful in general.
Mkrtychyan ends up giving Hayes her rose during the final rose ceremony, but when the remaining couples are faced with either heading to the fantasy suites or going home, the new pair decide to pick things up back in the United States.
“I don’t think in 48 hours that our relationship is there,” Hayes tells her. “But we’ll hang out when I’m in Utah. We can grab dinner, or I can take you on a date.”
While Mkrtychyan and Hayes end things amicably, other couples endure more tearful goodbyes.
Before the rose ceremony, Joe Amabile and Kendall Long have a serious conversation about the future of their relationship. Long, 26, expresses concerns over getting engaged so quickly after he cracks a joke about proposing.
“I don’t know what kind of love it is and I don’t know if it’s in love,” she tells the Chicago grocery store owner.
Amabile reminds Long that he hasn’t gone out on dates with or kissed anyone else, and has patiently waited while she went out with and smooched other guys. “I’ve been falling in love with you since day 2,” he says.
Once he realizes the taxidermy lover isn’t on the same page, Amabile decides to go home, leaving Long crying in a cabana.
“I just don’t even think I said enough,” she wails.
In the van ride home, Amabile, 32, laments, “I guess we were friends. I thought we had something way stronger than that.
Long admits, “My heart breaks imagining not being with him,” and departs Paradise as well.
Though Goethals gives John Graham her rose, sending Diggy Moreland packing, the two decide they’re not ready to take their relationship to the fantasy suite and leave Paradise together to work on the things in the real world.
Jordan Mauger snags Ferguson’s rose, but they too realize they haven’t had enough time to make it work (they just shared their first kiss during Monday’s episode), and with him living in New Zealand and her in the States, they part ways.
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But seeing seemingly solid couple Amabile and Long’s split gives Wendt doubts.
“I think you are the brightest star I have ever met in so many ways, but something is missing,” the Canadian firefighter tells Loch, expressing that he’s only “80 percent” into their relationship.
He also recalls regretting spending the night with ex-girlfriend Ashley Iaconetti during Winter Games. “I shouldn’t have gone at all,” Wendt, 37, tells Loch. “It was a regretful decision.”
After listening to Wendt’s worries, Loch asks, “Are you breaking up with me?”
“I’m sorry,” he responds, ending yet another Paradise relationship.
Understandably, Loch, 28 feels blindsided. “The one thing I asked you do to was not to blindside me,” she tells Wendt. “Not to do this in the end.”
Loch chooses to end her time in Paradise and leaves Wendt sobbing, “Don’t leave me like this”, as she walks away.
With three couples heading into the fantasy suites — and all three duos discussing engagement plans — there might still be hope for a few happy endings.
“Engagement is a little scary for me because what was role modeled to me is that I couldn’t rely that someone could be there,” Nielson confesses to Randone. “And it’s scary for me to look forward. But I think what’s even scarier is if I don’t let those guards down with you, I could risk losing you. And that’s not a risk I’m willing to take.”
Kimball, 26, also lays out his feelings for Cooper. “I only get engaged once,” he says before their intimate evening together. “If that happens, I’m always going to be by your side and I’ll be the most loyal guy there’s ever been.”
The Bachelor in Paradise season 5 finale airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET.