On Bachelor in Paradise, former Bachelor Nation fan favorites Brendan Morais and Pieper James’ plan to amass Instagram followers blew up in their faces, but what went wrong? Brendan and Pieper’s relationship will go down as one of the most infamous in BIP history, and it’s all because the two of them drastically miscalculated their ability to successfully manipulate their castmates, producers, and viewers.
During this week’s episode, Pieper finally arrived on the beach and it quickly became clear that there was already something going on between her and Brendan. Though they tried to play it cool at first, the two of them eventually started discussing social media followers. It was obvious they didn’t come on the show looking to find love. Natasha Parker, Brendan’s previous BIP squeeze, was understandably upset. As Brendan and Pieper canoodled on a daybed, the rest of the cast murmured about how disrespectful they were being. There were previously rumors that Brendan and Pieper were dating, but their behavior on the show was proof positive.
By now, Brendan and Pieper have collectively lost over 40,000 followers on Instagram, so it’s fair to say their plan to increase their social media presence backfired. If they were trying to pull a fast one, Brendan and Pieper could have been much smarter about the situation. Natasha caught Brendan in several lies about the logistics of his relationship with Pieper. If they were trying to get away with their sneaky romance, they should have at least been on the same page. The couple also could not have been more obvious. Pieper should have at least talked to a few other guys before asking Brendan on the date.
Much of fans’ ire seems focused on Brendan, and it’s not hard to see why. After his self-elimination on Tayshia Adams’ season of The Bachelorette, Brendan said he wouldn’t return to Bachelor Nation. To see him back on the franchise just for clout is deeply disappointing to many viewers. It’s no secret that many cast members go on the franchise at least partly to boost their social media standing, but it’s rarely been more obvious than what Brendan and Pieper did. The two of them took spots in BIP cast that could have gone to contestants that actually wanted to find love (in addition to Instagram followers).
After their attempted Bachelor in Paradise con, Brendan and Piper are seeing their followers leave in droves, while Natasha’s follower count is growing. The two of them were equally conspicuous and shameless. In that way, perhaps Brendan and Pieper are perfect for each other. The now-despised couple crossed an unspoken line. It’s not unusual for cast members to use their show appearances as a social media boost, but Brendan and Pieper went too far and proved they’re not as clever as they think they are.
Bachelor in Paradise airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.