Do you want to know what is the most cursed thing about Bachelor in Paradise? No, it’s not the lack of air conditioning, or even the fact that it’s ultimately just a show that asks us to watch people make out on daybeds for four hours each week. It’s that even when the season ends, we, as viewers, will never know peace. There is absolutely no closure. These cast members will continue to haunt us for the rest of our lives.
For a little context behind the brief existential journey you just followed me through: Pieper James would like us all to know that she and Brendan Morais are back together again. Although their hellish season is over, we’re still being forced to follow this whiplash-inducing journey. Yes, the season 7 power-villain couple who low-key admitted to dating before going on BiP (which, as a reminder, is still technically a show for single people to find relationships on, not for couples to use for fame) have somehow found a way to make it work. Maybe true love does exist. The duo briefly broke up last month, but on a recent episode of former Bachelorette Becca Kufrin’s Bachelor Happy Hour podcast, Pieper revealed that she and Brendan are giving it the old college try.
While it would probably be a stretch for me to say that I’m happy for Brendan and Pieper, I have to admit that their reconciliation does make a lot of sense. Two people who are looking for a relationship founded on Instagram analytics are probably made for each other anyway and not going to find a better fit swiping through Hinge. Sure, Raya would likely be a more effective platform for them to each find another fame-hungry partner to suit their needs, but I am unsure that they’d be approved for the app after the severe loss of followers they both suffered after America turned on them in support of Natasha Parker, the innocent woman Brendan briefly pursued to buy time until the producers let Pieper on the show.
During the podcast episode in which Pieper *checks notes* publicly shared the news of her relationship status, she noted that she and Brendan have some work to do before taking their relationship—which played out on one of the most popular reality television shows in the country—public. Before you go back and reread that sentence to see if it makes any more sense the second or third time around, I’m just going to save you a moment and let you know that no, it does not. Here’s a direct quote from Pieper that does not offer a shred of clarity:
“The reason that we didn’t choose to go public like everybody else on the show was just because… our experience was a little bit different. We tainted our own experience in that way,” she explained. “So, we’re kind of working on ourselves, and each other and we’re focusing on being a couple before taking that public.”
On the podcast, Pieper also noted that “it was a rumor that we broke up” and that the backlash they received from Bachelor Nation made them stronger. To which I reply:
I’m unsure what Brendan and Pieper would consider to be a more public recognition of their relationship than literally saying the words “we’re together” on a podcast that is available to stream on multiple apps, but the mess-seeker in me does, unfortunately, look forward to the day that we all find out. Will they unveil couple’s tattoos? Will they sneak away to a foreign country for a secret wedding, hoping to sell the exclusive to PEOPLE? Perhaps they’ll formally announce the news in partnership with a couple’s therapy app! Whatever these two have up their sleeves, I’m assuming it will be big. (On a midtier influencer level, anyway.) At the time of publication of this article, Brendan hasn’t made a single peep on Instagram since his September 16 “Paradise Apology” video. I do predict he will take the popstar route and archive all of his past posts before they “go public.” We might even get a teaser video, if we’re truly lucky.
Images: ABC / Craig Sjodin ; Giphy