The drama hit the beach with full force on this week’s episodes of Bachelor in Paradise, with much of the talk centering around which Season 7 cast members had formed relationships prior to Paradise and were simply there for the clout. Brendan Morais and Pieper James seemed to be the most egregious offenders, even being caught on camera talking about how many followers they’d gained. But Chris Conran also raised suspicion for the way he so quickly coupled up with Alana Milne at guest host Tituss Burgess’ VIP party.
So if the Bachelor in Paradise contestants are only there to gain Instagram followers, is it working? The Instagram page Bachelor Data has the answer to that, and it looks like Bachelor Nation is using the power of the Follow/Unfollow button to make its collective voice heard. Bachelor Data revealed that since August 9 — one week before Season 7 began airing — Brendan Morais had gained 20,800 followers before Monday’s episode. However, by Tuesday night following the ABC broadcast, Morais’ followers had plummeted by 58,000!
Natasha Parker, however, saw quite the opposite effect in her numbers. Parker caught Brendan Morais in a lie when Pieper James arrived to Paradise and did not corroborate the lies Morais had told Parker about their relationship. As James and Morais picked up where they left off, Parker called them both out, saying Morais had used her for a rose while he waited for James to arrive. Again, the viewers’ put their support behind their IG follows, as Parker, who had gained around 13,700 followers over the course of the show up to Monday, saw an astronomical boost of 178,000 followers after this week’s episodes.
For her part, Pieper James had gained 8,500 followers before Monday and has since lost 6,700. While Bachelor Data doesn’t give an exact number of followers, the charts do show an estimate, and it’ll be interesting to see how those numbers continue to change. Bachelor in Paradise focused its attention more on Chris Conran and Alana Milne on Tuesday but promised more James-Brendan Morais drama to come next week.
Chris Conran and Alana Milne might have been caught up in some bad timing, as the beachgoers — already upset over the clout situation — seemed to project their anger onto Conran for his unceremonious dumping of Jessenia Cruz. Riley Christian and Joe Amabile were among the cast members to confront Conran and kick him and Milne out of Paradise. It was a little confusing that everybody was mad about Conrad and Milne meeting prior to Paradise, when Cruz had been at that same group hang.
As such, that couple didn’t suffer the same Instagram backlash, with Chris Conran gaining about 2,000 prior to this week and adding 339 after Tuesday’s episode. Alana Milne — whose whole stay in Paradise was confined to Tuesday’s episode — had lost 50 followers since August 9 but gained 31 back after her appearance on the show.
The drama continues next week, and the teaser even made it look like Tituss Burgess gives his two cents on the Brendan Morais-Pieper James drama, so I’ll definitely be tuning in. Bachelor in Paradise returns at 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday, September 14, on ABC. And be sure to check out our 2021 Fall TV Schedule to keep up with all of the upcoming fall premieres.