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ABC’s Bachelor in Paradise serves as a summer fantasy for franchise fans everywhere. This season comes to a close Tuesday the 5th, and Bachelor Nation is anxiously waiting to see which couples, if any, leave engaged. After a massive season of 40 contestants on the sunny Mexico beach, last week’s episode leaves us with Riley Christian, Maurissa Gunn, Kenny Braasch, Mari Pepin-Solis, Thomas Jacobs, Becca Kufrin, Joe Amabile, Serena Pitt, Noah Erb, Abigail Heringer, Chelsea Vaughn, Aaron Clancy, Tia Booth, James Bonsall, Anna Redman, Natasha Parker, Ed Waisbrot, and Mykenna Dorn. As the finale begins with the final rose ceremony, we know no new contestants will walk onto the beach.
Bachelor Nation and I have been putting our private investigator hats on, and the puzzle appears to be coming together with help from fan speculations, analyzing season previews, and stalking all the finalist’s social media accounts. Here’s how we think things will play out?
Kenny and Mari have had a slightly rocky run throughout their time in Mexico. After an instant connection together, Kenny had a brief fling with franchise fan favorite Demi Burnett. He soon realized their attraction was merely physical and that Mari fills a hole in his heart. As one of the stronger couples, it probably won’t come as a surprise to hear that all signs point to an engagement from the pair. In the season preview, there is a clip of a man opening a ring box. Said man is noticeably sporting a gold chain necklace. Throughout this season, Kenny is spotted wearing this same chain. What isn’t shown is the girl being proposed to, but Kenny and Mari have been strong the past few weeks, so we could say with high confidence that this is her. Additionally, in a preview clip of Kendall walking onto the beach, a quick pause of the screen reveals a ring on Mari’s left ring finger and a clip-on rose on Kenny’s shirt, the object granted by the engagement recipient.
If you need more convincing, their social media accounts do not seem to hide their love for each other. On Instagram, Kenny and Mari have both posted pictures of them together on the beach, with comments from other contestants; Tahzjuan, for example, said, “Yall are cute af 😍.” On one of Mari’s photos from last week’s 80’s themed prom, Kenny commented “💓” while other contestants commented, saying the two are “goals.” On TikTok, Mari kills the game with fierce trending dances. In her latest video dancing to Lil Nas X’s “Industry Baby,” fans comment that they see a ring on her left ring finger. Although it is too difficult to confirm, let us know what you think!
In conclusion, it’s safe to say that congratulations are in order.
Riley and Maurissa are another strong couple; although Maurissa started off coupling with Connor B, when Riley walks onto the beach, everyone on and off-screen immediately knows it’s game over for Connor. There is a clip of a man, who appears to be Riley, holding a ring box in a season preview. A recent season finale preview shows Maurissa crying and Riley saying, “Is this something we want to continue.” This is most likely one of the producers’ notorious fake-outs, especially after Riley opened up to Maurissa in the last episode, quelling her doubts. The editors may not be as sneaky as they think!
The pair have laid out their relationship status pretty clearly on social media. After their first date aired, Riley posted a picture of the two kissing on Instagram with the caption, “That was something special 🏝.” Maurissa also posted from the date, saying, “Best first date ever…… minus the food 🥴…” Even celebrity guest host Lance Bass commented “#favoritecouple,” while other contestants commented heart emojis. Further, the Bachelor in Paradise official Twitter account loves this duo. They posted a video of the couple kissing with the caption, “Finding that forever thing;” Riley retweeted this. The same account posted a gif of Maurissa with Riley’s foot in her mouth while bartender Well’s says, “If you can suck on a toe, you can get engaged at the end of this thing.” The caption for the tweet reads, “Wise words from @wellsadams 🦶💍.” The ring emoji- I mean c’mon! Maurissa retweeted this.
So… did my wedding invitation get lost in the mail??
Serena P and Joe, aka Grocery Store Joe, have been a strong couple since the start. For Joe, this process is all too familiar, as in season 5. He had all but the same experience with Kendall Long. In fact, Kendall also walked onto the beach this season, appearing to still have feelings for her beloved Joe, who makes it clear that he is over her and sees a future with Serena. At the beginning of the season, Joe felt like he didn’t fit in with the rest of the cast, and he isolated himself, thought about leaving, and expressed worry that he was going down the same path he did with Kendall. However, as Serena continually validated her interest in him, the pair grew stronger each week. The two were voted prom King and Queen at last week’s party. Going into decision day, where the couples decide how to proceed with their relationships, some believe Joe and Serena may leave together but not yet engaged, on account of Serena’s young age of 23 and the fact that Joe and Kendall couldn’t commit to each other on season 5, but went on to have a two-year relationship after the show. However, in the finale preview, there is a clip of what looks to be Joe holding a ring box. The hands appear to be Joes due to process of elimination, and the mystery body is wearing a shirt the same color as Joe’s in another clip. The finale preview also includes a highly controversial clip of Kendall walking back onto the beach after leaving in episode eight. She sports a big smile on her face, which leads fans to conclude that she is not trying to shoot a Hail Mary shot with Joe; rather, she will wish the couple good luck with her blessing.
On social media, Serena has yet to post with Joe and give fans any clues as to the status of their relationship. Joe has posted with her on his account three times. On the Bachelor in Paradise official Twitter, we see pictures of the pair after winning prom king and Queen with captions “We stan 😌👑” and “Bowing down👑👑”
The only question now is, how will Grocery Store Joe cook up the epic engagement that Serena deserves?
Ex-Bachelorette Becca and Thomas became a couple after a date they shared in the middle of the season. For the past few weeks, fans have watched the pair remain consistent on the beach, cementing their spot as a strong finalist couple. In the finale preview, however, we see a clip of Thomas crying into his hands, Becca running after him, and the two embracing by the entrance and exit to paradise. This leads fans to believe that perhaps they leave on good terms, but not together. Given the footage, it is reasonable to predict that they leave together or are even engaged if the producers want viewers to be surprised.
On social media, fans have discovered hidden gems in Becca and Thomas’s living spaces, post-production. Becca posted a mirror selfie in her bedroom, and in the background, we can see a tall plant in the corner and a particularly patterned blanket on her bed. In a video interview of Thomas from Katie Thurston’s season “Men Tell All,” it seems as though the same blanket is drawn over his chair, with a very similar tall plant in the corner. Could the two live together?
In an Instagram photo posted by Thomas of a date he planned for Becca on the beach, the caption read, “What would this look like in the real world? An afternoon picnic with our pups, some champagne, and a tower of chicken nuggies sounds pretty damn good to me 💜 #PartyOfFive #DramaFree #BestKeptSecret.” Perhaps this ‘real world’ date has already occurred.
Do you believe that Thomas and Becca just have similar interior design styles?
Fan favorite and first on the beach, Abigail has been denoted a sweetheart in America’s eyes. The Bachelorette season 16’s Noah came into paradise intending to pursue Abigail. The two shared uncomfortable conversations about their future early on but ended up pushing through and were even voted “most likely to stay together after paradise” at last week’s prom. At the end of this seemingly wonderful night, Noah pulls Abigail aside to tell her that he feels their relationship is being forced forward unnaturally. The night before, we watched Noah confess that he was falling in love, with an unenthusiastic response from Abigail. Perhaps this reaction and lack of an emotionally matching response planted the seed of doubt in his head. Regardless, we sympathize with Abigail, as it’s hard to believe his feelings changed so fast.
In the decision day preview, we see Abigail and Noah having what appears to be their final conversation as they two cry, and we don’t see any more clips of them.
On Instagram, however, the two have posted on the beach with each other, accompanied by hopeful captions and loving comments by other cast members. In a video Abigail posted of the pair, she used the caption, “When a runway model walks in, but she doesn’t take your man on a date 😏,” referencing Chelsea Vaughn’s entrance. Although her description of Noah as ‘her man’ could merely refer to the time on the beach and aid in narrative creation for fans, it is hard to believe that this would be easy for her to say after he supposedly broke her heart. Additionally, Abigail posted a photo with Noah in a hammock on a date he set up for her. Natasha commented, “The sweetest thing😍❤️,” while Queen turned Goddess Victoria L commented, “Too cute ❤️,” and Abigail even replied with, “🥰.”
On Noah’s page, he posted a video of them kissing with the caption, “When the entire beach is in absolute turmoil, but you found the butter to your toast..YEAHHH! 🏝,” and Abigail commented, “French fries at sunset is where it’s at 🤫.” He also posted a picture of the two at the 80’s prom with the caption, “This is why I was homeschooled..proms are tough man 😅🥲.” I mean, it is easier to make light of the situation if the conflict is resolved in the end!
Are my hopes for this golden couple unrealistic?
Who is doomed:
Aaron and Chelsea
Katie’s season Aaron first connected with Tammy, that is until she was seen kissing Thomas. He then went on a date with ex-bachelorette Becca, who then moved on to Thomas. Finally, after coming onto the beach in episode seven, Chelsea chooses to take Aaron on a date. They hit it off, and Aaron even warns off Demar Jackson and Ivan Hall. At last week’s prom, however, Aaron decided to pull Tia. He told her that he didn’t want to regret not going for things, so he gave her a corsage, and they kissed. Aaron returns with Tia’s lipstick, and this is the beginning of the end for the two. Chelsea will most likely not be receiving a rose on Tuesday. She is playfully salty about what happened, as seen in a TikTok of her describing her experience. Chelsea also tweeted a gif of her rolling her eyes with the caption, “that moment when you realize you should have given your rose to @DJfromSoCal,” tagging Demar, who took her on a date earlier in the season.
James and Tia
On this season, Tia had a brief connection with Kenny and then with Blake Monar from The Bachelorette season 16. After Blake displayed a lack of effort, Tia decided to give her rose to James, as showed her a romantic gesture. However, a deeper connection never really blossomed for the two, as Tia did not feel a physical connection, and James went on a date with Anna’s late arrival.
James and Anna
Anna comes to the beach from Matt’s season of The Bachelor, and you may remember her as the girl who accused co-contestant Brittany Galvin of being an escort. Anna arrived with a date card, and after being turned down by Kenny and Thomas, she went on a date with James and danced with him at prom. In the finale preview, all we see of the two is James walking away, looking upset. Considering their short encounter, it is clear James and Anna will not leave together. In fact, Anna recently posted a TikTok teasing how James was not one of her top choices.
Aaron and Tia
After getting together at the prom when Tia was forced to go stag, she and Aaron spent the night dancing and hanging out one-on-one. In the decision day preview, there is a clip of Aaron and Tia sitting on the couch together, further indicating that he gives his rose to her instead of Chelsea. We know this is the last day of paradise because we are shown ex paradise successes Dean and Caelynn telling the finalists to have their final serious chats about the future. We know Aaron and Tia do not leave engaged, and most likely not together, as they just realized their mutual attraction, but the question is, to what extent will they have a future together? Aaron and Tia have not been active on each other’s social media accounts.
Ed and Natasha
On this season, Natasha is known for having a less than ideal experience, with no fault of her own. After feeling a connection towards Brendan, it was realized that he had a previous connection with Pieper and was waiting for her to come onto the beach. Natasha was then pleasantly surprised when Ed came down and chose her to take on his date. Although Natasha gave Ed her rose at the next rose ceremony, he connected with new arrival Mykenna the following week. As a result, Natasha will probably not be receiving Ed’s rose at the beginning of the upcoming finale. On her Instagram, Natasha posted a video of herself on the beach looking distressed, with the location tagged as “paradise,” in quotations, indicating how the word, unfortunately, took on a different meaning during her experience. Fortunately, she has become a fan favorite, and her social media is flooded with fan testimonials of that fact.
Ed and Mykenna
When Mykenna came onto the beach, she asked Aaron on a date. When he declined, and she was visibly upset, Ed told her he wanted to go, and the two hit it off. They spent prom together and seem to have a genuine connection. The two have no interactions together on social media and most likely leave the beach as friends with the possibility of a connection in the future.
Are you ready for ‘the most dramatic finale in Bachelor in Paradise history? The three-hour jam-packed finale airs on October 5th at 8:00 pm ET/5:00 pm PT on ABC. Several of the hypotheses above came from the Bachelor Fantake YouTube channel; make sure to check out the page for more juicy bachelor sleuthing!
Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, artist-friendly AfterBuzz TV is the world’s largest digital broadcast network and pop culture news platform, producing post-game ‘after-shows’ for nearly all favorite TV shows, interviewing cast and showrunners and providing the widest video, audio and article coverage of shows, content and influencers than any entertainment news platforms in existence
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About The Author:
Lily Block is a senior at the University of Wisconsin Madison, majoring in Economics with minors in Entrepreneurship, Digital Studies, and Photography. She is an intern at AfterBuzz TV and Better Together with Maria Menounos. Lily enjoys drag shows, etch-a-sketching, and all things reality tv!
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