2 contestants just quit 'Bachelor in Paradise' amid backlash over their pre-season relationship. Here's a complete timeline of what went down leading up to their dramatic exit.

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2 contestants just quit 'Bachelor in Paradise' amid backlash over their pre-season relationship. Here's a complete timeline of what went down leading up to their dramatic exit.
  • Two "Bachelor in Paradise" contestants have attracted controversy in the latest season.
  • Brendan Morais has been caught in a love triangle with contestants Natasha Parker and Pieper James.
  • Warning: This story contains some "Bachelor in Paradise" spoilers.

May 20: Brendan Morais shares a vague Instagram post that appears to suggest he's in a romantic relationship.

A post shared by Brendan Morais (@brendanmorais)

"I don't know what my future holds, but I know who holds my future ," Morais captioned a photo of himself lounging on a couch.

Morais was a contestant on Claire Crawley and Tayshia Adams' season of "The Bachelorette," finishing fourth out of Adams' suitors after voluntarily dropping out of the show. The previously-divorced Morais said at the time that he wasn't ready to get engaged again.

Some fans have speculated, in retrospect, that Morais' May Instagram post was about Pieper James, a contestant from "The Bachelor" season 25.

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June 3: Us Weekly first reports that Morais and Pieper James are dating.

June 3: Us Weekly first reports that Morais and Pieper James are dating.
Pieper James with Matt James on "The Bachelor." Craig Sjodin/Getty Images

Pieper James, a contestant on Matt James' season of "The Bachelor," was eliminated in week 7 and placed 5th overall.

While James and Morais hadn't appeared on the same "Bachelor" show at that point, an unnamed source told Us Weekly in June 2021 that the two "have mutual friends" and "hang out in the same 'Bachelor' crowd."

"Pieper and Brendan have been dating for a few weeks now," the anonymous source said in June. "Either he'll fly to New York and hang with her, or she'll fly to Boston to hang with him. She was most recently in Boston over Memorial Day weekend and they were even spotted out in public together."

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Early June: "Bachelor in Paradise" begins filming.

Early June: "Bachelor in Paradise" begins filming.
"Bachelor in Paradise" 2021 cast. Craig Sjodin/ABC via Getty Image

Around the same time that Us Weekly reported that Morais and James were dating, "Bachelor in Paradise" filmed its seventh season in Mexico.

The popular spin-off features past "Bachelor" and "Bachelorette" contestants trying to find love on a beautiful beach.

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July 8: The official "Bachelor in Paradise" cast is announced for season 7. Morais is featured in the list but James is missing.

July 8: The official "Bachelor in Paradise" cast is announced for season 7. Morais is featured in the list but James is missing.
Brendan Morais on "Bachelor in Paradise." ABC

Even though James was missing from the official ABC "Bachelor in Paradise" cast announcement, blogger Steve Carbone (aka "Reality Steve") had already reported by June 30 that James would make an appearance later in the season.

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August 16: "Bachelor in Paradise" premieres. Morais and Natasha Parker quickly pair up.

August 16: "Bachelor in Paradise" premieres. Morais and Natasha Parker quickly pair up.
Natasha Parker. Craig Sjodin/ABC

Parker was a contestant on Peter Weber's season of "The Bachelor."

While Morais and Parker form a connection on the beach, other "Bachelor in Paradise" contestants start gossiping about how the commercial roofer was dating James prior to coming to Mexico to film the season.

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August 23: Parker and Morais have an on-camera conversation about his rumored pre-season relationship with James in the second "BIP" episode.

August 23: Parker and Morais have an on-camera conversation about his rumored pre-season relationship with James in the second "BIP" episode.
Morais and Parker talking about James. ABC/Hulu

On "Week 2: Part 1," Morais goes on a date with Demi Burnett, a new arrival to the beach and past "The Bachelor" contestant.

The date goes downhill after Morais directly tells Burnett that he intends to date around on the beach. He also mentions James, who isn't on the beach at that point, saying they've hung out and enjoyed each other's company prior to the show but that it isn't a "relationship."

Later, Morais tells Parker that his relationship with James is "super casual and he has had "deeper conversations" with Parker in their short time together on "Bachelor in Paradise."

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August 24: On the third episode, Parker tells Morais that she feels that they lack "romantic chemistry" and that they're just waiting for other people, possibly hinting at Morais' rumored relationship with James outside the show.

August 24: On the third episode, Parker tells Morais that she feels that they lack "romantic chemistry" and that they're just waiting for other people, possibly hinting at Morais' rumored relationship with James outside the show.
Morais and Parker on "Bachelor in Paradise." ABC/Hulu

While Parker expresses doubt about their newly-formed connection in "Week 2: Part 2," Morais assures Parker he likes her "more and more" every day.

In a separate confessional, Parker continues to voice her doubts, saying Morais is either "super complicated" about expressing his true feelings towards her or a "con artist."

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August 24: Morais and James share separate Instagram posts, but fans speculate in the comments that they were taken at the same pool - which might confirm they're together after "Bachelor in Paradise."

A post shared by Brendan Morais (@brendanmorais)

A post shared by Pieper James (@pieper_james)

 

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August 30: Parker and Morais have their first on-screen kiss in the season's fourth episode.

August 30: Parker and Morais have their first on-screen kiss in the season's fourth episode.
Parker. ABC/Hulu

Earlier in "Week 3: Part 1," Parker had told guest host Lance Bass that she and Morais were two of the only people on the beach that season who hadn't kissed yet.

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September 6: James and Morais share separate Instagram posts with captions seemingly referencing the new episode ("Week 4: Part 1") that would air later that night - a move that would soon prove ill-advised.

A post shared by Pieper James (@pieper_james)

James wrote "All is fair in love and war" underneath an Instagram photo of her taken in Boston (where Morais is based). The caption has since been deleted.

The same day, Morais posted an also now-deleted Instagram photo with the caption, "Here for the wrong reasons" — quoting a popular line on the franchise often used as an allegation against "Bachelor" contestants presumed to have appeared on the show for fame and not to really find love.

James also posted a now-deleted TikTok video of herself lip-syncing to Lizzo's song "Rumors," with a text overlay saying "Walking into Paradise like."

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September 6: James officially joins "Bachelor in Paradise" as a contestant on episode six and immediately asks Morais out on a date.

September 6: James officially joins "Bachelor in Paradise" as a contestant on episode six and immediately asks Morais out on a date.
James entering "Bachelor in Paradise." ABC/Hulu

Episode six ("Week 4: Part 1") proves to be a particularly dramatic one, with James finally making her "Bachelor in Paradise" entrance. She declares in a confessional that she's on the show specifically to connect with Morais, seemingly confirming all the rumors that had been floating around in the first five episodes of the season.

Following through with her intentions, she asks Morais out on a date where the two reflect on their relationship so far and talk about where they go from there. James accuses Morais of "downplaying" their relationship while Morais tells James he had to navigate the season in a way he would still be on the beach when James got there.

To make sense of her own relationship with Morais, Parker has two separate conversations with him during which Morais tells Parker that their relationship was never romantic and she has "selective hearing."

James separately tells Parker that James' relationship with Morais isn't casual and they've hung out at least 10 times with James even making a trip to Boston to see Morais, appearing to directly contradict the conversation Morais and Parker had on-screen earlier in the season.

Later in the episode, Morais calls Parker "annoying" and says that she didn't have any romantic "prospects" on the beach aside from Morais.

Morais and James also have a conversation about getting exposure through screentime and gaining social-media followers.

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September 7: James and Morais get instant backlash from fans after the episode airs for their treatment of Parker, their on-screen conversation about gaining Instagram followers, and their September 6 posts making light of the drama. In response, James blames editing.

September 7: James and Morais get instant backlash from fans after the episode airs for their treatment of Parker, their on-screen conversation about gaining Instagram followers, and their September 6 posts making light of the drama. In response, James blames editing.
James' IG story comments. Pieper James/Instagram

James wrote on her Instagram story on September 7 that reality TV "isn't real" and it doesn't show "every single thing said and done."

"I don't believe in pitting women against each other," she continued. "I don't believe men are prizes to be won at the expense of someone's feelings."

In a separate statement shared with Us Weekly later that week, James said she didn't have the "intention of hurting anyone, nor would I ever want to be the reason why someone had a bad experience" on "Bachelor in Paradise."

"I went in excited to see a guy that I had connected with and liked before the show started filming, and was looking forward to seeing if that connection would grow into something more," she told the publication.

James added about Parker: "I had a friendship with Natasha before the show and had spoken to her about me and Brendan talking. With that said, I am truly sorry for any hurt that I caused her and hope that I get the opportunity to speak to her soon and make things right."

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September 8: Morais apologizes on his Instagram story, writing that he realizes he was "wrong on so many different levels."

September 8: Morais apologizes on his Instagram story, writing that he realizes he was "wrong on so many different levels."
Morais' IG story apology. Brendan Morais/Instagram

On September 8, Morais apologized for his since-deleted September 6 Instagram post where he joked that he went on "Bachelor in Paradise" for "the wrong reasons."

"My approach to many things in life is sarcasm," he wrote in his IG story. "In this instance, with regard to my post, I was completely insensitive."

He went on to apologize directly to Parker.

"I hurt you. I am deeply sorry for doing so," he said. "I understand that the damage is already done and all I can do going forward is acknowledge the error of my ways."

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September 9: James tells Us Weekly she and Morais are currently "working through things."

A post shared by Pieper James (@pieper_james)

James told Us Weekly on September 9 that she and Morais are working on their relationship "day by day."

"This obviously isn't something that's super healthy for a relationship either, so it kind of is what it is," she said about their "Bachelor in Paradise" experience. 

James continued that she had "no idea" what she "was walking into" when she made her entrance on the beach, possibly referring to Morais' relationship with Parker.

She added: "Obviously, [if] you like somebody, you hope that they're waiting for you, but you don't know the circumstances when you walk into 'Paradise.' So, whatever he had to do beforehand, that had nothing to do with me. I didn't tell him to do anything, so that was kind of what it was."

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September 14: Morais and James quit "Paradise" within minutes of episode eight and leave the beach together as a couple after being called out by multiple fellow contestants.

September 14: Morais and James quit "Paradise" within minutes of episode eight and leave the beach together as a couple after being called out by multiple fellow contestants.
James and Morais leaving the beach. ABC/Hulu

On "Week 5," several other "Bachelor in Paradise" contestants, including Parker, Joe Amabile, and Demi Burnett, confront Morais and James on the status of their relationship, questioning why the two would join the reality show if they were already committed to each other.

In response, Morais says he and James had only gone on "two or three" dates prior to coming to the show, and had only socialized in group settings beyond that.

"It's not like, 'Hey Pieper, do wanna be my girlfriend,'" Morais explains, while also admitting that he had hoped James would join the show as a contestant.

Parker and Amabile tell Morais that by him hoping to enter into a relationship with James even before she made an appearance on the show, Morais wasn't being "open to the process" of finding love among the other contestants.

Ultimately, Morais and James leave "Bachelor in Paradise" together after the tense conversation, saying they want to explore their relationship "on our terms."

On the car ride away from the beach, Morais again defends his actions: "I didn't intentionally wanna mislead anyone. I just withheld information."

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September 14: During the episode's airing, fans on Twitter accuse Morais of "sexist" behavior and a fellow "Paradise" contestant tweets that Morais' "shaming of Black women" makes her "UNCOMFY."

September 14: During the episode's airing, fans on Twitter accuse Morais of "sexist" behavior and a fellow "Paradise" contestant tweets that Morais' "shaming of Black women" makes her "UNCOMFY."
Deandra Kanu on "Bachelor in Paradise." ABC/Hulu

In episode eight, Morais accuses fellow "Bachelor in Paradise" contestant Deandra Kanu on Tuesday of criticizing his relationship with James because Kanu is "upset no one is talking to her."

He also says that Parker had "zero chance" of having a relationship with "any guy who had been here."

As the episode, and Morais' comments, aired, Kanu tweeted that Morais made her uncomfortable by "continuously shaming black women" on the beach.

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September 14: James shares an Instagram Story addressing her abrupt "Bachelor in Paradise" exit.

September 14: James shares an Instagram Story addressing her abrupt "Bachelor in Paradise" exit.
James' social-media statement. Pieper James/Instagram

James said in a statement shared over her Instagram story on September 14 that she and Morais "were not in an exclusive relationship in any capacity before filming."

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In the meantime, Morais has lost almost 100,000 followers on Instagram, while James is down by almost 10,000.

A post shared by Bachelor Data Analyst (@bachelordata)

Before the explosive "Bachelor in Paradise" September 6 episode with James' entrance and their first date, Morais had over 340,000 followers while James had about 86,000.

At the time of writing, Morais is down to 248,000 followers while James has 77,200 followers. 

In comparison, Parker has gained over 300,000 followers in the past week.

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