Welcome to Bachelor in Paradise season, also known as the messiest time of year. This round of competitive dating is set to be even more drama-filled than you remember: With BiP canceled last year, 2021 sees the Paradise debut of dozens of eager Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants who never even got to leave the villa during their own seasons. Spoilers for Bachelor in Paradise 2021 are already out, thanks to Reality Steve, so if you're looking for a guide to who ends up with who, which couples get engaged, and what kind of drama to expect (hint: it's a lot)—well, you're in the right place.
There were more than 100 contestants for producers to choose from for this season of Paradise. Forced with a Sophie's Choice of reality television decisions, producers decided to make this season of Bachelor in Paradise the biggest yet, bringing in roughly 40 (40!) contestants to run wild on the beach in 2021. With more cast members than ever before, the chances of several people leaving the beach engaged were high. And they did—three couples left the beach together, with more couples seemingly still together (or back together) after filming wrapped.
Which couples get engaged on Bachelor in Paradise?
According to spoilers from Reality Steve, three couples put a ring on it at the end of the season:
Joe Amabile and Serena Pitt
Joe and Serena Pitt hit it off from the get-go. Cue Kendall Long, Joe's ex, who he also met on Paradise two years ago, who was also on the 2021 edition of Paradise. But the drama on the beach just made Joe and Serena stronger, it seems, because they got engaged at the end of Bachelor in Paradise.
Are Joe and Serena still together?
Reality Steve posted a photo of the two of them snuggling at a rooftop pool after filming wrapped, so it seems like they're still going strong. Joe even seemingly liked a tweet that shaded Kendall's arrival in Paradise. Plus, in September, Abigail Heringer wrote on Instagram: "I'm stealing you away from @joeamabile1"—note the present tense there—so we can assume they're very much still together.
Kenny Braasch and Mari Pepin
Kenny and Mari connected quickly on the beach. Enter Demi Burnett, a mainstay of Bachelor Nation who got engaged to her then-girlfriend on Paradise two summers ago and came back for round two. But Kenny "chose" Mari, and by the end of the season they're engaged, according to Reality Steve. Footage from the trailer shows a man with a tattoo and necklace exactly like Kenny's holding out a ring (oops).
Are Kenny and Mari still together?
Kenny and Mari were also photographed together after filming wrapped, per RS, suggesting they're still together and engaged.
Riley Christian and Maurissa Gunn
This couple had a strong and immediately connection on the beach, with Maurissa rejecting Connor (a.k.a. the sweet cat-costume guy who sings a lot) to be with Riley. Both are fan favorites, so Bachelor Nation is rooting hard for these two.
Are Riley and Maurissa still together?
Yes! They got engaged at the end of the season, and Reality Steve wrote in August: "Maurissa and Riley are the only two from the engaged couples that haven’t been spotted publicly since filming ended, but they have seen each other." They're just better at hiding it, he added.
Did any Paradise couples get back together after filming?
Yes! As with previous seasons, several couples who didn't get engaged on the beach ended up dating, or continuing to date, after filming wrapped.
This kind of pairing, historically, can really work out. Yes, really: There are several babies on the way from Paradise couples who didn't get engaged on the beach, but got together or stayed together after filming: Ashley Iaconetti and Jared Haibon; Astrid Locht and Kevin Wendt, Raven Gates Gottschalk and Adam Gottschalk.
Potentially joining those ranks are...
Becca Kufrin and Thomas Jacobs
While Becca ultimately broke things off with Thomas on the beach, per Reality Steve, they apparently got back together after filming wrapped and are still dating. When a fan wrote on Instagram that Thomas emanated red flags—something former Bachelorette Katie Thurston had also spoken out about—Becca fired back: "Red is my favorite color."
Noah Erb and Abigail Heringer
Noah and Abigail were on-off on the beach, but broke up before the end of the season, per Reality Steve. While they didn't get engaged, both Noah and Abigail have been seen on Instagram post-Mexico wearing the same necklace—which implies that they got back together, or have weirdly similar tastes in necklaces. You decide!
Brendan Morais and Pieper James
Ah, the extremely controversial couple who started dating before going to Paradise, then went to Paradise separately, then resumed dating on the beach and broke the "here for the right reasons" rule once and for all! Brendan and Pieper left the beach after everything came out, but they've been spotted together since filming ended. Of all the post-Paradise couples, "they’ve been seen the most in public," writes Reality Steve.
In mid-September, Pieper told Us Weekly: "We’re working through things. This obviously isn’t something that’s super healthy for a relationship either, so it kind of is what it is. Every day...taking it day by day.”
Alana Milne and Chris Conran
Runner-ups in the "controversial couple on the beach" stakes were Alana and Chris, who hit it off the second Alana walked in—even though Chris had been coupled up with Jessenia. Speculation about Alana and Chris dating pre-Paradise led to the couple being kicked off the beach after a single date, but they've been on several more dates since then, Alana said on the Bachelor Happy Hour podcast. It's not clear if they're together-together, though.
And what about the next Bachelor?
If we're going to talk about spoilers, let's discuss a big one: The next Bachelor, who has reportedly already been cast. And no, it's not Michael Allio, or Greg Grippo, or any other fan favorite that Bachelor Nation has speculated about. It's a formal NFL player called Clayton Echard, from Michelle's season. We don't know much about him, or how or why he was chosen for the role, but we'll get to know him better during Michelle's season, which begins Oct. 19.