Michael therefore addressed the criticism and "conspiracy theories" circulating in Bachelor Nation via TikTok on Saturday, October 22.
Michael's TikTok video featured a picture within a picture. He was commenting on an opinionated fan's theory about his Bachelor in Paradise storyline.
The fan started out by speculating that Bachelor in Paradise production was probably banking on Michael not breaking up with Sierra before the second Rose Ceremony of the season.
"Maybe," Michael replied. "It was a surprise for many."
The fan added how producers were likely hoping Michael would accept Sierra's rose and then Danielle Maltby would be introduced to the men at the Paradise resort as part of "The Split" twist.
"The Split" twist required the women to separate from their male partners and head to a nearby hotel, and then both groups were introduced to a handful of new cast members of the opposite sex.
Michael wrote in response to that theory, "Taking a rose when [your] heart's not in it is 'leading someone on.'"
The fan guessed that Michael's decision to dump Sierra before the Rose Ceremony probably threw a wrench into producers' plans and so they sent Danielle to the beach with minutes left to spare before the women handed out roses.
Because Danielle was new to the cast, the fan assumed producers allowed Michael and Danielle to continue getting to know each other on the beach per the show's usual format.
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"Choosing to end my only relationship when I was gifted a constellation and didn't have a rose was not a 'good look' but I knew that," Michael acknowledged.
Michael later noted in his TikTok video that he did not know Danielle, a model and former Nashville-based neonatal nurse, was coming on the show, refuting allegations against him that he had been waiting for Danielle's arrival and using Sierra as a placeholder.
"No one on the beach knows who is coming down... [well] at least I didn't," Michael insisted.
The fan added how, if Michael truly knew Danielle was coming to Paradise soon, he probably wouldn't have risked his elimination by breaking up with Sierra before the Rose Ceremony.
"Not a smart idea," Michael agreed. "I still should [have] handled the breakup better, that's on me."
Michael and Sierra made an early connection on Bachelor in Paradise, but Michael eventually determined something was missing between them and his grief was preventing him from letting his walls down and truly investing himself in the relationship. (Michael lost his late wife Laura to breast cancer in 2019).
Sierra, 27, chose to quit the show after Michael dumped her because her heart was broken, and Michael was left worrying he may not receive a rose at the season's second Rose Ceremony given none of the other women in Paradise at the moment seemed to be interested in him.
However, Bachelor in Paradise bartender Wells Adams and the show's producers appeared to orchestrate Danielle's entrance just in time to save Michael, and then Michael and Danielle -- who lost her fiance Nick Haag to a drug overdose in 2011 -- were given a date in Paradise the very next day, which resulted in the pair kissing and really hitting it off.
Sierra took to Instagram late last week with a video, writing, "I hadn't thrown shade before... but THIS is me throwing it."
Sierra added a devil emoji to her post and continued, "Forward & onward now -- Just wanted to get it out of my system & remind y'all I'm sweet, sour, far from perfect, and keep it real #bachelorinparadise #bachelornation #truth #hurts."
In the video, Sierra appeared to mock Michael, who was with his wife Laura for 16 years before she died in 2019, by quoting three things he had said on Bachelor in Paradise.
"'Something's missing,' [and], 'She's moving too fast,'" Sierra wrote, adding, "'I'm not sure I'm ready.'"
Sierra then wrote what she thought Michael was actually thinking when he dumped her.
"'I never actually saw anything with you but needed to kill time,'" Sierra concluded.
Comments rolled in from Bachelor Nation fans, some supporting Michael and others supporting Sierra.
One person made fun of Michael for saying Sierra was moving too fast -- only to tell the cameras a couple of days later that his first date with Danielle may be the last one of his life.
Other people, however, slammed Sierra for bashing Michael when he had allegedly seemed honest about how something was missing between them and he wasn't ready for a relationship at the fast pace they were going.
After all, Sierra was already openly talking about being a stepmom to Michael's six-year-old son James when she had only known Michael a few days and hadn't even met James yet.
One critic wrote to Sierra, "You have to explore something to see if there's a connection and for him -- something was missing. I don't think he used you. I don't think he played you. I think he's healing and trying to figure it all out and at the end of the day, you weren't his person. Why be bitter and throw shade at him?"
And Sierra responded in the comments, "I walked away at the time with that mindset. But watching back and seeing the story aside from what I experienced... I wish that were the case my friend."
Once Danielle arrived in Paradise, Michael appeared ecstatic and ready to fall in love again.
Some fans have therefore been wondering if Michael had been anticipating Danielle's entrance all along, which would mean he used Sierra in the beginning of the show.
When Danielle stepped foot on the beach, Michael affectionately called her "Dani" and revealed they had spoken via DMs on Instagram prior to filming the show, which prompted Sierra to question the pair's "little bit of history" in a Twitter post last week.
But Michael and Danielle claimed they were only friends and had never met in person before.
On the latest episode of Bachelor in Paradise, Michael and Danielle were shown returning from their first date. They were holding hands and kissing on the beach, and Michael gushed about Danielle's beauty and kind heart.