Bachelor in Paradise's Monday-night episode appeared to catch Brendan and Pieper -- who apparently dated for about two months and were in a relationship "without labels" before the show's seventh season began filming -- laughing about their planned Paradise reunion and discussing how Pieper's Instagram followers count had climbed to over 70,000 after reports they were dating had surfaced in June.
Brendan, while covering his microphone, also admitted to "incriminating" himself by essentially admitting to Pieper he had downplayed their pre-Paradise relationship to other cast members and strung Natasha along when waiting for Pieper to step on the beach.
Natasha called Brendan "a liar" and clout-chaser considering Brendan had insisted his pre-show relationship with Pieper was "super casual" when, in reality, he and Pieper had hung out about 10 times.
As all of this drama unfolded on Bachelor in Paradise, Brendan lost almost 30,000 followers on Instagram, and Pieper's follower count also dropped by several thousand, according toUs Weekly.
Natasha, however, reportedly gained about 70,000 Instagram followers, which shows the majority of Bachelor Nation has taken her side in the love triangle.
Brendan and Pieper have also been subjected to backlash since the episode aired.
The couple, appearing to make the situation even worse, also joked about their plotting and the Natasha betrayal on social media.
Brendan, who competed on Season 16 of The Bachelorette starring Clare Crawley and Tayshia Adams last year, posted a close-up photo of his face while in a pool before Monday night's episode aired and captioned it, "Here for the wrong reasons."
The 31-year-old commercial roofer from the Boston area is clearly embracing his role as a reality TV villain.
Pieper posted a video and wrote, "Walking into Paradise like..." before proceeding to lip-sync "Rumors" by Lizzo.
"All the rumorsāare true, yeah / What ya heard, that's true, yeah / I f-ck him and you, yeah / If you believe I do that / Had to cut some hoes loose, yeah," Pieper mouthed while doing her makeup.
The 24-year-old Oregon native also shared photos of herself in an Instagram post and wrote alongside them, "All's fair in love and war."
On Monday night's episode, Pieper immediately asked Brendan out on a date once she entered the resort.
"There were certain things that had to be done and certain ways I navigated this to bring us to this particular moment," Brendan explained to Pieper.
"I can't have a girlfriend entering this whole journey, like, if you have a full girlfriend going into Paradise... it's not a good look. So if I tell everyone, 'Hey, Pieper might be coming, so nobody talk to me,' what would happen is I would go home."
Pieper replied with a smile, "And then I would be here just twiddling my thumbs."
Brendan continued, "Obviously I was just navigating this in a way to allow myself to potentially, hopefully be here while you're here."
Pieper said, "I get it. Thanks for playing the game. I just wish I was a little more privy to that before."
Once Pieper and Brendan returned to the beach from their date, they didn't hide their feelings and affection for one another, and Natasha lamented, "I feel like a casualty in [Brendan]'s convoluted plan."
Natasha let the cameras know that she felt "played" and "swindled" by "a con artist" who had "lied" and "manipulated" her.
When Natasha confronted Brendan about having lied about the extent of his pre-show relationship with Pieper, Brendan accused Natasha of having had "selective hearing" when they'd talk about their connection, which he ultimately called just "a friendship."
Brendan was also later shown bragging to Pieper about how Natasha didn't have any other "prospects" and so he essentially did her a favor by giving her a rose so she could stay in Paradise.
Natasha therefore accused Brendan of "gaslighting" her and being disrespectful on Twitter.
Pieper said of Natasha during the episode, "I think you did the heavylifting for me so I could just swoop in."
"I paved the way," Brendan confirmed with pride.
As a result, Natasha wrote on Twitter, "I can't even watch this bs. 'Pick-up where we left off?!' What am I watching?... I'm being referred to as 'heavy lifting' ? Wow #rudeaf #BachelorinParadise."
Bachelor Nation has certainly reacted to Brendan and Pieper's apparent ploy for fame.
"Brendan and Pieper are the masterminds of a very poorly planned crime #BachelorInParadise," Season 21 The Bachelor star Nick Viall tweeted, before adding, "Natasha absolutely dominated that episode #BachelorInParadise."
And fellow BIP Season 7 cast member Tammy Ly wrote, "The only thing louder than Brendan's lies is this rainstorm #BachelorInParadise. Not them talking about followers. DO THEY NOT KNOW THEYRE MIC'd?! #BachelorInParadise."
Tammy added, "We are ALL shocked to hear what was said on this episode. We don't get to listen in on 'private' convos until it gets aired back #bachelorinparadise."
And The Bachelorette alum Clay Harbor slammed Brendan and tweeted, "Natasha is intelligent beautiful and funny. Trust me Brendan she has prospects. #bachelorinparadiseabc."
Clay, who competed for Natasha's good friend Becca Kufrin on the franchise, continued, "I would take Natasha out yesterday... F***boy book chapter 7: tell her she has selective hearing when you get caught up. #bachelorinparadise."