'Bachelor in Paradise' spoilers: Are Brendan Morais and Pieper James still together and dating now? Have they gotten engaged? (SPOILERS)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 09/14/2021
Bachelor in Paradise couple Brendan Morais and Pieper James are trying to continue their romance on Season 7 although their pre-show romance turned TV relationship devastated Natasha Parker, so what happens next for this controversial couple? Do Brendan and Pieper go all the way and get engaged and are they still together now?
Earlier in the Bachelor in Paradise season, a rumor circulated that Brendan had been dating Pieper before the show began filming. Photos of Brendan and Pieper had even surfaced on the Internet in June.
But once Natasha confronted her Paradise love interest, Brendan, he explained that his history with Pieper was short, sweet and "super casual" -- that they had only spent time together two or three times.
Bachelor in Paradise's September 6 episode showed Pieper arriving to the Paradise resort in Mexico, and with a Date Card in hand, she immediately asked Brendan out.
Brendan explained to Pieper on their dinner date how he had to do "certain things" in order to navigate Bachelor in Paradise and ensure he'd still be around for Pieper's entrance, and Pieper -- apparently understanding that Natasha was just her placeholder and had been used for a rose -- thanked Brendan for "playing the game."
At the end of Brendan and Pieper's date, Pieper called the bachelor her "boyfriend," and the pair returned to the beach totally smitten with each other. They didn't even hide their affection from Natasha, who felt completely betrayed and fooled.
When Natasha searched for answers, Pieper shared how she and Brendan had actually dated for more than two months before Bachelor in Paradise and hung out about 10 times. Pieper claimed they were pretty much exclusive but chose not to put a label on their relationship at the time.
Natasha therefore called Brendan "a liar" and a clout-chaser, and she accused him of manipulating her.
When Natasha demanded the truth from Brendan afterwards, the 31-year-old roofer from the Boston area told Natasha that he only viewed their relationship as a friendship and she had "selective hearing" when they previously discussed their connection and potential as a couple.
(Natasha tweeted when the episode aired that Brendan was a gaslighter).
Brendan alleged that he only learned of his "strong feelings" for Pieper during their date the previous night, but Natasha -- and seemingly everyone else on the beach -- was convinced Brendan's romance with Pieper was serious and he had downplayed the significance of it during his time on the beach.
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"I asked him, 'Would you go on a date with someone else now that she's here?' [And Brendan said], 'Probably not.' So again, why are you here?" Natasha complained in a confessional.
"I think his plan was to just make it through until Pieper came and then they would continue to build their connection together here -- on ABC."
Natasha said she felt "played" and "swindled" by "a con artist" and lamented to the cameras, "I feel like a casualty in [Brendan]'s convoluted plan."
Brendan, however, appeared to believe that Natasha had no other "prospects" in Paradise and he had actually done her a favor by giving her his rose, which allowed her to stay on the show longer.
Brendan and Pieper were later shown discussing Pieper's social-media influencer status, as she said she had over 70,000 followers prior to leaving for Paradise.
When discussing whether Brendan might come across like a jerk on the show, Brendan -- attempting to cover his microphone -- admitted to "incriminating" himself and being "screwed" since he essentially admitted to stringing Natasha along.
"I think you did the heavylifting for me so I could just swoop in," Pieper told Brendan.
"I paved the way," Brendan confirmed with a smile.
Despite hurting Natasha, Brendan and Pieper continued to date in Paradise, and luckily for them, the drama shifted to Jessenia Cruz and Chris Conran, who chose to kiss newcomer Alana Milne right in front of Jessenia.
Joe Amabile and Riley Christian essentially forced Chris out of Paradise for treating Jessenia so disrespectfully, and like Brendan and Pieper, Chris and Alana were accused of dating and having a relationship before filming commenced.
Given the beach ganged up on Chris and sent him packing, will they do the same to Brendan and Pieper?
"I can't believe this, what?! I feel the same way Jessenia feels, but yet it's cool that Brendan gets to explore his already-established connection with Pieper," Natasha complained.
"It's the same thing! You guys feel this strongly about Chris but you don't feel as strong about my situation? What?"
So will Brendan and Pieper face backlash on the show, and if so, will they choose to stay and continue dating one another?
And given Brendan and Pieper viewed themselves as boyfriend and girlfriend at this point in the show, did they stay together and get engaged during the Season 7 finale or did they break up?
And what's the status of Brendan and Pieper's relationship now?
Brendan and Pieper continued dating in Paradise
According to Reality Steve spoiler blogger Steve Carbone, Brendan and Pieper hoped to strengthen and build their connection in Mexico.
But ABC teased in a press release for the upcoming September 14 episode, "Starting off with a bang, the beach's most controversial couple faces a reckoning they can't come back from."
Carbone reported on September 7 that Brendan continued to take heat for lying to Natasha and playing her.
Considering Brendan and Pieper dated before Bachelor in Paradise, their co-stars questioned why they ever came on the show to begin with and why they'd stick around.
Carbon therefore reported that Brendan and Pieper chose to leave the show to avoid more drama.
"They started getting called out for it by others, so they just bounced," Carbone wrote in his blog, adding that Brendan and Pieper left the show as a dating couple.
Brendan and Pieper appear to still be together now
After the show wrapped filming earlier this summer, Brendan and Pieper were spotted out in public together on more than one occasion.
The pair apparently spent Fourth of July weekend together in the Boston area, where Brendan lives.
And according to Carbone, Brendan his relationship with the Oregon native is progressing.
Pieper and Brendan initially didn't seem to care how they came across on television or what other people, including Bachelor Nation, thought about them.
Brendan, for example, posted a picture of himself in a pool and joked in the caption, "Here for the wrong reasons," and Pieper posted a TikTok video on her Instagram Stories in which she was playfully and confidently lip-syncing, "All the rumors are true," as the song "Rumors" by Lizzo played.
Carbone claims Brendan and Pieper have seen each other numerous times since filming the show.
"They were together yesterday in Boston," Carbone wrote on September 7.
"Those pics on Pieper's IG yesterday were taken by Brendan. Like, these two have done nothing to hide the fact they've been together since the second they left Mexico."
But as the pair continued to face backlash, Brendan and Pieper have lost a substantial amount of Instagram followers. Brendan, in fact, has lost tens of thousands of followers and his overall follower total count is down more than 28 percent as of September 14.
Brendan and Pieper have apologized for hurting Natasha
Brendan wrote on September 8 on his Instagram Stories, "After taking time to begin to process the events that unfolded over the past few days, I have realized I was wrong on so many different levels."
Brendan admitted he had been "completely insensitive" by poking fun at the situation on Instagram, and he said, "I apologize to you, Natasha. I hurt you. I am deeply sorry for doing so. I understand that the damage is already done and all I can do going forward is acknowledge the error of my ways."
Brendan added, "For those of you that felt my actions triggered certain feelings and emotions I am truly sorry."
"Lastly, despite the fact that Pieper and I had misunderstandings going into paradise (and I can't stress this enough) -- If you feel the need to express disdain for the situation, please do so at my expense," he concluded.
"I am completely at fault. A full statement and apology will follow."
For Pieper's part, she told Us Weekly in a statement, "I didn't go into Paradise with the intention of hurting anyone, nor would I ever want to be the reason why someone had a bad experience."
"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."
Pieper went on to claim in her statement, "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."
Natasha, however, said on her "Click Bait with Bachelor Nation" podcast on September 9 that she had "no idea" Brendan and Pieper dated before the show until rumors started swirling on the beach.
Following Pieper's statement, she surprisingly told Us while attending a fashion show in New York City that she has no regrets.
"I don't think I have any regrets. It is what it is, and it happened. I honestly try not to live with regrets. What happened, happened, and I'll deal with whatever happens next," Pieper said.
Pieper also insisted she and Brendan didn't have a preexisting plan to reunite on Bachelor in Paradise.
"I was shocked to see everyone there, including him, including every relationship that was happening," Pieper claimed. "As new as it was to the viewers was as new as it was to me."
Pieper also insisted she and Brendan were not in an exclusive romance prior to filming the summer spinoff.
"Beforehand, Brendan and I obviously had been talking, but it wasn't a serious relationship," Pieper told the magazine. "As we both said on the show, we didn't have a plan."
Pieper added, "I have so much going on I couldn't have put that together. But obviously, I liked him and I was excited to see him, but that was the extent of it."
Pieper also confirmed that she liked Brendan's recent apology on social media and has personally apologized to Natasha in private.
"I did say that I'm sorry to Natasha," Pieper shared. "I really hope to get the chance to talk to her in person. I know healing takes time and I completely respect that."