The Truth About Bachelor In Paradise's Blake Horstmann

Bachelor in Paradise's Blake Horstmann made his reality television debut when he appeared in 2018 as a contestant on Season 14 of The Bachelorette, in which he competed for Bachelorette Becca Kufrin's heart. America watched has Horstmann quickly fell head over heels for Kufrin, but his Bachelorette journey came to a devastating end when Kufrin accepted a marriage proposal from Garrett Yrigoyen, sending Horstmann home in tears

Viewers hated to see the fan-favorite have his heart broken on national television, and many hoped he'd be named the next Bachelor. Ultimately, Colton Underwood was offered the gig instead, but Horstmann was given a second shot at reality TV love in 2019, when he was cast in Bachelor in Paradise's sixth season. Considering the serious, no-nonsense attitude toward finding lasting love that Horstmann had previously displayed, Bachelor Nation fans were certain that Paradise would be a turning point for the Colorado native. As Season 6 of Bachelor in Paradise proved, Horstmann's appearance was indeed the start of something new. However, as the reality star quickly learned, new isn't always better. Here's the truth about one of Bachelor in Paradise's most controversial contestants, Blake Horstmann. 

Bachelor in Paradise's Blake Horstmann is a Colorado guy

During his time as part of Bachelor Nation, Bachelor in Paradise's Blake Horstmann traveled to more places than most non-reality stars will in an entire lifetime. While competing for Becca Kufrin's heart on Season 14 of The Bachelorette, Horstmann was flown to the Bahamas, Thailand, Las Vegas, and even the ultra-exotic Richmond, Va. And, of course, his time on Bachelor in Paradise was spent on the beaches of Mexico. However, despite his many travels, it appears Horstmann is still a Colorado guy at heart. 

While a contestant on Kufrin's season of The Bachelorette, Horstmann showed Kufrin (and, by default, viewers) around his hometown of Bailey, Colo. "It feels good to be back home," Horstmann said during his hometown date with Kufrin. Against a backdrop of falling snow, a smiling Horstmann continued, "Becca always says, you know, I'm her mountain man — so now she'll really get a glimpse into growing up in the mountains and see really what I'm all about." 

Bachelor in Paradise's Blake Horstmann was the favorite to win Becca Kufrin's heart

Before Tyler Cameron was introduced to the world as a contestant on Hannah Brown's season of The Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise's Blake Horstmann was arguably the most sought-after runner-up in Bachelor Nation. 

Similar to Cameron's experience on Brown's season, Horstmann had been the fan-favorite to walk away from The Bachelorette engaged to Kufrin, largely due to his seemingly intense connection with the Minnesota native — as well as the controversy surrounding the other man in Kufrin's final two, Garrett Yrigoyen. While Yrigoyen didn't propose to Kufrin with a cringeworthy acoustic number or have an alleged secret girlfriend while on the show — he did find himself having to apologize for a number of offensive Instagram posts he'd liked before Season 14 premiered. This controversy, along with Horstmann's gentleman-like charm, made the Colorado native many fans' top pick for Kufrin

Considering his disastrous season of Bachelor in Paradise, perhaps Horstmann would have had better luck if he'd ventured away from Bachelor Nation following his emotional split from Kufrin. Hey, maybe he'd be the one dating Gigi Hadid.

It took Bachelor in Paradise's Blake Horstmann a long time to get over Becca Kufrin

Bachelor in Paradise's Blake Horstmann's run on Season 14 of The Bachelorette left fans of the show crying along with him and taking to Twitter to express their shock at Becca Kufrin breaking his heart just before he proposedOne fan tweeted, "Is it bad that I want Becca to change her mind during [After the Final Rose]?" Other viewers could only express their emotions with tear-filled GIFS. Of course, the Colorado native undoubtedly felt the pain of his heartbreak deeper than anyone else.

"The healing process was long," Horstmann admitted on the Almost Famous podcast in September 2018 (via Us Weekly). He continued, "I'm not going to act, like, overnight, I felt better all of a sudden. But I had some good support around me." 

The reality star added that seeing Kufrin with Garrett Yrigoyen at the After the Final Rose special was what gave him the closure he needed to move on. 

Bachelor in Paradise's Blake Horstmann has a tragic backstory

The televised drama of the Bachelor franchise has been no match for the trauma Blake Horstmann experienced when he was a high schooler in his hometown of Bailey, Colo. There, he endured an experience that the reality star says made him the person he is today.

During his hometown date with Season 14 Bachelorette Becca Kufrin, Horstmann told her, "My senior year of high school, unfortunately, my school was victimized by a school shooting." Visibly emotional, Horstmann revealed to Kufrin that his younger sister and mother were also both in the building at the time of the Platte Canyon High School shooting — as his sister was a freshman at the school and his mother was an employee. Luckily, Bachelor in Paradise's Blake Horstmann and his family were left unscathed, but, as he told Kufrin, the shooting "changed [his] outlook on life."

What was Bachelor in Paradise's Blake Horstmann's previous job?

The contestant announcement is one of the most exciting times in Bachelor Nation, as each bunch of contestants is sure to have at least a few meme-able job titles. After all, who can forget contestant Kamil Nicalek's job description of "Social Media Participant?" Aren't we all social media participants, Kamil? 

However, amongst the sea of contestants with so-called job titles like "Former Child" and "Free Spirit," each season of The Bachelor and Bachelorette has at least a few contestants with jobs that actually make some amount of sense — like Blake Horstmann's "Sales Rep" description on Becca Kufrin's season of The Bachelorette (via The Hollywood Reporter). According to his LinkedIn profile, the Colorado native held his job as an "Off Premise Sales Rep" for Coors Distributing Company from November 2014 until presumably appearing on Kufrin's 2018 Bachelorette season. At the time of this writing, his LinkedIn profile says the reality star presently works for Coors, but it's safe to say that Bachelor in Paradise's Blake Horstmann is too busy attending Bachelor Nation-related events to work a full-time job in Colorado — or to update his job status on LinkedIn. 

Bachelor in Paradise's Blake Horstmann thought he was going to be the Bachelor

Fans of The Bachelorette felt terrible for Bachelor in Paradise's Blake Horstmann after watching him sob over his gut-wrenching breakup with Becca Kufrin, but the Colorado native also appeared genuinely ready for and serious about finding true, lasting love — something that both endeared Horstmann to viewers and made him the fan-favorite for the next Bachelor

However, after appearing on the fifth season of Bachelor in Paradise, Colton Underwood — formerly fourth runner-up for Kufrin's heart — quickly put himself in the running to become the Bachelor, eventually scoring the gig once his on-again, off-again relationship with Tia Booth came to an end onscreen

According to Horstmann, a leaked spoiler prevented him from being completely blindsided by the news. However, the reality star told Entertainment Tonight that he didn't know for sure that Underwood had been chosen until shortly before the official announcement. Horstmann hinted to ET that his lack of "campaigning" (like doing interviews and talking to the press) could have lost him the gig, saying, "I thought I kind of was going to be the Bachelor, so I was a little bit more reserved, if you will."

Is this why Blake Horstmann wanted to hide his hookups on Bachelor in Paradise?

In his year-break from reality TV, Bachelor in Paradise's Blake Horstmann reportedly took full advantage of his newfound fame by exploring connections with other women from the franchise. Of course, a single person is expected to date around, but, as Season 6 of Bachelor in Paradise seemed to reveal, Horstmann was allegedly less than honest with some women about his intentions. Notably, the Colorado native reportedly became intimately involved with multiple Bachelor Nation women at the 2019 Stagecoach Festival, including Caelynn Miller-Keyes and Kristina Schulman, but he allegedly failed to inform them that he was exploring relationships with others at the same time. 

If you're wondering why Horstmann felt the need to keep his hookups on the down-low, the answer is reportedly pretty simple. According to a source who spoke with Entertainment Tonight, Horstmann wanted to avoid discussing any pre-Bachelor in Paradise hookups because he still hoped to have a shot at becoming the Bachelor. 

The source told ET, "He saw how it worked out for Colton Underwood. So, he was thinking that he could maybe try and become the Bachelor. He was keeping his options open."

Fans were shipping Bachelor in Paradise's Blake Horstmann and Hannah Godwin from the beginning

Despite the drama surrounding the sixth season of Bachelor in Paradise (including a nasty physical altercation), the 2019 installment did produce a few happy endings — including Hannah Godwin and Dylan Barbour leaving the beach as an engaged couple

However, before she met Barbour, Godwin was feeling the pressure from Bachelor Nation fans to strike up a relationship with Blake Horstmann — likely due to their shared status as beloved runners-up from their respective seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. In an interview on Olivia Caridi's Mouthing Off podcast, Godwin revealed, "People are putting so much pressure on it! I don't want to put too much pressure." She continued, saying, "We were both in a spot where we were so close [to finding love] and I don't want either of us to have pressure going into something."

Still, as Godwin revealed on BiP (via Entertainment Tonight), Horstmann flew to Birmingham, Ala. to visit her before the sixth season commenced filming. According to Godwin, however, her time with Bachelor in Paradise's Blake Horstmann in her hometown ended with just a kiss — nothing more. 

Blake Horstmann and Kristina Schulman had a complicated relationship before Bachelor in Paradise

As revealed in the first episode of Season 6, Blake Horstmann had history with Kristina Schulman long before their time on Bachelor in Paradise.

"Me and Kristina were hanging out maybe, like, six or seven months ago," Horstmann said, revealing the two had decided to remain friends after their romantic connection fizzled. Horstmann had previously addressed rumors that he was dating Schulman on the Almost Famous podcast in October 2018 (via Us Weekly), saying, "She's amazing, she's great, and you know, we get along really well. But right now, you know, we are hanging out, but it's nothing serious right now."

However, as Schulman revealed in the season's second episode, she felt blindsided by Horstmann when he spent a night with Caelynn Miller-Keyes at Stagecoach directly after spending an evening with her. Still, the two maintained a complicated friendship throughout their time on BiP, and, despite Horstmann later admitting his feelings for Schulman in what appeared to be a last-ditch effort for her rose, she chose to leave Paradise – a move that once again left Horstmann in tears. 

Bachelor in Paradise's Blake Horstmann felt "backed into a corner" by Caelynn Miller-Keyes

According to Caelynn Miller-Keyes, she and Blake Horstmann connected prior to Bachelor in Paradise and even considered skipping the show to start a relationship. However, as she alleged in a conversation with Wells Adams, Horstmann suddenly "ghosted" her and "fully stopped communication." Still, Miller-Keyes found herself hooking up with Horstmann at the 2019 Stagecoach Festival after he "sweet talked" her — something she said Horstmann wanted to keep under wraps. 

"He calls me, like, two weeks ago, and he's like, 'No one can know about us,'" Miller-Keyes said during the first episode of Bachelor in Paradise Season 6, revealing to Adams that Horstmann told her they had to "lie [their] a**es off in Paradise." 

However, in August 2019, Horstmann made the decision to release text messages between himself and Miller-Keyes that appear to contradict her account of being sweet talked and silenced by the Colorado native. Before releasing the screenshots, Horstmann posted to Instagram, "Unfortunately this is the only way to have a voice, since I very much feel backed into a corner."

Bachelor in Paradise's Blake Horstmann still has beef with Caelynn Miller-Keyes

In a September 2019 interview on the Bachelor Happy Hour podcast (via Us Weekly), Blake Horstmann revealed that he and Caelynn Miller-Keyes were talking from mid-December 2018 to mid-March 2019, meaning the two were connected while Colton Underwood's season of The Bachelor was airing. As a refresher, Miller-Keyes made an emotional appearance on the Women Tell All special for Underwood's season, in which she tearfully said of her relationship with Underwood (via Us Weekly), "I loved him, and he didn't love me, and it sucks."

According to Horstmann, he was surprised by the emotional sit-down, as he and Miller-Keyes were talking at the time the special was taped. And, as Horstmann alleged on Bachelor Happy Hour, Miller-Keyes was also reportedly in negotiations to be the next Bachelorette. "It was a little bit confusing for me, too, because the whole time we were talking she was in negotiations to be Bachelorette," Horstmann revealed. He continued, "Why act how you did on Women Tell All and the fact that you [wanted] to be Bachelorette and months later, [you say] we're in this very serious relationship?"

Bachelor Nation is torn on this decision made by Bachelor in Paradise's Blake Horstmann

After Bachelor in Paradise's Blake Horstmann released the series of text messages between himself and Caelynn Miller-Keyes, the former beauty queen took to her own Instagram to address his decision, revealing that Horstmann's choice to release their private messages had resulted in her getting harassed online. "What infuriates me the most is that I'm being trolled for having sex because of what I've been through," she wrote, referencing the sexual assault she'd previously discussed on Colton Underwood's season of The Bachelor

Horstmann and Miller-Keyes' costars seemed torn on whether or not releasing the texts to clear his name was the right thing for Horstmann to do. Speaking with Entertainment Tonight, Tayshia Adams revealed she thought Horstmann should have apologized to Miller-Keyes. "It kind of made me disappointed that he didn't say sorry, but I wish him the best," Adams said. However, Kristina Schulman seems to have sided with Horstmann on this one. The reality star told ET, "To apologize for the text messages, that just doesn't seem right, because I think there's more to it." She continued, "It's a lot of gray area in that subject."

Bachelor in Paradise's Blake Horstmann says he's "still going to Stagecoach"

In an August 2019 interview with E! News, Bachelor franchise host Chris Harrison likened Blake Horstmann's Bachelor in Paradise experience to a "dumpster fire." Ouch

"Blake himself was an absolute dumpster fire. He was just a car wreck," the host revealed. He continued, joking that Horstmann should consider getting a tattoo on his forehead that reads, "What were you thinking?" Most of the drama surrounding Horstmann on BiP Season 6 seemed to stem from his infamous alleged Stagecoach scandal. Still, as Horstmann revealed in a September 2019 Instagram post, he's not going to let the emotionally draining and humiliating experience he had on Bachelor in Paradise stop him from enjoying future Stagecoach Festivals. 

"To say [Paradise] was rough for me is an understatement. I have no one to blame but myself for that," Bachelor in Paradise's Blake Horstmann wrote, alongside a photo of himself on the beach. He continued, "I hope that this is not the end of my story and I can look back at this summer and be grateful for the lessons learned and the friends made," adding the hashtag #imstillgoingtostagecoach.