'Bachelor in Paradise': Blake Horstmann Calls Out Toxic Environment

is blake returning to bachelor in paradise
credit: @balockaye.h/Instagram

Now that Blake Horstmann is off-contract, he’s not holding back his true feelings about Bachelor Nation.

In particular, Blake expressed his disdain for Bachelor in Paradise. In a Q&A on Instagram, he explained to fans why he won’t be returning for season 7. He said,

“I didn’t want to go back to an environment that breeds toxicity and emotional abuse. I didn’t want to put my life in the hands of people that don’t really have your best interest in mind. It’s like having a life coach who pushed you to do all the wrong things.”

He added,

“I decided my mental health was more important than some followers and engagement.”

blake horstmann bachelor in paradise
Credit: ABC/Craig Sjodin

It’s certainly understandable that Blake wouldn’t want to return to BiP, especially after his last experience.

Fans will remember that Blake last appeared on the show on season 6 in 2019. His storyline mostly focused on his playboy history, particularly the Stagecoach incident, in which he slept with both Caelynn-Miller Keyes and Kristina Schulman in one weekend. At the same time, he was also flirting with Tayshia Adams and texting with Hannah Godwin.

Naturally, this did not play out well on national television. He ended up quitting the show in week 5.

bachelor in paradise cast
Credit: ABC/Craig Sjodin

Since then, Blake has been vocal about his time on the series. In September 2019, shortly after the show aired, Blake wrote on Instagram,

“To say paradise was rough for me is an understatement.”

Although he initially took the blame for his poor experience on the show, he later accused the producers of manipulating him.

In March 2020, he again took to Instagram, where he wrote that he “still had pretty bad PTSD” from the last season.

He added,

“It’s hard for me to trust anybody now let alone producers and anyone in front of the cameras.”

He also relayed a story in which the producers spent an hour convincing him to take Tayshia on his first date instead of Hannah G.

is blake horstmann returning to bachelor in paradise season 7
Credit: ABC/Craig Sjodin

All in all, it sounds like Blake is ready to move on from the franchise. He explained,

“I’ll always be grateful [for] what the show has allowed me to do. But I also don’t want to be defined by the show. I hope years from now, people won’t say ‘Blake from Bachelorette‘… just Blake.”

Blake Horstmann originally appeared on the 14th season of The Bachelorette with Becca Kufrin as the lead. He was the runner-up.

Bachelor in Paradise season 7 premieres August 16, 2021, on ABC. You can check out the full cast here.


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Lena Finkel
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and Vanderpump Rules. When she's not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her hanging out with her tuxedo cat Tom.