UPDATE: This article was originally published on Aug. 5, 2019.
While the main Bachelor series focus on one person's journey, Bachelor In Paradise is a free-for-all of Bachelor Nation love — at least, that’s what Blake Horstmann seems to think Paradise is.
Blake, a fan favorite from Becca Kufrin's Bachelorette season, begins season 6 of Bachelor in Paradise already steeped in drama. He has apparently hooked up with a few season 6 contestants, which creates drama immediately, especially after he sets his sights set on yet another Bachelor alum, Hannah Godwin, and then goes out with Tayshia Adams instead.
But let's back it up: does Blake even know Hannah G.? Hannah, for those who've forgotten, is the woman who was left alone during fantasy suite night on Colton Underwood’s season to journal, because Colton never actually showed up. When Paradise begins, nearly every guy says they've come to the beach hoping to meet her, and Hannah seems excited to connect with Blake, who she seems to imply she's just meeting for the first time. But as the episode goes on, that explanation wears a little thin.
Bachelor Nation in general finds its alumni dating and mingling quite frequently, but there is no moss growing on Blake. He publicly dated Kristina Schulman, something both have confirmed in various interviews, but apparently, their hookups overlapped with Blake and Caelynn Miller-Keyes hooking up at the Southern California country music festival Stagecoach.
Both women are in Paradise the same time as Blake, who sets his sights on Hannah G., greets with her a huge, familiar hug, and then proceeds to ask out Tayshia, leaving Hannah extremely confused and, in her words, "blindsided."
It turns out, that's because Blake reached out to Hannah a week before Paradise to get to know her early, and then flew to Birmingham, Alabama to see her. Hannah explains that he made his romantic intentions clear and that they kissed. She says she didn't know what else was going on with him, but begins to cry when Tayshia asks why Hannah chose to hide her previous connection with Blake.
Blake doesn't explain how he knew Hannah, but it does seem that they have a past connection, based on their very familiar first greeting, that is remaining unspoken. Caelynn says that while she was with Blake, she witnessed him DMing Hannah on some form of social media, but that's about as much detail as we get. Blake also says that he met a lot of the Bachelor women at Stagecoach when he was "drunk," but it doesn't appear that Hannah attended the festival in 2019 (she did go to Coachella earlier that month and Instagrammed up a storm). If you're into possible spoilers, Reality Steve posted some possible explanations and more detail about Blake and Hannah's friendliness, but only time will tell how much of that is real or makes it to air.
Whatever Blake was thinking when he didn't pick Hannah, there is clearly something between the two of them that makes it very weird that he didn't pick Hannah for his date card, only to pursue her after he was called out by Caelynn and dumped by Tayshia. Something is going on, and that something only gets more intriguing as Blake continues to go through the BIP cast like the kid who wants to test every piece of chocolate in a Whitman’s sampler.