It was too little too late for Kristina Schulman when Blake Horstmann finally decided to turn his attention towards her on Bachelor in Paradise. After pursuing Hannah Godwin, Tayshia Adams, and Caitlin Clemmens on the show, Blake decided that what he wanted had been in front of him the whole time.
He tried to plan a romantic date for Kristina, but she gently let him down. Both of them ended up leaving the show separately during the Sept. 9 episode, despite Blake feeling sure that he and Kristina were fated. And, unfortunately for the Stagecoach Festival MVP, after Bachelor in Paradise, Kristina and Blake seem to be friends, but nothing more.
Being friends is also how they left things on Paradise — or at least how Kristina left things. "I don't think I'll be able to get where I need to get with you," she told Blake on the episode. "I'm sorry. Like, I really did not want to upset you." It was easy to see that Kristina felt bad that she couldn't return Blake's feelings (don't worry, he's sure to find someone at Stagecoach 2020), because the two of them are friends. She may have given him grief at times on the show, but she was also invested in him finding love. That's part of why she kept giving him roses, so he could stay on the show longer.
Post-show, Blake has been pretty quiet on social media ever since he released his texts with Caelynn Miller-Keyes and got slammed for doing so. Kristina came to his defense in that matter, though, commenting on his Instagram, "Speak your truth, no one can take that away from you." On Twitter, she also defended giving him those "friendship" roses on the show in order to let him stick around. "I have a big heart what can I say. EVERYONE DESERVES LOVE," she wrote. She added that she and Blake were still friends and she wanted the best for him. She wrote, "Ultimately, I care about people. Blake and I have been friends for the past year, yes I give him shit and he's very well aware but he came on the show to find love & I believed he deserved to stay."
She also posted on her Instagram stories (and later Tweeted) in defense of Blake when she noticed fans directing hate towards him. "[What struck me most] is how many Blake haters are out there (who don't even know him personally!)," she wrote. "We, as contestants on this show, opened up our lives, our hearts, and minds for your enjoyment (and criticism) but death threats because you don't like someone is just UNACCEPTABLE."
He hasn't been as vocal since the texts incident, but Blake did post a lengthy Instagram caption after leaving Paradise. In it, he talked about how he had learned a lot and was grateful to those who sent kind words along the way and that he would still be going to Stagecoach next year (oh, Blake).
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To say paradise was rough for me is an understatement. I have no one to blame but myself for that. It’s not easy putting yourself and all of your mistakes out there for the world to see. No matter the differences all of us had on that beach, I will always have respect for each and every one of you, being brave enough to be yourselves and chase the love we all feel we deserve. Never forget that we are all human and not characters on television. I want to thank those of you that have sent me kind words and encouraging messages. Those have helped more than you will ever know. 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 #bekind #imstillnotgonnastopdancing #imstillgoingtostagecoach
Kristina and Blake still follow each other on Instagram but she hasn't yet liked or commented on that picture. She has liked and commented on some of his other ones, and Blake has liked several of her post-show shots as well.
Based on everything Kristina has tweeted, she seems to stand by Blake to this day as his friend — but nothing more. Unless, you know, Stagecoach gets the better of them in 2020.