Another season of Bachelor in Paradise has come to end. On Thursday, season 9 of the Bachelor spinoff came to a close in dramatic fashion, resulting in two engagements, two happy couples and two breakups.
Before the final couples made decisions about their future, both Jess and Mercedes decided to leave Paradise seeing that their long-term connections to Blake and Tyler, respectively, had fizzled. The women’s decision also sent Tanner and Jordan home, seeing that there were no other singles left on the beach.
That left Aaron and Eliza, John Henry and Kat, Aven and Kylee, Peter and Sam, and Michael and Olivia to figure out where they stood before Fantasy Suites and potential proposals.
Keep reading to see how the final five couples fared in Paradise — and to learn about one shocking new couple in Bachelor Nation.
Aaron and Eliza
The strong couple was thrilled to land a date card and spend time together at a Shaman-led fire ceremony and sweat lodge. They each opened up about their fear of rejection, before professing that they were falling in love with each other.
It came as no surprise that they agreed to continue their relationship when it came time to make that decision. During their overnight date, Aaron told Eliza “I am in love with you,” and she returned the sentiment.
Eliza went to sleep nervous about a potential engagement, but Aaron handled her worries well and woke up “feeling pretty damn good.” As for Eliza, she struggled with whether or not she could get engaged without her family’s input. Her fears were allayed when, during his proposal speech, Aaron revealed that he spoke to Eliza’s mom on the phone.
“I am just so lucky and grateful to be here,” he said, before getting down on one knee and asking, “Eliza, will you marry me?” She agreed, and the pair joyfully celebrated their love.
However, things got rocky after Paradise as a “Where Are They Now?” update revealed, “Aaron and Eliza’s engagement has hit some speed bumps since they left the beach. They are actively working on their relationship and trying to figure things out.”
John Henry and Kat
John Henry and Kat were surprised with a date card, and they made the most of their paddleboarding date, as Kat opened up about her tumultuous childhood and time in a group home and John Henry got candid about his struggle with depression.
“I’m definitely falling for Kat and I think the next step for us is potentially having an engagement here,” John Henry told the cameras, with Kat adding in a confessional of her own, “I’m done dating. I’ve literally found my person.”
Talk of the future filled the couple’s ongoing conversations, leading them to decide to stay in Paradise. During the Fantasy Suite, the pair only grew closer, but when proposal day arrived, John Henry was unsure if he’d get down on one knee.
“The connection that I have at this point is the deepest connection I’ve ever had. My heart’s telling me to get engaged, but my gut’s telling me don’t do it. My gut’s telling me it’s too soon… I usually follow my gut. That’s the problem,” he told the cameras. “… We definitely took a big step forward last night, but was it a big enough step to make me jump all in? I don’t know.”
When it came time for the proposal, though, Kat and John Henry expressed their love for each other.
“I am fully, wholeheartedly in love with you. Completely. And that’s so crazy to say,” Kat said. “Being with you, it feels like it’s a love that only comes once in a lifetime. Just know that I love you, John Henry and I want you forever.”
John Henry agreed, telling Kat, “I’ve always kind of trusted my gut and I feel like in life it’s helped me at times. Right now, my gut’s telling me that it’s too soon, a lot of what ifs? Is this real? But right now, I’m going to try something a little different. I’m following my heart today. My heart is telling me you’re amazing, you are everything that I’m looking for. I really do see a future with you. I’m not falling in love, I am in love with you too. With that being said, Kat, will you marry me?”
She accepted the proposal and things have been going well for the couple ever since, as the show revealed, “Kat and John Henry remain happily engaged. They are moving to San Diego and planning a happy life together.”
Aven and Kylee
The biggest drama of the finale came courtesy of Kylee and Aven, who’d long been one of the strongest couples on the beach. The problem, though, came because Aven was questioning if he could pop the question, which Kylee was expecting of him.
Aven tried to repeatedly reassure Kylee that he wanted to be with her, but maintained her want for a proposal.
“If he has any type of love for me and he knows he sees a future with me, then why not do this for me?” Kylee questioned in a confessional. “I know what I deserve and I know what I want. I don’t know if I, in this moment, see a future with him if he’s not on the road to desiring what I want.”
Aven, however, held firm in his position, telling the cameras, “I told her how I feel and she gets to decide if that’s worth it or not. I put myself out there. I have done what I came here to do, and that’s meet, who I think, is the love of my life, my person, and I want to start a life together… I think it’s enough where we’re at. If she’s willing to throw this all away over, I guess that sums it up.”
Kylee continued to push her point of view, telling Aven, “I’m literally telling you, ‘It’s you.’ I’m literally telling that to you. You can’t even have an open mind about that. You were willing to take the next steps with Rachel [Recchia]. You were willing to do Fantasy Suites with her. You were willing to do those things. You were in that headspace then, but you’re not willing to get into that headspace with me, someone that you said you’re the most happiest with. You have to understand where I’m having doubt.”
Aven continued to ask Kylee to “trust” in him that their relationship would survive outside of Paradise without an engagement, and Kylee eventually agreed, albeit reluctantly and tearfully.
The decision turned out to be a good one, as the “Where Are They Now?” revealed, “Kylee’s patience paid off and she and Aven have blossomed as a couple. It’s nothing but [fire emoji] from here on out.”
Brayden and… Christina?!
Though Brayden wasn’t one of the final people on the beach, the “Where Are They Now?” portion of the finale revealed that he’s found love with Christina, who appeared on Zach Shallcross‘ season of The Bachelor.
“Brayden is dating Christina from Zach’s season,” the screen read, as photos of the unexpected couple were shown. “Brayden is teaching Christina’s daughter how to accessorize.”
Peter and Sam
Peter went into his finale conversation with Sam with the hope that they would love together, telling her, “I hope you know how much I value you and care about you.”
Sam didn’t return the sentiment, though, telling Peter, “I owe you, I owe myself, honesty. When I see how far the other couples have come.. I feel like we should’ve been further along when it comes to our connection… I want an intense, unwavering love. I’m so grateful for our time together, but it doesn’t feel right to continue this relationship.”
They ended things with a hug, and a “shocked” Peter was driven away in tears as he dreamed about one day being in love.
Michael and Olivia
Things appeared to be going well for Michael and Olivia, and when the time came for their serious conversation, Olivia laid it all on the table.
“I feel like we click together very well,” she said. “I could definitely see myself with you.”
Michael, however, shot her down, explaining, “In my time here, I appreciate every moment and the quality time that we shared. You also know that I’m very much a realist. I always said that I don’t want to give you any false hope. I don’t want you to feel like I’m leading you on in any way. Our worlds are in two very different places right now. In terms of leaving in a relationship or going to Fantasy Suites, I just don’t think that’s where we’re at right now.”
Olivia left the beach in tears, lamenting, “I’m constantly there for other people, so I’m just wondering, will someone be there for me? I hope so.”