Bachelor Nation
Michael Allio in 'Bachelor In Paradise' Season 8

Here's The Tea On How Michael & Danielle Knew Each Other Pre-Paradise

They have a common bond that could bring them together.

ABC/Craig Sjodin

Just when it seemed like Michael Allio was on his way out on the Oct. 18 episode, a Bachelor In Paradise miracle occurred. There was no one left to give Michael a rose at the end of the pre-ceremony cocktail party, and he was prepared to say his goodbyes... until Danielle Maltby suddenly appeared on the beach. Michael was excited to see Danielle, and not just because she was his last chance at a rose that night. It turns out, Michael and Danielle actually knew each other even before BIP Season 8, and he was happy to see a friendly, familiar face.

Danielle has been a part of Bachelor Nation since she was a contestant in Nick Viall’s season of The Bachelor, and as we all know, Bachelor Nation is pretty small. Alums wind up crossing paths all the time, even when they’re not on Paradise together, and that was apparently the case for Michael and Danielle. “We have spoken before, just as friends,” Michael explained. “We have a little bit of history, but until you actually meet somebody, you don’t know what it feels like. And it feels good. It feels like something.”

Michael and Danielle explained on the show that before Paradise, they talked on Instagram after connecting over their shared experiences of grief. Michael lost his wife before he was on Katie Thurston’s season of The Bachelorette; Danielle lost her fiancé before she went on The Bachelor. After the two recognized their common bond, they ended up connecting — just as friends, they insisted on the show.

“If you can resonate with someone who understands what you’re going through when you lose a loved one, it’s great to feel like you’re not alone,” Michael said.

Later in the episode, Danielle and Michael got to go on a 1-on-1 date, where they further bonded. Danielle opened up about her guilt over surviving her fiancé, while Michael shared how he has trouble opening up now. “I can only be with people who have scars,” Michael said.

Michael also asked Danielle what she thinks her late fiancé would want for her. “I think he’d want me to be in a safe relationship, and that’s what I’m looking for,” she answered.

Michael and Danielle ended the date with a lot of hope for their future together thanks to their shared experiences. Fans will have to see whether their friendship blossoms into something more on the show.

Season 8 of Bachelor In Paradise airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.