Bachelor In Paradise is known for a lot of silly drama, but every now and then the drama takes a more serious turn. Real emotional connections can happen on the beach, but then if and when those connections end, it can be rough for everyone. Sierra Jackson had a strong relationship going with Michael Allio, but in the Oct. 10 episode of BIP, they had a super emotional breakup. In fact, Sierra was so emotional about the breakup that she decided to leave Bachelor In Paradise for good.
Sierra and Michael hit it off right away at the beginning of BIP Season 8. They spent a lot of time connecting in a really deep way. Michael shared a lot of his experience as a widower and a single dad with Sierra, and she showed her support for him. “Sierra is somebody that if you’ve ever met her, she just has so much energy,” Michael told the Bachelor Nation website. “She is gorgeous and incredibly beautiful inside and out. We were able to have so many conversations and it got deep really quickly.”
However, that deep connection may have moved a bit too quickly for Michael. He said during the episode, “We’ve accelerated so quickly. I gotta admit, it also scares me.”
As far as Sierra was concerned, though, she only had eyes for Michael and was ready to fully commit to him. She told Michael, “We don’t want to look at other options because we found something that we’ve been searching for.”
Michael realized he was being guarded around Sierra, partly because of his grief. He explained that, since his wife passed, when he starts to get close to someone, he pushes them away because he’s scared of feeling loss again.
Toward the end of the episode, Sierra took Michael to a private bed to stargaze. The stars sparkled almost as brightly as her stunning body glitter as she gave him a truly thoughtful gift: She named a group of stars after Michael, his late wife Laura, and his son James. Michael was touched by the gif, but he also told Sierra he felt like something was missing and he didn’t want to hurt Sierra during her journey to find healing.
Sierra was respectful of Michael’s decision, and after they broke up, she went to the bar and very quietly told everyone she was going to head home. She said that when you care about someone you need to “respect what they need.”
But Sierra also respected her own needs. “I also don’t want to see him dating other people, so I want to go home and be with my family,” she said through tears as she left the beach.
Sierra provided even more clarity about her departure from the show on social media following the episode’s airing. “I had enough self-awareness to recognize that staying on the beach wasn’t in my best interest,” Sierra wrote in part on her Instagram story. “So I left. I didn’t want to possible get involved in a love triangle down the line and it would’ve been cruel to use another man as a rebound.”
She shared her full statement on Twitter as well, along with a follow-up tweet calling for fans to respect Michael’s decision to end things.
All in all, it was a super sad self-elimination, but also a really mature one, without any of the fighting that usually accompanies BIP breakups. Maybe the rest of the BIP cast can take a few notes.
Season 8 of Bachelor In Paradise airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
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