Most of Blake Horstmann's Bachelor in Paradise experience seemed far from ideal this season. Within days of arriving in Mexico, he flirted with several women, while two other contestants revealed they hooked up with him within 24 hours of each other at the Stagecoach country music festival earlier in the year. The former Bachelorette runner-up finally left the show in Sept. 9's episode, and Blake's post-Bachelor in Paradise Instagram reveals a lot about his current state of mind.
When Blake returned to the Bachelor franchise at the start of Paradise Season 6, he expressed interest in both Tayshia Adams and Hannah Godwin, and he asked Tayshia out on a date first. Hannah later revealed Blake had visited her in Alabama before filming began, which consequently led to her brief love triangle with Blake and her current Paradise beau Dylan Barbour. Meanwhile, Caelynn Miller-Keyes and Kristina Schulman both revealed they had spent time with Blake at Stagecoach, which took place in April 2019.
At the festival, Blake reportedly hooked up with Kristina, his ex, the night before doing the same with Caelynn, who claimed Blake was then messaging Hannah G. from their shared bed the next morning. Caelynn also said Blake called their hookup as a mistake and he wanted to keep the encounter a secret. She later confronted Blake in a fiery scene that prompted the Bachelorette alum to share text messages from that fateful weekend in real time in attempt to explain his side of the story. (Caelynn, of course, had a response to that as well.)
Once the Stagecoach storm more or less blew over, Blake realized he still had feelings for Kristina, who wasn't so receptive to his romantic vibes. In Sept. 9's episode, she gently turned him down, saying, "I don't think I'll be able to get where I need to get with you ... I literally came to Paradise wanting you to find love. I didn't think you'd be coming my way."
A weepy, blindsided Blake left the beach immediately after Kristina did. On Instagram, he opened up about his Paradise difficulties.
In a lengthy caption, he wrote:
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.
Blake meeting what seemed like every Bachelor woman at Stagecoach eventually became a running gag on the show. Ending his message on an optimistic note, he included several hashtags hinting where people will likely find him when next year's festival rolls around.
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
Somewhere, a dozen Bachelor contestant hopefuls are marking their calendars for April 2020.
While it's good to see Blake poking fun at himself, he definitely isn't hiding the internal conflict he's faced this summer. "Never forget that we are all human and not characters on television," he wrote in his Instagram caption.
The Stagecoach publicity team may be forever indebted to Blake's free promotion of their event, but it sounds like he wants to put some of that festival frenzy behind him. Kudos to him for recognizing his mistakes, wanting to improve, and tossing in a laugh for good measure.
Season 6 of Bachelor in Paradise continues at 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Sept. 10, on ABC.