Not over it. Blake Horstmann opened up about the lasting effects of his tumultuous turn on Bachelor in Paradise last year.
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The reality star, 31, revisited his season 6 drama after Chris Randone asked if he would ever appear on the spinoff again. “Paradise would be really hard for me, just the environment. Like, honestly, I think it was so hard for me down there,” he explained during the Monday, August 24, episode of his “Behind the Rose” podcast. “I have, like, PTSD, and I obviously don’t mean that as in, like, Vietnam, Army, like whatever, but I do when I start thinking about being back down on that beach. Like, my heart races, my palms sweat.”
The TV personality caused controversy on the Bachelor spinoff Bachelor in Paradise when it was revealed that he pursued multiple women — including Caelynn Miller-Keyes, Hannah Godwin and Kristina Schulman — ahead of filming. He then made headlines in August 2019 after he released private text messages between him and the former Miss North Carolina USA, 25, from the night they had sex at the Stagecoach Festival three months earlier.
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“It was just such a rough and horrible experience for me down there on that beach that being down there again in that environment, I just don’t think that I could do it,” Horstmann admitted on Monday. “I think that I’d have anxiety attacks. Like, I really do. So I don’t know if I could do actually Paradise down on that beach, but I still believe in the show, man.”
Horstmann then elaborated on his faith in the franchise. “I wish I didn’t, man,” he said. “And I know now a lot more, obviously, than I did when I was on Bachelorette. Like, I know a lot that is fake and there’s a lot of editing that goes into a lot of situations, but I still think you can find somebody. I still do. I mean, you fell in love, man. I fell in love with Becca [Kufrin], you fell in love on Paradise. Like, it can happen, and that, in the back of my mind, I’m like, ‘F—k, man, I don’t know. Would I go back on?’”
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Randone, 32, who is in the midst of a divorce from his BiP costar Krystal Nielson, noted that his fellow Bachelorette alum might be “able to thrive better a second time around” because he would be “able to block out the noise and just really get to know someone.”
Horstmann agreed that his knowledge of the experience could be beneficial. “I would definitely go in way more aware of what’s happening around me and what the producers are doing, but that could also be a bad thing,” he suggested. “A girl’s like, ‘Yeah, I’m into you,’ and I think, ‘OK, which producer told you to f—king say that? Which one of you f—kers told her to say that?’ Like, I think I would have walls up. It might backfire.”
Horstmann announced in July that he was dating someone. “We’re going slow and everything, that kind of thing,” he said on the “Let’s Talk About It With Taylor Nolan” podcast. “But yeah, we’re keeping it private.”