The third episode of Bachelor in Paradise marked the arrival of a fan favorite from Tayshia Adams’ Bachelorette season: Riley Christian and his biceps. Riley, aka “the entire reason” Tahzjuan is in Paradise, caught the attention of several women on the beach. But he ultimately decided to take Maurissa Gunn on his one-on-one date, and the two really hit it off.
Riley and Maurissa’s date looked like a scene straight out of Fear Factor. Guest host Lance Bass moderated a gnarly truth or dare interview: if the two didn’t want to answer a question, they had to eat things like live bugs or animal body parts. They made the most out of the date, linking arms while feeding each other tongue and tripe. Despite the awkward start to the “meal,” the date progressed quickly. In an intimate moment, Maurissa opened up about her previous struggles with body image, sharing that she gained 80 pounds during a tough time and that people treated her differently because of it. Riley responded that she’s “beautiful now” and that though he didn’t know her at the time, she was “beautiful then” too.
Maurissa clearly responded to that, and the episode ended with her and Riley hooking up in the notorious Boom Boom Room. Cut to Connor B. — who gave his first rose to Maurissa — strumming his ukelele solo. Poor guy.
At the rate they’re going, it seems like Riley and Maurissa’s spark won’t fade anytime soon. The two even act as a unit, sharing similar thoughts regarding the situations of certain heartbroken beachgoers. During the Sept. 6 episode, Riley and Maurissa came to Natasha Parker’s defense after Brendan Morais dumped her for Pieper James, who he was apparently already seeing prior to the show.
In the following episode, the two spoke up for yet another castmate. This time it was Jessenia Cruz, who fell victim to Chris Conran and new-entrant Alana Milne’s pre-BiP plotting (yes, just like Brendan and Pieper). Watching the two kiss right in front of Jessenia, Riley exclaimed, “That's just one of the most disgusting, dishonorable things that you can do to somebody.” When Chris was being mopey, Riley added, “The man is a clown … He has no honor.” As the episode progressed, he and Joe Amabile confronted Chris, telling him, "It's time for you to pack your sh*t.” (He did. Alana too.)
Though they haven’t been spotted together in public since the show, rumors suggest that their future is bright. The two don’t currently follow each other on Instagram — not a great sign considering that Riley follows most of the other BiP cast members. Maurissa is the same, but she at least follows Connor, signaling no bad blood between the two. Still, they both posted about each other after the episode aired, with Maurissa calling her time with Riley the “best first date ever.” Perhaps the pair are just playing coy about where they stand after the show.
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