From the second they met on the beach, Bachelor in Paradise contestants Kenny Braasch and Mari Pepin forged an instant connection. Kenny, in particular, was so enamored with her that he shielded his fellow contestants’ eyes from Mari upon her arrival — a very physical calling of dibs. The budding couple leaned into the laidback vibes of the beach, spending time together and talking about their compatibility right away. (Mari, a marketing director, told Kenny that she prefers to date older guys, which was good news for Kenny, who is 40 and proud.)
Kenny and Mari’s quick coupling allowed them to bypass much of the early BiP drama, but, of course, their beach bliss has been tested. As viewers saw in the Aug. 30 episode, Demi Burnett made out with Kenny right in front of Mari, who accused Demi of betraying her (they had just shared a heart-to-heart about Mari’s ambivalence). Mari even threw Demi’s cake in the beach bonfire in anger. The drama continued, of course, when Tia entered the love triangle-turned-square and the relationship seemed more precarious than ever.
Despite all these obstacles, though, Kenny and Mari seem to be over the drama. In the Sept. 7 episode, the pair reconciled and decided they’d be happy leaving the beach together. They didn’t do that, of course, but the message remains the same. They’re committed! “I’ve been about you the whole time ... what I wanted was to feel 100 percent at the end of this,” Mari told Kenny. “And going through this gave me that.” And Kenny, for his part, apologized (sort of) for spending so much time with Demi, which he was not expecting to do.
Sure, there’s always the potential for more conflict. But a few clues point to them being one of the BiP Season 7 endgame couples, so until the season finale airs, it’s time to dive into a little research. Potential Season 7 spoilers ahead.
According to a June 30 report from spoiler-happy Reality Steve, Kenny and Mari get engaged by the end of the season. But if you don’t want to bet on Steve’s intel, which also mentioned the Kenny-Demi-Mari love triangle that’s apparently about to unfold, there are even more clues about Kenny and Mari’s current relationship status.
As Cosmopolitan pointed out, BiP itself might have hinted toward the engagement with an inadvertent trailer shot, as relayed via the bachelornation.scoop Instagram. In the Aug. 16 promo, someone’s holding a ring box. Even though you can’t see the unidentified figure’s face, they are sporting a chain that looks a lot like Kenny’s, pointing toward a potential match for the model-slash-boy band manager by the end of Season 7.
Though Kenny and Mari haven’t been spotted together in the weeks since BiP finished filming, a diary entry she recently posted on Instagram could point to something significant between the couple. “Decided to share parts of my BiP journal,” Mari wrote, sharing her thoughts about arrival day.
Most of the details are unremarkable — “It’s really hot here,” she wrote — but others are blacked out entirely, suggesting that Mari’s thoughts from that first day could be seen as spoilers. Due to the mention of quarantining, it seems like Mari’s entry might refer to a time between arriving on the island and meeting her fellow contestants. But even if this wasn’t from the exact day she met Kenny, the obstructed text could still point to something spoiler-y about their relationship. As franchise alum Bibiana Julian told the Us Weekly Here for the Right Reasons podcast, gossip about who’s who on the beach tends to fly. “The girls probably talked to one another,” she explained, “you kind of hear rumors of, like, ‘OK, this person is going to be there. This person is going to be here.’”
Another Instagram clue points to a comment by Demi on Mari’s Aug. 30 Instagram post, in which Mari poses with a cake sans shirt. “Riley is somewhere fuming,” Demi joked, seemingly conveying that the women are OK with each other. That definitely doesn’t confirm Mari and Kenny’s relationship, but if they didn’t end up together, wouldn’t it be difficult to be friendly with the third point in your tumultuous triangle?
Despite these clues, there will surely be plenty of drama (and sweet moments, too) leading up to the potential engagement between Kenny and Mari. Only time, and possibly more clues, will tell if they’re for sure together post-BiP.
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