Though her tumultuous relationship was at the center of Bling Empire Season 1, Kelly Mi Li strutted into Season 2 announcing that she broke up with Andrew Gray after five years together. She initially posted about the news on Instagram on March 9, 2021. "I have a tremendous amount of respect and love for him and will always cherish the memories we made," Kelly wrote in a now deleted post, per People. "However, we have made the difficult decision to officially separate at this point in our lives. We are both so grateful to have experienced a relationship that allowed us to grow and learn so much.”
Compared to the drama that unfolded between Kevin Kreider and Kim Lee, Kelly’s story mostly took a backseat this season, and Andrew didn’t seem as though he’d be a part of the show. But there were a few scenes in Season 2 that explored how Kelly was feeling post-breakup. “Drew and I are done for good, but it’s still very hard,” Kelly admitted to her therapist. “I’ve had a lot of nights already by myself that I’ve cried a lot, really grieved. Not just for him or our relationship, but grieving the time I lost.” She explained that she stayed with him because she was always “hoping he could be the person he said he could be,” and she believed if he ever got it together they could have gotten married and had kids. Now, she felt “scared to start over,” knowing that she’s 35 years old and feeling the pressure to have a family as soon as possible.
She also opened up about how she’s learned to reevaluate the men in her life. She finally realized that her father was “weak” for leaving her mom to raise her by herself because he preferred to go back to having an easy life in China rather than care for his family in America. Her therapist emphasized that was a good breakthrough, as part of her healing process meant she couldn’t “keep making excuses for the men in her life” and repeating the same mistakes.
Kelly agreed, saying that in the past she was always looking to relationships to define her, but now she wants to be different. She said she spent a lot of time reflecting on her relationship with Andrew, whose verbal abuse of her was caught on camera in Season 1. “I definitely know that that’s not the type of person I want to ever be with,” she said.
She reiterated throughout the season that she now wants to have more self confidence, and even connected with a sex therapist in order to feel more grounded. It seemed like Kelly had truly moved on from Andrew, but — spoilers ahead —the show threw a wrench in that plan right at the end of the Season 2. In the final moments, a figure appeared and rang the doorbell at Anna’s house. When Anna’s friend Maria went to answer the door, Andrew walked in with a bouquet of flowers, asking how she’s doing. Anna was clearly shocked at his reappearance, and then the screen cut to black.
It’s an unfortunate way to tease excitement for another season, as many viewers have pointed out that Andrew’s actions are textbook abusive, which made Season 1 extremely hard to watch as their toxic relationship was sandwiched in between much lighter fare. Compared to the rest of the group’s drama over penis pumps and gaudy necklaces, there’s nothing trite or funny about the way Andrew treated Kelly, as many of her own friends pointed out in Season 1. (For his part, Andrew said that the Bling Empire editing was "a set-up” and "a manipulation” that “[didn’t] reflect our relationship at all.”)
It’s important to note that Kelly is listed as one of the show’s executive producers, so Andrew’s reappearance suggests that they are at least on speaking terms with each other. But it’s unclear why she would agree to have him on the show again, especially after her arc this season was about her healing from that relationship. Are we supposed to assume that Kelly and Andrew are back together? Is this a set-up for him to woo her in a third season? The creators may think that they’re hooking fans for another season, but we’ll have to wait and see if bringing back such a disliked cast member actually drives viewers away.