It's probably about time we stop talking about Blake Horstmann, arguably the biggest lightning rod character of season six of Bachelor in Paradise. But first, let's take one last look at some of the events that unfolded from Stagecoach to the the stage of the reunion and make a final determination on how should we feel about Horstmann now that the show is, as Horstmann wrote on Instagram, "in the rear view mirror."
While we can debate whether certain actions of Horstmann were acceptable, it's clear he wasn't trying to play up a character for the show. He was as portrayed, a guy with enough of a combination of good looks and charming personality to date nearly any woman in Paradise, but whose combustible reputation slowly crumbled any chance he had of falling in love. It wasn't necessarily his decision to sleep with Caelynn Miller-Keyes and Kristina Schulman in back-to-back nights at Stagecoach that led to his eventual downfall. It was his insistence on making himself seem like the victim of every situation when he found himself invested in multiple relationships in Paradise. The word "drama" is the most overused term in The Bachelor dictionary, but for Horstmann, the entire experience played out like a melodrama. When he and Miller-Keyes were involved in a contentious misunderstanding about the nature of their relationship - one that Horstmann was still struggling to explain at the reunion - Horstmann took to Instagram to reveal their text conversations. It was a move that did neither any favors. From the Miller-Keyes saga in the show's first few episodes to the Schulman break-up that led to his exit, Horstmann delivered his best woe-is-me performance to the cameras, acting as though life as he knew it would never be the same. Again, the sobbing and sulking didn't seem disingenuous, just out of touch with reality.
In his latest Instagram post, Horstmann thanked his followers for their support. He wrote, "I'm excited to move forward with a new outlook." Fans offered words of encouragement with messages like, "You stood up for yourself just like any other human would, never apologize for that" and "❤️ you Blake! Keep being you!"
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I want to thank everyone for the incredible support last night. It really truly does mean the world. It wasn’t easy sitting in that seat knowing what was coming. I‘m excited to move forward with a new outlook and leave BIP in the rear view mirror #bachelorinparadise #bekind #betterthingstocome
Horstmann doesn't need to apologize for the way he behaved on Bachelor in Paradise. His romances with Miller-Keyes (pre-show), Tayshia Adams, Hannah Godwin, Caitlin Clemmens, and Schulman, were each the result of a protean man scrambling to find a serious relationship in a limited amount of time when he wasn't prepared to be in one in the first place. It's like handing a basketball to a 7-foot center with 10 seconds left down three points and expecting him to sink a shot that he's ill-equipped to take. Horstmann was put in a situation that exploited his weaknesses, and he wasn't willing to pass the ball when it was glaringly obvious this wasn't his lane.
What made Horstmann so polarizing was that his words and actions were never simpatico. He spoke of wanting to fall in love, but his feelings for the women in Mexico shifted so frequently that his message was hard to believe. If he'd said that he just wanted to be in Paradise to have fun, and maybe even stir up some controversy, perhaps every one of his misdeeds wouldn't be viewed under a magnifying glass. This was never more clear than his relationship with Schulman, when Horstmann said that he realized it was her all along. Had he not put so much immediate pressure on her to start dating him after he'd shown no interest in her in the past, maybe the two could have reconciled. But he wanted Schulman to immediately commit to him. For Schulman, who had sincere interest in Horstmann, it was an impossible request to accept because she knew from past experience that it was only a matter of time before he changed his mind.
Horstmann is not a victim in all this. But he is also hardly a villain. He was simply a man who put himself in a situation that set him up for failure. He is not a bad guy so much as he is a flawed person in relationships. Horstmann shouldn't go on a dating show like someone who can hardly make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich shouldn't go on a cooking show. Then again, for all his over-the-top soliloquies and inexplicable fear of the waves touching his feet when he was walking on the beach, Horstmann was entertaining. If Bachelor in Paradise was full of people who were actually at the point in their lives where they were ready to get married, the summer sensation we've all grown to love wouldn't exist.
Source: Blake Horstmann