Some fans feel Demi Burnett and her girlfriend Kristian Haggerty should have left Bachelor in Paradise since they were dating prior to filming. The two are choosing to remain in Mexico, however, despite already finding love, and despite the fact that Haggerty is not a contestant.
Bachelor in Paradise is a dating competition show that brings former Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants together in a Mexican resort to see if they can find love. One major talking point of the latest season is that it features its first same-sex relationship, Burnett and Haggerty. While Burnett came on the show alone - she was a contestant from Colton Underwood's season of The Bachelor - and hit it off with fellow cast member Derek Peth, her girlfriend, who she was seeing prior to the show, joined the cast. Haggerty has been invited to stay in Mexico and pursue Burnett, even though she isn't a member of Bachelor Nation. Now, some viewers are saying they think the couple should've left instead.
In the latest episode Bachelor in Paradise, Haggerty surprised Burnett in Mexico. When Burnett saw her, she immediately broke down into tears, realizing she still had very strong feelings for Haggerty. Then she ended things with Peth, and she and Haggerty went on their first one-on-one date. Only it wasn't their actual first date, since they'd been dating prior to appearing on the series. They also exchanged "I love yous" on the date, for what didn't seem like the first time. A lot of fans think it's rude that Bachelor in Paradise producers would keep Burnett and Haggerty around, forcing Peth to watch their love unfold.
Some people suggested they send the two women home, since they'd clearly already found love outside the show, and instead give Peth a date card and a chance to find love. Others have compared Burnett to Jed Wyatt, who was a in a serious relationship before going on Hannah Brown's season of The Bachelorette. Burnett has struck back at this criticism, saying it's not at all the same because she's been open and honest throughout the process. Her supporters are defending her, saying that it's about time the show had a same-sex couple and that that alone is reason enough to keep the two women around. For fans in the LGBTQ community, it's been great to watch the emotional and tender moments between Haggerty and Burnett, including when Burnett talked about coming out to her parents.
But while these are important and powerful moments to show audiences, some people believe the show could have just as easily cast more LGBTQ people in The Bachelorette and The Bachelor; that way, the series would have more queer representation without showrunners needing to change the rules. In the meantime, it's been refreshing to watch a same-sex couple on the show. And, despite critics, it looks like Burnett and Haggerty are here to stay. There are even rumors the two get engaged at the end of the season. Regardless of it being against the rules and not really making any sense per the show, it's really nice to see a queer couple in paradise, and hopefully this will have a ripple effect throughout the rest of the franchise.
Bachelor In Paradise airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8pm EST on ABC.