Note: This story contains spoilers for “Bachelor in Paradise” Season 9 finale.
“Bachelor in Paradise” ended its tumultuous Season 9 with a whirlwind finale Thursday night, as seven promising pairs decided whether an engagement was in their future.
As concerns of commitment plagued couples like Kylee Russell and Aven Jones, the remaining beach-goers were reminded of the strong connections previously formed on the beach when “Bachelor in Paradise” alum Mari Pepin and Kenny Braasch, who got engaged on Season 7 of the ABC dating show, stopped by to tie the knot during the finale.
Despite a fun distraction from their woes during a rave-themed party, each couple was forced to evaluate the strength of their relationship as time on the beach dwindled down.
For a full breakdown of how each couple left the beach — and if there was a ring on their finger — see below.
Jess Girod and Tanner Courtad
After she and Blake Moynes broke up the week prior, Girod’s connection with Courtad has been limited as she heals from her heartbreak. After seeming visibly upset, Courtad asked Girod if she was “done with this place,” and Girod nodded yes. Girod subsequently self-eliminated — saying in her exit interview that she “came here for love and [is] leaving with nothing — and Courtad followed suit and left the beach shortly afterwards.
Mercedes Northup and Jordan Vandergriff
Northup was in a similar space to Girod after Northup and Tyler Norris parted ways. Vandergriff, who had previously also connected with Rachel Recchia, worried Northup would follow Girod — and he was right to worry. Northup told Vandergriff she didn’t feel a romantic spark between them and decided to leave the beach. Vandergriff also chose to self-eliminate after Northup’s departure.
Olivia Lewis and Michael Barbour
With now just five couples left, host Jesse Palmer asked each of the couples to consider whether they were ready for the part of the journey, which would include a Fantasy Suite date and a potential engagement.
While Lewis said she would be interested in going to Fantasy Suites to deepen their connection, Barbour told her he didn’t feel like the couple was at that point yet. Lewis quickly removed herself from the conversation and they left the beach separately.
Sam Picco and Peter Cappio
Similarly, with Picco and Cappio weren’t the strongest couple in the pack by any means, Cappio shared his excitement to continue his relationship with the “Bachelor in Paradise Canada” alum. Picco shut him down, saying “it doesn’t feel right to continue [their] relationship at all,” and the pair left separately.
Kylee Russell and Aven Jones
After going back and forth on the importance of leaving the beach with a ring on Russell’s finger, getting engaged emerged as a sticking point for the couple, leaving Russell to decide whether the debate was worth the sacrifice of losing their relationship.
Ultimately, Jones asks Russell if she would consider their relationship over without an engagement, and Russell tells him she doesn’t want to walk away from him. They decide to leave the beach as a couple ahead of Fantasy Suites and are still together at the time of the finale airing.
Kat Izzo and John Henry Spurlock
Izzo and Spurlock deepened their connection on a date in the finale, during which Izzo opened up about her difficult childhood and adolescence and revealed she moved out at age 17 and lived in a group home. Calling Izzo’s resilience his new favorite thing about her, Spurlock also shared he struggled with depression several years ago.
The two decide to take the plunge and Izzo wakes up from the Fantasy Suite feeling confident she wants to spend her life with Spurlock. While Spurlock shared his hesitancies to get engaged so quickly, he said he decided to follow his heart and proposes to Izzo, to which Izzo says “yes.”
Since getting engaged on the beach, an update shares the couple remains “happily engaged” and “are moving to San Diego and planning a happy life together.”
Eliza Isichei and Aaron Bryant
As one of the strongest couples on the season, Isichei and Bryant are the other one of two couples to head to Fantasy Suites. Byrant says he is in love with Isichei and reveals that he spoke with Isichei’s mom ahead of proposing to her daughter. Byrant proposes and Isichei also says “yes,” and the couple leaves the beach engaged.
Don’t get too excited, though, as an update at the end of the finale episode indicates some trouble post-“Paradise.”
“Aaron and Eliza’s engagement has hit some speed bumps since they left the beach,” the update reads. “They are actively working on their relationship and trying to figure things out.”
The finale of “Bachelor in Paradise” Season 9 will stream on Hulu beginning Friday.