A heartthrob from Clare Crawley's season of The Bachelorette, Chris Conran first stepped foot on the sandy beaches of the Playa Escondida resort in Season 7, Episode 4 of Bachelor in Paradise — and he promptly gave the social dynamics a thorough shake.
Having engaged in some light-hearted flirtation with Jessenia Cruz (who, at this point, was already spending time with Ivan Hall), Chris swiftly proceeded to make overtures to Alana Milne, whom he might have known from before.
So, did Chris and Alana know each other before 'Bachelor in Paradise'?
It's not that unusual for the Bachelor Nation to hang out extracurricularly.
Take, for instance, Andrew Spencer, Greg Grippo, and Justin Glaze, who became friends after first meeting during the shooting of Katie Thurston's season. Likewise, Tyler Cameron, Matt James, Hannah Brown, and others made a splash after debuting the so-called Quarantine Crew during a brief getaway to sunny Florida in March 2020. As an Instagram post attests, Chris and Alana hung out before Bachelor in Paradise too.
But that's not the reason why fans of the franchise are freaking out. According to one increasingly popular interpretation of events, it's possible that Chris and Alana tried to pull the same move as Brendan Morais and Pieper James on Bachelor in Paradise. As some fans argue, a few polaroids shared by Jessenia on May 17, 2021, indicate that Chris and Alana may have started spending time together before joining the cast of Bachelor in Paradise.
The photos attest to Jessenia's shenanigans with Katie, Tammy Ly, Chasen Nick, Chris, Alana, and others. Some Bachelor in Paradise fans jumped on the opportunity to accuse Chris and Alana of having started dating before the show.
While the photos prove that Chris and Alana knew each other before the shooting of Bachelor in Paradise began, it would be foolish to assume that they can be used to corroborate the rumors about their supposed relationship.
So, why did Chris and Alana leave 'Bachelor in Paradise'?
Chris and Alana's fling rubbed their Bachelor in Paradise castmates the wrong way. Although Chris asked Alana if she wanted to leave with him, she declined the offer (before opting for a separate Irish exit). In a memorable scene, Alana had to ask Chris to remove his stuff from her car, thereby further emphasizing the awkward fact that they were not leaving together.
In some way, the stars turned out to be even less successful than Brendan and Pieper, who, after causing a stir, still had each other to rely on. Brendan received some criticism for egging on Natasha Parker, but he at least did it because he had feelings for Pieper.
Catch new episodes of Bachelor in Paradise every Monday and Tuesday at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.