Warning: Spoilers for Bachelor in Paradise Season 8, Episode 16 (AKA the finale) ahead.
Well, Bachelor Nation. We finally did it. We survived another season of Bachelor in Paradise, and in the words of host Jesse Palmer, “This truly has been the wildest, most shocking, and yes, the most dramatic season ever.” Part 2 of the Season 8 finale kicked off with a spicy Paradise reunion where contestants and bartender Wells Adams gathered to reminisce over their time on the beach, rehash old arguments, and share updates on their love lives. After watching some serious drama and heartwarming moments unfold on stage, we got to see the real Bachelor in Paradise finale.
We learned which of Season 8’s two remaining couples — Brandon and Serene, and Johnny and Victoria — got engaged, if anyone got married in Mexico, and if both couples are still together post-Paradise. A Bachelor in Paradise rep confirmed to Decider that the live portion of the finale was filmed just a few weeks ago on November 4, so keep that in mind as you’re watching and reading this in-depth recap. And once you’re done learning how Bachelor in Paradise’s Season 8 finale went down, be sure to read Decider’s Season 8 reunion recap.
For now, buckle up and brace yourselves for some good old fashioned emotional whiplash.
Did Johnny and Victoria Get Engaged on Bachelor in Paradise?
First up, Victoria and Johnny. When we first saw the couple they were kissing after their overnight Fantasy Suite date. Johnny explained that proposing to Victoria would be the “biggest, scariest, most important decision” he’s ever made in his life, but it felt like the two talked things out and were finally on the same page regarding engagement. Until Johnny’s sit-down with Neil Lane. “Are you really ready for an engagement!” Neil Lane beamed. “To be honest, Neil. I didn’t come here expecting an engagement,” Johnny admitted. “I was almost against it, and the more time went on, and the more we talked, now I feel like I almost have to do this…It’s something I think I want to do now.” Hmm…not super convincing! “If it has to be with anyone, I’m so happy it’s with Victoria,” Johnny told cameras. Slightly more convincing, but let’s see!
Johnny assumed the official Paradise Proposal Position on the beach, and Victoria joined him in a long, lime green dress. “I had certain requirements that I thought a future husband had to meet, and it turns out love isn’t just a checklist. It’s a feeling,” she told cameras before walking down the Paradise steps. “I know that it’s right and I know that it’s only right because it’s Johnny.”
When the two met up they both started crying. Victoria told Johnny he completely changed her world and she never wanted to live a day without him. Johnny told her he was scared because he’s never felt confident about himself, but he’s never felt this way about anyone before. “No matter what, in this lifetime I’ll have your back forever and always, and I’ll never leave your side ever,” he said. “I think every king has a powerful queen next to him, and you’re my queen, Victoria. Victoria Fuller, will you make me the happiest man and will you marry me?”
Victoria accepted the ring, and the two officially got engaged on Bachelor in Paradise. But that’s not the end of the story…
Are Johnny and Victoria Still Together After Bachelor in Paradise?
Back in the studio, host Jesse Palmer explained that over the past few weeks “there’ve been numerous social media threads, there have been posts, photos, and videos from all across the globe” related to rumors that Victoria cheated on Johnny with Greg Grippo, a contestant from Season 17 of The Bachelorette. Palmer assured the audience they would find out what happened between the three, then he called Johnny out on stage solo, which wasn’t a great sign.
“Where do you stand with Victoria after you left the beach engaged?” Palmer asked. “As of right now, me and Victoria are not engaged anymore. We broke up,” Johnny explained. “I want to say I’m good, but it really does break my heart that she’s not sitting next to me as my fiancé right now. In that timeframe of stepping out of filming to that one month of being engaged, I started to feel not good enough for her, and then we started arguing…and rumors started surfacing. And I really wanted to trust her, but I don’t know.”
After hearing Johnny’s side of the story, Jesse called Victoria out on stage and asked where the relationship went wrong. “You know, that’s the million dollar question. I think that when we were on Paradise, things were rainbows and butterflies for us. And unfortunately when we got into the real world, there were a lot of concerns and ups and downs,” Victoria said. “I expressed to [Johnny] that I wasn’t happy and I wasn’t going to be engaged if I wasn’t happy.” She claimed she let him know they were no longer engaged about three weeks out, but Johnny said he didn’t think that’s when their relationship actually ended.
“I think that fits your narrative,” Johnny said of her three-week comment. When Victoria asked what narrative he was talking about, he said, “The narrative for what’s out in the public…rumors saying you had cheated on me and decided to start dating Greg — something you constantly told me was not true.” So did Victoria cheat on Johnny with Greg Grippo? Here’s everything we learned from the finale.
Did Victoria Cheat on Johnny with Greg Grippo?
When Johnny brought up the cheating rumors, Victoria said, “I know you know that to not be true…I think it’s very easy to blame another situation and other people for us not working out. And I totally empathize with you — maybe it is hard for you to see me moving on, but what is the appropriate amount of time to move on when you called me a [bleep] when we were supposed to be in a very happy, loving relationship. Not only that, but you said, ‘You don’t cook. You don’t clean. What do you provide to this relationship as a woman?’”
Johnny’s pal Tyler tried to chime in from the side of the stage, but Victoria cut him off. “I’m talking to him and this has nothing to do with you, so you can butt out,” she said. Johnny defended himself against Victoria’s accusations, and the two went back and forth for a few minutes before Johnny brought things back to the cheating rumors. “You can’t make these accusations that I cheated on you when you know damn well that’s not true,” Victoria said. Johnny claimed she was flying all over the world, posting videos of Greg immediately after their engagement. He questioned why she couldn’t have warned him that the news was about to drop or that she was in a relationship with a guy she repeatedly said she wasn’t dating.
Victoria snapped back, saying, “I’m not in a full-blown relationship. You wanted this narrative to play out so bad because you don’t want to take accountability for what happened in our relationship.” After that comment, Jesse Palmer got down to business and asked Victoria point-blank if she and Greg are dating.
Are Victoria Fuller and Greg Grippo Dating? And How Did Victoria and Greg Meet?
“Are you dating Greg Grippo right now?” Palmer asked. “Yes. Greg and I are together,” Victoria replied.
“For the rumors out there that you started dating while you were still engaged to Johnny…” Palmer said. “Absolutely not,” Victoria said.
“You did not cheat on Johnny with Greg?” Palmer asked. “Absolutely not,” Victoria answered.
“I still consider talking to someone else while we’re working on our issues cheating or emotional cheating,” Johnny said. “I wish you all the best in life, and I need to step back and rebuild myself.”
After Johnny left the studio, we learned Greg Grippo was not only in the building, but that he’d be joining Victoria on stage. While Tyler comforted Johnny and talked smack about Victoria in the parking lot, the audience welcomed Greg to the hot seat to explain how he and Victoria started dating. “We’ve been friends for a while. We met last year through mutual friends, stayed in touch, she ended up going to Paradise, getting engaged, and through the weeks after Paradise we ended up just rekindling and trying it out,” he said. “I asked her…’I want to take you out for a drink, so you want to go to Rome in two days?’” Victoria chimed in to say, “Obviously we couldn’t go and get a drink in New York City or Nashville, and so we were like, ‘OK! We’ll go to Europe and maybe test it out.’”
“At the end of the day, nobody has to understand it or get it and that’s OK,” Victoria said. “Everyone can hate us if they want. I don’t give a [bleep] cause I’ve got this [bleep].” Before the unexpected couple said farewell to the Paradise finale, they revealed they got matching tattoos on their arms that say, “CIAO.” (Yes, really.) “It’s not the best look in the world, but…” Greg said. “AHHHHH,” Victoria screamed. And just like that, the hot mess was over.
Did Brandon and Serene Get Engaged on Bachelor in Paradise?
WELL! Now that we recapped that awkward nightmare, onto Paradise‘s living angels, Brandon and Serene. We checked in with the couple after their overnight Fantasy Suite date, and — surprise! — it went great! The two shared breakfast, Brandon dropped in on Neil Lane, and he declared the day was “gonna be biblical!”
“I’m hands down the luckiest man on earth that I’ve found Serene. She has put every fear, every doubt, every concern to rest,” he said after assuming the official Paradise Proposal Position. Serene said Brandon “exceeds her wildest dreams of what love could be,” and when the two met on the beach Brandon naturally started crying.
After another full-named “Serene Brook Russell,” Brandon said “I love you, and I will love you until my last breath.” He asked Serene to marry him, she said yes, and then Jesse Palmer let them celebrate for two seconds before breaking up the party to say something along the lines of, “HEY GUYS! I know Brandon keeps saying ‘I’d marry this girl today,’ so I went online and got ordained and I’m just wondering if you’d like to get married right here, right now?” UGH. This guy. Before we saw their answer, we cut back to the studio and welcomed Brandon and Serene to stage.
Did Brandon and Serene Get Married on Bachelor in Paradise? And are Brandon and Serene Still Together After Bachelor in Paradise?
You can stop holding your breath, everyone. As of filming on November 4, Brandon and Serene WERE STILL TOGETHER. Phew! But the two didn’t get married in Mexico. “We love each other so much, we’re gonna get married regardless, but we’re so family oriented that our family has to be there,” Brandon explained. Apparently he called his mom after the proposal and she said she would kill him if he married Serene without the family there, and honestly? Understandable!
Season 8 of Bachelor in Paradise was one wild ride. But at least Serene and Brandon, Michael and Danielle, and several other couples found love along the way. Now? The countdown is on for Season 27 of The Bachelor starring Zach Shallcross.