"The Bachelor" may be over, but Bachelor Nation is not yet over that finale that saw Arie Luyendyk Jr. dump Becca Kufrin, the girl he'd already chosen and engaged, to switch his affections to the runner-up, Lauren Burnham. Two of the season's most outspoken contestants joined up for a tell-all interview with Vulture where they call out their TV ex for that "inexcusable" breakup, and for sliding into their DMs.
Bekah Martinez and Kendall Long became good friends through their time on the show, despite simultaneously trying to date and win the affection of the same guy. In the end, neither of them got the final rose ... or the one after that. After listening to them chat about the season, it sounds like they're okay with that.
Both of them seem keen on the idea of being a part of "Bachelor in Paradise" over the summer, and have the confidence to think they'll both be cast. But while Kendall said, "You definitely can find love in that situation," expressing her interest in being a future "Bachelorette," Bekah was far less into the idea.
"I don't know what I want to do with my life and I don't know if I want to be 'Bekah from The Bachelor' forever. When you do something like The Bachelorette, that's it, you're 'Bekah from The Bachelorette.'" But she's apparently perfectly fine with being known as "Bekah from 'The Bachelor' and 'Bachelor in Paradise'" ... at least for a little while.
Below are our four biggest takeaways from their extremely candid chat.
Lauren Got a Terrible Edit
Neither of the women could figure out why the eventual winner of the season would get such a bad edit, though they had to acknowledge she may just not be made-for-television. "This is really important: Lauren was extremely goofy and extremely fun," Bekah said. "When we were still at the mansion, we were roommates, and she was literally wearing a fake butt twerking upside down on the side of the wall and belting out 'Moulin Rouge!' lyrics on the balcony with me. But as she developed more feelings for Arie, she became more closed off and guarded and insecure."
Kendall speculated that "some people don't open up on camera. They can't show what you don't show." Lauren may have fallen victim to that, as she was more guarded in presenting herself as the season carried on. They took it as a testament that she was truly on the show for love, and not "to sell hair gummies on Instagram," as Kendall joked.
"I'm not sure how she got on the show. She doesn't seem to enjoy being on television at all. She doesn't seem to particularly like being in front of camera or like the structure of it, either. She was so uncomfortable with him being in a relationship with other people. So I'm like, 'How did she get here?'"
There's, of course, no way to know for sure unless somebody on the show wants to admit it, but Bekah still said, "I think they wanted me to be the villain at the beginning."
Her evidence came with who she was paired up to work with in the beginning of the season. "There's actually a producer who's known as the 'villain producer.' He works with those 'villains.' I started out working with him," she explained. "There were some little things that would happen in the beginning where they would try to get me in a negative light. I was talking shit about some girl in my interview one day, and that night at the cocktail party when I was talking to Arie, she was the one who came and interrupted me in the middle of us having a great conversation. I walked away annoyed, and immediately the producers were like, 'Wow, can you believe she interrupted you? That was so rude.' ... I looked at this producer and was like, 'Stop, get out of my face, I'm not engaging in this.' And they played dumb.
Kendall explained that the producers "offer you the opportunity for confrontations, but they don't force you in any way to do anything." Bekah's strategy was to simply not engage, and she encouraged other girls to do the same.
Arie's Breakup Approach was "Inexcusable"
"Arie should've handled it privately, but at the same time, I liked that it wasn't private," Kendall admitted of Arie breaking up in front of the cameras. "Becca now has such an amazing opportunity to find love. I genuinely believe she will find love on this show." Becca has been cast as the next "Bachelorette."
"I don't mind the break-up being aired at all, but the intentions behind it were weird. He was talking with Becca like nothing was wrong in the week leading up to it. She was blindsided," Bekah said. And both women hated that Arie just lingered after dumping her, despite her asking him several times to go.
"The choices he made were inexcusable," Bekah said of how Arie conducted himself. "I know those types of men who stand there after a break-up and are like, 'Wait baby, but are you okay? Give me assurance this is fine! Make me feel better about myself!' ... That's what Arie was doing. It was a game to him."
If the breakup itself was bad, the preamble was worse. "He slid into those DMs," Kendall said of Arie chatting with Lauren even before breaking it off with Becca. "He contacted Lauren very privately over her Instagram DMs," Bekah echoed. "If he wanted to, he could've broken up with Becca very privately. There are choices."
And according to the women, Lauren wasn't the only contestant he stayed chatty with after the show wrapped filming and while he was engaged to Becca. Bekah has been very public about him DMing her, even sharing them on her social media "Don't DM your ex!" she said simply. "It's inappropriate, especially given the fact he got back with Lauren through DMs."
"And I wasn't the only contestant he was DMing while the show was airing," she added. "It wasn't just me and Lauren, there were other women as well. C'mon, dude. You're 36, you know better. You're not oblivious and you know how relationships work."
She went on to add, "At the time he DM'ed me, it was close to the episode when I got sent home. It was us passionately making out and discussing our relationship. And this is the time when you're like, 'Thinking of you, hope you're doing well!' I guarantee Lauren didn't know he was messaging me."