Bachelor in Paradise fans saw one if the most surprising breakups this week when Kendall Long suddenly ended things with Chicago grocer Joe Amabile just ahead of the season finale of the ABC dating show. The split was sparked after Amabile joked about possibly proposing to Long at the end of Paradise.
But in a new interview with People, Amabile, who is nicknamed Grocery Store Joe by fans of the franchise, said he was completely kidding about getting engaged to Long so quickly after their up and down romance on the rose-filled reality show.
“Being engaged wasn’t something I was planning to do to do at the end of it. I would have felt that would have been forced. I didn’t think we were there yet, though I did feel we were there to leave as a couple.”
Amabile went on to say that he was “blindsided” when Long dumped him because he thought for sure they would leave the Mexican-set reality show as a couple.
“I was very upset about it because I still had really strong feelings for her,” Amabile told People.
Amabile also explained that he and Long were “polar opposites” and that the idea of him “always scared her” because she had never dated anyone like him before.
Kendall Long admitted to People that she did keep running away from her feelings for Amabile and that’s why she dated other people while she was on the show, most notably, Bachelor in Paradise bad boy Leo Dottavio. Long also admitted she was afraid of getting hurt by Amabile down the line after the “romantic beach vacation” was over.
Still, Long admitted she felt immediate regret as soon as Joe walked away, and said her lonely plane ride home had her questioning her decision to end things with the Chicago grocer. Long also teased that the beachside breakup is not the end of her story with Grocery Store Joe. Fans will see the exes reunite on the Bachelor in Paradise reunion episode tonight.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, Grocery Store Joe is reportedly headed to Dancing with the Stars for his third ABC reality gig. If he has reconciled with Long in the months since they parted ways in Paradise, his casting on the celebrity ballroom competition would mean he is conveniently still hanging out in the Los Angeles area, where Kendall Long lives.
You can see Joe Amabile and Kendall Long’s breakup in the Bachelor in Paradise clip below.
The Bachelor in Paradise finale airs Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.