‘BIP’s Justin Admits He ‘Didn’t Realize’ How Strong Rodney & Eliza Were When He Pursued Her (Exclusive)

We caught up with 'Bachelor in Paradise' star Justin Glaze about his love triangle with pal Rodney Mathews and Eliza Isichei.

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Eliza Isichei chose Rodney Mathews over Justin Glaze at the fourth rose ceremony on season 8 of Bachelor in Paradise, but her decision came after a lot of back and forth. Eliza initially hit it off with Rodney, but then Justin, who had previously been eliminated, came back to the beach just to pursue her. Justin admitted that it’s been hard for him to watch the love triangle back because of how close he was with Rodney before filming.

“I was under the impression that [Eliza] had just gotten there [when I returned], but, surprise surprise, that wasn’t the case,” Justin told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. “I was even told it wasn’t one of my boys that she was talking to, but, surprise surprise, it was. So when I got down there and I have a date card and I see her sitting next to Rodney, I had to put two and two together. Of course I hesitated because Rodney is my guy. I’m like, ‘What am I even doing in Paradise’?”

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Justin and Eliza on their one-on-one date. (ABC)

However, Justin realized that he was there “to be selfish to an extent.” He said he knew what he came back to do, and was “laser focused” on Eliza. “It was awkward,” he admitted. “Fortunately, [Rodney] and I are both very mature and level-headed guys, which helped a lot. Watching it back, I didn’t realize how strong they were, which made it harder to watch because I was just going for what I wanted. But at the same time, it was hurting a friend, so it was tough.”

Even though Eliza gave Rodney her rose, she started having second thoughts the very next day. She wound up dumping Rodney and leaving the beach to fly to Justin’s home and pursue him. However, we won’t see the outcome of that conversation until next week’s episode.

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Eliza and Rodney at rose ceremony before split. (ABC)

Justin also opened up about why he wanted to pursue Eliza, despite having no prior connection before filming. “I saw her on Clayton [Echard]’s season, and honestly, I kind of look for people who don’t get that much screen time because I can kind of relate to that,” he explained. “Even though I made it kind of far, I wasn’t shown all that much. So I kind of look at it as people who are more reserved and don’t get shown, they might be more normal than a lot of people who are just exciting for TV. So, obviously, she’s beautiful, but what a lot of people don’t realize is that, before I [was eliminated], I had been askin around for her. I was very vocal about having her on my short list and waiting for her to come down the steps. So when I heard she was coming eventually, I was looking forward to getting to know her and stick around. I was intrigued by what’s behind the beauty and the reserved presence that she has.”

Meanwhile, Eliza had also expressed interest in getting to know Rodney and Justin before the show. “I had heard great things about both of them,” she told us EXCLUSIVELY. “So I wanted to see what that was like on the beach, and if that was true or not, what they were going to be like in person. I heard great things from my friends, so I was excited about it.”

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