A match made in Mexico. Michael Allio and Danielle Maltby have both weathered tragedy, but they got a second chance at love during season 8 of Bachelor in Paradise.
The small business owner made his Bachelor Nation debut during Katie Thurston‘s season of The Bachelorette in 2021, but he ultimately self-eliminated because he didn’t want to leave his son, James, alone at home. The Ohio native shared James with wife Laura, who died of breast cancer in 2019.
Maltby, for her part, appeared on Nick Viall‘s season of The Bachelor, which aired in 2017. Before her appearance on the ABC dating show, the neonatal nurse was in a relationship with Nick Haag. The couple had been engaged for just three months when Haag died of a drug overdose in 2011 at age 29.
“Today marks 10 years since my fiancé passed away. I’ve been thinking a lot about it again the last month,” the reality star wrote via Instagram in March 2021. “To anyone who has lost someone, [or] is working on getting through that time — it’s OK to be happy again. It’s OK to laugh even if it makes you feel like crap at first. It’s OK to feel heavy when your song comes on the radio.”
When Allio initially arrived on the beach in Mexico, he coupled up with Sierra Jackson, who first competed on Clayton Echard‘s season of The Bachelor. The duo seemingly had a strong connection, but Allio later told the yoga instructor that he wasn’t ready to get serious. Jackson then left the beach after deciding she didn’t want to watch Allio explore connections with other women.
Maltby arrived in week two after Jackson’s exit and quickly asked Allio out on a one-on-one date. Bartender Wells Adams later revealed that he played a role in encouraging the duo to pursue one another.
“They cut it, but I told @MichaelAllio I had someone for him and then walked up the steps of paradise, welcomed @daniellemmaltby and told her to go find Michael,” Adams tweeted in October 2022. When one fan replied that they were “pissed” that scene was deleted, Adams responded, “Honestly same.”
In November 2022, the Best in Dough host exclusively told Us Weekly that Allio and Maltby “did all the heavy lifting” even though he helped set the wheels in motion. “But listen, I like who I like and I love Danielle,” Adams added. “She’s been one of my close friends for so long, and Michael is the sweetest guy in the world. And it was just like, ‘These people just gotta meet and hang out. Let’s see what happens.’ And I was right!”
The pair didn’t get engaged during the season finale, but they did exchange the L-word — and agreed to keep seeing each other after filming. “Meeting Danielle has changed my life,” Allio said during the season 8 reunion special, which aired in November 2022. “I’ve only ever said I love you to one person in my life, but I love you.”
Keep scrolling for a timeline of Allio and Maltby’s romance: