May the best man win? Bachelorette star Blake Moynes did not appear to be fazed over the criticism of him joining Katie Thurston’s season, putting him against longtime pal Brendan Scanzano.

“Lifelong friendship on-and-off the ice with this guy. He is awesome and like a brother to me,” Brendan tweeted about their close bond on Wednesday, July 21, after being eliminated on the Monday, July 19, episode. “Guess we had to address the elephant in the room,” Brendan continued, shutting down rumors there is animosity between them after their stint on the show. Both of the season 17 contestants are from Canada, and they also play hockey together. 

On Thursday, July 22, Blake fired back after a fan asked why he went on the show knowing Blake was already there competing for Katie’s affections. “That seems pretty crappy to me,” the social media user argued. “They call me c–kblock Blake,” he joked in response, which Brendan later retweeted.

Prior to Katie, 30, choosing Blake as one of her top four suitors and sending Brendan packing, word came out about the guys’ friendship. However, it has yet to be discussed on the ABC dating series. “The one thing they haven’t touched on is that Blake and Brendan, the guy with, like, the bouffant, knew each other before the show,” Bachelor in Paradise alum Wells Adams told E! News in early July. “And Blake suggested to Brendan to go on the show. And so, when he shows up later, he’s like, ‘What’re you doing here? You told me to come here!'” 

Bachelorette's Blake Reacts to Fan Criticism Over Going on Show With 'Lifelong' Friend Brendan
ABC; ABC/Craig Sjodin

In addition to Brendan, Katie also sent Greg Grippo, Justin Glaze and Michael Allio on their way before her highly anticipated hometown dates.

“It’s definitely an emotional rollercoaster for Katie. She doesn’t hold back and will tell it like it is,” an insider previously told Life & Style about her journey to find love. “At one point, she threatened to quit the show. It really got to her, and she couldn’t take it anymore,” the source explained. “She just walked away from cameras. She kept changing how she felt, and her thoughts were all over the place. You will see later on this season how difficult it was for her.”

On the bright side, it looks like Brendan and Blake are still close!