Colton Underwood’s indecisive romp of a Bachelor season was one of the best in years, thanks, in part, to the dueling presence of a fence and a contestant named Tayshia Adams. Despite being sent home by Underwood after their fantasy suites date in a third-act twist — which found our leading man in pursuit of another contestant, Cassie Randolph, in the hopes that she’d just date him and not marry him — Adams remained cucumber-cool throughout the ordeal, respectfully bidding adieu to a guy she was falling in love with. She was also happy to spill a carafe of tea when the time came.
It’s been two weeks since Adams received closure on the season’s live finale, so Vulture decided to call her up to get more intel about her journey. Here’s what we discussed, from what it’s like to travel the world with a popular reality show (hellooooo, skydiving!) to what her Bachelorette season would’ve been like if she’d gotten the gig.
As someone who hates adrenaline but was really impressed by your skydiving and bungee-jumping streak, have you done any more wild activities since the show ended?
No, definitely not. [Laughs.] I just signed up for some scuba-diving classes. I’m going to Hawaii in a few weeks and I want to go deep scuba-diving.
Did you apply to The Bachelor hoping Colton would be the lead?
I was actually nominated by some girlfriends. But when asked who I thought I’d like the most as a Bachelor, I did say Colton. I was attracted to him and thought he was very handsome. He had some really nice qualities to him. It was still my decision, ultimately, to go on the show, but it was nice not to do the heavy lifting that my friends did. It was a joint effort.
What was it like to watch the season unfold with the rest of us viewers? Especially knowing how it all concluded, and how producers subject contestants to different degrees of editing?
To be honest, you can’t really make someone look worse than they are or better than they are. I was represented as I am every single day. My family and friends were very happy they saw the real me on the screen, as opposed to [me] pretending to be someone that I’m not. I do think my funkier side could have been shown more. It wasn’t due to editing, but probably due to me being nervous around the cameras.
Would you go on reality TV again?
I have mixed feelings about that. I’m looking forward to what other opportunities come around, whether with Paradise or anything else. I’ll never say never. But it’s a different world.
I’m interested in what it’s like to travel the world with a reality show versus traveling on your own. What are you allowed to do with all of that downtime? Can you move around freely?
All of us really just relaxed, slept, and figured out what we were going through when we had downtime. Because it was a lot! There’s a lot of journaling going on. That’s why us girls get so close, because we legitimately just have each other as company. We dance around like crazy people and paint our nails, like, 50 times a week. It’s really nice not knowing the time or not having somewhere to be. It was really nice, not going to lie.
I’m glad you weren’t banned from leaving the premises.
Don’t worry! We go out and about, but for the most part, we’re in our resort or in our rooms. We can’t text or be on phones because they’re taken away. We have a bartender, we have people constantly around us, we’re not in a little cell in a basement. We do a lot of things, I promise you. I’ll say, the first time I’ve ever been out of the country was weeks before the show started — for a mission trip in Africa — and then we were traveling to places I could’ve never dreamed of. My passport is looking quite colorful. Thank you, ABC!
You talked about your breakup with Colton on the live finale and how much it genuinely shocked you. The one thing I’m still curious about: Why was it important to remove yourself from the cameras and have your last moment together be private?
At the time, I don’t think I gave it much thought. I know how real Colton and I were able to be without the cameras around, like in the fantasy suites two nights prior. For our last moment together, I wanted it to be us two only. It wasn’t me trying to run away from production by any means, it was just a lot of process. Being broken up with in front of all of these cameras wasn’t the most ideal situation. I wanted to normalize it as much as I could.
I know you and Hannah G. had to stay in Portugal for a week after this all went down.
Oh my God, I had to stay! [Laughs.]
I hope all you did was drink wine and take vineyard strolls!
That week was much needed. At that point, you’re off the show, so you don’t have cameras around anymore. I slept a lot, I ate a lot, I cried a lot. I took a lot of walks around the resort. It was a lot of me time. And obviously I drank a lot of wine. A lot of wine. It was well-deserved.
In one of the season’s defining moments, you told Colton that Cassie wasn’t ready to be engaged and was only looking forward to a cushy post-show lifestyle. Seeing the duo’s many public appearances after the finale, would you say they’re genuinely happy? And do you stand by that initial comment?
They look very, very happy. It’s not my place to judge if they’re genuinely happy. As far as the comment I made in Denver, that was the deal at the time and I stand by it. I was unfortunately put on the spot and asked about it by someone who valued my opinion about other women. Maybe I shouldn’t have done that, but those were my feelings at the time and I needed to vocalize what was going on in the house. It is what it is. I didn’t make up that conversation. I think it would’ve been very different if I ran to him and was a tattle-tale. I wasn’t going to lie to his face if he asked me something.
I hope you at least enjoyed the many good tweets that ensued after viewers realized you were telling the truth.
I did see a few good ones. [Laughs.] The people out there are really, really hilarious. Even for my family at Hometowns. Bachelor viewers are clever. I appreciated the jokes.
You were one of the five women considered for The Bachelorette. How do you think your season would be different from Hannah’s?
I might be more tough on the guys, in the sense I’d need them to stand up a little bit more than Hannah. She’s pretty fun and doesn’t take herself too seriously all the time. The guys would definitely have to be much older, I’d tell you that much. I require a little bit more life experience, someone who really knows who they are and still aren’t trying to figure themselves out. Show up, or get out. No bullshit, let’s go, I’m trying to find a husband!
What do conversations about becoming the Bachelorette entail? Do you even have to “audition” for it?
The Bachelor itself is the audition. These producers can see everything. We film 24 hours a day, so it’s not really a proper audition or interview because they get the gist of us already. It’s really not as juicy as you think.
Nothing juicy at all?
We talk to production, nothing crazy. That’s really all it is!
Were you disappointed that you didn’t get the gig? I know you voiced skepticism about Hannah’s maturity on the show.
I should clarify that I thought Hannah was mature, but she was definitely finding herself during the season. That was a cool transformation we saw from the beginning. As for me, I think everything happens for a reason. I pray about everything that happens in my life, especially big decisions, and if it was meant to be, it would’ve happened. The same with Colton. I’m okay with it. It would’ve been really, really nice to get The Bachelorette, but I’m really happy with where I’m at.
What does your life look life now? Are you still practicing phlebotomy?
I’m not practicing phlebotomy anymore. I don’t know if I’ll go back into medicine. As much as I love it and went to school for it, my passion has always been in real estate, development, interior design, and architecture. I think I’m going to gravitate towards that. I’m currently working at an interior design firm, and I hope this blossoms and opens doors for my career. You’ll see me out there. I’m sure you will!