Calling it like it is: Tayshia Adams has had one hell of a busy year, and she’s not slowing down anytime soon. Up next for the newly bicoastal babe? Presenting tonight at night two of the MTV Movie & TV Awards: Unscripted, where she’s nominated alongside Clare Crawley for Best Dating Show because duh, they double-handedly saved our entire televisions in 2020.
After Tayshia’s done collecting all the awards (yes, we’re speaking a win into existence), she’ll be back on TV starting June 7 for the 17th season of The Bachelorette—except this time she won’t be the one searching for Mr. Right. In an unprecedented move, Tayshia and the recently engaged Kaitlyn Bristowe will advise and mentor new Bachelorette Katie Thurston in the absence of Chris Harrison, who has stepped back from the franchise amid controversy.
Cosmopolitan sat down with Tayshia, who btw looks like an actual Disney princess—but, you know, one you’d wanna drink margs and talk shit with—to spill about it all. Wearing a Versace face mask with her cas tank top and jeans ensemble (POWER MOVE), Tayshia filled us in on Katie’s upcoming Bachelorette season, what it was really like working with Kaitlyn as co-mentors, the last time she spoke to Chris Harrison, the MTV Awards, and of course her own “Mr. Right,” fiancé Zac Clark. Let’s get into it.
Cosmo: The MTV Movie & TV Awards are this Monday; What are you wearing? And why did you pick it?
Tayshia: I am so excited because I’m going to be wearing some amazing designers. And this is probably the first time that I’m actually wearing something that is very not “Bachelorette,” which is fun. I have a stylist out in New York that I was able to get fitted with and find me some fun looks for this weekend, ’cause MTV is fun and flirty. I just think of like red, latex, ’90s, MTV.
Is that what you love about the looks?
Yes! Well, one is just absolutely over-the-top fabulous. The Oscar de la Renta dress that I wore is just like this very flowy Beyoncé moment, if you will. So that’s always very fun. And then I have a red latex Versace mini dress that is literally in-friggin’-sane, excuse my language. Oh my God, I feel like Carmen Electra [in it], it’s amazing. And then the last one, my presenting outfit, is just this little cute black ruched number that just is different. And I just feel “va va voom” in it.
That’s awesome. You’re also nominated. Where were you when you found out? How did you feel?
I was in New Mexico filming for Katie’s season. So when I found out then, I freaked out because, I mean, the fact that I was even the Bachelorette is still the wildest thing to me. Because never in my wildest dreams did I think that was gonna come true. So now to be nominated is like, it’s a pinch me moment. And obviously God is good and it all works out when it’s supposed to.
How are you and [Bachelorette winner] Zac doing? How’s wedding planning going?
We’re doing great, we’re doing well. Any wedding planning? No, not really. I’m really just trying to enjoy New York. And I think that’s where our energy is just because, I don’t know, we just want to enjoy each other. Really, that’s what it is. Engagements are supposed to be fun as well, so we’re just making the most of it.
What are some fun engagement things you guys have been doing?
Oh my gosh. The thing is, with the pandemic, it hasn’t been anything too crazy. But his parents are moving back from, they have a place in Naples, Florida. And they’re going back to the shore this weekend. So I’ll finally be able to, like, really hang out with them and have them within driving distance, which is gonna be super fun. Because we haven’t really been able to do that. So that’s the most normal thing we’re doing and looking forward to.
Have your parents met?
Are you excited about that?
I’m so excited for that. I hope it happens very soon. I feel like since now everyone’s starting to kind of travel, vaccinations have been done on both ends of my family, so it’s just, it’s bound to happen sooner rather than later.
Is it fun living with Zac?
Oh my God. It’s like a sleepover with your best friend, of course it is. New York has been such a joy to experience. It’s so different living there as opposed to visiting. It’s a different kind of magic. It’s been fun.
Bachelor in Paradise is coming up. If you could pick one person or a couple people from Bachelor Nation to cast, who would you pick and why?
This is a good question. We have so many seasons to choose from, that’s the crazy thing, so who do we have? From my season, I have some really fun guys. So, let’s see, I think Eazy [Nwachukwu] would be really fun. Brendan [Morais] would be fun. God, I’m so boring at this.
Okay, so from Matt [James]’s season, I think Chelsea [Vaughn] is stunning. I think she would look so fun on the beach, and she seemed like such as a fun girl. I think Pieper [James] would be fun. I think Kit [Keenan] would actually be really entertaining. I don’t know, I feel like it’s a much more relaxed environment and I feel like she could really have fun with it. I feel like she’s spunky.
Jessenia [Cruz]. And obviously you need Victoria [Larson] in there. I mean, what’s Paradise without Victoria? So there’s that. Who else do we have to choose from, Peter [Weber]’s girls? Wow, that was years ago. Years. You know who it would be fun to see in Paradise? Peter himself. And Kelley [Flanagan].
What do you think makes a good Bachelor in Paradise person?
They just have to be fun and be open to everything. I think a person who’s gunning for one person can get very disappointed very easily. But someone that’s just excited to feel it out and see who sparks their interest even outside their general radar, that makes the time the best. People surprise you. I mean…I’m not going to say that, never mind. I’ll leave John Paul Jones out of this. [laughs]
You just never know. People are very unexpected, and they’re fun. And I feel like Mexico is such a laidback situation as opposed to The Bachelor where you’re in gowns. Listen, you’re in bikinis and little two-piece sets, very relaxed.
The new season of The Bachelorette is exciting too. What’s your friendship dynamic like with Kaitlyn?
Oh my gosh, you know, Kaitlyn and I were really able to create such a fun bond. I think this is an experience that no one’s ever really had before. But all of us as Bachelorettes sort of wish we had two mentors, you know? And so her and I just have a different kind of friendship now. But also, I think we both have such different personalities that are able to come together and create this really fun dynamic duo, so it’s been really fun to get to know [Kaitlyn], because I really hadn’t hung out with her prior.
She can take on some conversations, and I’ll take on some of the others, but most of the time we’re together just really helping Katie out.
What’s your relationship like with Katie?
I’m extremely happy for her. Doing the entire journey and process is a lot on oneself, and she did a phenomenal job being true to herself. And now me and her, I mean, I was just texting her! So we’re good.
Acting as a mentor, what advice would you have given yourself on your season?
Let’s see, I think when times got tough, or [I was] making a tough decision, it’s hard to see the bigger picture as opposed to just being in the mix of it all. If I had somebody else, I wish I would have been able to remember that. There’s a bigger picture outside of all this, you don’t need to be stuck in the little drama and the intricacies of figuring out who said what and who said this and that. Things like that.
Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Do you have any advice for people who want to be on The Bachelorette or The Bachelor?
I mean, do it! [laughs] But also, don’t ever come in with an agenda. I feel like it only hurts you. At the end of the day, I think people go in for different reasons. It could be they do really wanna find someone or they could be not there for the right reasons, whatever it is. But if you are there for the right reasons, it could really work out for you. It’s absolutely possible. So just don’t go in with an agenda. Take it day by day and see if you actually have a connection.
I’m curious to know if you and Chris Harrison have spoken, or last time you talked, or if he gave you any advice on how to be a mentor?
You know, we talked at the beginning of Katie’s season and he was really supportive of me. And he was was excited that I had the opportunity. Yeah, no bad blood there.
Is there anything in particular that you’re excited about on Katie’s season that you can share?
You’re gonna want to watch her journey unfold. I feel like every week, there was a “you have got to be kidding me” [moment]. And I’ve already gone through all of it, and the fact that I was still like that was funny to me. There’s a lot of twists and turns. But she’s a strong confident girl that knows what she wants. She’s figured it out however she’s supposed to.
After this season of The Bachelorette premieres, do you have any plans for what you want to do next? Like what you see in your future?
Oh my gosh, I have so many wants, so many dreams. They’re all different paths. So even with the fashion and the beauty industry, I am trying to tap into that right now. And it’s just something that is near and dear to my heart because I’ve always loved fashion and beauty, but I never really had the means to get all of that. And so I’ve worked really hard to get where I am today, but now that I’m able to be there it’s kind of like, I want to help spread that and share that.
Career-wise, I mean hosting is a space I do want to get into and I have dabbled in quite recently, so I do want to continue that. I’m just praying that…I do believe everything happens when it’s supposed to and so I’m leaving the doors open for that.
If the Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise asked you to be a mentor again, is that something you would be interested in doing again?
You know, I would! I would. I think it was just such a fun experience. And I think I have a lot of insight and a lot of advice to contribute and help with. I genuinely want all these women, and men even, to come out in a loving relationship. If I can help inspire that at all, I will!
So The Bachelor, if they need two mentors, can you think of two Bachelor men who would be good mentors to a new Bachelor?
Yeah, no, me and Kaitlyn! [laughs] We can do it all. We could deal with men. We’re great with men. But let me think, you know, I don’t know. Because I feel like guys are so specific too and I don’t know who would be able to…I can’t see some of them doing it just because it requires a lot of being away from home.
Yeah, you and Kaitlyn!
Yeah! What can’t we do?
Photographs by Matthew Sayles (@msayles). Hair by Ryan Richman (@ryanrichman). Makeup by Emma Willis (@emmawillishmu). Stylist: Brian Meller (@brianmeller).
Red dress credits: Versace dress, Stuart Weitzman shoes, EFFY jewelry, and Edie Parker clutch. Black dress credits: Magda Butrym dress, Jimmy Choo shoes, EFFY jewelry, and Edie Parker clutch. Metallic dress credits: Oscar de La Renta dress, Jimmy Choo shoes, EFFY jewelry, Edie Parker clutch, and @novaocto.
For more of Tayshia, check out the MTV Movie & TV Awards: Unscripted tonight at 9 p.m. ET on MTV. You can also watch Tayshia join ‘The Bachelorette’ as a mentor when the show premieres June 7 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
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