How Did Tia and Colton Meet? Some Speculate Bachelorette Producers Set Them Up

Tia Booth Colton Underwood

Tia Booth and Colton Underwood on ‘Bachelor in Paradise.’ | Instagram via @tiarachel91

This season of The Bachelorette had to top all former season’s dramatics (after all, each season is “the most dramatic yet,” according to Chris Harrison) and it nearly pulled it off. Season 14 checked multiple boxes: divorced man looking to marry again? Check. Girl falls in love with two men? Check. A rejected man cries in “the most heartbreaking goodbye Bachelor Nation has ever seen?” Check again.

One thing this season achieved that is hard to accomplish on a reality show where there’s only one woman is drama between friends. While the men who met one another formed bonds and were even more quick to destroy them, the tough conversations are usually saved for potential partners — not for a woman and her closest confidants.

So when episode two of season 14 revealed that one of bachelorette Becca Kufrin’s contestants, Colton Underwood, had previously been in a “relationship” with Tia Booth, a close friend of Kufrin’s from season 22 of The Bachelor. And while the two friends talked things out and agreed it wouldn’t be an issue, Tia eventually came back to tell Becca it truly was a problem. Colton inevitably went home the same episode.

The dramatics didn’t end there. Tia and Colton ended up together on Bachelor spin-off show The Bachelor in Paradise where men and women compete to fall in love — or get sent home trying. Week after week contestants who don’t make a connection must leave the island. The couples left generally end their trip to “paradise” with an engagement … which is what fans are hoping to see happen with Tia and Colton.

We have a few questions about their relationship timeline

Becca and Tia became close friends while both vying for Arie Luyendyk Jr.’s heart on The Bachelor (writing that sentence acts as a reminder as to just how odd the concept of these shows are, but I digress). While during filming contestants are banned from their phones and winners must hide out with their new partners after, there’s no rule that would have prevented Tia and Becca from talking after The Bachelor filming ended (the end of November) and before The Bachelorette filming began (mid-March).

While there’s no definitive timeline, Tia and Colton both admitted to talking through Instagram direct message “sometime in January” and claimed they spent “a weekend together.” Both Tia and Becca were allowed to talk at that time and likely were — especially considering that’s around when Becca’s current ex, Arie, dumped her and had producers film it. I’d need hours of time talking with my friends (and maybe some therapy) if my fiance taped his breakup with me to air on TV under the premise of a “weekend getaway” and left me for his other love. Just saying.

Fans speculate Colton and Tia may have met organically — after all, he has the receipts to prove it. Colton tweeted a number of things while The Bachelor was airing including a tweet below that shows he clearly thinks Tia is relationship material.

Still, if the meet up did happen in January, Colton was just setting the stage for when he (hopefully) could go public with his “relationship” with the contestant.

So, Becca had no idea who Colton was when he came on ‘The Bachelorette’… right?

Wrong. Well, maybe. Assuming Becca was totally ignorant to her “best friend” and Tia’s life, then yes, she had no idea who the handsome blonde was outside of his football career and the fact he was vying for her heart. The producers put together an entire episode arc out of Colton needing to tell Becca that he’d spent time with Tia before the show. Naturally, Becca began to question if Colton went on the show because he thought Tia was going to be the bachelorette.

Maybe producers grad at an opportunity to start some drama

After all, drama equals ratings It’s rumored that ABC execs who interviewed Colton for The Bachelorette asked which of three women he preferred and showed him a picture of two women and Tia (we assume one was Becca). He reportedly picked Tia, followed her on Instagram, and the “relationship” continued from there.

The producers knew that would make a good story at some point throughout Becca’s season when he inevitably told her he’d been involved with her friends. Perhaps the opportunity fell right into their laps …

Or the producers may have set them up

Former Bachelor star Sean Lowe wrote in his tell-all about the reality show that while the show isn’t “scripted,” it’s certainly “choreographed.” Some Dancing With the Stars level choreography would be the producers casting a few of the men who didn’t pick Becca’s photos in the hope they’d pursued relationships with other ex-contestants — like Colton allegedly did.

Lucky for the franchise, as one love triangle ended, another is starting up on Bachelor in Paradise. And as cynical as we are about the nature of the “reality show,” we’d be lying if we said we aren’t hooked to see if Colton and Tia eventually end up together.

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