While it doesn't seem likely that this installment of The Bachelorette could ever compare to the mayhem of the most recent Bachelor season, there's already been enough happening to raise fans' eyebrows. It was revealed in the June 4 episode that Colton — one of Becca's suitors — had previously been involved with Tia, Becca's co-star on Arie's season. Becca seemed to find that a little sketchy. As some former Bachelor contestants, including Tia, come back into the picture this week, it's worth examining if Tia knew Colton was going to be on The Bachelorette.
According to People, Tia did know that Colton was applying to be on the show when he first reached out to her. “Colton was in the casting process for The Bachelorette, and he followed me on Instagram," Tia told the outlet. A few days after he slid into her DMs, Colton broke the news that he was applying to be on The Bachelorette, but neither one was sure if the application would go anywhere. "He hadn’t gotten the final call," Booth said, "so we thought, we get along well, we might as well just keep talking and doing whatever this is. The whole time I kept thinking, ‘What are the odds that he would get on the show?’ ”
The odds were good, apparently. Once Colton was selected, Tia said, "things came to a halt."
But there are still questions to be answered. Given how much speculation there was during the last season of The Bachelor that Tia would be the new Bachelorette, it's not out of the question that when the two hung out — which, according to People, was before Arie's season of The Bachelor aired — they thought she might be in Becca's shoes. Before Tia elaborated on the pair's history, a lot of fans online speculated as much (though, again, nobody can be certain), and they weren't too thrilled about it.
"It’s not just that he was interested in and hoped for Tia, that’s not a big deal at all," wrote Reddit user HalogenVlei, who apparently subscribes to the rumor. "It’s that they thought she was going to be it, and sneakily hung out before the season and started a relationship that would have easily made him [the final choice] on her season... It’s disrespectful IMO to waste everyone’s time going through this if you already have the guy picked."
Another former star of the Bachelor franchise, Ashley Iaconetti, appeared on Access Live and said that she found the reported timeline behind Colton and Tia's relationship a little odd. "If you remember before Becca got dumped by Arie, Tia was probably the frontrunner to become the Bachelorette. So it's interesting that he was canoodling with her," Ashley said. She drew attention to the timing, pointing out that January, which is when Colton tells Becca that he and Tia were linked for a weekend, "tends to be when casting limits the guys down to about 50, 25, you really get that call early February. So when Colton tells Becca that the timing wasn't right, it's like, yeah, the timing wasn't right because you'd prefer to be on the show dating the Bachelorette."
To his credit, Colton did tell Becca pretty quickly about his past with Tia, so it doesn't seem like he planned to hide his dating history from her forever.
There are some fans, though, who are wary of how much producer influence could have led him to divulge this piece of info, especially given that Tia was slated to return to the show just a week later. "I’m gonna be a skeptic and say I don’t think he wanted to tell Becca about Tia during week 2," wrote Reddit user gr7th. "I think there was some producer prodding and they told him Tia was going to be on the following week, so that way he would tell Becca and they could make it a storyline next week."
In any case, the logistics of the Colton/Tia relationship are fuzzy, and no one has the full story but the two of them. Even if Colton did apply to the Bachelorette in the hopes that Tia would be the star, or even if the two did hang out after he had been selected for the top group of guys, it isn't necessarily a dealbreaker. Colton insisted to Becca that his time with Tia was brief.
It's totally understandable for Becca to be uncomfortable with the development though, and it'll be interesting to see how long Colton lasts. When Tia makes an appearance this week, she could potentially shed more light on what exactly happened between her and Colton.