Colton and Tia are no more!
This season’s “Bachelor in Paradise” “it” couple went their separate ways on Monday’s episode, conveniently the night before our next Bachelor will be announced on “Good Morning America” on Tuesday. A source previously told ET that producers had three men in the running, including Jason Tartick, Blake Horstmann and — you guessed it! — Colton Underwood.
The 26-year-old former NFL player’s suspiciously timed departure from “Paradise” could be nothing more than coincidence, but we think otherwise. His connection to Tia had been a theme even through Becca Kufrin‘s season of “The Bachelorette”, when she discovered he and Tia spent a romantic weekend together before he tried to find love on TV.
On Monday night’s episode, Colton admitted that he came to “Bachelor in Paradise” to pursue a real relationship with Tia, but that he just wasn’t feeling it.
“I think, you know, part of me’s been struggling this whole time. And I think part of me wanted this to work so bad… it’s not there,” Colton told Tia. “You deserve somebody who’s going to be crazy about you every single day.”
“Can you honestly that you, like, tried?” Tia, clearly blindsided, asked.
“I can look at you with 100-per-cent certainty and say I tried here, and gave it my all,” he insisted, as she burst into tears, crying into his chest.
The two hugged for a minute, sharing a deep embrace while he kissed her on the forehead. “You need to just really focus on this time and really figure yourself out so you can fully give yourself to someone,” Tia advised through tears.
The Arkansas native then walked upstairs to pack her things, while Colton cried into his sleeveless hoodie. (Two things — 1. MUSCLES. 2. Is this the new crying into a towel?) the Colton Underwood Legacy foundation founder then packed his things and said goodbye.
“I just feel stupid,” Tia cried to Astrid, before taking her own ride to the airport. “I’m just tired of feeling not good enough for people.”
During the “Bachelor in Paradise” finale taping last week, Tia told ET that while Colton was rumoured to be in contention to be the next Bachelor, she didn’t think it was his time.
“I don’t know that he’s ready,” she confessed. “I don’t.”
“I mean, it was just about two months ago that I was telling him that he really needs to figure himself out before he can fully be with someone else,” Tia continued, adding that she’s pulling for Jason instead. “If there’s a chance that Colton is the Bachelor, I would hope that he is fully ready for that experience knowing that he wants to be engaged at the end of it.”
Colton, meanwhile, seemed up for the job while chatting with ET at the “Men Tell All” taping in July. See what he said in the video below, and join the conversation at ET’s Bachelor Nation Facebook group here.
“Bachelor in Paradise” airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.