By Mariah Smith
Aug 14, 2018 @ 8:00 pm

Subject: Tia Booth

Age: 27

Occupation: Physical Therapist

Thank goodness for Bachelor in Paradise, the Olympics of reality TV. Just like in our favorite summer and winter games, we may not watch the contestants as they compete in preliminary races, but we’ll most certainly watch them compete for gold. And by preliminary games, I mean Arie’s season of The Bachelor, which was clearly a major fluke but gave us some of our favorite characters who have brought the drama to Paradise. On everyone’s mind: The love triangle between Tia Booth, Colton, and Becca.

On last night’s episode, Colton — who competed on Becca’s season after a romantic weekend with Tia — admitted that he still has feelings for Becca, which could not have been easy for Tia to hear. She was hoping to reunite with Colton in Paradise; instead, she decided not to give him a rose at the first elimination ceremony. His behavior toward Tia made Colton the season’s instant villain, but he made it through last night’s ceremony anyway because Bibiana threw him a lifetime.

SO, Tia’s social media needs a bit of a breakdown before she most likely breaks down on tonight’s episode of Paradise.

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Tia is an enigma. She’s been orbiting Bachelor Nation since Nick Viall’s season. Let me explain: She’s actual BFFs with Raven Gates, who was Nick’s runner up and is currently dating Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay’s ex, Adam Gottschalk. Raven and Tia are for-real friends from Kentucky; they have posts together from before either of them were on TV. Raven was the one who inspired Tia to join the show for Arie’s season, and Raven also stands by her girl when she can’t — while Tia was away filming Paradise, her former castmate Bekah M. tweeted relentlessly about Tia and Colton, accusing them of concocting their entire dramatic storyline just so they could end up in Paradise together. Raven was super quick to shut Bekah down.

Tia, in her own right, has managed to become an instant fan favorite, even when some of her actions — like telling Becca she still has feelings for Colton while Colton was dating Becca — are divisive. Remember, this was after Colton claimed that Tia gave him her blessing to go on The Bachelorette.

Tia’s honesty and her low-key social media presence lead me to believe that she is on the show for the #RightReasons. Despite now currently appearing on her third season of reality TV and influencing for her 600K Instagram followers on behalf of huge companies like Velveeta and Neutrogena (plus donating some social real estate to smaller brands like Scarlett clothing), Tia keeps her professional and private life mostly private. She recently explained that she doesn’t post much about her physical therapy patients (a.k.a. her IRL job) to protect her patients’ privacy. According to Romper, Tia even locked her Instagram account in January of this year, presumably to make sure any offensive or embarrassing posts were deleted before Arie’s season began airing.

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But even if she did clean Instagram house this year, Tia is not shy about speaking, or posting, her mind, even when it’s controversial — and that goes for her love-triangulating feelings, her take-no-bullshit approach, and even her gun ownership.

One thing I love about Tia is that she seems able to leave drama behind. Yes, she asked Colton to make a decision about their relationship through tears one the last episode of Bachelor in Paradise, but once he said he couldn’t commit, she gave Chris Randone her rose and kept it moving.

Let’s just hope Tia can stick to that ethos tonight and not let Colton ruin her time in Paradise.