Tayshia Adams is finally taking over as Bachelorette.
After months of rumors and source reports, The Bachelorette finally acknowledged the presence of its second star in a promo two episodes ago. Last week, as the newly engaged Clare Crawley and Dale Moss headed off into the sunset, she finally got to step out of the limo and make it official. This week, her journey finally begins, and if you got tired of waiting for her to show up, just imagine how she was feeling.
"Oh my gosh, it's been terrible," she tells E! News of all the secret-keeping. "First of all, I hate lying. Second of all, like, how do you answer? I've been just fumbling over my words. 'Where have you been, what is this?' I'm like 'I don't know! I'm going to go now.' It's been the worst."
Most Bachelorettes just have to hide their relationship status once they're done filming, but Tayshia couldn't even tell people she'd been filming at all when all she wanted to do was scream about how she's the Bachelorette, which she did as soon as she could.
"It was actually pretty surreal," she says. "It feels kind of weird still saying it just because I haven't been able to say it for so long."
So how did this happen? That's a part of the story that hasn't been made very clear so far. On screen, it looked as if Tayshia was ready to step in as soon as Clare and Dale headed out, and that may have really been the case. Tayshia says she was brought in before anyone was totally sure Clare was going to leave the show, but it was a strong possibility.
"They told me what I need to know in the sense of, Clare thinks that she's finding love here and it's working for her and if things keep moving as quickly as they do, she might have found her person, and we still have many fantastic men that are still looking for love and open to it and if I possibly was, then I'd be the girl," she says. "But nothing was ever like a guaranteed thing and it all was dependent on Clare."
Unlike Clare, Tayshia didn't get six months to prepare to be the star of the season. Even as just a fan anticipating Clare's season, she didn't do much social media stalking past that initial announcement of the contestants on Clare's season, and she thinks she was better off that way.
"You know what, I did Google the guys the first time they were announced, when Clare was announced and the guys were announced like months and months ago," she says, remembering all the way back to March. "I'm so excited for her, but I hadn't looked at them since then I'm glad I didn't look at them before I started my journey because it was really fun, them not knowing me and me not knowing them and just starting fresh."
Tayshia's journey to find love officially takes off Tuesday night at 8 p.m. on ABC, but if you need your fix now, she hosts the podcast Click Bait with Bachelor Nation with Hannah Ann Sluss and Joe Amabile.