Emma Gray: I do think that if Tia had expressed [her feelings for Colton] early on, Colton would not have been [on the show anymore]. It’s just a really crappy situation.
Kristen Baldwin: A lot of people were tweeting, “Oh, Tia’s such a bad friend, this is awful.”
Gray: I think it’s a little more complicated than that.
Baldwin: I agree. Granted, this is not a good look, and I’m sure she could have gotten in touch with Becca off-camera. But you know, Tia likes to be on camera. There was absolute encouragement [by the producers]. But I don’t think the fault is that she’s betraying girl code or she’s a bad friend. I think it’s more that her need for attention overruled her better judgment in this situation.
Claire Fallon: I don’t think she’s very good at this game. She thought she was going to be the Bachelorette and she completely destroyed her own image with the audience shortly before leaving [her season of “The Bachelor”], and completely undermined her own Bachelorette campaign. And now I think she wanted to get people excited about a possible romance for her on “Paradise,” and instead made everyone hate her. So she really miscalculated. But I don’t think she’s a monster.
And this is one thing I hate about this show sometimes. The whole point of it is to speculate about people’s motives and then I hit a wall where I’m like, how am I supposed to know what they’re thinking? I don’t know what she was thinking!
Baldwin: But the easiest explanation is usually the right one and I think she just wanted more screen time.
Gray: And she liked Colton!
Baldwin: And she likes Colton. You know, had there been no cameras, would this have gone down? I don’t think so. But I agree.
Fallon: It could have played out entirely differently without cameras where maybe she still would have been like, “please don’t date him,” but would have done it at a different time. There was probably a part of her that was like, I shouldn’t be the interfering one, and he probably won’t win, and then I’ll get to date him again in “Paradise.”
Gray: That was the calculation made at the beginning. And then I see [her decision to talk to Becca after hometowns] as an anxiety decision, something that was weighing on her. Becca and Colton are in this experience, without cell phones, and Tia is just spinning, texting Caroline about it, obsessing. And then she’s offered this way to express that and she grabs onto it!
But I don’t think it was the best tactical move. Ultimately, it’s sort of shitty for all three of them.
Baldwin: I just don’t think we need to jump on her as a bad female friend. You’ve gotta actually take logic and normal human interaction out of contention when you’re discussing these things. Because this is not a normal situation … These people all are in some way in the midst of the grips of Stockholm Syndrome. You can’t apply normal human logic to this. You have to kind of take a step back.
It’ll be interesting to see how [Tia] is portrayed and how she behaves on “Paradise.”
For more on “The Bachelorette” hometowns, listen to “Here to Make Friends”: