“I am telling you right now, if it wasn’t my dad the last time someone knocked at my door, I would have probably just not opened it, locked it, and been done with it,” 2020 Bachelorette star Tayshia Adams laughed over a Zoom call with Refinery29, lovingly leaning on the shoulder of her winner, Zac Clark. On Tuesday, the Bachelorette finale aired the couple's engagement after Adams broke up with Ben Smith for the second time and eliminated Ivan Hall, citing religious differences.
“What if it was me?,” Clark joked, forcing his fiancée to reconsider her position. “Okay then I would have opened the door … I was done with the door after a while,” Adams admitted.
Usually, a Bachelorette’s dad begging her not to make the “biggest mistake of her life” — as Desmond did during Tuesday night’s finale — would be the biggest shock of the episode. But, for many watching, they walked away from “Week 12” still thinking about faith. Adams’ early-episode split with Hall over religion was the ultimate shock of the season closer, leaving viewers wondering what happened during an apparent off-camera conversation. Hall has since told Bachelor Nation alum Caila Quinn via direct message he “isn’t religious.”
The finale suggested that Adams, a proud Christian woman, aligns with fiancé Clark on the subject — and everything else — in a far more potent manner. Now, about three months after their engagement, the couple is giving us major insight into the delicate topic, while spilling Fantasy Suite secrets and meditating on their most emotional conversation in the finale.
Refinery29: Religion becomes such a surprising key to the finale. What was the process like for you to talk about such a personal thing on camera?
Tayshia Adams: “My faith is a huge part of me. It’s how I was raised and it’s something I fall back on every single day. It’s gotten me to this point in my life. Religion is a real subject that everybody should be talking about. I don’t think it falls short of any of the big conversations that I’ve had with any of the other men. So, of course I’m going to talk about religion.”
How are you both connecting as a couple on religion? It was clearly a big part of your decision making.
Zac Clark: Look, for me, I believe in God. I believe that there are no coincidences. I’m here for a reason, and Tayshia and I have been able to connect on that. We do share time in prayer together and all that kind of stuff. I believe that’s important to have that foundation, because we’re going to raise children together and do all the things. We believe in that being a central point to everything else.
How did you approach your private conversations in the Fantasy Suites, since that seemed to clinch your choice?
Adams: “That is really the time where you’re able to take a deep breath and let it all out and really talk about the things that might be a little embarrassing in front of the camera. Or something you’re actually fearful of — something you’ve experienced in that past that you don’t want the whole world to hear. Zac and I are really comfortable with each other talking about any subject. I don’t think that we shy away from anything that we feel like needs to be discussed.”
Clark: “I think there’s a lot of energy around the Fantasy Suites of, What happens there! All this scandal. But the truth of the matter is, when the cameras went away and producers left, nothing changed. That was really a huge tell for me in our relationship that we were being authentic, no matter what was going on.”
Tayshia, at the end of your final one-on-one with Zac, you voiced your fears of becoming a “housewife” in five years after saying you want to “rule the world.” What was it like sharing that anxiety, which is very relatable?
Adams: “That was really on my heart. I’ve been in a situation where I don’t speak my mind and I don’t say what I feel. At the end of it, someone will like hold my words to me and they’re like, ‘No! You said you wanted to do this.’ Yes, but I also meant this.
“People can twist your words. I feel like you have to be honest with yourself and your partner if you want a successful relationship. That’s a fear that I truly did have and again I feel like I can talk to Zac about anything. Just the validation that he gave me was very reassuring that I can continue to do that in a safe place. You should definitely vocalize how you feel always.”
Zac, what was it like supporting Tayshia in that very vulnerable moment? It feels like Tayshia saved sharing her biggest fears for you.
Clark: “One of the things we were able to connect on was that the reality of my life and the reality of her life is that we are two very busy, energetic, passionate human beings. So, really allowing one another to have our lives, truly, [is a priority], whether it’s work or going on a trip with the ladies for a weekend. Just supporting her and knowing that when we are together we’re going to be each other’s priority.
“We joked on the show that we’re going to build an empire. But there’s some truth behind that in that we’re going to support each other in our dreams and our goals and our aspirations.”
Adams: “Oh, no, no, no. I wasn’t joking. I’m building an empire.”
This interview has been edited and condensed.