This Bachelorette Contestant Will Make You Believe In Love Again

Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
Wells Adams and I are both thirtysomething, Portuguese, and obsessed with our dogs. But the real reason I like him is because he’s the only contestant from The Bachelorette I could see any of my single friends actually going out with in real life. The alum of JoJo Fletcher's season — he was sent home during the pair's one-on-one date in Argentina, shortly after their much-teased first kiss — is funny, smart, and he has pins on his denim jacket! He's also highly entertaining during his drunk Snapchat recaps of The Bachelorette and Bachelor In Paradise, the latter of which he is rumored to be joining very, very soon.

Wells also gets that it’s sort of nuts to declare your love to someone shortly after meeting her and that making out on night one is not necessarily a precursor to a long and happy life together. My version of a final rose: getting Wells on the phone to discuss “uncoupling” with his ex, how it felt to party with shirtless personal trainers, and why he’d “much rather save a dog’s life than sell teeth-whitening shit.”

A lot of women think you were the only normal, actually dateable guy on the show. Why do you think you’re such an anomaly?

"I don’t know if 'he seems like a totally dateable guy' is a compliment! Honestly, I was just myself. I think that the guys who go on are so incredibly good-looking that they seem unattainable. I was the skinny, nerdy radio DJ that probably a lot of people have in their friend group. I’m not a personal trainer, I don’t have fantastic coiffed hair and a six-pack, so when they saw me, they were like, 'Oh yeah, he’s the hipster we’re all friends with who collects vinyl.'"

But they don’t normally bring guys like that on the show!

"Or maybe they do, but those guys don’t normally go very far on the show, whereas I was able to trick everyone into letting me hang out for a long time. I understand what you’re saying, but I was actually similar to a lot of the dudes on the show. A lot of my storyline was self-deprecation and looking like an idiot. I think people can relate to that."

How did it feel to have a normal body type on a show with a bunch of guys who look like the Hulk?

"I was aware of the fact that they were chiseled out of granite, but it never bothered me, because that isn’t my strength. I don’t have these amazing abs and lats and traps; my strengths are that I’m a good conversationalist and funny. There’s a part of me that’s kind of proud of the fact that I don’t have time to sit in the gym all day, because I’ve got a career.

"I do a lot of cardio. That was another thing that wasn’t portrayed on the show: I was an athlete growing up. I played collegiate rugby. I used to be a bit bigger. But now that I’ve gotten older, I’d much rather stay lean, so I do a lot of long-distance running."

I don’t have these amazing abs and lats and traps; my strengths are that I’m a good conversationalist and funny.

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Why did you want to go on the show?

"My brother was going to be on The Bachelorette about six years ago, but at the last minute, he bailed, because he got into a relationship. He was still friends with some of the casting directors and when I became single about a year ago, he was like, 'Hey, this is my brother, and he’s a radio DJ in Nashville, and I think he’d be great for the show.'

"I didn’t take it super-seriously at first. If nothing else, I thought I’d at least be able to tell the story about the time I auditioned for a reality TV show and didn’t get it, of course. But it became evident that they were going to have me on the show and it became really exciting. It’s a crazy adventure that less than 1,000 people have gotten to go on.

"I had dated in the traditional sense for the majority of my adult life and all of those relationships had been unfruitful, so why couldn’t this weird dating option work? It’s not a normal situation, but the normal situations were failing. I was like, If things work out okay, I’ll have a great story. If things work out good, I’ll have new guy friends. If things work out great, I’ll get to travel the world. And if things work out magically, I’ll be engaged at the end. It was all a positive. There was no con."

But you could have come off badly, though I don’t think you did.

"A lot of people think the show is edited [to depict contestants in specific ways], but it would be really hard to create something that didn’t happen, because there wouldn’t be dialogue to support it. It’s just compressed, not edited. 24 hours would be squashed into four minutes. Those things were said and people usually felt those things.

"My whole thing was, as long as I don’t do anything to make my mother not proud, then I’ll be fine. And I think I did that."

So many of the guys say they started off as skeptics and then it became real. Did it ever “become real” for you?

"I was probably the most skeptical of everyone. I was more of a victim of the circumstances, though. I was the last guy to get a one-on-one. If I had been Derek, who got the first one-on-one, I guarantee you my feelings would have been completely different. But I didn’t have a lot of time with JoJo. The whole not-kissing-her thing was a derivative of that, because I’d only spent a couple of minutes with her here and there and I didn’t want to waste time making out with her when I could be getting to know her and deciding whether I’m into her and, conversely, whether she’s into me.

"Robby told her he loved her on the first date! I thought that was crazy. But after that one-on-one when we finally did kiss and spent all day together, I was like, I’m 100% into this, I’m very attracted to this girl, I think this thing could have legs. Unfortunately, I was just too far behind, though I didn’t know that at the time. Watching it back, her relationships with other people were so much more evolved and complex than mine was. We started our relationship the day I got dumped in Argentina.

"I remember JoJo saying, 'You don’t ever kiss on the first date?' And I said, 'No, I don’t, ever.' And she said, 'We’ve been on six dates, Wells!' And I was like, 'No, we’ve hung out in a group setting six different times. This is our first date.'"

Today is #nationalkissingday! Followed by the less popular: #FlyYourAssOutOfArgentinaDay...

A photo posted by Wells Adams (@wellsadams) on


How long had you been on the show by the time you did go on a date?

"About a month."

It seemed tough, that moment when they all called you out on not having kissed.

"I give zero fucks about that. I know who I am, and I know what I’m not. I’m not those guys. I’m not the guy that shoves my tongue down some girl’s throat the first night I meet her. That’s weird to me. When I look back, I love the fact that I got that far without kissing her. I think that’s a testament to my personality."

You seemed to have a more realistic conception of what constitutes a relationship than the other guys did. It seemed like a lot of these guys were falling in love really early on.

"The rule is that you don’t talk about kids, marriage, or family on the first date or even in the first month, right? I remember that last night when we were talking about my past relationship, and I was telling JoJo that I don’t hate my ex. We were together for four years, we flirted with the idea of getting married, but we made this really mature decision to uncouple. We’re still friends.

"She perceived it as me not being romantic, that I wasn’t passionate. I hated that. It was okay for one of these guys to have broken up with his girlfriend to go on a television show, or to cheat right before, but being cool and mature enough to say, 'Maybe this isn’t perfect for us,' makes me unromantic? I hated that. I thought that was BS."

I remember thinking, relationships aren’t all fireworks! That’s maybe how it is for the first few months, but that’s not a lifetime relationship.

"JoJo and I talked about the really passionate 'I’m excited to see you’ve texted me' part of love and then the part where you get comfortable and you try to keep the fire going. JoJo didn’t like that. I remember thinking that maybe I had experienced more. I was the oldest guy there at that time in the show, so I was more realistic about relationships. That night sucked, because I really wanted to stick around. I thought we had something going."

How did it feel to watch yourself on TV? Would you watch with other people?

"I don’t mind watching myself on TV. I feel like I came across on TV how I come across in real life. The only thing they kind of cut out is, I’m a lot funnier in real life. I came across as very serious on TV. I made fun of those guys a lot and I wish they’d kept that stuff in there."

The show takes itself very seriously. Which brings me to Bachelor in Paradise, which does not take itself seriously. Why go back for more?

"There were some regrets. There were some cards left on the table after The Bachelorette. I wouldn’t go back and change anything, but I wish I had been more passionate and I wish I hadn’t squandered the vital moments I had with JoJo. And I think that, though Bachelor in Paradise is kind of silly, it does offer a little bit of redemption. I wanted to go out there and right my wrongs."

So you wanted to seem...more passionate? What did you want to happen?

"I wanted the opportunity to find a girlfriend. I was a little bummed that I got in my own way on Bachelorette. I was super, super skeptical and that hindered me. I wanted to go into Paradise with a much more open mind. I saw it as a more viable way to go about a relationship on a television show.

"That whole last dialogue I had with JoJo made me come across as this nonromantic, unpassionate person, and I didn’t like that, because that’s not who I am. I wanted the opportunity to show the rest of the world that that’s not really me."

Do you think you got that opportunity?

"You’ve got to wait and see."

I read that Jade and Tanner [who wed after meeting on Bachelor In Paradise] could make a million dollars in sponsored posts this year. Have you been approached about promoting detox teas or teeth whiteners?

"I have, and I’ve shied away from that because the last thing I’d want to do is spam my followers. I also make money doing other stuff, so I don’t really need to do that — which isn’t to say I wouldn’t do that. I endorse stuff on the radio show, but I would never endorse something I don’t believe in. I would feel really weird if it was like, 'I shop at Walmart because I’m a horrible human!'"

I do love that you post pictures of adoptable dogs on Instagram.

"Going on this weird television show..."

Thank you for not saying “journey!"

"...this weird 'adventure!' It gives you this platform on social media, and I think that, to quote freaking Peter Parker, 'With great power comes great responsibility.' I would much rather save a dog’s life than sell teeth-whitening shit. That seems like a much better use of my time."

Did you and JoJo ever talk about your dogs?

"We did! She’s got a German shorthair pointed named Jackson. After that first fireman date, I showed her pictures of my dog, Carl. That’s an easy thing to talk about when you go on dates."

Are you on any dating apps now?

"I’m not. I’m very much single right now, too. This whole thing is really weird and creepy in a way that’s hard to explain. I’m stepping back and not dating. I want this all to fall away. I know that this 15 minutes is almost up and I kind of want to wait for that 15 minutes to end before I get back out there.

"A big story line was JoJo and her ex-boyfriend supposedly getting back together after she and Ben broke up on the previous season. And I remember hearing that and thinking it makes total sense, because that was someone you knew before you went on a television show. It’s a weird time when you come back from the show and everyone thinks they know you, but they know this very condensed version of you."
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