Raven's BFF From Arkansas Is On The Bachelor Now (In Case You Forgot How This Show Works)

Photo: ABC/Bob D’Amico.
When she's not double-dating with Rachel Lindsay, former Bachelor contestant Raven Gates is busy staying involved in Bachelor Nation in creative ways that go above and beyond appearing on Bachelor in Paradise.
Gates, who made it to the top three on Nick Viall's season of The Bachelor, announced on her Instagram yesterday that her best friend from Arkansas, Tia, is joining the 22nd season of the dating show to vie for the affections of Arie Luyendyk Jr.
"I finally get to announce that I'm handing over my Bachelor baton to my BFF @tiarachel91," Gates writes. "My only advice: Just always remember you're not as bad as what your worst critic says you are and you're not as great as what your biggest fan says you are. Find the balance, enjoy the ride. I'm always in your corner!"
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From her profile on ABC's Bachelor cast page, we learned that Tia is 26 and a physical therapist from Weiner, AR. And from her Instagram, we learned she is a proud dog mom.

A post shared by Tia B (@tiarachel91) on

Even though Gates didn't end up with the final rose from Viall, she connected with Adam Gottschalk on Bachelor in Paradise and the two have been together ever since. Gottschalk, you may remember, competed for Lindsay's heart on her season of The Bachelorette.
If that wasn't enough inter-Bachelor connections for you, don't forget we first saw Luyendyk, the so-called “kissing bandit,” way back in season eight, on Emily Maynard's season of The Bachelorette. At the time, Luyendyk came in second place. He was the favorite to be the next Bachelor in 2012, but he somehow avoided the lure of Bachelor Nation for five long years.
Tia is 26 to Luyendyk's 36, which isn't the largest age gap on the show this year, but a decade can be a big gap to overcome. We'll be tuning in January to find out who will take the final rose, but we're sure we'll be seeing all of these people on our TV for years to come.