On The Almost Famous Podcast, the hosts, Ben Higgins and Ashley Iaconetti, insinuated that Tia Booth (former contestant and rising influencer) was boosting her Instagram likes artificially. More explicitly, Higgins suggested that Booth was marketing her new boyfriend as a way to combat the rising interest in the newest season of The Bachelor. In Bachelor Nation, those are fighting words.
"She's definitely promoting this new boyfriend," Ben Higgins noted, just after pointing out that the new fellow looks a lot like Colton Underwood. Booth and Underwood dated briefly in January 2018, and rekindled the relationship on Bachelor in Paradise this summer. After they broke up, Underwood went on to be the newest Bachelor. Booth is now apparently dating Cory Cooper, who has appeared in a few Instagram photos of hers.
"She came out about him — and the way he looks like Colton — right before the promo [for The Bachelor] came out," Iaconetti agreed.
Higgins went on to suggest that Booth buys "likes" — something that can be done — on her Instagram photos. "I was looking last night at some of the pictures of her boyfriend; her pictures get so many likes! She's getting, like, a hundred and fourteen thousand likes per picture. That's more than anybody else really gets in Bachelor Nation. Even her hair picture got that! It's wild!"
At that, Higgins and Iaconetti's producer Amy asked, "Can you buy likes?" Iaconetti said yes, and added that she knows of a Bachelor-adjacent person who does buy likes sometimes.
The trouble with Bachelor gossip on a Bachelor podcast is that Bachelor Nation is listening. Ergo, Booth tweeted at Higgins and Iaconetti to defend her likes and the timing of her posts with Cooper.
Then, the apology:
No, no I wasn’t insinuating that you bought likes. I know you don’t. I’m also sorry about the promo speculation. I’m so happy you found Cory. You’re one of my favorite people from the franchise and I hope you’re not upset!— Ashley Iaconetti (@ashleyiaco) November 28, 2018
This is all to say: Things are a little slow in Bachelor Nation right now. Godspeed to the next season of The Bachelor — may it come quickly and gift us with real, sloppy, teary love-related drama so that Instagram "likes" are no longer a concern.
Lastly, regarding Booth's popularity on Instagram: She's probably getting the sweet boost that comes with being a very public ex. Like Ariana Grande, Cazzie David, Selena Gomez, and Rihanna have all discovered before her, Booth has found the secret path to Insta-stardom and internet adoration. Booth, you're in good company.