Tahzjuan Hawkins is hot. Like, pass-out-on-the-beach hot. That's pretty much all we hear from the Denver-based Lyft program specialist after she enters Bachelor In Paradise on Week 4. A night one-r from Colton Underwood's season of The Bachelor, Tahzjuan's entire BIP storyline similarly wrapped up in only one episode — just a couple of days, IRL.
To be fair, this whole trip could not have gone more wrong for the reality star. After a ton of travel snafus, Tahzjuan arrived just as most of the beach had decidedly coupled up. Worse, they all seemed to have a godlike endurance to the sweltering temperatures in Mexico that Tahzjuan did not, rendering her almost comatose and unhappy.
However, she did have a nice time with John Paul Jones. The two went on a date that may have started with JPJ throwing up after eating the date food (a big no-no) but ended with the two making out in the water. Even that, though, was short-lived. The next day, Tahzjuan had to share JPJ with the new arrival, Haley Ferguson. That resulted in a near mental breakdown — did she mention she was hot? — that included eating spaghetti in the pool and calling Haley a pigeon before Tahzjuan was sent home. We stan.
Despite the briefness of her appearance, Tahzjuan has solidified herself as the most memorable BiP contestant in recent years for shattering the facade of Paradise and keeping things real in a way that no amount of emotional conversations on the daybed ever could. Ahead, we spoke to the contestant to get some answers (how hot was it really?) and learned why, after everything, she's hoping to do it all again.
Your Bachelor In Paradise journey was off to a rough start before you even got to the island. What happened?
“I actually made an attempt to fly down to Mexico the day before, and my flight got delayed. My luggage got sent on the previous flight, so I went home with no luggage. I ended up making it on the [next] flight, but I had a layover in Salt Lake [City, UT] and there were issues with the plane, and I was just like, I might never make it down to Paradise.”
Once you finally made it, when did things start going wrong?
“I had every intention of like, Okay, you're going to get up, do your makeup, look great. You're trying to find a man. And then I got down there and I looked at everyone and I was like, why am I the only person having so many issues? I was there for just a couple of days. But the elements really got to me.”
People loved you pointing out that you can’t eat the date food. Why can’t you eat the date food?
“I thought that was common knowledge. I mean, on Colton's season I got sent home on the first night, so I haven't even experienced a date for myself. I thought everyone knew that you weren't supposed to eat the date food. That food is sitting out. You eat before and then you go and just like, no one wants to hear people eating on camera.”
Has your opinion of JPJ changed at all now that you’ve seen what happened after you left?
“No, not at all. I think, especially for me going down to Paradise, you have all these expectations and once you're actually thrown into all the relationships, it does become a hard environment to try and navigate. And so I think for him it was just, he's never been in that situation before. It didn't change my opinion of him. I think he's a gem of a human.
Have you spoken to Haley at all?
“I think everyone took me making that comment as me being mean, but it definitely was not ill intent at all. So, I think that was super easy to clear up with her.”
Who did you click with most friend-wise during your short time on the island?
“Everyone got to build their relationships with being on The Bachelor and I went home so early that I didn't get to bond with anyone. And I think while I was in Paradise, I isolated myself. I didn't get to make any friendships. But I mean it wasn't on purpose. It was a difficult time for me.
If not JPJ, who would you have been interested in?
“I would have liked to spend more time with Mike [Johnson]. I know he was a fan favorite from Hannah's season of The Bachelorette, and I think he was someone I was interested in getting to know more. And Matt [Donald]. He seemed like a great guy.
Which couple are you rooting for?
“Hannah G and Dylan are the ones I'm rooting for. You can tell their connection was strong, and I think Dylan is such a phenomenal guy. He can joke around, he can be serious. That is something that's important in a relationship. So, I'm rooting for those two.”
Would you go back next year?
“I would try and give it another shot. I am a hopeless romantic, so I would never turn down the opportunity to find my person.”
This interview has been edited for clarity and length.