We watched her fall for Jake Pavelka on The Bachelor and compete on Bachelor Pad. Still, this year #BachelorNation was shocked to see fan favourite Tenley Molzahn return for a third try at small-screen love on Bachelor in Paradise. When the sunny reality TV star touched down in Toronto for Eligible magazine’s TIFF Bachelor Party, we couldn’t wait to find out what prompted her to hit the beach with her fellow former contestants. While we weren’t surprised to learn that Tenley’s as energetic as she appears, we didn’t expect her to tell us that her latest Bachelor appearance was her favourite.
“I had a more mature approach. I was able to be a lot more realistic with everything,” says the San Diego, Calif.-based star, who had been single for a year before signing up for Paradise. “Every time I’ve done one of these shows I’ve learned a lot about myself.” This time around, Tenley tells Hello!, “I think I learned a lot about being honest to myself and to others.” Here, she reveals what it’s really like to search for love in front of the camera.
Tenley endeared fans on The Bachelor, Bachelor Pad and Bachelor in Paradise.Photo: © Getty Images
SPARKS REALLY FLY AND FIZZLE
Even though dating on television feels high-speed, it is still a dating process. You’re still getting to know somebody like you would when you’re going out on dates. There’s a point when you end things and don’t think it’s going to go any further. I took some heat for letting Joshua go. There were people who said, “You were just as bad as Kirk was to Carly,” and I thought, “No, it was actually very different.”
IT’S NOT ALL MADE FOR TV
There’s a lot of downtime, and on The Bachelor you stay inside your hotel with everybody. One of our big hotel stays was in San Francisco, and it was Halloween. I remember dressing up in the hotel and wishing we could see the city. For my 30th birthday, my boyfriend at the time took me back there because I’d never explored it.
I have a bit of FOMO, major fear of missing out, so on Paradise I liked to be social and hang out. I loved being in the ocean or by the pool. Then we’d have interviews throughout the day. But there was a lot of downtime and I enjoyed it because I don't have that in my real life. I actually love keeping busy, but it was nice to take a break in a way.
IT’S POSSIBLE TO FORGET THE CAMERAS
I did go home after we’d filmed and thought, “Oh my gosh, I went almost thirty days without wearing makeup.” I panicked, thinking, “I didn’t wear any clothes!” It was fun to watch Paradise and realize we were all glowing. I still think it’s just weird to see myself on television. It’s been a long while since I’ve done a show like this and I’ll be honest, I feel like I’ve grown and I’m proud of that. I’m still very much the same Tenley, but I have a different approach to life. I’m more aware of who I am. It was really fun to watch the show and see that.
Tenley at the TIFF Bachelor Party with Jared Haibon. Photo: © Instagram
LOVE BLOOMS AFTER BACHELOR
I’m so grateful for all of my Bachelor experiences, obviously I put myself in this position again. It [makes it a] little harder [to meet someone] because I think people might have expectations of you or put you on a pedestal. There are a lot of other pieces of my life besides what people have seen on TV. It would just be boring if we talked about my life all the time on the show. I think there’s an appeal to dating within the Bachelor family because of that understanding. However, I think I’m ready to date outside of it.
…AND HER ADVICE TO BACHELOR BEN
I like to encourage him as much as I get to. He’s a really good friend. The advice I have given him is to breathe. Put your foot down when you need to. Just be true to who you are because he is this amazing guy that we’re cheering on. I just really hope that there are at least some decent ones there for him.