1/21/2019 by Nicole Pajer
"I’ll go on record saying I am a terrible dancer, but at least I embrace it and own it," Colton laughs to Billboard.
On every season of The Bachelor, the contestants are whisked away to exotic dates that include everything from sharing a mug of hot cocoa on top of a glacier to traversing crystal-clear foreign waters on private yachts. But though the show’s destinations change, there is one date that seems to be a staple across every season of the franchise: the private concert performance.
On Monday night's (Jan. 21) episode of the series, 27-year-old Colton Underwood whisked his date, Elyse, away on a private helicopter, rented out an amusement park, and won stuffed animals for both his lady and kids from a local children’s hospital. The evening ended at a stunning theater in downtown Los Angeles where the duo shared an intimate dinner in the venue’s ornate lobby. Following the final sip of wine, Underwood linked arms with his gal and told her, in pure Bachelor fashion, that he had one final surprise for her. As the couple entered the ballroom doors, they were greeted by country artist Tenille Arts, who was in the midst of performing for a small crowd.
Underwood grabbed Elyse’s hand, led her up onstage, twirled her around, and dipped her for a kiss as the band performed Tenille's latest hits “I Hate This” and “Mad Crazy Love.” It was the second time the artist has appeared on The Bachelor, and she was thrilled to be back, especially since her previous stint on the show led to her being signed by Reviver.
“It’s pretty crazy to be back here. Last time it was a little smaller. This time I’ve got my full band here and this incredible theater. It’s amazing!” Tenille told Billboard, who was on set for the date.
The country songstress revealed that after landing her record deal, she immediately hit the road for a radio tour. “It’s been a lot of fun!” she proclaimed, adding that the label has really given her “the time and space to write songs and create music” and that she is constantly churning out new music, which will eventually be released on an upcoming album. Though it’s still in the early stages, Tenille did reveal that her dream collaborator for the project would be Shawn Mendes. “His lyrics kind of lean a little bit towards the storyteller side of things, which is totally country music. That would be something cool,” she said.
An avid Bachelor fan herself, Tenille raved about the opportunity to return to the show. During her first performance, which was during Ari Luyendyk Jr.’s date with Chelsea Roy, she had written a custom tune for the show, titled “Moment of Weakness.” For this episode, she reached into her arsenal of newer tunes and picked a few to treat the audience to that would be sure to pull on the heartstrings of Bachelor fanatics.
“’I Hate This’ is kind of a love song if you really dig into the lyrics and listen to how it’s about realizing that you still love that person and you want them back and you are going to fight for them. And then ‘Mad Crazy Love,’ this whole experience on The Bachelor must be a little bit crazy. It’s just about falling in love and you can’t really control how quickly or how slowly you fall in love,” Tenille told Billboard.
Elyse, who was Underwood’s date for the evening, revealed that the date was definitely something she will never forget. “I think anyone here tonight could see that with the big smile plastered on my face. This was a heck of way to end one of the best days I’ve ever had,” she said. Elyse added that after watching Tenille perform, she considers herself an instant fan: “Her voice is angelic. It’s insane. I kept looking up a couple of times because it sounded like a recording. It was her singing!” she proclaimed.
At the end of the night, Underwood told Billboard that the evening served as a rite of passage for him. “This was my first concert on The Bachelor. It sort of makes it official, right? Once you have your first concert, you’re officially The Bachelor. It’s real now,” he said, with a laugh.
The star of ABC’s hit reality show added that as a country music fan himself, Tenille’s performance was a real treat. “I love all sorts of country music. And the moment I can share it with somebody that I’m on a date with makes it really special,” he said, revealing that his favorites acts are Thomas Rhett, Danielle Bradbery, Kenny Chesney, Sam Hunt, Florida Georgia Line and Old Dominion. “I’m more into the 'new country.’ But I could do an old Joe Diffie. I can get down with that too,” he laughed.
According to Tenille, the chemistry behind the duo was undeniable. “You can definitely tell that there was a connection there,” she said, of Colton and Elyse. She also noticed one other thing: “Colton’s dancing is a little funny,” she said, with a laugh. “But it was cute that he just went for it.”
At the mention of his “moves,” Underwood grinned. “I’ll go on record saying I am a terrible dancer, but at least I embrace it and own it,” he said. “There is really nothing that I’m hiding from America at this point, so if they want to judge my dance moves, they can go for it.”
The Bachelor airs Monday nights at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.