Their first red carpet together! Newly-crowned Big Brother season 24 winner Taylor Hale and Joseph Abdin stepped out for the premiere of CBS’ The Real Love Boat aboard Princess Cruises on Saturday, October 1, in San Pedro, California.
The former pageant queen, 27, and the attorney, 25, were “fashionably late” to the event, the couple exclusively tell Us Weekly, as they hung out with fellow Big Brother alum Monte Taylor, Indy Santos, Kyland Young, Derek Xiao and Claire Rehfuss, as well as familiar faces from both Survivor and The Amazing Race, like winners James Wallington and Will Jardell.
“I tried with Kyland and Derek to stay on the boat and let the boat leave with us three,” Joseph jokes. “We were 100 percent gonna do it because the boat was about to leave and I was like, ‘OK, this is a free cruise’ (laughs). But Taylor definitely wasn’t having that, and she immediately shut that down and got me off that boat.”
The pair – who previously told Us they were taking their relationship “day by day” – have only been back in the real world for a week, so meeting and talking with people is still an adjustment. “It can be a little overwhelming with all the introductions and getting to know everybody after spending so much time in a house where we were isolated,” Joseph says, adding that it was “an amazing experience” and “such an honor and a privilege to get the chance to talk to fans.”
Taylor, who made history as the first Black woman to win a regular season of U.S. Big Brother, shares that sentiment, telling Us, “It’s always really exciting when we get to go and meet fans. It’s weird to even say that we have fans because we’re just regular people that did a really crazy experience, but it’s really fun noticing how one small moment can change somebody’s entire day and make them happier. We never know what someone’s going through. So to give that joy, just having a small presence in someone’s life, and I’m very grateful.”
The Michigan native adds, “And having Joseph by my side makes it all a lot sweeter.”
At one point during the event, the couple “broke away from the party” to get some food. “Taylor and I got hungry,” Joseph says. “We went to the passenger section of the boat where they were just serving food. People then noticed us at the table and were asking for pictures and just talking to both of us about our game, obviously praising Taylor for what she did and making history. That was really cool.”
Joseph previously sat down with Us to talk about how he’s handling post-game relationships and supporting Taylor in the process. “The best thing I want to do is support her. So whatever she wants from me and however I can help her, and whatever her healing process needs to be, I want to do that for her,” the Florida native said. “She won Big Brother for a reason. The fact that she won, I think, speaks volumes. She’s a great judge of character and she’s so empathetic. She’s honestly a role model to me. That’s why I have so much respect and love for her.”
The season 24 winner, for her part, told Us after her $750,000 victory, “I feel like I have played this game, not just for Taylor Mackenzie Dickens Hale. I’ve played it for Da’Vonne [Rogers]. I’ve played it for Bayleigh [Dayton], every Black woman who has played this game, and ultimately Azah [Awasum] and Danielle [Reyes] and Monica [Bailey] who made final three, but just couldn’t take it home for whatever circumstance. It’s bigger than me. I did it for them too.”
The Real Love Boat premieres on CBS Wednesday, October 5, at 9 p.m. Watch an exclusive clip from above!
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