The 32-year-old California native narrowed down her final three suitors during the Tuesday, December 15, episode of the ABC dating show. After Ben Smith‘s heartbreaking exit, Tayshia was left with Brendan Morais, Zac Clark and Ivan, the 28-year-old soft-spoken scientist.
From her first day as the season 16 lead, Tayshia felt a connection with Ivan. The Chicago-born, Texas-bred engineer didn’t hesitate to open up about his family life and identity, leading to one of the most powerful conversations in Bachelor Nation’s history. During a November episode, Tayshia and Ivan bonded over their experiences as minorities amid nationwide Black Lives Matter protests.
“Honestly, it just inspired me more than anything. I never thought in my lifetime — our lifetime — that so many people would come together for one common cause,” Ivan said. “I really never thought that. … We’re both biracial, have Black dads, and we have this beautiful love story developing. This is just so big.”
Tayshia admitted that she felt comfortable talking to Ivan about real-life topics because he could understand her perspective in a different way than most of her past partners. The Bachelor alum was previously married to Josh Bourelle and later pursued relationships with Colton Underwood and John Paul Jones on the ABC franchise.
“I love that we have something that’s something I’ve never experienced before and is so special,” Tayshia told Ivan after their emotional conversation. “I’d love to be able to continue to explore that with you.”
Before season 16 kicked off in October, host Chris Harrison described Ivan as “quiet” and “extremely likable” — and teased that fans could expect big things from him during Tayshia’s journey.
“Do the nice guys ever finish first?” he said while introducing the season’s suitors in a YouTube video. “Sometimes. Sometimes they do. We’ll see if sweet Ivan can be that guy.”
Scroll down to learn more about Ivan before the season finale of The Bachelorette airs on ABC Tuesday, December 22, at 8 p.m. ET.
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