The Untold Truth Of Colton Underwood

It can be hard to keep up with ABC's The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. We get it. After all, the franchise has churned out dozens of seasons. That's a whole lot of Monday nights. If you're a not-so-diehard Bachelor stan, you may have passed up a few seasons of the show, which unfortunately might mean you probably don't know much about former contestant Colton Underwood. And, even if you are obsessed with Bachelor Nation, there are some things about him that simply weren't revealed during his time on The Bachelorette or The Bachelor

Though Colton made it into the final four on The Bachelorette, he was ultimately sent home. But that wouldn't be the last we'd see of him. In August 2018, he joined other former contestants on Bachelor in Paradise. Then, on Sept. 4, 2018, the show revealed its next Bachelor and — surprise, surprise! — it was Colton Underwood himself. Then in April 2021, Colton made headlines for coming out as gay in an interview on Good Morning America

It's about time we all get to know this eligible Bachelor a little better, so here's everything you need to know.

Football is practically in his blood

After playing college football for Illinois State University, Colton Underwood began a career with the NFL — though he would never end up playing a regular game. Beginning in 2014, he joined the practice squads of the San Diego Chargers, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Oakland Raiders, according to Bleacher Report, but, due to an injury, he was forced to retire prematurely

His love of football seems almost kismet. ABC News reported that not only was the Bachelor born on Super Bowl Sunday, but he was also given the name Colton after the Indianapolis Colts. Though he — and obviously his family — have a real love for the sport, Colton said he wasn't necessarily looking for a partner who is all about football.

"You just have to be passionate about something," he clarified when speaking to ABC News. He went on to add, "Sports was my passion growing up, just because I saw how it transformed my life, but just be passionate about something, have a passion, and be a good person."

He runs his own charity

Even though Colton Underwood's professional football career came to an end in 2016, he would continue to run the non-profit organization, The Legacy Foundation, that he started back in 2015. According to the foundation's website, he founded the charity in an effort to "empower people with Cystic Fibrosis to live fully, dream big and support each other." This is accomplished through raising funds for research, equipment, and other needed resources. 

Since its creation in 2015, The Legacy Foundation has donated nearly $100,000, through cash donations and equipment donations, to benefit those living with Cystic Fibrosis. Colton also has a personal connection to the chronic disease as his young cousin Harper is, as he puts it, "a Cystic Fibrosis warrior." In addition to fundraising, Colton and other NFL players have visited children's hospitals to bring joy to other Cystic Fibrosis warriors and started a football camp to not only raise money, but to also bring awareness to the hereditary disorder.

Colton Underwood made headlines for being a virgin

As both a former Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise contestant, you could make the assumption that Colton Underwood, um, has experience. But that's not true, he said. In an episode of The Bachelorette, Colton revealed to Becca Kufrin that he's a virgin. Kufrin was noticeably taken off guard by the news and had to take a minute to collect her thoughts. It was a tense moment, but Colton is still happy he shared it with Becca — and the world. 

In an interview for the Ben and Ashley: Almost Famous podcast (via People), he explained, saying, "It's something that I hid for so long and [the show] sort of forced me to talk about it and start a conversation — start a dialogue." Still, he admitted that it was "difficult going from six people knowing to about 6 million" — especially when everyone has their opinions on the topic.

Though Colton admitted that he wasn't waiting until marriage, he said he was set on waiting to find the right person.

He's a dog lover

Adding to his good guy image is the fact that Colton Underwood is an avid dog lover. On Instagram, he used to routinely post photos of himself with his precious pup, Sniper. And yes, it was as cute as it sounds. Oh, and we should mention that Sniper even had his own Instagram account. For reals. Sadly, Colton revealed that Sniper had died in 2020, as reported by People

The former Bachelorette contestant didn't just love his dog, though. Other photos have shown that he'll pretty much snuggle any canine companion that's willing. Can't. Handle. The. Cuteness. In August 2018, Colton posted a picture of himself with two adorable little puppies for a good cause. "My friends at @puppiesmakemehappy are looking for the next rescue to support and they are letting me pick it," he captioned the photo, in part. He petitioned commenters to give him some suggestions of dog rescues to support throughout the month of September. "This is not an AD," he clarified, "just my love for puppies."

In the end, Underwood ended up choosing Bunny's Buddies, an organization that, per their Instagram bio, rescues "dogs from slaughterhouses, shelters and the streets of China & South Korea."

His athleticism extends beyond football

Though his football days are behind him, Colton Underwood still enjoys other outdoor sports. In February 2018, he shared a photo of himself snowboarding the slopes in Aspen, Colo. In May, he was also pictured exercising with his canine buddy Sniper by Lost Lake in Colorado. At the end of August, he also shared a photograph before "shooting some clays for a cause" that would support both The Make-A-Wish Foundation and his charity, The Legacy Foundation.

Colton definitely keeps busier with charities and hobbies than he does with career pursuits, but this is by design. When the former Bachelor revealed his virgin status to Bachelorette Becca Kufrin, he first began by saying, "I told you earlier, I put my professional life in front of my personal life. I spent a lot of time working on 'Football Colton' and sort of forgot who 'Personal Colton' was." As he explained to People, Underwood felt "unbelievably happy" with himself for focusing on himself and deciding to appear as the lead on The Bachelor.

He dated this famous Olympic gymnast

Colton Underwood may have been single when he headed into The Bachelor, but he certainly had a few relationships prior. On The Bachelorette, he revealed he'd had only one serious relationship before starring on reality TV. Although he didn't refer to her by name on the show, Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman confirmed to People back in December 2016 that she and Colton had been dating for some five months.

It all began when Colton asked Raisman on a date over social media. They started dating after the Video Music Awards and made things pretty "official" by attending the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year Ceremony in 2016. 

By month six, though, the then-free agent and Raisman called it quits. Borrowing a line from Ross Geller of Friends, Colton told The Journal Star, "We're taking a break right now." He cited distance and travel as factors that contributed to the breakup and added, "It ended fine. We're in a good place."

What really happened with Becca Kufrin?

Although Colton Underwood made it far enough in The Bachelorette to get a hometown date with Becca Kufrin, the two would not go the distance. 

When Becca ultimately decided to break up with Colton, she revealed that she didn't think he was the one. After letting him go, she explained, "I know that it feels right, but even knowing that doesn't make watching him walk away any better."

Becca may have known in her heart that Colton wasn't the one with whom she wanted to spend her life, but did Becca break up with him just because he wasn't the right fit? While that could certainly be true, the story of Colton and Becca gets a bit messier and certainly more convoluted once you add in Tia Booth, a former contestant of The Bachelor. How so? Keep on reading.

Making sense of the Tia Booth timeline

It's hard to even mention Becca Kufrin without first talking about Tia Booth. So, here's the deal: Colton Underwood and Tia met prior to Becca's season of The Bachelorette — which is confusing because neither Colton nor Tia starred in the same show. But leave it to Bachelor fans to figure out how these two met.

According to Elite Daily's calculations, Colton and Tia met through social media. That's right, ladies: he slid into her DMs. They pursued a relationship, though it appears it was short-lived. Colton didn't hide this relationship from Becca (or us) when he appeared on The Bachelorette, and eventually, this situation would become NBD — or so it would seem.

When Becca narrowed down her pool of men to the final four, she decided to seek out the opinions of former show contestants, including Tia Booth. Tia pulled Becca aside and dropped the bombshell that she still had feelings for Colton. Yikes. So, could this be another reason Colton was let go? We'll let you Bachelor conspiracy theorists decide on that amongst yourselves.

Rekindling an old flame

Since Colton Underwood did not receive the final rose from Becca Kufrin, he was free to continue on as a Bachelor-style free agent. Since both he and Tia Booth were invited to the fifth season of Bachelor in Paradise, they were afforded the opportunity to kiss and make up — which is exactly what they did. The premiere featured their very Paradisdate: jet-skiing. 

Since Colton was announced as the next Bachelor, things with Tia obviously did not end in a proposal. If you watched their second breakup, you know that it involved plenty of tears — from both parties. After not only being dumped by Colton, but then also finding out that he was the next Bachelor, Tia gave her thoughts to Entertainment Tonight, saying, "I mean, it was just about two months ago that I was telling him that he really needs to figure himself out before he can fully be with someone else." She added, "I don't know that he's ready."

Not everyone was happy about Colton Underwood being the Bachelor

Tia Booth may not have thought Colton Underwood was ready to find love, but the former Bachelor did. "I think that's one thing that I took pride in on both seasons, was just being true to who I am," he said in an interview with Good Morning America. "I think it took all of that to get to where I'm at now and know who I am as a person and know what I want in a life partner," he added.

Still, many fans of The Bachelor felt similarly to Tia. One person tweeted: "Colton as the next Bachelor could be the most disappointing news I'll hear all year." Despite his charity-funding, dog-loving, saving-himself-for-the-right-person persona, it seemed nothing would redeem him from, as one person put it, "yanking Tia's heart back and forth."