I Watched Travis Kelce’s Dating Show So You Don’t Have To
His Bachelor era was actually so telling.
Before he was driving off into the sunset in a getaway car with Taylor Swift, Travis Kelce was looking for love on reality TV. Back in 2016, the NFL star helmed his own dating show on E!, in which he chose a girlfriend out of 50 women from across every state in America. Now that Kelce’s love life is all anyone can talk about, I decided to check Catching Kelce out... and honestly, given Kelce’s choices, I don’t know if Swift would have made it to the end.
Catching Kelce aired on E! throughout the fall of 2016, at a time when Kelce was one of the biggest rising stars in the NFL as the tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs. The show’s premise was pretty much your basic Bachelor-style setup, with the twist that each woman was from a different state. Because of that, the show started off with an overwhelming 50 contestants, but things quickly get more manageable as Kelce eliminates over half of them right away based on first impressions.
Throughout the seven episodes, which are available to stream on Peacock, viewers get a pretty good idea of how Kelce behaves in a relationship, and what type of partner he gravitates toward.
Here are the particularly interesting tidbits that curious Swifties will want to know about.
1. He didn’t click with the girl from Swift’s home state.
Interestingly enough, one of Kelce’s most awkward first impression dates of all is with the contestant from Pennsylvania, the home state of his current rumored girlfriend. Miss Pennsylvania kind of just mumbles and makes awkward faces for the full minute she has to try to impress Kelce, so it’s no wonder he eliminates her right away.
2. He prefers a party girl to someone more reserved.
The first real elimination is very telling as to what Kelce values in a partner. One woman, Ceecee, parties way too hard at the event Kelce brings all the women to, while another, Salma, sits to the side during the party. Kelce puts them both up for elimination for these opposing reasons, but chooses to keep Ceecee.
3. He’s not scared of a girl with famous exes.
Kelce definitely isn’t intimidated by Swift’s infamous “long list of ex-lovers.” In one episode of Catching Kelce, a contestant confesses that she once dated the model Fabio. Not only is Kelce cool with it, he is impressed. “Is dating Fabio a dealbreaker? No,” he declares. “If anything, it boosts you up a bit!”
4. He always chases the “queen bee.”
Throughout the show, Kelce makes it clear that his usual type is charismatic women who demand attention, whom he describes as “queen bees.”
“I’m the one that chases the girl that I feel is f*cking queen bee,” he says. But he also notes that those women have been bad for him in the past. “And when I chase her, I’m chasing the wrong things,” he adds.
5. He was cheated on in a previous long-term relationship.
Kelce reveals to the women that his only serious relationship before the show lasted for his final two years in college. “I got played,” he reveals. He goes on to say that he’s never cheated on a girl because of how badly he was hurt by that relationship.
6. He needs someone who embraces the spotlight and loves to go out.
One of Kelce’s biggest criteria throughout the show is that his girlfriend needs to be comfortable at all of the major events he attends. At one point, a contestant admits to him that she’s more of a homebody and doesn’t tend to go out too much, which leads to Kelce eliminating her.
7. The keys to his heart are humor and dancing.
The women who fare the best in Catching Kelce are the ones who make him laugh. His goofy personality is on full display throughout the series, and there are certain women he admits to not having much chemistry with, but he keeps them around simply because they’re funny.
Dancing is his other big love language, it seems. Kelce tends to break into dance whenever possible, and when he takes the girls on a concert date later in the show, he notes how important it is that he can dance with his partner.
8. He likes to plan grand, romantic dates.
Remember how Kelce rented out an entire restaurant to have some private time with Swift? Yeah, that’s nothing new for him. Kelce emphasizes the importance of making date nights memorable throughout Catching Kelce, taking women out to a house party hosted by LMFAO and a secret restaurant hidden from the public. He says he tries to “exceed expectations” with each date he plans.
9. His biggest weakness is always saying yes.
Kelce can probably relate to Swift’s song “Should’ve Said No.” When one woman asks the athlete what his biggest weakness is, he admits he has a hard time turning people down. “I am a yes guy. I say yes to everyone around me,” he says.
10. He loves a mastermind.
Of course, the most important part of the show is who wins it. Surprisingly, Kelce chooses to date Maya in the end, despite knowing that she’s caused the most drama in the house and even admitting that he should probably choose someone else.
Throughout the competition, Maya is often portrayed as the show’s villain, manipulating the other women into giving her advantages and subtly influencing Kelce on who to eliminate. Toward the end, several women tell Kelce how cutthroat Maya has been, but it only seems to make him like her more.
Although Kelce seemed head over heels for Maya, the couple ended things just a couple months after Catching Kelce aired.