'The GOAT's Tayshia Adams, Joey Sasso, and Lauren Speed-Hamilton Break Down Their Stunning Blindsides

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(From L to R) Tayshia Adams, Joey Sasso, and Lauren Speed-Hamilton

It shouldn't be surprising given it's an all-star competition show, but three episodes in, The GOAT has truly hit the ground running. This week saw the first three episodes dropped, capped off by three stunning blindsides. The premiere vote ended with Joey Sasso in a tie, with the "GOAT" Tayshia Adams using her newfound power to eliminate the Circle winner. But turnabout was fair play for Tayshia, who outed the women's alliance to the rest of the house, earning their distrust and votes. But the alliance itself had cracks, as after a wild round of arguments and challenge throwing, a battle of the sexes sent out a stunned Lauren Speed-Hamilton, prompting even more drama and controversy.

Parade sat down with Joey, Tayshia, and Lauren to talk about their experiences on The GOAT.

Related: Everything to Know About The GOAT

What made you decide to sign up for a show like The GOAT, which is so different from the reality shows that you have been a part of?
Tayshia Adams:
 Well, it's very different than a dating show number one. And also, there's so much more to me than just that aspect of my life. And so I really wanted to just push myself a little bit more, but also people like my personality. Also, I am low-key pretty competitive. I am the eldest child of four. So you put me in a room with some competition and people like this, I'm ready to battle it out. So why not?
Joey Sasso: I got the call for this from my buddy Elon Gale, the producer of the show, while Perfect Match was airing. And Perfect Match was such a different experience of filming it versus the rollout, because I had never done a dating show. And when you're opening up TikTok, and you're seeing things said about you and your life that's not true, and I want to I want to answer back. To get the call from Elon to say, "Hey, dude, this is gonna be fun, lighthearted competition." And I'm like, "Let's go do it. Honestly, this seems like something I would really have a good time doing." And that's what it was. In talking to all the cast now, some people in the cast are like, "Yo, this was serious. This was intense." For me, this was fun! This was honestly like, "Yo, let's just go have some fun. Whatever happens happens."
Lauren Speed-Hamilton: I mean, to echo Tayshia, this is so different from Love is Blind. That's what made me excited, to just be seen in a different light and be able to really show my personality. And I'm competitive. This is where it was really fun to just do the physical challenges and also meet all of these amazing personalities that I've seen on all these shows that I'm fans of. Just get in the house, get to know people and make some connections and network.

Let's talk about some pre-existing relationships. Joey, you and Lauren link up quickly as alumni from Netflix shows, and you bring CJ in to form this short-lived "Trifecta" alliance. How easy was it for you two to work together?
 I mean, again, it's one of those things, if you look back and you want to get really analytical about it, you're like, "Oh, I could have looked at it and said, 'Yo, Tayshia, all of us, let's go. We're gonna do this.'" I saw CJ day one. And I was like, "Yo, I can tell she's an underdog type. She's the type that she's not going to be speaking a lot, but she's gonna be very good at anything she applies herself to. So being super early, and I just want to get to know everyone. And I'm like, "You know what? This makes sense." I was gonna be with Lauren no matter what, no matter who was in that house. If it was just me and her it would have been that way. So you lead with your best foot forward and see what happens. But I will say, because you have people from all different shows, you take the Bravo people, you take the Challenge people, they operate differently. These people's brains maneuver, man.
Tayshia: I'm like a deer in headlights. I'm like, "...What?"
Lauren: Yeah.
Joey: Yeah, it's a lot.

Lauren, what's your side of the story? Did you expect to jump into the strategy as quickly as you did?
Lauren: No, absolutely not. And honestly, when Joey came up, and he was like," Yeah, we need to form an alliance," I was like, "Oh, I guess we do." [Laughs.] So I was cool forming an alliance with Joey. But honestly, I was like, "CJ?" It kind of threw me off. But at that point, we were getting so close to getting ready to vote and eliminate people. I was like, "I guess we do need an alliance. I guess I should just join this one." But looking back, I definitely would have done that differently.
Tayshia: I should have been the third in the alliance. [Laughs.]
Lauren: Honestly! This would have been a great alliance. And we would have did this. I agree. I feel like we would have went to the end.
Tayshia: 100%. So very far.

On that note of familiar faces, Tayshia, you were in the house alongside Joe. And your Bachelor Nation connection caused you to tell him about the women's alliance, which in turn seemed to send you home. Talk to me about navigating that relationship
 Again, this is a whole different game for me. I've never been in a competition show. I thought that this was just a fun game, it was gonna be light hearted. So, for me, a relationship outside of all this weighs a lot more than just some silly competition. And I also don't really understand the weight of an alliance until after the fact. Because I think, if any of these people were in my position, they would also be struggling with the same decision that I made, actually. Hence, CJ in episode three. You saw her like, "Wait, I have an alliance with the girls. But I also had an alliance with Justin."
Lauren: She didn't think twice. She was like, "Bye, Lauren!"
Tayshia: And so she even says, "What do I do? I'm in two alliances." And so the thing is, I think I just wanted to warn my friend and just be like, "Look, I'm just letting you know. People think you really don't even want to be here. So if you want to be here, step it the [expletive] up. Because if you want to be here, I have your back. I think for me, I kind of just dug my own grave, unfortunately. 

Well, let's talk about what had you brandishing your own shovel. You were the first "GOAT" of the season. And, when things came down to a tie vote, you switched your vote to get rid of Joey. Talk to me about how you came to that decision.
 So, obviously, we do all talk. We do have some type of strategy of like, "Okay, this is the person we're gonna kind of get out of the house." And at that point, I think we all had a unanimous decision amongst the girls that Jason was gonna go. And so I went ahead and voted for Jason to leave. And then when it became an even split at elimination, it was between Joey and Jason. And at this point, I'm so out of my element. I'm like, "Okay, I thought this was gonna be fine. I need to start thinking like a strategist. If it is me, Jason, and Joey, at the end of the day, I love Joey, but he will take me down. And I know that."
Joey: And I feel so happy to hear this. Because I know I don't feel this way about myself at all. The fact that I found out after it's because they think you're a threat, I was like, "Oh, really? That kind of makes me feel better about the situation."
Tayshia: But you just going to like the competition aspect of the things like Okay, great. I'm gonna be smart here. I did vote for Jason. But now I'm gonna switch it up. And I'm gonna go for Joey.
Joey: Mike, it moves quick, man. I have to watch all of it. But I can tell you from being there, when we finished the [team] competition, and the winners were flipped from what we thought, there was so much talk of who it was going to be, all the gossip. And at a certain point, when I've done two of these experiences where I know, it's like, "I'm just gonna sit back." Because it switched 10 times. "It's this person, it's that person." And I'm like, "I can't take this again. This is a lot." And then eventually, I heard it was like, "There's rumblings that it might be you." And I was like, "Hey, if that's the way it goes, it's the way it goes, man."

Yeah, from what we saw, you were shocked by your elimination. Was it from the number of votes you were getting or, to your point, the idea you were getting votes in the first place?
 You don't know what type of game someone's gonna play. Everyone's gonna ask you what was your strategy going in. And it's not a lie for any of us; you don't really know what to expect. So, by the end of the first day, if I would have been there longer, I would have changed things up. I would have been saying, "Look, let's get the strongest people together and say, 'Who do we think is really weak?' I don't think of going for the big fish. Let's level the playing field by getting rid of the people we don't think are strong. And by the time we get midway through, it's all of us who are the strongest, and then we'll reassess what this competition should be." That's what I would have done had I been there longer. But again, I didn't know what was gonna happen, how it was gonna go. Hindsight is always 20/20.

Lauren, you were similarly blindsided with your elimination. What led to your reaction?
 I was actually surprised. As soon as they said, "We have one vote for Lauren," I was like, "My name?! Excuse me?!" But as soon as they said that one vote, I looked at everybody's face and everybody's head was like this. [Puts head down.] I was like, "Oh, this is not good." [Laughs.] 
Joey: That's when it's dark.
Lauren: It is, because nobody wants to look you in the eye.
Tayshia: Because they know! Like you said, it changes like this. [Snaps fingers.] You think that you're in the clear.
Joey: Let's play the game and have some fun! It would be like me sitting here today being like, "I'm not interviewing with Tayshia. Do you know what she did to me?" Dude, it's not that deep. Even when that was happening, I think I told you, "Honey, do what you got to do."
Lauren: I think we all thought Joey would be saucy. Joey didn't go home how I went home. It was really messed up.

I want to talk about that. Lauren, what was the dynamic of the women's alliance? They seemed really cohesive, but you all had just turned on Tayshia, and then CJ jumped ship to turn on you.
Lauren: I don't know if it was that cohesive. I think that we were starting to break apart. The distrust was there for sure. It was starting to happen. But I think that we had all agreed on one thing. And CJ's was really just like, "No, I'm gonna go with the boys." But CJ's reasoning was because she didn't want Da'Vonne to have all this power. But just like how Tayshia gave Joe that same respect of being like, "It's you or me. I'm sorry," she told him about it. I just wish CJ would have come to me and been like, "Look, I had to do it. No offense. I know we're in an alliance, but you're going home tonight." I'd be like, "Alright, cool." So I think that even the fact that we were in an alliance together, and she was the one that flipped on me. But maybe I'm naive, because I don't do these types of competition shows. But for me, that's just the type of person I am.
Joey: Dude, it's hard. If you're sitting there and looking at all these people, and you're trying to think, "How are they thinking? How are they perceiving you?" Because if you were to ask me, I would think anyone would want to keep me there for the fact that I'm going to be loyal to you if you have me on your side. Even if it means I'm going to lose this, I will go down swinging defending you. And it very quickly became "he's going," and I'm like, "Yo, this is cutthroat. This wild. Alright, I'll pack my bags, best of luck to all of you." And then coming back and seeing all the gossip, hearing what you had said. [Gestures to Lauren.] Like, "I heard when she left, it was crazy. There was drama." Hearing when you left, it was drama, it was crazy. [Gestures to Tayshia.] I'm like, "Yo, this show's nuts!"
Tayshia: With the girls alliance, if they would have just been honest with me, too. Like, "Okay, you kind of did this. You're gonna go home tonight" with me, versus just being like, "Well, you screwed us over." And I'm like, "Hold on a second."
Lauren: We're already going! Just be like, "Hey..."
Tayshia: It was broken from the beginning, truthfully. And you could see with just me going home that the script could flip any second with alliances.

Lastly, as you've mentioned, The GOAT has been a very different type of reality show from what you usually do. Is there another show you want to go on now that you've tried your hand at social strategy?
 I would say Traitors, because my family loves that show. But as of right now, I'm gearing up for my movie that's coming out July 19 on Amazon. 've been working on that film since I was 16 years old. It's a passion project. So the fact that we're finally here, I've been telling people for years, "I'm an actor, I'm a filmmaker," I really have been for years. That's what I was doing before anything. So, as of right now, time and energy is spent there, and trying to make that as successful as possible. And we'll see what else comes in the future.
Tayshia: I told myself I'm probably not gonna go on to many other reality shows. But you never say never. Because opportunities like this come up. And you're like, "I can't wait. This actually sounds pretty intriguing." But there's so many. I feel like my personality can kind of fit with Real Housewives. I think it'd be super fun. Especially the new season of New York. I mean, now that I live in New York, and I've been there for a couple of years, I feel like I'm a New Yorker. So that could be a really fun show to go on.
Lauren: I would love to do some hosting if I'm gonna do reality TV. Or maybe a docu-follow. Me and Cam's supporters go hard for us. And they're still interested in following our story. So you never know.

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