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Wells Adams Continues to Remember His Ole Miss Roots After Success on The Bachelorette

By Virginia Flanders
Hottytoddy.com intern

Wells Adams learned a lot about himself here at Ole Miss, but he’s learned even more in his time after graduation. From the West Coast to the Harvard of the South to the birthplace of country music and back—with a little bit of celebrity status in between—Adams remained true to himself.

Wells Adams laughs during an interview on The Bachelorette. Photo via Instagram.

Hailing from Monterey, California, Adams grew up the youngest of five children. His father had a rule to leave the state for college to broaden their perspective of the world, so Adams searched for a lively university in the South that offered a solid journalism school. Landing in Oxford, he said it was “a big culture shock” compared to the California surf-town. During his years here, he worked at Rebel Radio, NewsWatch, and the Daily Mississippian. He also played rugby and remembers time that he spent digging into the blues archives in the mezzanines of J.D. Williams Library.

After graduating and moving to Nashville, Adams started work as a receptionist at a small radio station called Lightning 100, and worked his way up from there. Eventually landing under the eyes and ears of iHeart Radio, he ran shows of all types and genres. Running a classic rock show in his 30’s seemed a bit odd to outside listeners, but he attributes his love and vast knowledge of music to his parents and siblings teaching him all the songs of generations past.

Adams gained a rather large following in less than 10 years after graduation. His success comes not only from his radio shows and podcasts, but also from his time spent as a contestant on the hit reality TV show, The Bachelorette. Since his appearance, his audience has grown from around 15,000 followers on Instagram to now over 820,000. Although, Adams said he doesn’t see this social media growth as fame.

“I don’t like using the word famous or celebrity because I’m not one of those things, but reality TV makes you very recognizable,” he said.

Another contestant from Season 12, James Taylor, spoke about the experience and the bond that was built between the two of them. He said the experience was more about building a relationship and making friends along the way, rather than filming a show. Taylor said he didn’t anticipate becoming such close friends with Adams and recalled a fond memory from their time filming. While keeping warm around a fire in Pennsylvania the two taught the other guys from Season 12 the chants from Texas A&M and Ole Miss. All of them spent the night singing the Aggie Hymn and yelling out Hotty Toddy.

“I’ve never met someone who is as open and cool, and has done so much and knows so much. He’s good at a lot of things and all of the opportunities he’s got, he works his butt off for them, but he never loses sight of who he is, where he came from and he’s still a great friend,” Taylor said.

Although he was not chosen to receive the final rose, Adams’ Bachelor Nation journey was not finished. In the summertime spin off, Bachelor In Paradise, Adams is the resident bartender and gives friendly advice to contestants. Adams said he grew in terms of professionalism and platform size, and the show gave him a bigger microphone for life’s stage.

“The show made me learn more about myself than anything. It just taught me to be a much more open and honest person. We tend to close ourselves off but when you’re doing that weird experiment. You get better about being honest and vulnerable,” he said.

Wells Adams with his girlfriend, Sarah Highland. Photo via Instagram.

Today, Adams said he lives happily in Los Angeles with his current partner, Sarah Hyland. He tries to make the trek to Oxford happen at least once a year, specifically for a game day in the Grove. Although, Adams noted, being “recognizable” makes it increasingly difficult to spend time with the people who made it memorable in the first place. Despite those difficulties, Adams said, the Grove is still a wonderful place.

Adams hopes to expand his career by continuing in television and possibly hosting a large syndicated radio show. The seasoned radio veteran shared a last piece of advice for any and all aspiring media professionals: “The best ability is availability. The more stuff you can do, the more invaluable you will be to an employer. If you can do everything then you will have a much easier time getting that job and being successful,” he said.


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