If you’re from Kansas City then you have most likely heard of our KC Chiefs player Travis Kelce’s show: Catching Kelce. The show has since ended and some are still wondering what happened with Travis and the winner, Maya. Well I got the chance to interview the beautiful and completely honest Maya Benberry, the winner of Travis Kelce’s heart! Here she tells us her side of the story and more about herself–the side of Maya people didn’t get to see on the show. Check out our open and honest Q&A below!
Maya, where are you from?
I was born in Wurzburg, Germany but raised mostly in Paducah, Kentucky.
What was your childhood like?
My childhood was VERY busy. I was a straight A student who also indulged myself in sports. I’ve danced competitively since I was 3, ran track and field/cross country, cheer leaded competitively as well as high school cheerleading, played piano and the flute and sang in a symphony chorus. So as you can tell, I was a very busy active child but I loved every minute of it.
What are 3 jobs you have had in your life?
My first job was at Sonic when I was 15. I didn’t have to work but I wanted to prove to my parents that I could be independent and responsible with money. I’ve worked every type of job honestly, from being a Hooters waitress, cashier, host for clubs/events, front desk receptionist for a college dorm and being a nanny to four kids.
Moving from Kentucky to L.A., would you say you’re more of a country girl or city girl?
CITY GIRL. I’ve always liked things that were “EXTRA”. I like traffic, the big city lights, having something to always do, different restaurant options and diversity in people.
What are some of your hobbies?
I love to eat McDonalds. If you follow me on Social Media especially Snapchat then you’ll see that I always get at least one Strawberry Banana Smoothie a day. I cried tears of joy when McDonald’s tweeted at me. I’m such a groupie for McDonalds and have been since I was a kid. I also love to do anything beauty related. Rather that is getting my nails done, massages, change up my hair color, working out, reading books on mental health, anything that can help me become a better version of myself. I also enjoy helping others help themselves as well. I think in my past life I was a psychiatrist so I also stay helping my friends become better women. I love to laugh and smile and try to incorporate positive things into my life rather it be a book, movie or funny TV show.
What is your ultimate passion?
My ultimate passion is to leave a huge impact on the world. I hope that I fulfill my purpose, which I believe is to help others love themselves and to as mentally, psychically and emotionally healthy as possible. I hope that all of the negative things I have been through, help others know that if I can make it, they can too.
What is your daily beauty routine?
First things first, I always brush my teeth. I am a breath-a-phob and will not talk to anyone not even on Facetime until my teeth are brushed. I believe that fresh breath is everything and is genuinely someone’s first impression of you. If I don’t have a super crazy day of meetings then I just brush my hair in a high pony and put mascara and moisturizer on and call it a day but if I need to take photos for my social media/blog then I go to my beauty room/vanity and cake on the makeup lol
How do you stay in shape?
I’m lucky enough to have a crazy metabolism due always being active at such a young age. I just started working out again to tone and define my stomach area, but I’m a pretty lucky girl to be able to eat fast food everyday and not gain weight.
You were on Catching Kelce, how did you first hear about the show?
My best friend is into acting and her agent saw the casting call and mentioned it to her and she mentioned it to me.
What were you expecting?
Honestly to lose! Girls like me never really make it far in competitions like that so I only packed a 1 weeks worth of things because I knew I would be going home.
Did you expect to get chosen to represent Kentucky?
Yes! The show was based off your hometown state and Kentucky is mine (:
How did you feel dating Travis along with 49 other girls?
It honestly didn’t bother me. I knew what I signed up for and I knew the way he looked at me, it was different compared to how he looked at the other girls.
How did you cope with cameras being around all the time?
I’m a genius at ignoring people so I just told my mind to ignore them. Which sometimes I regret doing, I got too comfortable and forgot that I was going to be judged/watched by millions.
Did you know from the start there was something special between you two?
I knew we had something special after we hung out at the BBQ during his first day at the house. My heart skipped a beat and I knew he was special. When he chose me for the VIP date and went into a long explanation on why (they edited that part out), I knew the feelings were mutual.
Had you ever been to Kansas City before the show?
What was your favorite experience while being in Kansas City?
The food!! I gained sooo much weight there. 15 pounds to be exact. He lives downtown and I loved the environment especially when walking around there.
Did you get to experience the KC BBQ? What’d you think?
Yes!! I had KC BBQ at two different restaurants. I don’t remember the names but the ribs were to die for. I also LOVED the HUGE wings from The Peanut!
Are you still close with any of the girls from the show?
Yes! I still talk to about 10 of them every week or so.
What did you learn from being on the show?
That I have a potty mouth lol but mostly, I learned how different I am culturally and how people view confidence as arrogance. It motivated me to teach others that they should love and believe in themselves like I did. Realistically, Minorities never win things like Catching Kelce and my confidence is what kept me around and made him choose me in the end. What the audience didn’t get to see is that me and Travis had A LOT of 1 on 1 time that they chose not to air “because they didn’t want you guys to want me to win or expect me to” which I feel like ultimately hurt me in the end. It forced me to have to brand myself differently, which worked in the sense that I’m a brand ambassador for a lot of multi-million dollar companies now but at the same time I received so much unnecessary hatred. So while the racism, hate mail, embarrassment and death threats caused me to go into depression after the finale, I can look back now and see that it made me a better and stronger woman.
Do you have any regrets?
My only regret is not telling the truth when it came to what happened between Travis and I. I felt like I constantly had his back and did and said whatever he wanted me to do, to protect his image but when I needed him to protect my character and reputation, he didn’t. He embarrassed me in ways that a man that I thought I was going to marry should never do.
How did your life change after the show aired?
It was negative up until now. From November to Jan 30-ish I hated going on social media. I always received racist hate mail, death threats, cyber bullying, etc. from people who didn’t even know what really happened. Honestly, I got depressed but put on this happy image via social media because I didn’t want the haters to know they got to me. All the hate helped me develop a tougher skin. It made me realize that as long as I have my sh*t in order, no one can talk bad about me or claim I want someone just for money.
I began determined to work my butt off to rebrand myself. Luckily with my constant IG LIVES, Periscopes, Snapchats and tweets people learned my personality and saw that what they showed on Catching Kelce isn’t who I really am. I’m blessed that with my new Youtube channel, I have already received countless emails from a lot of companies who said they love my personality and brand and want to collaborate. So finally throughout all the crap, there came positivity and some diehard fans who had my back when others hated me and for that I am grateful.
Have you and Travis still remained friends?
I’m disappointed because like I said he didn’t have my back. He didn’t want his fans to give him backlash for addressing all of the hatred and racism. His response was “ Maya you’re a strong black confident woman and America wouldn’t care what my white a** would have to say”. So after hearing that, that proved everything I needed to know. I don’t hate him but I would never consider him a friend.
What’s next in the life of Maya Benberry?
My clothing line! More Youtube videos/collaborations with companies! Acting/modeling opportunities and maybe even Reality TV again, and NO! NO DATING SHOWS EVER AGAIN!
Will you ever try to find love again on TV?
Only if I was an executive producer and I would actually want to be involved in the casting process and be really hands on. I’m trying to find a husband not a boyfriend, I’m not getting any younger and I want someone to help me build my empire and be there for me when I’m stressed and need a friend.
What’s a quote you live by?
My new favorite quote is: “ You can’t have millionaire dreams with a minimum wage work ethic.” This quote pushes me to work more and sleep less and I know that everything will pay off in the end.
You can follow the real & raw Maya Benberry to keep up with her life adventures here: