'The GOAT' Winner Paola Mayfield Says She Thought She'd Be Voted Out First

Paola Mayfield was tossed into the deep end upon entering The GOAT. And that's not just speaking about the pool that served as the backyard centerpiece of "GOAT Manor." The 90 Day Fiancé star, like many of the reality alums around her, was shellshocked by how hard the Amazon series was gaming from the get-go. Though reality competition shows were foreign to the Colombia-born Paola, a competitive drive ran in her from her wrestling career. Unfortunately, she found herself pinned for most of the season, up for elimination in every single episode of the team phase.

Fortunately for Paola, she got by with a little help from her friends, namely Da'Vonne Rogers. The Big Brother and Challenge alum took her under her wing, as the women's alliance proceeded to pick off everyone from the other side. But, as the days went on, Paola saw the threat Da'Vonne was becoming and how she may no longer be involved in her endgame plans. And so, when Paola finally won her first challenge of the season, she immediately took the shot at the power player. The game had shifted in an instant, and the frontrunner was taken out. Even in the final three, Paola felt like an underdog, believing that Jason Smith's strategy and social bonds would carry the day. But Paola's authenticity, relationships, and résume move of taking out Da'Vonne got her the win, $200,000, and the title of "The GOAT of GOATs."

sat down with Paola to talk about her experience on The GOAT.

Everything to Know About The GOAT

What made you do a show like The GOAT, which is so different from your typical fare on 90 Day Fiancé?
Well, the fact that you were competing for $200,000. That's one reason to do something different! Because I feel like I do a lot of things with my husband. So, being able to be in a competition in a house, we have those kinds of reality shows in Colombia. And, when I was little, I was like, "Oh, that would be nice to be part of something like that." But I never, in a million years, would think that I would be in a house and I would be winning a competition show. I would never think that. This is a blessing!

To that point, as a wrestler, you obviously have a competitive spirit to you. But I imagine it's entirely different when you came in and saw how much gaming was happening in GOAT Manor. Give me your initial reaction to everything that was happening.
To be honest, I was thinking that I was going to be the first one to be voted out. When I walked in, everybody was just talking to each other. They have so much to talk [about]. There are so many things in common. I was such a big personality. They know each other from the shows. I've never seen any of their shows. I felt like, "Oh, should I start watching them? Just to know who am I against?" I'm glad that I was able to click with Teck since day one. He was so nice, because he travels a lot to Colombia. But I felt very intimidated, to be honest.

Well, let's cut from the beginning to the end—when you wind up $200,000 richer! How confident were you going into that final vote reveal that you would win over Jason and Joe?
To be honest, I was not feeling 100% confident. I thought that it was Jason because Jason was such a great person. He played very hard. But he was so nice, giving us food every time. His strategy was feeding us! So I felt like people maybe he was going to be the GOAT. I've never felt that Joe was going to have a chance, because some people didn't see him as a strong competitor. Even though I do feel he was, because he survived until the end. But I felt like even with the beginning of the votes, like three votes [in], Joe told me--I don't think that anybody was able to hear that--"You're gonna win." And I'm like, "Don't jinx it!" Yeah, it's these three. But do you know how this works here? It's three votes, and then one for this person, and three for this one. And then when [Tosh read], "Paola, Paola, Paola." And now I'm like, "Okay, is this really happening?" The fact that I actually created this social link with them, because that's why they voted for me. I was a person for them; I was not a player. I actually showed them my friendship was genuine. No, it was not a strategy. I like them all!

Do you know who the one jury vote not for you was from?
It was Da'Vonne, of course! She voted for Joe. [Laughs.]

That's a little surprising, since she seemed to commend you for taking the shot at her when no one else did. Was it because you couldn't see her during the jury deliberation?
I was overwhelmed. I lost my tooth in the past competition. I didn't sleep, because at five in the morning, I went to the dentist to get a new tooth. So I finished that and went straight to get ready to get filming. So I had so much adrenaline from winning, from being able to make it to the end. So I was overwhelmed and sad seeing all of them. I get sentimental because I play with them. I can't believe that we got rid of them. I'm sitting in here, and they're there. It's just so much going on. So she looked at me, and she's just like, "Just put your head up." And I'm like, "I'm tired!" [Laughs.] And then she just said that. Again, I took a shot that nobody was able to do, and that's because I talked to the finalists, and tried to convince them, "If you guys win, are you going against her?" And everybody was so afraid not to do it.

Let's go back to the beginning of your relationship with Da'Vonne. We see you and her click early on, including when she asks you to throw a challenge to get Justin out. Talk to me about your early dynamic. Were you already thinking of taking her out at some point?
I was. I actually wanted to work with her. I wanted to make it to the end with her. I wanted her, Jill, and me. I didn't care who [else] was there. But I wanted her to be there. But she didn't want me. I felt like she didn't want me. And I feel like everything started going down since she wanted to get rid of Justin. Because I love Justin! You guys didn't see me crying. But I couldn't go against her. And I was so honest with Justin. I said, "Justin, I voted for you. I feel so bad. I didn't like to do this strategy. Just because she got her feelings hurt, that's why she wanted you out. I didn't find it fair. I'm not gonna do this ever again." And every time I was honest with Justin, I felt like that's me being honest with them. That's what it got me to be able to win. Because I didn't feel good doing certain things, and I was honest to tell them what I did.

When that flip does happen to keep Justin, it sours the relationship between you and CJ, with you calling her a "little bitch." Just when it seems like things are okay between you two, you get into an argument when she calls Da'Vonne out on nominating her because she's threatened by her, which you take to mean that she's calling you a weak player. Talk to me about your up-and-down dynamic in the manor.
As a person, CJ, I love her. She's a great girl. As a player, she betrayed me. She betrayed the girls. I even said, "I am going to get you out. I can't go back." Then I started getting more closer to her; I started liking her more. And even as a player, too, because I understood how she wanted to play, I respect that. But still, she was a target for us, and we didn't trust her. We didn't want to keep her close. I always felt like I couldn't trust her, so she had to go. We had an order of people that we wanted to get rid of. That was a war between Da'Vonne, Jill, and I. I don't look like I'm actually there. But that was the plan, like, "Oh, we're gonna go this one, this one, this one." And that's what I thought, that I have this deal with them. But I was out of the loop.

So then, at that moment, I didn't even want to get rid of her. I tried to even talk to Jill not to get rid of CJ, because I started liking her, too! [Laughs.] That's the problem. I start getting attached to people. I don't want to start crying. But Da'Vonne wanted her out. So I'm like, "Okay, I'm not going to go against her because she has the numbers." Da'Vonne always has good numbers. But then, in this competition of the wedding dress, CJ was doing so great. But me not understanding the rules very well, I was trying just to put the laces too like CJ. I was trying to make the dress look exactly. And that's why CJ also didn't win, because she took longer putting on the laces. But you didn't have to do it exactly.

So then, in the very next round, as you tell CJ in her jury deliberation, you carry through with the "revolution." You get to win your first challenge, and you immediately take the shot by putting up Da'Vonne, seemingly based on a conversation you overheard between her and Jason before the challenge. How spur of the moment was your decision?
Oh, I was thinking a lot about it. Because I saw Da'Vonne talking with Jason, I felt that her attitude was completely different. So I knew that I was going next, the fact that she just pointed out that I was a good social competitor. And also, CJ telling me, I just needed that. Like, "Okay, it's time to do it." Did I know that I was going to win that challenge to put her on the chopping block? No, but I needed to give it all, and I knew I was alone in that house. She was going to go to the end with them, not with me.

So, what was the reaction to your decision? Was anyone looking at you a different way after you took the shot at Da'Vonne?
I don't think Jill was that happy with that decision, because she wanted to make it to the end with her. Now, just watching the episode, there are things you don't see, and now I can see it. And they were calling me paranoid! Look at that! I heard my name in there, and I was not going to make it to the end with them.

You were on the losing team and up for elimination in every one of the first seven episodes. How much did that inform the way you approached the game?
The people who were in the competition shows were more focused on getting rid of the strongest. I think that was their mindset from the big one; who knows how this works? I was not part of that threat. I was the nicest girl in there. I'm getting along with everybody. I had a really good relationship with Teck. Teck knows how to play. So he was telling me, "Do this. This is a strategy. Try not to go this way." And I'm like, "I'm on the chopping block, and my name is out there." He's like, "Don't worry. You don't have to worry." So I never have to worry until, like, Episode Six. I think that's when the numbers start going down. No more people. So I'm like, "Okay, I can become a number now." So that's what I start worrying. I'm like, "Okay, it's time to play stronger at this point."

Finally, you were very explicit during The GOAT about using the prize money to support adopting a child from Colombia. Since the season was filmed over a year ago, do you have an update on that?
Well, now, everybody's just talking about The GOAT. It's a process. It's not that fast. But the idea of me adopting, that's still up. I didn't say that just because, "Oh, I want people to do that." No, I would never do something like that. I've been wanting to adopt for a very long time. It's not an easy process; it's a long process. But now that this is right here, that I can say that I'm "The GOAT," that I can just win the prize, now we can start the process of adopting.

Next, check out our interview with The GOAT contestant CJ Franco.