Starcasm Exclusive: Ryan Edwards’ girlfriend Dalis Connell talks Maci Bookout, Bentley, and her infamous “good” comment

Ryan Edwards with girlfriend Dalis Connell and Bentley

In the fourth and final season of Teen Mom viewers were finally introduced to Ryan Edwards’ girlfriend of more than a year now, Dalis Connell. Although her and Ryan’s relationship was a major part of Maci Bookout’s story line this season, Dalis got very little screen time, and as a result, she still remains a bit of a mystery to Teen Mom viewers.

We profiled Dalis way back in August of 2011, just after she and Ryan made their relationship public, so we know this now 20-year-old sometimes blonde, sometimes brunette beauty is a full-time college student and scholarship track star at Tennessee Tech University where she is pursuing her degree in Pre-Physical Therapy and Personal Training. In addition to being a college student and athlete, Dalis also works as a waitress and part-time model, all while maintaining her relationship with Ryan.

But there are still many unanswered questions surrounding this workout-obsessed young woman who seems to have had quite the maturing effect on Ryan Edwards with their relatively lengthy (and stable) relationship, not to mention winning the adoration of the family’s real star, Bentley.  She received some backlash recently after a scene on Teen Mom where she said “good” after Maci told Ryan “I’m not talking to you anymore” after an argument in front of Dalis and Bentley.

Thankfully, Dalis has agreed to tackle some of these unanswered questions for us, just in time for part two of the Teen Mom Season 4 Finale Special with Dr. Drew airing Tuesday night, during which she confronts Maci Bookout on camera for the first time! (Watch an excerpt of their heated exchange in a preview clip here!)

Dalis Connell and Ryan Edwards from Teen Mom

STARCASM: When you first met Ryan, did you know he was on a reality show?

DALIS: When I first met him and started talking to him I had no idea he was “Ryan from Teen Mom.” (haha) We exchanged numbers and planned on hanging out the next night, then one of my girlfriends saw us talking and grabbed me afterwards and was freaking out. I never actually watched Teen Mom or 16 & Pregnant, except for maybe a couple episodes, so I had no idea what to expect. After we hung out that next night, we hit it off, and thats how all this started!

How long after you began dating Ryan did you first get to meet Bentley?

We had probably been dating around a month or so.

Teen Mom Dalis ConnellIs Bentley really as easy-going (and awesome) as he seems on TV?

Yes! He is absolutely hilarious and precious. Maci & Ryan have raised an amazingly SMART and sweet child.

From what we saw this season on Teen Mom, it appeared that Maci liked you (albeit reluctantly) after meeting you at the beach. Did you get that impression early on, and was the feeling mutual?

I had no idea how she felt about me in the beginning, but yeah, I’ve always liked her.

When (and why) did things begin to change between you and Maci?

For a few months it just got rocky because of some things she had said to Ryan, AND what I had “heard” she had said to a couple of our mutual friends about me. I didn’t know where all the negative comments were coming from, so it frustrated me. It finally got to a point where Maci AND I both new we needed to talk about it and air it all out, which we did, and found out we were both hearing things from “friends” which weren’t true. Ever since then we have been getting along!

So what’s the real deal with the infamous text message from Maci about things potentially being better between her and Ryan if you weren’t in the picture?

It’s obviously not a big deal at all, especially any more, but it was just a text she sent to Ryan before we went to the beach about how he shouldn’t bring me and how he would have a better time with her.

Maci Bookout Dalis Connell Ryan Edwards Teen Mom Season 4 Reunion Special

I have to say that I was a little surprised watching the preview clip at the amount of tension between you and Maci because it seems she has only had nice things to say about you recently, and vice versa. How long ago was the reunion show taped and has your relationship with Maci gotten better (or worse) since?

The reunion show was filmed a little over 5 months ago and it’s gotten a ton better. There’s no drama and we get along fine now. We actually text about the show sometimes. She has definitely helped me a lot with telling me not to listen or pay attention to the haters. She said there’s no way these people actually know you so what they say shouldnt get to you. It’s always in the back of my mind when I read some of the crazy things people send me.

Maci has a devout fan base online, and you were caught in their crosshairs after the now infamous “good” comment at the conclusion of Ryan and Maci’s argument over Bentley’s third birthday party. Can you talk a little bit about the whole Bentley birthday debacle?

I don’t really want to comment on their fight because of course they are going to have disagreements, but they are doing a great job. I absolutely HATE when Ryan yells at Maci, especially in front of Bentley. I really do. My parents are divorced and I had to go through all of that and it really does hurt a child to see their parents fighting. Maci did do the right thing when she was trying to shut the door. My “good” comment wasn’t directed towards Maci. It was towards Ryan because he already said he wasn’t going to argue with her in front of Bentley, but of course Ryan has a bit of a temper and it all came out. I was talking to Ryan when I said “good” and it was a good like “glad the argument is done,” but editing made it look otherwise.

And of course the big question that has followed Maci since her episode of 16 & Pregnant is whether or not she still has romantic feelings for Ryan. What’s your take on that? Do you sense that perhaps there is still some part of her that thinks she and Ryan will get back together?

Not answering that because I have no idea and wont speak for anyone. (haha)

Ryan Edwards girlfriend Dalis Connell bikini modeling photo

You are currently in college and working as a waitress while also pursuing a modeling career and maintaining a stringent workout regimen. How in the world do you manage to find the time to get all of that done?

I get this question all the time haha! I put college and track before everything. I work when I get school breaks and sometimes on my free weekends. With modeling, I’m not really worried about it right now. I won’t be until I get out of college. If someone calls me about a modeling job that I like, I will do it, but otherwise I’m not really pursuing it right now. Luckily my college is only an hour and a half away, so it’s easy for Ryan to come up on the days he doesn’t have Bentley and for me to come down on some weekends.

You shared some disheartening news with your Twitter followers in August, announcing that your mother has been diagnosed with stage 3 cancer. Can you give us an update on how she’s doing?

Yeah, it’s been rough. My mother and I have a lot of history which makes this whole situation even harder, but I won’t get into all that. She’s lives in California, so that also makes it harder. She’s not doing well at all right now and actually can’t get treatment right now because of a money issue, but she’s doing everything she can to get that worked out. All I can do is pray and ask others to pray as well.

With Teen Mom wrapping up, what are your and Ryan’s plans for the immediate future? You’ve been dating for more than a year now — are there any talks of moving in together and could there be wedding bells any time soon?

We talk about it all the time actually! We’re definitely not going to do anything until I get out of school, but after that there are plans to do both of those 🙂 We will see!

Maci Bookout's ex Ryan Edwards with girlfriend Dalis Connell

We want to thank Dalis so much for taking the time to talk with us. We were a big fan of hers already (based on her always positive attitude online and the perceptively positive effect she has had on Ryan) and now we like her even more! (ARGHGH!! Where is Teen Mom Season 5?!?) It’s wonderful to hear that she and Maci have buried the hearsa hatchet and moved on, and we wish Dalis, Ryan, Bentley, Maci, and Kyle all the best in the world as they move forward with what seems to have turned out to be an almost ideal co-parenting situation.

You can keep up with Dalis via Twitter, her Facebook fan page, and her fitness blog. (Haters need not apply!)

UPDATE – On Saturday Dalis tweeted more news about her mother’s condition: “my mom got put in the hospital yesterday! Prayers please! #fightcancer #staystrong” On Sunday she added, “just talked to my moms nurse & she’s fighting to hang on.. pray harder please :(” We are doing exactly that Dalis. #staystrong!

  • John Williams

    This article is really worth reading, it has too much details in it and yet it is so simple to understand, Thanks for sharing the series pictures they had great details in them and i really appreciate your true artistic work!

    High School Diploma

  • Mandy

    Thank you for posting this! Hopefully some of the crazy “Maci fans” will chill out with the horrible comments toward Dalis!

    • Leah

      From what we saw on the show, she did deserve some of those comments.

  • bailey

    “Pray harder please”

    If you are a believer in God, you should be putting your faith into HIM and not other’s prayers. You shouldn’t pray that other people are praying, you should pray for your mother to hold on.
    It seems when people say “please pray for so-and-such for me!” and the people supposedly *pray*, they aren’t actually praying, but instead are mostly just thinking about the said person/situation. There is a proper way to pray, no?
    Asking others to pray for you without the actual wanting of them to pray but more-so just wanting them to think about you in your time of need.. I don’t know. It just seems like people want people to think about them, offer them moral and emotional support, and instead of asking directly for that because it would somehow be selfish, they just ask for these “prayers” for themselves.
    I just think people throw around the word pray a lot when they actually mean “think”, “acknowledge” or “please offer me some support”.

    I’m not even religious and I don’t have any higher-power beliefs but I do believe that if you claim a faith, then you shouldn’t exploit it. Just my thoughts.

    • tiff

      who cares about the terminology? her mother is ill, that’s what’s most important. you’re praying for her mother to overcome this.

    • Jenn

      I don’t think she is exploiting anything. I think she is a young girl who is afraid to lose her mom and maybe she gets comfort knowing that more people pray for her. Prayer is very powerful and the more people who pray, the better. You can’t change anyone’s fate, but you can find comfort with prayers. In church, they put sick people on a prayer list. There’s nothing wrong with that.


      I think when people ask for prayers…. it’s just reaching out while they’re going through a hard time. Asking for support, thoughts, well wishes…. all around just needing others to put some positive energy in the universe for them. I don’t think it’s attention seeking if that’s what you are trying to imply. Some people might have a very firm religious view on the term “prayer” and execute a prayer accordingly. Some non-religious people like myself just keep them in my thoughts and wish them well. I think you’re hung up on semantics here

    • cm

      Wow ok. Stop talking.

  • Steph

    I hope your mother will get better, dallis!

    Take care in these hard times.

  • kim

    Lovely to hear:)

  • deedee

    this actually changed my opinion of her A LOT. meh shes ok now

  • jj

    is it just me or does her hand look akwardly white in that one picture compared to the rest of her…

  • ME

    I followed Dalis a little bit before season 4… seeing her in pics and articles and stuff. She seemed fine. You barely got to see her on the show… didn’t even waste my time trying to gather an opinion on her from that. You hear more from her in articles like this.

    Hope her mom is okay…. that’s so rough.

  • Jack

    I’d tap her

  • Jen

    the pic of them standing by the truck looks like bristol palin n levi johnston

  • Jenn

    Did you really say that their relationship is stable??? Have you missed the multiple meltdowns of their relationship plastered all over their twitters? They have broke up a good 3 times and done nothing but run their mouths on twitter. The girl probably is sweet and a good person, but they are far from being mature when it comes to their relationship. Anyone who caught their public breakups would know that they have issues.

  • micro OP

    She’s a beautiful girl, and seems nice. I like her response to the possibility of maci still having feelings for ryan.

    She looks great as a brunette, but I think she’s one of the rare few that actually looks better blond.

  • Lindsey

    I figured that “good” comment was all about editing. Even though they’re on tv, you never REALLY know what’s going on w/ them. I’m glad Maci has the strength to accept her.

    • Aurora

      I don’t believe her explanation about that “good” comment. I think her facial expression and tone told the truth.

  • Carla(:

    I personally loved teen mom! With the finale coming up, I am really sad. Dalis has never been a bad “step mom.” I like her, I was just used to Maci being there for Bentley… and when Dalis came in, I judged her by what she looked like, I thought she was mean and ugly! I am realizing that Dalis is a freaking good mom! I love her, but Maci is still Bentley’s mom, not just Ryan’s “X-Girlfriend.” Dalis just needs to realize that she can’t be Bentley’s mom and make Ryan’s choices.. because we ALL know that she is the one that encouraged Ryan to try and get custody of Bentley. Dalis, STOP! Period.

  • Susan

    I can’t believe you think Ryan is a great person. He’s a spoiled brat who will never let go of mommys apron strings and if you think he’ll treat you any different in the long run then he does Maci – you’re a fool! He’s a pathetic excuse for a man!! And he acts like he’s on drugs all the time with his weird eyes! Maci is so nice to him and he is a total ass. All the time!! Hopefully Maci can teach Bently how a real man is suppose to act!

    • Kelly

      Maci is not nice. She is manipulative. And what’s disgusting to me is that her fans always try to find some way to justify her behavior.

  • Sara

    She seems like such a sweet girl. Glad her and Maci get along.

  • cici

    Maci still wants Ryan, clearly…

  • i think she should back off of maci, really..

  • Kara

    Ryan has introduced Bentley to many different girlfriends, so I think it’d be great if he finally settled down. I think Dalis would be a good step mom to Bentley.

  • Mona

    Even if Maci and Ryan don’t get along, it’d be great if Dalis and Maci would continue to get along. I wish them all the best.

  • Lo

    I hate Dalis’ voice and on Teen Mom she seemed really insecure, but as long as she’s good with Bentley and accept Maci as his mother, that’s all that matters.

    • Lo

      Btw, I really hope her mother gets well. #staystrong

  • ME2

    I don’t think her “good” comment was directed toward Ryan at all. When the unseen moments aired she was crying saying she gets so frustrated, because Maci try’s to make Ryan look stupid. Which it’s not hard to make Ryan look stupid. Him or his parents for that matter. With that being said if you did it own up to it. No big deal. You wouldn’t be the first person in history that didn’t like their boyfriends baby mama. I don’t hate Dalis, but I just wished she would have owned up to what it was. Said sorry and moved on. Probably wouldn’t have got out of hand. This is just my opinion.

    To Dalis, I am so sorry about your mom. I hope she is doing well and prayers to you all.

  • Dayna

    I just really wish Ryan and Maci would get back together. They need to grow together and stop having boyfriends and girlfriends and STOP bringing them around bentley. Only a month of dating someone is not the time to bring them around your child, it causes great confusion as I went through this constantly as a child because my mother had a new man in her life every other month. If they would just focus on each other and “date” each other exclusively I think they could work it out. You can so tell they love each other and for some reason they try to deny it, I mean you can see the chemistry and when their not fighting their flirting. If I were Dalis I would feel really insecure because she may be “hot” but she didn’t have Ryan’s baby and that’s a bond that can never be broken…This doesn’t mean I don’t like her because I do I just think that Ryan and Maci are meant for each other and eventually as they get older they will see it too. Hope her mother gets better as well best of wishes to her and HER family.


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