Teriah fans have been on edge since The Young and the Restless writers sent Tessa (Cait Fairbanks) on an out-of-town music tour with her ex-husband, Tanner (Chase Coleman). The gig not only physically separated her from Mariah (Camryn Grimes), but it was also a potential kiss of death for the character, considering soap operas often write off characters by giving them out-of-town jobs. However, Fairbanks assures fans that this time, it's different.
In an interview with TV Insider, the actress admits that she, too, would have panicked had she not been informed ahead of time that Tessa's music tour was part of long-term story and that she wasn't leaving the series indefinitely.
"Before I got the script that had Tessa going out of town, our lovely head writer and co-executive producer, Josh Griffith, pulled me aside and said, 'I don't want you to panic. This is just part of a bigger [story],'" she reveals. "I thought, 'Cool!' But, yes, of course I would have panicked! My boyfriend's character [Fen Baldwin, played by Zach Tinker] went out on tour and stayed away for a while."
Though the music opportunity won't take Fairbanks or her Genoa City alter ego off the canvas forever, the stress of having to endure a long-distance relationship won't be easy for Tessa and Mariah, who are Y&R's (and daytime's) only female same-sex pairing. Even though the couple constantly keeps in touch via FaceTime and will have an in-person reunion during today's episode, the ongoing physical separation threatens their union.
"I think anytime a couple spends time apart it can put pressure on a relationship," Fairbanks teases of what's in store for Teriah. "It's a test and we'll see if Mariah and Tessa are strong enough to endure their time apart."
For more from Fairbanks on what the powers that be have planned for Teriah's future and how she feels about being part of an on-screen LGBTQ+ romance, check out TV Insider's full interview with the actress here.
How do you think Tessa's out-of-town job will affect her relationship with Mariah? Do you think the couple's union is strong enough to survive the stress of long-distance? Did you initially fear that Tessa's music tour spelled the end of the character? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.