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Tessa Porter
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Cait Fairbanks as Tessa Porter
''The Young and the Restless''
Portrayed by Cait Fairbanks
Current status Present, regular
Duration 2017-
First appearance March 24, 2017
Occupation Musician
Nikki Newman's Personal Assistant
Music Director
Siblings Crystal
Romances Noah Newman
Mariah Copeland (kissed)

Tessa Porter is a fictional character on the CBS soap opera The Young and the Restless. She has been played by Cait Fairbanks since March 24, 2017. The character is described as an upbeat, free spirit singer, who has a strong intuition about people.


Reed and Nikki

Tessa was spotted by Nikki Newman, playing guitar outside of Crimson Lights. Nikki hired Tessa to be Reed Hellstrom's music teacher. Tessa talked with someone on the phone, and told them that Genoa City was a great place. As Tessa got settled into Genoa City, met several other residents such as Nick Newman, Noah Newman, Mariah Copeland, and Sharon Newman. Reed encouraged Tessa to play at The Underground as he admired her musical talents.

Nikki and Tessa bonded and Tessa learned Nikki had worked as an exotic dancer in her past, and admired Nikki for it. Mariah spotted Tessa sneaking into a movie, and later talked to her about it, saying she understood becsue she used to do the same thing. Nikki hired Tessa to be her personal assistant, and Tessa accepted due to her growing bond with Nikki. Nikki later saw Tessa changing outside of her car, and realized she lived in her car, so Nikki invited Tessa to live at the Ranch.

Dating Noah

At the Underground, Tessa was hassled by a drunk patron before playing on stage. She invited Nikki on stage to play the piano. The drunk customer harassed Tessa and she kneed him in the gut. Noah appeared and sent him away. Noah asked Tessa out on a date and she accepted. The next day, Tessa assumed Nikki would fire her for asking her to play with her on stage, but Nikki said she wouldn't.

Tessa and Noah went on their date, and Tessa marvled at the exotic food served there. She joked that she would try not to embarrass Noah by taking a picture of the food. As they talked, Tessa mentioned she has a younger sister, and Noah said he had two. Tessa and Noah continued to bond and her friendship with Mariah also grew. When Victor Newman planned to put on a concert for people suffering from MS, which is what Nikki suffered from, Tessa was tasked by Victor with helping to get Nikki ready to perform. The stress got to Nikki, and she had an MS attack. Tessa found her on the floor at the ranch, and helped Nikki, so she could call her private physician. Nikki asked Tessa to keep quiet about the attack, but when Nikki spontaneously left town, Nick pressured Tessa until she told him about the attack.

After Devon Hamilton heard Tessa playing at The Underground, he signed her on as his first artist for his and Neil Winters' joint business venture. Devon got two tickets to go to a musical festival, and Mariah invited Tessa and Noah to come along. As Tessa helped Mariah get ready, Mariah suddenly kissed Tessa. Mariah immediately apologized for it. Tess told her not to worry about it, saying that they had gotten carried away from the energy and excitement of the festival. Mariah pretended to agree, and they continued on with their friendship.

Helping Crystal

Mariah invited Tessa to move in with her and Sharon, and Tessa overheard Sharon talking about helping a woman named Crystal, who was the younger sister that Tessa had previously mentioned to Noah. Tessa eventually confided in Mariah, who convinced her to come clean with Sharon and Noah. As Sharon worked to get dirt on Alice Johnson, Tessa became more and more desperate and roped Mariah into kidnapping Alice. Sharon intervened, and convinced Alice to have Crystal brought home. Tessa and Crystal reunited, but the reunion was short lived as Crystal had to go into witness protection, so she could testify against the ringleader.

With Crystal safe in witness protection, Tessa focused on her music and was the first artist Devon signed on his new music business. Crystal escaped from witness protection, and agreed to publicly expose Zack Stinnett as the mastermind with Tessa, Noah, Sharon, and Mariah as witnesses.

Crystal ended up killing Zack with a gun that was registered to Nikki. Nikki confronted Tessa, who admitted she stole the gun from Nikki’s safe and gave it to Crystal. Tessa fell out of favor with Victor and Nikki, and Victor tried to pay Tessa to leave town. Mariah ended up confessing she had feelings for Tessa, but Tessa said she only liked her as a friend. This drove a wedge in their friendship, which only got worse when Hilary publicly exposed Tessa as the one who stole Nikki’s gun. Tessa believed Mariah had told Hilary and lashed out at her. Mariah was hurt that Tessa would think she would betray her and a rift formed in their friendship.

Journal and Exposure

Tessa wanted to reconcile with Mariah, and saw her writing in a journal. Devon also told Tessa she had to produce a song soon or he would let her go. When Mariah left her journal in her bag, Tessa took it and used lines from the journal to produce a new song. Tessa dropped the journal off at GC Buzz when she went to debut the new song live. As Tessa sang, Mariah recognized the lyrics and publicly exposed Tessa as taking the lyrics from her journal.

Mariah was furious and didn't want the song to be released. Devon suggested that Tessa try to make amends with her, so that they could release the song. Tessa tried to apologize to Mariah, insisting that she didn't read her journal with the intention of stealing her words. Tessa missed Mariah, as the two had become distant, and Tessa wanted to know what Mariah was thinking and feeling. Mariah was still hurt though, and vowed to sue if the song was ever released.

Devon took pity on Tessa and was willing to give her a second chance. He offered to let her stay as his assistant. If there were no more incidents, Tessa would be allowed to continue with her musical work. Later, Noah found out that Mariah kissed Tessa in San Francisco. As a result, he ended things with Tessa, which left her heartbroken.

Working with Mariah

When GC Buzz was acquired by Hamilton Winters, Devon realized that Mariah and Tessa would be in each other's orbits once more. Not wanting there to be any tension, he told them to make peace and talk things over. Tessa apologized again, adding that Mariah had to admit they created an amazing song together. Tessa said that when she read the journal, it was like she could hear Mariah's voice in her head, and all the other lyrics of the song fell into place so perfectly. Mariah started to understand Tessa's viewpoint, and was willing to cooperate so that they could work together peacefully. When Devon returned to his office, Tessa gave him a grateful smile and said that things were better between her and Mariah.

Mariah realized that Tessa was homeless again and sleeping in Devon's office. Instead of exposing Tessa, she went and told Sharon. They were overheard by Nick, who talked about how he had some vacant, affordable apartments due to construction that was taking place. Mariah really wanted Tessa to find a home, so she asked Nick if Tessa could rent one of the apartments. Sharon and Nick were confused why Mariah would want to help Tessa after the whole journal incident, but even so, Nick agreed to offer Tessa an apartment. When Tessa found out what Mariah had done, she was extremely thankful.

Devon thought it was important to discuss the future of GC Buzz, and what direction it would go in now that it was operating under the Hamilton Winters umbrella. He invited Hilary, Tessa, and Mariah to Noah's restaurant so that they could have a meeting, making sure that Noah wouldn't be there at the time. Devon wanted their input on what they could do to bring the Hilary Hour to its full potential. Hilary had many ideas which mainly centered around herself, even suggesting they do a story about her pregnancy (even though she might not even be pregnant yet). Hilary then went on to say that Mariah had no goals, since Mariah had said she was content with her current job. Tessa stood up for Mariah, saying that there's nothing wrong with Mariah enjoying her job, and the viewers resonate with Mariah because of it. It turned out that Noah was there after all, and he overheard what Tessa said. This prompted him to get a few drinks at the bar. First Mariah went to talk to him, then Tessa. Tessa said she still wished things could work out between her and Noah. Noah called Tessa a "user," then tried to punch Devon.

Crimes and Misdeeds

  • Snuck into a movie theater (April 2017)
  • Kneed a drunk patron in the gut in self-defense (May 2017).
  • Cheating; Kissed Mariah Copeland while she was in a relationship with Noah Newman (Aug 2017)
  • Kidnapped Alice Johnson with the help of Mariah Copeland (Sept 2017).
  • Stole Nikki Newman’s gun (Mid 2017)
  • Stole Mariah’s journal (January 18, 2018)