The Bachelor New Zealand.
The Bachelor New Zealand, through my Eyes.
A few people have asked, so here goes.
I want to give an insight, to my whole experience on The Bachelor New Zealand.
From all my weird internal dialogue, to the behind the scenes antics and my true thoughts on Zac.
Time to spill the beans.
I promise I'll include some of the dirty/strange/juicy things too.
But firstly I want to say thank you to the show. To all the crew for being amazing. To all the incredible people I have met through this process, the opportunities it has opened for me and the strength I've gained through it all.
Also the incredible travel we got to experience.
Thank you. I am so grateful for all of this.
And this is in no way trying to bag out anyone or anything. This is just my experience.
It all started after a break-up.
The type that makes you feel so alone you feel uncertain about how to go on. It's no secret I am a passionate human, I feel everything deeply. I feel love with my entirity of my being. But this was a moment I was lost, I wasn't sure who I was. I wasn't sure of my purpose. I lost my friend to suicide that year before. I lost myself in the process of grief, guilt and confusion.
My friends saw me become a shell of the person I was. My good friend Elisha sent me the link to apply for the show to cheer me up.
I laughed at first, thinking, 'I won't have a chance getting on that!'
But then I thought, you know what? What else do you have to lose!?
So I thought f*ck it. I filled out the application in a slighty jokey half assed manner...I had the stupidest audition video too chatting about being a lonely mad dog lady.
I've never taken myself too seriously so I made sure I included some of my smooth chat up lines and cringeworthy Dad jokes to tickle the producers, and BOOM before you can say Jack Robinson I had sent the fecker in!
Then I got an email saying I had been short listed to the show and could I do a Skype interview.
What the foooook...I literally didn't know what to do.
It was that point I thought...this must be a sign.
I'd already told the Producer I might back out, as I wasn't well. Mentally and physically I was bit of shambles.
She rang me and we had a good chat. It reassured me. So I decided to still go ahead.
I was set on doing the show now. I was scared if I gave it up that maybe the Bachelor could be my soul mate (I am a hopeless romantic🙈😂) and maybe destiny is drawing me to him through the show. Admittedly I have watched far too many Disney Movies.
I told my close friends and family I'd be disappearing for a while. We weren't allowed phones, so being a self employed Yoga Teacher and Cosmetic Tattoo Artist it was hard to just vanish. But under my contract I couldn't let out a squeak of information.
I told everyone I was going travelling off the grid with no phone for a bit...I guess it had a bit of truth in it...I was technically going abroad with no phone!!
I hopped on the plane, with my Mum's lucky four leaf clover necklace wrapped around my neck, no phone or any electronics and felt a sense of excitment and complete freedom.
Holy fucking shit, I was doing the Bachelor Show. I had no idea what it would entail. I'd never really watched previous series before.
I arrived and was picked up by a Handler. And we waited at the airport for Molly.
She appeared from the gate, a gorgeous blonde with a natural radiance about her.
She was cracking jokes and I was so relieved. She was a proper laid back funny person. Phew!
It was weird though, usually you'd meet someone without a guard. But it struck me, we were in a strange sort of competition with each other already about to compete for one guy, who we were yet to meet.
We stayed in a little homestay before the mansion. I met Mariana and Anita (our House Mom).
We had a heart to heart that night, Molly, Mariana, Anita and I. Then I realised what incredible people all of these women were.
There was no pettiness or drama in sight. These were all inspirational, high achieving strong females.
We did a work out the following day with Mariana. She was amazing! We did little shuttle sprints and HIIT workouts up the drive.
We met the other girls at their homestay and got our dresses fitted for the first night.
They all seemed beautiful. I was low key intimidated by Rosie because she was so stunningly beautiful. Fuck, do I have a chance here?! Just experience it, I kept telling myself. Enjoy the experiene.
Then we were dressed for the first Cocktail Party and first ceremony.
I met the rest of the girls from Auckland who had arrived later.
I got glammed up by an amazing team of Makeup artists and hair dressers. My confidence was a bit shaky seeing all the other girls looking absolutely breath taking. But Mariana gave me a little boost saying she thought I looked like Marilyn Monroe with my hair in curlers. She was so kind.
We had to wait for our cars to pull up and go to meet our Bachelor in pairs.
I was in the car with Sophie. She was stunning and so calming to be around. She had a grounding sense about her and I was so grateful to be in the presence of someone calm. Because I was freaking the f*ck out.
I remember just constantly fiddling with my cleavage in the car paranoid my dress was making my boobs look like little fried eggs 🍳🍳.
Then we realised there was two go pro cameras wedged in the back and we cracked up laughing.
It was my queue to step out the car first. My heart was beating at 100mph and I started getting clammy palms.
I opened the door to see a red carpet laid out towards the door. There was cameras and sound guys everywhere and the whole thing seemed completely surreal. What the fuck am I doing.
What the fuck do I say?
When I'm really nervous I know I tend to have this freakishly odd nervous giggle.
"Don't giggle, don't giggle", I
recited as I stumbled out the car.
I saw a guy stood waiting to see me. My heart started beating even faster, it felt like it was going to fly out of my chest. He was gorgeous.
He was tall and tanned with the most gleaming white smile.
I was lost for words.
I giggled as I awkwardly introduced myself.
Fuck I just did that weird awkward giggle.
I giggled again.
I can't even remember what I said to him or what he said to me. I was mesmerized by him. His eyes were so handsome, a gorgeous brown tone that was full of kindness.
Then I was in the Mansion.
There was glasses of bubbles and chips scattered everywhere. I grabbed a glass and headed to meet some of the other girls who had already met Zac.
The first night seemed to be us all "interrupting" each other to chat to Zac. It felt forced and odd to have to beat other girls to the post to talk to just one guy. But we went with it.
I had no idea if I would be genuinely attracted to Zac but I really was. I remember thinking, I just wanted to get him off camera and actually get to know him. But feeling slightly insecure, with girls who looked so stunning all vying for his attention. It left me in the background.
I wasn't assertive enough to tread on people's toes or fight for a moment with him. That wasn't really my vibe. I would rather go with the flow then step on toes.
The night was a bit of a blur and next thing we know, we were lining up for the first ever rose ceremony.
This was surreal. I hadn't watched much of the Bachelor prior to this, but I had seen a couple of snippets of episodes and always thought, why does everyone look so nervous at Rose Ceremonies?
And now I know why. THEY ARE SO FUCKING LONG. They take forever.
Say my name...please say my name. Everytime Zac picked up a rose I held my breath. I really didn't want to go home without getting to know this guy.
He genuinely looked upset handing the roses out too. Wow, this guy has a heart. I thought he could have been a womanising, egotistical player. But he was much the opposite.
He didn't want to upset any of us girls. He couldn't hide the emotions on his face and it was really refreshing to see a man who was comfortable with his feelings, not full of pretence toughness.
My name got called and I let out the biggest sigh of relief.
The Summer spent at the mansion became one of the best. We spent the days by the pool reading, walking to feed Llamas and goats and chatting to the crew.
The girls became like family to me. There was a bit of a divide, but in a house with that many women it was bound to happen. But generally we all got on really well.
I remember warming to Lily and Sophie immediately. They were both so down to earth and hilarious I loved chilling with them.
Me and Lily got bored one day and decided to escape. We asked if we could go for a walk up the drive (we weren't meant to leave the premises). We ended up finding a half way house filled with muffins and Zac and Doms suits. Naturally we ate some muffins and left a note in the suits pocket saying "Sup".
I freaked out thinking someone was in the bed and proceeded to leg it. I slipped on the door mat and went flying. Lily was pissing herself as she found it was just a pillow under the covers.
I liked Lily a lot. She was always just herself. She was real and had a really kind heart.
Spending time with her was so refreshing. She was another grounding force in a world of fleetingness. I appreciated her so much.
We spent a lot of time talking about the universe and deeper things.
As well as dirty stupid jokes.
I got chosen to go on the first group date. It was at the beach.
I don't know how but after inhaling a shit tonne of sea water, heaving and puking, I managed to win the final race.
I had won time with Zac. Holy sh@t. The other girls were happy for me but I could tell they were simultaneously pissed off it wasn't them.
They went back to the Mansion. I sat waiting for Zac.
We walked and talked for ages along the dunes and beach. At first I felt a bit stiff and awkward with the cameras following and mic guys floating around. But within a few minutes they seemed to disappear. Zac was amazing. He had such a kind heart, he was interesting, having travelled a lot, he was reading some good books and interested in Philosophy.
I realised I actually wanted to get to know this guy and have more time with him.
He was a gentleman, both thoughtful and caring. Even when the cameras weren't on us he gave me a blanket and a hug.
I didn't want that moment to end. I was curious to find out more about him. I wanted to know his passions. What made him tick. What ignited his soul.
He gave me a rose..it felt so good. I remember driving back to the Mansion and Everlong by the Foo Fighters was on the radio. The lyrics stuck in my head.
Days passed by and other girls got time with Zac. I was happy to see them smiling on their return, but equally I felt like I was falling behind again. Fading into the background.
I knew he had something with Viarni just by how he looked at her. It was a way I wished someone would look at me.
Me and Lily sat down one day and predicted who was going to win.
2nd and 3rd.
We got it bang on.
I started to feel more uncomfortable in the house. No outside contact was hard. I missed my family and friends. We were living in a bubble of emotions where every little thing was heightened. I wanted to explore and go out. But I couldn't, feeling stagnant and somewhat stuck I started to get more into my shell. It was hard saying bye to my friends at Rose Ceremonies too.
Fast forward to Thailand. This was a boost to us all. A change of scenery. Something new and something refreshing.
All I wanted was time with Zac. But it started getting harder seeing his bond grow with everyone else and feeling myself fade into the background again.
Rooming with Lily in Chiang Mai was the one thing keeping me going. We would just hang out and chill. Our room was a little sanctury of calmness amongst the others. I could see the stress was getting to a lot of other girls. Tears were spilling and emotions were pouring.
I had a strong bond with the other girls and me and Rosie got super close in Thailand too.
We escaped one day after Vanessa, Sarah and Karina (the intruders) came in and we got twisted to become angry and argue.
Rosie really got thrown under the bus here. We were wound up by people and she got made to look bad when she really wasn't. Rosie is one of the loveliest, most intelligent and kindest girls you will meet.
So we asked to go for a walk up the Hotel's drive.
And just kept walking.
The pressure was beginning to get to the girls, we had already been couped up for about a month with no outside world contact. Except the occasional phone call home, which was lovely.
Then they bought in three new girls. They were all amazing lovely people. But it caused a divide just because of the incredibly strange situation. Basically living in a female pressure cooker.
Me and Rosie ate copious amounts of ice cream and croissants from the breakfast buffet to cope with the stressful situation. We were so lucky to stay in such beautiful hotels and got so much delicious foods. Thai breakfast buffets everyday was so good...but stress eating plus buffets = weight gain. Unless you turn to something else as a coping mechanism, a lot of the other girls started to smoke.
We went to Bangkok. More girls left. Really great girls too. I started to feel the pressure a lot more. More ice cream and croissants were needed.
But, Bangkok was amazing. We had a few days off here and there and the city felt alive. There was such a humm of life and people everywhere.
We went to all the Big C super markets and little outside markets.
The air was thick with humidity, fumes and the smell of street food.
Our Hotel was amazing it was Siam Siam. And it had a gym. It felt so good working out. My body had craved it after being couped up for so long.
The food was incredible there too. We had the most delicious buffets and a dessert buffet. Oh my oh my it was so YUM!
Vanessa loved her fitness too and we soon became work out buddies. We got to know each other really well, really quickly.
It's what the Bachelor bubble does to you. You bond with people so fast. It truly is a unique experience, you ride the waves of emotions. You spend 24/7 with the girls and with limited to zero outside contact, you become a family.
Vanessa is such an awesome person. She's upbeat, hilarious, genuine, unapologetically herself but at the same time she's not afraid to stand up for what's right.
There was a moment in Bangkok where me and Claudia were banned from having dessert because they thought we had gained a couple of kilos by the Hair/Makeup/Dress department. They were worried our dresses wouldn't fit if we gained weight, I can see where they were coming from. But as a young female in this environment, it's really hard to hear.
I already had low self esteem, feeling in competition with these other beautiful women in this situation, so this really made me feel a tad insecure.
Competing with stunning girls, especially ones who looked like models and I got banned from desserts...
I started to feel more self conscious. I wanted to go home at that point and hide. Let alone be filmed and aired to the nation.
A couple more days passed and I was finding the process harder. I needed to talk to my family or friends back home. We got one phone call but it was monitored so we couldn't say much.
I perked up a bit when I got chosen to go on a group date with Belle, Karina and Vanessa. I couldn't wait to get out of the hotel and explore. It was a Tuk Tuk riding date too, I was riding with Vanessa and we had the best time.
We saw some gorgeous shops, markets, stalls and got a real taste of Bangkok.
I just remember being in fits of giggles telling dirty jokes in Irish accents and doing animal noises with Vanessa and Zac.
Then Zac asked me to stay on for some one on one time with him. I was shocked. I truly thought I would be going home at this point, as we hadn't had any time together since the beginning of the process and I could see how he had clicked with other girls more.
I started feeling really positive again, an inkling of hope had arisen. Maybe this guy did want to get to know me more.
We walked down Kho San road and ate Scorpions, drank the best passionfruit milkshake I ever did try and just laughed a bit.
The cameras followed us down the street, I felt quite self concious after the weight remarks and the humidity/stress had made me break out like crazy.
I probably held back a lot, in hind sight, I don't think I was confident enough to be myself. I felt uncomfortable in my skin and it reflected in my demeanour.
We had a pint at a bar and a chat. But I knew it wasn't the same as when we had talked at the Beach a while before. I didn't think the spark was their. I chugged my beer back, I felt like I was getting bro zoned.
We wrapped up filming and headed back to seperate hotels.
I remember saying to the Producer in the Van, "Fuck I don't have a rose, does this mean I'm a gonner?", she reassured me and said just to talk to him at the next Rose Ceremony.
It was that day when I broke down. Me and Claudia were called in to hair and makeup. They told us we needed to watch our weight, because a couple of kilos weight gain looks like 20kgs on t.v.
I was a size 8 at the time, admittedly I had probably gained a little bit of weight, but me and Claudia were both still slim.
It was so our dresses would still fit. I can understand why. But it was still hard to digest.
I just remember crying and not being able to stop. I felt out of place here. I just wanted to escape and explore thailand some more on my own.
I refused to eat that night because we had boxes of Pad Thai or fried rice most nights. Hardly diet food right? It was so bloody tasty though 😂🙈.
The girls asked why we were upset and I remember everyone was so pissed off when we told them.
I knew I needed to go home after that. If I had of stayed it would have escalated.
But simultaneously I wanted to spend more time with the girls and Zac.
I couldn't talk to Zac that Cocktail Party because I felt so disgusting. My face was puffy from crying, I felt fat and uncomfortable ( I really wasn't fat! I wish I could go back to a size 8 now!)
The Rose Ceremony came around and me and Vanessa were the bottom two. We held hands and I remember squeezing her palm. I was trying to reassure her, I knew it was my time to leave.
I wanted to just walk out at that moment, but at the same time I still had this pathetic drape of hope in me. Thinking what if Zac picks me and we actually end up getting to know each other more.
I knew it was naive but I stayed for what felt like an hour.
My name wasn't called. It wasn't a huge suprise but I still felt a sinking feeling in my stomach. A mixture of sadness, relief and nerves.
I had to say my goodbyes to the girls. It sucked. I remember hugging Lily so hard. I just wanted to take her with me and go escape in Bangkok and experience it all.
I told her you've got this girl.
I knew it was between Viarni and Lily at this point. But seriously all of the girls were amazing. Every single one there was a catch.
I said my farewell to Zac, and I could tell he felt bad seeing me upset. I tried to make it less awkward and mumbled some crap about it being ok and I would date all of the girls if I was him.
I did my exit interviews and just remembered sobbing on a roof top in Bangkok...thinking when am I going to get a chance with someone. When will I find myself? Because this person, this human I was, I was so lost and this little bubble of the last two months had suddenly burst.
I was put into another hotel room and that night and told to stay there and someone from the crew would get me in the morning. I just cried. I haven't ever cried like that for a long time. I wasn't even sure what I was crying for. I just felt like a release of emotions.
I had no phone or anything and felt quite alone, I started thinking of Bentley. The tears welled up in my eyes and soaked my pillow.
It was weird. I guess I didn't really know what I was feeling. It was just like my whole world for the last few months had just popped. The bubble had gone. My reality was no more and I had to go back to normal life. All of the heavy stuff before the show, which I kind of had pushed to the back of my mind, all the grief, had began to resurface and I felt it.
I also had a sense of relief. I couldn't wait to see my family.
I woke up the next day and was taken to the airport. Still without a phone I was desperate to talk to my Mum and Dad.
The kindness strangers showed me in that airport was unreal. I had a lady pay for my water because I didn't have enough cash.
Another guy gave up his seat for me.
It was like a guardian angel knew I was feeling all fucked up and made people extra kind.
I have no idea if you would have kept reading this. But there you go. My experience on the New Zealand Bachelor.
I'm grateful for all of it.
Because it led on to other things, made me friends for life and truly made me a stronger person.