Fans of The Bachelor Australia were left reeling tonight over the shock departure of show favourite, Brooke Blurton.
But the youth social worker said she had to go with her gut feeling – admitting that she knew deep down she couldn't tell Nick what he wanted to hear at the finale.
"Nick deserves to be happy; it's his journey and he wants to fall in love. But with it being so close to crunch time, I realised I still wasn't in love with him. I didn't see myself saying 'I love you' at the end and I didn't want to take that away from him," she tells TV WEEK.
Brooke, 23, says that ultimately, she needed more time, and more reassurance from Nick.
"I really liked him and I did see a lot of potential to fall in love, but it takes me a bit of time. Love is a very strong word," she says.
"Nick wasn't giving me the clarification I needed, either. I love having certainty in a relationship and I need to know that person wants to be with me.
"I understand the nature of the show but it's my life as well. I would be the one in a relationship; it's my feelings and emotions."
Brooke says though the decision was "difficult" to make, she hasn't spent time dwelling on the past.
"When I first left I did think about the 'what ifs' but then you move on," she says.
"You know, you think 'what if I stayed? What if I was the girl at the end?' But I had to think about what I wanted and what he was giving me back."
That said, she hasn't ruled out a reunion with Nick, should it fail to work out with the show's winner!
"I'm the type of person that once the ship has sailed, it's sailed. But I think down the line, if we were to meet again in the outside world, who knows what would happen," says the brunette.
As one of the show's early favourites, there's no doubt viewers will be calling for Brooke to be cast as the next Bachelorette.
But she has mixed feelings should she be offered the role.
"I'd have to reconsider where I'm at in life," she says.
"There are things that are a priority for me at the moment. But who knows. I'm not one to say no to an opportunity but there would be some things I'd need to consider first."
We just hope Brooke finds her happy ever after!
The Bachelor Australia finale airs Thursday at 7:30pm on Network Ten.