From the moment he transformed a napkin into a rose for Sophie Monk, everyone’s been crushing hard on The Bachelorette’s Apollo. Oh, and the fact he’s got a face and rig carved by angels doesn’t hurt either!
But just when you thought he couldn’t be any more endearing, NW uncovered that the Queensland-based hottie, 24, managed to completely transform his life after suffering a heart attack in 2015.
OK Apollo, you’re so gorgeous that even the boys in the mansion called you a god - were you just born looking this amazing or what?!
I went through a period where I was crazy stressed, so I ended up overweight. I put on 40 kilos, weighing 150kg, was mega-stressed, not happy and went through a bit of depression. Then I had a heart attack.
That’s horrible! Where were you when it happened?
I was at a friend’s place. I had just finished a 14-hour shift and then boom!
You poor thing! How did that affect you? It must have been terrifying…
I ended up in critical care for two weeks and I just reassessed my life. I just went, 'OK, what do I really want in my life?' And at the end of the day it was making people smile and making people feel good and my heart has always been doing that. Performing magic and singing for people in the critical care ward and just seeing their smiles and watching their eyes light up was just such a good feeling. I quit both the jobs I had – I had two businesses – and just went, 'This is it. This is what I’m doing. This is my purpose and I’m chasing it.'
It’s so incredible to hear how you’ve turned something so tragic into something positive!
I think life has those pivotal moments. It’s important that we learn from it. Everyone has a drive and passion, it’s just about discovering that and taking it into whatever you want as a career. You spend most of your time at work, you might as well do something purposeful and rewarding.
So what were you doing before magic?
Being a bigger guy [before my heart attack], I just thought I’d do security for a few years. And a few years ending up being, oh god, I can’t even remember, probably like five years. It wasn’t the worst job in the world but it just wasn’t where my heart was at.
Now what’s this we hear about Apollo not being your real name…
Yeah, my birth name is Jake. There are a lot of people with my name in the world. As far as doing [magic], there was a million other people like me.
So what made you go with Apollo?
I had a crappy, old, beat-up car for a while called Apollo. That’s the car I started to drive to my [magic] gigs. I even slept in it for a little bit! So I took Apollo as my first name.
Tell us how you ended up on The Bachelorette?
I was scouted, actually! I’d been single for a year and a half and to be honest, I hadn’t had time for a relationship. But then I found out it was Sophie – and I’ve always admired her. I thought it’d be amazing to meet her – she’s gorgeous!
Were you nervous meeting her?
More nervous than I have ever been in my entire life. And after walking away from her, I had a squeak in my shoe… [Laughs] Then I went the wrong way, tried to go in through the wrong door…
You seemed to fit in with the guys straight away!
Yeah, I came in thinking I was going to be this weird alternative magic guy, but when I got in I was surprised.
Well, Jimmy is into yoga and is quite spiritual, Mack and Luke were into self-development things – we all just clicked. We even went out for a full-moon meditation one night…
You did what?
[Laughs] We did yoga, detox baths and sat and did tea chats… Yeah, it was nice.
So no fierce competition then?
Well, it was a little bit competitive on the first night… [Laughs]