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"That’s where I draw the line – contract or no contract!" Ryan Jones on his Bachelorette experience

He was the angry guy from Auckland... But it turns out Ryan is a real-life sweetheart and we're completely dumbfounded.

By Chloe Lal
Ryan Jones was one of the most controversial contestants on The Bachelorette Australia 2017.
He came into Sophie Monk’s life with a bang and his exit was no different.
All he wanted was the perfect girl… Instead he left sans rose.
Whether you loved him or hated him, now’s your chance to get to know the real Ryan Jones, who happens to be quite the softie!

Ryan Jones, 26, Construction foreman, NSW

When Now To Love chatted to Ryan, he was worlds away from the "evil" villain he played on the show.
Ryan, can you walk us through Sophie asking you to leave before the rose ceremony
Just going off from our previous conversations – like the one you saw in the first episode – they had always been quite serious.
I shared things I had dealt with personally, in the hopes that she’d see where I was coming from and would also open up to me.
Obviously we don’t have a lot of time and things move really fast. Going into this final school date, I thought I’d go in with a light-hearted approach and show my funny side.
It was going really well. We had a laugh, making fun of Jarrod and his terrible maths skills.
But then it got real and it got deep. We were two adults having an adult conversation. We were being upfront with each other. I had spoken to her about how hard I was finding it to develop a connection given the circumstances. It’s hard and on top of that 11 of your best mates are trying to date her as well. Basically she asked me what I’m doing here.

You called her decision to send you home bull----, why?
I’ve seen the episode and it is funny to see how it’s played out.
I certainly don’t remember it going down that way. Look, it was a shame! I really wish I could have hung around for a little longer and had a single date. I think I would have known for sure after that.
Honestly, I don’t remember saying “ bull----”. I’d love to hear the words without the beeps. It’s not shown but afterwards I wished Soph all the best. I told her I wanted nothing but happiness for her – as I do for the guys in the house.
It’s a shame I didn’t find that with her but there is certainly no hard feelings at all.
Sophie doesn’t seem like your type – was she? Was there anything about her you didn’t like?
She’s definitely different! She’s had this incredible career, she’s lived all over the world. None of us guys, except for Stu [Landry], have dated somebody like that before.
I don’t discriminate anybody by their choice of career, or anything.
I know I went into the experience with an open mind and an open heart and I hoped for the best. You don’t really know until you’re in that experience.

Do you think Sophie was right about the pair of you not being suited to one another?
I can only speak for myself. It kinda takes me a while to open up and to try and really develop feelings.
Looking at my past relationships it has taken me six-12 months of friendship before it blossoms into a relationship. [Laughs] So, I guess I needed time?
You were one of the most polarising boys this season. We all felt for you when you spoke of your mum’s passing. But then people, especially women, were pissed off when you said you like “somebody who takes good care of herself physically and someone who doesn’t swear.” Was it hard watching back how you ruffled feathers?
I think everyone watching the show knows there is editing. But in saying that, I’m not by any means shying away from what I’ve said.
Whether some of those things were taken out of context, that’s for somebody else to decide. I know the potty mouth thing definitely got taken out of context. I’ve got a very dry sense of humour.
I think it’s well known that Sophie Monk does have a little bit of potty mouth. I was trying to have a bit of a laugh but I don’t think it worked… It is what it is [Laughs].
I take it with a grain of salt.
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What about those crazy reports you were paid to be a villain?
I certainly wasn’t [Laughs].
I know I can s--- stir. That’s me! What you see if what you get. If you want to call me villain call me a villain. That’s not the type of person that I am. I know who I am.
I say things how I see it, I like to be honest and I have a dry sense of humour. It’s all good!
Were you happy with how you were portrayed? What about your friends and family?
They know it certainly wasn’t the real me and they know it’s TV land!
There were glimpses of me and my humour. I think it’s apparent that in reality I get along with everyone. I adore the boys.

One of your most touching moments was when you spoke of your mum, who passed away from brain cancer. What do you think she’d say about you being brave enough to go on national TV to find love?
My mum was very supportive of absolutely anything and everything I wanted to do.
Umm, honestly it was everything a child could have ever wanted from a parent. If I was to tell her this is what I want to do and I think there’s a real chance I might find love, she would have given me nothing but support. I can’t even begin to imagine how supportive she would have been.
She was such an amazing woman.

Dad gave me a little bit of a hard time about doing it. He was like, "Why do you want to do something like that?"
But he’s been very supportive as well. The hardest thing for me, after that first episode I was getting a lot of hate.
When people started commenting and attacking my family – sending them messages – that’s when I thought this isn’t right. I need to stick up for them and myself.
You can say what you’d like about me but don’t ever bring my family into it.
That’s where I draw the line – contract or no contract.

It reverted back to high school politics last night when the intruders were dropped in, was that embarrassing to watch back?
We’ve all been trying our hardest. Not only are we competing with the original boys in the house but then four new guys come in… And then four need to leave.
We were angry. I wasn’t rolling out the red carpet by any means and we’ve all been putting in a lot of work.
But after that initial rose ceremony all boys got have a drink with Guy, Stuey and AJ.
We had a footy mentality and we left the tension on the field. We all had a good laugh about it afterwards.
But I don’t think any guy would make it easy for someone to try and steal their girl.

Sophie already knew Stu, how unfair do you think that is?
Look, the end goal is for two people to find love and happiness with one another. Whether or not they come now or the start – the end goal is for Sophie to find real happiness. It doesn’t matter if it is the intruders or one of the originals.
Obviously friendly rivalry in the house can’t be stopped. But at the end of the day we all want Sophie to be happy.

Fans are naming guys like Luke and Stu as potential winners. You were in the house for a while, who do you think will win?
Looking at the connection Sophie and Stu have – it’s intense. Whether it’s love at sight I don’t know… But he’s a front runner for sure!
Apollo – Yeah! I think Sophie is very smitten. But my dark horse has it be AJ. He’s such a lovely bloke. What about Jarrod, what’s he like in real life? He seems… Unique, different
[Laughs] Yes! he certainly is.
Like everyone in the house, they’re all unique people that offer something different. I may have been portrayed in a certain way but the way Jarrod’s been portrayed…That’s actually him.
That’s the Jarrod I got to know. Ahh yeah. That’s it.
Who will you be staying in touch with and who won’t you be catch up with?
I have time for everyone in that house. My door is always open. They were all gentlemen.
I got such an amazing opportunity to meet all these incredible people from all around Australia, different backgrounds and ages. Whoever needs someone or something or just wants a beer – I’m here for them! And I hope they feel the same.
What did you learn from your Bachelorette experience?
Look I learnt so much about myself.
I found out I had a bit of a creative side to me.
Your drawing on the group date was amazing!
You know what, I’ve never done that before! I was given this piece of chalk and paper and I just remember thinking I wanted to fill it with colour.
I haven’t picked up a piece of chalk since but it’s good to know that it’s something I could explore!
I did a lot of writing in the house. I wrote music. I discovered I guess I do like doing more creative things.

Ryan, what’s happening here? Are you telling us you’re a secret softie?
[Laughs] You know what my favourite type of movie is?
Don’t say it Ryan…
Rom-coms! You can’t print that! That’s just between me and you!
What about Bachelor in Paradise, would you be keen?
No probably not!
No! Imagine you and Keira on one screen together…
Oh look! I don’t think it’s for me.
I think I’d rather go out and meet somebody out on the town, or at a party or through mutual friends. I don’t think I’d be looking for love on a television show again.
Are you looking for love?
I’m out of the house now so I’m back on the market! I’m dating again so here’s hoping.