SPOILER ALERT: The winner of the Bachelor 2016 has been revealed!

Richie Strahan has finally picked his leading lady! Read our exclusive chat with Alex Nation and catch up on tonight's dramatic finale.
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Alex Nation has been crowned the winner of The Bachelor 2016 after an intense two-night finale.

“I’ve developed strong feelings for both Nikki and Alex. It’s a horrible feeling having to break someone’s heart. I know how much it hurts,” a nervous Richie confessed ahead of the final rose ceremony in Bali.

But before he could tell Alex she was the winner, he had to break-up with fan favourite Nikki – and their final goodbye was brutal.

“You are like no woman I’ve ever met before. Coming down this adventure, my family gave me some advice. And that advice was to follow my heart. I really hope you understand but my heart is Alex,” Richie explained.

Before asking, “Are you ok?”

“I’ve had a great time. I’ve had a lot of fun. Thank you for everything. I love you a lot and I love you enough to… I wish you all the very best. I thought what we had was special but what you have with Alex must top all of that,” a shattered Nikki replied.

“I don’t have any hard feelings towards Richie. He’s made the right decision for him and his heart. I hope that all those words he used he meant. I don’t have his heart, that’s all. I don’t regret anything. I know that they’ll be incredibly happy together. I still love Richie so it will take a while to get over that,” the teary real estate agent reflected after the shock bombshell was dropped.

WATCH IN THE PLAYER ABOVE: Richie and Alex’s release a sweet video message!

When Alex’s car pulled up, the excitement was palpable.

“On that very first night we met, you wrote me a poem. That poem gave me a glimpse of the type of woman you are… Alex, all I want is someone who is going to be my equal, someone who will push and challenge me. We are so similar, and I like that. And I think living a life with you would be adventurous and fun,” Richie admitted.

“I have thought about you and I have thought about Elijah. I have thought if I’m man enough to take on that responsibly. And I really feel I am. I love you Alex. Alex, you are the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with!” The handsome Bachelor concluded, before presenting her with a ring to symbolise their journey.

Earlier in the episode, the final two ladies were well and truly put through their paces after meeting with Richie’s mum. Straight-shooter Kate didn’t beat around the bush during her meet and greets with the women, even joking she was “Miss chill, turning into Miss Grill!”

Richie and Nikki’s final date saw the pair go on a helicopter ride before wandering around a secluded temple and monkey park.

During their last deep and meaningful, Nikki laid it all on the line. “I hope your happiness is me. I would make you very happy. I’m totally in love with you, it’s like nothing I have ever felt before.”

It’s love!

Meanwhile, Richie and Alex enjoyed champagne on a luxury boat as they discussed the challenges of dating with Alex’s five-year-old son to consider.

Alex capped off their last date by re-reading the poem she penned for the first cocktail party before professing her love to Richie. Richie responded by telling Alex, “that was beautiful” and kissing her.

We caught up with Richie’s new leading lady to talk about her amazing road to love!

What was the best thing to come out of this experience?

Meeting Rich! It was an absolute pleasure. You learn so much about yourself as well. The friendships I’ve made as well, I’ve made friends for life.

You’ve obviously had to keep your romance under wraps for a few months now, how excited are you to finally have it out in the open? And what’s the first thing you want to do in public as a normal couple?

I’ve said to him from the start, that I’m just dying to get a coffee with him! Live life and go for a drive, blast the music and jam out together in a car. Just the normal day-to-day stuff because I think it is the little things. So that’s what I’m excited for!

How’s it going to work with him in Perth and you in Melbourne?

I’ve said to him there’s no rush with things like that. He said that he doesn’t see the point of pulling little man [her son Elijah] out of school and changing his location.

I have such a great support network down here. My mum and my ex-husband are amazing. I wouldn’t be able to do all of the things I do without their support. I think it’s looking like it would be more realistic to be in Melbourne.

Richie and Alex have come so far…

What about family and kids? Can you see Richie as someone you’d like to start a family with?

Yeah! I think he is an incredible man and he would not only make a great role model for Elijah but I think when the time is right, he would be an incredible dad.

But I think you really need to live life with someone and really get to know them before you take on those next stages. I’m certainly not in any hurry to get married again or have any more children. I think those should come when the time is right.

Especially for me, those two things came to me like an absolute whirlwind when I was very, very young. I want to do both those things at my own pace and when I’m ready.

How do you imagine Richie and Elijah getting on?

I think they will get on like a house on fire. I think they’ll gang up on me![laughs] I’m very excited at the idea of them meeting each other. It will warm my heart to see the two of them together.

He said last night he’s never dated a woman with a child. You know Richie so well now, do you think he’ll adjust well to it?

Yes! I can actually see him being so natural with it all. I said to him, as long as you’re just yourself and you can always come to me if you have questions. I’m sure he’s going to have a million questions but we’re in this together.

If we work well as a team, as much as I think we will, then he’ll be amazing with him!

What have you told Elijah about this whole situation?

It was really, really hard. How do you explain something like this to a five-year-old? I said to him that I would be going away and I might meet someone really, really special and really, really cool and I’ll make some really great friends along the way.

When we were watching the show the other week, I asked him, “Would you like to meet Richie one day?” and he said “Yes! When can we meet Richie?” So it’s really, really cute.

WATCH: Alex’s Bachelor journey. Post continues after the video…

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What is it about Richie that you love and why you two work so well?

We really get each other. We connected straight away. We have so much fun together and understand each other. He makes me laugh, and I’ve always said if you can make me laugh I’ll love you forever.

He’s just such a humble, caring person and I find that very attractive about him. He’s a man but he’s caring and has this really nice, sensitive side. I think we’ll have an awesome life together.

Having watched the season, were you happy with how you were portrayed? Are there any misconceptions about you that you’d like to clear up?

It is reality telly. They’re always going to throw in the juiciest edit that they can. I’ve been labelled the Stage Five Clinger/American Psycho. I’m definitely not like that [laughs]!

It’s come across that way and there are people who like to get on the bandwagon but at the end of the day, I know who I am and my friends and family know who I am. I certainly was not the only girl crying in that house!

WATCH: The moment Richie tells Alex he loves her as the pair share a special message from Bali!

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What made you want to go on The Bachelor?

It was so random. I’ve never seen the show. I was on the Channel Ten website and the applications came up. I clicked on it, went to work, came back and I ended up filling it out until 2am that morning. It was very spontaneous.

How hard were the home visits knowing you were introducing Richie to your loved ones while there were 3 other girls in the running?

I think that’s why I chose not to have Elijah there because that would be confusing for the little guy.

It was hard but I was so excited for him to meet my family. I was really excited but you’re quickly brought back to reality knowing there are three other girls doing the same thing.

The infamous chocolate bath scene has become one of stand-out moments of the season; did you expect it would have such a strong reaction?

No! After I did it, I remember saying it might be a bit controversial but I didn’t realise the full gravity of it! I had so much fun on that date. How many people can say that they’ve done that?

Back to where it all began. Alex re-read Richie the poem she wrote for him on the very first night of the show

Was it hard watching the intimate moments Richie shares with Olena and Nikki?

You’ve really got to be able to compartmentalise and separate it. I lived it so I was very aware of things I would potentially would see.

At time, you can be quite taken back and be like, oh gosh I did not realise that they were that close or their connection was as strong! But you are prepared for that because you lived it. We went through that all together, now it’s playing out before us on television.

It didn’t affect me in anyway. There weren’t times were I was sad or hurt because I was very aware of what I would see on television.

What’s your relationship like with Nikki and Olena, especially after travelling to Bali with them?

I pester Olena nearly every day. I message her nearly every day.

Nikki and I speak weekly, we’re really close. Nikki and I were reunited yesterday and we hadn’t seen each other in months and it was just tears, laughter and hugs. We didn’t let go of each other.

It was a really special moment, I’ll be friends with Nikki for life. I’ll always have time for her and I definitely think we will maintain that friendship because we really care about each other.

The single mum says she’s still great mates with runner-up Nikki.

Do you have any regrets about being on the show?

I have absolutely no regrets about being on the show! I wouldn’t change a thing.

What was the biggest lesson you learnt?

I learnt that I am quite strong. It takes a lot for someone to be able to put themselves out there on a show like this. I have respect for every single girl that’s done it because it’s huge, it’s absolutely massive.

And I learnt that you can’t judge someone from what you see on a television show because you really don’t know the full story. I’ll probably never judge a Kardashian ever again!

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