EXCLUSIVE: Olena Khamula from The Bachelor tells all

The intriguing reality star reveals she wasn’t surprised when Richie sent her home.
Olena Khamula

She’s the one girl Richie Strahan just couldn’t figure out on season four of The Bachelor Australia.

And on last night’s dramatic episode, the stunning make-up artist and the handsome rope technician finally reached a breaking point.

The pair came to blows over the logistics of long distance, with Olena calling out Richie for living in a “fairytale.”

We caught up with the 23-year-old to talk about her whirlwind adventure on the show!

How are feeling today now everything is out in the open?

Really good and very excited. Finally it’s out and I can talk about how I felt! It’s been a great journey but god it was tough!

What was the toughest part about being on the show?

Talking about your emotions. Talking about yourself, which I’m not used to. I’m the type of person that usually asks the questions and listens. It was completely different – I had to talk about my own feelings which was a huge challenge for me.

Throughout the season, you were a captivating mystery to Richie. While Alex and Nikki told Richie that they loved him, you kept your cards close to your chest. Was this strategic or just the way you are?

I saw the guy five times, do you know what I mean? I couldn’t really say “I love you.” I needed more time. I know it’s a show and it’s a really fast process but I wasn’t going to lie to myself or to him. I really wanted him to find the love of his life and I knew that wasn’t me at the end of the day.

Olena said she only hung out with Richie about five times so her true feelings couldn’t develop.

On last night’s episode, you were very realistic about the challenges of long distance – was it frustrating that Richie seemed to glaze over the logistics of it?

Yeah, I really wanted strong answers. I wasn’t getting it. He was all over the place at the time! I was like, look, I don’t think this is going to work out. You’re saying we’re going to be travelling back and forwards, I don’t think that’s happening. I pulled him up on it. I’m not going to tell you I love you, I’m going to be real with you! He ran away pretty quick from me.

Having watched the season, was it hard to see Richie tell the girls some of the same lines?

Which lines are you talking about? (Laughs) “Incredible? You’re so incredible!” That was the one line he said a lot on screen but I don’t really think he said it a lot when I was there. There was a lot of repetition going on!

Richie said it wasn’t a hard decision to send you home, what did you think of that comment?

Look, two girls said “I love you.” I don’t love you so… I can’t say I love you right now, maybe I could say it later… He wanted someone he could fall in love with, I knew that girl wasn’t me.

Why do you think you and Richie didn’t work out?

I think he wants someone that shares a lot of interests with him and he needs someone that’s going to tell him they love him, and are open with their feelings. I don’t think I was doing that for him.

WATCH: Olena and Richie say goodbye. Post continues after the video!

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Talk us through the moment you didn’t receive a rose?

I had my speech prepared! I was expecting it, it wasn’t a big surprise at all.

Do you think you’ll stay in touch with any of the girls?

I’ll definitely stay in touch with all of the girls, I’m good friends with Alex.

Your dad became a bit of a hero during the hometown visits, did you expect he’d become such a hit with viewers? And will there be a follow up boxing match between him and Richie?

My dad’s really special! He’s definitely loving it, he’s been laughing about it. I don’t think there’ll be a follow up boxing match, that’s for sure. He’s happy for me, he thinks I made the right decision.

Who do you think will win?

I think it’s 50/50. I’m really not sure but I’m definitely team Alex. I think her and Richie are just the perfect couple. From what I see on screen, they have such a strong connection compared to what my connection was with him. All the way team Alex!

The beautiful make-up artist reveals she already had her goodbye speech to Richie prepared!

And you’re back on the dating scene, are you enjoying it?

Yes! I am back on the dating scene. I am not dating [tennis coach] Nick Lindahl we’re really good friends and he’s just an amazing person to be around with. He’s been very supportive. I have a few dates here.

Describe your perfect guy?

I want someone just to be really real about everything, honesty.

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

The highlight was that I made a best friend, I met [intruder] Steph! If it wasn’t for the show I wouldn’t have found her. I’m very thankful for that, she’s an amazing person. A true friend.

A lifelong bestie is better than a boy anyway!

It wasn’t a guy but I got to meet a wonderful girl!

Olena and Richie’s hit the surf in Bali for their last ever date.

What can we expect next from you?

I’m going to go with the flow, see where life takes me. I’ll have fun with everything that’s been going on and then probably go straight back to work. [I’ve] been doing a bit of make-up here and there and back to modelling, I love it.

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

No, that was completely me. I wasn’t going to lie about who I was. I’m the person that I am on screen. I’m not as quiet as they made me out to be.

Why did you go on the show?

I wanted to find a new adventure, I knew that I could potentially find the love of my life on this show. Whoever the man was, I knew he was going to be the perfect man. I wanted to fall in love, who doesn’t want to fall in love?

Do you have any regrets?

No regrets whatsoever! No way… Maybe the camping part where I was whingeing a lot. I would have done things a lot smoother but I couldn’t hide my feelings. But I was having fun with it, I was having a laugh.

Do you still believe in love?

Yeah, of course. Definitely. Still looking for it!

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