Bachelor in Paradise

EXCLUSIVE: Sasha Zhuravlyova on why she's so much more than that rose-eating reality star

Sasha Zhuravlyova wants you to know she's smart, funny and a kick-arse chick.

By Bella Brennan

It was never going to be easy arriving on Bachelor in Paradise at the pointy end of the series.

And tonight, Bachelor 2016 star Sasha Zhuravlyova (aka the girl who is best known for chowing down on her rose during Richie Strahan's season) was sent packing.

In this exclusive exit interview, the 33-year-old talks to us about why she's so much more than that "rose-eating" reality star, who caught her eye in Paradise and why she never makes the first move.

Sasha, a very short and sweet BIP stint. Can you talk us through what happened to lead to your departure?
I arrived with Rachael [Gouvignon] and we have a different kind of approach when it comes to men. First of all, coming in that late makes a massive difference. Everyone is coupled up and happy… It's just impossible to break any relationships.

There were only two or three guys who were single and none of them I was attracted to and there was no way they'd be attracted to me because I could see they were over this whole experience.

It was just really bad timing for me to get in there.

It's a bit of a tough gig coming in so late in the piece – did you feel disadvantaged?
Yeah! I came in very late and Rachael had the approach of going up to men and chatting to them but I think I'm not that proactive.

All my life I've had men chasing me, rather than me chasing me. I was open-minded, I was ready to meet someone but at the same time I wasn't going to chase someone. So basically I spent a lot of time at the bar drinking vodka, enjoying my time and hence why I got eliminated.

You didn't receive a rose but did you get to eat any of the roses in Paradise?
[Laughs] Well in Paradise because of the humidity all the roses were fake, so I wouldn't be able to eat a plastic rose.

This is my stupid thing I'm known for that I did a few years ago and it's going to haunt me forever and ever but so be it.

Sasha was a late addition to the series and thinks this was a huge disadvantage.
Sasha was a late addition to the series and thinks this was a huge disadvantage.

You are indeed known as the rose-eating girl but what else would you like Australia to know about you that didn't come across on your Bachelor stints?
I have a degree and I'm quite a smart person. I finished a degree in public relations and journalism at the University of Queensland, which is one of the top three universities in Australia, so I'm very proud of that experience.

I've been in Australia for 15 years and I feel like this is my home. There's so much more to me than eating the rose! I'm so much smarter and better than just being known as the girl who eats roses. That thing I did was after five or six hours of filming and extremely exhausting and hot night.

It was about two o'clock in the morning and we had to stand in heels for at least three or four hours, it was the most horrible experience on the first night.

I was like, 'Oh my God I'm so bored! I've got the rose, I'm just going to eat it.' And that was it, little did I know that would be a thing that haunts me forever and ever now.

Back to Paradise, if there was one guy you could have gone on a date with who would you have picked?
I know there were quite a few guys that had already left. But if it was anyone from the whole Paradise experience, I'd love to go on a date with someone like Luke McLeod but obviously he was taken.

But now all the reports have come out that he's cheated on Lisa and I'm like Oh my God! Thank God I didn't meet him. The last thing I want to do is meet a cheater.

Davey Lloyd seemed like a fun guy and I wouldn't mind meeting him as well.

Are you still single or seeing someone?
I am still single.

The moment that will "haunt" Sasha for ever.
The moment that will "haunt" Sasha for ever.

Would you consider hitting up any of the BIP boys now you're out in the real world?
Nah, I don't do that but Michael Turnbull and I met in Melbourne a year or so ago so we've had a few drinks so we know each other.

I messaged him saying" 'oh man! I wish you were still there so we could drink!' But there's nothing between Michael and I. As I said, that's not my personality to chase men.

Do you think there's any genuine couples in there?
Absolutely! I think Sam and Tara are a genuine couple and I have a feeling they might be the ones who are engaged.

I reckon it's Sam and Tara and Keira and Jarrod are just happily together.

Sasha predicts Tara and Sam are the couple who become engaged.
Sasha predicts Tara and Sam are the couple who become engaged.

What was your take on Thomas getting to come back on the show?
I really didn't appreciate it. Like, you don't receive a rose but then you come back? There's rules to the game and you can bend those rules but then there's eliminating the rules completely and doing whatever you want to do.

It didn't make sense at all! Imagine if I was like, 'I didn't receive a rose! But that's OK I'll stay here and hang out.'

He wasn't my type at all! I don't know what Megan is fussing about and saying he's so good looking.

Fans have been left outraged that it was Thomas not Elora Megan kisses as we were lead to believe in that teaser. What's your thoughts on that whole debacle?
It's pretty funny! I actually thought Megan would kiss Elora. To be honest, I couldn't care less.

What's next for you?
I work with L'Oreal and I'm loving my job. I'm very busy so just going to concentrate on that and enjoy my life. Go out and be happy!

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