The revived season of Beauty and the Geek has been a roller-coaster journey of wholesome emotions.
On Tuesday night, Lachlan Mansell and Kiera Johnstone were crowned the winners of the $100,000 prize.
Their win was an emotional conclusion to the show with not a dry eye on the screen or in the living rooms of Australia.
The pair have transformed inside and out, and speaking with WHO Magazine, they reveal how BATG has empowered them.
"The weight of emotion is something I have never experienced before. It was a mixture of everything, just you know, elation. Obviously, a big sense of relief for me because I knew it had been a big risk," says Lachlan.
Keira feels honoured that their bond was recognised by the eliminated contestants who voted for their win.
"We got the majority of the votes, which meant a lot from the previous contestants who had seen our journey and saw the bond that we created and how hard we worked to be there," Kiera says.
It's sure nice to win money, but it's obvious that Keira and Lachlan are richer in spirit, which is their true triumph.
For similar reasons, the geek and beauty have gained self-worth and belief through their relationship.
"For me going into the show, I kind of knew that I wasn't going to be like the most beautiful beauty that there was. Or even the smartest of funniest or anything like that," remembers Kiera.
"With Lachlan's help, I was able to be okay with not being the most beautiful or the most funny. Being okay with that and having someone who loved me and stood beside me in every challenge in every kind of adversity we faced was more important than my doubts.
"I won't be settling for less; I won't allow it anymore. I am too good of a person to let that bring down my self-belief again," Keira asserts.
Lachlan has taken home similar realisations and growths, which have transformed his mental health.
"My mental health and my headspace coming out of the show was so far above what it was beforehand.
"I have had girls treat me badly in the past, girls that I have been interested in, so to go through this experience and learn what it's like to be loved and appreciated by such a beautiful girl like Kiera, that has restored my faith that out there is nice girls out there who will be interested in me for who I am and will treat me properly.
"And to see what it's like to be loved and appreciated it means now that my standards have raised as well," says the 32-year-old.
Although the couple were originally paired with other people, they managed to foster their show winning bond through mutual and unconditional support.
Their journey to the grand final was filled with respect, which they credit to each other's phenomenal natures.
"Nurturing the relationship we had was important because you have to know each other, you have to trust and have faith in the other's abilities and being close to each other in general, we became best friends pretty quickly, he really did show me how much he loved me.
"He was giving me a lot of confidence whether he admits it or not, to trust myself and him," shares the 23-year-old public servant.
Lachlan shares a similar sentiment as he muses on his admiration for Kiera, who he believes was an integral part of their success.
"In challenges early on, I feel like Kiera wasn't giving herself enough credit, we would come out of a challenge, and we would do the interview, and Kiera was quick to give me a lot of credit, which I didn't think was entirely fair because Kiera performed so well in each and every challenge and there is no way we would have got so far without her doing an amazing job."
As for their winnings, Kiera wants to sit on the money before she decides to buy a house, and Lachlan is sinking it into his business and has dedicated the award to his late grandmother, Dorothy, who passed away soon after he won.
For now, the BATG winners are celebrating over video because Lachlan is stuck in Sydney due to the lockdown.
They speak to each other all the time and are looking forward to reuniting as soon as possible.
This story was originally published on our sister site, WHO Magazine.