Reality TV

Locky Gilbert's shock Bachelor confession on SAS Australia says a lot about the way Aussie men deal with their emotions - and it's not great

His comments go beyond typical blokey banter.

By Maddison Leach
Australians have been left baffled, betrayed and more than a little bitter over Locky Gilbert's latest antics on SAS Australia.
On Tuesday night the former Bachelor star made a startling confession that has fans second-guessing everything they know about his and partner Irena Srbinovska's romance and it has sparked a difficult and much-needed conversation about the way Australian men handle (or don't handle) their emotions.
As the recruits battled through the 11th day of the brutal SAS selection course, they were each shown an emotional video message from home that left even the toughest stars in tears.
At first, it seemed that tough guy Locky would also be overcome with emotion when he was left in an empty room to watch a touching clip Irena sent in.
Locky Gilbert's latest comments on SAS Australia shocked fans. (Image: Channel Seven)
But from the moment Locky sat down, something seemed amiss.
"He won't show any emotion and if he does it will be fake tears," Chief Officer Ant Middleton predicted before the Directing Staff saw how Locky reacted to the video.
Before the video from Irena even began to play, the 30-year-old former Survivor contestant was loudly sobbing into his microphone, though no tears were visible on his face.
In fact, even as the video played and Locky continued to sniffle and sob loudly, his eyes remained dry and he repeatedly put his head down in his arms to hide his face.
"They're not real tears. I'm not convinced," Ant told the rest of the DS, mimicking the sounds Locky made as DS Clint Emmerson pointed out: "His face looks dry!"
Ant continued: "You can't fake emotion. You're either emotional or you're not, you mean it or you don't."
If there was any doubt about the sincerity of Locky's tears, the Bachelor alum made sure to clear it up in a series of comments he made to producers that really didn't help his case – including one devastating revelation about his time with Irena on The Bachelor.
"I don't have emotions … I don't talk about emotions. I'm a man," he said in the damning clip, a smirk on his face.
But what about all the times viewers saw him well up on The Bachelor in 2020?
"What I did on Bachelor, like if I knew it was going to be a sad interview, is listen to sad songs to get in the mood… it's a really good technique," he said.
WATCH: Locky Gilbert's shock Bachelor confession on SAS Australia. Story continues after video.
"That's what made me cry on the finale. I was literally standing on the thing with headphones in as they're about to walk out. Then the car rolled up, headphones in the pocket, and [start crying]."
It's important to remember that one of the women "walking out" at the finale was Locky's now-partner Irena, who has been with him ever since the season ended.
It's hard not to wonder what she thought of this brutal revelation about the moment he chose her as his winner, or if she already knew his emotions at the finale were less than genuine.
Not only did Locky's supposed crocodile tears on SAS and The Bachelor reveal a less than flattering new side of the 30-year-old, they also symbolise a generations-old problem with the way Australian men talk about and handle their emotions.
Locky chose winner Irena Srbinovska in The Bachelor 2020 finale. (Image: Ten)
While plenty of blokes are more than capable of genuinely and responsibly managing their emotions, Locky's comments embody the outdated ideas that men should hide their emotions and that "boys don't cry".
In fact, old-fashioned ideas about the way men should – or shouldn't – express their emotions is believed to play a major role in the devastating male suicide statistics in Australia, which show that an estimated 75 per cent of the 3,000+ Australians who die by suicide every year are men.
Fortunately for SAS, several of the other male recruits showed how men can be in touch with their emotions without it ever being a weakness – in fact, for stars like Darius Boyd and Barry Hall, their emotional connections were huge strengths.
When Darius Boyd was shown a message from his wife and three kids at home during the same episode, he didn't even try to hold back his emotions, letting a few tears fall quietly while he watched the clip.
Fellow recruit Darius Boyd has been more open with his emotions on the show. (Image: Channel Seven)
"I really love my girls and when I'm going through those hard moments, I think about my family," he told producers of the emotional moment.
Meanwhile Barry Hall, who voluntarily withdrew after being injured in a combat challenge against Locky in an earlier episode, told Now To Love exclusively that knowing his kids were watching at home kept him going through the brutal course.
"They love the show. My two-year-old, he just wants to stay up bit, but my four year old's really, really invested," Barry revealed.
"He loves it. It's cute. I think he thinks daddy's a hero for being on TV."
Like Locky, Barry met his now-wife Lauren Brant on a reality TV showI'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! – but there were no faked emotions from Barry on the show, or at any point in their relationship.
WATCH: Barry Hall and Lauren Brant's baby gives a thumbs up. Story continues after video.
Barry confessed that their romance blossomed because it began after the show, when they "weren't in that … unrealistic reality TV world", though he's forever grateful that reality TV brought them together in the first place.
"I'm not a big fan of reality TV, but it's totally changed my life for the better in terms of the outcome. I have three beautiful boys, a beautiful wife. Life is good," he said.
"That would never happen if I didn't go on reality TV, so you can love it or hate it, but it's changed my life for the better."
By being so open and honest with his emotions on everything from his family to reality TV, Barry proves that men can be masculine, bold and tough without having to sacrifice sensitivity and kindness.
It's a lesson Locky may want to take from his former SAS co-star in the future.
If you or someone you know has been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, help is always available. Call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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