It's arguably one of the most dramatic seasons in The Bachelor Australia history, with the ladies in contention for Matt Agnew's heart not only turning on each other, but on the Bachelor too!
TV WEEK can confirm that tensions are set to boil over this week when Abbie reveals to Matt that Monique – a girl he described as "the whole package" – has sensationally called him a "disrespectful pig" behind his back.
And with Matt on a witch-hunt to find out the truth, the Bachelor mansion is in chaos, with Matt confessing he needed a long meeting with psychologists – and Abbie not eating for days!
"It caught me off guard," Matt, 32, admits to TV WEEK of learning about Monique's remark. "It's quite confronting for anyone to hear that.I don't think anyone goes through life thinking that's who they are. It was something I needed to address to see what happened. For me, the biggest issue came down to honesty and trust."
Monique says the drama began when Abbie took a "joke" the wrong way. The lingerie designer says she and fellow Bachelorette Rachael were mimicking YouTube sensation "Trent from Punchy" when the alleged comment was made.
"We were in stitches laughing," the lingerie designer, 26, recalls. "I don't remember exactly what was said, but if it was said, it was as a joke. It was taken completely out of context."
Monique was shocked to discover Abbie had relayed the conversation to Matt. Looking back, she thinks Abbie was on a definite mission to get rid of her.
"She's very calculated," Monique says, fuming. "I have nothing nice to say about her."
Rachael, 23, agrees, claiming Abbie was "jealous" of Monique and Matt's connection.
"He was smitten [with Monique] and I think a lot of the girls were threatened by that," she adds.
Meanwhile, Abbie, 23, stands by her decision to tell Matt.
"If I were the Bachelorette, I'd want to know," she explains.
Matt says he was "grateful" that Abbie told him. After an explosive cocktail party at which he tried to find out the truth, he told the women it had been "a tremendous waste of time" before storming out. And it left Abbie worried he'd walk out – for good.
"Matt isn't a guy who loves drama," she says. "He's so emotionally intelligent; he didn't think this was what he signed up for – all this cattiness and people talking about him.
"I felt really guilty," Abbie adds. "Cocktail parties were so important to him."
Matt admits the thought of leaving the show did cross his mind.
"It did mess with my head a lot," he says. "After that cocktail party, I had a real hard time trusting [anyone]. I had no idea who was telling the truth and what was a lie.
"Leaving probably crept into my mind a bit, because it was a case of not knowing who I could trust. Until then, I'd been really optimistic about the experience, but then I had this moment that completely derailed me. It made me think, 'Have I made a mistake?'"
Matt says it was at times like this that he needed to talk to his loved ones the most.
"I lean quite heavily on family and friends in helping me navigate big decisions," he admits. "That was probably one of the hardest parts of the experience – not having access to people who help me during tough times and making tough calls."
Fortunately, Matt had the help of on-set psychologists to get him through.
"I had a really good support network within the filming crew, and access to psychologists that I made sure I used frequently," he explains. "That helped me in terms of making sure I was in the right head space, and happy and healthy going through it."
Following the drama with Monique, Matt admits he needed extended time with the show's psychologists.
"It did kind of have a mental impact," he explains. "I spoke to the psychologists regularly after the rose ceremonies, but this was certainly one of the longer chats we've had."
Understandably, the girls also struggled with the pressure of the competition. Abbie said she was "an absolute mess" following her bitter fallout with Monique, and didn't eat for days.
"I wasn't coping," she reveals. "I had to call the psychologist, and the minders were a bit worried. I didn't eat for three days. I just slept and cried. I really wasn't well."
But she says it was her feelings for Matt that kept her going.
"There were times [I was tempted to leave], but because I felt so strongly for Matt, I decided to stay," she says. "I can handle a bunch of girls. I went to an all-girls school – I can deal with it."