Jackson Garlick, Australia's pie-wielding prince, was eliminated from The Bachelorette Australia on Wednesday night, much to the dismay of women across the nation.
Despite being a dark horse, Jackson was a firm fan-favourite for his good nature, sense of humour and, of course, good looks.
Unfortunately, he wasn't quite able to open up enough for Bachelorette Angie Kent, and he was sent home from the mansion, leaving Ryan Anderson, Timm Hanly and Carlin Sterritt as the top three.
We caught up with Jackson after his elimination to chat about his feelings for Angie, his dad's intense questioning during the hometown visit and what he thinks about the final three contestants.
It's a shame to see you go from the show! Angie's got three very different suitors to choose from now. There are a lot of people picking Carlin for the win, but who do you think Angie should end up with?
They're an eclectic mix, you're right, but if I had to put my house on it, if I had to take out a mortgage, I would put my money on Timm. I just think that his personality is so infectious and the way he makes Angie laugh is like no other, you know? And she's the same.
They are almost identical in the way they carry themselves and have a laugh at each other and have a laugh at themselves and if I had to choose someone for her, without her opinion, I'd choose Timm.
Ryan has copped a bit as an 'intruder' and some of the other boys have said they didn't like that he kept away from the group. What was your take on him?
Well, I think Ryan had a bit of an uphill battle when he came in. As an intruder you come in by yourself, and even though he came in a week after the rest of the boys came in, he did face some adversity. He did have some issues with Angie - but, you know, he is a mature fella and he wouldn't lower himself to be involved in any of the drama, because of his maturity.
I think, you know, some people like to be involved in household banter and other people don't think it's relevant. I really like Ryan, I thought he was a quite sensible fella and I also thought he was a real threat because a lot of the things he had going for him, were similar to what Angie has going for her. They have a lot of similar likes and dislikes and I thought he was a front runner for sure, from the day of his entrance.
Your connection with Angie grew quite quickly from your 'meat pie fail.' Do you think you were starting to fall in love with Angie?
Well, for me personally - I told Angie this and I told her a few times - that I don't want to be here and just tell her what she wants to hear if I don't feel it, because I'd be wasting her time.
But I was definitely developing a connection with Angie. The fact is that I only really had one single date with her at the start, and truth be told my guards were still up, there were still 20 blokes in the mansion, and I was concerned if I come on too strong then I might scare her off. It was just unfortunate that I couldn't get some more significant alone time later on in the experience to really let her know how my feelings had developed.
You struggled a little to communicate how you felt in last night's episode. Do you think it's possible to really, truly, fall in love in that environment?
I think it is definitely possible. You're put in these scenarios where, you know, life is simulated. It's kind of like dating on steroids, and that's the inside joke we used to make, because you have those in-depth conversations so early on in the piece, and you really find the out the values of someone really quickly. For me, I'm not a love at first sight man, I find out their personality before I say that. So I couldn't really lie to Angie because what I've been doing is just progressing my way through the experience and lying would have been wasting her time.
Your hometown visit with Angie wasn't exactly carefree and fun. Were you nervous to watch it back?
I was in a bit of anxious anticipation for the episode! I didn't really know how it was going to play out, you know my hands were sweaty the whole time I was watching it. I had some friends over to help me cool my jets, and you know taking the mickey out of me, but I think looking back and watching that episode it really confirms some of the lessons I learnt over the experience, which kind of made me smile today.
Your dad came down a bit hard on Angie. Did you all have a chat after watching? Any regrets?
Mum and dad are overseas actually, in America, so their catch ups have been a bit delayed due to the time zones and you know, dad has conceded that if he had it any other way he would have been a little bit more gentle on Angie, since it was her first time back at the family house.
I guess for him, time was of the essence, he probably wasn't too concerned about being polite and was more erring on the blunt side of things, because he could see a connection between me and Angie.
I think he just wanted to make sure that connection was going to last. He was being brutally honest on our side of things and he was asking for brutal honesty and I think maybe Angie saw that and thought, you know, I think that might be the nail in the coffin.
He obviously spoke about the importance of the family business a lot. Had you spoken to them before going on The Bachelorette, about possibly moving or backing away from it?
Yeah I kind of fell into the family business – there's no way I grew up for a passion for pies. But I have nine family members working there, we're really close, and it gives us the opportunity to see each other regularly. I wouldn't have it any other way. That is why dad really enforced that point as well, because I really enjoy it, just as much as he kind of appreciates having me there.
We hadn't really spoken about me moving. I think that when I was pursuing a football career in my late teens/early twenties, I probably would've jumped at the chance if I had the opportunity to play professional football. But back then I wasn't as progressed in the business as I am now, you know, I kind of made a few sacrifices with football. So yeah, I think now I am quite rooted in Sydney and if I moved away I probably wouldn't have a job.
And how have you coped over the past few months, readjusting to regular life?
Yeah, I think I got a bit lonely, kind of thing, just being by myself and alone without the bedroom pillow talk. For me I got along with everyone and enjoyed the experience to the extent where I just felt a bit bad when I was saying goodbye to Angie, but also the other fellas. You know, it doesn't come across on TV, but because you are living with each other you do create quite a weird bond, being side by side, eating together, sleeping together, training together and bunking together. That's how I felt the experience was for me.
Are you single at the moment? There have been some publications claiming you have a girlfriend...
You can't always believe what you read, hey! That's one of my friends. It's one of my mates' girlfriends - so that kind of made things rocky with us [laughs]. I'm single and I haven't really been searching for anyone because I've just been away on a family holiday to make up for the lost time that I was in the mansion.
There are a lot of women commenting on your photos saying they'd like to date you. Has that kind of fan support been funny for you?
I've had a lot of support! I try to do my best to get back to people that are really supportive, I'm still yet trying to work out a good response for those that are sliding in [to my DMs] for a relationship [laughs]. I'm trying to take it one step at a time but I've seriously been overwhelmed and I'm so grateful for the love in the feed. It's not every day that you get to be yourself and people accept you for who you are. I was really quite chuffed after last night's episode, kind of getting that wave of support.
With so many people rooting for you, would you ever consider doing another show like The Bachelor?
I think I'd have to see where I am at the time. I've got football, university and work all competing for my time, but if everything worked out there would be potential. I just think that, you know, everything happens for a reason, if there is an opportunity to do it again and the timing is right and I'm in the right headspace then I'd be open to giving it a crack.
The Bachelorette Australia airs Wednesday and Thursday, 7:30pm, on Network 10.
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Australian Women's WeeklyJan 23, 2020