The mansion is thrown into disarray with the introduction of a new suitor on The Bachelorette Australia this week.
The suitors are horrified to learn that not only has their competition increased by one, but newcomer Ryan Anderson knows Angie Kent from the outside world.
The announcement by host Osher Günsberg sets the house into a jealous buzz, with suspicion swirling about Ryan almost immediately.
"They thought there were ulterior motives because of the previous contact between Angie and me," Ryan, 32, tells TV WEEK. "It didn't bother me too much – I'm here for Angie."
An island caretaker from Queensland, Ryan is an avid dog lover with a passion for rescue pups. It's how he met Angie.
"It started as common interest in the rescue-dog scene," Ryan explains.
"We followed each other on Instagram and there was some banter."
Their mutual love of furry friends was also the reason behind what would have been Angie and Ryan's first date.
"I'm an ambassador for an assistance-dog charity and they had their gala ball coming up," Ryan reveals.
"I planned to ask her to the ball, but in the interim, she announced that she was the new Bachelorette."
It may have spoiled Ryan's romantic plans, but it didn't stop him following what he calls his "what if?"
"I let it be at first," he says, "but then I thought, 'I'm going to get that date regardless' and subsequently applied for the show."
The Bachelorette Australia airs Wednesday and Thursday, 7.30pm, on 10.