Charlie Newling was asked to leave the mansion in dramatic scenes on The Bachelorette Australia tonight, with the former frontrunner having a tense final conversation with Ali Oetjen.
In the episode, Charlie chose not to introduce Ali to his family during the hometown visits. He also brought up a tough topic with the Bachelorette, telling Ali that he wouldn't be able to say he was in love until they were an exclusive couple.
Ali felt that he was putting this ultimatum to her as a "test" and asked him to leave at the cocktail party, before the rose ceremony.
We caught up with Charlie to find out the real reason he didn't introduce Ali to his family, why he gave her the ultimatum, and what he wanted to happen.
TV WEEK: You decided not to introduce Ali to your family during the hometown visit. Was that because you wanted to have the serious chat with her or was there more to it?
Charlie: The actual reason was because my grandmother is really sick, she has terminal cancer, and the night before I received a phone call to say that my whole family had to rush up to Newcastle because she was critical. So yeah, basically I had the option to replace my family with friends for that night and I didn't really think that was right because I'd wanted her to meet my actual family. In the real world I would have just cancelled the date that day.
You then gave Ali this sort of ultimatum, saying you couldn't love her unless you were exclusive… but you're on The Bachelorette. What were you hoping to get across to Ali there?
I guess I just wanted to be honest with her. I had nights where I would lie there awake wondering why I felt like this, my guard wasn't coming down and I just wasn't falling for her because I knew she was dating three other guys and having the same strong connections with them and telling them the same things.
I'd prepared myself for the process [of the show] but it just wasn't me in the end. It's like bungee jumping, you know the idea of how it works but until you try it you don't actually know.
Ideally, what were you hoping would happen by you telling her all of this?
Basically I just didn't want to string her along, it wasn't about me leaving. I just wanted to tell her that I know she wants someone to tell her they love her at the end but I'm not going to be able to do that. It just meant if she picked me she'd be taking a chance, like I was taking a chance on her.
What did you want Ali to do?
To take it on board and say you are right, it's not about whether it happens on the show or not. I didn't want to say it [I love you] for the sake of TV.
Would you have stayed, if she had just gone straight to the rose ceremony and given you a rose?
Yeah if we had made it to the cocktail party and she had given me a rose I would have gone great, this girl understands me, and it would have meant that I could have let my guard down. It would have been her way to show me she likes me enough.
Do you hold any grudges against Ali for sending you home? Can you understand her perspective?
Honestly, if it wasn't me I just wanted her to be happy. I really hope she ends up with someone she can stay with and be happy with for life. Yeah I've got no regrets, and there were some great guys there so I'm sure she'll end up happy.
When you left you said you feel sorry for her because she'll end up with one of the other guys... do you stand by that or do you think Ali will be happy with one of those guys?
They are all great guys, all three of them. The best thing about that final four was that we were all different guys with completely different personalities. Everyone was special in their own way and any three of them will make her happy. I hope so!
The Bachelorette Australia airs Wednesday and Thursday, 7:30pm, on Network 10.