Apollo Jackson didn't really know who anyone was on 'Bachelor in Paradise'

But was it an advantage?

By Jessica Chandra
Apollo Jackson Bachelor in Paradise

It's only been a few months since we last saw Apollo Jackson on our screens — thank goodness we haven't had to wait too long to see him return.

The hunky magician — yep, we believe in magic again — made it all the way to Sophie Monk's top three on last year's season of The Bachelorette, and even though he didn't win her heart, he definitely won ours.

Since then, it's been all systems go for the 25-year-old magician/musician/very tall man. It was probably the combination of all these things that landed Apollo — whose real name is Jake — an ambassador role with Johnny Bigg, which "big and tall menswear."

On top of that, Apollo was one of the first people to be confirmed for Australia's first-ever season of Bachelor in Paradise, which premieres on Sunday, March 25.

While we can't imagine Apollo being the kind of guy to get drawn into love triangles and possibly love squares, there could be a secret side to him that we'll learn once the show starts.

Cosmo caught up with Apollo to talk about his stylish new gig, why life after The Bachelorette isn't cruisy, and whether he still stays in touch with Sophie Monk.

How did you get recruited to be the new Johnny Bigg ambassador?

It's always the place that I loved shopping. I was lucky that the crew reached out. I'm a big advocate for the brand and what they're doing, so I was super excited to work with them.

So what are some tall man dressing problems that most people wouldn't know about?

Length of t-shirts! Many a time I get a shirt that's nice and broad in the shoulders, so it fits me around there, but it's also cut in a square, so it shows off half my belly button — so that's one. When you see really nice shoes in a shop and you're like, "Hey, do you have that in a bigger size?" and they go, "Yeah, yeah, we got the bigger sizes — we got right up to size 11!" You're like, "Sweet, I'm a size 15." [Laughs] Pants are another one! Pants that don't have the length, or don't quite have the strength if you've got a bit of quad action going on. And then suits that have the feel where they give you a bit of space around the shoulders, but at the same time look good and look nice.

Apollo for Johnny Bigg
Apollo for Johnny Bigg
Apollo for Johnny Bigg
Apollo for Johnny Bigg

I think the biggest thing with big men's fashion in the past it's always been an afterthought — you might have a double XL at the back of the clothing rack, but you're very restricted stylistically in what you can wear. A brand like Johnny Bigg that's got comfort and style at the forefront of what they do, it's great so bigger guys can feel confident, and feel really good in the nice clothes they have.

We often think about fashion from a female point of view, so it's easy to forget that men's fashion isn't always inclusive.

Just like any sort of fashion, it's a big part of someone's identity, and how you feel about yourself and your confidence. If you can wear some nice clothes, when you dress good, you feel good too. So it's super important that everyone — no matter what shape or size you are — can get that nice style and feel good in what they wear.

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What kinds of opportunities have opened up to you since The Bachelorette?

It's been a pretty hard slog, to be honest. I've been working away in the background. I've been pretty lucky with this opportunity with Johnny Bigg and a few other ones. Professional career-wise, it's been a lot of hard work. Working with Soapbox, which has helped my DJing career massively, is good, but everything else has been hard work — a lot of rejection, a lot of getting your hopes up for things, a lot of getting crushed, working through until 3 in the morning, and then up again at 6. It's been great in getting a little bit more recognition for what you do, but I think the hard work definitely still has to be there.

You're a man of many talents. How do you want to brand yourself? Are you a magician? Are you a DJ and musician? Or are you everything?

Just in entertainment, really. Magic and music have always been my two biggest passions. The magic's been kicking along — I just did an event and I'm back to doing it regularly. And I'm just putting some finishing touches and working on the album at the moment, and we're looking at an eight-weeks release for that. They're the main things that I love and I love putting my energy into. Alter Your Reality [the album] is releasing in about eight to 10 weeks, and with the magic, that's always an ongoing thing — working on new shows and new concepts. It's good fun. And then every now and then an acting role will come up and I'll do a cameo or whatever. I'll always have fun with that.

How did your magic tricks go down in Paradise?

Ah! I left most of the magic at home this time. It's always one of those things where when things go quiet, people always look to me to bring something out. There's always those moments where, when called upon, I will entertain. But I'm not the sort of person to go out there and be pushing magic in people's faces.

It looks like there's some fire dancing in the promos.

Oh, yeah, I couldn't help myself there.

How much convincing did it take for you to join the show, or was it no-brainer?

It wasn't something I was straight away there for. I'd come off the whirlwind of The Bachelorette and I just knuckled down and got straight to work. It was something I definitely had to think about, because I was just back to seeing family, and back to working my butt off. I think for me it was a nice opportunity to take time out of all the craziness, all the busyness, be on an island somewhere, and just see if I could work on a connection in an environment that's a little more relaxed and casual.

How was it different to being on The Bachelorette?

I think you've got a bunch of different dynamics. You've got various people, so it's not just the one person. You might click with people, then not click with people. But I think the biggest thing is if you go on a date with someone, you don't have to wait to get a date card to go on another date. You can go, "We had a great time on that date," and just keep hanging out with them. You can go for a snorkel, you can have some food and drinks with them — you can spend as much time with them as you want, and really get to know them and see if there's a spark there.

It's more like the real world, just in a very nice, tropical location.

Yeah. Again, it's kind of more like the real world, but you're also hanging with each other 24/7.

Which girls were you excited to meet on the series, or who did you hope would be there?

It was really crazy because I hadn't watched too many previous seasons. I didn't have too much prior knowledge of anyone who was gonna be in there, so I thought I'll see who I can meet just for face value. I've seen people's faces before, but I didn't really know anything about anyone. I didn't do my research before going on it either! But I guess it was good because I didn't have any preconceived ideas. I was meeting them for who I was meeting, not for who I saw on a show.

Did you get caught up in any love triangles or love squares?

Ooh, you'll have to wait and see!

I thought that would be the case.

We're all behaving! Or trying to.

Did you get competitive?

You'll have to wait and see on that one too! I think sporting-wise, and when it comes to that sort of competition, I can be quite competitive. But that is all I'm going to say.

Do you still keep in touch with Sophie and/or Stu?

Not this year. This year's been an absolute whirlwind. I was in Vegas for January, and then February… I don't even know what month we're in now — March. February was a whirlwind as well, with work, and writing and recording. They're busy on their end too, so I haven't been able to touch base with either of them. I was sad to hear it didn't work out. They're both amazing people.

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