We're only four episodes in and already Jake has found himself at the centre of the island's biggest relationship dramas — first, he was involved in a love triangle with his old flame Florence Moerenhout and best mate Davey Lloyd, which resulted in Davey leaving Fiji because Florence gave her rose to Jake. Then, when Megan Marx joined the group, Jake was forced to choose between Megan and Florence — and he chose Megan, which meant Florence was eliminated.
Based on what we've seen, it's not hard to see why Jake has gone from the sweet, sensitive guy from Georgia Love's season of The Bachelorette to, Bachelor in Paradise's resident fuckboy, for want of a better word.
And look, it's probably really stressful when you're stuck on a tropical island with too many babes to choose from!
But seriously, after Cosmo chatted to Jake the morning after the rose ceremony, we were reminded why it's important to keep in mind that we're only shown snippets of what actually happens, and that the characters we see on TV aren't full representations of people.
We still had to grill him, though. Here, Jake tells Cosmo why he picked Megan over Florence, what really happened when it looked like he was telling Michael Turnbull to pick Flo, and who Megan is really kissing in those promos — because shocker: it's not Elora!
What actually happened between you and Flo before the show?
Florence and I, we started chatting through social media after her season with Matty. It was just banter back and forth, and al lot of laughter — she does have a great sense of humour, and that's what we bonded over first. We only ever saw each other in person once, when we did a Channel Ten charity thing. We kept in touch, we kept talking after that, but we just didn't mesh well together at the time, and we just sort of stopped talking. That would have been a couple of months before Paradise. I don't remember the specifics of why we stopped talking — she might have been overseas, and we probably disagreed about a couple of things — so the first time we'd spoken in months was when I walked into Paradise.
Florence described you as "malicious," a "sociopath" and that you "don't have a soul" on last night's episode. How did it feel to hear that back?
It definitely was hard to hear back. It's never nice hearing things in real time said about you like that. Obviously she was hurt, and I have to wear that, and I will take the blame for handling the situation. I wish I could have handled the whole thing differently with Florence, and maybe been more open about what I was thinking and feeling. But at the time, I might have cracked under pressure a bit, maybe I was trying to not hurt anyone — I don't know. I could have handled it differently, but hindsight is a beautiful thing.
Why did you pick Megan over Flo in the end?
I picked Megan because the date that we had when she walked in… First of all, she was the main person I wanted to see in Paradise, and I was excited to see her. On our date, honestly, it felt like there was no one else around — it was just her and I, and we got lost in that. We just laughed and laughed. The chemistry between her and I was undeniable, and something I couldn't possibly ignore. At the end of the day, as corny as it sounds, I was there to follow my heart at the time, and looking back it was the best decision for me. I had to make that tough decision.
What was going on with you trying to sway Michael to give his rose to Flo? Did you guys discuss beforehand who you were going to give your roses to?
Yeah. Before walking in, the boys did have a group discussion. When Mack picked Ali out of the blue, he sent everything into a bit of a tailspin. As it got down towards the end, Michael said to me, "Look, bro, I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to pick Megan," because he was originally going to pick Ali. So the actual conversation was, "Do not pick Megan, I want to," that was the whole thing. My rose was always going to Megan. I was like, "If you have to pick anyone, pick Flo," because he didn't necessarily want to pick Leah at the time. So it wasn't me trying to have the best of both worlds. It was me trying to make sure that I was the one giving the rose to Megan, not Michael.
Can't believe it was Mack who threw a spanner in the works.
Yes. Well none of us knew who he was picking. He said he was picking Leah. He went to make a bold statement and as it went down the line, I was the last person, and I didn't want to be in a position where I didn't give my rose to Megan. That was a big statement for me and I wanted to make that statement.
So you wanted to make that statement knowing it could upset Florence, regardless of whether she stayed or went.
No matter what position I was in, no matter what order the roses were picked, I was going to be faced with the decision of potentially hurting someone's feelings. As much as I wish I could have avoided it, and I didn't want to do it, there's no way I could get out of it.
What are things like between you and Florence now? I noticed you don't follow each other on Instagram, which can often be the most telling thing…
Gee, you're really getting in deep on the social media, aren't you? I feel like there's definitely no hard feelings between Florence and I. At the start of the year, when I lost my mum, she reached out and sent a really supportive message just to check on me, which I will always appreciate and was really sweet of her. We have seen each other since at a few events, and it's been friendly. At the time it was obviously quite fresh and sore, but at the end of the day we've all gone through this experience, and we're all friends. I'm friends with everyone, pretty much, and that's after everyone's said certain things about each other. It's all in the past.
How do you feel about the way you're coming across on Paradise? Tara said, "Everyone has a Jake Ellis story on the Gold Coast," and even Megan said she thought you were a bit of a player...
[Sighs] It's definitely something where… I feel I'm not that person. They've shown the really big drama moments of the show that I was caught in, so of course that's going to reflect not in the best light for me. I'm really close to Tara — she's a top chick and we laugh about it now, looking back. It is only episode four and there is a long way to go. I know I redeem myself with Tara, I redeem myself with a lot of people on the show, and I just hope I do the same with the viewers at home.
And honestly, the drama that I've caused in the last few episodes is a drop in the bucket of what's about to happen from everybody else.
OK — please spill more.
Nah, that's all you're getting!
How did you feel when the Americans came in?
I was excited to have them in there. When they came in I was a lot more relaxed. I was in a much better place and wanted to spend more time with Megan. A lot of the other boys saw all the Americans coming in as a big problem, and something quite scary, whereas I thought it was exciting. It's something we weren't expecting. I was interested to see how they came in — these guys have done this kind of show a few times. I had my popcorn ready to watch.
Imagine being a Bachelor in Paradise veteran who's been on the show three times.
[Laughs] I feel like that's a bad thing! It means his strike rate is shocking.
What was the fallout of Blake calling Laurina by the wrong name?
It was a welcome interruption in that tense rose ceremony. I feel like it was needed. In Blake's defence, he was very sick at the time. He literally got out of bed just to do that rose ceremony — there was a bit of a Fiji belly going around with everyone, so everyone had a moment where they weren't too well. I think Laurina is definitely the wrong person to call the wrong name at the wrong time, which you could see on her face. I had a lot going on so I didn't really follow up too much on what the fallout was with that mistake, but at the time I thought it was hilarious.
How did the Fiji belly affect potential romance between people? It can't have been very sexy.
I think there was just lots of intermissions between dates.
Have you been keeping up with the social media reaction to the show?
This time around I've tried not to read a lot of it. At the moment I am copping a lot of flak for the decision I made last night, and it's something I'm not used to. I have received a lot of love and supportive messages, which is nice. It hurts — obviously everyone's going to have their own opinions and interpretations of the show, which I completely understand. At the end of the day I just hope they give me a chance, and watch the rest of the show and the rest of my journey. And then by all means, judge me then. But just let me get to that point.
You've said that Megan is not kissing Elora in that promo — so who is it?
I can't tell you. I know I said I'd give you the goss, but I can't tell you that. I think I just gave you the goss: it's not Elora!
That's what you said to someone else!
I can't tell you who it is! [Laughs] I'll give you the inside scoop: obviously it's someone with long hair.
How did you find the experience overall? Was it what you thought it would be?
I feel like for me, everything happened for a reason. I'm excited for that to come across. I think Bachelor in Paradise is so much more raw, and the feelings and emotions, it's all real, and so much more magnified. I had to make a hard decision and I had to follow my heart, which is what I was there to do, as is everyone else. There's a lot more jaw-dropping moments and tough decisions from everybody else that's gonna come to light in upcoming episodes.
It's come out today that Florence and Davey have been chatting again. If anything happens between them, does that affect you?
Davey's one of my best mates. I love him to death. I was with him literally two days ago watching the episode, and I was out and about with him on the weekend. If it ends up working for them I'm a massive fan of it, and all my support is behind Davey, and to see Florence happy as well. I feel like they could be a good match. They're both quite fiery and emotional people in that sense. But you never know. I'm waiting to see what happens too.
Obsessed with The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise? Be sure to join our Facebook group Let's Talk Bachie Australia so we can discuss EVERYTHING as it happens.