Keira Maguire says she was way more emotional on 'Bachelor in Paradise' than 'The Bachelor'

Keira’s back — but has she changed?

By Jessica Chandra
Keira Maguire on Bachelor in Paradise Australia

It's been almost two years since Keira Maguire made an impact on Richie Strahan's season of The Bachelor, and now she's returning to our screens to look for love a second time on Bachelor in Paradise.

Here is a very quick recap on Keira's Bachelor experience: She was often at the centre of the girls' drama (remember when she called Kiki a "peasant"? Never forget) and didn't get much solo time with Richie. When he finally asked her on a single date, she was disappointed that he asked her to do yoga on the side of a road because he knew she liked yoga (romantic!). She wanted a helicopter ride and to be whisked to some private beach! Is that too much to ask when you've risked everything to find love on a TV show?

Anyway, after that single date Richie decided to let Keira go before the rose ceremony. Since then, she's done a little more TV — she was on I'm a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! last year — and has popped up at heaps of social events.

Keira will join a host of familiar faces on Bachelor in Paradise, including Jarrod Woodgate — she'd previously told Cosmo that she fancied him, so has Paradise brought them together IRL?

We'll have to wait and see when Bachelor in Paradise premieres on March 25. For now, here's our chat with Keira, where she talks about how emotional she got on the show and what it was like to meet Jarrod in Fiji.

How much convincing did it take for you to join Bachelor in Paradise?

Not much [laughs]. It felt right, so I thought, 'Why not?' I wouldn't had FOMO, so I was like I can't not do it.

What did you know about the show before going into it?

Well, I was asked to go on the American version. They sent through a few of the episodes to watch. I thought it seemed really tacky and a bit extreme. When they asked me to do Bachelor in Paradise in Australia they said, "Look, it's gonna be in a 7:30 timeslot, it's not gonna be like the American version. And it is what you make it." So it's a completely different concept, which is probably the main reason I did it, because they reassured me that it wasn't going to be like the American version.

Are you secretly glad you didn't go on the American one?

Oh, 100 per cent. I had the contract and everything, and I didn't sign it, but I had the FedEx express thing ready to go. I was asking everyone, "Should I do it?" and they were like, "Yes, you should do it." But it felt like inside of me that I didn't want to do it. When it was cancelled for that slight moment I felt relieved. I was like, "No way, I'm not doing this." I was so glad that happened and it was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. It just didn't feel right. But this one felt right. I think you've got to go with your intuition on that kind of thing.

How have you changed since The Bachelor season three?

[Laughs] I don't know if I've changed personally too much. Obviously when you see someone on TV in situations, those situations aren't real, so you can see how you act in different situations. I don't know how I've changed. I probably just care a bit more… I don't really know. I can't really answer that question. It might seem like a while, but to me it's my life, so I haven't really noticed.

Who did you hope would be there — and were you happy with the cast?

Ooh. I was hoping that there was gonna be Clancy. Although Jarrod was on it, I didn't actually think he was gonna do it, but I did like him as well. So Clancy, Jarrod and James off Sophie's season. And then Luke. So those are the only four I'd be interested on the guy side of things. And then when it came to the girls, I was very happy to see Laurina.

You told us last time about your crush on Jarrod.

[Laughs] I do remember that! I was over-exaggerating a little bit, but I think he's such a gentleman, and watching him on The Bachelorette, knowing what goes on behind the scenes, I could see beyond that. I could see that he actually was a gentleman, and as you would know, I quoted that he has a lot of traits that I'm looking for, which is still true.

What was it like meeting him in Fiji?

To be honest with you, it was really nice to him. I was really surprised he was there, and so was everyone else. He just had his heart broken on national TV, the poor guy. So I think we were all quite shocked, but very excited at the same time. It was nice to meet him. He was the man of the hour, I think.

How do you feel about the way you've come across in the promos so far? Like you're a storm that the others are wary of?

I don't necessarily think that's the case. I think what they're trying to do is get you to watch it, and they're just grabbing anything they can that's gonna grab your attention — which is fine, I don't mind. For the time you're there, those moments were the most extreme, and that's what they've displayed to you, but there's a lot more that goes on behind the scenes, which I know. So I don't really mind, because I know they're trying to make good TV, and I get that. It's not my first rodeo.

Do you think people were more aware this time around?

I think there's a few people who were worried about how they were going to be perceived — I'm not gonna be mentioning any names, but a few people go, "Oh my God, I was portrayed so differently to the way that I am. They made me look like a really nice guy, or they made me look really good and I came off really well, so coming into this I am a little bit scared. I didn't have that problem, obviously, because I can't help who I am. But there are definitely people who are scared of how they're going to come across. That's what happens when you put up a façade and pretend to be someone you're not — the truth will come out eventually.

Are you implying that if we saw someone the first time they might have been putting on a front, and this will show them for how they really are?

I'm not necessarily saying that. I didn't see everything — for example, I'm watching the ad and I saw Megan and Elora kissing. I was like, "Whoa!" I was shocked by that. Although I was there, there were so many things I didn't see. So I just don't know, but I can tell you that people were a little bit worried about that coming in.

How emotional was this experience for you?

Oh, too much. It is a different situation, because although I didn't go in there thinking that I would like people, I did, and I think for me, like every girl, we've gone through our ups and our downs when it comes to relationships, and we've been through our fair share of good guys, bad guys, and you do get to a point in your life where you start to question why things haven't worked out.

But when you're put in a situation where it's so heightened, and something happens, you start to reflect on yourself and other situations, so then everything is a little more extreme. Obviously the producers will catch you at a vulnerable moment. For me, in particular, I can't hold back with who I am. I'm just so honest about everything. I kind of wanted to be a little more vulnerable going into this show, because in the past I've always had a wall up, and it can come across that I'm this really strong person, but I'm not.

How were the two experiences different, aside from the obvious things?

Obviously going onto a reality show for the second or third time, you do understand it a bit more and how it works, so you already have that going forward, so everyone did have that advantage. At the same time, when you first go into something like that it is so extreme, and you don't understand, so you're learning how to deal with the cameras, and you don't know anyone, and you're forced to be around people, and you're competing against 23 girls for one guy.

When you go into Paradise, it's so much more chilled. When you go in and see an even amount of boys and girls, that automatically takes the weight off, because there are different guys to choose from, and the girls aren't going to competing for the same guy — well, hopefully not. We'll have to wait and see.

Who do you still keep in touch with from your season of The Bachelor?

I don't really keep in touch with anyone. If I see someone at an event I'll talk to them. The only person I've probably spoken to in the last five months is Faith Williams. Noni and Kiki, I like them, but they're in Sydney, so if I lived there I'd probably hang out with them. But I love Laurina from this season. I don't really talk to anyone from the show, to be honest with you. I mean I've got enough friends — I don't really have time.

We all get along and we all understand each other, but leaving the show, Laurina is legit the only person I'm going to talk to on a regular basis, and who I would consider a friend-friend.

Did you guys do I'm a Celeb together?

No, she was the year before me. So we actually have a lot in common, and we're quite similar, which is really interesting. We're both Geminis, and we've both done the same things: Bachelor, I'm a Celebrity, Bachelor in Paradise. We've gone down the same path.

Would you do more reality TV in the future?

I just kind of look at opportunities if they come. I wouldn't disregard it. If I do, I would probably do it overseas. I don't think there's much happening in Australia. Unless I have my own show.

Are you happy with how everything has turned out? Since you can't tell us whether you're in a relationship or not…

[Laughs] I'm very happy. I just wanna see the show. I want it to be over and done with so I can move on with my life.

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