The beautiful thing about Bachelor in Paradise is that we get to see our old Bachelor and Bachelorette faves back on the screen, hunting for love yet again. While that meant we were pumped for the likes of Tara and Apollo to wriggle back into our lives four nights a week, it also meant we were reunited with a few ex-contestants we had honestly half forgotten about. (Sorry!)
One of those contestants was Sasha Zhuravlyova, who was on Richie Strahan's season of The Bachelor. Whilst she wasn't one of the ~main~ characters on the show, she did have one particularly memorable moment when, during a rose ceremony, she got a little peckish and ate her rose!
Sasha made her Bachie comeback when she waltzed into Paradise with her fellow Richie-season-contestant, Rachael Gouvignon. Sasha had a whole two days in Paradise before she was booted off when Canadian Thomas gave his rose to Rachael and American Jared gave his rose to Leah.
We caught up with Sasha to find out more about what goes on in Paradise.
How would you describe your time in Paradise?
Short and sweet!
Do you feel ripped off that you flew all the way to Fiji for two days in Paradise?
Yeah, to be honest, coming in late I couldn't expect to be there for long. It's an unfortunate situation but even I honestly wasn't interested in anyone there — so I just spent a few days sunbaking, drinking Fijian water, and then I went home!
Did you know that you would be going in to Paradise so late?
I did. I was invited to come in earlier, but due to a work commitment in Melbourne, I couldn't come earlier.
Were you happy to go in with Rachel?
I was! Rachael is a very good friend of mine. I love her and so it was very fun for us to go inside together!
Were you approached by production to come into Paradise? How much convincing did it take?
Well, yes I was approached by production to come back and go to Paradise. I suppose I thought about it a little bit, but because I was in between jobs and then just finished a job, I thought, 'Maybe I'll just have a little bit of a holiday in Fiji!' You know, get to see my friends from previous seasons and maybe, potentially find a man!
Was there anyone you were hoping to see in Paradise?
Well, I was hoping that Sasha was going to be in Paradise! But he didn't come, obviously. A two Sasha hook up would have been amazing!
Did you know who was going to be in Paradise before you went?
Umm, no, I didn't know. I had a feeling that they would invite Jarrod and a few funny characters, like Davey.
So there was no one you fancied in Paradise?
No, not a single one!
Not even Thomas? Or was that a strategic pairing for a rose?
No Thomas was not my type — AT ALL! I'm not sure how Megan is so attracted to him, but I am very much not attracted to a man like that.
Was there anyone in Paradise that you think was there purely for fame?
I don't know. I don't know who was in for fame. We were all single — except for that dude that was kicked out because he had a girlfriend, but I don't even remember his name. I can't say exactly what's in people's minds, but we were all single and we were all ready to meet partners. But, we are part of this reality TV family now, and this is part of the journey, I guess?
Did you have a pre-Paradise fitness regime?
I did! I am a big fan of 12 Rounds and so I had been working out for a good few months before the show, because it's all about the bikinis. As soon as I got the invite I thought I should get into shape and shake off that winter body!
Rachael and I were certainly preparing, getting our outfits ready, making sure our hair is perfect. You know, you're face is going to be on national TV, so you want to make it decent!
So do you bring your own dresses for Paradise? They're not given to you like they are in The Bachelor?
Yes, this time we brought our own stuff, but there was a stylist on standby who could assist us if needs be!
That's quite an expensive venture then isn't it, to buy all of the outfits for this.
Well, luckily we're all kind of part of reality TV, so we get quite a bit of free things and endorsements, and deals with all different sorts of people. I got very lucky that I have an amazing stylist, Meggy Smith, and she's been looking after me since day one!
What were the sleeping arrangements like in Paradise?
We all have roommates in our own little huts, or whatever they're called!
How does that work if people want to hook up?
Well, I didn't hook up so I don't know how they've been doing it! But I'm pretty sure that, even though there's a row of huts for the boys and a row of huts for the girls, I'm pretty sure that everyone got a little bit mixed up at night, if you know what I mean. But I was just at the bar drinking Fijian water!
How many cameramen are filming at once? And do you ever get used to them being around?
There's probably around eight cameras going at once — but I don't see them anymore! It's like they're invisible. We don't see them anymore.
We legitimately never see you guys eat! Do they give you more alcohol than food in Paradise?
[Laughs] Not more, but same amount of each allowed. We could always ask for as many drinks as we wanted. I mean, no one ever said no to me! We had a beautiful barman, Wais, who was making us lots of drinks.
What did it feel like when you didn't get a rose?
It just felt like a setup, honestly. It felt like Thomas was an actor and he was just giving a rose to someone to make drama and Jared was giving a rose to someone he hates. So I just thought it was complete bullshit. But, who cares? I really don't care. Even if I had got a rose from one of them, it wouldn't have mattered, because I would have stayed for one or two more days and I wouldn't have stayed with them anyway!
So you reckon it wasn't Thomas' personal choice to give the rose to Rachael?
I don't know whether it was Thomas, or whether he thought it would be better to give it to Rachael to create some drama. I don't know what basis he did that on. And with Jared, I don't know, maybe they [Leah and Jared] stay together? We'll have to wait and see!
If you got a rose in Paradise, would you have eaten it?
No! I would not want to eat anymore roses — and I cannot wait to erase that from my past so I don't ever have to deal with these questions ever again! But I have to deal with it whether I like it or not. But the first one was covered in sugar, and we'd been filming for many hours and I just thought, 'Why not?!' I was so bored!
Do the rose ceremonies go as late in Paradise as they did in the Bachelor mansion?
No, no, they are much quicker! It's a better, more relaxed filming experience in Paradise, and you actually get to hang out with a man you're keen on and everyone's just there hanging out.
Would you ever go on The Bachelor or Bachelor in Paradise again?
I don't know. Not at this stage, but you never know. You'll just have to wait and see!
Who do you reckon proposes at the end of Paradise?
I reckon it will be Tara and Sam!