If you were as obsessively tuned into Bachelor in Paradise like us, you will have seen Keira Maguire (known villain from Richie's season of The Bachelor) and Jarrod Woodgate (stage five clinger from Sophie Monk's season of The Bachelorette) form an unexpected but rather adorable connection.
They may have had their ups and downs, but the couple made it to the finale in one piece — dropping the L-bomb at their commitment ceremony, causing Keira to burst into tears and Jarrod to have the Fiji finale he'd been hoping for.
Now, post-BIP and six months after going into lockdown, we spoke to Keira about all things Paradise, Jarrod and the one thing that very nearly tore her love story apart.
Did Jarrod know that you went into Paradise being super into him?
To be honest with you, he knew that I was going to be on the show, but he didn't know that I was into him, obviously! I didn't know how much I was into him, I just really liked what I saw of him [on Sophie Monk's season of The Bachelorette] and he had a lot of the qualities I look for in a man. And he was able to back it up!
If Jarrod hadn't of gone into Paradise, then who would you have gone for?
Oooh, see the thing is, I probably would have left! I didn't really have a connection with anyone besides Jarrod. I got along with Daniel, but I was just using him as a distraction. I knew that we were never going to have a future together, so I was like, 'You'll do for now!' I think that that was more of a defence mechanism because I had opened up to Jarrod and then he thought he had feelings for someone else, so I was like, 'I won't be doing that again!'
Jarrod and I began hanging out behind the cameras, and that's where we formed our real bond and connection.
Do you ever talk about Ali and Simone with Jarrod?
Oh, babe! Watching the show back was the most horrible thing. Because I didn't know that that date had happened, and I didn't even know that they'd kissed. So there were certain things that happened on the show which I never saw IRL. At the start I didn't really care about the whole Ali thing, because I knew that he'd only just met her — but the Simone thing was really tough to watch back.
We did struggle, and we did have a few blow outs over the show. It definitely wasn't easy and we're not going to deny it. Our relationship did struggle a little bit, but we're stronger than ever now.
I don't think people understand how hard it is. Not only do you have to watch it back, but you have to relive it. It creates this really negative environment, which really isn't healthy. And then you've got to then relay and talk about it in interviews. You have to kind of take yourself back, because all the interviews are based around what was happening on the show, so you are reliving those moments — which were so difficult. You do get caught up in it all.
So we're just really grateful that the shows over now, so we can actually live our lives!
Has it been a tough time to be on lockdown while the show has been airing?
100 per cent! It's very difficult and so stressful. I don't think anyone will understand until they've been through it. And living in house arrest, having those restrictions and having paps sit out of the front of your house — it's weird! There was one time I was at Jarrod's and I had an appointment to get to, and I obviously couldn't just walk out of his house, so I had to jump into the back of a van and lie down just to drive out of the driveway and get out of the house! It was actually really horrible.
Have things chilled out now that the finale has aired?
No! The paps have been outside of my house all week! Jarrod's mum came out to help me with a few things and I was in my pyjamas and I was like, 'Are you kidding me?!' And then I went out yesterday with no makeup on, because I just wanted to go and get a blowdry, and they were sitting there taking photos of me. I mean, 'Seriously dude!'
You do kinda have to talk to them to try and build a relationship with them, because then if you build a relationship it's not as awkward and they feel bad for taking so many photos of you. But it's more so that you want to kind of take control of the photos they take, because as soon as they hit The Daily Mail that's another mean article that you don't need in your life. But I haven't really been looking at too many tabloids, because I've just been focussing on Instagram, which has absolutely blown up! Luckily, distracted by that! Everyone's been so lovely with their comments — I've really appreciated it!
You definitely had one heck of a hero arc! To go from The Bachelor villain to the Bachelor in Paradise queen was no mean feat, but you sure pulled it off.
Yeah, I'm very happy with how they went! The thing for me is that I actually really love the whole concept of Bachelor in Paradise because you get to see people for who they really are. Because you aren't in a competitive, contrived environment, but you're in a chilled environment where you're interacting and engaging and building real relationships — rather than competiting against everyone that you're around. Obviously different environment and that means getting so see them in a different light — it's refreshing!
A lot of the time the producers were just sitting back — they didn't have to do anything, everything was just happening for them and they were loving it.
Were you happy with your edit on Bachelor in Paradise?
At the end of the day, they are trying to make a show. Like, I wasn't actually breaking up with Jarrod every five minutes like they made out — because how do you break up with someone that you're not actually together with?! So that kind of annoyed me. They definitely favoured him [Jarrod] more than me!
But the thing is, when it comes to my feelings, I don't want to talk about it, I'll keep it all in — but Jarrod would just talk to everyone about it! I was just like, 'C'mon dude!' I just want to feel it and see how it plays out, and that was one of the frustrating things to watch back, because we are so different. Obviously, we're on reality TV, but I'm actually quite personal about my feelings — I won't completely open up until I know — but he just couldn't stop talking to everybody. I just needed to keep him in check half the time! Sometimes I'd be like, 'I'm not really there yet, so calm down!'
Out of the three couples that have (so far) lasted outside of Paradise, do you think everyone will be together forever?
Forever?! Look, we've got to face reality, and I don't think 'forever' is realistic. But I think that whoever's together is happy—and they are real relationships. Like Megan and Jake are a real couple, Tara and Sam are a real couple, and they're absolutely in love! Whether it works out or not is not up to me to decide. Hopefully it does work out, because boy are they the CUTEST couple!
It's really interesting, because getting engaged on the show is not something that Jarrod and I would have done—and that's something we talked about so we were 100 per cent on the same page. But that doesn't mean that we didn't know we were going to be together. Everyone just moves at different paces. Jarrod and I were more, 'I like you… Now I don't,' and then we said, 'I love you,' and now we're taking the next step and going out to breakfast together for the first time!
Were you surprised that Sam proposed to Tara at the end of Paradise?
No I wasn't, because he talked about it the whole time! The week before he was kinda talking about it and then was like, 'I'm really going to do it!' And I know that he mentioned a few times that he hoped no one else would do it. Because I guess it's a special moment, and if you want to share that with everyone then you should do that. But I think that Jarrod and I want to be a little more intimate.
Was there pressure from production to propose?
No, I don't think they were. They put the opportunity out there, and Sam must have been like, 'Hmm, free ring!' [Laughs] Nah, in this industry you can get it for free anyway, so it doesn't matter! Obviously, I don't know exactly what happened with production because that was a conversation had with the guys, but I know they wanted someone to propose. The whole purpose of this show was to get an engagement, so they got what they wanted!
What's your opinion on Ali and Grant's relationship?
I knew from the start that they were totally wrong for each other. They were totally rushing into it! I knew they weren't going to last. I actually called it and said to Ali, 'Even if you move to L.A. and you break up with him you might meet your Prince Charming over there. Like, everything happens for a reason, so just go with it, enjoy it, but be realistic as well.' And that's what happened — it didn't work out but now she's the new Bachelorette! I think that she would have learned a lot about herself, and at the end of the day, watching back is really going to help her grow — and it will prepare her for her next gig!
Do you think she'll be a good Bachelorette?
I don't know. I heard she was an actor in the past, so who knows?! If she's got an acting background, then I'm sure she'll make it work. The Bachelor franchise will always pick the girl who had her heart broken, right? And she's quite emotional! What you've got to remember is that these producers aren't dumb. They've look at it like, this girl is liked, she had two or three guys fighting over her, and then ended up with the random American dude. So, she obviously has something that, in that environment, people are drawn to. It is a good choice when it comes to the men! As you know, when the Bachelor/Bachelorette isn't great — I.E. Richie! — then the contestants have to back it up, so they'll pick some pretty funny, decent men to make it work.
She wants to find love, and I honestly think this is quite perfect for her because of who she is as a person — quite emotional. She definitely wears her heart on her sleeve, but she's not going to rush into a relationship, so this process will allow her to take her time with her decision — rather than just be like, 'You'll do! Let's get married and have kids.'
Maybe she'll propose! Maybe it'll be the first woman proposal! That's probably why she was picked!
How much convincing did it take you to move to Melbourne?
Not a lot. It was seriously all about timing for me, so if it had been a couple of months before then it probably wouldn't have happened for me. I actually quit my job before going on Bachelor in Paradise, because my work had been like, 'Okay, this is your third reality TV show, you need to make a decision!' And I was like, 'I'm not going to quit, so you need to fire me,' but then we made an executive decision to resign. So I quit my job and went on the show, and my lease was actually running out in March, right? So I was in the perfect position and I had no obligations in Sydney and my sister, who lives in Melbourne, just had a beautiful baby — who I'm absolutely in love with! So, it wasn't that tough of a decision! When you love someone, though, it doesn't really get in the way. I spent most of my weeks here anyway — I'd go to the farm, help out in the kitchen, and it just felt right. It was a really easy adjustment. And now we live together!
I actually have my own makeup room here! We said that if we were ever going to live somewhere together that I actually couldn't ever share a closet with Jarrod, so he was like, 'Okay, when we get a house together you're going to have your own room, it'll have your wardrobe,' and now I have that! He actually listens, and he's so attentive, so beautiful — it's actually overwhelming how beautiful and attentive he is! He's so good.
Do you split your time between the vineyard and the city?
So we live in Brighton, but then Jarrod goes to the farm Monday to Friday. He works out there and stays on the winery, because it's a two and a half hour drive each way. So I will go down there a couple nights a week, every couple of weeks. We only really see each other on the weekends, which is perfect for me, because I don't like someone in my space all the time. So we have a really good dynamic — we're not too overwhelmed! It's perfect for us.
How many bottles of wine have your drunk at the vineyard already?!
To be honest with you, I'm not a massive drinker! I love a wine, but I'll have one glass to his three. I'm just one of those drinkers who likes to pace themselves — but I enjoy it! I just don't need to get wasted. A bottle will last me three or four days, and he would go through three bottles in a night if he could! That's why he's so red, because he's got so much alcohol in his system!
What's your absolute favourite thing about Jarrod?
My favourite thing — oh my god, there's so many things — which one?! I just love him! His smile, his dimples. From a looks perspective I just love his smile and dimples. But I just love our connection. Our connection is just unbreakable, and he's just so attentive. It's hard to explain, but our connection is what I love the most about us. It's real.
If you could change one thing about him, what would it be?
Change? I wouldn't want to change anything! Even when he's annoying, I still love him.
To move away from the lovey-dovey stuff, you recently had your lip fillers removed.
Yes! Thank god!
Are you planning on getting anything else done, or anything else removed anytime soon?
Okay, so I need to clarify this, because so many people say I've had filler in my cheeks — I have NOT had filler in my cheeks! It really annoys me, because I don't have filler in my cheeks. All I've had done is my nose job, boobs and botox — which I will not get rid of, and I will always maintain that.
I just dissolved my lips because Jarrod didn't like them, I didn't like them, and I hated seeing them on TV because they looked ridiculous. It wasn't my accident, but it was their accident and they put too much in. I didn't actually want them like that in the first place. Having no filler in my lips is actually refreshing now. Jarrod loves kissing me!
I feel so much better now. It was actually quite upsetting watching it all back, and I'm secretly really annoyed at the guy who did it, but what can you do?! I literally looked like a duck. I HAD DUCK LIPS.
So there's nothing else planned, cosmetics wise?
Oh, no! The reason I did that article is because I wanted people to know the truth. I had my boobs and my nose done, which I actually thought about for 10 years. I don't really want to promote it, but I actually got my lips reversed and let people know that because you don't need to get lip fillers. It's not that cool anyway, and if you think about it, you probably look better without it. I don't really want to be associated with plastic surgery anymore. Look I love my fraxal lazers, which I need for my skin, but that's more medical than anything else. But for me, I don't really want to be associated with it anymore. It's a bit tacky.
There are rumours floating around that you and Jarrod will be getting a spin-off show. Can you give us any details about that?
Everyone is saying that! Look, we get asked every minute with people saying they're having withdrawals now the shows over etc. So we've got to give the people what they want! But the thing is, it's not as easy as just saying that you're going to get your own TV show. There's lots to it, but if we were asked, and we had it presented to us, we'd DEFINITELY do it. Between Jarrod, myself and his mum — just the three of us — we'd honestly have best time. The shit that would go down! I guess it's like, what would we do? But only a daily basis, I have so much that happens, which people would really be intrigued by. Everything from being papped and living your life through tabloids, it would be interested. So, yes, if the offer comes, we would definitely do it!
What would the show be called?
Kerrod! Or Jeira! We could call it something like, Til Death Do Us Part and follow us on our journey to getting engaged, having babies, getting married — you know, all that corny shit!
So will babies and marriage be happening soon for you two then?
I think when it comes to Jarrod and I, we just want to go out for breakfast first. We've been on house arrest for the last six months, and I don't think people realise what it's like to have your relationship confined and restricted to a space where all you do is drink wine and watch Stan!
I mean, it doesn't sound horrendous…
It's not horrendous, but babe, think about it. I want to go to breakfast with my boyfriend, but I can't. I want to go for a walk with my boyfriend, but I can't. We've been invited out for dinner and we can't go. FOR SIX MONTHS BABE. It actually has a negative effect, so the fact we've survived that, shows me that we're very strong.
So it's breakfast and then engaged?
Yup! Jarrod is actually taking me out for dinner tonight. He's been really cute about it. I am honestly just excited to get dressed up for my boyfriend! It's the little things that you do at the initial stages of your relationship, we haven't been able to do, so we're kinda starting from scratch. So, you say we're getting engaged, and we say we're going for breakfast!