Laurina Fleure says there's a lot of strategy involved with 'Bachelor in Paradise'

Laurina comes from ‘The Bachelor’ season two.

By Jessica Chandra
Laurina Fleure on Bachelor in Paradise

Bachelor in Paradise is filled with plenty of familiar faces from The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, including Apollo Jackson, Tara Pavlovic and Jarrod Woodgate. But there are some contestants who won't be as recognisable, especially for people who've only become hard-core Bachelor fans over the past few years.

One of those is Laurina Fleure. She first appeared on The Bachelor season two with Blake Garvey, and she had some doozy moments. Remember when she went skydiving with Blake and her facial expression resulted in some of The Bachelor's earliest funny memes?

Or how about when Blake finally took her on a single date, and she was appalled that he organised for them to go bowling and eat at Harry's Café de Wheels for a #DirtyStreetPie? Where was her helicopter?

And another unforgettable moment was when Laurina decided that she and Blake didn't have a good connection because #HeTouchedHisEye while they were having a D&M. The fact that Blake was able to scratch his eye while she was pouring her heart out to him was simply unacceptable!

But 2014 was a long time ago (OMG) and Laurina has changed since being on The Bachelor. It'll actually be refreshing to see her on Bachelor in Paradise after all these years.

Ahead of Bachelor in Paradise's premiere on March 25, Cosmo caught up with Laurina to find out what she wants in a man, whether she could predict the people who paired off, and why there's a love of game-playing involved.

We're so excited to see you on Bachelor in Paradise. How much convincing did it take for you to join the cast and did you have any hesitations?

Well, I said that I wasn't really interested in any of the ex-Bachelors, and that speaking on behalf of the women of Australia that we wanna froth over the Bachelors. I felt they had dropped the ball a bit, getting too many young guys on Sophie Monk's season, like 24 year olds that they drew in there, when she's 37 or 38. So I brought that up with them, and they said, "Laurina, we promise you if you come on the show we'll find you someone to drool over. There'll be new boys."

There were a few older guys from her season who made it onto Bachelor in Paradise. Did any of them catch your eye?

Uhh, look, you'll just have to watch and find out. I certainly flirted my little heart out while I was there.

What's your dating history been like since The Bachelor 2014?

I've had two relationships — one was just over a year and the other one was six months. I got my heart broken twice — they were both horrible breakups. I thought to myself, after the second one ended in an almost inhumane way, I was like, 'You know what? This says something about me. If I'm attracting people into my life that don't love me, and don't respect, then that says there's something within me that I don't love and respect.' Those experiences have really shaped how I am positioning myself in life now, how I treat myself and how conscious I am about choices I make, the people I surround myself with.

Sorry to hear that.

That's OK. It happens to the best of us and it's a learning curve as well. I think it's life's way of slapping you in the face and saying, "Hey, you need to be better to you, because you can't sit here and cry that other people aren't if you're not being the best version of yourself, stepping up and becoming the woman you want to be."

How have you changed since The Bachelor?

I would say I have grown up and evolved a lot — obviously everyone's growing and evolving in every moment. There have been quite a few moments between these experiences to learn and grow from.

You have a long list of qualities you want in a man. Did you think you'd find that in an ex-Bachelorette contestant?

No, possibly not [laughs].

Did you know any of the guys? It seems all former Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants know each other.

Not really — I had met Michael at an event or two before, but other than that I don't think I'd met any of them. It felt like I knew them all, because I'd done my columns for NW where I wrote about them all, and watched them all, so I definitely felt like I already knew them.

Was that weird?

It was exciting! It was fun. It felt like playing house. It was cool.

It seems like people weren't as into the first two seasons of The Bachelor the way they are now, so it feels like you might be introduced to Bachelor audiences in a new, fresh way.

Yeah, I guess so. For me it's the other way around. I was really across the first couple of seasons and then with the last couple it's dropped off. I probably only saw the first two episodes of Sophie Monk's season, and maybe caught five minutes of it here and there — my lifestyle just didn't permit me to be home at that time. I hadn't really sussed out any of the boys properly from the current season, it was more the earlier seasons where I was across the characters a bit more.

I did read quite a few comments, when it was released, where people were like, "Who's Laurina?" And I was like, "Hey! I'm one of the originals."

Which girls from your season do you still keep in touch with?

I still keep in touch with Lisa and Amber, and occasionally Zoe, but that's about it. It was really good to see Lisa in there.

Were you surprised by the people who paired off together on Paradise?

No, not at all. You'll actually find, when you look at people, it's like, "These two, they're both quite ethnic," and they end up together, and, "These two are both quite fair," and they end up together. And then, "These two look the bloody same, they could be brother and sister," and they end up together. It's really quite easy to pick it. The ones who look like brother and sister — put them together.

Did you clash with anyone?

No, I didn't, I didn't clash with anyone at all. I was in a really good space within myself, just being peaceful and happy, saying my prayers and my gratitude every day. I was in a really spiritually-enlightened space, floating along, trying to make the most of it. I wasn't there to argue or get consumed by drama — it's really draining. And when you're drained like that, it takes the glow out of your face, and you don't want to be on television not glowing. Next thing you know there's a meme of you looking like a mole.

Do you think Bachelor in Paradise is a good environment for finding true love?

You know what? If someone's ready and open to love, and there's someone who's compatible with them, I think it is a great opportunity to meet somebody. But you've gotta be there, you've gotta be open, you've gotta be ready, you've gotta be OK with the cameras being on, and you've gotta be able to give into it. It's all about timing — the stars do need to align.

Was it weird for you to put yourself back in that environment where you're really vulnerable in front of cameras?

I guess you go in there with the intention of being like, 'It's fine, I'm going to be as open as possible,' but it actually is a lot more confronting, and just awkward sometimes, having these conversations on camera. But you know what, on all of these shows, sometimes you have to play along for the camera because they're there, and because it's the environment, and you may not be feeling it that much. If you're genuinely falling in love, it's easy in front of the cameras — it doesn't matter. But if you're not really that into the person and the cameras are rolling, it makes it so freaking awkward. You could just cut the air with a knife. I think the cameras are OK as long as the love is genuine, but if you're not, the cameras just become this elephant.

Did you often find yourself in that situation where you just had to play along?

Well, yeah, I did. I found myself in a couple of awkward situations, because you want to stay in the game. Even if you're not into someone, you want to stay in the game to see who else is coming. But in the meantime, you need to make an alliance with someone to stay in the game. It's a very intricate tip-toeing and manoeuvring that you need to do in order to stay in the game but not hurt anybody.

There is that promo where Keira says to someone, "Are you only being nice to me so I give you a rose?" But I didn't think about that emotional mind-playing…

Yeah, it adds an awkward element to it, because everybody's sort of aware of that as well.

It's like the Survivor version of The Bachelor. Sounds like it will be a really interesting dynamic to watch.

I'm looking forward to it. I haven't seen the US version either, and I think it will be fun. It's definitely exciting and there's more going on, 'cos there's more couples to keep your eye on, more dynamics, and more people coming in and out all the time. So there's more fresh meat, I guess [laughs].

What have you been up to in general since we first met you on The Bachelor?

I've been in and out of love. I've been around the world probably three or four times at least — lots of travelling, lots of being in love. I was running my business for a while but I've shut that down. And at the moment I'm just sort of cruising through. I definitely want to do some lifestyle blogging. And I'd love to do something creative. I want to go back into the fashion industry but I'd like to design something myself. I'm thinking about doing a bikini line — some really tasteful pattern-clashing. That's something I'm thinking about. At the moment I'm just floating in the breeze, enjoying life, and I'm gonna pop my head back down soon and get creative.

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