'Bachelor in Paradise' star Apollo Jackson on being the unwitting man meat in a love sandwich

The (single!) demigod from the GC spills on Elora calling dibs on him and playing with fire – literally and figuratively.

By Lorna Gray

Ever since we found out we were getting our very own Bachelor In Paradise, there was only one name on Australia's (extremely thirsty) lips.

We're talking, of course, about the demigod from the Gold Coast; Apollo Jackson. It was Apollo's paradise and everyone else was just living in it.

The 25-year-old wasn't brought in until relatively late in the game – those producers knew everyone was hankering after him bad – and while a lot of ~connections~ had already been formed, other contestants had already tried to call dibs on him.

In fact, he'd barely had time to get himself a daiquiri off Wais before Simone and Elora started fighting over who he should be with.

Interestingly, we heard an awful lot from the girls about Apollo and not a lot from the man himself. And while the thirst was real (cough, we be guilty of it too), it wasn't ideal to see the gals fight over him like a bit of man meat.

It all came to a head last night when it all became a bit too much for poor, sweet Apollo. After Simone got upset when he did a fire dance with Elora (relatable), he realised they weren't on the same page as the other extremely loved-up couples and they should see how they go IRL instead. Tearfully, Apollo left paradise.

Sadly, like Luke and Lisa; Apollo and Simone were not made for life off the island and have gone their separate ways.

Cosmo caught up with Apollo to talk Simone, the milk bath and being in a love triangle, however unwittingly.

Watching you get upset last night was awful – did you think you'd get so emotional during the course of the show?

I didn't really think so at all really. When I first came in, I thought "Oh this is going to be nice and relaxing, in beautiful Fiji – going on a few dates and relaxing" and it was quite intense. I walked straight into a love triangle.

Obviously on last night's episode, I, you know, I was just really wary. And I was feeling for both Elora and Simone. I just tried to be as upfront and gentleman-y as I could in the whole situation so yeah, it was really, really tough. Because I'm really aware of people's feelings and I don't like hurting people's feelings.

Simone and Elora were arguing over you from the get go – how does it feel knowing other contestants were calling dibs on you before you even stepped foot in there?

[Laughs.] Definitely a little bit of pressure coming in. I was already nervous coming in later anyway, I thought, you know, "is there anyone going to be interested in me? Is everyone coupled up?"

So I sort of had that in my head and then I came in and was like "Oh gosh. Oh."

It was pretty intense to come into. But at the same time it was a good experience that first part because I did get to go on those two really nice dates and then you know, there was that third date with the milk bath with the guys – that was a cracker.

That was THE best moment of Bachelor history!

[Laughs] Yeah, how funny was that?!

Do you think you would've had a different experience in paradise had you been in there right from the start?

I think so definitely. Early on, from watching it, it seems like people had more time to get to know each other. Everyone was taking things slower and everyone was getting to know everyone. Whereas later it's that pairing off and really trying to get that connection.

We heard you and Simone broke up – very sorry to hear that. Did you try to make a go of it after filming? Can you talk us through what happened when the cameras stopped rolling?

So we'd sort of just decided, we were at that stage you know, when we were looking around at the other people who were paired off who were saying "I love you" and were really passionate with each other and making out everywhere.

And we were looking at each other thinking "We're definitely not at this stage – we're still getting to know each other. So we'll see if we can work things out on the outside."

We did give it a go and I think Simone living in Melbourne and me being based on the Gold Coast and Sydney, it was really hard to line our schedules up and yeah, unfortunately it just didn't work out. I mean, there was nothing negative at all. We just couldn't work out romantically.

Was it strange going on dates without cameras in your face?

It's definitely a lot different. Mind you, after a while you drown out the cameras – you completely forget about them.

Would you agree with Simone that you're sometimes quite oblivious to other people's behaviour?

Yeah, look, especially with last night. Last night for me with the fire performing – I'm a performer- and the opportunity to play around with some fire and to have a bit of fun and entertain everyone in paradise was just really exciting for me.

I'm a pretty active sort of person. You know I like to be doing things and I was sitting down, it was quite a quiet night and when I heard there was fire sticks, I thought "How good's this?" – I can just get out there and have some fun with the fire twirling and entertain everyone knowing it was one of the last nights in paradise.

And, you know, that's the way that I saw it. I'd spoken to Simone earlier and really told her where we stood and everything like that. That I was pursuing her and no-one else and she had nothing to worry about. And when I was doing the fire performing it was 100% just for that fun aspect.

Had you any idea what you were letting yourself in for beforehand?

No idea! [Laughs] I'd never watched an American version of the show and yeah, basically all I knew was it was sort of like, I guess speed-dating in a tropical paradise and I thought "what better place to meet someone?"

Did you know any of the contestants beforehand?

Yeah, I don't go to a hell of a lot of events. So, obviously I knew the boys from my season. When I first walked in I saw Jarrod, Luke, Sam and Eden.

What was your favourite moment of paradise?

It was definitely that milk bath. We were literally walking on the beach and thinking "it's a man date – it's going to be maybe beers and maybe a pool table."

We're thinking a real man date. And then we rock up and they haven't changed the date whatsoever. And we're getting lathered up. Three grown men in a bath. It was just absolutely crazy and I don't think I've laughed so hard in so long.

Were you happy with how you were portrayed throughout?

Look I think with both shows: when it comes to me, I'm just me all the time. I try to just 100% be me. People will say "oh it's been edited" but they can't edit something you didn't actually say or do so if you're 100% true to yourself, that's it.

And in certain situations you're going to react to certain things a certain way – you know, you're human and things are going to happen. But you've just got to go with that. You can't be perfect all the time and if you react a certain way or feel a certain emotion then that's great. Because that's showing you're genuine and human.

The whole country has fallen in love with you – how have you adjusted to your new heartthrob status?

[Laughs] It's been really nice. It's been quite humbling. I don't feel like my life's changed a crazy amount out of it. But the amount of really nice messages that I get – it's just so nice and humbling. And you know people actually recognising you as a nice guy and it's a positive thing. And you know, I'd normally get teased for that sort of stuff when I was younger so that's really nice and like I said, not a heck of a lot's changed.

You obviously make a lot more friends when you go out! You might go out shopping and people will come up and talk to you which is great, I'm a people person, so yeah, it's good. It's nice.

And you're single, Apollo. So tell us, what traits do you look for in a woman?

Uh-huh. The biggest thing for me is personality. I enjoy someone I can have a laugh with and someone who's really positive and outgoing who's willing to just have a go at things and have a laugh and look at life well. And someone who's also kind as well and thinks of other people. So they're pretty much the main things. Everything else is just an addition. That's the main crux of things for me.

Who do you keep in touch with from the show?

I don't keep a lot of contact but here and there I'll just see how people are going and throughout the season, I'll send a few messages. You know, "how's it going?" and "are you okay?" It's just sort of general chat. Everyone leads quite busy lives.

And which of the couples will go the distance?

Ooooh. Look, it's a really hard thing. I think my three picks are: Well, definitely Sam and Tara – they're just so beautiful together.

Jarrod and Keira – they're a couple who people wouldn't have picked coming in but they just work phenomenally well.

Jake and Megan – I think they'll be a lasting one too because they went through so much throughout the show and I think what makes a good couple is being able to work through problems and being able to work through the things that just pop up out of nowhere. And I think all the stuff that's been thrown at them and stuff they've been through, they've always worked through it and come back together so that's a sign of a long-lasting relationship there too I think.

Who do you think is going to propose?

I have no idea! I consider myself a bit of an amateur detective and I have no idea. So I'm sort of on the edge of my seat for the next few episodes too.

Do you have any regrets from paradise?

Not really. Like I said I think I was 100% myself the whole time and I think my reaction to every situation was 100% genuine so you can't really regret just being yourself.

And there's something important we need you to clear up for us: Is it Ah-poll-o or Ah-pole-o?

[Laughs] It's Ah-poll-o. See, you got it right!


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