Before The Bachelor Australia 2017 aired, Matty J said he wasn’t going to kiss anyone and everyone. And guess what — he stayed true to his word! Despite taking Elora and Lisa out for single dates on the second episode, he didn’t kiss either girl, even though there were a few moments when he definitely could have.
But everything changed on tonight’s episode, when Matty whisked away Laura, the jewellery designer, for her first single date. Everything obviously went swimmingly, which is why Laura scored Matty’s first kiss of the season.
As this is clearly an exciting moment for any season of The Bachelor Australia, we had to find out more, so we chatted to Laura about her date with Matty.
That’s not all we asked about, though — keep reading for her thoughts on the girls from the show, how she feels about the Georgia Love comparisons, and what she has to say about the signs she’s the frontrunner for Matty’s heart.
How did you feel before, during and after your single date with Matty?
“Before I went into it, I had a really open mind. When I signed up to do The Bachelor, I didn’t go in there with the expectations of Matty being the person for me. I was like, ‘You know what? This person is maybe going to be great, and maybe he will be, but we’ll have to wait and see.’ So it wasn’t until the single date that I actually got to spend some time with him and was like, ‘Ooh! This guy’s amazing.’ My feelings towards him changed on that date, and I started to feel something for him. Then afterwards I was like, ‘I really want to see where this goes.’ So I was strapped in after that.”
Matty has (so far) stayed true to his word about not kissing everyone unless he’s feeling it. Did you think you would get the first kiss?
“I wasn’t thinking about it at all, honestly. By the end of that date, it was just great. We’d had such a good time, and it was just like being on a really great date in the real world, just with a whole lot of camera crew. It really didn’t feel like they were there — we were just having a great time. It just felt like the right thing to do.”
How long did it take to get used to the camera crew? In paparazzi photos, some of them look really close.
“Yeah — look, they were, for the start. You do spend quite a bit of time together — we spent all day together, from very early on until quite late. I guess you forget the cameras are there pretty quickly, especially when you’re engaged in a good conversation. I didn’t feel uncomfortable or self-conscious around him — he’s a very calming person to be around. And because he’s so used to having cameras around, he kind of just gets into having a conversation, and you forget that they’re there.
“It sounds weird, unless you’re in that situation, but you do genuinely stop paying attention to them altogether.”
How do you usually feel about kissing on the first date?
“It depends! It totally depends. If the date’s been great and the person’s amazing, then I don’t have any apprehensions about it. But it’s not like, ‘Hey, thanks for taking me on a date, I’m gonna kiss you.” Be selective. If it’s a great date, sure! If it’s a dud date, hell no (laughs).”
Coming back from that date, having established that connection with Matty quite early on, how did you feel towards the other girls going on dates with him?
“I think early on it was still… Like it was never uncomfortable, but early on I didn’t feel super jealous or anything. I was like, ‘OK, this is just part of it,’ because it had just been one date. Even in the real world, if you’ve gone on one date with a guy, and you haven’t heard from him for a while, you’d be like, ‘We’ll see.’ But as time progressed, it definitely got harder. You have to package it up and believe in what you have, and what connections you’ve formed. You have to block out what other people say, otherwise you’d go mad.”
Did you watch The Bachelorette last year?
“I didn’t. I’ve watched a couple of episodes now, which is a bit weird, but I hadn’t watched it prior to being in the house.”
So you didn’t know much about Matty going into it.
“I knew who he was via social media, and a couple of my friends had watched The Bachelorette and are die-hard fans. I didn’t enter the show because I knew Matty was going to be the Bachelor, I entered because my girlfriends watched the show so much and were like, ‘You should do this!’ It was my housemates who actually put me forward, and they filled out the application. So that’s how it all transpired. And I had no idea it was going to be Matty prior to rocking up on the red carpet. I’d read something the day before, and that was all I had known. So I had very little idea of who he was.”
What do you think about Matty now?
“I wasn’t really sure how genuine the whole thing would be. But after spending time with him, I thought, ‘This guy is so genuine. And he’s such a lovely person.’ Humour is a really important thing for me, and he’s very, very funny, and really sarcastic, and I don’t know if you see that on the show. That’s what won me over. I walked away from our single date thinking he was amazing.”
How do you feel about the Georgia Love comparisons?
“Ha, it’s not ideal! When we were filming, nobody — not to my face, anyway — ever made that comparison to me, and I never, ever felt like I was the Georgia Love lookalike. It was never a thing. Obviously Jen said it in the first episode, and it was said behind my back, but I think the funny thing about that is Jen looks quite a bit like Georgia Love herself! It doesn’t faze me. I don’t feel like I am the carbon copy by any means.”
It’s just that photo from the first episode!
“Totally! It’s just our hair. We have similar hair. But I don’t think there are many other similarities, but whatever. People are going to say something, and if that’s all they’ve got to say, then I really don’t mind. And she seems like a legend, so it’s fine.”
How long were you single for before the show?
“Almost a year. I’d dated a little bit here and there, but nothing serious at all — I really wanted to take some time out for myself, so I stayed single for a year.”
What is your usual approach to dating?
“Oh God. Well, it clearly didn’t work, whatever it was! I don’t know what it was. It was normal! I’d been on Tinder for a while, but that didn’t work, so I got off Tinder. I went on a couple of dates and was like, ‘This is not for me.’ I usually get introduced to people through friends, or you might see someone out. I don’t really have a tactic for dating.”
What can you tell me about the “mean girls” of this season?
“I think at times the house is difficult, and at times the nastiness you see on TV wasn’t just on TV. It really did kick off in the house — but the house was generally a great place to live, and a majority of the girls are amazing. I think it’s just when you have that many women in a small environment, and they’re all competing for the same thing, it doesn’t highlight the best characteristics in people.
“It was difficult for everyone from time to time, but the reality is, you might have a blow-up, and then two hours later everyone’s friends again. That’s kind of how it worked in the house.
“And I think everyone is being portrayed at the moment very much as they were. I don’t think anything’s been hammed up, or anything’s been dulled down. People wanted to have different roles, I guess.”
Who were your closest friends on the show?
“I became really good friends with Alix, Liz, Elise, Florence and Lisa. Those five girls were just beautiful.”
How do you feel about being the early favourite to win? Late last week, there were certain snow photos that everyone became obsessed with, as you might be aware…
“Oh, I know! Despite the fact that we were in very different countries, I was in New Zealand, and got the memo. I think the fact that that is what they’re basing it off is pretty ludicrous, because we were in 100 per cent different countries. I didn’t even know until I saw the Daily Mail, and I was like, ‘Ugh, OK.’ But yeah, look, it’s flattering, but that’s all I can say about it.”
I have another Instagram-related question. What do you have to say about being the ‘Queen of reverse parking’?
“Ugh. OK, so that’s another one (laughs). Oh my God, that was the worst. Basically, that was the world’s biggest coincidence. I hadn’t watched the show, nor had I read any articles that he had commented on, which was 2015. I have two Instagram accounts — I have a personal Instagram account, and I have my work Instagram account. When I did the show, because we’re now posting about the show, that had to happen from my personal Instagram, not on my work Instagram.
“So I reactivated my personal one, which I hadn’t used since 2014, and I updated the info on it, and I updated the photo. But the information I updated it to used to be on my Toni May account from 2014, and I even have a screen grab from 2014 to prove that it pre-dated him saying it in an interview.
“It just was the most genuine coincidence that blew out of proportion, because someone who is a very dedicated fan found the similarities, and put it together. When I read that, I was like, ‘Dude, I didn’t speak to the guy about reverse parking.’ I had no idea. And why would I infer that anyway, even if I did? It was crazy to me.
“Then people were like, ‘Why hasn’t she taken it down?’ I felt like I was damned if you do, damned if you don’t, because if I took it down, people would be like, ‘Now she’s trying to hide something.’ So I just felt like I couldn’t win anyway. What will be, will be! Everyone wants to speculate, and that’s the point we’re at now. Everyone has their theories, and it’s all part of it. It’s fun.”
It’s interesting all of you are allowed to post actively, compared to previous years where no one could.
“I think it gives great conversation and context around the show. It also allows us to show our personalities, which is quite fun. It’s all part of the show — we’re provided with the photos, so we’re not going rogue on it, or anything.
“Channel Ten gives us photos that are applicable to that episode, so the conversation around that episode is all consistent. It gives us the opportunity to have a bit of our own voices and characters, and we can engage with people who are watching, which makes it fun for everyone.”
Have you had people messaging you on social media?
“I actually didn’t realise on Instagram that when you get direct messages from someone you’re not following, it goes to some random folder. I only realised that this morning, and yes. But it’s lovely comments from young girls who watch the show, or people who are fans being like, ‘You looked amazing!’ I haven’t received anything negative, just really nice, supportive comments from people who love the show.”
If you don't win Matty J’s heart, what do you hope to get out of this experience?
“I have already received so much out of this experience. I went in there with a really open mind about putting myself out of my comfort zone, and meeting new friends, and I have made some amazing new friends.
“I’m happy with my life, and with my work, and everything, so I don’t have any desire to change anything about how things are. I just wanted to experience something, and have some fun, and I got that.”