We may have only seen one episode of The Bachelorette Australia 2017 so far, but we’ve already got a strong feeling that Jarrod Woodgate will be a seriously strong contender to win Sophie Monk’s heart.
Why? Well, for starters, he was one of the first contestants from the 2017 season to be released, so he’s going to make some kind of impact. His first impression, when he met Sophie in front of the mansion, also got pretty good screen time — and he managed to get Sophie to take her heels off so she could stomp on some grapes with him.
Plus, he works on a vineyard that his family owns, and Sophie loves wine. It sounds like the perfect situation!
It might be a little too early to say that Jarrod’s got it in the bag, but we think we’ll be seeing him on our screens for a while…
Jarrod chatted to Cosmo after his big TV debut to discuss his thoughts on the other guys’ first impressions, what he likes about Sophie, and why he’s finally ready to settle down.
Did you watch the premiere episode?
I did watch the premiere. It was very entertaining.
How do you feel about the way you came across?
I feel very confident in how I came across, actually. All my friends and family are telling me how well I was speaking. I was concerned that I wouldn’t sound that way at all, 'cos you’ve got all that pressure, and you’ve got everyone around you, and you’re nervous… Sometimes you just can’t make sense of your conversation, until you see it on the TV.
It would be so easy to get distracted there.
Definitely! Having all the guys there, and they’re all wanting to have a chat with Sophie — you’ve just gotta focus on Sophie. Sophie’s got very soft blue eyes, so it’s very easy to only focus on Sophie.
How did you get the idea to stomp the grapes?
I wanted to bring something to Sophie that she hadn’t done before, and something outside of the box. It’s a part of my life, and it’s what I do — not stomping grapes, but the whole wine background. I thought it was a great idea. If I was gonna stand out with Sophie, that was how I wanted to carry it through. I felt comfortable doing something that I knew, and I know about.
Exactly! It was a team-building episode.
What did you think of the other guys’ first impressions?
[Laughs] Look, some of them had some really good ideas. The horse freaked out Sophie, because she’s afraid of horses. As for the others, I think some just walked in there, and didn’t really put any thought into it. Some tried, and some didn’t.
It’s interesting that you say Sophie’s afraid of horses, because Bingham said his dream woman must love horses.
He was testing the waters. Sophie got on the horse, so that’s a positive.
What was your first impression of Sophie? Did you apply knowing it would be her?
I applied knowing it was Sophie — I was very excited to meet her. Once I met Sophie, I could see the type of person she is, and as soon as we got chatting, I could see the type of person that she is, and I realised she’s here for the right reasons. She’s here to find love. Put all the bullshit aside, and start a life with somebody who’s gonna love her for who she is, which is quirky, funny, adorable — all the positives that she has. She’s very confident, and very strong-willed.
Have you always liked her?
I knew her through Bardot when I was a young kid. I didn’t know much about her, except a couple of bits and pieces. So, everything that I found out about Sophie that night, I liked. I liked everything about it. Sophie could be so easy to talk to.
What type of girl have you gone for in the past?
That’s a very interesting question. I like the girls who are basically happy to do their own thing, and who are happy to also do what I do. It’s hard to explain. I mean any girl that can make me happy, any girl that I can hang around, and be around non-stop, that’s a sign for me that that’s the perfect girl. I don’t really have a label on what kind of girl I go for. Anyone who can put up with me? [Laughs]
You opened up very quickly on night one about being engaged. What’s it like to put all your cards out on the table when you’ve just met someone?
It is super hard to open up — that’s one of my issues, not being able to open up to people who I want to let in. You’ve got to treat the first night as, basically, you need to prove yourself to Sophie, and you need to show her that you’re here for the right thing. There’s no point keeping all these walls up, and not letting Sophie in. I thought, engagement, we’ve got that in common, let’s put it out there, and let’s chat about it.
What is your dating history like?
I was engaged. I’ve had some girlfriends. I’ve been with girlfriends for either three months or six months. I kind of put a hold on having relationships, because being in the army, and then transitioning from that to the vineyard, it’s just been so hectic. If I’m not settled and organised in my life, then I can’t allow myself to have someone in my life to share it with. Does that make sense? If I’m not ready myself, then there’s no point having someone in my life if I don’t know what I’m after. And now that I’m in a better life, and I’ve got a great job, I’m ready. This is perfect timing.
Why did you leave the army?
I left the army because I was medically-discharged. I had bad knees or something, so they removed me from the army. Now I’m working on the vineyard. I didn’t want to leave the army, that’s for sure — I wanted to stay in for life. But it couldn’t be done.
The vineyard is obviously a very big part of your life now. Would you leave it for Sophie, if you ended up together and she didn’t want to live there?
I’d definitely leave the vineyard for love, but the thing is, I also put out there to Sophie that I need to allow my family to somehow retire from the life that they’re doing, and let me take over the vineyard, or move it on, because they’re getting old and they need to retire. Once they move on, then I can move on. It’s a different platform altogether, and adjusting to civilian life is a lot harder than you’d think.
How do you feel about dating the same woman as your friends? Did it get competitive in the mansion?
It will get competitive — you’re fighting for Sophie’s heart. I stick to my guns. When I’m with Sophie, or when I’m around Sophie, you just focus on Sophie. You don’t worry about the other guys, and what they’re trying to do, or what they’ve got up their sleeve. You just focus on you, and Sophie, and where you want to be.
How did it feel to move into a mansion with 17 other grown men?
It was OK — I mean, I’ve had to sleep with about 60 other guys in the army, outside, under the stars. So living with 17 other dudes, that’s a walk in the park, really! Having the mansion, and being able to cook all the food that we want, having our downtime on the tennis court… I mean, hard life! That definitely wouldn’t happen in the army. I think I can handle it.
Who did you click with right away?
The one guy I clicked with right away would be Harry! Harry is an absolute legend. I don’t know what it is, but him and I just connected. He’s such a young kid, just 24, and he’s experienced so much in life. He’s done more than I have, and he has so much to talk about. We’ve picked up a bromance in the house.
Who do you think has their own agenda and isn’t there for love?
I think it’s a bit too early to say that. People will have to watch and see.