Bachelor

Here's how Jarrod from 'The Bachelorette' feels about all those pot plant memes

Jarrod is fresh from his TV heartbreak.

By Jessica Chandra

Jarrod Woodgate has probably had one of the most interesting and unpredictable ~character arcs~ we’ve seen on The Bachelorette Australia.

On the premiere episode, when Jarrod met Sophie Monk for the first time, he came out as one of the frontrunners, because a) he manages a vineyard that his family owns (hello, endless supply of free wine); b) he asked Sophie to stomp on grapes with him; and c) he was on the show with the right intentions: to fall in love with Sophie.

Then things quickly changed. Jarrod was the first guy to score a single date with Sophie, and he got the first kiss, too. After that, Jarrod got the stage-five clinger edit, which wasn’t helped by how worked up he got about the pot plant shemozzle.

But think about this: Sophie wouldn’t have taken a legit crazy person all the way to her top two. She loved that Jarrod cared so much for her, and that he was open about his feelings, even telling her he’d fallen in love with her! Unfortunately for Jarrod, Sophie’s heart was with Stu Laundy, the 44-year-old publican who has become the first intruder and first single father to ‘win’ the show in Australia.

The morning after the emotional finale, Jarrod spoke to Cosmo about why he still loves Sophie, how he feels about his portrayal on the show, and the surprising reality TV gig he wants next.

It was devastating to watch your breakup with Sophie last night. What was it like for you to watch the finale back, and how did you watch it?

I was in a hotel room with my best mate, and we watched it all the way through to the end. Look, it was great to see what I was actually saying to Sophie. When you’re in the moment, you’re just talking to each other, and there’s no script, so you’re sharing how you’re feeling. It was nice to see it. But heartbreaking to watch the end of it.

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At what point did you realise she was going to break your heart?

It was just after the point where Sophie said she normally goes with her head, and now she’s going to go with her heart. And then she paused, and then I realised. I think I was too in-the-moment to understand where this was going, from when she said, “I normally go with my head.” When she paused, it gave it away that there was something coming.

You’ve said you were fairly confident that she would pick you.

I was very confident. I thought that was going to be me.

Throughout the season, what was it like watching Sophie’s scenes with Stu, knowing she had picked him over you?

It was interesting, because I was watching to see what Stu had done, and to see what kind of guy he was, and what we didn’t see. We hadn’t seen any of it — we’re watching it firsthand, just like you guys. I think you get to find out a bit more about the person that’s in the house with you. He was dark horse from the very beginning, and I think I was the only one who saw it.

What are your feelings for Sophie now?

I still love Sophie. There’s a place in my heart for Sophie, and there always will be. As long as Sophie knows that, that I will always be here if she needs a chat, or if she needs a friend, then I’m here. But I just really hope that the two of them work hard and make this their new life.

Will you still stay in touch with them?

Oh, definitely! We’re texting — the three of us are texting now. So yeah, definitely.

Do you have a text triangle or something?

Kind of! It’s backwards and forwards. Why not? At least we know there’s no awkwardness. Or what’s it called now? “Bread stick” moments. [Laughs] As Apollo told me today, it’s a bread stick moment. There’s none of that stuff happening. I think I’m a grown-up, Stu is a grown-up, and so is Sophie, so we’ve kind of just… I don’t know. It’s weird. We saw each other yesterday and everything was just like it was when we left off.

There were those pap photos that got leaked of you hugging Sophie, and a lot of people thought it was this last-minute twist, since Stu had been widely reported as the winner. What was it like seeing Sophie last night?

I think I was as nervous as I was when I first saw her on the red carpet! I’ve kind of dated Sophie, so it’s like seeing an ex again, if you want to call Sophie that. It was nice though. It was beautiful to see her happy, and just at peace, basically.

I think you’re the first runner-up who has said you would go back to Soph if things didn’t work out with Stu. Why?

Oh look, Sophie and I have built so much together. You can’t buy that, and you can’t replace it with anything else. What I’ve achieved as a person, and what Sophie and I have become as a group — that’s special. That will be there for a long, long time. It’s out there now.

Are you worried that this could potentially block you emotionally from meeting someone else, and letting yourself be vulnerable again?

No, not at all. I think this will make me stronger. I think this is Sophie’s way of saying, “You’re ready for the world now. You deserve someone out there even better,” if that’s a thing.

What has it been like to have to pretend that you could have been the winner for the past two months, like in interviews and in appearances?

That is the hardest part — pretending and lying to people, and they all believed that I’d won. I’ve gotta put that big smile on, and pretend I’m seeing Sophie the next day. That is hard. Especially when you’ve got the older generation, and then the kids and young adults, and they’re really rooting for you. They’re sold, and you don’t want to ruin it for them, so you have to smile.

A lot of acting required, it seems.

There was no acting on the show whatsoever, but there was definitely acting done to keep it a secret, yes. There was definitely no script for me on the show. I didn’t really listen to the producers when they told me to do stuff, so…

Can you reveal what you were told to do that you didn’t do?

Oh, no! I can’t reveal. It’s just little bits and pieces. They try and push you in a direction. It’s like, “I’m not falling for that.”

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How do you feel about the way you’ve been portrayed in the series? People have formed certain opinions of you based on the edit we saw.

That’s right. And I think with the editing, it’s just part of the show. It’s to draw the audience in. I don’t believe any of the other guys really went out of their way to do much to get Sophie’s attention, and I think that’s why the majority of the air time was Sophie and I. Even the other guys have said, “What’s happening? We’re not getting any air time! You’re getting it all!” I go, “Sorry.” They’re like, “You did well.” That’s why we’re there. We’re there to steal Sophie’s attention. We’re there to make sure Sophie knows that this is it, and this is what’s happening. I mean people now know who I am, and what I’m about, purely because they watched the end, and they saw the finale, and they saw how much love I had for Sophie.

What happened immediately after you said goodbye to Sophie? I thought you were going to walk around the whole island.

I was going to swim from one side to the other. I basically got on a boat, then disappeared to another island, and that was it.

Were you able to call people? Were you just hanging out with your minder?

Yeah, I had my minders — I had Sebastian. Then I had my security guard, Andy, and then we sat down and had a couple of beers, reminisced of the times that had happened, just the blokes — just silly stuff. Then I called my family and obviously I broke down a bit. My best mate flew from Adelaide to make sure he was in Melbourne for my arrival, because I was struggling. So he flew back the same day just to be there.

Are you OK with all the memes that have come up about you, from the stage-five clinger stuff to the pot plant drama?

It’s funny. I find it funny. You can’t do anything else but laugh it off. I mean people are putting their pot plants out for me — that’s awesome [laughs]. That’s cool. People thought the pot plant was weird, but now they’re all doing it. People finally connected with me, and realised what I’m all about.

We saw Matty J left a lovely comment on your Instagram — who else has been reaching out to you?

Matty J was very nice, he got in touch with me. Elise [Stacy] also, which was perfect. I think Clare [Verrall] from Married at First Sight. These people have been through it, and they said, “Mate, you’re dealing with it right.” You can’t add fuel to the fire, and if you’re gonna do that, you’re just looking guilty anyway. You don’t want to put yourself in a position you can’t back out of. There’s no point reacting.

It’s weird to think you’re part of this very small, exclusive club of people who have had their heart massively broken on national TV.

Exactly right [laughs]. Run for Mayor of Heartbreaks.

Can you speak quickly on what your relationship with Blake was really like?

Blake and I just didn’t see eye-to-eye. It was purely because of the emotions we’re going through, or the roller coaster I was going through, and with the personalities in the house, it’s hard, because you’re living together 24/7. People are gonna get under each other’s skin. At the end of it, Blake and I were fine. Before he left, we were good. We left on good terms, and we’re still on good terms. Until people have actually gone on that sort of journey themselves, they don’t know what it’s like.

What’s the plan from here?

This is the first day of everything being out in the open, so a bit of normality would be great — just to chill out, go back to the winery, have some wine, hang out with the boys, hang out with the family. Relax!

Do you see more reality TV in your future?

Look, I really hope so! I do. I feel really confident now that I can do this. As a kid, I’ve kind of wanted to be in this area, but I’ve never had that opportunity, and I never did anything at school like this. Now that I’m here, it’s like I might as well take advantage of it.

Anything in particular?

I wouldn’t mind doing I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!, Survivor — anything like that would be cool. Have You Been Paying Attention? as the guest star. I wouldn’t mind taking Osher’s job on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette actually! If that’s available. Who knows? He might want to move on soon, and they’re gonna need someone who knows all about it.

Osher, watch your back! Jarrod wants your gig!

Ah, don’t make it sound too bad!

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