She might not have won the heart of Bachelor Jimmy Nicholson, but recently eliminated contestant Carlie Hodges has definitely made her way into the hearts of many Australians.
Fans online have praised the 33-year-old, who ultimately came fourth on the dating show, and are now requesting that she becomes the 2022 Bachelorette.
Speaking to Yahoo Lifestyle, Carlie says that the support on social media has left her “feeling very loved” after reliving her emotional exit on Thursday night’s episode.
“I must admit it is completely unexpected,” she explains. “My whole intention when I was in the experience was to just be me and not be worried about what Australia would think and just really fully dive into the experience.
“To know that people have really enjoyed getting to know me, just as me with all of my daggy bits, it’s really overwhelming and really beautiful.”
In terms of whether she would sign up to be the future Bachelorette? The corporate lawyer says she’ll “never say never".
"Bachelorette wasn’t my intention out of this experience,” she remarks.
“But to get that positive reaction from Australia and to see that they actually really enjoyed seeing someone who’s already established and in their 30s try and find love, I found that quite beautiful.”
“I think a lot of these shows can be based around people in their 20s, so the fact that Australia is really enjoying seeing someone who is in their mid-30s and has their s**t together, in most other ways, still wanting to find love.
“Yeah, maybe there needs to be a bit of a shakeup and have an older group of people, and if I ever got the call up I guess I’d consider it. Who knows.”
Out of all of the contestants this year, Carlie had the most ‘structured’ time with Jimmy on the show with two single dates and extra time on two group dates.
She reveals that while she “had no idea” Jimmy was going to say goodbye after meeting her family, there was more that happened during her exit that viewers didn’t get to see.
“Essentially he said that he wished it was me, but there was just something that was missing for him,” she detailed. “With time, he probably could have worked out what that thing was, but in an experience like that, you don't have time so he just had to go with his gut.
“We gave each other a hug and said that we'd miss each other and we both hoped that we'd be able to just stay in touch and be friends and we both meant it. I have no doubt that we’ll be friends.”
Despite their breakup, she says she has “nothing bad to say” about Jimmy and she was grateful to have met him in the experience.
“He really did remind me that there are some amazing guys out there, and not to be disheartened when it comes to dating,” she admits. “He was a nice reminder that genuine men still do exist in the world of Tinder and Bumble and all of those things.
“I absolutely loved the experience. I did some things that I never expected to do. I was really proud of who I was in there, I think I was a really open version of myself and I threw myself into it.
“It's kind of exciting that now I can start the next chapter, whatever that is.”
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