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Between the C-bomb saga, constant arguments over who was there for the ‘right reasons’, and rumours that Jimmy and his chosen winner Holly Kingston knew each other before filming began, it’s fair to say that season nine was anything but boring.
Laura O’Loughlin, who made it to the top 7, quickly became a fan-favourite on the show this year for her witty humour and quirky persona. She’s also remembered for her single date with Jimmy where he declined her kiss, or as she puts it, he “ducked me Matrix-style”.
The 28-year-old has now “gone rogue” and opened up exclusively to Yahoo Lifestyle about what happened behind-the-scenes that viewers didn’t get to see, the “bulls**t” contracts she signed and why the experience is her biggest regret.
What really happened on her single date
“I was told prior to my single date by one of the producers that the girls have to make the first move with Jimmy, he’s not supposed to,” she reveals.
However, Laura also says that Jimmy was told not to kiss her after his sister Tahnee and cousin Lisa made a visit to the mansion and lectured him about kissing so many women.
“Going into my single date, had I known that that had taken place, obviously I never would have humiliated myself. But they knew he was going to reject it and that I was going to look like an idiot, and I'm still so angry about it.
“When I watched it back, I was so upset. I didn't want to leave the house for a week and I had to take sick leave from work because of the mental ramifications of this show.”
What it was really like in the house
Laura claims she was crying after her single date because she “didn’t want to go back to the house and have to tell Holly what had happened”.
“I was told by a couple of girls in the house that Holly was going around saying, ‘She only got a single date because the producers wanted her to’ and ‘Jimmy’s not interested in her’.”
Laura also alleges that contestants were “explicitly told” by producers that they weren't to speak badly about the outcome of the show in their post-show media interviews.
What Steph was really like
“Steph - God bless her - obviously she said a lot of stuff and it didn't look good when she then denied those things. But these cocktail parties are six hours long. Of course, you might have said something quite early on in the night and then forgotten that you said it,” she explains.
Laura says that while many of the other women were saying similar comments to the camera about the drama that was unfolding in the mansion, it wasn't included in the final edit.
“So poor Steph, who ended up being the main villain, that’s all that got shown of her. Whereas, none of that for us got shown.”
What really happened at the dinner party
“On the Life Uncut podcast, Holly was talking about the fact that the girls upstairs in the bathroom were listening to her conversation with Jimmy’s cousin. What actually happened was Steph was using the bathroom, the window was open and she heard them crystal clear,” she says.
“Holly said in her interview, ‘Someone overheard me saying Steph and Tatum weren't suited to Jimmy’. She had actually said Steph and Laura, but that didn't suit the narrative because it was Steph and Tatum who had a go at her at the dinner table that night.
“The other thing that wasn't shown was the eight other people that piped up at that dinner table, it wasn't just Tatum and Steph. Ash spoke up, Jay spoke up, Rebekah spoke up. They all said the same thing at the dinner party to Holly, like, ‘Some of your comments haven’t come across very nice’, ‘You’ve offended a lot of people’.”
What the producers were really like
While Laura says “not all the producers were that bad”, admitting that she “personally loved” one of the main producers, she was shocked at some of the tactics they used to create drama.
“It wouldn’t be like, ‘How did you feel about Jay’, it would be like, ‘Don’t you think it was really shady that Jay did that?’. They’d put those words in your mouth so you’d repeat them back.
“There were times that if you said, ‘Oh I don’t really have an opinion’, they’d be like, ‘Well you're coming across really shady for not answering the question’ and they would put it back on you.”
What their contract included
For the first time this year, The Bachelor contestants were locked out of their Instagram accounts from the show’s premiere up until three weeks after their elimination, and they instead selected photos and wrote captions to be posted on their behalf.
However, Laura claims that these new rules were put into place after the show had begun filming.
“I remember I called before I went into the mansion to ask, ‘Are you taking my password or am I just putting everything on private until I get out?’. They said, ‘As long as everything’s private, you don't have to hand over your password’,” she details.
“Then two weeks into the experience, they came in and told us, ‘This is the new contract, you all have to sign it’. There was nothing we could do. They said the other option was to not post any content about the show at all.”
“If they'd given us all this information prior, there’s no f**king way I would have signed up for it. I never would have handed my password over and that's why I'm so angry,” she adds.
“I'm so angry at the whole process and I have never regretted anything more than this experience. If I could go back, there's no way I would have ever done this.”
Yahoo Lifestyle has contacted Channel 10 and Warner Bros for comment.
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