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Having your heart broken on national TV is never going to be easy, but Bachelorette runner-up Jamie-Lee Dayz has handled it with absolute grace with the finale airing on Thursday night and Brooke Blurton choosing Darvid Garayeli.
Speaking with Yahoo Lifestyle, Jamie-Lee revealed that while she may not have won Brooke's heart, she is still on "good terms" with the couple.
"You want the lead to fall in love, and she did," the reality star told us. "And it was beautiful to watch and to be part of that journey, it feels special. It's not me but I think that it was never meant to be me. You can see that they were meant for each other and I feel lucky to have been able to shoot my shot.
"If you're a little bitter and all that kind of stuff, it doesn't get you anywhere. And I think everyone can see how much I care for Brooke. And I always have and I think I always will. So to see that she's happy and in love, that’s all I ever wanted."
She continued, "I’ve spoken to both of them here and there. Obviously not a huge amount, but they’ve both reached out and expressed some really sweet things that they're thinking of me.
"Brooke said the other day that she was proud of me and that's just so lovely to hear. It's nice that we're still on good terms."
In another chat, Brooke and Darvid had nothing but nice things to say about Jamie-Lee.
"[Jamie-Lee] sent me a message not too long after finale just checking in and wishing me the best," Darvid told us. "She's so lovely, can’t say a bad word about her."
"She's gorgeous," Brooke agreed. "We've had a few communications throughout this period of secret squirrel stuff and it's been very positive. I’ve allowed her to have her say and speak it out and she's so supportive of me and D. She's the most beautiful person and we are really lucky that we've met her and we wish her all the best."
Brooke continued, saying she isn't one to cut an ex out of her life, "I'm not a person who has a lot of anger or hate towards people. I am friends with most of my exes because of the reason that we're all adults, we can also be mature and we were once upon a time friends.
"There are some exes that you cannot be friends with. I'm really lucky that she's just been so mature about the whole thing," she said, adding, "Her inbox must be flooding. It’s like a cult following for her, I love to see it. She deserves everything that comes her way."
'My heart got shattered'
Speaking about the moment before she met with Brooke in the final moments of the episode, Jamie-Lee shared that she "immediately knew" it wasn't her.
"I remember specifically in the drive to that moment I was asked a question like, 'have you prepared a speech?' Are you ready for what you're going to say if it's not you or if it is you?'" she shared. "And it just hit me like a tonne of bricks like no, I was definitely not ready. I had no speech prepared.
"I was just hoping to be so authentically myself and show my true reaction and it was really difficult to kind of see how things were going to go from my perspective because there were so many feelings on that last date that we had and then it went straight into finale. I really had no idea how it was going to go. And then when I was walking up to her I could just see the look on her face and it’s like I almost immediately knew how this was going to go."
She added, "I didn't expect her to be so emotional and struggle to tell me that it wasn't me, and that was really hard to watch because she wasn't doing anything wrong. She was just following her heart and as a friend that's what you want for your friend to fall in love. Obviously, my heart got shattered and I think everyone can say that but also my heart is full of love for her and Darvid, he's an incredible guy and I couldn't be happier for them."
While Jamie-Lee has been so positive about her experience, she admitted it hasn't been easy, "It’s honestly like an emotional roller coaster and reliving everything has been a little bit tough, but I'm honestly so happy with last night's episode. Brooke made the right decision, you can see that her connection with Darvid was so strong from the start. So yeah, it was really nice to see that from a friendship perspective as well."
She admitted that watching the episode back was "really cathartic", adding, "It was really nice to see that it was difficult for Brooke, you know, you can see her heartbreaking when she let me go and that was horrible, but really nice to see that she was hurting as well and I didn't make it up and it wasn't in my head."
She added that she is glad the episode was "so true to what happened", adding that she tried very hard throughout the season to be authentic to herself and "forget that I was being filmed".
"I wore my heart on my sleeve so for that I'm really proud of myself and also really happy that that's led me to where I am," Jamie-Lee said. "Obviously seeing myself be so vulnerable is a little bit difficult. It's not something that I'm hugely experienced in and it's something I'm trying to work on."
Speaking of her whole experience on the show, she told us, "To be honest, it was better [than I imagined]. I feel like this season, because it was a first for so many different things, it was done in a way that just showed the storyline of love and there was no cattiness, no bitchiness between contestants, everyone was really supportive. And I think that's such an ode to the communities that were shown."
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