Wednesday night’s rose ceremony on The Bachelorette was perhaps this season’s most colourful and glittery, with the contestants still dressed in their Mardi Gras attire after the group date - but there’s one detail fans missed.
Recently eliminated contestants Taje Fowler and Steve Pliatsikas chatted with Yahoo Lifestyle all about their time on the show and opened up about what viewers might not have picked up on.
Speaking about her elimination, 23-year-old Taje admits that she wasn’t surprised Brooke decided to say goodbye.
“I just this feeling that I knew I was going to go home. I had been crying before, and you can see my eyes were red in the rose ceremony,” she says, before adding with a laugh, “I mean, I saw it and I knew.”
The youth worker also reveals that she had planned a surprise for Brooke during the cocktail party but unfortunately, they ran out of time.
“I had some eucalyptus leaves and essential oils and stuff. After the drama that had happened last week, I wanted to take a moment to ground ourselves in that moment and have that time with her,” she explained.
“What you do is you rub the leaves into your hands and when you breathe them in, it kind of goes in the system. I just wanted to take that opportunity to have that one on one time with her and just take a second to breathe.”
Despite not getting a chance to chat during the cocktail party, Taje was able to have one final conversation with Brooke when she walked her to the car after the rose ceremony.
“That was actually really good for me in regards to being able to have that last moment of saying what I wanted to say to her,” she reflects.
“Just to tell her, as another First Nations woman, how proud I am to have that representation in mainstream media and also to go on this journey, which was really beautiful and sweet. It was a rollercoaster, but it was beautiful.”
As for Steve’s exit, the 29-year-old podiatrist also felt like his time on the show “was coming to an end”.
“I sort of hadn't really ever been on Brooke’s radar, I was kind of just a bit of a background character so I feel like my time was either up then or within the next couple of episodes,” he confesses.
“You sort of know early on where you stand in terms of your connection with Brooke. You can see her hitting it off with the others and then you compare your interactions with them and you can tell the vibe isn't quite there, so you just kind of try and have fun with it.
“I wasn't really thinking about trying to change who I am, I was just true to myself. I don't have any regrets, I was just me.”
With season seven of the reality dating show featuring both male and female contestants for the very first time, it’s understandable that fans predicted there could be more than one love story unfolding on screen.
While the two reality TV stars both acknowledge that it was incredible to be a part of such a history-making season, neither of them took note of any potential romances between the contestants.
“I don't think there was any kind of romantic feelings amongst anyone really, because everyone was there for Brooke. It's not something I kind of noticed or picked up on,” Steve says.
“We were all there with the right intentions of being there for Brooke and that is so much your focus that everyone around you becomes a family,” Taje adds.
“We were all really supportive of one another to have and build those relationships with Brooke, but also being friends and allies with each other.”
Although neither of the pair found love on the show, they both agree that they had an “absolutely amazing experience”.
“I made some lifelong friends in there and had an absolute ball. It was nothing but good vibes,” Steve remarks.
“It was such a beautiful group and such supportive people,” Taje echoes. “I couldn't imagine it being any other way.”
The Bachelorette continues Wednesdays and Thursdays on Channel Ten from 7:30pm.
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