Ahead of the highly-anticipated premiere on Monday night, Bachelors Jed McIntosh, Felix Von Hofe and Thomas Malucelli spoke candidly with Yahoo Lifestyle about the brand new format, their strong camaraderie, and what viewers can expect with 30 contestants competing for their affections.
The trio share that they each had a very different experience in becoming the Bachelor, with 25-year-old drummer Jed admitting that he applied for the lead position with no knowledge that the network would be casting three people.
“I saw a post that they were looking for musicians and I was like, cool, this is something I've never thought about before nor did I think that a show like this would be looking for someone that looks like me,” he details.
“So I thought, you know what, I'm gonna submit this thing and see how we go. I did a quick video and then the rest is history, as they say, and here I am.
“I didn't know that there were going to be three [Bachelors], but I did assume that because I thought there's no way they're going to risk just having me as the Bachelor. So it was nearly a relief when I saw these other two beautiful-looking studs next to me.”
Meanwhile, 27-year-old former pro basketballer Felix reveals that producers had contacted him a number of times to be The Bachelor before he eventually said ‘yes’.
“I got a message saying, ‘We think you'd be a nice fit for what we're looking for’ and I didn't reply to that one,” he says. “And then there was another one that I didn't reply to and I kept getting sort of pestered by it. It wasn't that I sort of didn't really want to do it, it’s just that I've never really considered doing any sort of reality TV stuff.
“Eventually I did the first Zoom call with one of the producers and had a lot of fun with it, absolutely loved it, and from then on I was like, you know what, I like the people here, and it just went from there. Then about 6 million Zoom calls later we locked onto it, but I was aware that it was three fairly early on.”
35-year-old restaurant manager Thomas had a similar experience to Felix, explaining that he received a message on social media but didn’t think it was anything serious.
“And then a couple of Zoom calls later I was like, wow, this is really happening,” he laughs. “And then I just got really thrilled by the idea of going on a TV show and being in a context so out of my comfort zone and also having the potential to find true love. So I was all in.”
'Some of the dates absolutely sucked'
As well as having three leads and a brand new mansion on the Gold Coast, the new season of The Bachelor will feature a number of major changes to how the show is structured. Instead of meeting on the red carpet for the first time, each of the Bachelors will go on blind dates with their contestants where they are both able to find out if they have a connection and decide if they want to continue seeing each other.
“It's so representative of the real world,” Felix says. “The dates aren’t these extravagant, wild things that you'd never see people do, and they also highlight the awkwardness of it all.
“Everyone's been on a date that doesn't potentially go the way you want, and you see that in its rawest form. Some of the dates absolutely sucked and it just fell flat and you’ve only got 20 minutes and people are nervous the first time they’re on camera.
“We were just thrown into the deep end, and I think a lot of people will relate to it. Whereas when you watch the previous seasons, it's kind of like a fantasy land. This has the good and the bad of real-world dating.”
Although each Bachelor initially selects ten contestants to explore a potential relationship with, Felix teases that things remain “quite open” between the show’s entire cast.
“Obviously you have your tailored section but look, as you'll see, sometimes the girls might like someone else or one of the guys might like another girl from another group,” he explains. “So there's no iron wall stopping anyone from going to another guy or going to another girl.”
'Most precious part of this whole experience'
Speaking about the ‘bromance’ that developed between them and how they navigated the experience together, Jed says they had “a massive amount of respect” for one another from the get-go.
“We're all mature men to a certain extent, maybe me and Felix less than Tommy, but you’ll definitely see what pans out and the different journey that we go through together within our friendship,” he says. “But no matter what happens I think we all led with our heart's desire and supported each other in that.”
“I think the most precious part of this whole experience was having us to support each other,” Thomas agrees. “Looking back at the previous seasons, the Bachelor will come home after a date and he’s just by himself in a room talking to maybe a minder. We literally had each other as soundboards and it was so good for our mental health and it was literally so so so precious.”
It’s because of this that the trio admit they didn’t bother reaching out to any former Bachelors for advice or guidance.
“We met each other and we sort of just started riding the whole thing together,” Jed says. “I think even if there was advice to be given, some of it wouldn't be relative because it is quite different this season. “
“We would’ve been better off reaching out to some of the MAFS people I reckon and asking what they were doing,” Felix jokes.
They did, however, receive some important advice from their families before filming kicked off.
“‘Don’t embarrass the family, don’t ruin our name’,” Felix recalls, while Thomas adds, “‘Go with your heart’.
“Mine sort of expected me to do slightly wild things,” Jed says, “So they were just like, ‘Oh yeah it’s another day’.”
'Can’t wait for it to start'
When asked about the challenges of keeping things under wraps after filming the show, especially since the season’s premiere date has been pushed back several times, Thomas admits he’s been having secret meet-ups with his ‘winner’.
“Obviously it’s been delayed a little bit, but we’ve been having rendezvous and it's been really well managed, so it’s been a positive experience despite waiting,” he says.
“I think for me personally being a musician and travelling a lot, it's only solidified that distance for me,” Jed adds. “So it wasn’t too much of an issue for me, and we had each other to chat to. Me and Felix were in Melbourne so if we got lonely we could just have sleepovers.”
“We lived in Victoria for two years in lockdown, so we really mastered the art of long-distance relationships,” Felix says.
The leading men each say that they’re “feeling good” heading into the season and they're excited to watch everything play out on screen.
“I'm happy, I'm pumped,” Jed shares. “I think we're in a really cool place.”
“I’m ready for it to start,” Felix says. “I’m just sort of sick of being asked, ‘Am I ready for love? Have I found love?’, all that sort of stuff. So I want it to hurry up and at least begin so people aren't directly asking me, they're following along with the storyline.”
“I can't wait for it to start and see it all unfold,” Thomas echoes. “Obviously I've been with these guys every single day and I've heard their stories, but I haven’t actually seen them. So I can't wait to see their scenes and see what the girls get up to as well. I'm so excited.”
The Bachelors Australia starts Monday at 7:30pm on Channel 10 and 10Play
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