At 16 years old at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, I found myself at the Psychic Expo my palms read; I will be on National Television on a show I will never expect. When I was 22 and engaged to be married; I became engrossed in the American series of "The Bachelor". I said to myself "If I were still single that's something I would have done."
To be frank, I have always been unlucky in love. So far to date, my dating experience involves two failed long term relationships, many uninspiring coffee dates, swiping right on Tinder, players who weren't genuinely interested, really incredible nice guys that come on so strong I freaked out and even one gentleman that decided after dating me he didn't like girls.
It was January 2014; I had just gotten home from being pawed on the dancefloor by hopeful "sleazy" guys while having a few Sunday drinks with the girls. Yes, I was heavily intoxicated. I had recently gone out on a few dates with an emotionally unavailable guy that I didn't particularly romantically like all that much. But for the life of me, I couldn't understand why he wouldn't reply to any of my 5 million snap chats I had sent him that day (or week for that matter). If I'm honest, I was needy and desperate (there I said it). In my hazy drunken state "Do you want to be on the next Bachelor?" popped up on my facebook feed and I thought "why not?". Concluding my evening with a social media post "Things to do when your drunk: Apply for The Bachelor... Check".
The next day I woke around midday with a splitting headache and mouth tasting like last night's vodka. Sifting through drunken regrets; From the shots to the snap chats, to strobe lights flickering. Then I remembered, I applied for The Bachelor, and I sank further into my bedsheets consumed by drinkers remorse.
Within the week, I received an email "You have been invited to live audition for The Bachelor."
I was running late. The other 29 girls in my group audition had already signed in as they nervously waited for the call. I can't describe the feeling I felt when I walked in the door. Suddenly all eyes pierced into me; the room went silent. I felt their daggered stares upon me and heard little whispers about me as I signed in. I could cut the tension in the room with a knife. I possessed a strange confident calmness a part of me knew I was going to get the role. Speaking from a lifetime of talent quests and auditions I had only ever felt like this one other time in my life, that was when I won the Gympie Muster Maton Talent Search. As I turned around, smiled at the girls and said, "Hi Everyone, I'm Kat. How are you all feeling?". Finally, the energy lightened.
A highlight from my audition was a rose being thrown into the circle of ladies with the talent scout saying "Who wants it the most?". It was like a scene from a movie when the bride throws her bouquet into a pool of desperate single women. Nails clawing girls faces off, dresses ripped to shreds and toes fiercely trod on by diamonte stilettos. I was too busy observing to make any committed attempt, so I gave up after a brutal shove from the girl beside me. The rose was retrieved by a sweet brunette dressed in blue, that in my opinion was the prettiest girl there.
The talent scout asked, "Why do you think you deserve this rose?".
The lady in blue broke our hearts with a horrible "done me wrong" story with enough evidence of how "all males are arseholes" to turn any straight female off men forever.
The scout said, "If anyone thinks they deserve it more than her, feel free to take it." Without even a second thought I walked across the circle and laid claim to my rose. "Why do you think you deserve it more?"
I simply said, "I am the best version I have ever been of myself, and I'm too awesome to be this single."
So, I assume you know the rest of the story? I got the part.
May 2, 2014, I arrived at the Sydney Star Casino to greet 24 incredibly stunning girls as we were put into lockdown for four days to organise master interviews, photo shoots and our gowns and makeup for the first episode.
After our welcome meeting and introduction to the producers, I travelled down the escalator with a beautiful brunette as I inquisitively listened to the stunning women analyse the situation in vibrant colour. Her vocabulary made my heart flutter a little; my small town ears had never had the opportunity to hear someone speak with such grace and poetry. We shared a little about each other; she was passionate about art; I asked her "Whats your star sign?" she said "Leo." It was an instant trust and bond, right then I knew Chantal was going to be my first lifelong friend I'd make on this adventure.
That evening we all gathered in the foyer. Sitting beside me was a girl who seemed different from the rest. She was casual, in her converse as she slumped back in the chair with her feet on the coffee table. Dressed in a k-mart khaki jacket with her wild blonde hair she was quiet and withdrawn. I introduced myself "Hey I'm Kat.", Her red eyes that looked to have been crying lifted to meet mine. She said something along the lines of "I think this is the most stupid thing I've ever done. It's the first time I've been away from my brothers and I'm struggling already", as she embarrassingly giggled at herself. We talked about her family and what she was feeling. I love connecting with people who aren't afraid to let you into their hearts. I can't recall an exact moment or time but it was like we always were friends. I felt an instant nurture wanting to protect this openly, vulnerable spirit and to this day, our relationship hasn't changed. Her name is Sam Frost.
Makeup call started at 10:30 am the day we were meant to meet the bachelor. 24 women was a lot to get through. I remember sitting in a hall being told we weren't aloud to talk to the other girls so it looks natural for TV when we meet. But we had been locked in our rooms for days with no communication, by the end of the day the assistant producers gave up.
My outfit got changed last minute, I adored the beautiful lace outfit I originally had but I was about to embark on an adventure of a lifetime I wasn't going to complain.
Four girls toppled into limos at a time; I can't explain the nervousness we all felt. We pulled up to this beautiful mansion boldly lit by fairy lights, beaming with television magic and a camera crew in every bush. When the producer called my name to step out of the limo I prayed that I wouldn't fall over as I took my last deep breath.