Dressed in shiny silver beads, I blessed my brand new Victoria Secret extra push up bra that kept my weighted strapless gown from toppling to the ground and leaving me in nothing but my underwear. The pain I went through in hopes of looking beautiful and admired come at the cost of layers of skin ripped from my bust area from Hollywood tape and the sharp cutting beads from the gown, shredding my skin.
A week before meeting "The Bachelor" the producers called to asked if I would sing an original song on the red carpet upon meeting Australia's next Romeo. If I'm honest with myself, I was pretty stupid and naive to the situation. I honestly thought I could potentially meet the man of my dreams and fall in love. I told them that I was there to find love, not to promote my music. If I happen to write a song, I'll sing it, but I'm not going to put in much effort. I believe that inspiration will come if it's meant to.
24 hours before meeting Blake inspiration did sweep into my window with whispers of a song I ended up calling "Worth it". I had no one to play it to who could genuinely tell me if it was any good, but I promised that if I wrote a song, I would sing it.
Strapped in tight my stilettos hit the pavement with my guitar hanging from my neck. My only glimpse of the bachelor had been from the tinted window of the limo. My contact lenses were irritating so I ended up not wearing them at all.
My first impression of Blake Garvey was, "Wow, I like his long blonde hair slicked back into a ponytail". As I made my way closer to Australia's Bachelor, I realised that the blonde hair I swore I'd seen was beaming light reflecting from his bare shaven head. I giggled at my weak eyes and sank a little as physically I didn't find him to be attractive.
None the less he was lovely and welcoming. I sang him my sweet little song and continued the enchanted walk towards the illuminated mansion, where I chinked campaign filled crystal glasses of cheer and enjoyed the evening with my new girlfriends. That was the last time I spoke to Blake that night!
Our first cocktail party lasted two nights, finally at the end of the second evening, I had a moment to talk with Blake. By that point I had heard a lot about him, trying to figure out how in the world I was going to attempt to connect with a bland real estate agent that reminded me of many other gentlemen who I never gave a chance because their interests sounded uninspiring. But lost in my romanticism, I wanted to give him my time and see for myself.
The first rose of the season 2014
After a few cute serves of banter, he kindly asked me if I wouldn't mind waiting while he went to "get something". Blake glided down the stairs in his impressive, smooth stride holding a beautiful long stem rose. "Katrina, do you accept this rose?".
Gushing and lost for words "Of corse I do Blake".
(Vomit, lame, moving on).
After that first encounter with the bachelor, I ended up going through 4 rose ceremonies without ever spending more than that initial 10 minutes with him. Invited on one group date, I got to compete for the affections of a man by sharing my horseman skills (or lack thereof) and mechanical bull riding abilities. They had a country band playing that night and Blake kindly asked me to play him another song, so again I did.
Held captive in the house for five weeks, I spent my days keeping to myself writing in my journal or writing songs.
I passed time meditating with Laurina, she would nurture me with fresh green smoothies and make me do ab workout session much to my distaste.
Sam and I took turns in cooking each other dinner. We are both lazy cooks and realised we would sometimes go days without a proper meal, so we became a team and tried our best at keeping each other fed.
I would join Lisa for yoga sessions; we sometimes would make up silly little dances like 12-year-old girls. Although I didn't get super close to Lisa, she has a vibrant inner child that would call on my own to "come and play". I adore that about her.
Sam, Lisa and I also wrote an awesome song for Shana's birthday, we were so disappointed that our performance never aired.
One of my favourite things that I still miss to this day was my morning de-brief tea date with Chantal. We would analyse and get deep talking about our journey. I was overcoming depression at the time and had spent the last 12 months diving into my own quest finding my soul purpose and evolving spiritually. I was so proud of all the progress I had made. I wasn't as reactive to the world and it's challenges.
However, old habits die hard and my reaction shot me straight into the firing line for an express ticket home.
Within the first week, I was in the courtyard writing in my journal when I introduced myself to Zoe and felt cut down by a remark "I'm not here to make friends". I like to think I'm a good judge of character. After a further 18 months of growing, I've learnt a lot about Zoe's personality that makes me go, "Ahh, I understand her now. I get it". But at the time, I didn't. The weeks before I exploded I tried to connect and understand her. But it was like she didn't "get me" either. Every time I would say a joke she would openly say "Whoa, I don't appreciate that". Mind you, my terrible sense of humour always leads to tasteless jokes. However, she would roll in fits of laughter at other girls terrible disgusting (MAGNIFICENT) sense of humours. It was like she had an individual standard for everyone, and I didn't make the cut. If I'm honest, I felt her dismissiveness was rude, belittling and like I was not good enough to be her friend. CUE VIOLINS.
The evening I lost it
It was a Monday, a full moon. My period pain was almost paralysing, but it was cocktail night and we had a makeup call at 11 am. My hair was bad, my outfit was bad and my mood was bad. By that point 4 weeks in a mansion I was fine, I was proud of my behaviour. But this day, my fuse was short. If I'm honest with myself, Zoe could have done a tap dance to singing in the rain and I would have still been unimpressed. There was a moment that day when in mid-sentence talking to Zoe she turned her back on me and walked away, that's all it took. I had reached boiling point.
During the cocktail party, I lost it. I told her she was naturally rude. In a smooth firm delivery knowing mentally, it would have cut her up more than me kicking and screaming and throwing a tantrum while calling her nasty names. In my favour, I wasn't a critical player on the show so by the time the camera crew ran to the disagreement, Zoe had walked away deeply hurt by my carelessness.
The production tried to get as much as they could about the argument but neither of us gave them much to work with. I was questioning if I should leave that evening. I wasn't into Blake; I hadn't talked to time since night one. I was angry, I was embarrassed and felt like I had just singled myself out as being a nasty bitch amongst the girls only because one girl didn't validate me. That evening when Blake called my name, in my vendetta of tasteless honesty I said: "Do you think you could show a little more interest next week?". I was trying to sound playful but in my frame of mind, it come off like a car crash. Of corse I had given the producers what they were looking for and it was edited so perfectly dramatic and awkward. Memes were posted incorrectly "Do you think you could give me more attention next week".
In the grand scheme of things it was all pretty amusing, I stopped reading what social media was writing and didn't take it too personally. I was just coming off anti-depressants and despite my challenging frame of mind, I believed I did a good job on the show and knew I was a good person. Heck if that's me at my worst, I am winning at life.
The next week I made an effort to track down Blake and add another five minutes of time together. It was like I was talking to a cardboard cutout, he was disengaging but the poor bloke obviously wasn't interested. I wrote him a letter in hopes of saving my arse cause I knew I was next on the chopping block; I threw in a picture that I started drawing in lockdown. I was laughing cause it looked like it could have been a portrait of Blake when he was old (not weird at all). But I was proud of the drawing and wanted to share it. I somehow made it through another rose ceremony by the skin of my teeth.
Zoe and I become pretty vocal about our distaste for one another and tension in the house was horrible. I hate conflict and even after talks with Zoe trying to reconcile the problem we both still found our self at a loss in attempting to connect with and understand one another. One night Zoe and I broke out in an argument in front of the producers and after both not talking on camera they wanted a story to air.
Destiny was delivered in a small envelope enclosed with a limerick about how two would become one as The Bachelor dished out a double date at the Chinese Gardens, Sydney Darling Harbour between Zoe and I.
"There is only room for one curly haired blonde in the house" we all use to laugh about it and sometimes Zoe and I openly joke about our inability to understand one another in a strange lovingly way, reflecting back. When our names were called, there were straight jabs from Zoe saying "We wouldn't be here if you didn't start this". But somehow that night we became a team and supported each other.
I was the third wheel. But looking back now Zoe and I both say Blake was the third wheel. Yes, it was awkward. Blake and I couldn't connect at all in the slightest, and he was very much on Zoe's page. Despite date crashing, I couldn't believe how much fun I was having with Zoe, giggling at our attempts at eating chickens feet and ducks tongue. We were breaking down the walls of our indifferences and for the first time were real with one another. I think being in that situation we finally found a common ground. We were both feeling exactly the same, even though we come from completely different worlds. We bonded, and I found her to be beautiful. It was a bittersweet moment for the both of us. I do believe we challenged each other and taught one another a lot.
After my last one on one time with Blake, I felt like I was ready to go home. I knew I had achieved everything I needed to from the experience and was finally at peace.
I was dumped on national television at 3 am on a rainy autumn morning. Escorted to the Star Casino, I received my phone and connected to the outside world for the first time in 5.5 weeks. My mother and I had one of the longest chat of our lifetimes, speaking till the sun came up.
A lot of my friends have gone on to become socialites; I love watching them blossom proudly. I believe my time in the house was very much a personal one for me. I didn't travel across the world, sail on a super yacht or eat a "dirty street pie". It hasn't gained me Instagram followers, album sales or any significant opportunities. To the Bachelor viewers, I drifted off into the abyss. I soon become a ghost of a memory and that is totally okay. I grew so much from the experience and that's worth so much more. I am blessed.