Written by Sarah Iasiello, October 26, 2016

Shout out to all the brunettes out there! Jake spills to NW he was THIS CLOSE to scoring the role as this year’s Bachelor before Richie scored the job. He has no regrets, though, as he says he was head over heels for Georgia – and he’s still getting over it.

Why the Bachelorette, Jakey? You don’t seem like the kind of guy that needs help with the ladies…

First off, I was approached at first for the Bachelor – completely random. I did the interviews and all that kind of stuff, but I just missed out I guess.

Well not winning The Bachelorette may have just boosted your chances!

It’s definitely something I would consider if it was to come up. It’s not something I’m holding heavy on my mind at the moment, though. The whole thing was such a great experience and to experience it again would be great, but I guess we’ll have to see what happens. In that space of time I might meet the person I’m looking for so I guess we’ll have to wait.

Ahhh, so you’re still on the dating scene then?

I’m still single and hoping for the one, whenever that may happen. Coming out of the show with everything going on, essentially it was a break-up so it’s taken a little bit to get over it. There are not many people I know that go through a break-up and then watch it back on national TV [laughs]. As much as I’ve really enjoyed watching the show, it has been hard at times to relive the emotional moments that Georgia and I had with each other.

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So you really felt that break-up then?

Yeah, definitely! I think the hardest part that hit me was that I was so open about how I was feeling with Georgia. I was in a little bit of shock I guess, I wasn’t really expecting not to get a rose that night because I thought, with Georgia and I and where we were at, that it was really something special. When it hit me that I really wasn’t going to see her again and that it was a goodbye and not just a see you soon, it belted me.

You had no idea you were going home?

My home town visit and our last single date was absolutely amazing, we were just so comfortable with each other – there were no more rose ceremonies, there was no more Bachelorette, it was just her and I. Then coming to that rose ceremony and not getting a rose was a bit of a shock.

Lee and Matty are obviously falling in love with Georgia, but were you?

I didn’t know what to expect going in the mansion, and with the Bachelorette bubble you do get that feeling of being caught up in these amazing, elaborate dates which are really quite exciting. From the beginning, the chemistry I had with Georgia when we were together was really something special and that wasn’t just a fairy tale or because of the bubble, it was something that I felt was really real.

So it was real?

If I’m falling for someone then I do everything I can to show them that and fight for that, and that’s what I did. I definitely wasn’t swept up in a fairy tale, everything I said and felt was very real to me and it still is to this day.

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It must have especially hurt to go home then, especially after introducing her to your family, which is something you don’t often do, right?

That was definitely really hard. The hometown visit and introducing Georgia was a really big thing for me and it was really exciting when we were all together. I think coming home after it was all finished and knowing she wasn’t going to meet my family again, it’s a hard thing because it was a big thing for me to share.

In hindsight, would you have preferred not to introduce her to your family if you knew that it wasn’t going to work out?

I never thought of it like that. I never thought that I wasn’t going to be the last one standing there, so I don’t know how I would be able to answer that. If I wasn’t so open and didn’t put myself out there so much I wouldn’t have given myself and Georgia’s relationship a real chance.

Since you’ve been out of the mansion, you’ve landed yourself a little “bad boy” reputation… Making up for lost time?

No, I’m not a bad boy. I definitely don’t consider myself a bad boy, so it’s funny seeing some of those photos [of me at a club] and labels coming out. There’s one where I’m with my brother and family friends and the other one was taken months ago. The photo of me having a naughty cigarette, I’m more worried about my mum seeing more than anyone else.

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OK, we believe you. So bets are on. Who’s winning this shindig?

I don’t know who would be better, but I’m rooting for Matty because Matty and I became very close very early on. I guess he’s my best mate, I really want to see him happy and I’m really hoping it’s him.

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