It all started with a black sparkly dress and a red carpet.
Over the course of the series, the pair, who infamously bathed together in chocolate, fell in love in front of the nation.
Although her fellow finalist Nikki Gogan was a fan favourite, it was Alex who won Richie’s heart and back in the ‘real world’ the couple continued their relationship.
However, by the following year things had soured. The couple stopped posting photos together, leading to speculation they’d split.
Then paparazzi photos of Alex with another woman emerged. That woman later turned out to be Maegan Luxa and in November 2017, Alex Nation announced they were in a relationship. Soon after that, the couple was engaged – and Richie spoke to New Idea about the breakdown of his own relationship with Alex.
“The months leading up to it were the most difficult, crazy and confusing times I’ve been put through,” he told the tabloid. “Having something wonderful dissolve the way it did was heartbreaking, but at the same time, there was a lot of relief that the emotional roller-coaster was finally over.”
He said he’d made “a lot of sacrifices” in an effort to salvage it, but soon realised it was “destined to fail”.
“I guess the brightest spark can fizzle fast. We made some bad choices back in June and our relationship really struggled to recover for months after,” he said. “It didn’t matter how much effort I put into it.”
Alex Nation and Maegan Luxa split in April 2018.
In October that year, Alex Nation told news.com.au that her and Richie Strahan broke up because of distance – both physical (the pair lived in different states) and emotional.
“We had internal as well as external pressures,” she said.
“Then we went quiet on social media because things went quiet in our relationship, and we had everyone speculating which put more pressure on us.
“The good thing about Richie and I is that we did communicate. But a relationship breakup is hard anyway.”
Fast forward five months and Richie and Alex have been reunited, so to speak, with both of them appearing on Bachelor on Paradise.
Last night, Australia was privy to a very raw and honest conversation between the pair about the real reasons why they broke up.
It was unedited and went for nine minutes.
“Do you actually want to go there, Rich? Because I feel like a lot of people would have an opinion of a woman being left alone to do something that involved both of us,” Alex said.
“Don’t beat around the bush Alex… Just say it, because you’re not going to like what I have to say,” Richie replied. “What you said to me blew my mind, again, I’ve had to come to peace with this.”
“You knew you couldn’t salvage it, because you knew that after what happened, when I was left alone that was something massive that no woman should have to go through,” Alex said.
“You wanted to do it… You wanted to go down that path because you told me you wanted to focus on you,” Richie responded.
It was intense and it was emotional, and provided an insight into the ending of a relationship that is rarely broadcast for the world to see.