reality tv

Emily developed feelings for Ben while filming The Bachelor. But he wasn't a contestant.

Emily See-Winder and Ben Hanson are one of the most successful couples to come from the Bachelor Australia franchise.

Only, their love story isn’t exactly the quintessential reality TV romance.

Emily was on the first season of The Bachelor with Tim Robards in 2013, making it to the final nine women before she was left without a rose.

But as she tells Mamamia, she was “certainly relieved” to be sent home, admitting she didn’t have any romantic feelings for Robards, who went on to choose – and eventually marry – Anna Heinrich.

Emily Hanson The Bachelor
Emily See-Winder was on Tim Robards' season of The Bachelor. Image: Channel 10.

For Emily, a certain crew member from production on The Bachelor had caught her eye: the cameraman, Ben Hanson.

Emily, now 36, remembers the first time she spotted Ben, 46, early one morning when the crew was setting up, as she was exercising with the other contestants.

"He came in and I just had a brief chat with him for five minutes or so, and he was just a really lovely human being and a nice guy so my interest kind of piqued then," she recalls.

When Emily was sent home, she remembers having a clear desire to reach out to the cameraman Ben, who filmed a few group dates she had been on.

"One of the girls who got eliminated soon after I did had stolen a contact sheet for all of the crew, and she flicked it to me and said here's Ben's number if you wanted to reach out," Emily says.

"There wasn't any sign from him I received to say he was interested in me, so I was kind of going out on a whim."

Side note - this year's bachelor Matt Agnew came into the Mamamia office and we had many questions for the astrophysicist. Post continues below video.

Video by Mamamia
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The two had coffee, before Ben asked the Executive Producer if he was permitted to date a contestant. "It was a big fat 'no'," Emily remembers. "Not until the finale airs," the EP insisted.

"So we had to put the brakes on which drove me a bit crazy and then finally we went out on our first proper date after the finale aired."

Nine months after their first date, they became engaged. They married in early 2015, and have since had two children together, Flynn, three-years-old, and Miles, nine months.

Emily Hanson The Bachelor
Emily and Ben Hanson married early 2015, and have since had two children together, Flynn, three-years-old, and Miles, nine months. Image: Supplied.

Although the origins of their romance is indeed unique, Emily says while filming the show, she wasn't the only person who would talk about liking a crew member.

"Those who hadn't formed a connection with Tim kind of knew it so you would talk about which of the crew you like," Emily tells Mamamia.

"I think there's a lot of boredom in the house," Emily says. "You start talking and you want to know about the crew around you. They're all very secretive so there's a bit of a mystery there as well and they're not really supposed to fraternise with the contestants."

She says the format of having one man date 25 women means "obviously not everyone is going to be compatible or like that person".

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"It's like a jackpot or a lottery, you're hoping that person is for you, but they just may not be."

Ben, who happens to be the first cousin of Stu Laundy, the winner of Sophie Monk's final rose on The Bachelorette, filmed another two seasons of the reality TV show, before becoming a publican.

Emily Hanson The Bachelor
They're not the only couple to have met behind-the-scenes on The Bachelor. Image: Supplied.

With the family they have formed, the married couple recently moved to Tea Gardens, north of Hawksnest, where they own the Tea Garden's Hotel with Stu Laundy's father, Arthur Laundy.

Their serendipitous meeting is even more unlikely to occur now in the succeeding seasons, as Emily says the rules since her season have tightened significantly for crew members and contestants.

However they aren't the only couple to have met behind-the-scenes on The Bachelor Australia.

On Blake Garvey's season, host Osher Gunsberg met his now-wife Audrey Griffin.

The pair were set up by the outgoing makeup artist who Griffin came in to replace, following Gunsberg expressing his difficulty with reentering the dating scene after separating from his first wife, Israeli model Noa Tishby.

After meeting in 2014, the pair became engaged in January 2016 before marrying in a three-day Hunter Valley celebration a year later.

"The day she started I turned up on the show and there was this beautiful vision of light," the 45-year-old told Sunday Life in 2018.

"We're not the first people to meet at work, and we won't be the last."


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