reality tv

An avocado ban and bunk beds: Laura Byrne and Brittany Hockley on being on The Bachelor.

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With the new season of The Bachelor premiering tonight on Channel 10, Laura Byrne and Brittany Hockley, from previous seasons of the franchise, have shared what being a contestant on the reality TV show actually entails.

And from an “avocado ban” to a sleeping in “dorm rooms” with 14 other girls, it isn’t exactly what we expected.

Watch the trailer for the new season of The Bachelor below. Post continues after video. 

Laura, who won Matty J’s heart on the fifth season of The Bachelor in 2017, and Brittany Hockley, who made the top two of Nick Cummins’ season last year before he infamously chose no one, joined forces to produce their new podcast: Life Uncut. 

Although they emphasise their podcast is not about their time on The Bachelor, the first episode sees Laura, 33, and Brittany, 30, reveal candid details about their respective experiences on the show.

Here are the four things we learnt about what being a contestant on The Bachelor is really like.

The Bachelor Matt Agnew has confirmed he’s head over heels in love, so how has he been keeping this new relationship hidden? He spills all the gossip on the latest episode of The Spill, our daily entertainment podcast. Listen here:

1. You literally can’t leave the mansion.

Laura and Brittany share that while you are a contestant on The Bachelor, you are in lock down for the entire time.

“You don’t leave the mansion ever, unless you go on a date,” Brittany recalls, adding you can’t even go for a run or a walk.

“Once you’re in lock down, you’re in lock down,” Laura says. “You don’t leave, you don’t have access to your phone, you don’t have access to calling your family. The only time you’re able to call your family is once for 15 minutes every two weeks.”

“Your minder will listen in and make sure there’s nothing that you’re talking about that could give away any aspect of the show and also, they also listen in to make sure your family aren’t telling you things that could make you want to leave as well.”

Byrne was, however, given permission to attend a funeral early in the season.

“Even for that, I was chaperoned by a minder to the funeral. They waited for me at the funeral. And then as soon as it was finished, I couldn’t go to the wake or anything, I had to get back into the car and go straight back. So everything is monitored really severely.”

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“It has to be done,” she admits.

 

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2. You sleep in “dorm rooms”.

The two go on to share the less-than-glamorous living arrangements of being in the mansion. Although their respective seasons were filmed in different mansions, their experiences were similar.

The bedding arrangements, they both say, are similar to a “dorm room”.

“Our mansion was three quite big rooms and all the girls were in bunk beds in the rooms,” Laura says. “In my room it was actually 14 girls all in bunk beds and obviously that dwindled down as the roses also dwindled.

“It was like being on school camp which was probably one of the funnest parts and also one of the most difficult parts of the whole thing as well.”

“I had a room of 12,” Brittany says. “And you don’t think about that when you go into the mansion, but what mansion is going to have 30 rooms?”

Brittany adds that their gym was “the alpaca shed that they had just ripped out the hay and put some equipment in”.

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3. You’re given a weekly allowance for groceries.

The women explain they do a weekly online grocery shop, and do all the cooking themselves.

“We had a weekly allowance to split between all the girls,” Laura remembers. “So our grocery shop had to be less than the weekly allowance and obviously things like avocados are damn expensive and there was also a cyclone at the time that had wiped out the avocado stock.”

The women were hence put on an “avocado ban”.

They would apparently do big “family dinners” that was just like being on “holidays”.

4. The producers’ involvement.

Laura and Brittany recall the producers’ involvement on the first night, when they walk the red carpet to meet the bachelor for the first time.

“They [the producers] like something gimmicky on the red carpet, they want you to go in there and bring a gift,” Laura tells Brittany.

“They encouraged me to bring a piece of jewellery. They wanted me to make something special for him and they wanted me to give it to him on the red carpet. But for me, jewellery is something that’s such a personal gift and I didn’t know him at all, so I really pushed back on that.”

“I told the producers that I was going to walk down the red carpet, I was going to pick a little flower and I was going to be like ‘hey, I didn’t want to show up empty handed’ and give him this flower. As I’m sitting in the limo, about to get out, the producer asked me what was I going to do and I told her my plan and she said, ‘Oh, you can’t do that, someone did that on another season’.”

Byrne remembers three seconds before getting out of the car, she had to change her plan. Which sounds… actually quite terrifying.

You can listen to Laura Byrne and Brittany Hockley’s podcast ‘Life Uncut‘ now. 

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