reality tv

Nick Cummins just brilliantly nailed exactly what's wrong with The Bachelor.

Sitting at home on the couch watching The Bachelor, it’s easy to forget the actual people behind the characters.

It seems like the drama unfolds naturally with each person fitting into a stereotype perfectly. There are villains, and there are charming Aussie bachelors.

But now Nick Cummins, the “Aussie larrikin bloke”, has nailed exactly what is wrong with reality television.

Speaking to The Sunday Project, the 2018 Bachelor said he’s never been in a mental state as difficult as the state he’s currently in, after he was thrown into an artificial environment and told to find love, whilst having to keep his emotions to himself.

“You go in there and you go ‘I’ve got a chance at finding the girl for me here’ and then all of a sudden it gets to a point where you’re sending girls home,” the 31-year-old explained.

“I’m not a rude bloke. I feel that I am pretty honest and fair with the girls. Every time a girl got sent home, at least one of the other girls would come up to me out of the girls that remain and would say ‘Are you okay?’ and I wasn’t,” he added.

The former Wallaby then explained the complexity of sending women home when he was unable to give them a real chance.

“It’s terrible sending someone home when you don’t actually know them that well, and they could be the one. You’re sending a nice girl home in tears and you never actually had a chance together,” Cummins explained.

“So it is quite tough seeing how it’s all played out and how these girls have really really suffered and myself as well, but it’s got to be fair across the board,” he added.

For Nick Cummins, the night before the finale was especially stressful.

“The very last night before the finale, no sleep for me,” he told The Project panel.

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Cummins explained that he knew picking one of the girls would avoid a lot of drama, but that in the long-term he knew it would hurt Brittany or Sophie more to choose them half-heartedly.

“You’re a jerk or you’re an absolute jerk,” he said, explaining the difficulty of his decision.

But the most honest part of the interview came later, when Nick Cummins rawly recounted the dark mental space he has been in since filming ceased six months ago.

“I’ve been involved in some pretty high pressure situations, and high stress situations with rugby. I’ve played on the world stage, big crowds, you’ve got the public and the media all scrutinising every move you do on and off the field. I get it, I’ve lived like that,” he explained.

The former rugby union player said that being on The Bachelor was exceptionally difficult.

“This was a whole other beast, this thing. I’ve never been in a mental space as low as I have been on that show, especially towards the end of it,” he said.

When host Tommy Little asked, “What, like depressed?”

Cummins simply responded, “Everything”.

The Honey Badger is a man who has been in a wheelchair for several months. He’s a man who at one point had to crawl on the ground to get food out of the fridge, due to a rugby injury. But nothing was as tough as reality television.

“All that stuff doesn’t compare to what you actually have to go through in here on something like that,” he told the hosts.

“On the show itself… I was dealing every day with not being able to say what I wanted to say to the girls and sending girls home at times when it’s not fair, it’s not right.”

After the interview aired, Nick Cummins posted a video to Instagram.

“There’s been a lot of heat, a lot of press and a lot of exaggeration,” he said in the video, adding that his phone was ringing off the hook when he got home from Papua New Guinea.

“There’s a lot of complexities in this show that people aren’t aware of, and there’s a lot of pressure that myself and the girls are under to get that fairytale ending,” he added.

The former Bachelor said he hopes the nation is able to move past this now.

Tonight, Cummins let his guard now.

He showed the world the man behind the larrikin character, and gave us all an explanation that we didn’t deserve.

He shed light on the fact that finding love in an artificial environment, with women selected by producers, was fundamentally unlikely; a fact we all know, but rarely consider.

Nick Cummins should be celebrated for his candid discussion of mental health, and his honest admission that reality TV is not real life.

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