When The Bachelor ended on Thursday night, it felt profoundly unfinished.
It was an ending almost no one predicted, with 30-year-old rugby player Nick Cummins choosing neither Brittany Hockley or Sophie Tieman in the final moments of the episode. He was left alone, strolling along a beach in New Caledonia, while Brittany and Sophie tried to piece together why on earth they’d just spent three months filming a reality show that ultimately had no conclusion.
But we were promised an interview with The Sunday Project – the only post-Bachelor interview with Nick Cummins – that would shed light on his decision, and show us how the four women who made it to the very end were coping.
Indeed, Cummins’ conversation with Lisa Wilkinson told us all we needed to know about his history-making finale.
In a nutshell: he doesn’t get it.
It was clear that Cummins had no sense of how striking the contrast would be between his own account of what happened, and the tearful words of the women who were left disappointed.
While his conversation with Wilkinson was lighthearted, explaining that at the end of the day, he was wrong about what he wanted, four women in identical interview settings broke down in tears.
Brooke Blurton, 23, said her “life has been exposed,” and that she “wanted [that sacrifice] to be worth it”.
Cass Wood, 24, admitted she feels “like a bit of a joke”.
Brittany, 30, said she thought everything that had happened to her had happened for a reason, and was leading up to a relationship with Nick.
Sophie, 25, could hardly speak through her tears, and said she “literally loses words” when she tries to articulate how this experience has affected her.
These are women who feel silly, who feel embarrassed, and are yet to understand the decision that has made them the focus of significant media attention in the last three days.
Perhaps the most telling moment in the segment was Cummins’ message to the contestants. “To all the girls,” he said, “who went through a lot of stuff, I just want you to know, if I see you again, I’ll buy you a drink and say hello for old time’s sake.”