We're only four episodes deep into the first season of Bachelor In Paradise Australia, but already it's a drama heavy, love-triangle filled extravaganza. One starring player in the web of scandal is Jake Ellis, former star of Georgia Love's season of The Bachelorette.
He went into BIP with a murky romantic history with Florence Moerenhout, and a keen eye on Megan Marx. The triangle that formed was complicated, volatile and ultimately led to him breaking Flo's heart in the rose ceremony in Episode 4.
We caught up with the star to talk about his stint on the show, his decision to choose Megan over Flo in last night's episode, and what the show has in store for us as it continues.
InStyle: You didn't choose to go on the date with Megan, but you were obviously happy about it. How did you feel on that date, knowing Florence was back with the others waiting for you?
Jake Ellis: When I walked out and saw Megan I was very happy and very excited, she was one of the main people I wanted to see in Paradise. Look, when I was with her I got lost in the moment and actually forgot that the cameras were there and I was very much so enjoying my time with her. What I felt was undeniable and it was a big change to the drama I had with Florence inside Paradise. We were disagreeing and not speaking easily to each other at the time.
IN: So why did you lie to Flo about kissing Megan? Were you trying to protect her feelings or yourself?
JE: Honestly I’ve never been in a situation like that, where I’ve had to tell a girl how another date went. I don’t think many people have ever found themselves in that situation and I definitely – in hindsight – didn’t handle it the best. It was in the moment and I feel like I cracked under the pressure a little bit. I don’t want to hurt anyone. I didn’t want to hurt Flo or Megan, so whether that was my thinking at the time that I was trying to protect everyone’s feelings or not, I just failed at being open and honest and that’s something I’ve got to live with. I cant go back and change that now, but I feel I redeem myself as the show goes on.
IN: What made you pick Megan over Flo at the rose ceremony?
JE: It was a combination of everything. The time we had spent together before Paradise, the drama surrounding it at the time, what I had with Megan. We’re all there to find someone special, someone we want to spend more time with and so I followed my heart. As corny as that sounds, I really thought that’s what I was doing.
IN: What about Megan captured your heart?
JE: I really enjoyed spending time with her. [On that date] it really felt like there were no cameras, like it was just her and I. All we did was laugh and laugh and the chemistry between us was intense and undeniable. It just was not something I could ignore, especially leading into the rose ceremony.
IN: Why did you ask Michael to pick Flo in the rose ceremony? Was it because you weren't 100% sure about Megan?
JE: That was the one part that shocked me when I was watching it last night, because that is not how it went down. When Mack picked Ali, that threw everything into a tailspin. As it gown down towards the end, Michael muttered under his breath like "Bro I’m sorry but I’m gonna have to pick Megan," and I didn’t want him to do that. I wanted to give Megan a rose, it’s a big statement and I wanted to make that statement. We were both freaking out and he said he didn’t want to pick Leah, at the time, so that’s when I said "pick Flo just don’t pick Megan."
IN: Flo was clearly a bit heartbroken last night, and said some harsh things about you, how did that feel? And how is your relationship now?
JE: I completely understand, but it was still hard for me to watch. It’s hard to hear things like that being said about you, but since then there’s no hard feelings between [us]. When I lost my mum at the start of the year, Florence reached out and sent me some really supportive messages to see how I was doing and that’s something I really appreciate. We have seen each other since at a few events and we’re friendly which is great.
IN: The drama with Flo on the show has resulted in some social media backlash, how are you coping with that?
JE: It’s hard, it’s something I’m not used to. I guess when my season of The Bachelorette was on we didn’t have that social media aspect of the show because we were all shut down throughout it. Having it [social media] is hard. I've been getting a lot of slack and people judging me on my decisions and the way that I handled it, but at the same time I did get a lot of support and loving messages as well. At the end of the day everyone is entitled to their opinion and their interpretation of the show. I just hope that they watch the rest of my journey and they’re not so quick to judge as it goes on.
IN: Speaking of The Bachelorette, you've been on two spin-off shows now, which is your favourite?
JE: I think they’re both very different, like I loved The Bachelorette it was such a fun experience and the boys from the show are still some of my best mates today. But Bachelor In Paradise was definitely a lot more fun and I feel like it’s a lot more real. We spend so much more time with the people that are on the show and the people we want to spend that time with. We’re practically living with each other 24 hours a day. Whereas on The Bachelorette you only spend such a small amount of time with that one person, so in Paradise I feel like all the emotions and feelings are so much more magnified and it feels a lot more real.