Bachelor In Paradise is finally here, and set to drop bombshell after bombshell when it airs it's first episode on Sunday March 25th.
Ahead of the premiere, InStyle Australia caught up with Laurina Fleure - of Blake Garvey's season and dirty street pie fame - to talk about the rumours she's seeing Apollo Jackson, her experience on the island, and, of course, to find out if she found love.
InStyle: What made you decide to join the cast of Bachelor In Paradise?
Laurina Fleure: "It just seemed like such a fun thing to do, to go away on a holiday to a tropical island and flirt my little heart out for a bit."
IN: The promo ads hint at your lengthy checklist for a boyfriend, did you think any of the previous Bachelorette contestants could possibly stack up?
LF: "Oh probably not, it’s a bit high hoped isn’t it?"
IN: Were you looking forward to meeting anyone in particular?
LF: "Not really, I came on the show under the promise that there were new guys coming in and that there would be someone who was perfect for me who was new, that we hadn’t seen before."
IN: So what did you think when you walked in to the room? Did anyone catch your eye?
LF: "When I walked in the door all the boys were clustered together and they all looked really tanned and gorgeous. Jake looked really handsome, and Davey’s got these gorgeous green eyes that jumped out. Luke’s really tall and fit. They were all together and they all looked cute, but I was looking around like 'I recognise you lot, where’s the fresh ones?'"
IN: Was it clear from the start which people had a connection? Were there any fights over the same person?
LF: "Not really, no. People who were chatting each other up on day one, were easily distracted by new people coming through the door later on. It was a weird environment because there was a lot of distraction! When you’re not really settled with someone and then someone new walks in the door, there’s always that curiosity. So there was a lot of chopping and changing and juggling and swapping and all that."
IN: Were there many fights and love triangles?
LF: "No, I wouldn’t say there were ‘fights’ at least not in the time that I was there. I think everyone was pretty cautious not to offend anyone else, and I don’t think the connections were so strong at first that anybody would really fight for someone. Keira [Maguire] spoke up at one point when someone tried to undermine her intentions, and Leah [Costa] pulled me aside at one point to check there was nothing going on between me and Michael [Turnbull], but there were no fights. It was just sussing out the landscape."
IN: Did you find love on the show?
LF: "I can’t say if I found love on the show or not, but I am happy and in love. Very much so."
IN: Was it with Apollo Jackson, we've heard rumours...
LF: "I thought he was really gorgeous when I saw him on the telly [on Sophie Monk's season], and when they [the producers] asked me who I thought was handsome I said Apollo. But I had actually left before he arrived. I didn’t meet him until backstage before Family Feud, and I’m spoken for now so there was definitely no flirting!"
IN: What about Michael Turnbull from Sam Frost's season? He said he was interested in you...
LF: "Michael is gorgeous, I think he’s a really lovely guy and a real sweetheart and I get along really well with him. Nothing eventuated between us, I guess it was more of a friendship. Also, Leah [Costa] was very keen on Michael and was sort of cock blocking him a little bit to be honest."
IN: What did you think of Leah? She was a bit controversial last season...
LF: "She’s amazing! She was so good to me. Every time we chatted she would tell me I was amazing, and say “you’re so wise” and she was always giving me lots of compliments and, yeah, I adore her."
IN: So she's not the mean villain she was made out to be on Matty J's season?
LF: "No, not so much. I think she’s got a bit of a wild side and she’s just young, she’s got all this energy - and sex appeal - and she just doesn’t know how to hone it in her favour and use her powers."
IN: You're probably sick of hearing about it, but we have to ask you about the 'dirty street pie' line... do people still come up to you and quote it?
LF: "Yes! I was in Croatia mid last year and I heard 'dirty street pie' called out across the street in bloody Hvar. And people have been asking me about it all morning, and sometimes they say like 'is this a chance to redeem yourself' and I'm like, 'me redeem myself?!' It was my birthday, I’m sitting there stuffed into my birthday dress and I got taken for a meat pie on the side of the road! As if I’m going to be happy with that! Anyone with any bloody decorum would know not to take someone there on their birthday when they've been told to get all dressed up."
IN: Have you seen UnReal? And does it compare to the real-life of experience of filming The Bachelor and Bachelor In Paradise?
LF: "I haven’t, I’m dying to watch UnReal, everyone raves about it. I can tell you there is a lot of interfering that goes on, particularly with The Bachelor. With that show, you’re locked in the house and you have limited exposure to him, so it's almost about creating this fantasy of him and you do get puppeteered a lot because you’re always talking about him with the other girls and you're getting asked questions about him all the time in your to-camera interviews, so it gets created into this big fantasy. A lot of the time I don’t know how genuine the connections can really be when you’ve got such limited exposure. Before the top 4, it’s really a bit of fantasy more than reality. But with Bachelor In Paradise you’re there 24 hours a day hanging out all together, and the exposure is so much more and it’s a lot more real."
IN: So you preferred BIP over The Bachelor?
LF: "I enjoyed both my experiences, but definitely BIP was more awesome."