On The Bachelor, there are no runner-up prizes or awards for participation. You either win the Bachelor’s love, or are sent home with no rose and a broken heart, as Elise Stacy, 30, discovered on Thursday night’s episode.
Speaking to marie claire, Elise revealed that disappointment truly set in on the plane ride home from the final rose ceremony in Thailand.
“I was numb. Nothing. I just wanted to get home,” she recounts. “I was upset and it actually takes quite a bit of time to transition back to normal life after being cut away from the world for such a long time.”
Elise says she believed she truly had a chance of winning The Bachelor, explaining: “I felt like Matty had feelings for me and I’m just trying to believe that. It was very disappointing and I did think I was in for a chance."
To deal with the heartbreak, Elise jetted off on a holiday to New York and Los Angeles.
“I went and saw some great stuff over there and just got away from it all, physically.” But she “wasn’t ready at all” to cosy up to any American men, nor has she gone on any dates since the reality TV experience. “No dates, I really had to take one for the team and didn’t want to ruin it for the viewers," she says.
After the show, Elise also had to reconsider a necklace that jewellery designer Laura gifted her while in the mansion.
“Early days Laura actually gave me a little necklace and I wore it a couple of times during the show, but I think it’s just a bit weird if I were to wear it now," she admits. “It’s beautiful jewellery, but it is a reminder of my heartbreak."
Off-screen moments on The Bachelor
Off camera, Matty and Elise would swap stories about work, the music they liked and bad jokes. “We would play 'would you rather' quite a bit,” she says, before adding: “I don’t think they’re PG enough to share.”
Someone please send us those tapes.
Reconnecting with Matty J
Elise revealed that Matty had not contacted her since their final meeting in Thailand.
“That was it,” she says. "What he did on the camera is exactly what happened. It’s not like we went off afterwards and had a quick chat. I had hoped he would reach out at some point, but I completely respect the fact that he now has to concentrate on his own relationship and he’s happy."
Her relationship with Laura
The Bachelor contestant insists there are “no hard feelings” with Laura and says they have exchanged a few messages since the conclusion of the show.
“She reached out by saying something like, ‘Good luck, I hope you’re okay, that was very stressful, and all the best,'" Elise recounts.
“I sent her one as well just before I posted my first photo of Matty and I on my Instagram account because that felt so weird. I messaged her and said, ‘Babe, I don’t mean any disrespect and it’s not something I want to do, but we have to keep the illusion up,’ and she was totally cool with it.”
Seeing the couple for the first time
When you run into an ex with their new partner on the street, it's always a difficult decision between saying an awkward hello, or opting to run and hide.
“I feel like in that scenario your gut kicks in and it’s all reflex mode,” Elise explains about the possibility of meeting Laura and Matty in Sydney. “I’d like to think I’d say, ‘Hi guys, how are you going, see you later,’ but I’d probably panic and duck around the corner."
The role of producers
Elise also hit back at rumours the producers interrupted dates to provide notes or coach contestants.
“They never, ever, ever tell you what to say," she says. "The only time they tell you things is, ‘Okay, so you’re going to do something fun here and then you’re going to have a romantic time, and this is an opportunity to tell you how you feel. That’s it.”
But she adds that she was teased for not kissing Matty when first given the chance. “They teased me when I didn’t kiss Matty on my first date in that moment, like ‘You’re a wuss’.”
ove after The Bachelor
Elise is wary about signing up for love for round two on The Bachelorette.
“I don’t know if I could take someone through that experience and that heartbreak, it’s very raw,” she admits. “At the moment I don’t think I would, but obviously Matty bounced back, so you never know what could happen.”
This article originally appeared on Marie Claire.