The Bachelorette Australia: Lee Elliott wins Georgia Love's heart
He might be the winner of the second series of The Bachelorette, but Lee Elliott says he is hurt by how much producers of the show “downplayed” his personality and connection with Georgia Love.
The 35-year-old plumber from Melbourne, said if Network Ten had aired the real, unfolding love story, viewers would have known it was “a one-horse race”.
Elliott, and “G”, as he affectionately calls Love, watched the finale together in Melbourne, as their newfound romance was revealed to the nation.
“They really downplayed me,” Elliott said. “Yes it hurts, but the only person it matters to is G, she knows it [what happened during filming] and she was there to hear it.”
He said because of the editing he found the show “difficult to watch initially”.
“But I understand it, I get it,” he said. “But in the finale, they actually showed me opening right up.”
The runner-up contestant, Matty Johnson, 30, was adored by a legion of female viewers and Elliott said “he had no doubt” Johnson could end up on a series of The Bachelor himself.
Elliott laughed off reports he had already married 28-year-old Love, in the two months since the show was filmed, saying they were not even engaged.
“I can categorically say I am sans wedding ring,” he said. “To be honest, this is something we absolutely want but we’re not going to be rushed into it, we want to do it in our time, and we will”.
“That moment is going to be between G and I,” he said.
Elliott was chosen as the winner by Love in an extended final episode filmed in Singapore. She told him: “From the very first night . . . there was that indescribable something that I just wanted to explore”.
“I’ve fallen so madly in love with you, I love you so much,” she said.
Earlier in the episode, Love had rung a bell with Johnson during her final date with him, but clearly there were no bells ringing when it came to her actual decision.
Love described her final moments with Johnson as “bittersweet” and told him “I came here to fall in love and I have . . . but it’s with someone else.”
“And I’m so sorry, because you are so amazing,” she said.
Johnson, 30, appeared stunned by the rejection – recoiling physically and attempting to take deep breaths – but he composed himself to reply and give her a final farewell of “See ya Georgia Love”.
He had tears in his eyes in the car ride home after discovering he was the runner-up. “It kinds of feels like you just found one in a million and then you lost it,” he said.
After being chosen as the winner by Love, Elliott said he hoped he would not experience the type of backlash experienced by Alex Nation, who won this year’s series of The Bachelor after being chosen by Richie Strahan, to the ire of fans who adored the jilted contestant Nikki Gogan.
“I certainly like to think I won’t quite have that backlash,” Elliott said. “I understand there are people that are Team Matty and there are people that are Team Me.”
“Obviously you go in not knowing what is going to happen and how you will be perceived,” he said.
If there is a negative reaction from fans, it seems Nation is only a supportive phone call away. In a revelation that may surprise fans of the Ten reality genre, Elliott told Fairfax he is actually a longtime friend of The Bachelor winner Nation.
“I know Alex … she’s been a friend of mine for a number of years, she absolutely is a sweetheart,” he said. “I felt so sorry for her because I thought she should have been commended for how she handled herself, for a 24-year-old . . . I thought she was incredible.”.
When asked how they knew each other, he said “through living in Melbourne, it’s a small town”.
Elliott said despite the grandiosity of the show, with its ball gowns, tuxedos and helicopter dates, he and Love are determined to create their own adventures. “We’ve got this amazing love for life,” he said.
“You have these cocktail parties and these amazing dates, worried that perhaps you are getting caught up in it all,” he said. “I knew we had a connection from the very first date but it wasn’t until I took her home to Melbourne to meet my parents and my grandmother, my family, when I sat back and just took it all in and realised ‘what I am feeling is real’.”
The story The Bachelorette Australia: Lee Elliott wins Georgia Love’s heart first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.