Originally written for The Age.
Ghosts of Bachelors past have taken to the shores of Fiji for the next installment of Ten’s never-ending relationship sagas.
Five weeks after the fairytale marriage proposal falls apart, Bachelor Blake Garvey and Bachelor winner Sam Frost tell their sides of the story on Channel Ten’s The Project.
Thirty contestants from The Bachelor and The Bachelorette from Australia and international versions of the show will be featured on Bachelor in Paradise, as they battle it out for love under the palm trees. Osher Günsberg will return to host the antics.
Lisa Hyde, who was part of one of The Bachelor’s most compelling storylines, when she came runner-up in Blake Garvey’s notorious season, was concerned he’d reappear on the new show, given their history.
Garvey famously proposed to Sam Frost in the show’s finale episode but between the episode being shot and going to air, he had second thoughts and broke off the engagement before shacking up with second-runner-up Louise Pillidge.
Despite the craziness surrounding her last foray into reality dating shows, she is fully prepared to have another shot at finding love on the television.
She admitted she was concerned she would make her way onto the island to discover Blake standing there waiting.
“I thought he would be crazy to do it, but I was a little bit worried to walk in and see him there,” Hyde said.
She acknowledged neither her, nor anyone from the program, has spoken to Garvey in some time.
“I think he’s kind of been hiding, hasn’t he? He hasn’t really come out much, I don’t think anyone’s really heard from him. Not at all.”
Hyde has largely kept out of the public eye herself since her stint on The Bachelor in 2014, keeping busy with her eyewear business, Shevoke.
“I kind of hesitated when they asked me to (appear on the show),” she said.
“But then I thought, I don’t really date outside of the show, because I put a lot of pressure on myself to always be working. When I’m out, I’m out with my girlfriends, and in Sydney it’s quite hard to meet nice guys – they can’t be much worse on the show!”
Hyde said she didn’t personally know anyone on the island prior to arriving. No Blake or Louise (who tragically separated in 2016), no Sam.
“But I thought that would be good, to meet (the new contestants) and make friends. The guys that already knew the girls – that’s kind of old news. I was comin’ on in fresh.”
Despite her own harrowing experience on the show, Hyde said she has kept a keen eye on the last few seasons of The Bachelor.
“There were a few people that I kind of thought were cute from previous seasons that I thought ‘you know what, it would be nice if they were (on Bachelor in Paradise).’ were they there? Yes.”
Since returning from the paradise post-filming, she’s settled back into her regular routine.
“I’m very happy, and I’ve gone back into my life feeling really good about everything. I’m in a good place. I’m off to London tonight to pursue a project that came through whilst I was on the show.”
“I think it’s gonna be a fun show to watch,” she said, careful to dodge any potential spoilers.
“It’s gonna be entertaining, let’s just say that!”
Bachelor in Paradise premieres on Network Ten on March 25.
Lisa will be joined by thirteen contestants on the first night with others to arrive over the course of the series.