Bachelor In Paradise 2019: "I Guess I Gave Up A Little Bit, In The End"
After making strong connections with three people, Brooke Blurton shocked Australia for a second time when she decided to walk out of Paradise of her own accord.
Chatting to 10 Daily over the phone ahead of the episode that aired on Thursday night, Brooke said she was "nervous, anxious to see it finally air".
She laughed. "I'm kind of excited for it to end," she admitted.
So what happened? As Brooke explained it, it was mostly to do with the "overwhelming" nature of the Paradise experience, where multiple people are all exploring multiple connections at once. Describing herself as "such a one-person kind of girl", Brooke said she "found it really difficult" to explore her options "without feeling a sense of guilt" about it.
"I tried to relax into the experience, to enjoy it a little bit more, but it was actually quite hard for me," she explained, adding that she hadn't expected to form connections as quickly or intensely as she did.
Although Brooke doesn't regret leaving when she did, she did admit that there was "a part" of her that had been wondering what would've happened if she'd stayed longer.
"Part of me is saying 'what if' but I enjoyed the time I was there, so I can sort of move on from that," she said.
With connections "all on a similar level" in terms of her feelings for them, Brooke said that she'd been expecting her feelings to pull her in one direction, but "it hadn't escalated with any of them as fast as I thought they would".
It was after Alex Nation said she would be pursuing things with Bill, and Nathan had told her he would rather be friends that Brooke found herself feeling overwhelmed.
"American Alex just didn't seem logical because we were in different countries, so I guess I probably gave up a little bit, in the end," she said, adding with a laugh: "And I'm not a giver upper-er! I don't give into anything easily, I think it was just probably really overwhelming in the end."
She conceded that although she'd spent the most time with American Alex, she "didn't give [their relationship] that chance to grow".
In fact, looking back on it now, Brooke said that she "really fell" for American Alex from the start, but the arrival of Alex Nation "kind of interfered with that" because she'd been on Brooke's list of people she wanted to get to know in Paradise.
"And then Nathan came into play and I didn't know how to balance that," she said.
Still, Brooke certainly has no regrets about her time spent with Alex Nation.
"Getting to know her was really nice," she said. "We had a special date and I don't regret it, I wouldn't change that for the world."
Noting the "mutual respect" they shared for one another as women who had been "open and honest about connecting with both women and guys", she called the connection they shared in Paradise "real and genuine".
She was also happy to be a part of the first same-sex date shown in the world of The Bachelor in Australia.
"With any sort of movement, being a part of it is just -- it's like a deep breath, like 'yay, it's finally happening', people are normalising it," she said.
"It shouldn't have been such a big deal, but I really like that I'm a part of a movement where eventually it won't be a big deal, that we'll naturally see it and it won't be controversial."
Admitting that Alex's decision to call things off with Brooke in favour of pursuing her connection with Bill "hurt", she went on to say that she just wanted to see Alex happy, in the end.
"If he makes you happy then that's what you should do," she recalled.
Although Bill and Brooke had both named each other as potential love interests before arriving in Paradise, Brooke went on to reveal that she "friendzoned him" the second she arrived.
"I'm a really good reader of people and I spend a lot of time reading people's emotions and how they act and what they say around people and he was bad news for me from the start," she said.
"I was like 'yep, I'm gonna trust my gut on this!', and it was probably the best thing I did throughout the whole Paradise journey!" she laughed.
Another missed connection -- at least from Paddy's perspective -- was the Paddy and Brooke connection that ended with Brooke getting uncharacteristically annoyed and telling him, simply, to f**k off.
"Paddy's such a character!" she laughed. "I have so many nice things to say about him aside from the fact that he is just so persistent. But in a very aggressive way."
Explaining that persistence can be a positive trait "in other situations", Brooke went on to say that he needed to "learn how to listen".
"I think that he was ignoring, or, choosing not to listen or hear me," she said. "He took one thing that I had said -- which was 'I'm really keen to get to know you', not 'I'm keen on you' -- and ran with it and wouldn't let it go."
"I didn't try to lead him on in any way, I was like 'you're a lad, you're a boy's boy, but I'm really just keen on a friendship with you', but he wasn't getting it," she continued, adding that she was "surprised" that she found herself so annoyed, but that it had been "a long time coming".
"I kind of got to a point where I was like 'I've had enough, I don't want a relationship with you and you're going towards not even having a friendship with me'," she finished.
The whole journey, Brooke said, has reiterated what's important to her in a partner "mentally and emotionally".
"I want someone who can communicate with me, not just about how I'm feeling but about what they're feeling because that's -- you have to be a team and I think my ideal person is someone who communicates openly and honestly and cares about others in the process," she said.
As of Friday, it seems Brooke may have found that special someone, as she revealed on Instagram that she is now in a relationship with "a beautiful beautiful man".
"So happy to announce that I have found love," her post began.
Brooke went onto reveal that the pair met six years ago, but it "just took a reality show for him to notice [her]".
Thanking her followers for joining her on her "journey to find love", Brooke called herself "friggen lucky" and said she was "relieved" to finally be able "to openly and honestly" talk about her new relationship.
With Paradise behind her, we can't wait to see what's next for Brooke.
Bachelor in Paradise airs Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, only on 10 and WIN Networks. Miss an episode? Catch up on 10 Play or 10 All Access!
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Main Image: Network 10.