I wouldn’t recommend going on a show like the Bachelor if you don’t have a thick skin. As much as my experience was short lived, I’m a firm believer in the notion that with every negative comes a positive. Being in the limelight and exposing myself to a world dominated by the internet and particularly social media allowed me to become subject to so many people’s opinions. Although positive feedback was greatly received there will always be a few tyrants who enjoy throwing shade. However, at the end, it all boils down to being okay with who you are, being self-assured and confident and I’d like to think I am fearless female. Besides, have you ever heard of someone who got somewhere in life without taking risks?
Anyhow with that being said, I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed composing it.
It me- the girl who packed 4 bags
So here I am- the girl who packed 4 enormous bags, only to go onto South Africa’s first ever season of The Bachelor and get eliminated on night one. Looking back at my brief experience now is rather amusing, but I would not change a thing (except maybe for the length of my nails and hairstyle).
My mom dropped me off at Rapid Blue’s Head Office in Randburg on call day. “Bye guys, I’m going to meet my new friends” was the last thing I said to them. Naïve, right? I was literally so thrilled to meet the other ladies. As a Bachelor fan, I had essentially watched all seasons of the American version and always thought that the girls on the show were so lucky to get the opportunity to form such strong connections with each other. So this is literally what I set out to do. I was ready to meet the girls vying for Lee’s heart and form deep connections, with the aim of hopefully being able to call some of them my ‘besties’ in the end. Wrong game plan- I know. But I couldn’t even help it being Gemini and all.
As soon as I was dropped off at Rapid Blue we were all provided with a make-up kit and given make-up lessons. Apparently how you wear make-up on a daily basis and how you wear make-up on TV are on opposite ends of the spectrum. All the girls were separated to make sure that we didn’t interact and communicate before the first cocktail party (episode 1).
Meeting Lee for the first time
After social media briefings, make-up lessons and dress fittings it was about that time. It was time to meet South Africa’s very handsome and talented, Mr Lee Thompson. Of course I had spent weeks thinking about how to approach him and make a memorable impression. Stepping out of the limo and seeing Lee at the entrance of the bachelor mansion left me trembling with anxiety. I walked up to him in my-oh-so elegant red Mac Duggal dress, introduced myself and said, “Hi Lee, I’m Taryn. I brought you a fire extinguisher because you’re such a flame”. (How lame am I- Lawd!!)
I actually couldn’t wait for the introduction to end. If it had lasted a second longer than it did, I might have had a heart attack.
On a lighter note, the bachelor mansion was absolutely breath-taking. There were candles lit in every corner of the house, complimented by white fairy lights and tons of attractive flower arrangements.
Meeting the ladies for the first time
Meeting the ladies in the house was much less intimidating than meeting Lee. They were all unique in their own way but mostly pleasant. The girls I had an immediate connection with were Nontombi who I had gone to primary school with, Annalene, Natasha and Melisha. I felt like our personalities were very similar so it was pretty easy to chat to them.
After a few gin cocktails, the night began. Lee was at the forefront with 24 women fighting for his attention. Sitting and watching him get pulled from all sides was like watching bait being thrown into a pool of piranhas. At one point I even felt sorry for the poor (not actually) man.
The night went by so quickly, the gin was flowing and the conversation between the girls was so juicy that I may have been too occupied to spring up the confidence to get up and speak to Lee. A few other girls in the house also didn’t make the effort, so I didn’t feel too uncomfortable about my nonchalant attitude.
Eliminated- season 1 episode 1
Then it all happened. Jason, our lovely host, tinkled a glass to gain everyone’s attention. The first cocktail party had come to an end. At this moment reality had set in. The look of shock spread across the room and everyone seemed so anxious, except for Michelle R who received the first impression rose.
The production team lined us up on the stairs at the front porch of the mansion, freezing as we waited for Lee to finally hand out the 21 roses. Three ladies were going home that night. I watched as Lee called out each girl’s name around me. Seconds felt like minutes in this moment and then, finally, with no rose in my hand, there was just one rose left to hand out.
Gina, who was standing next to me, grabbed my hand to comfort me. She is literally so stunning, inside and out. I pulled my hand back and whispered to her, “Don’t, I’m going out with a bang”.
And that’s exactly what I did. I honestly can’t even remember who got the final rose. All I know is that it obviously wasn’t me. At that moment I didn’t even know how I felt. I mean, being rejected in some way or another in life is normal, but can anyone say that they have been rejected on national television? I think not! I said goodbye to the remaining 21 girls, wished Lee the best of luck and reminded him of how lucky he was to have them around, exited the mansion, did a few interviews outside in the freezing cold and was then escorted to a nearby hotel. It was comforting to know that Sandy and Chantal (the other two girls who didn’t receive a rose) were in this with me.
The next morning we were required to see a Psychologist and had to sit in on one-on-one social media training. And there you have it; before I knew it I was back on my way home with my five million big bags that I had packed with the expectation that I’d be on The Bachelor much longer than just a few moments.
In the end, I’m happy I did the show. It was sadly very short lived but a superb experience nonetheless. I made such amazing friends who I still speak to often, created memories and surprised my fearless self. I learned how to do my hair and make-up for TV and feel like I can do it all. Because I mean, after being rejected on national television, I feel a tinge invincible if I do say so myself.
Who was your favourite Bachelor SA contestant this season? Drop a comment below.