Did you know that a brand new season of The Bachelor is dropping this very week? We did. That's why we managed to wrangle an interview with The Bachelor's latest suitor Jimmy Nicholson: a model-turned-pilot and “self-confessed romantic” which, given the nature of the show, seems very appropriate.
We’ve gotten a few sneak peeks into what the season will look like, but it was only right to prod Jimmy himself on what the series has in store for us this time round. We talked about Instagram-free dating, the importance of being single for a while and bumping into a certain Bachelor alumni member at the gym.
And – no spoilers – but it sounds like he’s found the one.
Editor’s note: The below conversation has been edited for length and clarity.
MTV Australia: Hey Jimmy, you’re the new Bachelor! Such a huge gig – how are you feeling about things? We're just around the corner from the new season, that’s pretty exciting.
Jimmy: Look, it’s definitely amping up. There's a lot of attention at the moment, which feels weird, but I'm really excited to see what went down on the show! Yeah, it's an exciting time.
What made you want to give The Bachelor a crack?
I had someone approach me on Instagram, and I thought, “OK, let's roll with this, I'm ready to meet someone!” It couldn't have come about at a better time. I've been in two long-term relationships, but I'd also had that really important time to be by myself.
I'm a big believer in things happening for a reason. I thought, I'm just going to run with this and see what happens and hopefully meet an amazing girl, which I have.
You've been in serious relationships before. What went on there?
My last relationship was amazing. She's an incredible girl, but having spent so much time in a relationship throughout your late teens and twenties, marriage does come closer and closer. You start to think, “Far out, I need to make sure that I've done all the things that are really important before settling down”. And for me, I'd never done the ‘single’ thing.
I think it's really important to be able to develop your own independence outside of a relationship before you're ready to settle down. It was a tough period. There was a lot of loneliness, but also a lot of fun as well. It just meant that I was ready to meet someone [now] and truly ready to settle down.
How has this experience of falling in love been different?
Well when we're filming, you don't have your Instagram. Normally you kind of just pick up your phone and do a bit of background research on someone. Dating at the moment is all very superficial.
It's like – swipe left or right – have a look at how many followers they have, see what they look like on Instagram, do they post good photos? We're all guilty of it, but for me this was a very raw method of dating. You have to take everything they say as gospel – it's a bit different. It’s kind of a return to old-school dating, which was quite nice.
So despite not being able to check up on her Instagram – have you found that person, then?
Yes! I did meet someone and we're really, really happy. The L-bomb's been dropped. We've spent a fair bit of time together, as much as we can through lockdown. We get a secret rendezvous every now and then, which are organised by the network. We're both really, really happy – it's when the cameras are off and when you spend time together after the show that you really know if it's going to work or not.
And it just keeps getting better and better for us. It's nice to be able to say that I've got a big smile on my face. I'm really happy.
Congratulations! That’s extremely sweet. At the start, were those rose ceremonies stressful? Sending someone home when you’ve only just met them must have been tricky, how did you approach that?
I was given some really good advice from [former Bachelor] Tim Robards. I asked him in the gym one day. I went up to him and he's like, "Who's this random bloke?" But he gave some really good advice: don't focus at the very beginning who you want to pick. He just said, "Treat it like a bit of a process of elimination, where you just work out who you don't have that compatibility with."
It sucks. Because even at the beginning, people have put a lot on hold [to be on the show], and it's not nice to send someone home on national television. It's never nice, but we all know what we're getting ourselves into.
What was the most challenging part of your Bachelor experience?
The finale was definitely the hardest for me, because one minute you are breaking someone's heart, and then the next minute you are overwhelmed with joy. That was really tough. I was a bit rattled for a few days. But we did some amazing things. I met some amazing women and we went on some awesome dates, things that you can't normally do in the real world.
How does a Bachie date compare to a real world date?
A normal date for me, if I met someone online or something like that, would be going for a walk and having a coffee. Just more relaxed and low-key, because you can jump out of a plane with someone, but you don't have much time to chat.
So sitting down, having a coffee, or having a good chat with a glass of wine was one thing where you really start forming the real connections.
Thanks so much for the chat, Jimmy. Can’t wait to see the series!
Honestly, I’m just as excited as everyone else to watch it.
The Bachelor premieres on Wednesday, 21 July at 7:30pm on Network 10. Catch up on past seasons of the show on 10 play.
Editor’s note: Network 10 and MTV are both subsidiaries of ViacomCBS.