IT’S crunch time for Richie Stra­han. Who will he hand his fi­nal rose to as The Bach­e­lor en­ters fi­nale week?

While it’s pretty safe to be that it won’t be Olena Khamula based on the pho­tos that emerged this week of the Syd­ney-based model ca­vort­ing in the ocean with ten­nis player Nick Lin­dahl, for at least one of the other two blondes left stand­ing it will bring an end to months of spec­u­la­tion.

But it will also lead to a bro­ken heart for those girls yearn­ing for her happy end­ing.

“Richie keep­ing me for the top three spoke vol­umes to me,” said sin­gle mum Alex Na­tion, 24. “Ob­vi­ously, he’s tak­ing the re­la­tion­ship he and I have quite se­ri­ously. (At this point) I’m not ready to go home and even think­ing about it is eart­break­ing.

“I told him on my home­town date that I thought I was fall­ing for him. But on the inside, it was like, ‘I love him.’

“If I am that girl at the end, Rich and I would be fun, we’d be lov­ing and un­der­stand­ing, we’d work well to­gether as a team. We’d not only be each other’s part­ner and lover, but we’d be each other’s best friend.”

Nikki Go­gan, 28, took a dif­fer­ent ap­proach to telling Stra­han her feel­ings dur­ing last week’s home town visit, con­fess­ing that she is in love with the rope ac­cess tech­ni­cian.

“I think we’re made for each other,” she ad­mits. “I had no reser­va­tions that this was it for me and he’s the one. Our lives would in­ter­twine so eas­ily and it would hap­pen so nat­u­rally. It’s as if it was al­ways meant to have been this way for us.”

So how did she cope with not be­ing able to know if Stra­han re­cip­ro­cated those feel­ings?

“All I could do was be hon­est with him so he could make fully in­formed de­ci­sions,” she says.

In this weird way there was no risk for me, be­cause he couldn’t say if he loves me or he doesn’t — he can’t say ei­ther way. So I was just like, ‘Here you go, have all my feel­ings!’” THE BACH­E­LOR, CHAN­NEL 10, WED­NES­DAY AND THURS­DAY, 7.30PM

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