STEAL­ING MATTY'S HEART

Smooching is hard to watch for the top three, writes Amelia Saw

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Best Weekend - - FRONT PAGE -

Laura Byrne con­fesses she fell madly in love with Matthew ‘Matty J’ John­son’s dur­ing their time to­gether on The Bach­e­lor.

“Ab­so­lutely,” Byrne ex­claims to BW Mag­a­zine when asked if she was smit­ten.

“It was def­i­nitely dur­ing the home­town vis­its, hav­ing him there with my fam­ily, that made it real. My fam­ily were so ap­prov­ing and so ex­cited and ac­cept­ing, and just in­stantly like, ‘This guy’s great!’ ”

BW caught up with Byrne and the other two mem­ber’s of the show’s top three — Gold Coast nanny Tara Pavlovic and for­mer Hock­ey­roo Elise Stacy, from Perth. The re­al­ity stars stay mum on the out­come, but can’t help but drop some cryp­tic hints.

“I came off the home­town date with Matty and felt re­ally great about the time we had,” says Stacy, 29. “I would have been sur­prised if I’d been sent home … but also not sur­prised.”

Pavlovic, 27, also in­di­cates she could of­ten pre­dict who John­son would choose.

“I could kind of pick who was go­ing, I could gauge it pretty well. I think ev­ery­one could,” she says.

Stacy be­came a fron­trun­ner for John­son’s heart only in re­cent weeks but be­lieves he had gen­uine feel­ings for all three con­tes­tants by this point.

“With the girls left, I have no doubt he has feel­ings for ev­ery sin­gle one of them … but you never know who he ac­tu­ally wants,” she says.

How­ever Byrne, 30, doubts it’s pos­si­ble to be in love with three peo­ple at once.

“Look, I don’t think it’s pos­si­ble for me to have deep ro­man­tic feel­ings for three peo­ple at the same time. I think maybe I could have deep ro­man­tic feel­ings for one per­son and then I might ques­tion, ‘Oh, but maybe that per­son is bet­ter for me?’ But that would be (us­ing) my head over my heart,” she says.

From the be­gin­ning, fans had Byrne pegged as most likely to win after she scored the first kiss, and this week a me­dia out­let re­leased a “spoiler” claim­ing Byrne and John­son had been on a top-se­cret ro­man­tic week­end get­away. The claims in­cluded a de­scrip­tion of Bryne and John­son trav­el­ling in mul­ti­ple pri­vate cars to elude pa­parazzi but no photo show­ing the pair to­gether could be pro­duced.

Stacy also caused con­tro­versy re­cently when it was re­vealed she was mov­ing from Perth to Syd­ney, where John­son lives. But she was able to pro­vide an ex­pla­na­tion.

“I left my job to go on The Bach­e­lor and when I fin­ished I got of­fered an amaz­ing job in Syd­ney, in mar­ket­ing and brand ac­ti­va­tion,” she says. (Con­spir­acy the­o­rists note, Stacy works in the same pro­fes­sion as John­son — could he have got his new girl­friend a job?)

Now, after months of spec­u­la­tion, the grand fi­nal is set to air next week, and it couldn’t come soon enough for the re­main­ing con­tes­tants, par­tic­u­larly to re­lieve them of watch­ing John­son kiss other girls.

“When you get this far you do have feel­ings for the guy, so it’s strange to see him sit there and be af­fec­tion­ate with other women and say all th­ese amaz­ing things to them,” says Stacy.

Byrne agrees watch­ing John­son kiss the other girls is cer­tainly un­com­fort­able and not just be­cause of af­fec­tion.

“There were some peo­ple in the house who had had cold sores and I was like, ‘Oh, dude. nup. I’m not OK with this!” she says. The Bach­e­lor is on Net­work 10, 7.30pm Wed­nes­day and Thurs­day

I could pick who was go­ing

The Bach­e­lor’s top three con­tes­tants (from left) Elise, Laura and Tara.

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