The latest lad to go in search of his soul­mate is pack­ing the req­ui­site six­pack but also plenty of brains and a win­ning per­son­al­ity, ac­cord­ing to the show’s pro­duc­ers

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY - TIF­FANY DUNK

When Sam Wood was un­veiled back in March as the latest Bach­e­lor, some fans were un­der­whelmed, claim­ing he lacks the star power of inau­gu­ral rose-giver Tim Ro­bards.

But with sev­eral net­work in­sid­ers ad­mit­ting they’d made a mis­take cast­ing Blake Gar­vey last sea­son, could this be the re­turn to form The Bach­e­lor needs?

Ac­cord­ing to ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Stephen Tate, Wood ticked all the right cast­ing boxes for their per­fect lead­ing man.

“It’s a com­bi­na­tion of a lot of things,” he says of what made Wood stand out above the hun­dreds of other men who ap­plied for the show.

“It’s about the time of a per­son’s life. Are they at a point where they’re ready to make a com­mit­ment? Are they at­trac­tive? Are they lik­able? Are they a catch? Are they go­ing to be an as­pi­ra­tional choice for the au­di­ence? As in, do they have enough am­bi­tion and suc­cess in their life to be an as­pi­ra­tional choice?”

The owner of a chain of gyms for kids with a strong fam­ily back­ground and de­sire to give back, Wood, 34, was a no-brainer for Tate. Add in that he’s easy on the eye with the req­ui­site six­pack (and yes, you will see plenty of it dur­ing the show) and their choice be­comes clearer.

But Wood’s most im­por­tant qual­ity, ac­cord­ing to Tate, has less to do with brawn and more to do with his brain.

“Sam’s sin­gle great­est at­tribute is how com­fort­able he makes ev­ery­body feel,” says Tate. “He has this abil­ity to walk into a room and treat ev­ery­one as if they’re fam­ily and friends. It’s some­thing you don’t see ev­ery day – he’s just re­ally com­fort­able in his own skin.”

Wood claims that be­fore the show he’d not seen a sin­gle episode of The

Bach­e­lor, nor did he have a de­sire to stake out a TV ca­reer. But he was ready to meet “the one”.

“I saw that (sea­son one’s) Tim and Anna (Hein­rich) were still to­gether,” he says of what prompted him to ap­ply. “I knew it would be a once in a life­time ex­pe­ri­ence. I was hope­ful of meet­ing some­one on the show.”

Hav­ing worked hard to es­tab­lish his busi­ness in his 20s, Wood says his pre­vi­ous long-term re­la­tion­ships suf­fered as a re­sult.

“I kept mak­ing the same mis­takes and ended up in the same place – sin­gle again,” he says.

The Bach­e­lor Chan­nel 10, Wed­nes­day, 7.30pm

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