BACHELOR COUPLE’S CANDID CONFESSIONS
The love birds’ Bachelor romance just got real!
For most couples, counselling is a last-ditch effort to save a strained relationship, but millennial lovebirds Zac Franich and Viarni Bright sought the help of trained professionals just weeks into their blossoming romance.
While the besotted duo – who simply can’t stop gazing into each other’s eyes and smiling sweetly at one another during our exclusive shoot – know their experience on The Bachelor New Zealand couldn’t have worked out better, they are candid about the difficulties that come with finding love in front of the nation.
“It presented challenges to us in different ways,” says 28-year-old Zac. “I know Viarni found it hard to deal with the way the show played out in the end. It was a two-horse race – some people wanted person X to get the final rose and some people wanted person Y. I felt a little burnt-out after filming. I was constantly ending relationships, but wasn’t able to properly process those feelings.”
While the Three series finished up on screens only last week, in reality filming ended back in May, meaning the couple had to keep their relationship top secret for over a month. With very few people to confide in, Zac – who used therapy to overcome his battle with depression in 2015 – says their counsellor offered an independent perspective and helped them make sense of their unique situation.
“It was really important to us that we could both be across what we were feeling and how it was impacting our relationship,” he says. “And V was super-supportive through all of that – she truly is incredible.”
The strapping surf-lifesaving coach can hardly believe he’s lucky enough to call Viarni, 22, his girlfriend. The moment he set eyes on the flame-haired beauty as she stepped out of the car in her sparkly, rose-embellished gown on the show’s premiere, Zac was immediately taken.
“There was definitely something there and that was undeniable – it was impossible to hide the big, goofy grin on my face,” he confesses. “And the more I spent time with Viarni, the deeper those feelings became. V is always there for me. She’s caring and supportive, and makes me feel like I’m not alone. She has this way of making me feel special.
It’s something I adore and I hope I can always do the same for her.”
“You definitely do,” blushes Viarni, who’s happily wrapped in Zac’s arms. “I went on to this show knowing I might leave broken-hearted, but I never knew I could be this happy.
“Zac is my boyfriend, but he’s also my best mate. He’s a big softie who can make me smile for no reason at all. Honestly, it still doesn’t quite feel real. It’s the nicest feeling knowing that he’s all mine and we have forever to be together.”
While the starting date of their relationship is a little tricky to pinpoint, the couple have decided May 22 – the night The Bachelor NZ Live:
After sealing the deal with a stunning sparkler in the tense TV finale (above), Zac’s relieved he can finally show off his girl in public. Despite sharing a surprisingly strong bond with some others on the show, the Bachelor hunk admits he was drawn to Viarni from the start.