What hap­pens when Syd­ney ra­dio news reader Brook­lyn Ross meets Mel­bourne car sales­man Es­te­ban Calvo on a re­al­ity dat­ing show? It could be love (but don’t tell Brook­lyn’s mum!)

DNA Magazine - - CONTENT #227 -

What hap­pens when ra­dio news reader Brook­lyn meets car sales­man Es­te­ban on a re­al­ity dat­ing show, Blind Date? Will there be a happy end­ing?

DNA: What were you ex­pect­ing when you signed up for Blind Date?

Brook­lyn Ross: I thought it would be a fun ex­pe­ri­ence. I didn’t ex­pect any­thing, but I had an open mind. I was putting it out there to the uni­verse and de­cided that who­ever I was matched up to I’d have a crack.

From the au­di­ence’s per­spec­tive, it seemed like Es­te­ban was right for you be­cause you said, “Cau­casian is bor­ing. I want some­thing dif­fer­ent.” And “I’m ready for kids”. And he said, “I’m here to find a hus­band.” How soon did you think con­tes­tant #2 was the one? When it’s hap­pen­ing, and you’ve got ques­tions go­ing ev­ery­where, it’s a tough call. It wasn’t un­til the end when I had ruled out the other two.

Es­te­ban said his most prized pos­ses­sion was his dad’s wed­ding ring. Did that sway you? You know what? That was the point I de­cided. Yes, 100 per cent to this guy! The other’s an­swers to that ques­tion didn’t work for me. Con­tes­tant #3 was too sassy! I love a sassy guy! And #1’s Kylie an­swer al­most made me go with him.

And when the screen rolled back and you saw Es­te­ban for the first time…?

I couldn’t be­lieve it. He’s such a babe! He just blew me away. I ac­tu­ally haven’t seen the episode so I’m cring­ing to think what I looked like – I re­mem­ber my jaw be­ing on the floor! It was a very lovely feel­ing.

There was real chem­istry be­tween you. He re­acted to you in the same way.

It was very easy. On our date we just clicked. Do you be­lieve in love at first sight?

Ah… yeah. I def­i­nitely do but I think you have to put in the ef­fort af­ter­wards to make it work. Re­la­tion­ships re­quire work. But I’m also some­one who be­lieves you shouldn’t have to “set­tle”. I’m happy to be sin­gle un­til I find that per­son that it’ll work out with.

Your read the news on KIIS FM on The Kyle and Jackie O Show, which means very early starts and lim­ited dat­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties. Does that mean hook-ups apps?

Me and dat­ing apps have never gelled. Over the years I’ve met up with just three guys from dat­ing apps and each time was ter­ri­ble: just awk­ward, or they looked noth­ing like their photo. I like to go out to a club and meet up, have a dance, have a kiss, and maybe go home to­gether but I need to know the per­son a bit; get a sense of their per­son­al­ity. On apps you can’t find that out be­fore you meet them, so it’s like you’re agree­ing to have sex with some­one you don’t know any­thing about. At least in a bar you can have a bit of a chat.

Are you a ro­man­tic gay?

In my younger years I was more of a party gay. Now, hit­ting the 30s, I re­ally want to set­tle down and start a fam­ily, which is weird be­cause when I was younger I never thought I would be like this! Time changes you.

On your first date with Es­te­ban you ac­tu­ally started dis­cussing adopt­ing kids! What are you like!?

Yeah, it was full-on! In that sit­u­a­tion, on a TV show, it put get­ting to know each other into over­drive. It was, strangely, re­ally nice get­ting to know him like that.

Tell us about the pho­to­shoot on the date; was it a bit of a chal­lenge?

Oh, yeah! It was in­tim­i­dat­ing be­cause Es­te­ban seemed to be such a nat­u­ral at it, but it ended up be­ing great fun.

There was a mo­ment dur­ing the date where you al­most kissed… you both wanted to. Did you feel that?

One hun­dred per­cent. We were both wait­ing for the other one to do it! Look­ing back, I should’ve just gone for it. I should’ve had the balls to make that move.

Could you feel the love from the Blind Date stu­dio au­di­ence? They were re­ally on side. They were and, yes, we could feel it. We were the first same-sex cou­ple on the show and

ev­ery­one was re­ally sup­port­ive in­clud­ing Ju­lia Mor­ris. Chan­nel Ten is great at putting gays in tele­vi­sion. They just had the Neigh­bours gay wed­ding and they have my favourite show of all time – Gog­gle­box! If our episode ends up on Gog­gle­box I’ll die!

Have you been able to get to know Es­te­ban bet­ter since the show?

At this stage we’re not an of­fi­cial cou­ple, we’re still in the dat­ing stage and get­ting to know each other. He lives in Mel­bourne and I live in Syd­ney…

What sort of val­ues do you share?

We’re both emo­tional peo­ple, we’re both deep thinkers, it’s been nice to meet some­one who I can talk about life with.

Any ma­jor dif­fer­ences?

[Laughs.] I make fun of his In­sta­gram ac­count. He gets a bit risqué on there. It’s all good – I en­joy look­ing at it! [Laugh­ing.] I can’t say I’m se­ri­ously protest­ing by not look­ing!

Have you met Es­te­ban’s twin?

I have! And fun­nily enough I had met his twin be­fore the show! It didn’t click un­til later – he’s a friend of a friend. And this is weird – my friend who is the friend of Es­te­ban’s brother, was in the Blind Date au­di­ence that day!

That’s a crazy co­in­ci­dence.

Yes. His twin lives in Am­s­ter­dam at the mo­ment but he gave me a good rec­om­men­da­tion.

Had you been on a ro­man­tic date with the twin? No. Luck­ily!

You guys were brought to­gether by a toprat­ing TV show. Twenty years ago, there would’ve been an­gry let­ters to Me­dia Watch. Yes, it’s in­cred­i­ble. But, just per­son­ally, my mum isn’t that sup­port­ive of my sex­u­al­ity. I have a ca­reer in the me­dia so I’ve al­ways been mind­ful of not rub­bing it in her face… But over the last five years so many things have hap­pened, in­clud­ing same-sex mar­riage, that so­ci­ety has given me the strength to say yes to some­thing like this. I have noth­ing to be ashamed of but a few years ago I would’ve said no to Blind Date be­cause it would’ve been too pub­lic.

Does your mum know you’re on Blind Date?

I haven’t told her. I came out to her a while ago when I had a se­ri­ous boyfriend, some­one I was proud of and I wanted my par­ents to know this per­son. So I told her I was see­ing a guy. She didn’t take it well; there were tears. She was wor­ried and ashamed and con­fused. She sug­gested try­ing to change [my sex­u­al­ity]. She doesn’t want to know about that side of my life. I feel dis­con­nected to her by not be­ing able to share that.

In 2017, dur­ing the mar­riage equal­ity de­bate, your mum must’ve heard a lot of pos­i­tive mes­sages through The Kylie And Jackie O Show.

Def­i­nitely. I don’t know how she can even lis­ten to the show… she must se­cretly not care all that much! [Laughs.] I do re­mem­ber some early fight where she said, “I bet­ter not see you on TV at the Mardi Gras…”

Where you on the KIISFM Mardi Gras float this year?

Yes! [Laughs.] I’ve been in the Pa­rade be­fore and it’s al­ways such an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence but to be on the KIIS float with Kylie and Jackie as the gay rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the show and be cel­e­brated like that… it was in­cred­i­ble. I’ll never for­get it.

Not many peo­ple have col­leagues as sup­port­ive as Kyle and Jackie.

Right from the start they’ve been LGBTfriendly. I’ve been on the show four years now but be­fore me was Ge­off Field, the pre­vi­ous news reader, also gay, and they in­sisted that he just be him­self on the show; that he not keep that side of his life quiet.

Blind Date is just light en­ter­tain­ment, but it felt that the emo­tions in your episodes were very real…

Def­i­nitely. It was quite emo­tional. I felt over­whelmed. I’m com­fort­able be­hind the mi­cro­phone but be­ing un­der the lights and the cam­eras – it’s all very dif­fer­ent.

So, what are you hop­ing for with Es­te­ban?

I’m hop­ing that at some point we can be a lit­tle bit closer to each other. Spend a bit more time to­gether. Be­cause we live in dif­fer­ent cities we’ve put each other in a “lay-by” sit­u­a­tion… see­ing how it goes…

We look for­ward to find­ing out. All the best.

I couldn’t be­lieve it. He’s such a babe… I re­mem­ber my jaw be­ing on the floor. It was a very lovely feel­ing.

Brook­lyn’s po­ten­tial dates an­swer his ques­tions.

Happy ever after?

He chooses Es­te­ban and they meet.

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