The Sunday Mail (Queensland)



FROM yacht trips off Italy’s Amalfi Coast to helicopter sojourns to the Yarra Valley, meet the man who is fast gaining a reputation as the country’s real-life Bachelor.

Carlos Sala said he rejected an offer to become TV’s first Bachelor because it didn’t pay enough – but that hasn’t stopped him wooing rejected contestant­s from the Channel 10 show.

Sala said he has dated Emily Simms and Laurina Fleure as well as “more than a handful” of the other rejected “bacheloret­tes”, taking them on the sorts of extravagan­t excursions that they became accustomed to on the popular reality series. The chief difference is Sala funds these lavish dates himself.

“I highly doubt (Bachelor) Sam Wood would have the budget to be able to pay for a trip to the Amalfi Coast and stay at a €70 million castle on the beach,” he said. “Or take a helicopter ride to the Yarra Valley to go to a winery for lunch. For me it’s no big deal … it is just another mode of transport, like a car.”

Sala said he did not set out to romance the Bachelors’ jilted love interests, but he just crossed paths with them on the social scene in privileged Melbourne suburb Toorak.

The hotel owner said he called on close friend and Real Housewives star Lydia Schiavello to give any prospectiv­e girlfriend­s a grilling to make sure their intentions were pure.

Sala said any new girlfriend would also have to be willing to accept the other woman in his life, his pampered pet pig Crackling, who lives with him in his Port Melbourne penthouse.

“I often come home from work to find her sitting in the spa,” he said. “She loves the spa, she’ll be sitting in there bubbling away. She loves walks on the beach.”

Sala said he was looking for a woman he could also shower with attention and, yes, that may include roses.

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