The Bachelor NZ final is on this weekend (Sunday, May 21 on Three) and last week its star, Zac Franich, who is also head coach at Orewa Surf Lifesaving Club, dropped in for a chat with Hibiscus Matters.
The paper featured a cartoon about the show in an earlier edition and his family requested copies of the artwork: these were handed over to Zac by editor Terry Moore.
Zac says while he won’t miss the rose ceremonies one little bit, and is getting merciless teasing from his mates, being NZ’s Bachelor was an amazing experience and 100 percent worthwhile.
“I’m not going to live it down for a long time with my friends, but I expected that,” he says. “I wouldn’t have changed it for anything – I found out a lot about myself, met some amazing girls and got to see some amazing places.” One highlight was time spent with rescued elephants in Thailand.
The 28-year-old admits he struggled with the rose ceremonies: “I was essentially grading girls on their compatibility with me and that made me very uncomfortable,” he says. “Especially as it went on and feelings were involved, that was really hard.”
He says the competitive aspect was challenging for everyone and he didn’t take interactions between the girls too seriously. “The girls were in a strange position too – seeing the same guy, living together, missing their friends and family, so you are looking at people out of their comfort zone.”
Zac says he focused on sharing his time as fairly as possible and remaining open to the whole experience.
“I went in holding the kids I train at the surf club in mind. They hadn’t seen this more personal side of me and I figured if I was open and confident and able to talk about feelings, they would see that it’s ok to do that. It’s something a lot of guys could get better at.”
Being recognised and asked for photos on the street, he says, is “kind of cool” – he likes being able to make people smile.
Once he is able to openly go out with the woman who won the final rose, he says it will be important to be confident in each other and their relationship and not feel pressure from the public taking an interest.
“The moment we start worrying about what other people think, is where we go wrong,” he says. “However long we are together, we are the ones that matter.”