Frustrated with the way in which information was being fed back to Kiki, Ciarran explained that the pair didn’t need to stand at the final Commitment Ceremony to know their connection was secure.
“No other couple in Paradise faced the obstacles we had faced and that was through no fault of my own,” Kiki told 10 play. “We got through a lot of hurdles together and… for him to take me all the way… only to say, ‘I can’t do another day here I just want to get out with you’, I felt a little bit cheated.
“I thought, I’ve gone through hell and all this drama, constant scrutiny and criticism to be sent home a day early when he promised he was committed to me. It was a bit disappointing, but I guess probably for the right reasons because we didn’t actually last in the real world,” she added.
According to Kiki, after leaving Paradise the pair flew home to their respective states, Kiki to her home in Sydney and Ciarran to Darwin.
“Ciarran was home for less than 24 hours, he packed up all his stuff, flew straight to Sydney and more or less moved in with me,” Kiki said.
“He and I spent every waking moment together for three weeks and spoke about all of our past relationships, our fears, shortcomings,” she continued, “I genuinely thought he and I had such a strong connection.”
With that in mind, Kiki said she had absolutely no reservations with having Ciarran move in with her.
“We had faced so many challenges together, I really saw the light at the end of the tunnel. But a person can only meet you as far as they’ve met themselves. The true honesty of who they are.’
Kiki said that around Christmas last year, “holes in his character” started to show. By January, questions that she had for him couldn’t be faced.
“He took the opportunity while I was at the gym to pack up all his stuff from my house,” Kiki said. “I got home and his bags were all packed at my back door.
The pair had been planning to move house together, had discussed business opportunities together, they were discussing family.
“He told my mum on Christmas day he knew where he wanted to propose to me,” Kiki said.
“To be fed the dream and served with a nightmare was hard. I’m a very trusting person. I believed everything he told me.”
Before she walked through the gates of Paradise, a lot had already been said about Kiki. There were rumours that she and Ciarran had some kind of agreement to wait for each other, a pact to couple up.
“This is the thing, it’s a grey area,” Kiki began explaining.
“Ciarran and I had been talking for a month and a half and he slid into my DMs asking if I was going into Paradise,” she said, adding that he would be in Sydney in the days before he flew to Paradise, and the pair agreed to catch up.
“We went to drinks and got on like a house on fire,” she recalled, “it wasn’t just the two of us, it was him on his own and me with some of my friends. It was very relaxed… it wasn’t like, ‘We’re going to couple up’ or anything.”
Admitting there was “a bit of flirtation”, Kiki said Ciarran messaged her again to catch up once more before he flew out.
“He said, ‘I can’t wait for you to get to Paradise, I think you and I would be a really great couple, you’ve really taken my breath away - so to speak - and I’d love to get to know you in Paradise. I’m going to be waiting for you, I can’t wait to be able to enjoy Paradise with a girl that I really like.’
“That was it. There was no pinky promise... It was more like a genuine connection.”
After that, Kiki says she received a text that was all about having each other’s backs in Paradise, trusting each other.
“When he sent me that it set the standard of what I expected from him, but I guess expectation is the death of happiness,’ she said. “When you have expectations of people you generally get disappointed, and that’s exactly what happened.”
Kiki said it was tough deciding if she wanted to watch the season after everything that had happened, seeing her forming the connection with Ciarran all over again. To make matters worse, ahead of the show’s premiere Kiki heard he had been reaching out to many others from the season.
“He never got in touch with me which kind of hurt as well. He was pitting me against all those girls saying, ‘Don’t listen to what they’re saying’... for him to be rekindling his friendships with all these people and never even offer me an apology or ask, ‘Are you okay?’ - I’ve never heard from him.”
With time, Kiki says she was able to “grieve the loss of a life I didn’t really come up with myself”.
“I ignored a lot of the red flags and a lot of the advice I received because I had to stand by my man and be supportive. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, I should always be that person,” she said, adding, ‘I just need to be a bit more selective with who I do that with. Maybe fact-check some things first, maybe listen to my gut instinct a little bit more.
“I had some time to myself and I’ve been really strong, I’ve rebuilt on my own,” Kiki said. “For the last few months, I’ve been in a relationship which I’m really happy in. If it wasn’t for that time, I don’t think I’d be where I am now. I’m really happy at the place I’m at.”