'A Target On My Back From Day One’: Jay Lal Sent Home Just Before The Final Rose Ceremony

After a series of rumours forced bachelor Jimmy Nicholson to question her intentions, Jay Lal set the record straight on her famous ex.

During Hometowns, one of Jay’s friends dropped a bombshell on Jimmy that seemed to seal her fate. After he had been told she gunning to be the season’s runner-up, Jimmy then found out that she had dated a man in the public eye before.

On their final single date, Jimmy pressed Jay for more information, revealing that the mystery ex was actually the New Zealand Bachelor.

“I dated this guy about six or seven years ago and it was such a short-term relationship,” Jay told 10 play, “and he wasn’t particularly that much in the limelight when I dated him… I actually felt sorry for him that it had been brought up,” she continued.

“I had to actually message him and be like, ‘Just letting you know this has happened,’ she added, laughing.

Having found out her ex was going to be the Bachelor in New Zealand maybe a week before she went into filming herself, Jay laughed at the idea that she was on a mission to collect a Bachelor from every country.

“But it seems I’m getting dumped by Bachelors,” she added.

Early on in the season, it was undeniable that Jay was a frontrunner for Jimmy’s heart. Winning the Business Lounge key during the very first Cocktail Party ensured that Jay was able to get uninterrupted time with him throughout the season. But it may have also been a double-edged sword.

The rumours that hounded Jay during her time in the Mansion seemed to crop up out of nowhere. Each time Jimmy would confront her, she would assure him of her side of the story and the pair would move on. But slowly it began to chip away at his confidence in her intentions.

“In Jimmy’s defence, based on what you’re seeing on TV it does look like every day there’s a new issue about me and then Jimmy kind of brushes it off. But it definitely wasn’t like that,” Jay explained.

“He knew me, we knew each other really well… he knew my intentions were real so it looks like he isn’t making the right decisions but, if you’re really there in the situation you know the full story. You understand why he kept me on and why I stayed for so long.”

When asked why she was often a target for others to speak about her to Jimmy, Jay agreed it may have been because of the Business Lounge key.

“I didn’t think I rubbed anyone up the wrong way, I think the only way people would have made those rumours or wanted to say those rumours about me was because I did have that key. I think that kind of put a target on my back from day one.”

But the key did give Jay more time than many to get to know Jimmy and strengthen their connection early in between the handful of dates she also got with him.

“Going on to the Australian Bach I never thought I’d meet a Kiwi-Fijian Bachelor,” she said. “We just had so much in common so I felt like our connection was strong from the get-go and he was definitely someone I could see myself being with right to the end.”

But sadly on what would be their final date, Jay noticed a change in Jimmy.

“The questions he was firing at me, they weren’t great,” she admitted. “They weren’t something that you would want to be talking about before a Rose Ceremony. He was just a bit unsure about me still.”

Heading into her final Rose Ceremony Jay had a sinking feeling standing next to Brooke and Holly.

“I hoped it wasn’t true, but I kind of had a feeling that I was going that night.”

Admittedly, seeing her intentions questioned throughout the show has been frustrating, and seeing it all play out as episodes aired, Jay said it’s been difficult not being able to address the doubts that Jimmy had of her.

“That’s probably the hardest thing, people thinking I’m not genuine, because I’m probably the most honest — maybe too honest at times — person.

“When my friends and family see it even they got a bit upset because they know that’s far from who I am. That was one of the most difficult things. People thinking I’m not a genuine person.”

Narrowly missing out on the final Rose Ceremony, Jay said she had loved the roller coaster of an experience of being on the show but isn’t racing to go through it all again, not even to add to her growing collection of Bachelor exes.

“Never say never, but at the moment probably not,” she laughed.

Who will Jimmy choose? Find out when The Bachelor grand finale airs Thursdays at 7.30 on 10 and 10 play