It was a major twist after both Jimmy and Carlie spoke so positively about their time together and, after meeting her family, the pair seemed to be on the right path. Speaking to 10 play after her final Rose Ceremony, Carlie said “it just felt like the next natural progression or the next step”.
But after Jimmy’s visit, there was a shift in her mindset.
“To be honest, I really struggled after Hometowns,” she said. “I was really in my head and I wasn’t really sure at the time what that was… I guess the whole family aspect made it so much more real.”
“It wasn’t a game for me. People talk about there being a winner, but it’s so not. In my mind it wasn’t that,” she added. “If it wasn’t right for me at any stage I would have happily left because it’s not about winning… I don’t have time for games. If he wasn’t going to be my person I would have happily left and let him continue on to find his person and then let me find mine.”
Standing at what would be her final Rose Ceremony alongside Holly, Brooke and Jay, Carlie said she wasn’t surprised to not receive a rose but “there was nothing in my gut telling me why”.
“Like I said, I had a pretty emotional few days in the lead-up, so when I wasn’t chosen it was almost like ah, was that my intuition telling me something?
“I actually felt like I had — not grieved the relationship by any means, because it was still going — but I had such an emotional outlet in the days leading up to it that, when it happened I was okay with it and could understand where he was coming from,” she continued.
“It was obviously really sad and really tough because I definitely formed really strong feelings for him but, in that moment, I was kind of accepting of it. I’m still unsure why, but I was way with his decision and I understood he had to make that.”
After Jimmy made her decision and as they walked to the limo, Carlie said she was overcome with a surreal feeling, and as she left she still maintained her signature calm and honestly.
“I’m not the kind of person to just like start throwing sh*t around,” she added, laughing.
“I think it was kind of as soon as I went into that Rose Ceremony, whatever happens here I’m content with and that’s not because I didn’t want to fight for him or anything like that, I was just understanding of the circumstance that we were all in.”
Throughout the whole process, Carlie kept her head above any drama in the house and instead focused on getting to know Jimmy.
“I said to Jimmy really early on that, as much as this whole process was about him, in my eyes, it was about me,” she said.
“I wasn’t there to fall in love with the Bachelor, I was there to see if the Bachelor was the person that I wanted to fall in love with.”
Turning the tables on Jimmy early on, Carlie said their initial chats made it clear to Jimmy that she was in the mansion for ‘the right reasons’, and he would often speak about how she was like a refuge away from the madness of the Mansion.
“He knew that I was there for the love potential and not for the drama or the antics that can go along with this process,” she said.
Despite making it all the way to Hometowns and not receiving a rose, Carlie couldn’t speak more highly of her time in the Mansion — and similarly of Jimmy himself.
“He’s so emotionally intelligent, silly and funny but I think because he’s got such strong women in his life he’s really in tune with his emotions and being able to connect with people on different levels,” she said.
“I was really impressed by Jimmy,” she said, adding, “I wasn’t in love with him as soon as I saw him or anything like that but I could see that he had so much potential and potentially being part of my life.
“I didn’t have any expectations on who the bachelor would be or, I didn’t have any expectations on myself to definitely fall in love with him,” Carlie continued.
“Going in there I had a bit of a mantra of ‘be brave and be kind’ which I’m pretty sure I stuck to, and that was just me… I wanted to make sure that it was my experience just as much as it was Jimmy’s and I loved it.
“I deal with contracts all day and I’m structured so, this was a really cool experience to see how I’d go out of my comfort zone. It was really nice to see that I thrived and, not being planned all the time can actually be a load of fun. I had the best time, it was awesome.”
The Bachelor airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7.30 on 10 and 10 play