Locky Gilbert Thought His Season Was Getting Cancelled

Embarking on the journey of a lifetime, Locky never predicted his time as The Bachelor would be history for reasons completely out of his control.

Partway through the filming of Season 8 of The Bachelor Australia, filming was halted due to restrictions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

“I did say at the start of Bachelor that I wanted it to be a lot of firsts and to do things differently,” Locky told 10 play, “And… yeah, there’s been a lot of firsts and a lot is different!”

One of the few shows worldwide to continue filming on either side of the pandemic, this season of The Bachelor will not only be one man’s journey to find love, but also a time capsule of a historic moment in time.

“It’s been like the best time of my life and, then, kind of the worst,” Locky continued, “I’m the luckiest guy ever to be the Bachelor but also the unluckiest to go through a pandemic during. It’s been crazy, but I’ve loved every second.”

When he heard that production would be halting, Locky immediately assumed things wouldn’t pick back up.

“I was devastated and thought the show was going to be cancelled,” he said.

Rather than calling the whole thing off, the show adapted and - like many singles around the world - invested in iso dates thanks to video chats.

“The good thing is… I got to talk to the girls on a real level. Take away the candles, the roses, the extravagant dates and I just got to talk to them as a normal person,” he said.

“I think that was really good, to spend that time with the girls.”

Having competed on two seasons of Australian Survivor, Locky is no stranger to many elements of reality TV. But swapping Tribal Councils for Rose Ceremonies and Immunity Challenges for group dates took some time. Having filmed Australian Survivor: All Stars six months before The Bachelor started, he almost had to reprogram his brain.

“In Survivor, everybody’s lying to you,” he said with a laugh, “in the house you’re like… are these girls playing the game with me? Are they lying? But you kind of put that in the back of your head.

“I think the hard thing was Survivor was playing and then it was straight into me being announced as the Bachelor and everyone thought it was so close. There was a big gap in between.”

During All Stars, Locky was in a power couple with Brooke Jowett, who voiced her shock at the announcement last year.

“In Survivor, you need someone to rely on or you’re going to lose your head,” Locky explained, “I found that in Brooke. When we finished, we stayed friends. Six months later I get announced and, because Survivor was on TV at the same [time], everyone thought I had ‘dumped’ Brooke for it.

“Me and Brooke were never a thing! In the last six years I’ve had one serious relationship,” he continued.

Looking at Locky it’s hard to believe he’s been single for as long as he has, but when asked why he thinks it’s been so long he shrugged.

“I’m never in one spot for too long. I’m erratic and a bit crazy and my mind is on so many different things when I’m in the real world,” he said.

“For me to concentrate on making a relationship work or start a relationship, it’s quite hard for me. That’s why The Bachelor was the perfect opportunity,” Locky continued. “It took out all those other distractions and I could solely concentrate on building that relationship.

“I think I never really gave relationships a fair go outside of this because I was concentrating on so many different things.”

Recently starting his own company in Bali, Locky lives his life to the fullest, travelling and going on mad adventures - base jumping, skydiving, freediving - the adrenaline junkie still admitted that he was full of nerves standing on the red carpet on the first night of filming.

And though he’s no stranger to the world of TV, this is a whole new chapter for Locky, having to open up and be vulnerable about his feelings on camera.

“I’m not big on emotions and feelings and… they spill all over the place on The Bachelor,” he said, laughing.

“I’m not usually one to spill my guts but, yeah it happens. A lot. It’s going to be pretty crazy.”

Promising this season will be “definitely different”, Locky said he thought of himself as a different kind of Bachy.

“I just go with my heart,” he said. “I can take the piss out of myself, I just want everyone to have a good time, I want to have a good time through life. I don’t hold back!”

The Bachelor premieres 7.30 August 12 on 10 and 10 play