Much like the rest of her time in the house, it was a particularly dramatic exit with Steph storming out of the cocktail party after Jimmy had been informed by multiple others that she still had feelings for her ex.
When Jimmy asked if she saw any potential for them Steph simply responded, ‘I’m very happy to leave’.
Speaking to 10 play following her dramatic exit, Steph let out a big laugh and admitted, “I didn’t realise at the time how dramatic my experience was going to be”.
“I talk to Sierah like every single day and I always say to her like, if only we knew at the time that we were going to be such big characters! It’s come as such a surprise to me, to be honest.”
A fan of the franchise, Steph admitted that she had wanted to try The Bachelor experience for a few years and when the opportunity came up, “all the ducks just lined up” for her and it felt like a ‘meant to be’ moment.
With her fiercely dry sense of humour and brutal honesty, Steph became a lightning rod for controversy throughout her time in the mansion but she also made quite a big impression on Jimmy. The pair went on a single date early in the process which she said made quite clear the power the experience has.
“I actually had a brilliant date. He’s super easy to talk to, he’s very flirtatious and affectionate and we actually had a great day,” Steph said.
“I remember going back to the mansion that night and falling asleep with my rose — not that I slept with it — and I thought, s**t, I could actually really like this guy.”
The following day, Jimmy went on another single date and as the next bachelorette returned with a rose and a kiss, Steph shocked herself by feeling the pangs of jealousy.
“I was like Steph, reign your feelings in. Like, this is part of the process. I think I managed to mentally distance myself after that,” she said. “I just didn’t want to get too swept up in it. I was very conscious of the fact that we’re on a TV show where he’s dating a baker’s dozen of other women.”
On Wednesday, Jimmy’s mum visited and spoke with the bachelorettes in small groups to get to know them. Steph’s name popped up several times when other women were asked if they doubted anyone else’s intentions.
“I mean, I did call Holly a ‘See You Next Tuesday’ so it’s not really too surprising that I would get flagged as perhaps not there with the best intentions,” Steph said.
But the biggest surprise was when she was quizzed about her ex-boyfriend, something that would haunt her up until her final moments in the mansion. When they had their final chat Jimmy even brought it up that ‘multiple people’ had insinuated that she may still be in love with him.
“I thought it came purely from [Jimmy’s mum] Susan, which is why I was so shocked that it was mentioned because I really shut it down with Susan. I was like, it’s not the case, he’s just a good dude I have a lot of respect for. And then it became this whole storyline that Steph’s in love with her ex and all she does in the mansion is talk about her ex and all the great holidays they went on.
“I was like, great holidays? We went to Bali once, I’m certainly not regaling everyone with that story in the mansion… like, oh my god it was so good we sat by the pool for six days. Have I told you about that trip? Let me tell you again, it was soooo good,” she joked.
“I’m certainly not in love with my ex now otherwise I wouldn’t have been on the show. I’d probably be with him now, you know? Which I’m not.”
When Jimmy pulled Steph aside for what would be their last chat, she revealed that she had already made her mind up that she wanted to leave.
“It was just an overwhelming feeling that hit me and I was like, this isn’t for me anymore. We’re getting to the pointy end, I know it’s not going be me and I want to go home to my dog and my mum.”
When they sat down, Steph was ready to say her piece before leaving.
“All I wanted to say to him was like, thanks for having me, thanks for the opportunity to get to know you. I know it’s not going to be me, good luck.”
Beating her to the punch, Jimmy said he had some things that he wanted to discuss. What happened next, Steph described simply with an explosion noise.
“He was like, ‘You’re still in love with your ex and that’s okay,” and I was like whoa, whoa, whoa what the f***? Where did this come from?
“I was so pissy at the time I didn’t think to say it but, Jimmy had been on this mission around the cocktail party that night, asking all the girls ‘Is it true about Steph? What have you heard about this?’ Why didn’t he just come to me if he had questions about me? Obviously, he didn’t trust me at that point but I was super disappointed,” she continued.
“I just wanted to leave on a classy note and say thanks for everything, catch ya later. It turned into this palaver that I never intended. I was just shocked,” Steph said.
Despite feeling like the rug was pulled out from under her, she still looked back on her final moments and found the silver lining, describing her exit from the mansion as being “classic Steph style”.
“My hair looks amazing,” she said with a laugh. “I look so good crying it should be illegal.”
The Bachelor airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7.30 on 10 and 10 play