On Thursday night, after hometowns, Konrad Bien-Stephens sadly did not receive a rose from Brooke Blurton, ending his time in the Mansion. But out in the real world, Konrad confirmed he has found love with a very familiar face, Abbie Chatfield.
After photos of the two sharing a kiss hit the internet, speculation ran wild with sleuths doing their best detective work to find out if the pair were secretly dating.
“Obviously it has been a bit of time since production ended with Brooke,” Konrad told 10 play, “we didn’t work out but I really like Abbie. She’s an awesome girl and I’m excited for what the future holds.
“I’m sort of head over heels for Abbie at the minute,” he continued, “it’s very early days but it’s a legitimate thing.
“I mean, everything happens for a reason so maybe this is what was meant to be.”
Konrad was also rumoured to be the next in line as Bachelor, as well as accounts that production had been ‘livid’ with him after the photos were circulated.
“Obviously what I did was a silly thing but no one has ‘come down hard’ on me, they’re all beautiful people, I haven’t got a bad word to say about production so I don’t know where that’s come from,” Konrad admitted.
While he’s now found happiness outside of the Mansion, recounting his experiences with Brooke Konrad said he was immensely grateful he was able to be part of the season and to meet Brooke.
“Even though we didn’t work out she’s obviously a beautiful, strong person and I’m thankful I met her.”
Having come out of a long term relationship, Konrad said that COVID had made him rethink where he was with life and his career.
“I thought if the show was really, truly invested in finding the Bachelorette a life partner then there was a good chance for me to meet somebody that I might be compatible with. I just went for it,” he said.
“I did fall pretty quickly,” Konrad added, “Like I said, I think Brooke’s an awesome girl and as time went on it became harder for me as I made myself more vulnerable.
“I do wear my heart on my sleeve so I think it was right up until Darv and Holly were going on their second single dates that I started to think, I have to process whether I’m not picked. Feelings were real and, at that point, I kind of was like, if the worst thing that comes from this is a new friend, the experience and the people I’ve met then that’s okay.
“I processed the rejection almost before it happened.”
During the series, Konrad almost immediately emerged as a fan-favourite, something he chalks up to his plan to be wholly authentic throughout the series.
“The whole thing for me was to just be myself, be true to my character and my morals,” he said. “I haven’t always felt accepted. In the past, I’ve not been true to what I believe because I’ve been worried about how it would be perceived so, to just be myself and have that resonate with people is special.”
Despite being Brooke form strong connections with others in the Mansion, after his hometown Konrad was “buzzing” and went into what would be his last Rose Ceremony confident he’d be taking Brooke on another date.
“When I left I was shocked,” he admitted. “Like I said, I tried to keep it in my mind that she may not pick me… obviously the right person will come along for me, it’s not that I’m not good enough. That’s how I thought about it.
“It wasn’t that I wasn’t good enough, it’s about Brooke and Brooke finding the right person for her, it doesn’t mean that I’m less of a person or I’m not good enough but she was looking for something that I didn’t have, and I respect that.
“She’s got to make those decisions and, again, I’m just grateful I got to meet her and the whole process was a bit of a growth thing for me too.”
Watch The Bachelorette Australia, 7.30 Wednesday and Thursday on 10 and 10 play