Secret Bach ‘hook-up plan’ exposed
It was the secret pact hinted at during Monday night's bombshell Bachelor in Paradise - and now, the latest star sent packing from Fiji has confirmed there was a sneaky deal going on behind the scenes.
Ciarran Stott - who has taken a more Bachelor than Bachelor in Paradise approach to the show so far - dropped his romantic interest of a week, Jessica Brody, as soon as Kiki Morris turned up on the island and asked him for a date.
There was a weird moment when Kiki, 32, introduced herself to Ciarran, 25, while doing the rounds, despite the fact it soon emerged they knew each other well - and had actually been hooking up shortly before appearing on the show.
"Rumours have been circling that Ciarran and Kiki have been intimate with each other - and know each other quite well," Alisha Aitken-Radburn told producers as Kiki made her dramatic entrance into the resort.
After Ciarran dumped Jess for Kiki, a rumour began circulating that the pair had planned their Paradise reunion and intended on finishing the show together.
"It was planned all along - they wanted to go to the end (of the show) together," Ciarran's ex, Renee Barrett, told other contestants.
And according to Jess, 30, she was bang on the money.
"Renee had knowledge of things I didn't have at the time (during filming)," she told news.com.au.
"She knew he and Kiki had this plan, this hook-up plan prior - I didn't know any of that stuff."
Jess also opened up about Ciarran's brutal treatment of her shortly before he was whisked away on an overnight date with Kiki.
"(The last thing he said to me) was when we were sitting at the bar, he was telling me about how he'd slept in Renee's bed, then Kiki walked in, and I was like, 'Oh, it's your mate,'" Jess told news.com.au.
"And he was like, 'I guess we should go say hi' - and that was literally the last proper conversation I had with him for months. It was pretty full-on."
A short time later, he was sailing away on a boat, gushing over Kiki.
"Even though the two girls (Renee and Jess) are nice girls, whatever, I didn't want to see them in Paradise - you're someone I wanted to see … you're winning," he told the newcomer during their date.
Viewers were left cringing as they watched the British contestant unceremoniously dump Jess after returning from his overnight getaway - but off-camera, it was even more brutal.
"It was just so cold," Jess said. "I remember that was something that stuck with me, just how much his demeanour changed from so warming and caring, to this robotic, cold, almost scripted person … It was very bizarre."
Jess also revealed the part of their final conversation that wasn't shown on air.
"He told me the moment we had on the paddleboard (just days earlier) was still the most romantic thing that had ever happened to him, and as like, 'we'll stay mates, yeah? I'll see you in Melbourne?'" she said. "Anyway, that's when I just said, 'good chat'."
She added that it took a while for the depth of the rejection to really sink in.
"In that particular moment, it didn't really sink in, I think I was protecting myself and trying so hard to be strong and convince myself I wasn't as invested as I was," Jess said. "But then the next day I just kind of broke down and realised I'd been pretending like it didn't hurt me, but it did, and there were real feelings there."
Ciarran's bedhopping on the island and his cheating past have certainly been well-covered on the show - but he still appears to be considered hot property among the female contestants.
Shedding some light on the attraction, Jess explained that his demeanour made him feel like "some sort of prize" when she first met him.
"I haven't said this to anyone, but when I went into Paradise, I spoke to every single guy because I wanted to get to know everyone," she said.
"I actually connected the most with Jake (Ellis), we had a really great dynamic, but Ciarran pursued me very heavily, so I was sort of intrigued as to why he was so interested in me.
"He was giving me all that attention and making me feel really special, and I think that's why I fell into that 'Ciarran trap'.
"He does have a lot of charisma, and this confidence and cockiness that makes him feel like some sort of prize - and I think that appeals to an innate part of being a woman, like, 'I've got to get him.'"
Last week, Abbie Chatfield was sent packing from Paradise after being rejected by Ciarran in favour of Jess (oh, the irony). She admitted that despite being seen spending the night together in her room, the show's strict protocol had proven a big "mood-killer".
Fellow Bachelor in Paradise alum Keira Maguire has previously lifted the lid on the very awkward process involved with hooking up on the reality dating show, including both parties verbally confirming their consent on camera to producers beforehand.
"That's what stopped (me and Ciarran)," she said.
"He was just patting my hand, and they were like, 'Guys, do you want to give consent?' and we were like … 'nah'."
But Jess confirmed that hadn't been an issue for her and Ciarran.
"The thing was, Ciarran and I spent 24 hours a day together, and in the shower room, there's no camera. So we would go in there - clothed! - and I would wash his hair, we set up a little salon. But we'd even have to give consent for that," she revealed.
"So we just got used to (giving consent), it's no different to me than putting on a condom, so it was just about safety."
Bachelor in Paradise continues tonight at 7.30pm on Ten.
Originally published as Secret Bach 'hook-up plan' exposed