Chris Schulz is the deputy head of entertainment for the New Zealand Herald.

Uncut and uncensored: Jordan Mauger's tell-all interview ahead of The Bachelor finale

After months of rumours, romance and roses, Jordan Mauger will tonight reveal the winner of The Bachelor NZ. We sat him down for his most revealing interview yet.
Jordan Mauger says Bachelor fans will see him make his hardest decision yet on tonight's finale, when he chooses between Naz Khanjani and Fleur Verhoeven. Photo/TV3
Jordan Mauger says Bachelor fans will see him make his hardest decision yet on tonight's finale, when he chooses between Naz Khanjani and Fleur Verhoeven. Photo/TV3

NZ Herald: Mr Jordan Mauger, thank you for talking to us today. How are you feeling ahead of tonight's finale? Are you nervous?

Jordan Mauger: Bloody hell yeah. I think if I wasn't there'd be something wrong with me. What am I nervous about? There's two sides (to it): I'm looking forward to seeing a lot of the girls, I haven't seen them for quite some time and gee we went through a lot together. Even the people that weren't there so long, there were definitely moments that we all shared. To all invest in this crazy adventure, it's the people you share it with, it will be great to see them again without all the cameras, outside of the show and in real life. It'll be nice to meet them under those terms, but also knowing that it's going to be a bit of roasting. I'm sure they'll be primed up with their questions and what they want to find out. And also now there's huge public opinion, and there's a lot of that going on, that's going to drive those questions and make it far more intense. It's pretty nervewracking.

Is there one of the girls in particular you're worried about seeing again?

No, not one in particular. I think there'll be a few things the girls want explained. I'm sure they understand the scenario that we were all under. One of the big questions they'll want answered is, 'Why was I sent home?' The fact of the matter is it's The Bachelor and someone has to go home. That's something I couldn't avoid. That's just part of the process to finding the one that you're with. And unfortunately you have to let go of 22 girls to find the one.

Jordan Mauger with the cast of The Bachelor NZ.
Jordan Mauger with the cast of The Bachelor NZ.

Now that you've made your final decision, are you glad you chose to go on the show and become the Bachelor with all the attention it brings?

Yeah, I'm totally glad I've done it. It's something you wouldn't want to do twice, but there are no regrets in doing what I've done. It's been such an amazing experience, for me personally (and) I'm sure for all the girls, each in their own way. When do you find yourself under those circumstances ever? I think that's what was appealing for me, it was such a unique experience and adventure. Hey, I'm up for those things. I'm a yes man. I like to do things off the beaten track that aren't normal, and this is something that came along and (I said), 'Hey, this is me, I'm going to give it a go'.

A nervous Jordan Mauger seen moments before his big decision on tonight's finale of The Bachelor NZ. Photo/TV3
A nervous Jordan Mauger seen moments before his big decision on tonight's finale of The Bachelor NZ. Photo/TV3

Would you recommend The Bachelor as an efficient or effective way to find true love?

I think it's each to their own. Not that you can just call up and jump on it willy nilly, but for anyone who's finding it hard to find someone in a relationship, then try new things. Try blind dates. Try ... I don't know how you'd organise a group date ... (laughs) ... but try different things. Try different avenues. It's all up to the individual. I would recommend it to some people, but then for others it would be absolutely terrifying and at some stages for me it was. It was pretty scary and pretty daunting, some of the decisions I had to make.

Jordan with a baby (not his) and Fleur Verhoeven, one of the finalists on The Bachelor NZ. Photo/TV3
Jordan with a baby (not his) and Fleur Verhoeven, one of the finalists on The Bachelor NZ. Photo/TV3

Let's talk about that, because there have been moments where you've been seen struggling - especially during rose ceremonies. There was one where Mike Puru had to take you aside and give you some advice. Some of the criticism is that these scenes were played up to emphasize the drama for TV. Were you putting it on?

Oh not at all. When it came down to that particular rose ceremony, those last four girls, it was incredibly tight. Man, it was incredibly tight. I think, when you come down to making a decision with four girls that you know relatively well, and they've done nothing to upset you, they've done everything right, you've had the best times with them, you've done amazing things with them, and then you have to send someone home, you never have enough time. Literally I was getting up in the morning, going to bed at midnight each day, doing one day after another. If it was up to me and I was in charge of how long we would go for, I'd ask for another week or another two weeks. The fact of the matter is, this is what I signed on to do, these are the guidelines you follow, and when it's time to make a decision it's on my shoulders. I just didn't want to upset someone. All four of those girls are very dear to me. You just don't want to upset them when they've done everything I've asked of them.

Watch Jordan Mauger's rose ceremony melt down below:

When were you making the decisions? During dates, before the ceremony, or were they spur of the moment decisions?

I tried to think about it beforehand because the last thing you want to do is put yourself on the spot. But when you've got two girls left and one rose, it goes through your mind, and you start to think, 'Am I making the right decision?' It's very intense. There were some times that I would make that decision pretty much leading up to the rose ceremony. But that particular time I just needed to re-evaluate what I was thinking, go through those beats and moments in my head, and go in there and make a confident decision. Because you don't want to be sending someone home who could go further.

Jordan Mauger waits to meet the winning girl in a scene from tonight's finale of The Bachelor NZ. Photo/TV3
Jordan Mauger waits to meet the winning girl in a scene from tonight's finale of The Bachelor NZ. Photo/TV3

Was Gabs' elimination the hardest decision you had to make, or are we about to see that in the finale?

You're about to see that in the finale. Absolutely. Ab-so-lutely. I thought that was intense - times it by 10. That's pretty much the intensity. I think the viewers will see that, they'll hopefully see how intense it was. But it was a lot harder.

You obviously knew about the criticisms of the format of The Bachelor going into the show, but we've seen you making out with six or seven of the contestants. What does your family think about that? Or your friends? How do you respond to criticism that the show is sexist?

My family's been very supportive. My friends are my friends and they'll give me a lot of banter and flak, as good friends do. They keep me honest, which is great, and they know me the best. They can see and interpret me for who I am. When you do see the criticisms from the general public, making quite personal criticisms, when I'd say they hardly know me, from, what, four dates and two cocktail parties a week? They know me personally? Nooo, I'd debate that.

Say, for example, as you said, making out with these girls. What you have to do, to honour the time you have with each individual girl, you have to cast aside what you're going through and live in the moment. The situations I was in were incredibly romantic. They were straight out of a movie scene. If you go through and you see those shots where I was making out with someone, they're pretty romantic. We were on a boat, there was sun dusted grass on the beach, these things you couldn't help but feel so strongly. When you're with the right girl, that moment just happened. That's what you had to honour, those moments, because if you start trying to be hesitant, or thinking outside of that moment, you're not going to make a good connection with that girl. You're going to be confused, (and it's) difficult to live in the moment, especially when you're dating x number of girls at the same time. If you start thinking about that too much you start going giddy with overthinking things and you don't honour the moment that you're having with the girl right in front of you.

Watch Jordan Mauger's biggest make out moments:

Have you enjoyed being in the public eye? Do people confront you about the show when you're out and about?

My strategy after the show was to just throw myself into work. I've been working some big days out on a film set. So I've been hidden away a little bit, which is quite nice. But I have gone out a couple of times on the weekends to catch up with mates, because they haven't spoken to me for quite some time. To a lot of my friends it was a big surprise I was on the show. Everyone's been extremely polite. I went out to town and people just want to talk to you, ask you a couple of questions, take a photo. It's been quite remarkable. If I can shake their hand or take a photo with them to make them happy, I'm all for it.

Who knows who wins? Have you managed to keep it secret, or have you accidentally let it slip?

No, I'm pretty good. There's been the odd time when it's come close but I can shift my way out of it a little bit, hinting at the other option or the other side of the coin. I've been very tightlipped. The only people that know are obviously the two girls at the end and my immediate family.

Are you still together with the winner?

Well, yeah. This is a funny word, 'Together,' because we haven't been together face-to-face. We haven't been able to spend time together. There's been a lot of correspondence between messages and phone calls. I'm really looking forward to spending time with the winner once it's all revealed. Once you step out of the schedule of The Bachelor and (back) into real life, your normal habits and mind adjusts to what you're used to. It was like, 'You know what? I just want to see you at a BBQ with my mates. I want to see you out at my favourite restaurant. I want to see you in my lifestyle. Because these are the things we've been craving to share with one another since the very beginning. You have all those remarkable dates, and don't get me wrong, they are amazing, amazing locations and amazing experiences. But what ultimately makes you fall for someone and attracted to someone is those little lifestyle nuances - how they dressed today, where they go out, who their friends are, what they order at a bar or at a restaurant. It's those little choices and options that make you adore someone, and that's what I want to see in the person that I've chosen.

* The Bachelor NZ finale screens tonight on TV3 at 7.30pm. Check back later for full coverage.

- NZ Herald

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