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

The Bachelor: Cosy couple or showbiz sham?

Can Jordan Mauger and Fleur Verhoeven convert their fledgling relationship into a reality TV-free romance? Picture / Doug Sherring
Can Jordan Mauger and Fleur Verhoeven convert their fledgling relationship into a reality TV-free romance? Picture / Doug Sherring

It's the biggest test facing any new couple emerging from a romance reality show like The Bachelor. Are they for real?

When it comes to Jordan Mauger and Fleur Verhoeven, it's hard to tell. Mauger chose Verhoeven over Naz Khanjani in Monday night's highly anticipated finale, an episode watched by 434,000 Kiwis.

During their interview with the Herald, the pair seem too hungry to bother painting a picture of a loved-up couple enjoying their dizzying first moments of love.

They're definitely tired. Mauger especially looks worse for wear. That may have been the result of the grilling he'd received during the Women Tell All special, filmed the previous night.

It's hard to feel sorry for him: when you dump 22 girls on nationwide TV, you're asking for it.

Read more: Things we learned from Women Tell All

After breakfast, Mauger and Verhoeven answer some questions. Mauger does most of the talking, but Fleur occasionally chimes in.

Mauger: "The consistency that Fleur had, and what [those moments] meant to me, was the deciding factor."

Verhoeven: "I went into it thinking, 'Whatever will be will be. If it's not meant to be then it's not meant to be'," she says.

While she spouts chirpy cliches, I try to read their body language to decide if they're another Art and Matilda, or a hot, feisty mess like Clare and Jono from Australia's Married At First Sight.

I get nothing. Maybe it's too soon.

After the interview, the mood softens as a Herald photographer sets up his shoot outside the cafe.

The pair use the time to hug, kiss, then talk in tones only audible to them. I definitely feel like a third wheel.

But then, disaster. The photographer's request for Mauger to kiss Verhoeven on the cheek is dismissed as "too cheesy".

Too cheesy? Dude, you're the Bachelor, you're the king of cheese. Give your girl a peck on the cheek.

After all you've put Verhoeven through, it's the least you can do.

- NZ Herald

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