Natalie Akoorie is a reporter at the NZ Herald based in Hamilton.

Ex-Bachelor contender offers love tips to rural Romeos

Alicia Cowan. Photo / Supplied
Alicia Cowan. Photo / Supplied

Fieldays Rural Bachelor of the Year contenders have been getting dating advice from jilted The Bachelor NZ contestant Alicia Cowan.

The 27-year-old, who was dismissed by Jordan Mauger after the show's leading ladies were taken on a Hawaiian getaway, has been counselling the eight eligible rural hunks - including two Aussie imports - on how to woo the ladies.

Her tips included advice before a series of dates in Hamilton over the past three days.

Ms Cowan - a Te Awamutu-based file management officer - has also judged the romantic efforts of the contenders, including during the dates with the women who entered an online competition to take part.

Rural Bachelor of the Year event manager Lynn Robinson said during a date night for the group in Hamilton on Thursday, Ms Cowan coached the two groups separately to help them form connections.

The bachelorettes, or gumboot girls as they have been called, all hail from rural backgrounds and were carefully selected to participate in the competition, which includes a blind date challenge and two date nights.

The second date night was held at Hobbiton, near Matamata, last night where the group was treated to a tour of the Lord of the Rings movie set and a banquet dinner.

Ms Robinson said sparks were flying between at least one couple, but it remained to be seen if any serious romantic relationships would develop.

"They're all having fun," she said.

It's been a hectic week of challenges and commitments for the bachelors who have been put through their paces with a range of tasks including a tractor pull, an excavator dig, wood-splitting, fencing, cooking, small machinery skills and quad bike control.

In one of the challenges the men each had to build a small wooden horse, all of which were then donated to Riding for the Disabled.

Today's challenge involves pairing mother alpacas with their babies and determining the sex of the animals, which is reportedly not easy.

Throughout the week the farmers were being judged on their skills, confidence, attitude and crowd interaction.

The Rural Bachelor of the Year will be named in an awards ceremony on the Village Green Stage at the Mystery Creek Fieldays today at noon.

A People's Choice title is also up for grabs and the winners will net a $20,000 prize pool.

"We're looking for the all-round package," said Ms Robinson.

She said Victorian farmer Rob Ewing was a crowd favourite because he was friendly and social but she couldn't pick a winner from the group she described as a great bunch of guys.

"I'm really happy with the group of guys we've chosen. I'd be very happy for my daughters to date these men."

She said feedback from the bachelors is that they were pleased with the chosen bachelorettes, who were whittled down from 50 entrants.

- NZ Herald

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