Sarah Whales-Martin has opened up about her shock exit from The Bachelor NZ, admitting she had been "struggling" for a while.
But she said her walk out had nothing to do with Zac Franich, and more to do with her issues with the show's concept.
Sarah Whales-Martin, The Bachelor NZ's last intruder, made the call to leave after doubting her choice to join the reality romance show.
Whales-Martin announced her decision during a tense one-on-one with Franich.
"I'm struggling here; I'm struggling with opening up. I admire the way you're able to open up yourself and I can see you're genuine and 100 per cent into this and putting yourself out there," she told Franich during last night's episode.
In a live Facebook chat with host Dominic Bowden, Whales-Martin admitted her feelings could have grown for Franich.
"He's a pretty cool guy and he's probably someone I'd keep dating," she said. "That was the thing, I couldn't guarantee anything could develop. I couldn't give Zac what he wanted, or what he needed from someone."
When Bowden announced Whales-Martin's departure at the rose ceremony, the other girls were taken aback, with Claudia stressing that she was going to miss the Christchurch earthquake claims technician.
She told Bowden leaving the show was something she'd been thinking about for a while.
"I had been struggling. When I made my decision, it was final. I'm a decisive person by nature. When I make a decision I'm stubborn, I'm not moving. I gave that my best shot, I have no regrets. It's a tough decision, but no regrets."
During the show, she told Franich she couldn't properly open up to him.
"I've tried, I really have, but I would have thought by this point I'd be able to open up a lot more to you. I've made the decision to not stay here anymore and leave."
Franich was taken aback at Whales-Martin's decision, saying the moment caught him off guard.
"I'd be lying if I was to say I wasn't disappointed," he said.
"I guess I feel like you put really high expectations on yourself and you can be quite hard on yourself and I was willing to give you as much time as you needed," he said.
She told Bowden one scene, in which Franich began asking her to stay, didn't make it to screens.
"There was a little bit of converstaiton taht wasn't shown on tv where we started on that," she said, but Franich soon realised there was no going back.
Whales-Martin's exit leaves Claudia left with the "three amigos" - Viarni, Hannah and Lily - fighting for the Bachelor's heart.