Nick Cummins has spilled new details from his explosive season on The Bachelor, admitting he actually ran away from the set one day while his producer wasn't looking.
Millions of fans were sent into tailspin when the "Honey Badger" broke up with both Sophie Tieman and Brittany Hockley in the finale of the dating series last October, and public outrage over the drama lasted for weeks.
Nearly a year on, Cummins, 31, has spoken about his controversial foray into reality TV, telling Stellar magazine that despite the drama, he has no regrets.
"The experience I had (on The Bachelor) was really quite challenging for me, and I really hit some levels. But I think I matured quite a bit, so I don't regret it at all," he said.
"It really gave me direction and forced me to understand that meaning is a non-negotiable."
Even so, Cummins admitted that he really struggled with the intense bubble of reality TV.
"When I was in the deepest, darkest times during the show, I was thinking, 'I don't want to be here'," he told the magazine.
"It's a tough place to be in mentally."
The former sports star explained that as someone who "craves loneliness", being followed around by producers all day was incredibly challenging — and forced him to actually run away while his minder was on a bathroom break.
"I just took off into the bush," he said. "And I went there for hours and hours. I remember stripping off to my undies and laying on a rock and I said a couple of prayers … I asked whoever was listening, 'Help. Give me some guidance and give me some energy'. Because I was fading. My soul was going dark."
Cummins also responded to shock claims made earlier this year by Brooke Blurton, who quit the show despite being a favourite to win his heart.
The social worker revealed on the most recent season of Bachelor in Paradise that he'd secretly warned her he wasn't planning on choosing anyone in the finale.
"My last day with Nick we were on like a motorbike, I thought there was definitely chemistry there and we'd developed something good. I thought maybe I would be the girl there at the end," she told the other women. "But then he stopped the cameras and like smothered his mic to tell me that he wasn't going to pick anyone in the end."
But according to Cummins, that's not quite how it happened.
"I said to her, which I've said before, that everything feels a bit staged and I don't think I can find love in this type of environment," he told Stellar.
"I don't get upset at the public for their viewpoint as they haven't been in my shoes. But they did see an edit. It's not a documentary."