As the ninth Australian Bachelor, Jimmy Nicholson knew he was not in for an easy ride.
But there was one thing the 31-one-year old pilot was not expecting – to be totally in awe of the women’s diverse range of career choices.
As the season premiere airs Wednesday, Nicholson said it was somewhat “nerve-racking” meeting 23 intelligent, funny and attractive women, many with impressive careers to match.
“I consider myself very lucky to have such an amazing mix of mature, independent and fun women,” Nicholson said.
“The ladies come from all walks of life. I was most impressed with how calm the ladies seemed on the first night. They certainly showed me up.”
For the women, some admit their careers have hindered their search for love, until now.
CARLIE HODGES, 33, VICTORIA
Carlie Hodges, a 33-year-old corporate lawyer from Victoria, said while being successful in her career was important, it had never stopped her from trying to find love.
“I’m actually not the woman who has put my career ahead of finding love – I’ve always tried to do both but I guess my love life hasn’t been as successful as my professional life,” she said.
“Dating and finding compatible men is difficult, especially in my 30s and when a lot of my time is taken up with my career. And, so I’ve been told, my success and brains can make me a little intimidating.
“With my limited time, I’ve tried to meet a partner in more traditional ways and haven’t had long-term luck, so I thought it was time to shake things up and prioritise my love life. Finding my equal and having a family one day are important to me so I chose to apply for the television franchise that is solely dedicated to finding love – The Bachelor. Brains and love aren’t mutually exclusive.”
LAURA O’LOUGHLIN, 28, SOUTH AUSTRALIA
For 28-year-old South Australian speech pathologist Laura O’Loughlin said she had in the past put her work before dating.
“Having a successful career that you’re truly passionate about certainly has its perks; but it does often mean prioritising your professional life over your personal life,” she said.
“To be honest, I feel like I’d really exhausted most avenues when it came to dating and just didn’t have the time or energy anymore.
“So when the opportunity to appear on The Bachelor presented itself, I figured it would be a pleasant and exciting change from dating apps.”
BELINDA ROBINSON, 29, QUEENSLAND
Being married to her job as a criminal lawyer had paid off for Belinda Robinson but the 29-year-old from Queensland said she was ready for the real thing.
“I am completely career-focused and married to my job, my life revolves around work so the only men I come into contact with are my criminal clients and my work colleagues, so this opportunity was perfect for me,” she said.
“The first ever winner of The Bachelor Season 1 in 2013 who went on to have the longest, most successful relationship of the entire franchise was a practising criminal lawyer, Anna Heinrich, so I drew my inspiration from Anna.”
ANNABELLE O’REGAN, 28, NEW SOUTH WALES
For 28-year-old medical equipment installer Annabelle O’Regan, her career had made it difficult to broaden her dating horizons.
“With Covid lockdown and all the travel I was doing around the country for work, even during lockdown, it was difficult to date,” the NSW resident said.
“I thought The Bachelor would be a great way to meet someone outside of the Bondi bubble boys circulating the apps.
“It was an exciting experience made better by the fact I had such a supportive workplace that knew I was going on for the right reasons, so they were happy for me to go away for an indefinite amount of time and then come back right where I left off.”
The Bachelor airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30pm on Ten.