Former Woonona girl Rachel Smith is putting her heart on the line for love.
The 27-year-old premiered as an ‘‘intruder’’ on The Bachelor Australia on Thursday night, entering the popular reality series nearly halfway into its second season.
Rachel’s appearance, along with the arrival of five other ‘‘new’’ girls, stirred up some serious trouble among her fellow contestants.
‘‘Entering the house was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do,’’ she said.
‘‘The girls really weren’t happy – they’d been living in the house for so long so it was only natural for them to feel really threatened, they all felt they deserved to be there in the top 10.
‘‘The first week was pretty horrible – I felt like I’d walked into somebody else’s house party uninvited and unwelcomed, it was hell.’’
Bachelor Blake Garvey was equally caught off-guard but Rachel said the Perth auctioneer did a good job of balancing his relationships.
‘‘It was a real credit to his personality that he made the time to talk to us but still made the other girls feel comfortable,’’ she said.
‘‘It would have been really hard for him too but he just took it in his stride and really did his best to manage the situation.’’
Frocking up for rose ceremonies and being squired on group dates was foreign at first for the now Sydneysider but she said the situation became ‘‘normal’’ very quickly.
‘‘The group dates were slightly awkward – you’re all dating the same guy, when do you ever do that in the outside world?’’ she laughed.
‘‘It did feel unnatural at first but it just became normal – you got to know the other girls and I was really happy to let them have that one-on-one chat with Blake.’’
Although Rachel didn’t put herself forward to appear in the show (she was dobbed in by friends), she said she entered the house with the same goal as the other bachelorettes – to find love.
‘‘I think it was about timing for me,’’ she said.
‘‘I’d worked hard in my career, I’d travelled, I have a great group of friends but I felt something was missing and that was someone to share all that with,’’ she said.
‘‘I saw it as an opportunity to remove myself from everything that was familiar, do something left of field and put my heart out there.’’
While Rachel kept mum on the outcome of the series, she admitted Blake ticked all her boxes.
‘‘He’s tall like me so that’s a massive plus,’’ she said.
‘‘He’s genuine, family oriented and he’s driven and successful so he’s definitely got a lot to offer.’’
The Bachelor airs on Channel 10 on Wednesday & Thursday nights at 7.30pm.