Brooke Cleal Opens Up About The Heartbreaking Finale Of ‘The Bachelor’
Brooke Cleal was left heartbroken on last night’s finale of The Bachelor after Jimmy Nicholson dumped her in Alice Springs.
Brooke was an early frontrunner for Jimmy’s heart, scoring the first date and the first kiss. However, when her grandfather died, she left the mansion only to return a few weeks later to fight it out for Jimmy.
The two kept in contact after Brooke had left the mansion, with Jimmy checking in on her. She returned with a newfound confidence in pursuing Jimmy, determined to seek out if he was the one for her rather than constantly questioning “what if?”
They hit some roadblocks when Brooke questioned the time Jimmy spent at work and told him she was quite co-dependent in relationships and liked having her partner around. However, as Brooke said in an interview with Punkee today she was trying to just be honest so they could sort the issues out and she’d even been researching Sydney to find out what area would be the equivalent of her South Yarra home.
In the finale, it was hard not to feel Brooke’s pain when Jimmy ended things with her. “Why did you do it here?” an emotional Brooke asked Jimmy. “Why here in Alice Springs?”
— The Bachelor Australia 🌹 (@TheBachelorAU) September 2, 2021
We chatted with Brooke about Jimmy’s final decision, whether she regrets going back to The Bachelor mansion, and the things we didn’t see.
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On not watching the finale back:
“The finale I haven’t been able to watch because it’s too triggering to watch that moment with him. And, you know, I still have a little fire in me, like with every ex-boyfriend that you have. I mean, it’s such a unique situation because you’re actually watching your relationship back, whereas with your other ex’s you’re like ‘See ya later, I never have to talk to you again!'”
On what happened when she left the show and came back:
“Back at home, I completely dropped the show. I had buried it. I went through those emotions, and he’d send a text here and there but it was very monitored by production. He did say to me ‘I’m so disappointed, I’ll be shattered if you don’t come back’ so I think that did give me some hope to go back. And I did say, ‘I don’t know if I’m strong enough’.
But after my grandpa’s funeral, I had some closure in that part of my life. I made the decision a few days later, I was like, ‘I’m ready for this’. I was all over the place really! But my mum sat me down and she said ‘the thing is, if you don’t go back, you’re just going to be killed with ‘what ifs’ for the rest of your life.’ He had been such a big support to me back home and checking in and that was a big enough reason to go back and know that he was worth fighting for.”
On whether she’s spoken to Jimmy or not since that heartbreaking moment to get any closure:
“I haven’t spoken to him at all and I don’t expect him to reach out to me just out of respect for Holly. I think it would just be appropriate that he focuses on her now and their relationship. And I think like in terms of closure, I said everything I needed to say.
There wasn’t one moment I didn’t hold back. I just went for it, I was honest, I stood up for what I believed in, I made it clear who I am in a relationship, and I fought for it right until the end. So I really gave it everything. The closure for me was him saying ‘you’re not the one’ and that’s fine. It really came down to that lifestyle thing, and it was a lot for him. That was pretty much it. I’m a stubborn Melburnian and he’s a stubborn Sydneysider!”
On those last moments with Jimmy:
“I really just summed it up perfectly, because the whole experience, he said, ‘I take risks for love’ and he showed me he takes risks in his life… but the one risk he couldn’t take was with me. And that was enough for me to be like ‘well you’re not my man, my man will take risks for me.’
Obviously there are so many opinions out there from people like ‘oh you come on this show for the Bachelor’ and then you’re expected to live his life and move to where he lives.
But why shouldn’t I question how we can make this work? We’re strong women, we should be able to stand up for what we believe in, and I love my life. Yes I met someone I was falling for, but how could he also fit into my life too?
That was something I really pushed right to the end, and I realised he was worth fighting for. I was honestly looking for the South Yarra of Sydney to move to! I was prepared and I was willing to put in all the effort. I was disappointed we fought really hard until the end and he gave up on it.
Looking at Jimmy when he was talking to me, he was shutting down. It was almost like he wanted me to go. He was so cold and my way of shutting down is holding someone but his way is ‘get away’. For me, I was standing there so confused and bawling my eyes out.”
On wishing Jimmy had dumped her before the finale:
“I was just like, why here, why now? Why take me all the way to the end for it to happen like this? That’s why I thought it must’ve been a last-minute decision. I don’t think he wanted to let go. We did have something so good, and so special, and it’s still pretty tricky to fathom here and there. But I can see his connection with Holly and she’s such a beautiful person and she fit into his life a little bit better than me. I think it was a smart decision at the end of the day.”
On whether she’d do reality TV again:
“It is a tough one, I feel like as a person I’ve never been so scrutinised in my life — on a lot of things, like my voice, my appearance, my expressions, everything. Things I’ve never thought about were commented on. It is confronting doing reality TV and it is very confronting formulating a relationship, it was so much scarier than what I thought. Look, to be honest, I’d have to really think about it. Maybe Bachelor In Paradise, but maybe not The Bachelorette. Even on my date, I was like, I’m done being in control of this date now! You can take that back!”
On what she learned from the whole experience of The Bachelor:
“My life lesson is I’m proud that I stayed true to myself that I was completely honest right from the beginning. And it takes guts to be like that, and I learned I’ll always stick up for what I believe in.”