HER late break for the Bachelor's heart has seen her labelled 'this year's Matty J,' but Elise Stacy knows that comparison could see her inevitably being set up to fail.
The 29-year-old, who has made the final three of the dating show, told Confidential she worried that her late connection with Matty J could see her end up suffering the same fate as Matty J did with Georgia Love last year.
"That's my biggest fear going through this," Stacy told Confidential, "that he might not be genuine in the things that he's saying and that this process might not be genuine. That is always at the back of your head and for me as a strong independent woman, I would hate to have the wool pulled over my eyes. It would be the biggest defeat for me.
The former Hockeyroos star said she was "pretty sceptical of the process and him at the beginning" and there were times she "cried and thought 'no this isn't for me'".
"On our first date I said I'm well aware that your heart could already be taken by someone and I'm uneasy about the fact that this could be a waste of time. He said right back to me to appease my feelings, 'all it can take is one date' and I know that better than anyone, so that made me buy into sticking around that little bit longer."
Stacy says it is "bitter sweet" that people have compared their experiences on the show.
"When people say 'you're the Matty J', I don't like it that much because I don't like seeing what he went through and I would hate to be that person.
"I'm like, he's the one who fell in love and got his heart broken, that's not ideal for me," she said, "so while it's good to come out of no where, I knew that he didn't have Georgia's heart in the end and that could very much be the position that I find myself in.
With the show not over yet, and Stacy well and truly still in the running for Matty J's heart, she describes recent rumours and speculation that jewellery designer Laura Byrne is the winner as upsetting.
"Its really hard and I think it's horrible," she said. "One, for the audience, no one wants a spoiler and then also for media to report that stuff so aggressively, it really devalues my experience through this and my journey and some other girls have felt that this year.
"I think the media have picked up on that narrative and have run with it, so it has lost a lot of our story along the way."
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