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Nick Cummins reveals the dark side of reality TV

“I’ve never been in a mental space as low."
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Aside from his achievements as a Wallabies Winger, Nick Cummins (aka ‘The Honey Badger’) is best known for reeling off rib-tickling one-liners – which is why it may come as a surprise to many that behind his loveable larrikin persona lies a long-term battle with mental health.

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Speaking on an episode of The Project back in 2018, the then 30-year-old rugby star spoke of the media scrutiny that followed him during his stint on The Bachelor – especially, after he failed to find his fairytale ending.

To recap: Nick rejected both Sophie Teiman and her co-star Britney Hockley during the show’s season finale.

“I’ve never been in a mental space as low as I have been on that show, especially towards the end of it,” Nick said.

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Nick (centre) with finalists Sophie Tieman (left) and Brittany Hockley (right.) (Credit: Ten)

“I’ve had injuries, I’ve been in a wheelchair, all that stuff doesn’t compare to what you actually have to go through on something like that.”

Having members of the public question his motives for entering the Bachelor mansion only added to his emotional turmoil.

“You go in there, I’ve got a chance at finding the girl for me here then all of a sudden you’re sending girls home,” he explained.

“I’m not a rude bloke, I feel I’m pretty honest and fair. Every time a girl was sent home at least one would come up and say, ‘Are you okay?’ I wasn’t.

“It’s terrible sending someone home when you don’t actually know them that well and they could be the one. You’re sending a nice girl home in tears. It’s tough,” Nick added.

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Nick (right) on a date with contestant Brooke Blurton (right.) (Credit: Ten)

Soon after the finale aired, Nick fled to Papua New Guinea for eight days to walk the Kokoda Trail and raise money for the Zahra Foundation. He had limited phone reception and as there was no way for the media frenzy to find him, it made it the perfect setting to prioritise his mental health.

“I don’t regret it,” he told The Daily Telegraph at his first public appearance after the show aired. “I didn’t enjoy it a great deal but I don’t regret it because I learnt a lot.”

The time away from the spotlight taught Nick the value of speaking up when you’re struggling, which is why he now spends his spare time running camping trips in the bush to help others do just that.

“It’s the biggest killer of young men. Country suicide rates are through the roof,” Nick previously told Now To Love.

What happens during the camping trips is simple: they catch fish to cook over the open fire and chat about what’s weighing on them.

“After, they’re so light again,” he added.

Honey Badger is set to make his return to reality TV this Sunday night on SAS Australia alongside the likes of Schapelle Corby, Roxy Jacenko and Ali Oetjen.

RELATED: This is how much Nick Cummins got for picking no one on The Bachelor

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