Reality TV

Exclusive: Tim Robards Opens Up On SAS Australia

"How much grit have I actually got?"
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With his movie star good looks, a loving and supportive family by his side, and a career so varied it’s impossible to predict what he might do next, it’s hard to believe that Tim Robards is anything but brimming with confidence. But the man who won hearts – and most importantly the one belonging to his now wife Anna Heinrich – as Australia’s first Bachelor had questions about himself that needed answering.

“I’ve had my challenges that are relative to me but when push comes to shove, how much grit have I actually got?” he tells WHO. Well, what better way to determine what you’re made of than a stint on SAS Australia?

WATCH: SAS Australia 2023 First Look. Article continues after video. 

Having just turned 41, Robards says it was a mixture of a “midlife crisis” and feeling that his younger years of pushing himself had caught up with him and taken their toll.

Listing a litany of recent injuries, – including a bicep torn off the bone, a ripped quad and five years of chronic back pain caused by an underlying infection –Robards, a chiropractor, explains that a big part of his incentive to go on the show was to rebuild a body that he could be confident wouldn’t fail him.

“All my close family and people around me that know me are telling me to slow down and hang up my boots, and I’m the kind of person that I feel like I’m constantly moving forward and have goals,” he explains.

“I don’t want to feel like I’ve hit a peak and I’m on the way down. I pride myself on having good mental health and if I feel like I’m going down, then that scares me. That would open up a can of worms. So it was a chance to go, ‘Right, what do I need to do to build a resilient body?’ I’ve now got a goal which is to get it to SAS and get through it without injury by building a resilient body that can take the punishment that SAS is going to give it at my age.”

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He also had a little healthy competition on the home front. In the 2022 season, wife Anna exceeded expectations and almost made it to the end. She is definitely a tough act to follow – and Robards knows it.

“She made some jokes like, ‘You know you have to beat me or you’ll never live it down,’” he laughs. “Her course was 13 days but ours was only 10. She did 11 days so there was no way I could beat her anyway. But I feel like ours was more intense – so we can argue about that. When we’ve talked about it all, I think I felt that day-to-day pressure more than she did because she went in as an underdog … For me, I felt the expectations partly because of just what I look like and who I am, and then also because my wife did really well! Even the DS said, ‘You’ve got big shoes to fill.’ They were constantly at me.”

As reality TV shows have become filled with wannabe influencers and those who are happy to go to the opening of an inbox, the stars are now often viewed with some scepticism. But Robards preceded all that. Australia fell in love with Robards as he fell in love with Heinrich, a criminal lawyer, on the first season of The Bachelor in 2013. Even the cynics couldn’t help but cheer from the sidelines for this celebrity romance to stick. Not only has it done that, it seems to have become stronger.

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The couple married in 2018 and welcomed daughter Elle in 2020. Last month, they announced they were expecting their second child, with a gender-reveal party showing another girl is on the way.

“We are so lucky to have fallen pregnant again and so quickly,” says the doting dad. “But we are a little apprehensive too. Everyone says that two is much harder than one and going back to the crappy nappies and all that – but we are excited!”

It was his daughter, Elle, that also helped him get through aspects of the gruelling course, as he would convince himself that she was in danger and he needed to complete the task to “rescue” her.

“When my body started believing that, this superhuman strength came over me. I was surprised at how much strength and courage I had using her and she got me through those things. It all came out of love.”

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His daughter Elle has also been the inspiration for another project of Robards’. He’s set to release his Elle Rosè, the first in a small batch, but is hoping to take his love of winemaking further.

His big goal is to return to acting, pursuing it in the US where the casting directors don’t care as much about his background in reality TV and he’s seen as more than just a “nice guy in a suit”.

“I’ve always been good at a lot of different things but not really good at one thing,” he explains of his love of seeking out new challenges. “Some of it has just been about doing the things that I really enjoy. I feel that if you get clear on your values and live your life aligned with those values, you’ll do well.”

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