You had 10 weeks of being in a secret relationship, what was that period in between filming ending and the finale airing like?
Irena: It’s definitely been a tough few weeks. Trying to keep the happy emotions under wraps for that long has been really difficult because all I’ve wanted to do is scream and shout how much I love Locky. It’s been hard but we got through it and here we are on the other side.
Some Bachelor couples have used code names in the past, did you guys do that?
Locky: We did, mine was as simple as Roger Roger and it had a smiley face.
Irena: And Locky was under Doug in my phone.
What was the significance behind those names?
Irena: Douglas is Locky’s middle name so that’s where I got it from and no one picked up on that!
Locky: I have no idea where Roger came from, I just thought it was funny!
When the cameras were finally packed away and you had a moment to yourself, what did you guys get up to?
Locky: Everything just stopped. We had cameras and people following us around for five months and then we were put in a room and there was nothing – it was just me and Irena and we kind of just sat there and lay on the bed and soaked it all up.
Irena: It was just what we needed. Time alone finally without people watching and talking and filming. It was finally good to be alone together.
Going back to that explosive finale, there’s been a lot of backlash after you Locky after you said you were in love with both girls. Do you stand by that?
Locky: A hundred per cent. I was in love with both the girls and in love with two different futures and I know it’s hard to say that and then break up with someone but I just had to go with how I was feeling. If I wasn’t true to myself then I wasn’t true to the process.
And how was it watching the finale back for you Irena and to see Locky say those things?
Irena: Watching it back was easier for me. Locky and I had a good chat about it really early on and he was very open about what happened and his feelings. I trust in our relationship and our love for each other and that’s all that matters. Watching it back it just made me love him even more because he’s got such a big heart.
Have either of you reached out to Bella following filming?
Locky: No, we didn’t think it was the best. Obviously for me I’m giving her the space she needs.
Irena: I haven’t, I thought that would probably be rubbing it in her face. I thought it would be best to leave her surrounded by family and friends – they’re going to be a lot more of a support than what we would’ve been.
Locky: We did get a lot of messages from all the other girls wishing Irena good luck and a couple of phone calls. They’re super happy for us so that’s all the girls we needed.
Which girls contacted you?
Locky: Pretty much all of them.
Irena: We jumped on a video chat with some of them last night. There were lots of happy emotions running last night - it was good that I got to share it with some of the amazing friends that I’ve made throughout the show.
Locky: My exes! [Laughs]
Irena you were the favourite to win pretty early on and there were many rumours about you. Was it funny reading and hearing about them without being able to comment publicly?
Irena: It was so funny reading all the stuff. Obviously all my family, friends and colleagues were saying “I’ve read that you won,” but I’d say things like “Don’t read too much into anything!” I’d say “Until you see something or hear it directly from me, don’t believe it.” That kept everyone at bay.
Looking back on your Bachelor experience, was there anything you saw on screen that was portrayed differently to what happened or anything that was left out from the show?
Locky: There are all these little parts that didn’t make the cut. All the girls were so beautiful and genuine so it was a shame that some stuff didn’t make it but where we are now, I’m happy with how they showed me and Irena. Watching it back I fell in love with Irena again and again and again so it was really good to watch back.
Irena: It’s hard because not everything’s going to make it to air but they’re memories we’re going to cherish and the other girls will cherish the memories they had and even if they didn’t make it to air it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. I think how it played out was really nice because we got to relive our special moments all over again so that was something really special for the both of us to watch back.
Irena, you’re moving to Perth as soon as possible? What brought that on?
Locky: She met some dude on a show and she’s heading over there, that’s about it.
Irena: Well it was a hard sell for Locky to move to Melbourne with COVID at the moment. I really did not have Melbourne on my side so we made the decision that I would be moving over to Perth and I can’t wait to get over there.
Did you guys discuss moving to a neutral city or was it always going to be Perth?
Locky: Irena mentioned to me when we first started that her plan this year was to move out of Melbourne. I was pretty fluid - I love Perth, it’s amazing, but it fits kind of perfect that we’ll give Perth a try. If Irena doesn’t like it and misses Melbourne I’ll be happy to head to Melbourne after COVID’s gone and try it there. But she’s going to fall in love with Perth, everyone that moves there ends up staying.
Irena: I’ve got a few friends over there already so that makes it easier and I’ve found work. I think it will be a real easy and smooth transition.
So when can we expect and engagement or a baby announcement?
Locky: It’s definitely on the cards. I don’t see myself being with anyone else for the rest of my life so it’s definitely going to happen but we’re just going to get stuck into the start of our relationship and it will come later.