After entering the villa as the first "bomb", Kim Hartnett, 21, had a pretty under-the-radar experience on Love Island Australia and it really didn't come as a surprise to her that she was eliminated from the show.
How would you sum up your experience?
I wouldn’t take it back in any way, but I just wasn’t myself in there. I always knew it was going to be hard being away from my son, but I don’t think I realised how hard it was going to be. But if I didn’t do it, I would always be sitting at home thinking, “What if I did?”
Were you expecting to have more of a connection with the guys?
I was hoping to but I just didn’t have that connection with anyone. Maybe if I stayed a little bit longer ... Something was kind of starting to form a little bit and potentially could have. But with the guys at the start, there was no chance anything was going to form there.
Why was that?
I know my age is young, but my life is very mature. I’ve had to grow up really quickly and they just reminded me of little boys. I just remembered thinking, “If I wanted to be with children, I’d prefer to be with my own.”
Who were the biggest kids?
Definitely Charlie and Josh. And put them together and they were like ... I don’t even know. It was bad. And I feel like they’re the ones I was actually meant to be liking and I was like, “Absolutely not.” In saying that, I do get along with them really well as a friendship – they’re both lovely people. But in [a romantic] way, there was no way it would happen.
What about the recent arrivals, John James and Elias?
Just before I was leaving, Elias said, “I’ve actually had a crush on you the whole time.” And John James was telling me there’s a connection there. Maybe it could have been a little triangle starting to form.
Was it frustrating to have that happen just before you left?
Yeah, it was a little frustrating in a way, but I was struggling in there. I wasn’t sleeping at night – I was crying at nighttime and would get so upset. I was having an amazing time during the day, but at night, I was struggling. I think I would’ve been more upset if one of the other girls left who had actually found something in there and was absolutely loving it.
What did you think of the other girls?
I got along with all the girls amazingly. The only one in there who wasn’t super genuine was Tasha, but apart from that, I loved all the girls.
Who did you side with: Cassidy or Tayla?
They were calling me Switzerland because I was friends with all of them.
Did it feel a bit like high school in there?
It felt a lot like high school. If someone said something to me, I’m obviously not going to just let that happen, but if someone’s having a petty little fight, I don’t want to be involved with it. And especially because I was tired and not feeling myself, I just thought, “I don’t have time for this. I’m just not interested.”
We only saw you tell a couple of people about your son. How did the other singles react? Were any of the guys taken aback by that?
That’s actually my reason why I didn’t pick Charlie. He was going around the villa saying that me having a son is a dealbreaker and that there’s no way he’d be with me. And I was sitting there going, “I haven’t even said that I like you.” You just can’t say that about someone who has a child, and when he has kids of his own he’ll realise, but that was actually the real reason behind my not picking Charlie, because of those comments about my son.
Was he the only one?
He was the only one. Everybody else was fine with it. I think it just came down to a maturity thing.
Is there a lot we don’t get to see?
The cameras aren’t on 24 hours so there is so much in there that you don’t get to see – from conversations about how we are feeling about each other down to us talking about nothing just to kill time.
Did you feel like there was pressure to perform for the cameras or to get airtime?
I feel like a lot of people in there are feeling that pressure to get airtime. I know a few of them joke about it, like, “This is my airtime, guys, you’re stealing it.” But like I said, I wasn’t myself in there. I wasn’t connecting with anyone. I wasn’t in any of the drama or fights. I kind of discovered that I wasn’t a big part of the show.
Do you think that’s why Australia might not have voted for you as much as the other girls?
Definitely. As soon as they said, “Australia has voted and they’re sending one girl home,” I knew straight away that it would be me. I knew from how I was feeling that I probably hadn’t even been shown on the show.
Is anyone being fake to get airtime?
I think a few people are being fake in the way of trying to stay in there, but not day to day to try to get airtime. You can’t try to be someone you’re not for 24 hours.
Did you get the sense that people are getting stressed out by the experience?
Yeah, people were getting very stressed out when it came to recoupling and if they didn’t have someone they liked in there. The whole thing that happened with Cass and Tayla, fair enough because they both did genuinely like Grant, so sure, get stressed out about that, but there are people in there that didn’t like anyone and were still stressing and going around trying to plan tactics just to stay on the show.
Who was doing that?
Tasha was a big one for that. She actually made a pact with four guys in there and you didn’t actually see it.
Guess it comes down to what you’re in there for...
I think she is in there to find love, but she’s waiting for Mr Right to walk through the door and she’s not willing to settle at all.
In this week’s episode of WHO magazine’s TV podcast, Binge List, Matthew Denby, Clare Rigden and Gavin Scott discuss and debate true-crime drama American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace, ABC series Mystery Road and Netflix food doco The Magic Pill. Plus, we ask To Binge Or Not To Binge The Good Fight and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and delve into Hidden Gem Dead Boss. Listen below, or on iTunes: http://po.st/syE3JF or OMNY: http://po.st/Bg4FlU