“If they announced their split during Angie’s season, it would have put a bad taste in viewers’ mouths and could have impacted the ratings. So, he was made to keep the act up and do the required media rounds with Chelsie until Angie’s season had finished airing."
While it's not unusual for Bachelor and Bachelorette couple's to split after a few months of dating, Matty J— who's now engaged and shares a child with his season's winner, Laura Byrne— strongly refutes claims Matt was forced to hand Chelsie the final rose.
"I am going to disagree," he told his co-host Nat Bassingthwaighte during a recent episode of their new podcast, The babble. "I don't reckon there's anywhere they could've forced him to choose somebody. In the weeks leading up to the finale I had one of the producers come up to me and say, 'just letting you know, as you are making your decision, it's ok if you don't want to pick anyone. You are totally allowed to do that.'"
He continued: "They don't try and push you in any kind of direction. There is no wrong decision and whatever you choose is ok."
While Matty J understands the show's process and what goes on behind the scenes, Nat wasn't convinced, arguing Network 10 encourages the hunky men and women handing out the roses to pick someone so it looks better for the franchise.
"The success rate is 50 per cent," Matt hit back. "I can't imagine that legally that could be written into a contract."
Since confirming they'd called time on their romance, a struggling Chelsie— who hinted Matt cheated on her last week— admitted in a candid Instagram post she's finding it hard to move on and the online hate isn't helping.
"This weekend I was meant to be at a four day festival. I am SO GLAD that I put myself first and opted out to have an alcohol free weekend while I attempt to get myself back to a good place," Chelsie captioned a stunning photo of herself.
"Dealing with heartbreak SUCKS and dealing with harsh messages doesn’t help. I’ve been strong enough to deal with all of this but I am definitely worried for those that aren’t. We need to know that unwarranted opinions need to be taken with a grain of salt. THANK YOU to everyone that has had my back. It honestly means the world to me 🥰"
The Bachelor winner also shared two examples of the nasty messages and comments she's been receiving on social media, with one abhorrent user branding her "crazy", "clingy" and "not that hot" while another compared her body to Abbie Chatfield's and called her a "dog".
Expectedly, many of Chelsie's co-stars rallied around her, with Elly Miles, Jessica Brody and Emma Roche encouraging the chemical engineer to focus on herself during this difficult period.
"You are so strong and you never fail to blow me away with how amazing you are Chels. Anybody who knows you can see your value. You light up every room and I’m so grateful for your friendship. Also, I will literally fist fight anyone who’s a meanie to you," Jess wrote.
"You know what, some people just SUCK. They don’t know you, you are such a bloody angel Chels. You have a heart of pure gold & those who know you, know that & adore you for it 💛," Bachie fan-favourite Elly added.
Emma also wrote: "Here for you hunni ❤️❤️❤️"