Sophie Monk hikes up the sides of a gleaming golden Sass & Bide gown to her thighs, just shy of the curves of her Jets swimsuit underneath. All sultry and serious during a photo shoot on Oct. 26, she relaxes when the camera turns away and gives off her trademark grin. "This is so comfy," she says to the crew standing around her, squeezing the fabric with delight. "I love it."
Later, when she looks at the resulting images on photographer Georges Antoni's computer screen, she smiles once more. "I just love a WHO shoot," she says, explaining, "they've always got an amazing crew, their photos are on point, and they get fashion."
The TV and radio personality, who would declare her love for publican Stu Laundy on the season 3 finale of The Bachelorette the next day, leads this year's list of steamiest stars for WHO's Sexiest People 2017.
Congrats on a fabulous shoot.
I can't believe I'm WHO's sexiest cover girl. That doesn't make sense to me, but I'm very proud. Not sure my dad will be, but I am.
Speaking of your dad, he gave you the bit of advice that tipped you towards Stu?
My dad said, "You've got to go with humour," and I agree. You've got to laugh. You're going to have stresses everywhere, but it's the best thing you can do.
Are you in love with Stu?
Definitely. I'm definitely in love.
Did you think that you would find love on TV?
The show made me more… I learnt a lot about myself. I had to be strong because I had to stand up for myself because things were moving so quickly. I was scared going in, but I knew the success rate, so that’s why I did it. I’d choose no one at the end if I wanted to — I wouldn’t be able to fake it. I couldn’t.
What do you find sexy about him?
There's loads of sexy things. I could list it for days. We'd be here too long.
But who is the sexiest person you know?
I'd have to say my friend Oscar, who's gay, so that's a shame. But what makes my best friend sexy is he's confident, he's loving, and he laughs all the time.
Was there a sexiest moment for you on The Bachelorette?
They don't allow many sexy moments, to be honest, because you've got a lot of camera crew around and you've got to be, you know, you're in public places, but I'd say the sexiest thing was the photo shoot, getting up close and personal, maybe a little too personal!
You were poking at Apollo's muscles during that.
[Laughs] Maybe I shouldn't have done that!
How do you define "sexy"?
For me, what I've learnt I'm attracted to, and I think everyone is, it's confidence that makes you sexy, it's self-esteem, and just owning who you are. It's the most attractive thing you can do. I know it sounds lame, but I've met the most beautiful women in the world and have gone, "You're ugly," once they open their mouth.