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.
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.”
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.”