When Woman’s Day arrives at Gab Davenport’s Auckland home, the Bachelor New Zealand contestant has just laid out a big spread of ham and cheese croissants, and she’s cutting up a platter of fruit while a jug of coffee brews.
“She’s so domesticated,” grins her flatmate Steve Broad, who competed on last year’s The X Factor NZ. Laughing, their housemate Carolyn Taylor, a Celebrity Treasure Island survivor, adds, “She’ll make someone a perfect wife someday!”
“And if not, when Steve and I are 50, we’re having kids,” Gab says with a wry smile, prompting her future baby daddy to joke, “But I’m not donating sperm – you have to make love to me!”
As the trio descend into fits of giggles, it’s clear to see that while Gab may not have found true love on The Bachelor, there is a firm, fun-filled and famous group of friends at home who always have her back.
Their cosy brick house, nestled in the suburb of Westmere, is advertising manager and former What Now presenter Carolyn’s family home. She met Kerikeri-born marketing manager Gab, 29, while MCing an event last year and “it was a mutual girl-crush”, so in November, when Carolyn was looking for a flatmate and Gab was hunting for somewhere to live, it was a perfect match.
Carolyn recalls, “Then Gab mentioned she wanted to be on The Bachelor, so I gave the producer a call and said, ‘This girl’s awesome!’ And next thing I know, she’s on the show. But she would’ve made it anyway – she’s a cool, real, down-to-earth Kiwi chick.”
Meanwhile, in March, another room became vacant just as Carolyn’s pal Steve, 30, who she met while he was a finalist on NZ Idol, was moving up from Invercargill to teach at Remuera Primary School – again, it seemed like fate!
Gab left the flat to film The Bachelor the same day Steve moved in, but not before the two reality TV veterans took her out for brunch to issue a few warnings.
Carolyn laughs, “Steve and I have both been lucky enough to be screwed over on camera, so we had lots of advice. I told her how they’d ask her the same questions over and over again until she got so bored, she’d say something terrible, then that’s what they’d use on TV.”
Steve adds, “I made lots of rookie mistakes, all of which I passed on. But the biggest thing was just knowing that if you don’t give them any tosser statements, they can’t make you out to be a tosser! But I don’t think Gab needed our advice. She’s smart and well-spoken, just like you saw on the show – and she left such a crazy series on a really classy note.”
“Aww, you guys!” grins Gab, adding, “It was a crazy experience, but The Bachelor really taught me exactly what I want in a partner and I learnt a lot about myself. When I first got out, I wasn’t really ready to date anyone, but now I’m a bit more open. I’ve been on a few dates, but no-one’s really taken my fancy … yet!”
Fellow singleton Steve says, “Slow and steady wins the race, but in the meantime, we can snuggle on the couch in our grandma trackpants and watch Games of Thrones, which we do for at least three hours a day.”
“She’s the big spoon and he’s the little spoon!” jokes Carolyn. “But seriously, it’ll happen – the only uncomfortable thing is not knowing when.”
The fashion blogger got engaged to camera-shy physiotherapist Wes Keep, who now lives with them, in June after years of being single.
She says, “I’m in my mid-30s, so lots of my friends were getting married and asking me, ‘Why haven’t you met someone?’ But now I’ve finally met the person I want to spend my life with and he’s added this whole new layer to who I am as a person.”
There are no wedding plans as yet, but Steve has offered to MC and sing. "And I'll catch the bouquet!" laughs Gab.
Carolyn replies, "I'll just throw it at you - friends have been doing that to me for years."
And if that fails, there's always an upcoming Kiwi series of The Bachelorette.
"I would definitely do that," tells Gab. "I've thought about ti. It would be a chance to meet some great guys."
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