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Jordan Mauger’s back in the game

The battle-weary Bachelor has some choice words for ex Naz

For a while there, Jordan Mauger was one of the country’s most recognisable faces. As the leading man on reality show The Bachelor New Zealand, he held the heartstrings of 23 women all vying for his love on national television.

But after he was publicly vilified for dumping winner Fleur Verhoeven soon after the final episode aired, Jordan went to ground. Aside from the odd Instagram post, the Christchurch-born film producer mostly shunned the limelight – turning down invites to swanky events and focusing on work, close friends and family instead.

Now, though, he’s breaking his silence to tell us about life after The Bachelor, and to share his delight about being back in the dating game! “Initially, I did feel broken and tainted, and my confidence was knocked about dating again. But I’m meeting lots of amazing people and having an absolute ball,” he tells us over the phone from Canada. “I’ve got my confidence back!”

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Jordan jumped at the chance to travel to Canada for his friends’ wedding and followed it up with a trip to LA to celebrate his 33rd birthday.

“After all the nonsense that was surrounding me after the show, I just thought, ‘Why not go and do what I love, which is travelling?’” he says. “It’s been so nice to get away and have a good break.” But he admits his happy holiday was marred slightly when he learned that former flame Nazanin Khanjani had spoken out about him in Woman’s Day.

As she introduced her new beau, Naz – who stayed in contact with Jordan after coming second on the show – told us she believed he was merely fame-hungry. She also claimed he’d raised his voice at her when she tried to cut off contact with him, and that he’d begged her to join him in Fiji for his dad’s wedding.While Jordan says he’s not interested in playing tit for tat, he’s keen to make certain things clear.

“After the show, I really thought I could maintain a friendship with Naz, but her true colours started to show. It’s pretty unbelievable that she said I’m fame hungry – she should look in the mirror! I’ve pretty much disappeared from the limelight, so I don’t understand what she’s talking about. And to say that I raised my voice at her – well, that’s a complete fabrication.”

He believes that Naz, who admitted in an interview to having slept with Jordan during the show, “manufactured affection” for the sake of the cameras and that her goal was always to become a celebrity rather than to find love with him. Now, though, he hopes she will focus on the present. “If you have a relationship and it’s going really well, don’t dwell on the past! Just move on like all the other girls have.”

While Jordan messaged Naz in July to pass on his sympathies after she was ruled out of her charity boxing match due to a nasty kidney infection, he says there will be no further contact.

“I think she’s quite a complex person and she has her own agenda. That’s fine, but it’s not something I want to be a part of. I’m a true believer in surrounding myself with people who bring out the best in you – and she’s not one of those people.”

The chemistry between Jordan and Naz had Bachelor fans rapt, but Jordan says he now believes her motivation was to find fame, not love. It certainly worked!

Despite his disappointment at how his time on the TV3 show ended up, Jordan is determined to live a life with no regrets. “No, going on The Bachelor wasn’t my cup of tea and it wasn’t what I’d hoped for. But what am I going to do, sit around and sulk about it? You pick yourself up and move on.”

He also doesn’t mind being recognised – most recently as he boarded the flight from Auckland to Vancouver. “This little girl came up to me with her mum and asked if I could sign her boarding pass. I was like, ‘Yeah, totally!’ She was sat in her seat glowing. If I can put a smile on a kid’s face like that, it’s been worth it.”

As well as having plenty of film production work lined up, and focusing on his dream of helping Christchurch expand its film industry, Jordan is also dating. And he’s loving getting to know new people without the TV cameras watching his every move.


“I’ve had some wonderful dates with some wonderful women,” he reveals. “I’ve loved getting to know people in real life again, doing things that I like doing and going to places I enjoy. It’s been great to have normal dates with natural conversation.”

And while he’s coy about giving too much away, it’s clear that someone special has caught Jordan’s eye. “It’s very early days and I want to let things blossom, without any outside pressure. But life is good. I’m back to my old self again!”

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