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Get the goss on the new Bachelor Zac Franich

A-list insider and series host Dominic Bowden grills the lucky man!
Zac FranichWoman's Day

Finally, The Bachelor New Zealand is back! I’m a massive fan of the series and I’m incredibly excited to be going on this journey with Aotearoa’s hottest new TV hunk as the Three show’s host – but we aren’t here to talk about me.

The handsome, hilarious and down-to-earth Kiwi bloke you’ve all been dying to meet is (drum roll, please) Zac Franich! The muscle-bound 28-year-old hails from Auckland’s Hibiscus Coast, works as a surf-lifesaving coach and has represented his country in sprint kayaking. Plus, he’s a bloody decent guy with a heart of gold. Still not convinced? Read my exclusive chat, where the Bachelor dishes all.

Does it feel strange to be called The Bachelor?

Man, it’s so weird. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be on TV, let alone looking for love in front of hundreds of New Zealanders. I’m not sure I’ll ever become fully comfortable with the title. This showbiz world is all very new to me – this is your domain, Dom! I’m stoked you are here with me, walking me down the aisle, so to speak.

Woah! I don’t know about walking you down the aisle. I’d like to think I’m in the mix for the wedding party, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here! Is that what you are looking for – a wife?

Let’s just say that I’m really hopeful I can find the perfect someone to connect with, fall in love with and be my better half. This show is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I really feel like it’s a chance for me to grow as a person too – I’m looking forward to meeting the person I am on the other side.

Did someone put you up to applying?

Not exactly. A friend told me to throw my hat into the ring and I thought, “Why not?” When I got a reply, I remember thinking, “Oh, crap, what have I done?” It got very real very quickly. I’m more relaxed about it now. I’m confident in who I am as a person, so I’m going into the process being true to myself, genuine and honest, and trusting myself to make good decisions.

Do you believe in true love?

I believe in serendipity and fate, and that you meet people for a reason. I’ve always believed that you meet your soulmate when you’re ready and open to doing that – and I feel I am at that time in my life now.

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You’re the lucky bugger who gets to date 21 women!

It’s going to be really hard and I don’t mean that sarcastically. I’m conscious that all the girls are putting themselves out there and have given up a lot to be on the show, like their jobs and leaving behind their family. I’m going to try to spend as much time with each of the girls as I can to really get to know them.

Speaking of girls, what feature do you notice first?

I’m an eyes guy. Some girls have the ability to really look into you – I find that attractive.

Your smoothest moment with a woman?

Once I flew home a week early from work to surprise my partner at the time. She was so happy. It was awesome.

How about your worst date ever?

The one where I got stood up.

The Bachelor gets stood up?

Yup, it happens to all of us. I’m just a normal guy.

If she could see you now…

No hard feelings. I’m sure she had her reasons.

Do you remember having the birds-and-bees chat?

Oh, God, it was the most awkward, longest, quietest conversation in the car with my father ever. It was on the way back from one of those school sex-ed talks and Dad tried to elaborate. Thankfully, you only have to have that conversation once.

How do you mentally prepare to be the Bachelor?

Jeepers, I’m not sure you can – I’m just going to be me and enjoy myself.

How about them guns? Don’t tell me you haven’t done any physical prep.

Look, I’m not going to lie. I did have to watch what I ate for a while, and I lost a bit of weight and gained a bit of muscle. The only thing that stood in the way of that was chocolate. To be honest, sugar and anything sweet are my biggest weaknesses. What they say is true – the way to this man’s heart is through his stomach.

On a scale of one to 10, how would you rate yourself as a boyfriend?

Man, I don’t know. A solid score – maybe a seven?

A seven? That’s not a great score.

OK, um, an 11 then!

Better! You say your dad is your greatest role model?

Your parents are your first role models and the people you are forever trying to impress. My old man is the person who I look to for advice and seek praise from.

Are you nervous about the prospect of one day introducing your father to your chosen ladies?

Man, absolutely, but it’s nervous excitement. Dad is really fair and impartial, and he’ll always give someone the benefit of the doubt.

Which celebrities would you swipe right for?

Easy! Jennifer Lawrence and Emily Blunt.

How about closer to home?

Samantha Hayes – she’s a babe. In fact, I’d swipe right for anyone who loves a good adventure.

What about a woman turns you on?

Confidence and great chat.

And what turns you off?

People who are closed-minded and rude to waiters.

What kind of work would you do for free?

Coaching. I love my job, I love kids and I never dread getting up and going to work.

What’s your greatest fear heading into this journey?

Coming across as someone I’m not. If I’m going to try to find that person, I’ve got to be really open and I won’t shy away from that. I’m not afraid to talk about things like feelings, love and even some darker demons that I’ve had to face. It’s a bit scary, but it’s part of how you grow as a person and I am ready to embrace that.

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