The Bachelorette finale: Georgia declares her love for Lee
THE Bachelorette Georgia Love has found her Mr Love in Lee Elliott.
The former TV journalist declared her love for the 35-year-old Melbourne plumber in tonight's Singapore-filmed finale of the reality dating show.
It was a nervous wait for Lee, who said he couldn't picture a future without her.
"In my heart of hearts I felt there was something there, but I was so nervous going into every rose ceremony," he told APN.
"This one just happened to be exponentially worse, not because I wanted to be the last man standing but because I didn't see a future without her. All I wanted to hear from her was that she thinks the same.
"I didn't put much emphasis on it not being me because I didn't want to think that way."
Lee went to extreme lengths to keep the show's result a secret, not even sharing his fairy tale ending with his mother or grandmother.
"My mum rang me the other day because she'd read somewhere that Richie's mum knew the result before it aired, but I told her sorry mum I can't tell you," he said.
"When I got cast on the show I told my family about it and then five minutes later my mum was on the phone to her best friend. I was like 'mum you can't do that'.
"My little sister and my best mate knew. You need to be able to talk to somebody about it. If I had kept this to myself then I think it would have been far more difficult situation."
Lee memorably brought a donkey with him in the first episode of the show to use for a punchline, except the donkey didn't cooperate and refused to come up the driveway with him.
Georgia, 28, said: "Lee is the kind of person that offers the kind of relationship I always sought out and never found. Being able to look Lee in the eye and tell him I love him is the best feeling ever."
The couple isn't rushing into anything, with Georgia at her mum's bedside as she battles an aggressive form of pancreatic cancer.
"I don't know what our future holds, but I don't care as long as I have her laying beside me," he said.
"We can take on anything life throws at us. We're not the sort of couple to sit back on the couch. We're people who get out and make the most of life. I want to do anything and everything with her, and make the most of life with her by my side."
Lee said he was initially sceptical about finding love on a reality dating show.
"I went into the experience open to falling in love, but I also went in skeptical. Why would she be the one for me? And why would I be the one for her out of all these guys? But I'm also a strong believer in fate. If you put yourself out there then things will happen."
Runner-up Matty Johnson had an emotional reaction to his loss after also declaring his love for Georgia.
"It hurts a lot. You can't help but feel like you have found one in a million and then lost it," he said.
"I wish I didn't love her right now. I wish you could flick a switch and stop having those feelings toward someone.
There are already calls on social media for him to be the next Bachelor, but he's taking time to mend his broken heart.
"I won't be rushing to get into another relationship straight away," he said.
"My focus is on spending time with friends and family and work as well. Life is slowly returning to normal as best it can."