Something weird is happening with The Bachelor
IT'S Bachelor finale week, and something just doesn't seem right.
Not since Blake Garvey dumped Sam Frost just before the final episode aired has there been so much mystery surrounding the show. In fact, aside from Blake, every Bachie suitor - Tim Robards (2013), Sam Wood (2015), Richie Strahan (2016) and Matty Johnson (2017) - have all walked the exact same path.
They go on dates, throw up a few eviction twists, choose their leading lady and then hit the publicity trail for a whirlwind blitz of interviews as the finale airs.
Which makes the events of the past week all the more strange.
There's no denying that Nick "Honey Badger" Cummins' season has been a ratings bonanza for Ten. But even before the series aired, there were whispers that the former rugby star would end up single after the final rose ceremony - mostly sparked by the fact that, unlike other Bachelors, he's been coy about confirming whether or not he's in love.
But the real clincher came when Nick was seen actually leaving the country on Monday, headed to Papua New Guinea to hike the Kokoda Trail.
Why, after years of the exact same publicity strategy, had Ten suddenly let a suitor off the hook?
(News.com.au has contacted Ten for comment.)
But it's not the only thing that has Bachelor fans convinced there's drama - of the unusual variety - afoot.
THE CRYPTIC PROMO
The finale is supposed to be all about love - and of course, the big reveal of who wins the series.
But that's not what we're getting from Ten's promo. In fact, it throws up some very strong hints that there won't be a happy ending for this year's Bachelor.
"I came here for a real shot at love," Nick can be heard saying cryptically, before the voice-over warns: "Here comes the most heart-stopping end to a series we've ever seen."
Oh - and here's the image that's been used of Nick. He doesn't seem thrilled, to be honest.
BRITTANY'S BIG HINT
Brittany was asked what she would hypothetically do if Nick dumped her … and ended up giving quite the detailed answer.
"At this stage, things are getting real and there are a lot of strong feelings there … This point comes and you start to see each other together and you realise this could be something really good," she said.
"While I'd be really hurt, everything in life depends on how you react in certain situations. I'd be hurt, but you've got to get on with it … For me, personally, I'm not going to lock myself in my room and cry."
CASS' BIZARRE INTERVIEW
Meanwhile, rumours have been spreading like wildfire that Nick is actually about to go "full Blake" and dump his winner for third runner-up, Cass Wood.
We took it with a grain of salt when tabloids first started reporting it this week - but then Cass turned up on Nova's Fitzy and Wippa show this morning and was really, well, weird about the whole thing.
"Cass, there's a rumour that you and the Honey Badger are together now. What's your thoughts on that?" host Sarah McGilvray asked her.
"Ummmmmm," Cass stalled, giggling.
"Nah, there's a lot of fake news … And, uh, I believe he's with the winner and having a happy life."
"I don't know if I believe you - that smile on your face!" Sarah hit back.
Asked if she'd seen Nick since leaving The Bachelor, Cass was again cagey.
"Ummm, out of respect to the winner, we'd never organise to hang out. But we do live, uh, on the Northern Beaches, and I have bumped into him," Cass told the hosts, before quickly adding: "But it was just like, 'Hi, bye.'"
When asked point-blank if she and Nick were "still together", she replied "no", but was less convincing when answering the follow-up question: "Are you single?"
"Yeah," Cass said, causing Sarah to point out: "You raised your eyebrows."
SOPHIE HAS RELOCATED TO SYDNEY
Let's muddy the waters a little more, eh?
One of the finalists, Sophie Tieman, confirmed to Woman's Day recently that she had relocated to Sydney from Brisbane shortly before the season premiered.
"Look property is bigger and better in Sydney. I specialise in property valuations so why wouldn't I be based in Sydney?" she told the publication.
Nick also happens to live in Sydney - specifically in Manly, on the Northern Beaches.
Just when we thought the rumours around this year's finale couldn't get any more strange, Nick's uncle threw up the biggest curve ball of all.
According to Uncle Mike - who owns the pizza shop in Manly where Nick took Romy Poulier on a date - his nephew is engaged.
"He's getting married," Mike told Woman's Day, before saying he couldn't elaborate further due to a confidentiality agreement.
So there you have it.
We have just one question: Nick, what the hell is going on?