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I was happy to go, Bachelor SA contestant says

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TALI FEINBERG

One of the main reasons she wanted out of the second series was cyber-bullying. “Although there has been such an incredible amount of love shown towards me, the biggest challenge has been cyber-bullying,” she says.

She was one of 22 women competing for the affections of Marc Buckner, the bachelor, in the series. Every week, roses are given to women chosen by the man of the moment to remain on the show, while one contestant is eliminated. In the tenth rose ceremony, Brest, 34, didn’t get a rose.

Brest has had an illustrious career, co-presenting a show with the Top Gear team; playing many DJ gigs; drumming up a storm in popular South African bands; creating her own band, Chix with Stix; hosting her own radio show; and building a successful career as a marketing expert and lecturer.

She has also appeared in numerous music videos and commercials; played the lead role in the South African-made movie Eternity; and has appeared in several South African soap operas. She knows her cars, and has featured in several television motor shows.

Brest decided to enter The Bachelor SA because, she says, “I wanted to send a message to the universe that I was ready to meet my person. I wasn’t meeting anyone in a traditional way. I’m not a fan of meeting people on social media, and don’t like the idea of Tinder, so, I decided to try something completely different.”

When she found out she had been selected, she says, “I was excited and nervous. Excited because potentially, I was going to find love, and nervous because putting myself out there and being vulnerable in front of millions of people is scary. It took a lot of courage.”

The show hasn’t changed her life, other than adding stress and anxiety. “You don’t know how they are going to edit you in the show,” she says. “You don’t know if the viewers are going to love or hate you that week based on the five minutes that they see. Hopefully in future it leads to me finding my person, but other than that, I’m really glad it’s over!”

The hardest part, she says, was the fact that “People think that just because you put yourself on TV, they are entitled not just to disagree with something, but literally to tear you apart and send you messages telling you to ‘go die’. People don’t understand that it’s an extremely difficult environment where we are pushed to our absolute limits, and sometimes we slip up. We’re only human, but that doesn’t make cyber-bullying acceptable.”

There were also many highlights, such as “making the most incredible friends I have no doubt I will have in my life forever”.

The most difficult aspect was having no control over the narrative. “The other challenge is that we aren’t allowed to explain ourselves when something has been taken out of context.”

Brest spoke of her sense of relief at not getting a rose. “I wasn’t even getting to know him [Buckner], and I wasn’t prepared to introduce him to my family if I didn’t know him. So that morning, I wrote a letter to say goodbye to the remaining women, and hid it for them to find after the rose ceremony. When you see the close-up of me with my mouth moving, I was whispering, ‘please don’t give me a rose’. I was leaving that night, regardless.”

Her message to readers is to “be brave with your life, and find the courage to be vulnerable. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone so that you are forced to learn and grow.”

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1 Comment

  1. Ingrid McMahon

    May 1, 2020 at 11:17 am

    ‘I became an instant fan of Rikki Brest on day 1 from the moment she stepped onto the red carpet. Rikki is beautiful inside and out and knows her worth. As a huge fan I was very happy the night she didnt get a rose. I was not enjoying watching what she went through just because she was strong enough as a women to speak out to Marc about her feelings. Bravo Rikki for not settling . You deserve way better. She is strong she is brave she is fierce, she is all round beautiful. Love you Rikki ????❤????’

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