We were kind of heartbroken to see Richie Strahan sent home in the second-last episode of The Bachelorette on Wednesday. While we wanted him to get his happily ever after on the show like he wanted, it obviously just wasn't meant to be with beautiful leading lady Sam Frost. Richie's elimination was a tearjerker — Sam looked physically pained letting him go — and it's obvious why: he's nothing short of a legend. Sweet, funny, a little bit awkward and as down-to-earth as they come, he's been a pleasure to get to know over the past few weeks. We've explored his Instagram in great detail, we've appreciated his shirtless form and we've asked him to clear up some persistent rumours . . . And just before his elimination, we spoke to him about why it didn't work out with Sam, what he's up to now and — most importantly, if he's still single. Read on!
POPSUGAR Australia: How are you, Richie?
Richie: Not too bad, not too bad!
PS: Long time no speak! I asked you so many questions last week, hopefully this won't be quite as intense.
Richie: Oh no, it's all good. We're like best mates now! [Laughs]
PS: We were sad to see you go! How did you feel about leaving?
Richie: Oh, look, I was obviously sad. Pretty disappointed. You get quite emotionally invested in the experience so it was really tough standing there and not getting that final rose. When Mike's name was called out, you just sort of think, "Damn, I've let this girl slip through my fingers." In saying that, it's her decision — it's not like I'm letting that happen. She's got the biggest decision to make and it's quite unfortunate. Yeah, it was sad wasn't it!
PS: I think it's just one of those things — you just aren't the right people for each other, unfortunately.
Richie: Yeah, exactly. Exactly! And at the same time, we're both adults so it is what it is.
PS: We were so sad when we found out.
Richie: Aw! We can cry together [laughs].
PS: Tell me what happened, from your point of view, on your final date with Sam.
Richie: Yeah, well, it was a pretty intense — [laughs] — final date with Sam. We went to Falls Creek and it was amazing — I've never seen snow before and Sam wanted to take me out there.
PS: You've never seen snow before?
Richie: No, I hadn't! I've done so many cool things, and that's been on the top of my list for so long but I just never got around to doing it. So yeah, I think in one of the previous dates I told Sam that I hadn't seen snow before so it was really nice of her to take me out there and go for a ski, which was really cool.
PS: And did you like it?
Richie: I did, I really did! It was a very, very rushed day and the filming was really tight that day so we were so rush-rush. Yeah, it was pretty full on but at the end of the day Sam and I were just trying to have as much fun as we could. That was the mentality I had to go with in all those situations. Just have as much fun as possible. See Sam laughing and that's the best possible outcome.
PS: Did you feel like it was a good date? Did it make you think you might go through to the next stage or did you know it was the end for you?
Richie: Um, I kind of . . . Sam asked me some pretty big questions. One of the questions she asked me was, you know, sometimes in an intimate setting I can be a little bit withdrawn, and for me it's not that I was being withdrawn because of Sam, it was just more or less the scenario. I'm on national TV! [Laughs] But also I'm trying to respect Sam as a lady. To be overly affectionate, especially knowing she's got to go on dates with two other guys, it's just . . . a really weird scenario. I didn't even know how to handle something like that so I guess what I came up with was to just try and be as nice as I can to Sam and show as much as I can about myself. I know Sam wants to find love. She wants to find that person she can spend the rest of her life with, so she's got the biggest and hardest decision.
PS: That's hard because you're trying to be the gentleman and not be all over her . . . But then you also kind of need to be?
Richie: Yeah, you nailed it. You absolutely nailed it. I've got the utmost respect for Sam and, yeah, it's just a tough scenario. I've been raised to try and be a gentleman to a lady — you can't just be jumping all over them! Crikey.
PS: Did Sam explain to you why she let you go?
Richie: Oh God, now I've got to really think back to that chat we had. [Laughs] Sam didn't really explain to me exactly why she let me go. She just said really nice stuff to me, to be honest. It was like a horrible breakup. [Laughs] no, I'm kidding! She said some really, really sweet things to me and I think I said some really sweet things to Sam . . . And then I left!
PS: Goodness! Were your feelings hurt or were you OK?
Richie: Oh, definitely — I can't say that my feelings weren't hurt. I've gotten to know Sam . . . And I've only got really nice things to say about her. She gets really emotional as well — wait 'til you see this episode, oh my God! In that situation — I don't know what it's going to look like editing-wise — but I was standing there, she calls out Michael's name, Michael walks up to Sam and then she starts to cry and looks over his shoulder and is like, "I'm so sorry," and I was standing there like, "Oh, Sam, it's all good." Oh my God, it was just a full-on situation — I didn't know if I should go up there and give her a hug or what I should do . . . The only rose ceremonies I've seen, people just stand there and wait for Osher [Günsberg, the host] to walk out and you get kicked out. I'm standing there going, "I just want to give her a hug!" She was so emotional. I didn't even know what to do so I just stood there like a stunned mullet.
PS: It sounds so sad!
Richie: Yeah, it was a sad, emotional talk. Oh, crikey. Oh, it's a tearjerker! [Laughs]
PS: What were your feelings for Sam?
Richie: I had some pretty solid feelings for Sam. I had a pretty life-changing, most amazing experience with her and I've got nothing but good things to say about Sam and how I feel about her, she's a gorgeous person.
PS: Do you feel like Sasha and Michael had stronger feelings for her? Did you guys ever talk about it?
Richie: Oh, guys don't normally sit around and chat about feelings [laughs]. Nah, we don't. We don't wake up in the morning and go, "So mate, tell me how you feel." Especially about the girl we're all trying to spend time with as well. The guys all had this mutual respect while we were there — we just didn't talk about it [laughs].
PS: Did your family know you weren't right for each other, having seen you together — or did they think you'd end up together?
Richie: They thought Sam was absolutely lovely. My family just wants me to be happy and when they saw how Sam and I were with each other when we were doing home towns, they only had nice things to say. They thought she was gorgeous as well. We had such a laugh with each other.
PS: What's life been like since you finished filming? Have you gone back to work or are you changing things up?
Richie: Yeah, I'm having a bit of a break from work! I've been glued to the screens on a Wednesday and a Thursday.
PS: Have you? Some people don't watch it.
Richie: Oh my God, have I? Yeah! I am glued to the screen. My friends come around and we have this big party — basically everyone gets really drunk and laughs at me, it's great [laughs]. But yeah, I'm just taking a bit of time off now.
PS: Are you staying in Perth or moving to Sydney or Melbourne?
Richie: My home is in Perth — all my family and friends are in Perth so it'd be hard for me to just uproot and move. In saying that, I go to Melbourne and Sydney all the time — I'm always over there, staying for a month-long at a time. I've got family over there in Sydney. I've never been someone who likes to be marooned in one place anyway!
PS: And . . . Are you single?
Richie: Why'd you laugh when you asked me that? [Laughs] You're like, "This guy's definitely going to be single!"
PS: As if, I feel like if anything you'd definitely not be single anymore!
Richie: [Laughs] No, I still am. It's pretty funny, I'm a very private person. I don't go out much, like I'm not the guy who goes out until four o'clock in the morning. It's just not my scene. I've been going on some fishing trips and surfing trips with friends, and staying in holiday houses, which has been cool — but unfortunately no glamorous girls walking around those areas, so it's very hard to meet someone.
PS: And of course it's been a secret until now, I guess.
Richie: Exactly. Imagine that, first episode: "Seen partying at the Playboy Mansion!" [Laughs]
PS: Do you have a celebrity crush?
Richie: [Laughs] Oh, I do. But . . . [Laughs]. OK, alright. Clearly I've got no chance here . . .
PS: Stop, you're crazy!
Richie: You know that Renae girl? Renae Ayris? She's like a Miss Universe Australia . . .
PS: Yeah, Renae Ayris! She's one of the most beautiful people I've ever seen in real life.
Richie: Yeah, that's it! Oh my God. Ages and ages ago, I followed her on Instagram and every now and then I'd just see a picture of her head and I'd be like, "My God! It's incredible!" [laughs] and then I'd have to put my phone away. She's out of control!