Let’s face it, if you met someone at a bar and the first thing out of their mouth was ‘I’d like to settle down, find the one, get married and have babies - ASAP’, you’d run a mile right?
But that’s exactly what 31-year-old real estate auctioneer Blake Garvey is saying to 24 single ladies every single day – and they can’t get enough.
This year’s designated object of affection on Ten’s The Bachelor Australia freely admits he’s searching for true love – and has no problems laying bare his hopes and dreams for the nation to feast on.
Is this guy for real?
“If you met someone at the bar, or on the train – wherever – you don’t normally get the chance to open yourself up and say, ‘Well, actually I’m at a point in my life right now where I’d like to find love'," he explains.
“But on this show I can. You can talk about the possibilities – and we do. It’s so liberating – you get to talk about your hopes and your dreams, and that’s how you get to know each other.”
Wait, a man in touch with his touchy-feely, sensitive side? That rustling sound you can hear is the single ladies of Australia forming an orderly queue.
But if he really does sound too good to be true, Network Ten is quick to assure he's not kidding. They recognised early in the casting process that Garvey’s earnest desire to fine ‘the one’ was legit – and that the women of Australia would likely lap it up.
“The thing that set Blake apart was that he didn't talk about what he wanted out of a relationship, instead he spoke really articulately about what he wants to bring to the relationship,” says Network Ten head of entertainment and factual programming Stephen Tate.
“He's doing The Bachelor for the right reasons. He's highly intelligent and very sensitive and he has the big picture of a family firmly in his sights.”
They signed him up quick smart – and before he knew it, Garvey was gussied up in a tux, handing out roses to a bevy of beauties.
It came as a surprise: “I got dobbed in by a mate,” he says of the casting process. “He knew one of the scouts in WA [where Garvey is from], and put me forward... It went from there.”
Garvey admits it helps to have a sense of humour when signing on to do a show like this. And far from being apprehensive about seeing how everything will play out on air, the 31-year-old, who is still in the process of whittling down his final chosen ladies, admits he’s actually quite keen to see how it all comes together.
“I’m trying not to think about it too much,” he admits. “And, actually, I find it quite amusing.
“I have quite a self-deprecating sense of humour, and the whole concept cracks me up.
“[Right now] I’m focusing on one thing only, and that’s finding love in the house. I’m focusing on the girls, and learning as much as I can about them in our time together.”
But there have been some distractions – this month reports surfaced that he broke up with a ‘girlfriend,’ US-based model and make-up artist Amy Campbell, a woman he’d been having an online relationship with, before signing up for the show. She told her story to the Daily Mail online, and reportedly set up a blog laying bare her disappointment at having been dumped by the man she’d been seeing, but never met.
Garvey says this new attention on his personal life isn’t something that fazes him too much – he knew from the outset there would be interest in his life away from the show.
“We all have exes, and people from the past. For me, that stuff is exactly where it belongs – in the past. If I was worried about things in the background, I wouldn’t be able to pay attention to the girls I’m [meeting now].” he says.
So, for the time being, his attention is squarely on the smorgasbord of ladies hanging on his every word. One man and 24 women – every guy’s dream come true, right? And just a teensy bit Mormon-esque!
“Ha! I’ve joked about that, actually, and said it would be so much easier if it was just ‘Mormon Bachelor’ where we could all just go off and live somewhere together!” Garvey laughs. “But seriously, it is a strange thing. Normally, I’m a one woman man. But I have been put into an environment where I can’t do that.
“I have to keep an open mind.”
The Bachelor Australia, Ten, Wednesday (and Thursday), 7.30pm.