The Bachelor contestant Sherri Mathieson. Photo: Supplied
On a show full of tumbling Rapunzel-esque locks, Sherri Mathieson's chic bob stands out.
And it all makes sense when you realise The Bachelor contestant's father is Australia's most famous hairdresser: Tim Mathieson, partner of former prime minister Julia Gillard and the country's former "First Bloke".
"All these girls have crazy long hair, full on extensions...and this is actually long for me," the 29-year-old said.
Tim Mathieson and daughter Sherri pictured together at a Breast Cancer Network event in 2011. Photo: Lyn Mills
The make-up artist had only just returned to her childhood home of the Gold Coast after a year living in New York City, when a friend alerted her to auditions for the reality romance show.
"I'd been back for two weeks, and I'd had no idea it was even going on," she said.
"The timing was really right – coming home, I had no commitments to tie me down, and thought 'this is one of those once-in-a-lifetime funny experiences that you'll be able to look back on'."
Mathieson said her father's advice matched her own motivations.
"I chatted to him before I went on, and he was quite open-minded... he said go on, be yourself, have fun, that kind of thing," she said.
"[He said] play it a bit cool, don't go crazy."
Mathieson credited her career as a make up artist, which has taken her to Melbourne and London as well as New York, to her father.
"I basically lived in a hair salon growing up, so it was just always something I wanted to do," she said.
She described Tim Mathieson as likeable and relatable.
"Growing up, he was always the dad that all the girls went to for boy advice, our house was the 'hangout house'," she said.
"He's a fun, easygoing guy, I'm very lucky."
Mathieson said she had little insight into the deposition of Ms Gillard in June.
"I got back [from New York], I was on the Gold Coast for a few weeks, and then I was in Sydney," she said.
But she said there was a "girlie" side to the former Prime Minister that people didn't see.
"She is really lovely and she has that charisma and that warmth when you do meet her," she said.
"She's really funny as well, and I think people never got to see that."
Mathieson is looking forward to catching up with her dad and Ms Gillard once The Bachelor is out of the way.
Mathieson said the show's first event – an introductory cocktail party in which 25 women tried to impress bachelor Tim Robards – was surreal.
"To be honest, I was completely overwhelmed, because of so many big personalities, and so much going on," she said.
"Some girls went in definitely with stronger agendas in mind."
She cited Ali, the 27-year-old real estate agent from Adelaide.
"Meeting Ali, I thought wow, what a sweet girl, she's a big contender," Mathieson said.
"But the second Tim was there she turned into another person, it was just bizarre to watch."
As for the bachelor himself, Sherri was diplomatic.
"I think he's definitely all that he seems to be," she said.
"He's definitely sweet, he's definitely quite good-looking... he's a really nice guy."
But she said she had made friends inside the plush Bachelor mansion, including Rochelle, Bianca and Emma.
"Just because you're in such an extreme environment, it's hard not to," Mathieson said.