AS SOPHIE Monk stood at the front of The Bachelorette mansion and waited to meet a long line of strange men trying to win her heart, she had one thought.
"What am I going to do? I'm going to kill my career, kill my life. I'm going to embarrass my family and ruin my life," she told news.com.au, recalling the moments before she met the 18 eligible men.
But, as the boys began to arrive, Monk's fear of ruining her life settled. She could see some potential keepers. And she could also see some nutbags.
"There were a few guys I just went, 'Yeah, no, I'm just going to keep you in for entertainment for me'," she laughed. "Makes it fun for me! The producers don't tell you what to do - they let you decide. Some I just thought, 'You're definitely here for the wrong reasons, but I love it'."
This week, Australia will see the singer, actor and radio personality make her debut as The Bachelorette in Wednesday's premiere of the reality dating show. On Sunday, the list of fellas who have signed up to try and woo the 37-year-old was released - and fans were quick to note the number of younger men in the mix who are in their 20s.
Was Monk surprised to see the younger boys chosen by producers?
"I loved it, to be honest," she laughed. "I've never dated anyone my age - I've always gone way older or way younger."
DATING 'UGLY' GUYS
As the potential suitors were analysed, talk turned to a new study that came out last week that found women who date less attractive men have better relationships.
"In my industry if it's someone too hot I know what they're after - they're like, 'Here's my moment!' What I've learnt is you can't judge it like [on looks]," she said.
"It also depends how they grew up and their intentions - but I've only met hot guys in the industry ... that's why generally I've not gone for attractive guys."
After being discovered on the reality talent show Popstars in 2000 and being plonked in the girl band Bardot, Monk's career took her to LA where she starred in a slew of Hollywood movies. Along the way, there were several high profile relationships. In 2007, she had a short-lived engagement to Good Charlotte musician Benji Madden before moving on to plastic surgeon John Diaz. Another engagement followed when her American billionaire boyfriend Jimmy Esebag proposed in 2011. Months after announcing the news on radio, the pair split.
"They're all good guys that I dated - it just wasn't right timing for me then," she said of her previous relationships.
"You know what it is? Every guy I absolutely adored [but] my heart wasn't in the right place and I wanted to be back home. You've got to love yourself to love someone else.
"And I've dated the opposite ... where I'm ready but they're not ready and they don't love themselves."
AWKWARD FLIRTER, BAD KISSER
When Monk signed on for the series, she put a rule in place that she wouldn't just kiss anyone - and definitely not on the first date. That rule was swiftly broken.
"I kissed anyone I liked! You get to know [if you like someone] by the kiss, don't you reckon?" she said. "I said I wouldn't kiss anyone on the first date and I did straight away. I let my guard down because I wanted to fall in love."
While many wondered whether the star would be too polished and aware of the cameras on the series, they had nothing to worry about. Monk confessed she was responsible for many of the awkward moments on dates - particularly when it came to kissing.
"I can't flirt. Normally I can talk. And me kissing anyone - like, I kissed most of them thinking I wouldn't and I'm so awkward with it. I look confident but the producers even noticed and they said, 'You're so awkward - you can't flirt'."
IS IT OVER?
In recent weeks, Monk has told media outlets that she's found genuine love with a guy on the series. But this week, whispers inside the industry began to suggest she had ended things.
"Not true, 100 per cent not even one bit true," she said. "I'm the happiest I've been ever. And I wouldn't be doing publicity if I felt like that - I'd be cancelling."
The star insists she's ecstatic with the man she found on the series - and her mum, who suggested she go on the show, is just as thrilled.
"They're just happy I'm happy," she said of her Gold Coast-based parents. "They're just happy I'm with a guy to be honest! It's not that hard."
The Bachelorette premieres Wednesday at 7.30pm on Ten.
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