Written by Zoë Holloway, September 9, 2016

Richie Strahan has one prepared bride-to-be if he chooses his happily ever after with make-up artist Olena Khamula.

‘I’ve been in over 500 wedding dresses in my life [during my modelling career],’ chuckles the 23-year-old. ‘I know what kind of dress I want!’

The Ukrainian beauty has come to be known as the woman of mystery during this season of The Bachelor, but now that we’re heading towards the finale, she’s coming out of her shell. Welcoming OK! into her Western Sydney home, Olena doesn’t hold back when it comes to opening up about her journey to finding true love – and yes, you heard right, the stunner spills she’s in love with Richie!

Are you excited for your family to meet Richie?

Yes! I scared Richie before he met my dad. My dad’s a boxer, but to be honest he’s a huge softie and it’s my sister that Richie should be most scared of – I hoped she’d give him a grilling just like I did on our first date [laughs].

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Are they keen to see you settle down?

Definitely, of course. Mum’s always said ‘bring me a husband back home…’ [laughs] And she’s always asking, ‘When are you going to get married and have children, you are 23! I definitely want children, but not now. When the time is right.

You’ve been portrayed as a ‘mysterious’ woman on the show. How do you feel about that title?

It was OK the first and second time, but heading towards hometown dates it was really frustrating me. I don’t think I was mysterious; I just didn’t want to give the girls too much of me, and with Richie I felt like we were OK and I opened up to him from the first date, it was just mostly behind the scenes that we had such a laugh.

You didn’t get along with the girls?

I didn’t feel comfortable and I wasn’t sure that I could handle living there, so for about three weeks I switched off and I sat there watching Netflix while they were all just screaming in the hallway. [I was] thinking, ‘Oh my God, what did I get myself into!’ It was nuts.

[1640] Bachelor Olena Khamula

Did you consider leaving?

Yes, it was hard.

What convinced you to stay?

With Richie and I, there is fire. The conversation really flowed – behind the scenes we have really good chats, the [producers] don’t show everything on camera.

Have you felt such a connection with other partners in the past?

I have been in love before…

So it is love with Richie?

[Laughs] He is a great guy.

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There’s a bit of an age gap between you and Richie. Does that play a factor at all?

I think the guys I’ve been seeing are usually a lot younger, so I think him being older and the smooth conversation is what I really liked about Richie.

 

What are your thoughts on all the kisses?

I feel like what a couple of the girls are doing is wrong. I mean Alex is fine, I totally understand Alex she is all over him. I’m talking about Nikki. I was actually there on the couch when she was kissing Richie in the other room at the cocktail party. I could see them hooking up but I wasn’t sure if it was actually happening right in front of me or if it was the champagne. I kind of found that disrespectful.

Did you get any sneaky pashes?

No, I wouldn’t be that rude to the girls.

Were you worried that because you weren’t putting yourself out there that he might send you home?

In the real world guys get scared, they don’t want someone jumping all over them telling [them] ‘I love you and I want to be with you for the rest of my life.’ I couldn’t do it. I like to go step by step, and if he was going to give me the flick for that, I’d have no regrets.

Have you brought a guy home to meet your parents before?

Yes, I’ve done it before twice and my mum said, ‘Never again unless you love him.’

[1640] Bachelor Olena Khamula

How long have you been single?

Eight months. Before this I’d been on so many horrible dates I had an escape plan.

Were your parents concerned about anything when it came to yours and Richie’s relationship?

My dad doesn’t like bikes [and Richie is a revhead], but he played it cool, and the distance – my parents won’t let me go to Perth.

Did Richie say he’d be willing to move to Sydney?

His mum and sister aren’t going to let him move to Sydney, so we were chatting about it saying we could do two weeks here and two weeks there, but I don’t see it working. I’m very firm, I know what I want and I don’t want that type of relationship. I’ve done long distance before and it didn’t work, so either one of us has to move to one location and maybe go for visits, but travelling back and forth won’t work.

There’s been rumours of a proposal, are you ready for marriage?

If I fall in love with him then yes, definitely.

[1640] Bachelor Olena Khamula

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