Written by Sara Bordon, September 8, 2016

Support worker Rachael, 31, says she felt like everything went swimmingly during her hometown date where she introduced Bachelor Richie Strahan to her parents, and tells OK! that she was surprised he sent her packing!

Were you shocked to be sent home?

I didn’t see it coming, just because obviously I didn’t understand the extent of anyone else’s relationship and, from what I gathered, our journey was going so well. His meeting my family was the cherry on top, and I was thinking, ‘This can’t go any better.’ So yeah, I was blindsided.

So there were no clues to make you think you weren’t the one?

No, there wasn’t. I had no idea.

Are you annoyed at Richie for leading you on?

I think I was in shock for quite a while. It took me a while to process it, but we left on a good note.

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Were you heartbroken when you returned home?

I wasn’t heartbroken. I was just questioning what happened and I suppose now all I have got to go on is that he had stronger feelings for other girls, which is totally fine because that is what he is there for.

And how about missing out on the trip to Bali, that must’ve hurt?

I mean, hello, a free trip to Bali would have been amazing. I love Bali! I didn’t hear about the trip until I was going home. Shame, because I would have done more backflips off boats.

You often joked about Richie’s preference for blondes, do you think you being a brunette played any part in you being sent home?

No, Richie isn’t shallow. I don’t think he would be choosing a partner based on hair colour – maybe if he was 15 years old and dating for the first time! But no, I think he is truly looking for someone to fall in love with regardless of their hair colour. It’s just a coincidence that all of the remaining girls are blonde. From what he told me, his ex-girlfriends were all brunettes.

You and Richie live in the same neighbourhood, have you run into each other?

I have seen him, but I hid. I didn’t go up to him because I thought if people saw us together they might get the wrong idea and say, ‘Oh my God, Richie and Rachael are together!’ He didn’t see me, so I ran back inside until he’d gone.

Will it be awkward crossing paths in the future?

It wouldn’t be strange at all. If he wanted to hang that is totally cool.

RELATED: Faith ‘I told Richie I wanted to leave’.

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