It’s so hard to believe that we’re 9 weeks into the journey with The Bachelor SA and that there are just 4 ladies left! This past week the tension was evident at that final, awkward cocktail party. Lee had shared a fun day out with everyone on a group date at Gold Reef City but early on in the day, people were already feeling the pressure, and feeling excluded. One on one time followed, first with Gina and then with Michelle R, who arrived back at the mansion with a rose!!
And talking about ‘excluded’ … let’s get to the social media reaction surrounding Lee inviting Jozaan AND Nontombi for a chat, and then proceeding to chat exclusively to Jozaan! Talk about causing a Twitter storm!!
You could have cut the tension with a knife. When that final rose ceremony began it felt like everyone was holding their breath. Lee himself needed a moment to compose himself before presenting that very last rose, and when he did, it was Jenna and Nontombi who were empty-handed. I chatted to the two of them last Friday.
I didn’t want to beat about the bush, so the very first thing I mentioned when I spoke to Nontombi, was to ask her how she’d felt about the whole incident and the audience reaction, general consensus being that she had been disrespected and that she should have walked out of that mansion immediately and not even have waited for the rose ceremony! Well, she didn’t do that, and in true Nontombi style, when she didn’t receive a rose, she said goodbye – when it was time – and walked out with her head held high, like the lady she is, and has been throughout the show!
Nontombi says that while she doesn’t really know what Lee was thinking by wanting to chat to her and Jozaan together, she thought that maybe he felt that as the two girls were so close, maybe they’d feel more comfortable – the atmosphere in the mansion was incredibly tense by then. Regarding audience reaction, she’s extremely relaxed about it, saying that people respond from their own personal perspectives – they see what they want to see – and this is a theme that prevails throughout my conversation with both her and Jenna: the fact that the audience doesn’t really get the entire picture, only parts of it, and that’s what they’re basing their opinions on.
Jenna tells me that from the minute she stepped out of the limo, the impression she got of Lee was that he made every one of the ladies feel like she was in a safe space. But walking into the mansion, she never expected that she was walking into a situation where she’d be meeting people who just a few weeks later she’d be absolutely heartbroken to leave!
She’d entered The Bachelor SA because having always been so focused on her career, she’d never made time for relationships. But she admits to being old-fashioned and quite early on had realised that maybe he wasn’t the right guy for her. However, being a determined and resolute soul, Jenna continued to reason with things and gave it a full chance. She’s most proud of the fact that she remained 100% true to her character and I’m sure everyone will agree that from start to finish she never diverted from being truly authentic.
Jenna acknowledged that on that last group date she knew that the whole situation just wasn’t right for her. She was emotional and teary and was feeling that enough was enough. In fact she says the entire series has been an emotional journey … however it’s taught her so much about herself and it’s been more positive than negative. She knows that Lee would have liked to see the fight in her, but it’s just not who she is, and as we’ve already said, she stayed true to herself. She also correctly points out that the right guy will love you for who you are and that we’re all different – that’s what makes us unique!
When it came to strategy, Nontombi laughingly (and repeatedly) tells me that maybe she should have watched at least one episode (or maybe a season) of one of the overseas versions of The Bachelor before going on the show! That’s right people, she’d never watched a single one. She didn’t know about home visits, didn’t know about the proposal at the end, which she philosophically says would mean that it would make sense that he’d need to meet your family and friends beforehand right?!
With regards to why she entered, she says it’s not entirely about the end goal: the man. One needs to bear in mind – and keep in mind – that the bachelor is not a prize, he’s a person! Being a part of the show doesn’t mean that Lee gets to sit back and have 24 women fight over him, which is often the perception, he’s also part of the process. Jenna describes how difficult it is for him to allocate time for each of the ladies at the cocktail parties, which leads to strain and friction amongst everyone – for example, he might have had a one on one date with one of them, but then inadvertently wouldn’t immediately greet her at the next cocktail party, greeting someone else first. This would lead to huge disappointment and anxiety.
Nontombi resolutely reminds us that what you see on TV might be reality TV but “it’s not real! It’s like commenting on social media … so easy, but if you wouldn’t say it in real life, don’t say it online!” While you’re on the show, if you wouldn’t do something in real life, don’t do it here either!
And is there anything they would have changed, or done differently? Well, Nontombi would have watched the show previously!! But then she thinks about it and says that she thinks that this may have changed her authenticity, so she’s actually happy she didn’t. Jenna too, says she wouldn’t change anything and adds (reflectively) that when you look back on aspects of your life you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself and you should be kind to the you that you were in whatever situation you were in.
Does being on The Bachelor SA change peoples’ perceptions of you … do your family and friends see you in a different light? Jenna tells me that her family and friends were immensely supportive and that that the feedback that’s made her the happiest is that they’ve told her how happy they were to see she came across exactly as she truly is!
Nontombi describes the experience as both overwhelming and refreshing. Due to her mom having a pre-existing health condition, she wasn’t able to tell her that she’d be on the show, which was difficult as she would have loved to be able to share the news with her. However, her other family members and friends were supportive.
We’re wrapping things up, and inevitably we get to discussing the bonds that have been formed with the other ladies in the mansion. It tell them that it’s funny that in all of my previous chats with the other participants, we talk more about this than we actually talk about Lee! He doesn’t seem to come up in conversation much! The truth is, they remind me, that everyone spends very little time with Lee, but a lot of time together, so it’s understandable that such strong friendships are created. Take that, together with the fact that you have no connection to your usual support networks, you’re bound to form strong ties in a short space of time.
It’s Jenna who tells me that it was certainly not her intention to go in and create friendships – in fact, if she had a strategy, she’d say that was it! The biggest and most unexpected shock for her was to absolutely love these girls and to make such close friends, and then have to leave them! “I never prepared my heart for that!”
And Nontombi pipes up: “Babe! They’re not dying!”
Banter like this only exists where true warmth and friendship live! I guess some things on reality TV are real after all!
The Bachelor SA is screened on M-Net Channel 101 every Thursday evening at 19:00 and is also available on Catch-Up. Fans can visit www.mnet.tv/thebachelorsa and follow all the breaking news and conversations around the show on Twitter @MNet #TheBachelorSA and on the official M-Net Facebook page.
The Bachelor SA is produced by Rapid Blue and proudly sponsored by dotsure.co.za, a product of Oakhurst Insurance Company Limited (FSP 39925) and Oakhurst Life (FSP 44793), authorised financial services providers.
The Bachelor SA | Season 1 | Episode 9
Thursday, 11 April 2019 |19:00 | M-Net Channel 101
The number of wannabe brides on M-Net’s hit reality dating show The Bachelor SA is down to six, which means the battle to win the heart of the country’s hottest bachelor, Lee Thompson, is getting incredibly intense. He had bonded with all of them, which means the decisions he’ll be making from here on in will become ever more difficult.
Only four roses remain for Lee to hand out. Two of the ladies left in the mansion will feel the sting of rejection at the final rose ceremony, while the other four will be given the exciting opportunity to take Lee home to meet their loved ones. This is a big step in any relationship, so receiving a rose means that Lee sees a potential future with the bachelorette.
Jenna, Jozaan, Nontombi, Jacqueline, Michelle.R and Gina are the remaining contenders.
Here are five more reasons why fans shouldn’t miss this week’s episode:
- Emotional rollercoaster. An adventurous group date with the six girls. Awkward? You betcha!
- Insecurity. Jacqueline questions her relationship status with Lee. Is her connection strong enough to get a rose?
- An obvious front runner. Five ladies feel shunned when a beautiful bachelorette gets a second one-on-one.
- Sail away with me. Who is the lucky lady to sail across the horizon with Lee?
- An emotional bachelor. Lee needs a moment at the rose ceremony. Who or what is the reason for this?
The Bachelor SA is screened on M-Net Channel 101 every Thursday evening at 19:00 and is also available on Catch-Up. Fans can visit www.mnet.tv/thebachelorsa and follow all the breaking news and conversations around the show on Twitter @MNet / #TheBachelorSA and on the official M-Net Facebook page.
The Bachelor SA is produced by Rapid Blue and proudly sponsored by dotsure.co.za , a product of Oakhurst Insurance Company Limited (FSP 39925) and Oakhurst Life (FSP 44793), authorised financial services providers.
Some people let a bump in the road break them down. Others take it in their stride. But the most successful people are those that deal with it and come out on top, having used that bump to give them a clear view of where they want to be when they continue on their journey.
Tracy Ziman Jacobs is that person, who discovered after her divorce in 2011 that no relationship is perfect. However, instead of allowing the divorce to derail her life, she used it for good, knowing that what she learned from her experience could help others. Meeting the positive, animated and bubbly person she is today, it’s hard to believe she was ever in any type of dark place, but directly after her unexpected divorce, a negative space was exactly where the person she is today had to emerge from.
No one gets married assuming it will end in divorce. Tracy certainly didn’t. “When I got married, I thought I’d never get divorced,” she says. “It came as a bit of a shock and after my divorce, I was cynical about marriage,” she admits. But she recognised the hope we as human beings attach to marriage. “It’s the romance that brings us together and after all, people are still getting married,” she muses. So, what’s the recipe for a loving relationship in which both partners are happy?
After soul searching and a lot of research, Tracy’s ethos is ardour (defined by the Oxford Dictionary as ‘great warmth of feeling; fervor; passion’ and ‘intense devotion, eagerness, or enthusiasm; zeal’: romance is key to the marriage-altering work she does with her clients. “I want to save marriages,” she explains, stating that it’s vital to look at what is lacking and return to the basic needs of the relationship. “Look at all those characteristics that drew you to your mate and created that chemistry,” says Tracy, who suggests it is possible to have an affair with your existing partner rather than look outside the marriage for the intimacy and fulfilment you crave. “What’s in an affair? Rather bring it back inside your marriage,” she states. She’s so right! Years into our marriages, when kids, work, and everyday stress takes over our lives, we’ve completely forgotten what first attracted us to our partners! And it seems a bit ridiculous to even think about it – but yet, so obvious.
Tracy’s undertaking to heal herself led her to want to heal others. Enter intimacy coaching: Tracy’s greatest passion. She qualified as an Intimacy Coach through Intimacy Coaching SA (ICSA) in 2016, but her drive to help others didn’t just start then – it goes way back, and is clearly inherent in her nature.
Her wealth of knowledge hasn’t come from life experience alone and is backed up by a BA in Social Sciences (1996, UNISA), as well as practical training with the Family Life Centre (FAMSA). This training led her to counsel both individuals and couples, as well as performGroup Therapy, Family Therapy, Trauma Counselling, Divorce Mediation, Pre-marriage Counselling and Employee Assistance Programmes. Once her training was complete, Tracy was hired by FAMSA as an Occupational Social Worker, enabling her to assist others further in their relationship and life journeys.
Professionalism is top of mind for Tracy. She treats every client with the utmost respect, and knows how important it is for them to feel at ease and nurtured during their sessions. The beautiful space she’s created to work in is inviting and nurturing. Her workshops promote a sense of enthusiasm and inspiration for both men and women, and they assist clients in realising that there are many others experiencing similar challenges, which ensures a community-type environment and a feeling of support.
Tracy’s determination to heal her clients’ relationships can only lead to good. Her end goal: to rekindle the passion in her clients’ love lives, helping them to “find each other”again. She acknowledges that hard work is key to ensuring this goal is met – by both her and her clients. And it’s something she doesn’t shy away from, knowing that with tenacity, her clients’ current intimacy levels can be increased exponentially.
Tracy works with marriages at any stage, with couples (both straight and gay), as well as single people in need of intimacy counselling. While Tracy’s work doesn’t simply focus on the notorious “seven-year itch”, it is a concept she’s very aware of in her practice and among the marriages she works on healing. “There are definitely seven year cycles (seven years, 14 years and so on) where things become a little staid,” she explains. Lesli Doares, a licenced marriage counsellor and family therapist, supports Tracy’s theory, saying that by seven years, a couple has usually had a child or two and children tend to change everything. “It is really the impact of children on the marriage that causes the underlying disconnect that leads to the ‘itch’ to get out,” says Lesli. “It is a combination of responsibility, lack of time for oneself, diminished intimacy and a sense of ‘is that all there is?’” (source: Women’s Health, October 2, 2015).
Speaking of which, as a mother herself, Tracy understands the delicate balance between parenting and marriage, and the challenges children can create once they are born. “Kids dictate what’s going to happen, they change everything and nobody prepares us for that,” says Tracy. “You’re this happy couple, everything is going well until the baby comes and then you see another side of each other that you haven’t seen before.” Then there are intimacy issues. “Many women get their physical needs met through bonding with their baby whereas men still want intimacy through sex,” she explains.
Feeling this type of disconnect? Whether you’re a parent or not, Tracy’s counselling work is about rekindling romance for a renewed intimate relationship. “You’ve just got to do it to understand it,” says Tracy of her sessions. “In other words, do the work and then you’ll understand it.” It’s nothing harmful – it’s about something that is positive, good and that will add value to your life, she explains. The benefits are numerous: “When you’re in synergy with the one you love, you are in a good space and you will find that you’ll sleep better, work better, have more patience with your children and be far more productive. Good sexual health is also great for creativity and for our bodies; it boosts circulation as well as oxytocin and serotonin. The bottom line is that connecting with your partner and being in a good space is wonderful for everyone all round.”
“Everyone” is a standout word in Tracy’s work: her sessions are for men and women in all stages of their lives. “Women feel validated and heard, and so do men,” she explains. “It’s incredible for me to see the ‘light’ come on when couples are shown a whole new way of connecting.”
I can vouch for the fact that Tracy is comfortable chatting about anything and will immediately put you at ease. Nothing is taboo with her, and she’s all about ensuring that her clients walk away in a positive, confident, comfortable space with themselves and their relationship.
Find out more about Tracy, her work and how to contact her, via her website: http://www.totallymetracy.co.za