EXCLUSIVE: Farmer Bert reveals the real reason he left Farmer Wants A Wife

"I think everybody was a little hurt by the decision."
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Farmer Bert, 30, has made the tough decision to leave Farmer Wants A Wife before the end of the show, bidding farewell to his three remaining ladies, Brooke, 27, Caitlin, 27, and Karli, 32.

“It’s a pretty difficult process to go through, and definitely not a light choice to make,” Bert tells New Idea exclusively. “But my friends and family pointed out to me that I wasn’t overly happy at that point in time.

“I was working some pretty incredible hours and obviously the filming definitely wasn’t light either. I guess it all just became a bit much; along the way I lost a bit of love that I had for the farm, and that was my first priority.”

While the pineapple farmer was “doing his best” to keep the farm chugging along in the background, he eventually reached a breaking point.

“I decided it was time for me to step back, and do it in a way that hurt the least people possible,” he says. “The end goal throughout the whole ordeal was to do my best not to hurt anyone; but that’s probably impossible in that sort of scenario.”

Farmer Bert has left Farmer Wants A Wife without finding love.

To break the news, Bert initiated three difficult conversations with Brooke, Caitlin, and Karli. Each woman took the discussion in her stride, with an emotional Karli insisting she wanted the best for the farmer. 

Earlier in the month, Karli told New Idea that she noticed a change in Bert early on as he was “working a lot more” than the producers thought.

“He’s also had a lot going on with his family,” she said. “I don’t know the full facts around that, but he’s had a bit going on there. He’s just mentally exhausted.”

While Karli understood Bert’s choice, it didn’t make it any easier.

“I think everybody was a little hurt by the decision,” Bert confesses. “But I also think that they certainly respected it and probably did see it coming. They saw the hours that I was working and the lack of sleep I was getting.”

He continues: “It was definitely difficult news to break to Karli, for sure. It was pretty tough, and it wasn’t enjoyable for myself and the girls. But you’ve got to do what’s right for you.”

Karli (right) was one of Bert’s remaining women.

Bert’s time on the show wasn’t without some delicate moments between his chosen women. When Karli whisked the 30-year-old away immediately after his date with Brooke, the latter woman was left in tears.

While Brooke and Caitlin considered the 32-year-old dominant and high-maintenance respectively, Karli told our sister site TV WEEK that they may have been “insecure”.

“There is tension at times,” Bert admits. “Don’t get me wrong, it’s a scenario that not many people have been put in, so it can be tense. But I can tell you, for the most part, we did have a great time together.”

He adds that viewers “only see certain things” on screen.

“There’s a lot more hours in the day that go into filming. The five minutes per episode that you’ll see, people are going to keep that in mind. I can assure you all the girls are friends and I’m friends with them.”

Building a “support network” with the other Farmer Wants A Wife contestants has been a highlight for Bert, particularly as he navigates being in the public eye for the first time.

There were moments of tension between Bert’s remaining women.

“There can be pretty nasty things about everybody online, and we all like to check in on each other to make sure everybody’s doing OK,” says the fourth-generation farmer, adding that he speaks to his fellow farmers every day.

“You can shrug off most comments, but they do wear at you. We’re all going through the same thing, and it’s nice to have those guys you can bounce different things off of and get their opinion.”

Admitting that the show was “completely out of (his) comfort zone”, Bert is proud he “gave it a crack”.

“Hopefully I’ve learned some things about myself along the way,” he says, “I definitely know I’m still uncomfortable on camera; that probably didn’t change.

“I guess as far as relationships go, I definitely learnt that I’ve got to open up a little bit more and be better at communicating. Hopefully I don’t find myself in the situation of dating five people again.”

Recent rumours suggest that Bert may have struck up a romance with former contestant Lauren (left).

It’s no surprise, then, that another dating show appearance is “definitely not on the cards” for the dragon fruit farmer, at least not “in the near future”.

“I’m pretty focused on getting my life in order and working on myself in a few different areas,” Bert tells New Idea. “So you won’t see me on the big screen anytime soon. Never say never, but hopefully not.”

Though his first priority is the farm, located in Wamuran Queensland, the 30-year-old hasn’t shut himself off to finding love. Since interviewing Bert, there have even been rumours that he is dating former Farmers contestant Lauren, 27. But he certainly seems to be putting work before love for the time being.

“You never know what’s around the next corner. Hopefully, at some point or another, I bump into that person that’s going to change my world. It’s never definitely off the table.

“Right now, I am pretty bogged down; but hopefully there’ll be a bit of time off later in the year and we’ll see where that goes. When the time’s right, I’m sure it’ll happen.”

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