“Who Cares About Making It Look Like A Fairytale?“: The Bachelors Australia’s Brea On Why She Walked Away From Wes

Spoilers ahead. With this season of The Bachelors Australia coming to a close, we've finally discovered who the Bachies decided to give their final rose to. Luke entered into a relationship with Ellie, gifting her a nice shiny ring in the process. Meanwhile, Ben chose Mckenna for his final rose, leaving the show looking loved-up and giddy. But when it comes to Wes and Brea, things aren't so shiny.
Bachelor Wesley Senna Cortes made history when he decided not to pursue multiple women this season, instead honing in on his relationship with the laid-back country girl, Brea Marshall. But this decision saw Wes — who is a theology student, a virgin, and doesn't want to have sex or live with his partner before marriage — and Brea unable to get on the same page, with one word breaking them apart: compromise.
In an exclusive conversation with Refinery29 Australia, Brea explained why she ultimately decided to walk away from the show single, how she was able to advocate for herself against the odds, and what her love life looks like now.

"Who cares about making it look like a fairytale ending? If it's not right, I'm not going to commit to someone on national television."

brea marshall
Brea, who is a self-confessed people pleaser, made headlines on Wednesday night when she finally spoke up and rejected Wes because of his inability to compromise in their relationship. While many contestants have declined a rose on The Bachelor before, it's extremely rare for someone to do so with the final rose in a finale. But for Brea, it was Wes' inability to meet her halfway and value what she was saying that meant she had to walk away from him, despite him already choosing her — and asking her to be his girlfriend.
"It's scary to use your voice," she tells Refinery29 Australia. "A lot of times in the past when I've used my voice, I've been shut down. But then if I don't use it, I'm a coward."
Brea walked into the finale ready to either go all-in or leave alone, depending on whether Wes was willing to compromise and work on the relationship with her. "If he said, Brea, I've heard you, I'm listening, I want to start compromising… I would have thrown away the book and gone, alright, come get me," she tells Refinery29 Australia. Unfortunately, that's not the way things went.
Brea explains that one of the big turning points for her was during the therapy date, where she realised that she was compromising a lot to fit Wes' lifestyle, while he wasn't doing the same for her. "I was willing to compromise so much for him," she said. She explains that it was during this date that she realised she needed to start taking a bit more control and setting boundaries. "Who cares about making it look like a fairytale ending? If it's not right, I'm not going to commit to someone on national television."
But while the outcome wasn't exactly peachy, she now looks back on it almost fondly because it gifted her with the ability to advocate for herself and use her voice. "I didn't know what to feel in the finale after those words left my mouth and Wes 'closed the door', but I stopped and realised that I did the right thing. If I hadn't spoken up, I could be in a relationship with someone I'm not compatible with, or an unhappy relationship."
Brea says that it was because she was surrounded by such a tight-knit group of women that she finally had the confidence to speak up for herself and reject Wes' offer to be his girlfriend. "When you start having a voice and you get the support from the people around you and the encouragement, you realise that it's okay to have a voice and it's okay to speak up."
During the finale, their conflict seemed to be reduced to one topic: the concept of sharing a bed. So much so, that Wes said, "I'm sorry this whole relationship hinged on us sleeping in the same bed". While it might have felt like a throwaway comment, for Brea, it felt like he had discredited everything she was saying.
"When I heard him say that our relationship hinged on sleeping in a single bed, it didn't make me feel really good, to be honest," she says. "It kind of just discredited the whole conversation that we'd had and all the progress we'd made. It just brought it back to square one."
"It was really difficult because navigating something so important like his values and religion… it was really disheartening to constantly go back to this idea of me being inconsiderate of his values or trying to change him. I wasn't trying to change him at all."
While Brea had said in the rose ceremony that she was willing to 'keep the door open' if Wes worked on accepting her life as much as his own, the Bachelor immediately shut that down, stating that he was "closing the door". But for Brea, the seemingly sudden flick of a switch was defeating. "It wasn't nice to have someone close the door on you when they just asked you to be their girlfriend. But I think a bit of it might have been pride," she explains.
"He might have taken that as a rejection and tried to preserve himself out of pride… I thought that was a bit immature to not be able to communicate openly like I have and to just end it there."

"When someone's so used to you always being a pushover, then all of a sudden you start taking those little steps, it's a lot for other people to adjust to."

Brea marshall
When asked about their relationship now, Brea tells me that while the two are no longer together, they have checked in with each other a couple of times as the show has aired. "We care for one another. We went through everything together, and now we have to relive it with everyone watching."
Her change in attitude and ability to advocate for herself has also transformed her life outside of the show. "I've definitely been speaking up a lot more," she explains. "When someone's so used to you always being a pushover and always belittling yourself or taking a backseat because you don't want to overpower someone, then all of a sudden you start taking those little steps, it's a lot for other people to adjust to."
"[But] you get so much further in life if you just speak up. So many scenarios have happened since the show that wouldn't have happened if I didn't speak up."

"I have been voicing my opinion and I have been setting my boundaries and telling people what I want. And now, there's a guy that wants to meet me halfway."

brea marshall
One of those scenarios in question is her new romantic interest, whom she tells me she is now exclusive and "living under the same roof" with.
"I've taken everything I've learnt from the show away and really tried to make sure that it wasn't just a moment that I discovered myself and I felt empowered, and then post-show, go back to my old ways," she explains. "I wanted to make sure that I continue down that path. I have been voicing my opinion and I have been setting my boundaries and telling people what I want. And now, there's a guy who wants to meet me halfway."
She explains that she and the mystery man are taking things slow at the moment, but that "things are going really good". "I came out of the show with a newfound appreciation of myself, but I didn't come out with a companion in that sense. So I was like, alright, let's work on ourselves," she says. It was then that she managed to meet her new partner — out in the middle of Queensland, on a cattle station. "He's a cowboy and he's just my type," she laughs.
Joyfully, Brea tells me that while compromise was the relationship killer when it came to her and Wes, in her new relationship, it's the magic sauce. "The difference is, we do a lot of compromises, but it's just something that kind of happened."
"I thought I was going to watch The Bachelors Australia and feel sorry for myself. But that's not the case. I feel proud that I spoke up because if I didn't, I wouldn't be where I am."
Want more? Get Refinery29 Australia’s best stories delivered to your inbox each week. Sign up here!

More from TV