Monday, October 8, 2018

Thousands of entries, a Johannesburg mansion for 25 women, a 29-year old Men’s Health cover guy – here’s everything known about The Bachelor SA coming to M-Net.

TVwithThinus asked lots of questions and snooped around on Sunday night when M-Net revealed that Lee Thompson will be the bachelor in The Bachelor SA starting on Valentine's Day 2019 in the first local version of the dating format show. Here is everything we uncovered about the man who will be looking for love on television.

The Bachelor SA got thousands of entries from women.

"The 25 chosen women are all really looking for love. A lot of them have had their hearts broken. Very often you hear that it's difficult out there on the dating scene," says Lani Lombard, M-Net's head of publicity.

The age group of the 25 women are around the age of the bachelor. "They come from all regions and all backgrounds."

The 25 women will all live together in a mansion in Johannesburg. Lee Thompson won't live there and fantasy dates and excursions are likely to happen across South Africa.

The prerequisite was that the bachelor couldn't have a girlfriend now.

The Bachelor SA will have around 25 episodes. The host of The Bachelor SA hasn't signed a contract yet and will only be announced later. The identities of the 25 women will also not be officially announced before they enter the mansion.

Filming hasn't started yet.

The bachelor underwent psychometric tests, as did the contestants.

Lee Thompson is 29 and was born on 9 December 1988. His hobbies include hiking, beaching, braaing with friends & family, watching sport, beautiful landscapes and listening to music.

Lee Thompson who was born in Port Elizabeth is a former Sharks rugby player and an entrepreneur with several successful business ventures on his resume.

"He also happens to be a sought-after international model, and when he's not cutting deals or pumping iron in the gym, he dedicates his time to meaningful charity work," says M-Net.

Lee Thompson says "my life goal is to have an amazing family life and, yes, I do know that this is an unusual way to find true love, but something deep inside me tells me that the universe is going to give me what I need right now - the woman of my dreams".

"I can't wait to meet and get to know the 25 ladies. Chemistry often works in mysterious ways and I have no preconceived ideas about who I want to spend the rest of my life with."

Lee Thompson was previously profiled and appeared on South African television doing a fitness insert on Top Billing on SABC3, has been the Men's Health SA cover model a few times, besides appearances in Men's Health Australia and Brazil.

Lee Thompson also popped up in Cosmopolitan magazine.

How did M-Net and Rapid Blue recruit Lee Thompson for The Bachelor SA?

"It was a tall order. Literally and figuratively speaking," says Lani Lombard.

"While the ladies could enter the show, it was up to us to find the bachelor. After many hours of scouting for the Mister Perfect, we came up with a solution – we asked the shortlisted ladies, who come from all walks of life, to list the attributes that would sway them to say 'yes' when the question is popped, because after all,  the show is supposed to lead to a marriage proposal!"

The women - 25 of whom will eventually appear on-screen in the show from February 2019, immediately had one very specific request: he had to be tall.

Lee Thomspon, at 1.88m, socks and all, fits the bill.

"The diverse group of 25 ladies from across South Africa representing our rainbow nation can comfortably wear their high heels when they want to sweep him off his feet," says M-Net.

Lee Thompson's height came in handy on the rugby field. He got his first major break in the Varsity Cup-winning Tuks team; then he captained the Blue Bulls U/19 before switching to the Sharks, for whom he played at U/21 and senior level.

The next requirement was "kind-hearted", followed by "adventurous", "generous", "financially independent" and "fun". Oh, and it wouldn’t hurt if he was easy on the eye. Lee ticked the boxes, one and all.

Lee Thompson owns and operates a cleaning company called Clean Smart and the website development business Skyler Web.

Before he ventured into modelling, he also owned a gym. Lee Thompson's other major passion is philanthropy. He founded the non-profit organization #LiveHopeLoveSA.