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The Bachelor Canada's Brad, Bianka tune out 'all the chirping'

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LAST week, Brad Smith made his choice on The Bachelor Canada. He proposed to Bianka, who eagerly accepted the rose. The 29-year-old registered nurse beat out 24 other women for a shot at marital bliss with the ex-CFL football player.

But what happens After the Rose? A peek behind the fairy tale romance can be seen Wednesday night in an hour-long final episode of the Citytv reality series.

The episode was taped a few weeks ago before 300 fans at the picturesque, seaside town of Sidney, B.C. It had been two months since Brad had actually proposed in Barbados. The two had not been allowed out in public together since then for fear of tipping off viewers. Their only contact, they both said, was through Skype

"I've already tried to marry her," Brad reveals right after the taping. He tried to convince Bianka to elope with him.

"To actually have a normal life, far from all this cloak and dagger stuff, would be awesome," said Smith, 29.

The two lovebirds seemed quite affectionate during and after the taping. Bianka marvelled at how much they have in common. They agree on everything, she says: "the favourite beer, the favourite wine, the favourite sandwich at Wendy's."

Suggestions that you can't find the love of your life over the course of an eight-week reality show were waved off as so much heard-it-before cynicism.

"To have an organic relationship from that experience is impossible yet we have it," says Smith. "It was a TV show, yet it was so friggin' real."

Things can, however, get a little thorny after the rose. Smith says he was nervous coming face to face one last time with the turbulent runner-up, Whitney. The contestant from Calgary quickly became the villain of the series with all her "Brad's mine!" comments to camera.

She's back and all glammed up for Wednesday's final confrontation.

Smith doesn't exactly welcome her back. Instead, he does a lot of finger pointing. "I wanted everybody in Canada to see what I had to deal with the past four weeks," he said after the taping.

"She has a severe ability to jumble things up; it's truly frustrating to be around, especially when you just want an answer."

The studio audience gets into what shapes up to be a "Springer" moment. You half expect to hear cries of "Jerry! Jerry!"

"She's a polarizing figure, there's no question," says host Tyler Harcott, who referees the session, at times almost acting as if he was Whitney's therapist. "She brought a lot of that on herself. Unfortunately, she painted herself as the villain."

What worries Harcott is how the rep will follow the 24-year-old administrative assistant.

"The Twitter world, the Facebook world, that part breaks my heart," says Harcott. "I don't think people realize that these people aren't actors, they go to the coffee shop like the rest of us."

None of the women who participated on The Bachelor Canada were paid a salary. They got perks like hair and makeup and several went on fabulous romantic getaways.

The real prize, said Bianka, pointing to Brad, "is sitting right in front of me."

That didn't pay any bills leading up to the finale. As Bianka says, "I worked my butt off before I left (to go on the show) so I could save up enough money."

The show nearly ended before it began for Bianka.

"The night before I bawled my face off to my mom," she says. "I didn't know what was happening. I was kind of walking through it."

That initial aloofness may have worked in her favour. Smith admits he found it intriguing.

A few contestants wondered out loud what Mr. Right intended to do now that his football career appears to be over. As Melissa cattily pointed out on an earlier episode, that part-time bartender part of his resumé wasn't all that bachelor-ific.

Bianka doesn't seem too worried and is totally committed to Team Brad.

"He'll be fine, that will work itself out," she says.

Brad seems especially sensitive to what he calls "all the chirping."

He points out he went to the best schools and that he's worked for "the largest community outreach program in North America."

The couple intend to settle in the Toronto area. Smith says he is teaming up with a buddy on a project or two. Neither would rule out more reality shows.

"Never say never," says Bianka.

For now, she's just happy that he took her finger and put a ring on it. "I never want to take it off," she says. "I hope I don't get into an accident looking at it."

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 28, 2012 D3

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