In the premiere episode of M-Net’s new reality dating series, The Bachelor SA, South Africa’s first Bachelor, Lee Thompson, met 24 beautiful, diverse and accomplished women, who each tried to make a good first impression on their potential future husband.
Below are the 24 ladies who vied for Lee’s heart:
America | 25 | Attorney | Pietermaritzburg, Kwa-Zulu Natal
With a name like America, this soft-hearted small-town girl has what it takes to dazzle the world. She describes herself as an old soul and her favourite pastimes are reading, journaling and spending quality time with her furry friends. The biggest challenge she has had to overcome is reconstructive jaw surgery. Her dad is her best friend and most loyal supporter, and any man who comes into her life must realise he will have to live up to the example he set.
Annalene | 29 | Accountant | Johannesburg
Pint-sized, gorgeous Annalene is an easy-going intellectual with an adventurous side. Her hobbies are fishing, playing golf and cooking. She makes a great impression wherever she goes, and the corporate world is no exception: she was promoted to Junior Accountant before she had completed her degree. She believes in the power of energies – especially the electricity between two people on the same frequency. Her date should shower her with flowers, she says, and we all know how much Lee loves a red rose! She adds that a man scores instant points with the right cologne.
Chantelle | 25 | Chemical Engineer | Pretoria
Originally from Middelburg, now residing in Pretoria, Chantelle is an ambitious engineer who dispels gender stereotypes in her profession. Her mission is to be the best version of herself, by continuously learning and upskilling. Chantelle spends her free time in unusual ways: crafting her own gin or sewing dresses. That’s when she’s not training for triathlons. The man of her dreams can’t be a couch potato and needs to have a strong personality and clear vision and drive. Lee ticks the boxes.
Chanieel | 28 | Model | Sandton
Drop-dead gorgeous, long-legged model Chanieel might come across as being a little reserved, but first impressions can be misleading. In reality, she is a warm-hearted, caring people person who goes by the nickname Nili to those in her inner circle. She grew up in Hartenbos and Mossel Bay, after which ventured to George to start her own business. You wouldn’t guess it, but this classic blonde beauty loves Nutella and desserts and her favourite pick-up line is “What’s cooking, good looking?”
Daneal | 26 | Marketing and Digital specialist | Johannesburg
Meet The Bachelor SA’s free-spirited bad-ass millennial with a big heart. She has a sexy walk, piercing green eyes and tattoos that tell stories. Rihanna would be her “spirit animal”, and if you ask her to choose a superhero, Wonder Woman gets the nod. An avid football supporter, she was over the moon when she visited Liverpool, where she got to visit Anfield stadium. Spirited conversations between her and rugby fanatic Lee might be an excellent way to get the ball rolling!
Edith | 26 | Lawyer | Johannesburg
Dynamic, vivacious, witty and ambitious lawyer Edith considers herself to be the full package, as she believes men want more than a pretty face. While she admits that she is in essence a home body who enjoys her private space, she still loves a little adventure and making the world a better place. When she received her first pay cheque, she spent it on a car for her role model, her mom. Her dream is to one day be a judge. In the meantime, she’s come to a verdict on the attributes she expects from her dream man: he has to be compassionate and genuine.
Gina | 31 | Make-up artist | Johannesburg
Down-to-earth, sweet and gentle Gina works behind the scenes to make women look beautiful. As make-up artist, she draws inspiration and personal strength from all the different women she meets every day, but she prefers working with brides as it allows her to be part of their most important day. Yes, Gina is a hopeless romantic! She admits to having an incredibly corny sense of humour, which makes her absolutely adorable.
Jacqueline | 29 | Teacher | Johannesburg
Spicy, short, fiery and hot Jax is proudly loud and Portuguese with fun, laughter, joy and good food like her mom’s chicken ranking high on her “most important things in life” list. She is also extremely passionate about little kids and she hopes to find a love like that of her parents, who have been married for 32 years. Her most exhilarating, terrifying and rewarding experience to date was starting her own luxury leather embossing company.
Jenna | 29 | Online Fitness coach | Cape Town
With more than 180 000 followers on Facebook, Jenna is a sweet gym buddy who uses her online fitness business to support and uplift women. She is highly competitive and holds countless bikini competition titles but prefers not to measure success by her achievements but rather by who she is as a person. Old-fashioned romance makes her eyes twinkle, so her ideal date always needs to open her door for her.
Jozaan |27 | Attorney | Pretoria
Jozaan is an adventurous, independent and fun-loving soul with a high-powered job and a wicked sense of humour. She is ready to settle down and start a family. After all, as she admits with a smile, she has been a bridesmaid six times! This daddy’s girl’s idea of a perfect day includes socialising with her many friends and loving family. All she needs now is to invite them all to a Big Day – her Big Day with her Mr. Right!
Kelly-Tiegan | 23 | Entrepreneur | Johannesburg
The youngest of the bevy of beauties vying for Bachelor Lee’s Heart is energetic, sophisticated entrepreneur Kelly Tiegen, who is used to flying high. She has travelled to 26 countries. Kelly, who is obsessed with fitness and weightlifting, also has a creative side. She enjoys painting, design and creative concepts. She wants her man to treat her like a princess. It will also count in his favour if he asks her what she would like for starters, mains and dessert… ‘cause yes, she’s an absolute foodie.
Kerry | 30 | Sales Rep | Johannesburg
Wild, fun-loving Kerry confesses that she doesn’t like being told what to do and can be stubborn, but she is also extremely sensitive, generous and caring. Having had abusive relationships in the past, she is extremely passionate about empowering women and sharing her story to inspire others. If she could be any fictional character, she would be Sleeping Beauty because she loves her sleep and her pyjamas. Her ultimate date is a romantic dinner in the bush.
Kim | 28 | Marketing Agency Owner | Cape Town
Mythology, energies, spirituality and all things esoteric bring poetry to new-age hippie fairy Kim’s life. She waits for no one to create her own dreams and fulfil her passions and desires. Reading, meditating and listening to people for their pearls of wisdom, brings her great joy. Kim is an outdoor lover, she enjoys kite surfing, water skiing and all things involving the element of water – one of her main reasons to call Cape Town home. Bachelor Lee shares her love of the outdoors, but is a life together written in their stars?
Lucy | 31 | Sales Executive | Johannesburg
A lover of life, love and people, Lucy believes that every second counts. Making new friends and creating new memories come easy to her. After hours, you’ll find her working out in her gym or practicing jiu jitsu. She has a big heart and big dreams, coupled with a quirky spirit of adventure. A good sense of humour makes a guy instantly attractive.
Mbali | 26 | Social media influencer | Pretoria
It’s all about the glitz and glam – and the perfect Instagram pic – for ambitious businesswoman Mbali. If she could be anyone for a day it would be Kris Kardashian. Mbali is known for choosing her accessories well. She never leaves home without her iPad, wig and make-up kit! Her idea of romance includes the stars and candlelight, and her perfect man should not only be tall, lean and vulnerable, good teeth is a must! This makes a lot of sense – with Mbali at his side, there will be a big smile on his face!
Michelle.D | 33 | Online boutique owner | Pretoria
Not only does she have a big smile and infectious laugh, Michelle D is a driven businesswoman who knows exactly what she wants out of life. Besides creating successful businesses, such as her current online boutique, her dreams for the future include a guy at her side who will be a fantastic father and her best friend – someone with whom she can share the simple, truly important things in life.
Michelle.R | 29 | Consumer marketing specialist | Durban
Pretty and poised, Michelle R is the epitome of grace and elegance. Oozing confidence, class and sophistication, this successful and dynamic game-changer in the workplace has competed in beauty pageants from a young age and even played a role in a local Hindi movie. Her hobbies include horse riding, cooking and reading, and her ideal man is a gentleman with family-oriented values.
Milisha | 33 | Financial Operations Specialist | Johannesburg
Smart, career-driven Milisha is a go-getter who knows what she wants out of life. She enjoys spreading her wings – even if it’s all the way across the Atlantic, to the US, where she lived for six years. But there is a tranquil side to her that emerges when there’s beauty, harmony and peace in her life. She has been vegan for almost a year and can bowl you over with a mean vegan pasta. When she’s not sorting out tricky insurance matters at work, you will find her training in the gym or meditating. Her first love is her dog, Zeus. Lucky for her, Bachelor Lee is also crazy about dogs!
Natasha | 31 | Scientist | Cape Town
She is definitely not your average girl next door. Quirky, super-smart nerdy Natasha has four degrees behind her name and her idea of a relaxed date would be binge-watching Star Wars or Rocky marathon, with popcorn and Chuckles. This neuroscientist by profession is currently doing research on cancer diagnostics and is not afraid to be her authentic self – whether it’s geeky or being creative. Her hobbies include playing piano, singing and painting.
Nontombi | 28 | Quantity Surveyor | Johannesburg
This die-hard Beyoncé fan says she is single and ready to mingle! Nontombi is a bubbly quantity surveyor whose biggest asset is that she’s not easily thrown or brought down by disappointments. She likes laughing at herself and wants to become a fountain of growth and love. Her dates have to be smart and funny, but being chivalrous, tall, confident and rich won’t hurt. Lee, are you listening?
Sandy | 31 | Personal Trainer | Johannesburg
Sandy is a happy-go-lucky small-town girl and morning person with a structured routine, which she believes is the secret to success. For her, one can shape one’s own destiny simply by making the right daily choices. Sandy is passionate about health, fitness and wholesome nutrition, and enjoys making gluten-free and sugar-free treats. One of her dreams is to compile a plant-based recipe book.
Shelly | 26 | Johannesburg
Bold, charismatic and adventurous Shelly was bitten by the travel bug at a young age on a flight to New York. She recently returned from a three-year stint in the US, where she was an au pair and studied business administration in Chicago. Hence the slight twang when she speaks. Shelly believes in love at first sight, but whoever wants to woo her, needs to respect her African roots and traditions, like paying lobola.
Taryn | 29 | Proposal Writer | Johannesburg
Cheeky and petite, Taryn is always the life of the party. Or rather, for her, life is a party. She’s that enviable easy-going and carefree girl that everyone gets along with. She is super proud to come from a solid family foundation. She hopes if she ever gets stranded on a desert island, her mom and two sisters will be her companions! For her, Clarens in the Eastern Free State is the most romantic place in the country, with the perfect weather for cuddling.
Thenjiwe | 24 | Sports Coach | Johannesburg
Fondly known as Thenji (most people cannot pronounce her full name), this bundle of energy is definitely not your average girly-girl. Case in point: she enjoys outdoor activities like hiking and paintball and, despite her fear of heights, she once went zip lining in Germany. Thenji describes herself as bottle of champagne, bubbly and slightly sweet. She played netball provincially and is now channelling her joie de vivre into teaching children how to dance and play sports.
At the end of the 90-minute special, Lee had 21 roses to hand out to the women he wanted to keep in the mansion and get to know a little better. Belle of the ball, Michelle Reddy, earlier in the evening received South Africa’s very first first-impression rose from our Bachelor.
Unfortunately – with only 20 roses left and 23 ladies awaiting their fate – he had to bid farewell to Taryn, Sandy and Chantelle, with whom he hadn’t formed a connection during the cocktail party.