LIFEGUARD and star of reality program Bondi Rescue Trent Maxwell has been named 2013 CLEO Bachelor of the Year, beating out hot favourite Darren McMullen to claim the title and $10 000(AUD) in prize money.
Second place in the competition went to wildcard entrant Matthew Witcowski — a childhood leukaemia researcher — while Mr McMullen took out third place. Mr Maxwell said he was shocked to have even made the top fifty in the annual poll, which also included footballer Reni Maitua and Home and Away heartthrob Lincoln Younes.
Mr Maxwell said: “I didn’t believe it, I thought it was a gee up.”
Mr Maxwell also took to Twitter to thank those that voted for him and have supported The Ride: East Coast, a jet-ski marathon which will see Mr Maxwell and a fellow lifeguard ride 2500 kilometres in order to raise money for mental health charity headspace.
Mr Maxwell tweeted: “I can’t believe it thanks everyone for all your support through cleo and #therideeastcoast…”
CLEO editor Sharri Markson said that the professional lifeguard at Bondi Beach known as ‘Maxi’ stood out amongst the shortlist of fifty finalist due to his laid-back charm and traditional ‘Aussie surfer’ appearance. She said that, although Mr Maxwell did not make an impact in the bookmakers odds, he was a clear favourite of the magazine’s readers.
Ms Markson said: “This year the CLEO Bachelor is a guy who literally saves lives every day. Maxi is the typical Aussie bloke. He loves surfing, he’s sweet and he’s down to earth. He didn’t even register as a favourite on Sportsbet — but he was obviously the CLEO readers’ favourite!”
Sportingbet were forced to suspend betting on the 2013 CLEO Bachelor of the Year after an appeal from singer Delta Goodrem led to a wave of bets being placed on Scottish presenter Darren McMullen, the host of Ms Goodrem’s television program The Voice Australia. Sportingbet spokesperson Andrew Brown said that the company accepted a number of four-figured bets on Mr McMullen, causing his odds to plummet from $19 to $1.50.
Mr Maxwell is the 26th person to be named Bachelor of the Year in the competition run by Australia’s most iconic woman’s magazine. Other winners have included sports stars like AFL footballer Dermott Brereton, actor Eric Bana and Wiggle Anthony Field.
This year’s winner rose to prominence as a trainee lifeguard on Channel Ten’s hit reality program Bondi Rescue, which is currently in its eighth season. The series has a strong following, and won the Logie award for Most Popular Factual Program for five years in a row between 2008 and 2012.