But as Michelle (29) rose to success in the business programme, friends said that the couple were forced to go their separate ways.
"Michelle was in a relationship when she entered the house and had a very trusting boyfriend," one friend said. "Things unfortunately broke down after the two months apart."
"They are still very good friends and she thinks that he is a great guy.
"But Michelle is now single and trying to get used to it."
However, it has since emerged that Michelle became close to her fellow contestant, Jamie Moran.
Jamie was at the centre of rumours that he was involved in a relationship with Caroline McHugh, but insiders said that he made a beeline for Michelle after Caroline was fired.
The businesswoman left home in England aged just 15 and decided at that young age to settle in Ireland.
"She met some people from Galway while she was in Nice, France, and just followed them back to here," a friend said.
"She now considers Ireland her home and could never imagine going back to the UK."
Michelle has since carved out a successful career in sales at Tesco but she has also dabbled in modelling.
And she remains on the books of the one of the country's biggest modelling agencies -- B Scene.
"Michelle's big into horseriding so that helps her get fit," a friend said. "She's lucky that she doesn't focus solely on diet and exercise but does lean towards healthy food."
Friends said that her focus is primarily on her business career rather than marketing her own image.
Michelle was bailed out by team mentor Brian Purcell in one task when he was forced to dip into his own wallet to solve the problem.
But pals insisted that she has never used her beauty to her advantage in a business environment.
"Michelle is very modest, she would never use her looks to further her career in a commercial situation," they said.