The Bachelorette Australia Weeks 3 and 4: Taking Out The Garbage

Back at the start of the season I shared my impressions of some of the contestants. There’s so much filler in the early parts of the season that I only picked a select few to discuss – Ryan, The Interrupter, Jarrod, The Keenest Bean That Ever Lived, and Sam, Who Calls Them Cans.

Oh boy, did the turn out some peaches. Sam decided to make best buddies with fellow dillweed Blake, who I would feel comfortable in referring to as ‘this season’s Jen’, except with more floral urination (I’ll return to that one). Sophie wasn’t afraid to call out Sam on the incident when his verbal diarrhoea led to him repeatedly let Sophie know he was looking down her dress. He excused this as an attempt to use humour to connect with her even though it wasn’t, y’know, at all funny. Despite his many attempts, the only thing funny about Sam is his delusional hairdo. Nonetheless, our Queen, who can be a bit awkies herself, seemed happy to move on from this. After all, Sam was owed two single dates after his first night Double Delight rose triumph (still never got any word on whether this meant he was safe from elimination until he got them both). I suspect she was just biding her time, however.  Because when Single Date #2 came around in Episode 8, it was nothing more than an opportunity to insert his foot directly in to his mouth. The guy tried to mansplain the music industry to Sophie Effin’ Monk. Boy you better stop, better run away.

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She didn’t send him home directly from the stretch Hummer, as I would have. No, this arrogant twat, who walked away from the date with no kiss and no rose, was still oozing confidence going in to the rose ceremony. Then our queen racheted up the tension, sending her Chosen Fellas (new/old bloke Stu, Jarrod, James, and Apollo My Prince) out the of the ceremony, summarily dismissing Unsung Hero AJ so she could face down Sam and Blake, who had just recently been thinking they could perhaps be numbers 1 and 2 in the finale. Briefly quizzing them both on their intentions, she sent Sam home, saying it wasn’t quite right.

You can say it, Sophie. Sam ‘isn’t quite right’.

Let’s talk about Unsung Hero AJ here for a second, because he played a very important role. This chef rolls in as one of The Old Blokes and he’s very tall but bald and  moderately fine-looking and just seems like a pretty nice dude with no chemistry with Sophie. But oh, did he provide her a service. It was under the guise of ‘not ruffling feathers in the house’, but he totally threw a spelling bee (ugh, don’t ask) in episode 6, spelling ‘cuisine’, ‘quizine’ (that sounds like a horse tranquiliser bro). What did this mean? Ryan wins and gets to spend some alone time with Sophie.

They didn’t make him go through this in his school uniform, unfortunately.

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(this is a bad screenshot but I don’t want to look at his face for longer than necessary)

So lately this fucknugget has been talking about how he doesn’t really want a woman who swears. I’ll leave my general response to that to the immortal words of True Blood.

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Sophie, much like myself and bonafide smart person Stephen Fry, enjoys a bit of a swear. She thinks truck drivers could learn a new turn of phrase from her. He’d also said last time they hung out (and, in fact, the first time they met), that he wants ‘a girl who takes care of herself’ aka a perma-hottie. Sophie just wants to dag out in her trackies tbh (god is it any wonder we love her?). So she knows, in her heart of hearts, that she’s not the right girl for Ryan and he needs to go find someone else, preferably an inanimate sex doll that he can treat like the wardrobe he destroyed in week 2’s Man Test (yeah sorry I can’t even touch that bullshit representation of gender roles, I’ll just say, if you need things fixed around the house, consider paying a professional? People do those things as a legitimate trade.  Help stimulate the economy by not entering a committed relationship only to save a few bucks).

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Yes, this is acceptable

So Sophie knows it’s time to take out the trash, but in the end she boots him because he doesn’t actually….like her? And she has a bunch of people here who do? He says that he would be willing to have a public relationship (to be clear mate you’re on a reality show right this second, and went through a whole casting process to be here) if he thinks she’s ‘worth it’. And it’s like watching that lightbulb moment go off over every woman’s head, when they realise it’s time to get rid of the fuckboy. As he doubles down on the looking good, and the swearing (even mentioning that he himself works on a construction site and ‘you can imagine what that’s like’), she tries so hard to make him see that he just wants everything that’s the opposite of her. So..she sends him off. And he has a mini tantrum, bringing his own little potty mouth out to play. Sophie’s shocked enough to break that fourth wall like it’s chipboard.

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And so Week 3 drew our time with Overly Aggressive Ryan And The One Time I Have Not Been Attracted To A Kiwi Accent to a close.

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So as of now, Sophie has recycled her two biggest pieces of trash. But we need to talk about Jarrod. And we can’t talk about Jarrod without talking about Blake.

I can’t type his name without getting this in my head by the way.

Congratulations Blake, you’ve officially brought me back around to looking on Jarrod more favourably. Like, not a lot – I’d probably still consider pissing in his pot plant if I had the imagination for such things – but bullying people is a great way to make people feel more warmly towards the victim. The plant thing? Cheesy, thirsty, and dumb, and I’d want to urinate on it after the second time it came up in conversation, third at best. But in Week 4 there was a sleepover night that made it clear that Blake is nothing more than a bog-standard schoolyard bully. Sophie asked the boys’ families to send in something from their childhood, and unfortunately there was no scandalous ballet shoes moment. However Jarrod received his childhood blanket, bringing up an emotional reaction as he remembered family members who have passed. You can only imagine how this was improved by Blake sniggering and sniping away about how it’s only a blanket. I actually wanted to give Jarrod a high five when he told him to shut up.

Guess what men? It’s not fucking cute to shame other men for having actual emotions. You are toxic masculinity embodied, Blake, and I need you to do something for me:
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Jarrod, you little thirst monster, I need you to do a few things. I need you to learn some basic mathematics. I need you to never say the words ‘pot plant’ ever again. And just chill the hell out, you’re turning in to a beetroot more and more every episode and I’m worried you’re going to have an aneurysm.

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Stop doing….all of this.

Even as the world proves to us that men as a whole are basically garbage, at least we have one thing. We have Apollo and puppies.

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I’ve decided to stop occupying the corporeal realm and live inside this post.

To finish off, a couple of updates!

  • This week I should be back to livetweeting Sophie’s adventures, unless life is completely unfair.
  • I may do a separate post for this, but next week if you’re in Melbourne you can come see me at PAX! My bestie has somehow roped me in to a panel on Bad Dating Sims, I don’t know how I allow these things to happen. I’m currently looking at a Tinder Trends follow-up to line up with that, although doing the data collection for that may depend on me not actually spending all my nights livetweeting telly.

 

The Bachelor Australia 2017: Episode 2

Gather your flock of drama llamas, it’s time for more bachie.

First up this week, Osher arrives and once again whips out a date card from you-really-don’t-want-to-know-where. The clue? Matty felt a ‘spark’.
Usually the (always dumb) clue cards have something to do with the actual date, but it’s indicating to us it’s Elora because y’know fire.
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They’re off on a yacht date. They make some vaguely awkward but banter-y small talk, she threatens to teach him some extremely basic French. Elora then asks how old Matty is, which he pretends gravely offends him. He tells her that she ‘look great’ for 27 years old. Which is ridiculous because…well, first things first, she looks like a baby. In addition, at 30 years old Matty probably should have realised that between the twin wonders of lifelong sunscreen use and the widespread use of AHAs, if a woman can dodge the total physical exhaustion of raising a child, it’s a lot easier to look young for a long time these days. I don’t think anyone knows that I am a decrepit 31 year old when they meet me, until I start making frequent references to Man O Man (which I do a lot these days, as I’m hoping it will eventually reach the ear of someone with the power to reboot it).

They take a dip in the ocean and admire some dolphins the producers probably stole from SeaWorld, then retire inside for a little wine and chat sesh.
Except it’s less chat, and more awkward staring.
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It just went for so long.

Matty eventually says some nice things about Georgia Love, and gives Elora a rose. She’s safe for this week, and she fancies Matty even though he doesn’t know when to go for the pash.

Group date time! If you’re a Bachie newbie, towards the start of every season they do a group date that’s a themed photoshoot. Nothing will ever beat the Mills and Boon covers from Georgia Love’s season, but nonetheless we persevere.

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This time it’s an 80’s-themed ‘firsts’ shoot for Woman’s Day. Florence and Jennifer will be doing a pool-themed set of photos with Matty.
Jennifer, out loud, to the group: I feel like we’re going to be fighting for this
Matty: I feel nervous
Jennifer: You should be

Nothing like a threat to really charm a man. Jennifer’s been showing some extremely possessive qualities (over the course of the episode show goes from jokingly referring to him as ‘our boyfriend’ to frequently, not-jokingly calling him ‘my boyfriend’) so the producers decide to really prod her savage instincts and send Florence out in a sexy bikini while she is sent out….like this:
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Perhaps problematically or just nonsensically, Florence described this look as ‘a Jewish banana’.
It takes all of about five minutes for Jen to declare ‘Nobody puts Baby in a corner’ (do not besmirch the name of Dirty Dancing, please), rage-strip to her swimmers and dive in the pool, somehow ending up clinging to Matty like a limpet. Our terrified but diplomatic Bachie declares ‘Jen doesn’t like to miss out on anything, and I’m definitely getting that vibe off her’. Indeed.

Laura: I feel like she made herself look like a baddie
Elizabeth: I don’t think she’ll mind that
Double indeed.It’s time for the school formal. Laura, Elizabeth, Natalie and Sian are gamely dressed in 80’s prom gear. Jennifer, who has formed a sort of Mean-Girls-cum-Statler-and-Waldorf crew with Leah and Sian, stands on the sidelines and announces that Elizabeth’s dress is ‘putrid’, pausing for laughs that never come. Girl, Elizabeth did not choose her own dress on this occasion, please move on with your life and from this show ASAP.
All the girls are up some for silliness, Laura gets a little dip (and this from Matty: ‘She’s that beautiful, confident, chatty girl who’s keen to have a laugh”) while Sian for some reason pulls out The Worm, a guaranteed move in the playbooks of many I’m sure.

Tara, Simone and Cobie, dressed as cheerleaders, make a game attempt at a fairly uncreative cheer which mostly involves successfully spelling his name. Simone makes an attempt to bond with Matty, but it’s pretty awkward with the other two just standing there.

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Lastly, Leah has a solo shoot with Matty. The costumes seem to be based on Grease, but given the original came out in 1978, we’ll have to assume the shoot is based on the cinematic brilliance of Grease 2. And boy, is Leah about to take this to heart.
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The theme is ‘First Kiss’ and Leah is an awful attention seeker (all the other girls are standing mere metres away watching from a balcony), so you can see why she goes for it. But she is completely rebuffed.
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Yeah so in to this
Tara on the balcony legitimately howls with laughter. Cut to interview ‘She pashed, and he dashed. You’d be devoooooooo’. The women take a lovely bath in wine and schadenfraude to wrap up the long day.

Daytime, the mansion. Matty tells us ‘I’m constantly trying to figure out the girls’ which for some reason means he has popped by for an unexpected muffin-delivery (not a euphemism). In fact, one girl in particular has got his attention and he wants to whisk her away to ‘find out what passions they share’. It’s Lisa, who he wants to take out for a game of tennis (ALSO not a euphemism, somehow?). She tells us ‘I’m nervous, I’m excited, slightly shitting myself a little bit’ – which is a bit of a break in the Cool Girl routine, until Matty insists he didn’t think she’d want to put the top down in the car and she assures him that she’s not worried about messing up her hair. Being worried about her hair would be very unCool. Those barrel curls just came naturally. At the court, she somehow resists roasting him to the core, despite the fact that he is very bad at tennis. They retire to the pool for more banter and playfully shoving strawberries in each other’s faces (???). When it’s time for Serious Chats, she manages to clearly establish that he is the kind of guy she’s looking for while also making it seem like she came on the show entirely for shits and giggles. And this is why her emotional reserve is going to be Their Thing.

They return just in time for the cocktail party, Lisa carrying the rose she’s just received from Matty and looking appropriately model-gorgeous in a sparkly dress. The faces fall around the party as Tara tells us to camera that the rest of the girls are basically peasants compared to Lisa (I know who I’d rather have next to me at a dinner party, Tara).

During the night Jennifer continues to show herself to be at the centre of the vortex of all beef, as she sips from a greasy glass to match her personality

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She and Leah vehemently attempt to gaslight friends Elora and Simone, who frankly aren’t having a bar of it. Jennifer acts horrified when she is accused of being ‘dark’ and insists she is ‘bright’ and ‘vibrant’, which is genuinely only true when she’s wearing a lifesaving uniform.

Somehow*, neither of our resident Heathers are sent home, instead we wish a fond farewell to Kim Kardashian lookalike Laura-Ann. She received zero screen time in this episode, but also escaped the current hazing ritual atmosphere of the mansion in good time, so big ups to her.

*we all know how

Fake Gamer Girl

The finalists for The Lizzies were announced today. For those not in the know (aka me until a year ago or so), they are IT Journalism Awards, with categories for business, technology, gaming and the like. Scanning the list of people up for awards was a bit like looking down my Twitter ‘Following’ list, and it was a bit hard not to wonder, ‘How did I get here?’

I’m a lot of things. I’m a data nerd. A sometimes-pinup. A rock ‘n’ roll fan. A Whovian.

I am not a gamer. That is a straight-up fact. I have no distaste for it, and back when I was younger and had acres of spare time, I would in fact play games. No consoles to speak of in my house, but my parents have both always worked with computers (programming and IT consulting). Honestly I don’t think the copies of The Sims and Age of Empires in our house were bought by or for me, but I devoted plenty of after-school hours to enjoying them. But after high school it didn’t develop beyond there. My passions simply lay elsewhere – if I had spare time, I wanted to spend it listening to music, reading books, and watching movies or television. I felt a greater connection to those mediums (particularly having studied English Literature and Cultural Studies at university), and that’s how I wanted to idle away my hours when they were there to idle. Even in tabletop games, because I am not the least bit competitive, I consider my main role to be less ‘engaged participant’ and more ‘Chaos Monkey’.

But I have always been surrounded by the chatter. In news that will surprise no-one, the girl who has a blog based on Excel charts was part of the geeky group in high school. Everyone around me gamed – guys and girls. And since high school, I have considered gamers to some extent to be ‘my people’. I try to show an interest in their interests – I always like to ask questions, even if I know the answer will wash over my head. My best friend Tegan, her consoles and I moved in together for a while after university, and the sound of people dodging cars in GTA became standard background noise.

Tegan – now a host of Sass Effect, a gaming and advice podcast where Victorian Values found its start, as well as a staffer at the company that publishes Kotaku and Gizmodo….and honest-to-god Lizzie nominee to boot – has become my entry to this world. In 2015 I headed off to Oz Comic-Con to cheer her on in a panel, none of the content of which I understood. Last year I somehow found myself (slightly bewildered) at the Titanfall 2 launch, and attending PAX for the first time. Unsurprisingly I have met dozens of excellent people – both IRL and online – through her, that I would not otherwise.

But I don’t strictly know where I belong in this world. Am I some sort of gaming WAG (despite being neither wife nor girlfriend)? Fake gamer girl? Hanger-on? Or have I, as someone who gets the references, listens to the podcasts and sometimes goes to the events, become a gamer by default? There was a very small campaign (of two) last year to get me to take this title on. You’ve got to admit, you’ve found yourself a special bunch when members of the community want you to call yourself the thing, without you having to actually do the thing.

But if I take it on, it’s a slippery slope before I started referring to myself as an international fashion model.

Tinder Trends Part 2: So Tell Me About Yourself

While you let the secondhand embarrassment of the above video sit with you for a bit, I want you to consider that the only difference between those vignettes and a Tinder bio? Is that one third of those men aren’t staring silently at the camera. Everyone struggles essentially putting the ‘Hey I’m a relatively normal human being who wants companionship’ out there in to the world – but at least Mr Refined Valley Dude knows what he’s about.

Once again, I’m concentrating on men (….because that’s what I’ve got set as my Tinder preference) but I think there’ll be some takeaway for women. In fact, I think this edition is going to be very common sense, but my favourite part of putting together the data for the column is just to demonstrating how low any woman’s expectations are going to be for what you write about yourself.

So here’s the first tip. Just write something.

I should note that this column is aimed at people who use Tinder as a dating app, rather than for facilitating hook-ups (which I know is what it’s designed for). I don’t do casual sex, so I can’t really give a lot of advice on the subject, and I feel like people who are just looking for a shag can probably get there on their own. For you guys, the only suggestion I would make, and this is the common sense of any Murderino*, is if they look like they have a body in the back of their car, or if they say something in chat that makes you suspect that they don’t respect bodily autonomy…don’t have sex with them. So keeping that in mind, unless you have the best bod in the world, and some plucky young lass is planning to use you only for that body, you’re probably gonna need just a little something in your bio to avoid an immediate left-swipe. And if you have anything, just anything, you’re doing better than 35% of my sample of 100 profiles.

A note here: I have been an unintentional hypocrite on this personal deal-breaker. If you de-activate your profile and then re-activate it, it wipes your bio. Go check if you’ve still got one!

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(Okay so this is not technically a pie chart. It’s a donut graph, which I have permission to use if I need to, plus I love any excuse to think about eating donuts. Bar charts do not evoke going to a bar)

Here’s the common sense:

If someone’s considering whether to swipe right, they might want to have an idea of how compatible you are, what you might have in common. The best way to get an idea? Knowing who someone is, what they’re looking for in a partner, and what their interests are.

Five per cent of men in my data could actually articulate all that.

Others came close. Six per cent outlined their interests, succinctly. Four per cent issued a laundry list of everything they liked.  Four per cent outlined what they’re looking for. Pretty much all those guys could be saved, with a little profile re-write.

Getting an idea of what someone is looking for is a good preview of your potential compatibility. A guy who’s looking for princess to look after? Not for me.  But that could be some woman’s dream guy. If you’re not sure about the whole Tinder thing, and you’re just hoping to meet some new people? Put it out there.

It doesn’t have to be strict. You might as well keep it light – research has shown your idea of what you’re looking for may mean nothing when it comes to who you match with (note that this research is based on RSVP, which is prescriptive when it comes to having users describe their ideal partners – with fields like hair colour, eye colour, body type, education level, personality type, political view, and religious affiliation).

You can get deep talking about interests and deal-breakers and all those things in chat or on a date after matching, bios are just a great way to rule you in or rule you out in that first round. Unless you’re kicking a baby or a dog in your pictures, if we have a few common interests and you haven’t said anything problematic in your bio, I’m probably going to swipe right.

Now.  Let’s outline how low a girl’s standards are going to be. Here’s some things I came across in my data:

‘The girls sayin’ “not into one night stands” or “not into netflix and chill” are totally into them [wink emoji]

An idea to try: when a woman tells you explicitly what she is and isn’t in to, believe her.

‘Won’t buy your taco’s But I will touch your butt!’

Por que no los dos tbh.

 ‘If you don’t believe in love and fairytales we probably won’t have much in common [heart emoji] Taylor Swift’

This message was somewhat undercut by the fact that one of his pictures is he and (presumably) a friend naked, with their backs to the camera, doing the shaka sign.

Outside this sample, I did have an example of using your bio to be really really gross that I probably need to share. I’m quoting this sucker in full.

‘Keep it simple and real. My life is a drama-free zone.

I’m in no rush, going with the flow and seeing where it leads. I like to think of women like cars. Used cars may have low mileage, been cared for, kept clean, or they may be abused, with visible and hidden damage. Then there are ex-rental cars, only suitable for short term use, troublesome and costly to maintain while offering minimal benefits. What I really want is a brand new car to start afresh, care for and travel many miles with!’

Admittedly it was kind of tempting to match with this guy who’s cruising Tinder for virgins just to link him to the car chase in Blues Brothers.

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After absolutely nothing at all, the biggest trend were bios that would send any woman possessing all her mental faculties to sleep.

‘Hi

I work in the transport industry’

‘6ft Tall

Eastern Suburbs’

Look honestly a boyfriend who’s not around much would probably be great for me, but I’m still going to need a bit more information. And height is not a personality feature.

You can be weird to get attention, or can seriously raise a woman’s curiosity by being a 38-year-old-man who’s ‘new to this whole internet thing’ (how? You’ve been in prison, right? Or trapped in an underground bunker?), but being genuine is always going to be the winner.

The rules for Tinder bios are basically the same as the rules for being a human being someone might want to talk to, and potentially eventually see naked.

  • Have something say for yourself.
  • Know what you want and what you like (being open to possibilities!)
  • Don’t be a fuckwit.

 

*If you listen to My Favorite Murder please @ me immediately.