The Bachelor Australia 2017: Episode 16 (The Finale)

Did you notice the Baby Creeper aspect has been pushed in to the background over the last few episodes?

Well, that was your first clue about what was going to happen tonight.

(Well, no, it was about your 78th clue as I picked her for the final two as of the first episode)

You may recall – if you don’t, I have a handy dandy recap for you – that in episode seven, Laura told Matty she didn’t see herself being ready to have kids for another ‘five or six years’. Given she’s probably about to be spending plenty of time with a toddler and a newborn baby, I reckon you can guarantee she’s off to get a fresh Implanon installed, too.
better late
Anyway, it’s pretty significant that they stepped well away from that narrative once Laura became the clear frontrunner.

Look, we all knew what was happening here. The Daily Mail made sure of that, and while the show already did a pretty crappy job of telling the story of Matty and his second-place, it would have been an outright failure if there’d barely introduced his winner until the same episode her Dad appeared. Just sayin’. Let’s have a look at how they framed this inevitability.

At the final two, it’s important to contrast the two ladies left. After all, heaven forfend Australia notice that he’d probably be happy with any generically nice, white girl with hair in some shade of bronde. So Elise gets the ‘down-to-earth’ edit, where she is all warmth and smiles the girl who will fit nicely in to his life even though she lives in South Australia and Laura lives around the corner. Laura, by the way, seems perfectly down-to-earth too, but instead she gets the confident career lady edit, even though she cracks under the slightest pressure.

It’s used in two ways – to make us think Elise will win, and to make sure we know Elise will be okay. Firstly, she gets along with Matty’s Mum and brothers (there is no Tyrant Kate to be seen because he eggo is preggo again, although apparently she’s messaged them this morning, presumably saying ‘GRILL ‘EM TOMMY’) like a house on fire (Matty says ‘It’s almost too perfect’ hint hint). Boy does Matty’s brother have some questions for her, though. They edit it to look like he basically opens up his line of questioning with ‘Have you had many lovers in the past?’ and Elise chooses to answer talking about her two ex-boyfriends, rather than response I personally would have chosen:
TOMMY

Seriously though Tommy, what’s up your dick with that question?  Umm anyway the rest of his line of questioning allows her to once again reiterate for the umpteenth time this episode how compatible they are because of how much they like not being inside and how much they enjoy physical exertion. And this is double edged sword for Elise, or at least the show wants us to believe that . She would fit nicely in to his life. His family likes her (his Mum fucking loves her). They can teach their tanned kids hockey and pick leeches off each other on hikes in the deepest wilderness. But also: what’s that exciting about someone who’s exactly like you? There’s no challenge. That’s a reason not to pick her, yes, but they could have just focused on the fact that these two have zero chemistry and just come off as good friends who pash sometimes.

In their solo day, taking place on a superyacht and a private island (so now we know where the budget for the rest of the series went) they want us to know Elise will be okay. Even though he wrings a few more declarations of love out of her, she also reiterates that she knows ‘it might get taken away from me, but I’m glad I’ve done it, because I’m really happy’. In her post-dumping to-camera and this heartbreaking interview after the finale, it’s pretty clear she quickly changed her mind on that, and it was just the confidence and high of love talking.

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Laura pretty much screws the pooch with the in-laws. And I think at this point I realise this why it is that I like Laura – we are not dissimilar. Because damn is she a nervous talker. One question down and they know her entire LinkedIn profile and then some.

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And then she straight up cries at Matty’s Mum because she gets a bit worked up. I’ve been there before. It feels like total garbage. It’s not just emotion – it’s nerves and anxiety and a million other things and you feel the need to apologise because you’re not usually like this, dammit. So even though she’s talking about something quite nice – her love for Matty – sometimes you’ve just been keeping your cool for too long and need to let it out.
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Lukily Matty’s Mum recognises this as a sign of the strength of her genuine feelings and not that she’s an overly-emotional weirdo.

I continue to lack any appreciation for Tommy after he basically tells Laura that Elise is better suited because she fucking likes camping or whatever, Laura then needs to jump to her own defence, talking about how she’s done heaps of backpacking, she’s ‘no-fuss, not precious, not a drama queen’ and of course someone in this fucking family thinks that’s ‘awesome’. This obsession with women being ‘low maintenance’, when Matty is the most fucking manicured, bleach-teeth, perfectly-abbed guy on television, is hypocritical and exhausting.
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Their solo date is full of loving sick on each other – in a lake, on a gondola in the rain – while the service industry employees of Thailand and an elephant look on.

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Weird that they invited Akoulina back.

Like I just want to get on with this because it’s nearly midnight so basically their date is full of a lot of laughter and Matty’s patented Fuck Eye.

Suddenly it’s doomsday. Everyone’s melting in their suits, Laura gets frocked up in a white top and skirt – all the better to show off her abs – and Elise looks stunning in gold (for the second episode running – I’m glad to costume department liked her, at least). Matty positions himself between two golden elephant statues that are surrounded by pink petals.
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Old mate’s brought a ring along, too. Over the last few days there’s been a story going around that he proposed and the girl turned him down, which was a good way to create any dramatic tension here.

They’re transporting the girls via boat and I start dreading the indignity of stumbling off a boat in heels while you’re off to get your heartbroken, but a strapping gentleman is kind enough to carry them off the boats, which is a bit fabulous, actually.

The first girl to arrive is always the dumpee, and no-one’s particularly surprised when it’s Elise. But oh, she’s so excited and hopeful. It’s awful to watch. It’s mostly treated in the kindest way possible – no fakeout like Georgia gave him, the gut-punch that started us on this whole sorry journey. Although he does tell her ‘I’ve realised that we’re so similar in so many ways, and I love that about you’, which is a great way of really saying you’re a bit up yourself. She does an amazing job at saving face in front of him, wishing him the best, but she only gets to walk away as far away as necessary before she starts crying.
wilf'

Matty relocates himself to a colourful rug at the end of a rose-strewn path to greet Laura. Laura has told Osher ‘I’m ready to find out where I stand, whether it’s good or bad’ and it turns out she was deadset convinced it was bad. Matty greets her with a broad grin and sighs, to which she replies ‘it’s okay’. She looks like she’s going to vomit or cry or both, interrupting his speech with ‘It’s okay, whatever it is, it’s okay’ and just generally acts like she’s lost until he finally spits out that he loves her. So it’s actually pretty nice to be able to see these kids finally express their feelings for one another. Also he pops the ring on her right hand (god, it’s a risky move giving jewellery to a jewellery designer) so presumably she’s got a bit of time before she needs to start worrying about getting knocked up.

Put out your hockeysticks for Elise, folks.
hockey

 

 

The Bachelor Australia 2017: Episode 15

Oh god, where to start? The anger, it’s too fresh.
justice

And it’s not just that I was wrong with my predictions. It was so sad to see wonderful Bogan Queen Tara heartbroken tonight. Not really because she’s not going to be with Matty – personally I’d prefer no-one ended up with Matty – but because he’d led her to believe she’d finally found someone who doesn’t think she’s Too Much. So mostly I hate that this precious cinnamon roll may think she ever needs to make herself lesser to be desirable to a nation of milquetoast boys.

donthcange

My main hope at this stage is that Celebrity Bogan Queen Sophie Monk will pave the way for a Bachelorette as charming, lively, and unfiltered as Tara.

Let’s go back to the start. This week’s first date goes to Laura. The folks at Destination Wollongong are stoked that this date takes place in the Northern Illawarra. Heck knows the timeline for this date. They start out driving over the Sea Cliff Bridge, and this is my home area so I’m wondering how the hell they got that sucker empty. Either this is the legit crack of dawn, or they somehow managed to close the bridge for filming. Seems a bit over-the-top. Anyway. They make their way to the elegantly named Bald Hill. Only one thing happens at Bald Hill, and that’s skydiving. Laura’s generally got the more tame dates, so apart from the previous group date where they jumped out of a plane, I’m not really sure she has a leg to stand on when she says ‘I’m starting to get a little concerned that he wants to throw me off and out of things’.
Anyway she’s really excited! She loves things that push her out of her comfort zone. It’s an attitude that she has to carry with her to winey cheese time, for which they must have returned to the mansion because there’s some serious Daytime! Nighttime! action. One nice thing that happens this episode, is that Matty commissioned a production assistant totally drew himself a new portrait of Laura to replace the First Date Monstrosity. Laura is delighted. Does it look a bit like Georgia Love? Maybe. But it’s not enough to deter her from forcefully ripping herself from her comfort zone, against the better judgement that has served her perfectly well all season long. Ah well, I said she’d need to go balls deep, and here it goes. This took her about 40 minutes to get out and nonetheless my typing probably missed some stuff:

‘You’re very unexpected… I came in to this with no expectations…I’ve been taken for six in this….*long pause*…yeah well, this is incredibly difficult, because I’ve never ever been in a situation where I’ll need to put everything out there and not get that back, and I know there is a very good chance that I will get very hurt in this… but I would prefer to get hurt and for you to know everything…I am utterly falling in love with you, I genuinely am. It is truly the best feeling in the world’

Look I’m gonna take a wild stab in the dark and say for the finale they’ll just choose the last two lines.

Prior to this, Matty had told us that despite his many repeated misgivings about her reticence, he was just gonna let her stay at the level of expression she was comfortable with tonight (and presumably dump her if she was not effusive enough). So we know it was on his mind. His response to her outpouring? ‘I didn’t expect you to say that’. Mate what the fuck were you expecting after your interrogation at hometowns?

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Anyway they do some pashing and bantz to relieve the tension and apparently she still likes the first portrait, so I guess she really loves him (and, in fact, they make the new portrait face away as they’re kissing so I guess it’s haunted).
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I don’t know what to say about his date with Elise. There’s a steam train, it unfortunately doesn’t run anyone down. Did you know he and Elise had a ‘slow burn’? And she likes sports and the outdoors? That her family is ‘one he wants to be part of’ (because of Phil, obvs). There’s no new information here. He takes her camping so you know I think we can definitely vote for this as Worst Date Ever.

shurup

There’s another very eloquent confession, from Elise:
‘I don’t fall for people often, but I know when I do. Everything kinda makes sense. I kinda feel like yeah, since hometowns, it has changed…and I can see a future with us, and yeah, I am falling in love with you’

And he just nods in response and says ‘I didn’t know that’.call

Like he makes all the right noises after that, but Smart Bachie Person Jodi McAlister did raise the theory that possibly he sent Tara rather than Elise home at this point not because he likes Elise so much, but rather to spare Tara the hurt of being let down later in the game.

Let’s move on to Tara’s date though, because there was one fundamental difference to the other girls. And not just that she was orally ecstatic about every element. When she turns up to some docks to see Matty waiting, she exclaims: ‘Oh sick! Matty and a seaplane, my two favourite things’. She’s apparently never been in a seaplane before but given Matty lied about having been in a helicopter in episode 12 I think we’re all chill. They take the seaplane to a yacht because okay. He proves Troy right, he is a liar, because he says Tara’s family were nice at hometowns. He also repeatedly reminds us that he laughs all time with Tara, that he forgets the rest of the world exists, that he thinks their future would be so fun. Why you dump her then bro? Well, here’s a thought. As the serious part of winey cheesy time happens (Tara, who cannot resist commenting on anything including peacefulness, shrieks ‘ohhhh this is so pretty’ like a) Matty set it up himself and b) it doesn’t look the same as the hundreds of other couches and cheeseboards we’ve seen over the season), Tara first stresses about being too full-on for other people. Which, yes, I, an introvert, could only handle her in small doses, but she is still a perfect angel. She then tells him ‘I really really like you, and I can see myself falling in love with you, so soon’.

So soon.

So look, I like the ‘she was sent home to protect her beautiful heart before they jet off overseas’ theory. But Matty is a garbage person, so I truly believe he went down his list of L-bombs and realised there was one missing.
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So, back at the mansion of awkwardness and sobriety, Matty tells us he feels terrible – he has feelings for and sees a future with all of them – and Osher turns up to provide some highly unnecessary Rose Maths. Matty picks Laura first, and then Elise.
Matty, I’ve got two things to say to you:
taras
wrong

RIP Bogan Queen.

The Bachelor Australia 2017: Episode 14

As warned in my last recap, my overwhelmingly active social life (aka I actually did things for once because my best friend was visiting) prevented me from putting up this recap in a timely fashion. However, knowing I’m going to miss recapping Sophie’s Bachelorette season (devastating – I want to see if she’ll be on Gogglebox talking about her own dates) because of my work commitments, I wanted to do hometowns out of a desire for completeness.

The first person to lure Matty to her hometown is Tara, from the Gold Coast. She wants to take Matty to her ‘special place’

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Turns out her special place is Movie World, and it must be approximately 6am because they have the place to themselves. Tara + rides is a great chance for another long session of Tara shrieking excitedly. I genuinely believe her finale montage could just be her eating phallic food and screaming. As they walk around the park he feels like he’s getting a preview of what life with Tara would be like. As she grabs his arse.

Boy receives fair warning about her brother Troy, but nonetheless it’s a bit of a surprise when they’ve only seemingly been there about 30 seconds and have met a series of charming small children when he drags Matty out for a chat around the barbecue – which seems like a dangerous place for an interrogation.

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It’s not really too drastic. Although Troy cuts an intimidating figure in his backwards cap, he wants to know the same thing all the families want to know – will he pick Tara? None of these people are apparently familiar with the rules or the format of the show because of course the Bachie is strictly verboten from talking about love or who he’ll pick.

this-is-how-we-do-it-o

Anyway when Matty says he doesn’t know yet who he’ll pick, Troy responds with a deadpan ‘Liar’, and all the producers high-five themselves for getting their dramatic promo shot. Apart from that, everyone’s nice. In conversation with Tara’s sister, Matty calls Tara an ‘all-rounder’, which sounds the kind of thing my teachers would put on my report cards because I wasn’t particularly good at anything.

(I was just waiting for my time to shine…writing The Bachelor recaps for literally dozens of people)

When she tells him ‘I could really see myself falling in love with you’ as he leaves, Tara starts a fascinating trend of  the girls not telling The Bachie that they’re falling in love with him at hometowns. This is absolutely standard practice in series gone by, but I have a sneaking suspicion all of the ladies spent some time studying Nikki’s journey in Richie’s series. If you’re not familiar with her, she fell for that dropkick hard, and Australia was left heartbroken after he chose Stage Five Clinger Alex Nation. At hometowns, Nikki actually went one step beyond Alex – admitting to him ‘I’m totally in love with you’ versus Alex’s ‘I think I’m falling in love with you’. And while Tara probably holds emotions deeper than she reveals to him (she starts crying after he leaves, with her voiceover telling us ‘I’m not scared to fall in love. I’m scared of getting my heart broken, I worry that he won’t fall in love with me back’), it’s an interesting change in the usual formula of the show.

Matty’s off to Florence’s ‘hometown’ of Melbourne next, where he will be mildly offended that Florence’s entire family did not fly over from Holland. As a substitute, they ride some bikes for fifty metres for a ‘Dutch picnic’, which as I was disappointed to find out, is not a sexual innuendo but just a bunch of cheese. Florence assures as that ‘friends are the family you choose’ so today she will be introducing Matty to two of her close friends. She chooses one of her most ‘direct’ friends, presumably because she realises she looks exactly the same as Tara and, like Highlander…

only-one

Seriously, I feel like the Twittersphere have been completely ignoring this while they repeatedly assert that Georgia and Laura look exactly the same because they have brown hair…

Anyway, if you know you’re going to be making way for your doppelganger that’s likely to actually stick in the country, you might as well throw a few parting shots the Bachie’s way through your intimidating friend. She even goes out of her way to make him nervous on the way in the door. In addition, she makes him stop holding her hand during the conversation (‘Let go of my hand…it’s okay’). Honestly, Florence’s complete and utter Fuck It I’m Hanging Out With My Friends attitude during this hometown might actually be my favourite thing.  At the end she tells him ‘I feel like I’m on my way to falling in love with you’ and he just responds with blank look and straight on kiss. It’s so awkward that they probably should have just high-fived.
Actual footage:
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Now it’s off to rainy South Australia to see Elise’s Family Elise, Totally Elise. They walk around getting wet but not in that way for a bit before Matty is finally allowed to see his beloved Phil, who he refers to as ‘Captain Phil’. He is thisclose to giving Phil the flowers he brought, inclined as he is to give blooms to people he’s in love with. Matty soon realises that he has a crush on Elise’s whole beautiful, white-teethed family. Even Elise’s Mum, who sneaks off to drink wine in the kitchen and drag Matty for his potato-mashing abilities. Elise smiles her face off the entire time – she’s so happy to have Matty together with her family. I mean, I know some families like this. When Matty says Elise’s family is something he’d ‘like to recreate’, it’s a bit odd, but I get it. Elise’s sister doesn’t seem like a nightmare tyrant, unlike Matty’s sister. But now I’m just sad that this entire lovely family is going to be heartbroken when Matty dumps them.

family

How dare you Matty?

Now we come to the best part of the episode, for it is time to meet the Best Dog In Sydney.
buster

Buster is Laura’s three-legged rescue dog and an actual angel on earth, running around on the beach. This is where Matty meets them, and I quietly note with some sniggers that Buster doesn’t come when Matty calls, but when Laura says to go. Good instincts, Buster (of course, being a sook, Buster immediately starts pumping Matty for belly rubs).

Never forget, by the way, how Matty’s sister panicked at the idea of Free Babysitting Service Matty J leaving the state. It’s incredibly convenient that Laura lives in Sydney. Matty even mentions this: ‘It’s nice to be in your hometown…which is also my hometown’

They turn up some relos place/rented property and I’m personally devastated to see that this masterpiece isn’t framed somewhere:Screen Shot 2017-09-11 at 9.24.43 pm

Buster isn’t there either so the rest of it all is pretty dull. Nana drags Laura a bit for bringing a few guys home over the years (Laura tells him at the end that she hasn’t brought a guy home in years). Her sister gives Matty a light grilling, not too bad but it’s still beautiful to see his face fall over the course of the episode every time it doesn’t fly when he tries to give a charming smile instead of an actual answer. When Laura has  solo chat with her sister, she’s stressed out – does she put herself out on a limb letting him know how she feels, and potentially get hurt, or does she let him read between the lines? Oh yes, she definitely watched Richie’s season. Her sister urges her to go balls deep on this thing, but evidently she chooses the latter. As he leaves, they have a pash and a slightly awkward conversation:
Matty: Are you 100% certain?
Laura: Are you 100 certain? …You can’t answer. You know I want this.
Matty: But are you 100% certain?
banghead

She responds in the way most people would to a man who can give them no guarantees and who also has three other girlfriends: ‘Don’t do that, not if you can’t say the same thing back’. As much as I find it entirely understandable, at some point in finale week, Laura’s gonna have to go balls deep on this thing, because we know Tara will.

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Apparently you’re not allowed to compare notes on hometowns because the pre-rose-ceremony scene is just a montage of the girls drinking wine on their own in different parts of the mansion.

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The girls line up and there is the stink of excessive sobriety in the air. Tara stands there with her hands clasped – she appears to be praying. Oh honey. He’s just not worth it. He picks Elise, then Tara. Laura appears to roll her eyes, a little butthurt that she’s been put in the bottom two (BALLS. DEEP). Florence looks vaguely sick because she presumably knows what’s coming. Osher gives Matty a little man-pat as he farewells Florence, meanwhile Tara shouts ‘we’ll see you soon!’ because maybe Bachie is less about the dripping man-candles and more about the friends we make along the way.

forever'

The Bachelor Australia 2017: Episode 13

As I know I will not be getting Thursday’s episode up in a timely fashion (not to worry, I’ll tell you now there will be some awkward chats then Florence is going home), I thought I’d try to power through Wednesday night’s episode. Even though Channel 10 is airing the terrible Dirty Dancing remake, and I’m submitting myself to it for the second time in a month. It’s making me so angry. Let’s fuel that in to some Bachie coverage.

Channel 10 came out of nowhere to promote this as Hometown Week. As I outlined in the last recap, there’s always four girls for hometowns, which meant two girls had to go home tonight. I’d already predicted that Elora and Cobie would go home next, but I didn’t get the order quite right, so I guess I don’t quite get to indulge in my favourite activity.

But first, we must swim through an ocean of awkwardness and James Blunt.

Elora, Tara, Florence, Cobie, Laura and Elise turn up to someone’s yard. Osher doesn’t even have to invite them, they just know. He tells them that the winner of this date gets to spend more time with Matty and JAMES BLUNT. The reaction is not unlike this:bees
In the yard is a set of six podiums. Today’s first activity is framed as a ‘self-awareness’ exercise but it’s essentially just a way to try to make a bunch of essentially nice girls act mean. And while Elora is no Jen or Leah, her lack of self-awareness does essentially paint her as the villain. The girls are meant to cooperate to sort themselves in order of ‘most to least’ for questions like ‘Who is the most positive?’ ‘Who is the most down to earth?'”
It’s….excruciatingly awkward, to ask girls to rank themselves like this.

Important parts:

  1. Everyone knows Tara is the funniest because she is a queen.
  2. Tara tries to gently tell Elora that she should step down on the funny thing because she’s ‘more sexy than funny’. Tara of course being the proof that you can be both.
  3. Elora and Tara head straight to the top for ‘most down to earth’ and Florence asks Elora ‘What are you doing here?’. I genuinely find the whole thing so painful but…
    shde

Elora is many things but she is not exactly ‘down to earth’.

At the end of this round, Laura and Tara do not go through. I genuinely don’t think this is because they are not liked, but because they were most willing to take the fall to protect egos and avoid fights. Anything to make this segment shorter, basically.
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The next segment is about dealbreakers! The two girls whose dealbreakers most align with Matty’s will go through. Also balloons.
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Guess what Matty’s number one dealbreaker is? No, guess!

Yes you were correct, it’s ‘not wanting kids’. God these guys are just writing the blog for me at this stage. Anyway, the really shocking part was that Elora, who seemed to be tailoring her answers to appeal to Matty (duh), did NOT pick this as one of her dealbreakers.
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If you need a babydaddy and you’re planning to steal Matyy J from Laura in the future, you should know his other dealbreakers are: cheating, lying, stubbornness, bad manners AND the tiebreaker dealbreaker ‘incompatible in the bedroom’, because not everyone can be the little spoon I guess.

Elise and Elora move on to the next round, and we’re not done with the awkward turtle I guess, because they have to write down their ideas on relationships and their expectations, and then read them out to Matty….at an altar. While the other girls watch on a TV screen. Shame none of them could livetweet, given that’s basically the only way to deal with watching this garbage show. Elise says all the right things and Elora just says all of the things. There are many words. All the girls say how ‘full-on’ and ‘intense’ it was.
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To the surprise of no-one, he chooses Elise to Get Blunted. Matty decides to dress up like The Fonz to take his lady out for a dance.
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Eyyyyyy

Anyway apparently James Blunt ships it because he mutters ‘Go on then’ as he shuffles offstage.

Cobie finally gets another single date after the horse peen debacle. Matty really wants to test their romantic connection. Even predicting what I did, it was extremely clear that nothing short of a very drastic move here was going to see Cobie go home this episode. Matty has not been shy of his strong connection with the leading ladies, and nor has he been shy of sending people home.
Anyway, the first thing Matty does is hand her a bright pink stackhat (which she is thrilled about, because she is thrilled about everything, oh god it’s exhausting). It’s almost like….he was preparing her for something.
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But before she can face her emotions, she must face the world from a great height. She makes a great show of being scared of heights when they turn up at an elevated obstacle course, but then gets through it fine. They seem to have fun, and get a bit touchy-feely.

The clearest sign that this is her death knell is when they pull up afterwards and drink cider. CIDER. We are a wine family in this house, dammit! There’s not even any bloody cheese. It’s undignified. And then he makes her pour her heart out before he dumps her, telling her he doesn’t see it progressing beyond a friendship, like he always planned to. It’s really like kicking a puppy.

Back at the cocktail party, which, lacking a certain Bachie, is pretty much just the girls getting smashed in fancy dresses (and I have some serious resentment for what’s about to happen, because Tara my queen is looking STUNNING tonight), the girls are predicting what’s going to happen. Mostly, Cobie’s gonna waltz in any second with a rose. Instead, Osher turns up to rain on their parade. Ladies, Cobie and Matty had a great time today but they’ve decided to not-so-consciously uncouple. Also PS there’s a rose ceremony in five minutes.
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Elora is bummed because she was planning to talk to Matty before the rose ceremony, presumably hoping to perform some sex magic on him to convince him to let her stay. Buuuuuuut nope. He is quite apologetic to her, saying that he is not the guy who would ‘go on amazing adventures’ with her and he’s afraid if they were together he would ‘clip her wings’. Guys, it doesn’t take a genius to see the subtext here – she kept talking about wanting to travel the world, and didn’t show sufficient enthusiasm re: the motherhood question. Fundamentally, they weren’t very compatible. Elora has a case of the butthurts, but hopefully she recovers soon enough when she realises that travelling the world is way better than sprogging off kids for this dillweed forever,

Speaking of travel, my bestie is travelling interstate to visit me from tomorrow for a weekend of Book of Mormon and My Favorite Murder and delicious pastries, so it’s highly unlikely there’ll be a recap for episode 14 up promptly. I will aim to have it done by the end of the weekend.
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The Bachelor Australia 2017: Episodes 11 and 12

Sometimes, life doesn’t want you to tell people about this week’s The Bachelor in detail. Sometimes, life wants you to spend more than 5 hours of your day in meetings, the majority of that time spent writing notes by hand.wrist

It’s a bumper post, however, as I managed to carve out some time on the weekend to make fun of Matty some more add some more details.

Wednesday
It’s like Christmas in the mansion. Why’s that? Because Jen’s left. The mischievous music matches Tara’s joy.

Knowing that now the villains are out of the way, it’s time to concentrate on Actual Relationships, and everyone’s sure it must be Simone’s time for a glory. She’s the only girl left in the house who hasn’t had a single date. Osher meanly turns up to remind everyone that the only way to strengthen their relationship is alone time….and then hands out a date card that’s addressed to Laura, who seems to have had a significant amount of alone time (which is to be expected, she is a favourite, and Matty knows in his heart he will not be making a former topless waitress the mother of his brood of children). She apologises to Simone, but she’s excited. She knows what a winner smells like.

The clue for the date is ‘Do you believe your destiny is written in the stars? Let’s see what the future holds for us’.

Laura has clearly seen this garbage show before, because she managed to predict all the major elements of the date….although she does repeatedly call the Observatory a ‘Conservatorium’. It’s kinda hard not to enjoy Laura. Obviously many minus points for liking this dingbat in the first place, but as they reminisce about their first date, she remembers the portrait of her that he drew – she still has it, and ‘it’s frightening’.

The first element of the date is to visit a psychic. Weirdly, as that’s exactly what Matty’s been indicating in the pre-date interview, this psychic thinks that Laura is a bit more guarded and wants to spend a bit more time getting to know someone. This is of course only really a flaw in Bachelor-land, but it was clear on their first date that she’s not super comfortable with the process. Anyway, Laura clearly thinks psychics are nonsense, which is one reason she is great. As they talk about their star signs, Matty asks if he’s ‘easy to read’ and Laura confirms this. I mean, you’re not subtle, mate.

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When night falls, they walk across the street to the Conservatorium Observatory and after a cheeky bit of sky-gazing (chaperoned by an astronomer), he breaks it to her. They’re going to name a star – a relatively young star. And he knew Laura was the perfect woman for him as she responded by shrieking

‘We’re going to name a BABY’
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(They name it ‘Mataura’ so I have questions about whether these two should really be allowed to combine their DNA)

In their post-date winey cheesey session, he prods her about her wall and not letting him in and generally lamenting that he doesn’t have an ice dragon. She tells him ‘It’s hard to be completely and utterly open, and be so excited about this when you’re… not mine’ which is a legitimate thing to say to a man with seven other girlfriends. She does think that this is all amazing ‘Do you really think? ‘Yeah, I really think – What do you think?’ ‘I want to know more about what you think’

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Seriously though that was an awful flashback to his first date with Elora.

He gives her a rose and gives her a performance review of their date:

‘There’s nothing nicer than when your expectations are met…and today they were definitely met’
convo

Group date! Matty hasn’t pushed the kid thing enough so he literally decides their group date should be a kid’s party. First the girls are confronted by shirts featuring childhood photos. Everyone is mean about Laura’s photo – in interview Elora says she looked awful, and Florence says she looks like an ugly monkey.
(She looks like a child)

Simone vehemently denies being a natural-born redhead to the belief of no-one.

There’s some theme here about their pasts revealing who they are now but given this date involves eating donuts on a string we might as well just say Matty really likes kids and leave it at that. He also likes inappropriately touching ladies, which comes in handy when the girls put a childhood memory in a balloon and they have to pop the balloon with their bodies. Elora starts the proceedings with Tara commenting ‘they were in so many…positions’. Queen Tara cries ‘Alright Matty bend over’ then momentarily mistakes him for Ginuwine, riding him like a pony.
pony
Another part of the date involves a memorable object from their childhood. Three significant things here:
1. Simone’s Mum has either confused her for a sister (definitely something my Mum would do), or thrown her under a bus for exposing her lack of cooking skills on national television, because she sends along a pair of ballet shoes. Simone has never done ballet and has to deftly lie about it.
2. Florence has had a creepy little teddybear sent along, and tells Matty when she was mad she used to cut its ears and legs off. I’d be getting that thing blessed by a young priest and an old priest because…
nnae;

3. Matty gets really excited when he realises Elise’s ‘Adventurers’ cap relates to time spent a) outdoors and b) with her Dad.

There’s also a game of ‘pin the heart on the bachelor’ (referred to by Osher as ‘shameless exploitation’ like this is something new and different for the show)
Stretch-core-out-boy
The most significant part of which is when Simone reveals her thirst and puts her heart on his Little Matty Johnson. In addition Tara continues her status as an enthusiastic Arse Woman.

He chooses Elise to spend extra time with and they enthuse about how they ‘share the same values’ i.e both really like Elise’s Dad, Paul. There’s a lot of talk about the ‘spark’ they share and he gives her a rose. But I think this is 90% just Matty needing a father figure. Pick Osher!

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With our villains gone the cocktail parties are a bit more chill. Laura notes she is increasingly feeling more jealous of his connections with other girls (this comes up when he is talking to Tara), and Elora ‘hates herself’ for not talking to him at the last 3 parties, which is not a bad bit of context for the next episode. She does in fact talk to him at this party, as he whisks her off to the secret garden, or, as Tara dubs it, ‘the Seeky-G’. As Matty asks her about their future together, she enthuses about the travelling they’ll do – but when pressed she assures him that she’s ready to settle down.

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(I think this, not her actions in the next episode, will be the kiss of death for her next week)

No-one in the world, not even Simone, is shocked when she is sent home at the rose ceremony.

Thursday
Osher drops by to remind everyone that home towns are coming up and maybe they should remind everyone back home to get back on their meds before this slice of vanilla sponge cake is allowed to meet them. He also drops off a date card:
‘Last time we fell for one another – let’s take things to new heights’
Everyone knows it’s Florence so that’s….not exciting.
He picks her up in a helicopter, because apparently Channel 10 found a tiny bit of space in the budget, and after stepping out of the chopper, tells her he’s never been in one before.
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They’re dropped off at a remote locate somewhere in/around the Royal National Park. Just a nice normal place to do some…pottery. Apparently Matty has won awards for his pottery, his particular speciality being smoking bowls. Seems fake tbh, and an extremely elaborate setup for the Ghost moment (the Demi Moore/Patrick Swayze movie, not the direwolf)
ghost

Sorry just got distracted thinking about how much better this show could be with the threat of random direwolf attacks

Anyway he does start rubbing up behind her after her pottery starts taking a phallic turn and he wants to set her on the right course. She tells us ‘I know if this was the real world, this would be something really good’ but unfortunately for her it’s a fake-arse reality TV show. He then takes her to a random couch set up perched on a precipice in the middle of bushland (good idea, easier for predators to sneak up on you) and makes her repeat how much she enjoyed him sitting sort of awkwardly next to/behind her while a low-budget Unchained Melody played over the soundtrack. After all, he wants her to get serious. No more jokes! She discusses how hard it is, with six other girls still left. She’s happy she made it this far, but she can’t ignore the other girls. None of the girls are really letting him off the hook with this whole ‘yeah you’re still dating a WHOLE BUNCH of other people’ thing. She gets a rose and they have a pash after he carefully explains that he’s putting the moves on her. I like Flo – she seems like delight – but at this point, if they’ve had two single dates and haven’t talked about babies once? She’s top three, at best.

At the group date we all want to practice our boxing skills on Osher’s face when he asks the activewear-clad girls if they are ‘fit to find love’ god Osher stoppppppp.
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Anyway they’re lycra-clad to write their biggest fears about falling in love on a piece of wood. No, they’re lycra-clad to learn about boxing from a guy named Michael! And then they have to punch through the scary piece of chipboard. It’s all very dumb. I usually try to write detailed notes but this is what I had when they introduced the boxing element”
boxing
Few things here:
1. Matty talks to Lisa while she’s writing and she doesn’t like talking about her feelings. I talked about this in my first and second recaps, that Lisa’s emotional reserve was going to be Their Thing. This is not a bachie who will deal with you keeping your feelings to yourself (and that’s not really a story that this show is set up to support).
2. Lisa punches Matty in the stomach or The Little Matty Johnson (we don’t really see) and then punches him in the head. That may be the moment she gives up:
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2. Cobie has a very emotional fear about falling in love in relation to her past behaviour. She’s not happy when she has to read this out loud, and is not pleased with the outcome.
3. When Matty chooses Tara to spend extra time with over dinner,  it’s pretty obvious it has nothing to do with her performance on this date, but because he really bloody fancies Tara.
(As a note, the only fears we heard were Cobie, Elise, Tara and Laura’s).

He makes Tara trek in to the city in her activewear, so they can go to a hotel and get changed there. Tara sculls a bit of champagne to take the edge off, which is fair.  She looks stunning, which Matty appreciates, as she emerges for their rooftop dinner of pad thai made by a private chef. Here’s some actual footage of me any time I’m eating pad thai:
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I mean, I get to have the whole thing to myself and there’s no-one sitting across from me trying to mentally calculate my remaining fertile years and whether the name ‘Mara’ can be used if it’s a boy, so I still think I’m winning.

Anyway, Tara’s full of champagne and she’s ready to put it all on the line! Which basically means telling Matty that she likes him and looks forward to introducing him to her family. His ears prick up at the word ‘family’ and speaking of pricks… he gives her a rose. Much pashing ensues. Matty tells us ‘When I’m with Tara, she just becomes the most important thing to me….for that moment, Tara is the only girl in the world’, which to be fair is pretty much how I feel when Tara is onscreen.
yas

The ~scandal~ at the cocktail party occurs when Elora pulls aside Matty for a chat and then decides to pull him out of view for a kiss, which he declines, on account of the fact that it is disrespectful to the other girls. Is this why we never got to see Laura’s chat in the Seeky-G? Because it could potentially be a tiny bit hypocritical if he had in fact kissed a girl at a cocktail party before? Anyway the girls work out what happened and aren’t happy. Elora’s worried she’d be sent home.

Speaking of the Seeky G, Matty pulled Cobie aside to tell her that he really appreciated her honesty on the group date and to give her a rose. She reacts as subtly as you’d expect:
omg

Anyway, it turns out Matty will choose too much thirst over not enough thirst any day. Lisa just couldn’t quite get there in her feelings for him, so she is sent home.

And at this point, I am going to predict my running order for the next eliminations:
Elora
Cobie
Florence
Elise

FINAL TWO
Laura and Tara

Ultimately I think Laura’s going to take it, but I think there’s gonna be some very tough moments getting there. I adore our Bogan Queen, I don’t want her to get her heart broken, but I also want to spare her a future as Matty’s brood mare.

food

The Bachelor Australia 2017: Episode 10

witch

‘But I’m such a good cooooooook!’

Ding dong, the witch is dead. But it was some manufactured bullshit, and I want to talk about that, so I’m breaking with chronological format. We can come back to Elise and Matty’s Knight Bus snorefest later.

To trace this nonsense however, we do have to backpedal a little bit, to the group date. The date card reads ‘Let’s live every day like it’s summer’ and everyone’s invited. They go to the beach on a pretty garbage-looking day – and in fact it starts pissing down rain at the end. There’s a bunch of vaguely sports-related events – throwing balls around in a pool cleaning net, tossing thongs, and volleyball. I get the feeling the producers got drunk to come up with those ones. Sports-related dates always bring out the competitive side of the girls, and for Jen, watching paint dry could be a competitive sport. But a sudden rivalry appeared out of thin air for Jen this episode, and it had a mighty whiff to it.

bullsht

Lisa’s apparent crime, at the start of the date, was her youth and immaturity. Now Jen has never noted any problem at all with Lisa that we’ve seen, as she’s mostly been heaping shit on people like Simone (who she now seems chummy with now that her buddy Michelle has left, RIP). Jen gets more riled up over the group date, as her team (consisting of herself, Florence, Simone, Laura, and Elise) are smashed by Lisa, Elora, Tara and Cobie. At the end of the second round, with Jen and Lisa going head-to-head with a patriotic round of throwing-thongs-into-eskies, Jen declares Lisa to be her ‘target to sabotage’.

Shout out to my fellow 80’s movie fans, but every time any villain gets this thirsty, I just start thinking ‘you must chill!’
chill

Anyway, the reason Jen thinks Lisa Tucker must die or whatever comes out at the end of this segment. Apparently Lisa isn’t even attracted to Matty, and once Lisa’s team win the day, Jen starts pondering if Matty should be enlightened to this fact.

So, at the cocktail party, she tells him. She does not, as she tells the girls, ‘suggest he talk to Lisa’. She says ‘I think you need to be really mindful of Lisa. She’s said you’d been like a brother…she’s not that in to you’. Now, we saw on the group date that Lisa is in fact worried that she doesn’t feel as strongly about Matty as some of the rest of the group, so this is not entire bullshit. But when the other girls call her out for also saying that Lisa has purported that Matty is on the show the ‘keep his social status up’ (i.e stay in the public eye), it comes out that Jen allegedly overheard all these things being said when she was ‘in her room doing push-ups’. I’ll let Laura ask the pertinent question here:

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Could it be, say, a producer? My suspicion became very strong on this one after Jen stormed off in a huff after getting in to this spat (not even a particularly bad one, I must say). Jen is not willing to fight this one out because she knows there’s a fib in there that she can’t defend. But my suspicion that this is highly manufactured was seriously piqued as Jen cried to a producer (uttering the classic line ‘I’m THE game-changer, I’m not A game-changer’) – the producer knew she wanted to quit and encouraged her to do a foot stomp, asking her if she’d regret it if she left without giving the girls a piece of her mind.

Come on. This is some A-grade manufactured bullshit. The producers put her in this position to create more drama (and possibly bring Lisa back in to the game), and she just wants to quit before she gets busted for it on national television. Instead, she wants to create her own narrative. ‘I’m the girl that walked away from Matty J’

ohyeah

Feels appropriate to end that section of the recap at 666 words. Let’s move on. Other things happened!

Most importantly, our queen Tara was smashing a sausage (down boy) when Matty wanted to talk to her at the end-of-group-date victory barbie, so she just took it with her. And then pulled the ultimate power move of shoving it in his mouth.Screen Shot 2017-08-24 at 11.05.09 pm
I honestly can’t wait til Tara’s finale montage (she’ll come second, making her a shoo-in for Bachelorette), which will just be a series of shots of her swearing and eating phallic-shaped food.

I suppose we really must cover Matty’s date with Elise, which opened the episode. One of the first things he mentions to her was how great it was to meet her Dad. Phil does indeed seem like a legend and his wingman skills are clearly par excellence because hey, here’s Elise on a single date right now. But I’m really not sure about mentioning someone’s Dad straight up….and then shortly afterwards, upon visiting a florist, mentioning that your own Mum is pretty much the only woman you buy flowers for (err I guess he doesn’t technically pay for all those roses…). Matty, how about we just leave the parents out of all flirting endeavours entirely. She is however excited to receive a bouquet, as no man has bought her flowers again. When Matty expresses surprise, she cackles that ‘Yeah my last boyfriend was not ideal’  (I feel like American Bachie would have wrenched more from that). Anyway, he’s got Elise on a double-decker bus, presumably the one all those girls keep getting thrown under, something something lived in London. He’s showing Elise some of his favourite spots in Sydney, which seem to involve aforementioned florist, a….tennis club?…and finally a park. Mad tour bro. Elise is scared to let her competitive side out when Matty asks her to play some hockey – she’s a former Hockeyroo and presumably has scared some guys off before! Matty is in to it though, and they flirt and wrestle around on the ground while awkwardly not kissing for  while. The moment to kiss just passes….so many times.

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I was really starting to worry about Elise. She seems very lovely, but after the cheek kiss debacle last week, and then this hesitation (he was definitely making the Fuck Eyes at her), I thought she was a goner. But it turns out all she needed was a bit more awkward chat in a hot tub on a boat. They have a pash and he gives her a rose.

Matty is very effusive in his praise of Elise in this episode, and talks a lot about the ‘slow burn’ situation that he sees as reflective of his journey with Georgia. My favourite smart Bachie person Jodi McAlister talked about this in her episode 9 recap, in a far more intelligent way than I can, but basically, that story, it doesn’t fly in Bachie land. The slow-burn doesn’t work in their storytelling mode. It stinks of retcon, but of course, this isn’t all happening in real time. If they needed to tell the Love Story of Matty and Elise, they wouldn’t be starting over halfway through the season. Matty and Georgia shared their first kiss in episode 6, and we’re at episode 10 here. No, this seems much more like a ploy to make the show a more genuine competition – Laura and Tara are the clear frontrunners right now, but we’ve still got a whole lot more show to get through.

And the question is, without the villain, where is the tension going to come from? The show now needs to start making drama from the actual relationships – with the girls left mostly being Nice Girls, the question is now ‘does she like him enough?’ ‘can she put herself and her feelings on the line?’ and, of course, the big one ‘IS SHE READY TO HAVE A BABY IN SPRING 2018?’.

Until next week, gird your uterus.

 

 

 

 

 

The Bachelor Australia 2017: Episode 9

Oh, you thought I was intolerant before? Well try adding illness and a bleeding uterus in to the mix. Fortunately the show didn’t give me too much to get mad about, so the recap isn’t just this:
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(I wanted to post more gifs from this scene but I’d actually forgotten how brutal it was? Anyway period jokes are great the end)

Speculation is rife in the house that surely Michelle or Jen are due for a group date? Well, I don’t know about Jen. But Michelle, our lady of the law and general drinking-wine-in-a-go-go-cage goddess, is definitely due for some one-on-one attention! We haven’t had an opportunity to get to know her since her opening stunt of faux-arresting Matty, so all we really know if that’s she very good at commentary, for example telling Jen that she has no soul. Yes! Vote Michelle for the date!

Nah, it’s a group date. Matty invites Jen, Simone, Elise and Cobie on the date (Michelle: ‘I’m starting to think that Matty’s got no clue how to spell ‘Michelle”, preach), where he says he wants to ‘treat them to some home comforts’. Before they can all say ‘holy shit, we can have the internet? I can finally go on social media again?’, they turn up at a mansion to find out they’re going to cook the Bachie some food! Because motherhood tests as per last week aren’t quite enough. There must be wifey tests as well. Anyway Jen is stoked because she very humbly declares herself (repeatedly) the best cook in the house.
Spoiler alert, this is not Jen:

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If Jen found this girl she would kill her and bake her in a pie.

Coming along to help with a family recipe will be one of each of the girls’ parents! Everyone starts crying, just in case you ever forget how socially isolated this gang are during the filming process. I can’t imagine what it would be like to go for weeks on end without my Mum replying to my texts with ‘ok’ and consequently wondering what I have done that was so horrible I don’t even get a smiley face emoji.

So, the crew includes Cobie’s Dad (she’s basically his mini-me an is described by Matty as like ‘his sidekick’) and Simone’s Mum (can’t cook for shit, bless her soul). Jen’s Mum is also there, and when she mentions she is tbh shocked and ‘a bit miffed’ that Jen hasn’t had a single date, Jen says a bunch if the girls who have had single dates have been ‘duds’, continuing to be blind to the fact that Matty not spending any sustained one-on-one time with her is the only thing keeping her in the competition.

Turns out Elise’s Dad is a damn good wingman. After Elise expresses her concern that she doesn’t know where she stands with Matty, Phil gently lays down the law his one-on-one chat with the Bachie. Basically he doesn’t want Matty to lead Elise on – whether he’s interested or not, he should let her know.

Can I please borrow Phil for my own romantic dilemmas? Just a little gentle intimidation, that’s the spirit.

Because it does the trick. Despite Jen’s outrage that this isn’t My Kitchen Rules and making the best dessert while putting other people’s food down doesn’t do the trick, Matty picks Elise for the one-on-one at the end of the group date. He makes some noises about while she may have felt like she was falling behind, she got his attention with the fishing gimmick. He gives her a rose and tells her ‘The more I get to know about you, the more time we spend together, the more excited I am’. But the clincher is, they only go in for a cheek kiss. And when we’re talking about Matty, well, a kiss on the cheek is pretty much the kiss of death.

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It looks a bit like she might be getting next episode’s single date, however, so it’s nice he might give her a chance to turn it around.

Tell you who Matty loves to pash though? Our Bogan Queen, Tara. On their single date episode, he only stopped thinking of her as a kid when she started talked about how she wanted children. And now, as he turns up on a bloody camel to whisk her away on a single date, he’s describing her as ‘so beautiful inside and out – she’s so caring and so lovely’. Man, sounds almost like someone you’d want to mother your children…if you were in to that sort of thing.

Much like the hand-in-plaster date with Flo, btw, their departure on the camel is another boon for screencappers:
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Tara is not a huge fan of this situation

Worried she’ll sexually harrass him again, Tara is apparently not allowed any booze on this date (good to make her get used to sobriety for her pregnancy I guess), and is instead subjected to a variety of Moroccan teas before being terrified by a belly dancer with a snake. ‘Do we have to touch it?’ ‘You’re gonna keep holding that, aren’t you?’ are surprisingly things she does not say to Matty, but the dancer. She and Matty then try learn some belly dancing and it’s as hilarious as any time a white man tries to use his hips. Ah, cultural appropriation is a right laugh.

‘Serious chats’ time mostly involves some pashing, talking about their shared values and how Matty ‘couldn’t help but get really excited’ (down boy) when she started talking about family and kids. Tara seems to have a perfectly healthy self esteem for someone who is absolutely a top chick, but Matty is stuck on the idea that ‘I don’t think Tara knows just how special she is’. Certainly an ego the size of Jen’s is not that appealing, but not every woman is out there waiting to be rescued from her own insecurities. Anyway, I bet you saw this coming – she gets a rose.

It’s cocktail party time! Simone is sitting with Jen (sorry, I thought they hated each other? I can’t keep up) and Michelle. Simone is ‘shitting bricks’, while Jen wants to know if she has been ‘friendzoned’. She overuses this term incredibly in the episode, and it pissed a lot of people off on Twitter, because the phrase has such overtly problematic associations. But I can see how tempting it is for her to use it. When you’re in what is meant to be an explicitly romantic situation, it’s important for you to work out if they’re only looking at you as a friend, because in this context, it’s a bit of a waste of time if they are.

I mean, none of this has really been a waste of time for Jen because she has obviously achieved the notoriety that she wanted going in to it. But anyway, let’s continue with the farce that Jen is here for love. She’s decided to make him some desserts because Matty is a notorious sweet tooth and she is, like, such a fabulous baker. For some dumb-ass reason she cannot stop herself going in with the pass agg though, because that turned out so well for Sharlene. So when she starts saying he better appreciate it, because she spent all day in the kitchen, an eyebrow is raised. Nobody likes a nagging wifey. Then when he is clearly down with the sweets, her expression of relief and happiness is ‘I was bound to impress you eventually’ and he just goes in. He sees that while he’s a fan of the dessert, she thinks he’s not a fan of her.
*cough*
cough

To him, she says that she’s worried that he misconstrues her confidence and flirtatiousness, which doesn’t really fly with the ‘friendzone’ narrative she’s been creating, but somehow as the manipulator she is, she makes this some great show of vulnerability, which is exactly what Matty’s looking for. Looks like a temporary stay of execution for our only remaining villain.

Our final two at the rose ceremony are Elora and Michelle. Given Matty has had no excuse this episode to see that his attraction to Elora is purely physical, it’s no great surprise to anyone when it’s Michelle that is sent home.

Farewell, sassy ladycop. You deserved better.
salute

 

 

 

 

 

The Bachelor Australia 2017: Episode 8

The big news this episode: NO CHILDREN WERE MENTIONED. NOT EVEN ONCE.

I’ve got a theory: that’s because no-one whose one-on-one time we witness is seen by Matty as a viable womb unit.

But first. If you remember, last episode, Tara speculated that Leah’s skeletons were going to come dancing out of the closet, and boy did they ever.

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And now the girls are here dancing on her grave, talking about how great it is without her, and now everything is ‘roses and butterflies’ here in the mansion.
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Little do they know three girls are walking away with only butterflies to show for their trouble this episode. It comes off as harsh, but our last Bachie Georgia Love also basically took a scythe to her crop of suitors once she realised who was a waste of time around this point in her season.

Anyway, it’s time to announce a single date! Still lots of girls who have yet to get a single date, so this is an important one. Alix reads out the clue: ‘It’s time for a breath of fresh air – let’s get lost in the wilderness’. We find out later that some of the girls interpreted this as them all going camping with Matty, which is weird because ‘this is a single date card’ is literally the first thing Alix says. Anyway. It’s Elora! Jen is sour about this, because Jen could find a way to be sour about the way another girl blinks. All the girls are a bit openly upset her getting a second date, including awesome cop Michelle, who tells her ‘I’m not happy with that…I’d like to be happy for you, but I’m not’. Elora feels bad but it’s Matty’s choice, as he so vehemently stated last week. One of the girls screams ‘Tell Matty I’m still alive!’ as she leaves, which seems pettily appropriate.

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I don’t even know how to talk about Elora and Matty’s date. They keep mentioning their connection and chemistry, but it’s a whole lot of tell, and not a lot of show on that front. They’re in the Blue Mountains and hike down to the Jellybean Pool at Glenbrook Gorge, and I’m slightly surprised no-one I know is there. No, it’s just Elora, Matty, the camera crew, a picnic, and a yet-to-be-inflated swan. I want to heap shit on Matty as he teases Elora about wearing boots that she can’t hike in, but given she brought her swimmers and thought she was camping, she can own her footwear choices there. As they sit down to chat, they first must discuss Matty’s owner sister. Elora was conscious she wanted to make a good impression, as ‘she is a part of you’.
Just going to leave this gif here and move on.
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So anyway Elora must have slipped Kate the results of her fertility test or something, or else she was just rewarded for being a big fat dobber, because Kate had glowing things to say about her. Is he seeing Elora through sister-tinted glasses? They don’t seem to have any emotional connection at all. It is clear he’s attracted to her, and I’m sure he’s thought about whether she’d have one of those cute, swallowed-a-basketball pregnancies, but there’s just…nothing there in their conversations. None of the banter he has with some girls, and no particular exploration of how their relationship might look in more than a week.

As for the rest of their date, Matty tells us ‘I’ve blown up heaps of inflatables before’ which yeah alright mate, but takes forever to blow up the swan, which is not a series of words I’d anticipated typing today. They do eventually they hop in the water hole with the swan, because it’s not a Bachie date without water. They’re very touchy-feely and look, I have absolutely not a doubt in mind that he wants to bone her. As a prelude to pashing, Elora tells us that ‘He did the eye thing that he does’ which I can only imagine is this:
ink

I’m going to sum up their post-swim, cheese-n-wine chat with this extract:

‘I had a good day’
‘Yeah it’s been fun. Really fun’
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She gets a rose for this sterling effort, and tolerating the fact that he leans left when he kisses (you can thank the awesome Jodi McAlister for noticing that, as I can now never forget it).
The show promoted OH MY GOD the drama this episode by showing Matty lingering at the door of his single date. Yep that’s right, they’re staying overnight. In separate cabins. She invites him in, telling the camera: ‘I mean my door’s open, haha’.

CUT TO THE NEXT DAY. Matty running. Not from anything, just athletically. No, of course he didn’t go in. He might be tremendously stupid, but he’s not going to do that when there’s cameras following them around.

The rest of girls are invited! What a jolly time for them, feeling like they’re crashing someone else’s date. And for exercise! Fuck that, hop back in the oversized cars, ladies.
Little did we know, Matty’s jog was a subtle clue as to today’s group date. It’s a compatibility test! With running. Why are the Bachies never sedentary? I would like a Netflix-based compatibility test, please.
Anyway. You get to a box. It’s multiple choice. If you choose the correct ‘Matty’ answer, you get to run to the next one. If you get the wrong answer, you have to wait it out with an egg timer before trying again.
Turns out the show doesn’t super care about showing us the right answers and therefore giving us any insight in to Matty, so we skip over the answers to questions like favourite film genre , your ideal Sunday morning, etc. He thinks it’s mandatory to order dessert, though. Presumably ‘babysitting your nephew’ is not part of the question ‘ How often do you think you should see your partner’s family?’, because the answer is ‘once a month’.

Tara: No way, my Mum’s a ledge
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The real story here isn’t Matty having thoughts or opinions, but that Florence straight up doesn’t give a fuck about anything and just starts cheating as soon as she is alone at a box. And continues doing this until she wins. I think time alone with Matty is the worst prize of all, but honestly, if that’s what she wants, who cares about stupid Bachelor challenges? Get it.

She confesses this in their alone time (‘All’s fair in love and war, that’s what the girls always say’), and while he is flattered, he is also a bit mortified, as he is a pure bastion of morality who would never do something send his sister in to dig up shit on the 13 girls he’s dating simultaneously. He tells her ‘I like how honest you are’ after she gives him a list of all the times she has cheated in various games (never on people, though). He somewhat reluctantly gives her a rose and they have a pash. I think Florence is absolutely hilarious and provides us with some precious reactions gifs but once again…this isn’t going anywhere. She’s too ‘out there’ for this bland vanilla ice cream man who thinks sports are a substitute for personality.
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That night at the cocktail party, we pick up a bit of a thread that’s been running throughout the episode – Sharlene (‘who?’, I hear you ask) doesn’t feel like she’s been seen. And hoo boy, instead of handling this in a normal way to get his attention (like Elise’s fishing game), she just ends up in the world’s most awkward confrontation. She gears herself up to chat to him, wondering if she should open with a joke. Oh boy I hope she doesn’t plan in to go in to stand-up, because she interrupts his chat with Jen thusly: ‘I’m actually one of The Bachelorettes, I’m not the external caterer, but I would like to speak to you when you’re free’. He immediately knows he’s got some bullshit to deal with here, so Jen departs to go enjoy some wine time with Michelle, leading to the best line of the episode:

Jen: [referring to Sharlene embarrassing herself] ‘It actually hurts my soul a bit’
Michelle, staring in to her wine glass: ‘Come on, you don’t have one’
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The confrontation with Sharlene is as awkward as you imagine. Sharlene tries to approach the conversation gently after the abrupt beginning, saying she feels left behind (as several of the girls, including Alix, have expressed to Matty), and asks from his own experience on the show if he has any suggestions on how to handle that. And very quickly, he decides to just bail. He thinks ‘what they have’ is lovely but doesn’t see it progressing in a romantic way. She gawps her way in to the ad break and when we return, it seems like she can only use the words ‘Yep. Thanks. Yep’. It’s like watching someone dissociate in front of your very eyes, as she returns to the group and loudly announces that she has decided to leave. I feel bad for her, but the delusions are very grand. In direct-to-camera, she extols on how he simply wasn’t the right guy for her, due to his disinterest in pugs (WHAT? Get in the bin, dude), martial arts and musical theatre.
Sharlene, I am sure the right guy is out there somewhere for you to find your white picket fence with. Matty seems like the kind of guy who would walk out of Grease and tell you musicals are unrealistic.

At the rose ceremony, OMG TWO GIRLS ARE GOING THIS EPISODE IS A SLAUGHTERHOUSE.
I’ve started to notice that Tara very frequently gets picked first, and this is the one thing I will congratulate Vanilla Bean on.
Departing tonight are Stephanie (…who?) and Alix. I’m afraid I picked last episode that she was not long for this world, but at least she’s walked out knowing an excellent shade of red lipstick to go with her continued reproductive autonomy:
lipstick
Hmmmm so glad the makeup artist taught me about Russian Red and Implanon

The Bachelor Australia 2017: Episode 7

Hello friends. Do you remember last week how I mentioned that I really enjoy being right? (as in correct, not being a Nazi, which is apparently a real thing people do these days).  Well, here I am to say: I knew Matty was a creep, and now thanks to this episode, you know it too.

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This episode was a incredibly long beast though, so we’re gonna tackle this Buzzfeed-style with a Top 5 Reasons Matty is Terrible and I’m Ready For Sophie Monk Already, Thanks

1. He’s a bloody hypocrite
This episode Matty sent his sister in to the mansion. He trusts her opinions because she’s either his best friend, or one of his best friends, depending on who he’s talking to. There’s all sorts of weird framing around this (her eggo is preggo, so she won’t be able to meet the final two if they go overseas) but the crux of it is, she wants to see the weirdos he’s got in the house, and he’s heard there’s drama and wants her to root it out.
And she does. It’s all incredibly gross and verges on if not crosses well in to slut shaming many times. Some of the girls are aware that Leah has a past as a topless model (as most of us who consume trash media also knew) and manage to leak this to Kate. Elora and Simone are the ones that are involved in mentioning it to her, but there seemed to be a general awareness that it was heading in that direction. Leah actually starts tearing up in front of her when she realises Kate’s not just ‘popping by to drop off a date card’ but is in fact staying the whole day, and not just because she remembers how scary Kate was with Georgia Love (more on that later). And in to-camera, Tara tells us that Leah has skeletons in the closet, and ‘The skeletons are going to come out dancing soon’.
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Leah skirts the topic in one conversation with Kate but when she’s pulled aside later at the group date, she explains that while she now manages events and staff, she was at one point a topless model. Full credit to Matty, he is not the one who slut shames her when Kate eventually tells him that he should talk to Leah. No, it’s the language everyone else uses – Kate saying they’re ‘pretty serious allegations’, Elise saying with a raised eyebrow ‘you can imagine the sort of parties she plans’, Elora asking cattily ‘Did he tip you?’ – that really attempts to put Leah in her place. So why do I call Matty a hypocrite? Firstly, because with both Leah and Simone (who is forced to admit she also did some topless waitressing to make ends meet when she moved to Australia from the UK), he is angry at them for hiding this information from them, despite not giving them single dates that would show his interest in getting to know them. Simone even says to him that she did not know the best time to say it, because she hasn’t even got to know him yet. At what point would work they’ve done previously even be relevant to his life? After uni I took a temp job at which I used to research bars on the internet and write up blurbs for a restaurant guide. How often do you think I clamber to tell people that? It’s a job, it’s not who you are as a person.
In addition, I think he’s a hypocrite because he sent his sister in to interrogate and stir up drama, and his reason for pulling aside Leah at the cocktail party and sending her home? Because she’s involved in drama.

I didn’t want to see Leah go out this way. I didn’t want to feel the urge to defend her. But she did leave us with a parting gift, telling Matty: ‘I feel like you’re making a mountain out a of a moehill’

moehill11

Looks regular-sized to me.

2. He’s still a baby creeper
The return of Kate was always gonna ramp up the baby talk. When he took Georgia Love home last year, Kate was not very subtle that she would be very upset if he moved away from Sydney. He’d just returned from London, and she was very much enjoying the free babysitting for little George – little George who apparently spurned Matty’s own interest in human spawn. It seemed inevitable that possibly Kate’s role on the show was simply going to be to gauge everyone’s interest in free babysitting. Somehow they made that in to a date, which she attended. Jen, Leah, Tara, Elise, Lisa and Laura were tasked with helping a bunch of five year olds make volcanoes for an experiment, although first they had to be ‘selected’ by the kids. Firstly, it seems really unfair to send Tara, who’s a nanny, on this date. Secondly, Kate is a bit patronising at the end. Osher asks ‘Kate, was it eye-opening for you?’ ‘It wasn’t for me, because I have a child, but I’m sure it was for the girls’. Yeah you’re really my favourite kind of person, Kate.
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Laura struggles quite a bit with this challenge. She is openly not super maternal – see, she likes kids, but she doesn’t know what to do with ‘someone else’s kids’. I’m not sure what kids she’s met that don’t fit that description but okay. I feel her. I like my friend’s kids, I love my beautiful wee nephew, but I’m not a natural with them either. So she does actually perform an amazing turn around from having no kid picking her to work with, to having the munchkin that was forced in to it hugging her and sitting in her lap. Obviously Matty shows his relief at her continued potential baby mama status by rewarding her with some solo time on a paddle steamer.

They haven’t really talked about it before so it’s the perfect time to talk BABIES. Luckily he doesn’t have to throw her off the side of the boat, as she does indeed want kids, even if she does cheers to ‘Children you can give back’. I see a little tension on the horizon, as you could practically see the smile freeze on his face when she says she really wants to make sure she’s done everything she wants to do before she sprogs up, and she’ll probably be ready ‘in 5 or 6 years’.

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Seriously you can quit it with the roses and just start giving these out next time you actually get to a ceremony, Matty:
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3. He’s still using his tongue to end conversations
Still on the date with Laura, just like he did with Tara last week, he pashes her while she’s mid sentence. I quite like that she (jokingly) calls him out for ‘rudely’ interrupting her.

4. He’s totally going to send Alix home soon
God, he didn’t even ask her if she wanted kids, so what hope does she stand? Alix’s solo date got a little overshadowed by the drama this week. They seemed to have a good time, off on a little wakeboarding trip. Matty can’t stand to use a good line once, so knowing he had another sporty, competitive girl on his hands, he decided to put a wager on the line – just like he did with Lisa over tennis. I can’t criticise Alix for her poor performance on the wakeboard because if I tried I definitely would not go anywhere, but it’s….not good. They come to an agreement regarding their wager (the winner gets a massage from the other) and he creepily tells her ‘Come with me,  Alix’. She seems extremely in to her shoulder massage and they actually have a really nice open chat about how she’s been feeling a bit left behind, and how he understands that, as he wasn’t chosen for a single date himself til quite late in the game. However, once they start on this path, Alix finds it very hard to get out of her head (the cameras surely don’t help), and keeps talking about the other girls instead of doing what Matty wants to her do – forget all her entirely rational concerns and get to the smooching, dammit. The smooching moment passes after he gives her a rose, however, and they don’t get back to it. RIP Alix.

5. He cracks his knuckles
It’s fucking gross stop it.

The Bachelor Australia 2017: Episode 6

I’m not a competitive person. If life were a game of Bachie Monopoly, I’d be Michelle, chilling in the Go Go Cage Jail, sipping wine and judging people. No, I’m not competitive. But I really do enjoy being right. So when we returned from the loathed TBC to Matty asking Sian if she could talk outside, basically so he could send her home without the indignity of a rose ceremony elimination (because honestly how much can one girl humiliate herself in one night?), I felt a little smug.

cerse

He returns to the rose ceremony to let them know he’s sent Sian home and to bitch about her behind her back: ‘My main issue is that she was questioning what was real and what wasn’t’. He wants the girls to know that he’s not a puppet. He calls the shots around here. He decides who will go on single dates (note, he did not say group dates),  he decides will go home.
Congratulations Matty, you just confirmed that you’re an idiot. I mean, which is worse? To admit that you’re open to influence from the people paying you an estimated $200,000 to date a bunch of women on TV, or to admit that you’re so dense that you are blind to the fact that you’re being blatantly manipulated by both Leah and Jen? I’d take puppet over muppet any day.

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So anyway suffice to say I’ve really gone off Matty. But I’m very glad he finally made a good choice, because next we find that this week’s single date recipient is Tara. Our wise bogan queen.

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With Tara, Matty wants to laugh the whole time, but also see her serious side. I hope her serious side doesn’t involve any personal trauma because he’s going to feel pretty bad about laughing.

You’d think that riding on a tandem bicycle in adorable stack hats would be a good start to the laughs, but it ends up being another episode of Matty Terrifies Unsuspecting Women. Turns out Tara hasn’t ridden a bike in years, and she’s not really digging not having control of the bike either. The amount of screaming is…substantial. And honestly, Tara is extremely loud this entire date and while we love her for her rambunctiousness, I think I will respectfully bow out from the competition to be her bestie, because my introvert self would find her exhausting. I’d still like to follow her on Twitter though for the hot takes.

They slow down the pace a little with some pasta-making. Often on these cooking dates there’s someone there showing them how to cook things, but it’s just the two of them and Tara takes full advantage. And I do mean full advantage. First there’s the recreation a Ghost with pasta dough:

pottery

Does anyone…wanna go to Pottery Barn?

And then Tara notices The Arse. It turns out Tara is an Arse Woman, and she is not going to rest until Matty really truly knows how spectacular his arse is.

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Matty does not seem wholly comfortable with this blatant objectification, but he does accept a ‘Cheers to your arse’ as they down some wine.

They sit down to eat the pasta which is weird because no-one’s actually meant to eat the food on the Bachelor franchise. I have a strong suspicion Tara would not have been up for making pasta for the crew to enjoy. As they dole out the parmesan Matty tells Tara ‘I like a woman who likes cheese’ to which she responds ‘Then you’ve found your perfect wife’. The fun never lasts forever so eventually talk must turn to how quickly Matty can start interfering with her birth control families. Yes, Tara likes kids (she’s a nanny and is very fond of her charges) and wants kids, although she thinks that you need a very strong bond to have them. That’s basically what Liz said, in other words, but oh well. Suddenly Matty stops seeing her as a ‘quirky, funny kid’ (his words) and as a beautiful fertile woman. As they talk about her insecurities, and how she didn’t think he’d be in to her, he interrupts her with a kiss. It’s a move that I don’t mind in a romance novel but just seems kinda rude when you see it happen onscreen. Or maybe that’s just because I dislike Matty now. Anyway they have a nice pash and she gets a rose.

Meanwhile back at the mansion, a group date has been announced. It clearly involves heights judging by the clue, and Simone, who is terrified of them, is upset that she’s on the invite list, which upsets Jen, who is not. Anything that upsets Jen is a-ok with me.

The next day Leah, Elise, Elora, Laura, Natalie and Simone are in cars on the way to the group date. As soon as they pass a sign for skydiving, Elora and Elise are the middle of trying to talk Simone out of a panic attack. Tearily she tells the camera ‘I’ll do anything, but not this’. Long story short she jumps out of the plane but not without moaning and crying ‘No no no…’ when she and Matty are the last ones in the cabin, because this guy really knows how to organise a romantic encounter. The whole theory of this date is how much he wants a girl to step out of her comfort zone, but I think a plane is a perfectly reasonable comfort zone. After all, unlike humans, it was designed to fly in the air.

Can you tell I also have a bit of an issue with heights?

Matty’s the last to jump, and once he hits the ground all the adrenaline-filled girls conduct a stacks-on, as this might be their only opportunity to touch him all week. Matty chooses a girl for some one-on-one time, and it’s Simone, as it bloody well should be. They have no chemistry, but he can’t send her home for at least two episodes after her admirable showing of not shitting herself while strapped to another human. As he reflects on the way he got her jump out of the plane, he wonders aloud ‘What else could I make you do? while doing Doctor Evil fingers. We know what he’s thinking.
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At the cocktail party, Jen makes sure Matty knows she loves the same things as him in the most bitchy way possible ‘I’ve just been sitting here saying how much I love skydiving…thanks, Matty’. Yeah girl we’ve seen how much you like your hair, no-one believes that.

Elise finally gets a bit of screen time after yanking Matty aside to “go fishing”. While I wish that was a euphemism, they do actually use a fishing rod to grab some stuff out of the pool, clues about Elise. Did you know that she was a Hockeyroo, and her family dress up as tacos for Christmas? It gets Matty’s attention, so good for her, but she probably could have just got her ovulation calendar out.

There’s more incessant arguments about who gets access to Matty when during cocktail parties and honestly if I was here for this I’d just go and hang around outside the Family Court. It’s another opportunity for Jen to be an incessant moll, however, as she eggs Michelle on to interrupt Matty’s chat and then swoops in when the other girls get caught up arguing about it.
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Meanwhile Natalie has been fearing she’s been put in the ‘friend’ zone. You may remember Natalie as a fruit loop and hand-sniffer.
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Unfortunately Natalie’s time as provider of delightful reaction gifs comes to an end at the rose ceremony. I think that’s fine, as it looks like Tara’s going to be around giving us the gold for a while yet. In the car, she tells us: ‘Rejection always sucks. It might not mean he doesn’t like me. He might like me, he just doesn’t want to date me’.

Maybe he just didn’t think you were fertile enough. Enjoy seeking your own reproductive destiny, Natalie.