Why does The Bachelor casting skew so young?

A short bit of data nerdery today to support my main bugbear with The Bachelor casting.

Why in the world do they cast such young women?

Recently we were given the opportunity to learn about all 28 women cast to vie for Matt Agnew’s heart. Matt is 31 years old, by the way. What stuck out to me was how many bachelorettes have the number ‘2’ in front of their age.

Let’s pull out the numbers:

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There are in fact more bachelorettes under the age of 25 (7) than there are over the age of 30 (6). For a Bachelor who’s 31 years old. The average age is 27.4 or, if you’re one of those who prefer medians, it’s 26.5.

As much as we may claim that girls mature faster than boys, once you reach you’re thirties it’s pretty natural that you gravitate towards people in a similar stage of life as you.

This plays out in our Bachelors who have actually had successful relationships. Tim and Anna are the exception here, however. Lightning struck there with a 4-year age difference (out of curiously, I checked the average age of 30 year old Tim’s contestants and it was 27.9, which means they’re maybe moving further away from common sense).

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For the Bachelors we’ve actually come to like, coming on the show has generally been a reflection of a genuine desire to settle down (i.e the marriage and babies on this lot!)

Can we really presume that’s likely to happen when a bunch of fame-hungry folks in their early 20s are cast?

Drama is fun, but surely having several genuine possibilities to toss up between is even better?

If nothing else, it’d make the office sweeps more compelling.

Bachelor in Paradise Australia: Episode 10

So you all remember how I cancelled Eden two whole episodes for finding it impossible to respect someone’s boundaries, right? Golly was it exciting to finally see Twitter catch up with me on Monday night.

While Apollo is just chilling out is his hammock like a handsome god, Michael is telling Megan that he has changed his mind about letting Lisa come to him. Megan is an excellent get-a-grip friend as always, laying it down on him like:

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And with the girls having the Power of the Roses this week, he’s probably not going to get Lisa’s.

My notes here say ‘some man-bunned idiot turns up’ and it turns out it’s Thomas, from the Canadian Bachelorette, and I have no idea how infamous he may be, but he designates himself as a international fashion model, immediately reminding me of the insufferable David Witko from Georgia Love’s season (who Leah went on to date! I bet she’ll be steering clear of this one).

Keira and Megan both think Tommy Hilfiger here is their type, which, sure, okay. They both go on about how they like rugged, manly guys, and then this fella turns up with a topknot.  When he announces that he’s Canadian, Tara responds with ‘we just got rid of one of you!’, which is delightful. He has a date card and takes Megan off for a chat, and he rambles about enjoying guitar and drawing portraits while Megan is sitting there like ‘Wow, you really don’t need a lot of personality to tempt me away from Jake, do you? Just some dark hair I guess. Wow, this is confronting’.

He takes Leah for a chat and she is essentially, again, ‘best of luck with your future endeavours’, a grand position to be with when you’ve got rose power but no romantic prospects.

While Sam and Luke romantically walk down the beach holding hands, Tara asks Lisa if she feels like she will be in a relationship at the end of the show (seems like a valid moment for the question). While they have not had ‘the chat’, Lisa’s feeling pretty firm about it. Meanwhile, Keira is urging Michael to look to any other girls that come in, instead of pursuing Lisa. Aww guys, you tried. Although Jarrod appropriate cops shit for his ‘Yeah, look at us!’. No-one wants to look at you Jarrod. Get some SPF 50+ immediately, you human tomato.

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But Michael needs answers with Lisa! He knows love ‘is sometimes not served up on a plate…I feel like in this situation you really need to fight for it’. Okay mate but really if someone has clearly made an alternative choice maybe you could just move on with your life instead. She hasn’t spoken to him in like three days, and has gone and spent all of her time with Luke. Anyway, he says that if he doesn’t get a positive result he’s prepared to walk away. He doesn’t get one, although Lisa is kind, but it turns out it’s not ‘walk away from this delusional fantasy where Lisa and I get married’, it’s ‘walk away from the entire show’. Here’s some footage of Michael’s exit:

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(this is never brought up again in the entire episode, like everyone on the island simply didn’t notice).

Back to Lisa and Luke. He’s yammering to camera about how he likes to take things slow, but Lisa is still feeling a little insecure. He seems to be a bit bad at words, but the grand gesture that is desperately needed doesn’t seem to be on the cards either. They’re cuddled up in a cabana and as always this is super unclear, but it appears she has decided to leave…and is asking him to come with her. Why she wants to leave her free holiday is completely unclear, although we have seen a LOT of rain so maybe Fiji in the wet season (which is indeed when this was filmed) just sucks. She ‘doesn’t want to waste any more time’, and accuses of him of just wanting more holiday time. This is….not exactly a crime, but when he confirms this, she just gets really upset. He feels pushed, although he’s terrible at expressing it because Australian Masculinity.

Eventually she comes back to the conversation and apologises for making him feel pressured, but it turns out he’s relented. She’s the one he came here looking for, so they will leave together.

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(Turns out Luke probably cheated on her – they’re being vague about the ‘broken trust’ thing, but they broke up – after they were home so nice work dude)

Elora gets a date card and finally has an opportunity for some time alone with Apollo, and you can basically see her dangling the keys to her sex dungeon. Simone is going in to a tiny rage spiral, being rude to Thomas when he tries to talk to her. She’s determined to have her day ruined. Apollo and Elora go an extremely short distance (rain! again!) to have high tea where they bond over such things as both being carnies (sorry, ‘travelling entertainers’). Elora tries to take the Keenest Bean title from Jarrod at one point by encouraging Apollo to ‘deepen his throat’. But while Apollo thinks Elora is an amazing person (very kind assessment from a kind man), he’s thinking about Simone because he doesn’t want her to be hurt. He tells Elora that he’s looking for someone to travel with, with a lust for life, and that he doesn’t like drama, or people who complain about things. Sounds like Tara to me but okay!

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Whilst everyone is very happy when they come back that Elora finally got her date (and can now shut up about it), Sam observes that Apollo essentially makes a beeline for Simone. They have some cute little lines about how they missed each other, while Elora looks on with an expression that could probably melt steel beams. While it’s ‘a dagger to [her] heart’, she still plans on giving him her rose:  ‘I’m not someone who gives up’. Because that went so well for Michael, y’see.

The next day, Megan is yammering to Keira about her confused Jake/Thomas feelings, while he tells us he’s going to to ask her on a date:  ‘We had a connection, good eye contact…everything you want’. Yep, that’s what we want.

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He asks her and she rebuffs him on account of the Jake-ness of it all, showing him she loyal (only fair considering that’s what he did with Elora, I guess, although Megan would have taken that Elora date in a heartbeat). Thomas tells us ‘I didn’t get this date card not to go on a date…I’m getting a rose tonight, and many more roses’. So he asks Leah. And she shoots him down. So he asks Simone. And she shoots him down.

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In the end, a very odd cheer-up plan is concocted. Jarrod has ‘planned a date’ for he, Thomas, Apollo and Sam to go on. Long story short, they all end up shirtless in a milk bath together, while Apollo is rubbed in lotions and they drink cocktails. It’s very odd but it definitely seems to do the job of taking Thomas’s mind off the fact that no women on the island want him. Also…

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We’re finally up to…. wait I think…. is the final drama for the day. Elora tells Ali in the lead up to the cocktail party that she received a little love note from American Jared. Ali, having no chill, spills this to Jared at said party, telling him how sweet she thinks it is. Yeah, Jared hasn’t been writing any letter. Actually, he can’t even read! (no, jokes). Their suspicions immediately turn to Sooky Old Simone, and Jared shows much greater faith in her that me by exclaiming ‘Nobody’s that stupid!’.

Tell you who is that stupid though? Eden, who thought he was pulling a hilarious prank. Eden tells Jared ‘You should be thanking me’ when confronted (why???), meanwhile Megan has the shitty task of breaking it to Elora, who is appropriately hurt that she was messed with, for no other reason than apparently Eden is a fucking child. Eden asks Elora for a chat and when she tells him she needs a minute, he responds with ‘it has to do with me, so…’  and basically pulls her away, once again fucking refusing to respect someone’s boundaries.

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He tells her it didn’t come from a place of jealousy or malice, so good luck with your comedy career mate because your sense of humour is fucking terrible.

All the usual suspects pick each other at the rose ceremony (Leah chooses Jared), and the decision at the end is left for Elora to pick between Eden and Thomas. I’m not sure why this a choice, except that Elora wanted her chance for an Oscar acceptance speech after all the boys got to do one the other week. She announces: ‘I’m very hurt, by what have you done. But in no way will will I let anybody change who I am. And Eden…I did want you to find love. So I choose you’

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Thomas is out, and we really, truly, barely knew ye. Barely got to know how garbage you could become. Megan thinks this has all cleared some stuff up for her, that she is looking for something deeper and meaningful. Too bad Jake is a puddle.

 

Bachelor in Paradise Australia: Episode 7

I want to start this recap with a little statement.

Mostly, that the people I write about in this recap are essentially characters, brought to life by producers and editors. I try to use people’s own words as much as possible, lest it all becomes my own interpretation, but I know that their narratives are created by those making the show. It means my perception is limited by what they choose to screen. I know I can get super-judgey, but it is intended against the ‘characters’ and the story the show is telling about them, and not the people. ‘The Edited Version of X Which We Are Being Shown’ is just a lot longer to type than ‘x’.

I say this, mostly because on Twitter I was judging Laurina’s behaviour at the end of this episode as ‘bratty’. The context that both the people on the show and to some extent production, certainly at the time and possibly right up until after the show last night, that was missing was that Laurina’s brother died a month before production. It casts her behaviour in a different light.

In addition, whilst I’m going to have a rant about Keira in any case, a conversation between Jarrod and Grant, and a subsequent conversation between Keira and Grant, seems to have been so heavily edited in such a way that it again robs people of vital context – including exactly what it was that Grant apparently quoted Keira as saying, e.g that Keira thinks Jarrod is a terrible kisser (a theory that I actually think is quite likely). Apart from ignoring actual relationships in favour of drama, the editing is not bringing any clarity of circumstance to viewers.

With all that said, this is the story of Paradise we were told last night…

Eden is celebrating the current post-ceremony cruisy vibes, and tells us that the good news is, ‘the men have the power’. This has never been good news in the entirety of human civilisation, Eden.

The show starts telling the story of The Magical Disappearing Laurina, aka She’s Having A Nice Holiday And We Are Not Happy About It. I think to some extent the show is trying to draw parallels with Brett, who was very much here to have a chill in Fiji with his girlfriend. Once again, context, she was grieving and needed time out and a gentle reminder that dealing with Blake would be an excellent cause to go off men permanently. Jared would like to get to know but can’t seem to actually find her. She’s probably not interested then, mate.

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There is so much more Jarrod and Keira nonsense in this episode than anyone could ever want or need. And I think I deeply just need to accept the editing shenanigans here, but the long story as short as possible seems to be that she gave him a rose not because she wants him for herself, but that she wants him to find love. She has told him this, and he feels ready to ‘mingle’ on that account. But every time he makes an effort to actually mingle, Keira gets annoyed and jealous. There is some serious wanting her cake and eating it too vibes. It’s annoying and hypocritical and I just want them to sort themselves the fuck out, preferably with at least one of them going home.

The girls are having a chat and Tara asks Leah if she’s been making good choices. No she has not…’Have you pashed and someone’s dashed again?’. Oh dear, Leah really is a little bit unlucky. Not that I think she’s a particularly kind and lovely person, but apparently she tried to pash Michael after a few wines post rose ceremony and he wasn’t having it. And indeed, Michael is here to tell us he feels no romantic connection to anybody and he’s just waiting for his girl to walk in.

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Which brings us to Elora! I wasn’t really a fan of Elora on Matty’s season, but I am kind of excited on Megan’s account. Elora is currently our only option for saving her from the clutches of Jake….according to the promos, at least. Elora comes in with a date card and Tara tells her she has to ‘go on chatty-chats with the boys’, determined that they not tell her off the bat who’s in relationships….mostly to give Sam the chance to decline her. Elora first approaches Luke (who tells her he’s solid with Lisa), and Jake, who lets her know he’s close to Megan and wishes her luck on her future dating endeavours. Elora then approaches Megan and the entire island flips shit at the idea that Elora might be asking her out
Keira: ‘Taking a girl on a date???’
Elora: ‘Maybe….’

Jarrod: ‘I hope that’s what I think it is’.
Settle down, perve.
All the fuss was enough for me to know she wasn’t going to. Megan is a bit further behind, getting her hopes up, but Elora is just getting permission to approach Jake again. Elora made fun of his ‘sexy squint’, so I’m not sure why she’s pursuing this one so hard. Laurina tells Jake: ‘Megan’s face doesn’t look impressed, but that’s just her usual face…’ Well if people would stop being so deeply unimpressive…

So Elora pulls Jake aside, and tells him to really only go for it if he’s open to meeting new people, but yep she would really like to take him on this date. He is flattered and thinks it would be fun, but ultimately lets her down. When he returns, Megan is pleased. She thinking it’s a big turning point in their relationship, and hopefully it’s the turning point where she dumps him because a better option is there. Hey, one can hope.

Elora sets off the flames on the side of Leah’s face by eventually approaching Michael, who she will go on the date with. Leah thinks Michael can’t even see what’s standing in front of him! Okay, Leah, he has seen you. He’s not in to it. I thought he wasn’t rugged enough for you, anyway?

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Elora and Michael are off to do some glass blowing! I thought Michael was just being a ridiculous person when he referred to is as kinky and sensual, and then I heard the instructor telling him ‘Blow blow blow, go for it, harder ….and stop’ and I maybe changed my mind. The show plays some very subtle saxophone music over this entire scene.

Leah is ‘exhausted from chasing Michael around….next, moving on’ and Nina points out that she is pretty low on options, at this point. Guess who’s completely unloved by the Aussie girls, though? Thunderbirds are go! Leah wants us to know that she finds him ‘genuine and lovely’, which arguably means he is a terrible match for Leah.

Oh god, it’s back to Jarrod and Keira. Jarrod is creepily noting Keira’s nude-coloured top when in walks Simone. Simone got caught up in the Great Matty-J Slut-Shaming Scandal with Leah, a fucking low point for this entire series. She’s blonde, if you recall, which means she has Jarrod’s immediate attention, describing her as ‘a blonde bombshell in a  little red number’. He mentions to Keira that Simone reminds him of his ex-girlfriend, and yeah…you could probably say the guy has a type, right?

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It’s like a peroxide-heavy game of spot-the-difference.

Keira is happy to rant about how it would be ‘downgrading’, but she clearly feels threatened knowing the guys have the roses this week

Leah has a chat with Simone and starts selling Jarrod: ‘He’s so, so funny’ (is he???). Simone had presumed he was with Keira, which Leah shoots down. This chat has lasted approximately five seconds when Jarrod The Keen Bean screams across the courtyard: ‘Leah, are you going to share Simone around or are you going to keep her all day?’. Settle down petal. Funnily enough, this buys him some time with Simone, which she mostly spends laughing nervously and experiencing genuine confusion about the term ‘vineyard’. Jarrod’s feeling like a prince what with his vast knowledge of that place wot where grapes are grown. He tries to explain the thing with Keira, which Simone describes summarily: an absolute mess.

Just to really rub this in, Keira is off questioning how genuine Jarrod’s feelings were in the first place, because he’s off talking to Simone. This is what you wanted him to do.

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Michael and Elora sit down to have a very dull conversation that mostly serves to remind me how pretentious she is. ‘I do much more things than other people’ she says, and she’s really easygoing. She boasts about her wanderlust some more. I just find it so hard to believe that someone who’s so self-consciously easygoing actually is easygoing. Accurately, Michael isn’t really feeling the chemistry, because there is none, but he would like to hang out some more. When he returns, he greets Ali, Grant, Luke and Lisa with a ‘What’s up, couples retreat’ and lets them know that she’s a ‘top bird’ but not for him.

Leah aggressively does not care because she’s over here talking to Jared, thanks. She tells him that he seems to be there find love and he says ‘he’s here for the experience and to hopefully form a connection’, which I think we can all agree is a very different thing
Leah: ‘I think you and I connect’
Jared: ‘Yeah….yeah’
Leah: ‘You’re cool, this could be fun’
Tell Ali to call off the search, I’ve found her sparks.

There’s a bit more negging of Laurina’s solo time here that I don’t care to recap, although it does feature an amazing dance routine from Tara, Keira and Laurina.

Now it’s time for the ridiculously heavily-edited conversation between Grant, Ali, and Jarrod (with Jared hanging off the side, presumably to escape his overwhelming chemistry with Leah)
Grants asks who Jarrod will give his rose to, and Jarrod feels like Keira is already jumping down his throat for talking to Simone. Grant decides to give it to him ‘straight’: ‘as sweet as she is, she’s wishy-washy. She doesn’t know what she wants…don’t string someone along just because you wanna stay here, you know?’, the most gentle straight-talking I’ve ever seen. Jarrod seems blinded by his honesty, and has maybe finally acknowledged he is being taken advantage of, which he probably is.

Keira is watching this happening and getting antsy. She says she is in Grant’s ‘bad books’ which is why she wants to know what is happening. If you check the link near the start Keira has essentially said that after the last rose ceremony, Grant cornered her and abused her for sending Daniel home, which is a very bad look for Grant, because Grant was a fucking sex pest (and it turns out the girls basically agreed to send him home on account of sex-pestiness). In addition, apparently he passed on a comment that Keira thinks Jarrod is a bad kisser. So while she’s being paranoid, perhaps there’s reason for it. She pulls Jarrod aside, and he won’t tell her what they were discussing. Keira is determined to get to the bottom of it, and wheedles him. He quite reasonably says he’ll discuss it when he’s ready to talk about it, and he wants to sleep on it. She is very drunk, and tells him she doesn’t need to know what was said, just what it was about. Yeah, alright.
In any case, she decides:
‘I need to go talk to someone’
Jarrod: ‘Don’t talk to them about it’
Keira: ‘I will’
Cue the deepest sigh ever.

She very obnoxiously grabs Ali and Grant, and their whole conversation is a mess, much as she is. We’re never actually allowed to know for sure what it is that Grant said he was essentially quoting Keira on (we now have her word for it), but her main point of offense seems to be less about Grant warning Jarrod off Keira, than Grant assuming he can speak for her and her thoughts. Then again, ‘You think he’s a safe bet. And you feel like he’s Mr Right, but I don’t know if you want Mr Right. You might be in between Mr Right and Mr Right Now’ does not seem particularly flattering.

Keira goes on a drunken rampage, screaming at him and threatening to throw her drink at him. That one’s not editing, love. She tells us ‘When I feel slightened or hurt, it just doesn’t sit well with me. I’m very reactive’. She’s very good at mangling the English language, our Keira.

Probably the worst part is Jarrod’s weird, patronising reaction where he accuses her of ‘chucking a tanty’ but finding this cute and adorable rather than a sign of someone whose drinks should probably be watered down. Anyway. He’s still hanging on that thread, it seems.

We’re now on Laurina chilling out with her under-eye mask when Megan runs in with a date card. I should emphasise it is dark and at the very least, Keira is drunk so it’s probably not very early. Megan screams that Laurina has the date card, and has ten minutes to get ready. ‘Nah, I’m not going’. Look, you can see here that without the knowledge of what’s going on with her, forcing her to spend some time with someone is not a bad idea from production because it looks suspiciously like she’s using the show for a holiday, but it is the date equivalent of a ‘u up’ text at 1am when you’re in your jammies. Sam’s reaction that this ‘is a dating show, not a sleeping show’ seemed okay in context, and he really didn’t know, but an apology probably wouldn’t go astray now (nor would it go astray to comparing her to a 300-year-old demon, either). No-one comes off particularly well from the ensuing scenes – production seems insensitive, the others seems a little mean, and Laurina comes off as a bit disingenuous with her excuses – when the context is added in.

In the end, Laurina gets weepy and accuses production of being disrespectful, before deciding to leave. I think everyone can agree it’s for the best. Apparently she’s in love now, and I bet he doesn’t even where stupid braids in his hair.

 

 

 

Bachelor in Paradise Australia: Episode 6

In episode 6, nothing makes any sense, can someone please edit this show properly, oh god I’m exhausted release me from this nonsense.

Mostly I’m exhausted by Jarrod, because he is a dude with a lot of emotions, and they are all insufferable. He thinks that Grant and Daniel are ‘taking all the women’ which is clearly not a situation happening against the ladies’ will so maybe you should just chill out, dude. Keira is off massaging Daniel very much voluntarily, so maybe it’s just time to get a lock down on your emotions. Megan enters get-a-grip friend mode and reminds Jarrod that actually, everybody is talking to everybody. Daniel is of course gross so when Keira asks if he’s attracted to her, he responds with ‘I’d have sex with you right now’ and a great gagging is heard throughout the land.

Jake thinks another ‘sausage’ is due to arrive, and here is Jared Haiborn, another US Bachie veteran who has apparently been very hot property in the American iterations. Not sure I get it, as I can’t unsee this:

I’m sure he’s very nice but he doesn’t seem to be a hit with the ladies when he goes around for a chat. Megan describes their talk as ‘average’ and Ali thinks he is ‘seems gentle and caring and beautiful’ (which seems like a lot from a brief chat) but did not feel her elusive ‘spark’ (I gotta say, as someone with the surname Sparkes, Ali’s mission to find me is slightly odd to watch).

Sam quizzes Ali on whether Jared ‘made her mountains crumble’ which is an interesting turn of phrase, and she very subtly indicates that no, she is in to someone else. Who in the world can it be? Turns out it is Grant – who last episode went on a date with Leah that definitely made her mountains crumble – and there is some very aggressive setting up of this from the group they are sitting with. I think everyone wants both Ali and Grant otherwise occupied. They go off for a chat and it turns out Grant had assumed she meant him. HOW? They have literally never spoken before. Their entire relationship, which seems to move at the speed of light after this, is a complete failure of editing on behalf of Channel Ten, because they were so hyper-focused on a non-existent love triangle that Ali was in BECAUSE SHE DIDN’T EVEN FANCY ANY OF THEM.

This show hates romance.

Apparently he and Leah are looking for different things relationship-wise, with the implication that Leah is less serious than him. I’ll remind you that it was Leah who asked the one practical question of ‘hey how the fuck would this work with you in America’, and he who brushed it off. Leah is also grossly unaware that Grant feels this way, and will make her feelings extremely known about him just picking up with Ali without even trying to chat with her first. Leah doesn’t seem to have the greatest relationship with other women, so of course it is first Ali that cops her ire, telling us  ‘everything about her is big’. I disagree. Sure, she’s got big tits, big eyes and big lips, but her personality seems absolutely minimal.

Back to poor old Jared, and for some completely unfathomable reason, he decides to use his date card on Megan. She’s taken aback, and tries desperately to squirm out of it, pulling him aside for a chat while telling us the awkwardness is somewhere around a ‘9.9999 out of ten’. Approximately. Apparently Jared does not understand the old polite rebuff, where she says she was surprised that he asked her on account of the fact that she didn’t really feel like they had instant chemistry, and she would hate to get in the way if he was attracted to anyone else….Anyone? Bueller?

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Somehow he wears her down with the power of aggressive blandness. All she wants to do is stay on the island with her mojito and be a get-a-grip friend to the literal dozens of people who need one right now, and here’s this powerfully-jawed American come to take her away. Jared does get the point though, and whinges to Grant that he wants to go home. How about talking to…any other girl?

Blake states that Megan is out of Jared’s league. Megan is indeed a sensible hottie with no interest in Jared, but it is intriguing that this statement is coming from Blake, who currently has no romantic connections on the island after getting the name wrong of the only woman who would give him the time of day, oh, and assaulted a guy.

Poor old Jared and Megan are now stuck on a boat for the most awkward date ever, which she is using as an ill-advised test of her relationship with Jake, to see if she can connect with someone else. Honey. We have already established that this is not going to happen with this particular Thunderbird. He makes movie references and it almost seems like an elaborate lie to get him to stop talking when she tells him that grew up in a super religious household and wasn’t allowed to watch movies or TV shows, so has seen very few movies (it’s actually true). Just keep referring to the Chrissy gif for the general vibes of the whole encounter. When they return from their date Megan indicates that it was ‘probably…as expected’ and that ‘He’s up for grabs, ladies’.

Jarrod does an astounding number in hypocrisy this week, ranting and raving over and over again about how he doesn’t like being second-best in Keira’s heart. Despite, of course, throwing over Keira to pursue Ali and making sure she knew she was his second choice at the first rose ceremony. I cannot emphasis how much he has earned every little bit of this insecurity, but I must hasten to add – Keira does not help this at all. She doesn’t get a get-out-of-jail free card. However, she is not a total manbaby about it.

Nina talks to Ali about how she is feeling torn between Eden and Daniel, something I have never been more confused about in my life. I had Nina pegged as so sensible, and Daniel literally could not be more of a fuckboy, growling about how he wants to take her dress off while in the middle of doing the rounds of flirting with every girl on the island. Ali is as surprised as the rest of us to find out that Nina and Eden have not even kissed, so at this stage they are really formally Just Friends. Jarrod has a whinge to Nina about wanting to throw in the towel over Keira and Daniel’s flirting, which Nina relays to Daniel. Daniel – in probably the only time I can empathise with him on any level – doesn’t give a fuck. Nina is utterly torn about the whole thing, and is worried about getting hurt. I can think of one guaranteed way to get hurt and its name starts with Daniel. She’s there crying while he tells us: ‘They call me Gepetto because I make women my puppets’.

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Keira takes Jarrod for a chat, and when he describes himself as struggling she tells him ‘I know how you feel, I’ve been there’. His amnesia about the Ali situation is genuinely so frustrating. When she tells him that she is genuinely interested in Daniel, he goes off, insisting that he should have been told this earlier. A reminder is issued that this time she’s been spending with Daniel has actually been her deciding that. Keira is not a fan of the idea that this is solely Jarrod’s decision to make. Turns out he has no time for all this: ‘I don’t have time to stuff around – I have a vineyard to run… I have a busy life’. Spoiler alert: he has SO much more time for stuffing around this episode.

Grant takes Ali off for a mini-date, and Eden accurately assesses that they are ‘they’re zero-to-one-hundred’, so maybe it’s not all just bad editing. They appear to have a requisite five minute conversation about the spark, before Ali is reading to get her pash on. Well, that’s your one frog. Hope you’re happy together. Leah’s head meanwhile is exploding, as Mack is thoroughly enjoying it all. Leah thinks they’re both ‘a bit mentally twisted’, and that the Americans are ruining her experience, with a special shout-out to Daniel’s manipulations. It is clear that every single person that is not being manipulated by him can blatantly see what is going on.

Keira has momentarily flipped back to Jarrod and indicates to him that she thinks she was running away from something genuine. He inexplicable compares her to Madonna, I’d be more tempted to compare her to heroin but okay. Daniel sees them go off together so decides to try his luck with Laurina, who doesn’t mind because she enjoys a good flirt. Keira and Jarrod are off in a A Second Location where she is opining how much she knows that he has her back, and that she trusts his intentions – which at the very least he could not make any more clear. Eventually she tells his ‘You can have a kiss now. On your lips’ and I can only think that this weird pash negotiation happening is because of the consent issues with production.

Leah and Michael have a bit of a chat – Michael fears that she is more interested in him than he is her, but she’s not exactly out here making heart eyes at him. I’m not too concerned about another love triangle there.

Keira has returned to the group and realised her kiss should have been with Daniel, a pretty damning indictment of Jarrod’s kissing ability. Tara gently tries to indicate that while Keira is enjoying the power now, she may not want to give Daniel her rose and give him that power next time. Meanwhile Jarrod is off talking to the guys and staring at her moonily at Keira, while they try in vain to get him to chill the fuck out, as Daniel will reveal his shittiness. Michael delivers some of the greatest words of wisdom ever heard on television: ‘You can build a body in the gym, but you can’t build a heart’

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For some inexplicable reason, Keira thinks it’s a great idea to sneak in to Daniel’s hut and have a pash with him. Honestly, she cannot justify it. ‘It’s hard to resist! What’s a girl to do? I don’t want to disrespect Jarrod, but you just gotta go for it’. It should be really easy to resist, because Daniel is so clearly a goddamn sex pest.

So….she goes and dumps Jarrod. He is confused AND SO AM I. When all your choices are bad just go and make new choices, Keira. Stop flim-flamming between these two garbage men. She mentions that he is gentlemanly when he like, picks something up for her, and he spits out ‘I’m gonna use that gentleman-like-ness on another girl’. Okay. We all know you’re not, because no-one wants a giant manbaby. He also tells the others that he doesn’t want to approach another girl because they’ll think he’s just trying to get a rose, which would be clearly true but is at least semi-reasonable.

Unsurprisingly Leah mentions that Jarrod’s ‘red-ometer goes right off’ when she casually drops in conversation that Daniel and Keira kissed, and it’s true, he is a human tomato. Vastly awkwardly, this happens right when Keira is standing behind him. Sam asks her directly ‘Have you kissed Daniel yet?’ and she responds with a grin, a sip of a drink and ‘No’. Which is quite clearly a yes. A stunning display of maturity, she then chooses to go off at Sam for asking it in front of Jarrod rather than maybe blaming herself for her terrible decisions. She doesn’t want to hurt Jarrod, you see. I know Jarrod is a terrible manchild but a way to avoid this would be to not make really bad decisions that will definitely hurt him.

Thank god, Osher is here. We just need to get through a cocktail party and then we can have our precious rose ceremony.

Keira is discussing her rose decision with Laurina and Nina. Laurina says she would like to give her rose to Daniel, but he’s a free agent and they all acknowledge that they’re interested. Keira would like to give him a clear indication she’s interested in rose form, which Laurina shoots down with a ‘You’ve gone up and kissed him on the lips, I think he knows you’re interested’ .

In the only snippet of Luke and Lisa we see all episode/season basically, she pays him out for wearing a rose print shirt to the cocktail party: ‘You think you’re gonna get a rose?’. IT’S CUTE AND I WANT MORE OF THEM.

Daniel creepily asks Keira if he makes her moist, and a ten-year vaginal drought is initiated Australia-wide.

Sam thought that Nina and Eden were super loved-up, which seems misguided because they have not yet kissed, but urges Eden to show Nina his big heart. His gesture is not so much to….talk to Nina…but to talk to Daniel. He urges him to treat Nina with respect. It’s an admirable attempt, but I don’t think Daniel actually understands the basic concept of respecting women, so maybe the time could have been better spent.

Jarrod makes some creeper talk about the Australian women being ‘innocent and genuine’. Just wait til the rose ceremony, mate.

First up, Leah tells us that she wants to get rid of the arseholes and keep the nice guys here. So she chooses Michael. I’m not a fan of Mack but honestly all Leah’s choice does is make sure he goes home. It does nothing for the many other pricks here.

Tara chooses Sam. They smooch and I can’t even begrudge this anymore given the constant parade of deeply garbage me.

Lisa chooses Luke.

Ali chooses Grant.

While Daniel opines on voiceover that ‘ If I haven’t kissed her, he sure as hell ain’t gonna kiss her’, while Nina chooses…..Eden THANK CHRIST. However, if she’s not seeing him as more than a friend, I hope she gives someone else the opportunity to hang out with him.

Laurina has been built up to be the one to choose Daniel, as ostensibly agreed earlier. So she drops a bombshell when she chooses, in her words ‘American Jared’. I think even Jawbreaker over there floored by that one. Turns out Daniel said something ‘slimy and derogatory’ to her at the end of the cocktail party, and when you think about all the disgusting things that Daniel has been shown saying, you’ve got to think it’s pretty bad for them not to show us, right?

Megan chooses Jake (DON’T WORRY MEGAN ELORA IS ALMOST HERE)

Keira steps up to the plate for the last rose, muttering ‘I don’t know…’ under her breath in a great show of confidence. Eventually she settles (in every sense of the word), for Jarrod.

This means a big old DING DONG, THE WITCH IS DEAD to Keen Bean Mack and Cheese, Convicted Assaulter Blake, and Probable Assaulter Come On Daniel.

See you in a couple of days for the end of this godforsaken week.

 

 

 

 

 

Bachelor in Paradise Australia: Episode 5

Channel Ten’s Week of Torture – i.e four episodes in one week – got off to quite the start on Sunday, with tears, triangles, and more than one accusation of dogging (not that kind).

The episodes begins with a tiny recap of what’s happened recently. Nina actually gets some screentime for once and tells us while things have been cruising along with Eden, she’s not really feeling like he’s putting a lot of effort in to woo her. Mack has somehow acquired the nickname of Mack and Cheese since he threw everyone for a loop and gave Ali his rose when Jarrod (and to a lesser extent Michael) had already done a wee on her and marked their territory. Jarrod is ‘disappointed and peed off’ that someone went right ahead and exercised their free will, and has now decided to focus his attention on Keira. Funny that. Now that the girls have the Power of Roses.

Osher is greeted by an incredibly handsome American by the name of Grant. He was on Jojo’s season in Bachie US, which means nothing to me, and actually got engaged to someone he met in Paradise US. For some reason he has come back because he ‘trusts the process’, which I suspect is code for ‘I trust the amount of money they were willing to pay for me to appear and make all these Aussie blokes feel insecure about their abs’. I quite liked Grant upon first appearance because he was very polite to everyone including Osher, but as the episode went on I started getting a bit suspect of how damn smooth he is.

Anyway. He starts a small frenzy when he walks in, date card in hand. Just imagine this, but en masse.

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The only one of the ladies who’s not feeling it is Ali, who finds him very ‘American’ and showy. Yeah the hot firefighter (yes, really) is a real problem, Ali. Anyway. Her love life is more than complicated enough, I think she can afford to leave Grant to the others.

Grant chats to the fellas first and it is a veritable parade of male insecurity. Michael does charming things like vowing to “fight for their Australian women”, which isn’t a creepy and loaded sort of thing to say at all. Grant then spends a bit of time chatting to a bunch of the ladies, trying to work out who to take on a date. Leah’s getting impatient. She is HOT FOR THE BOD and she doesn’t give a fuck. As he goes to talk to Keira she straight up intervenes (Keira is only a bit bothered: ‘As long as he takes his shirt off later to make up for it’). It’s not a bad move – Grant is the kind of guy who appreciates her confidence. He ends up asking her on the date after about 30 seconds of her making the fuck eyes at him.

Mack and Ali decide go for a swim in the rain, and by swim I mean walk in the water to their knees. Mack talks about how the conversation just ‘flows’ with Ali, and I must call this out as delusional bullshit. They clearly have no chemistry, only able to muster up conversation about how the nice the water is at first. Apparently the conversation ‘flowing’ amounts to him doing 90% of the talking (reeks of the old study done by Dale Spencer about perception of female dominance in conversation…) and her paying him one compliment. As the group scream ‘kiss!’ at them from shore (once again…Schoolies), Ali finds this an appropriate moment to mention that she is not planning to kiss a lot of frogs on her Paradise journey. In fact, she’d like to only kiss one frog. The implication that this will not be Mack is mostly lost on him, although there is a small glimmer of self awareness: ‘I’m not sure if she’s falling for me the same way I’m falling for her’. She’s not bro.
Keira and Jarrod are chatting and it is clear she is seeing entirely through his utter bullshit – ‘I’m so intrigued that you and Ali aren’t even interested in each other anymore’. Well, we never had any confirmation at all that Ali was interested in Jarrod, but he sure was a keen bean for her. Apparently, he just woke up thinking of Keira, and this was some sort of epiphany for him. She very pointedly mentions that she feels like men only talk to her when they want a rose, and that he should not feel safe – if someone comes in that grabs her eye, she won’t hesitate to pursue it. I think I like Keira now?
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Maybe I just hate fuckboys, and Jarrod truly is the worst kind. He deeply seems to believe his own bullshit.
Leah and Grant go on their date and they are a couple of thirsty birds for each other. They ‘decide’ to go for a snorkel in the rain (were they in Fiji in the off-season?) and Leah straight up rips off his shirt, with all the female viewers secretly sneaking her a high five. He compliments how she looks in her bikini and yes, thirsty thirsty thirsty. Leah is basically feeling on top of the world as they go for a chat after their swim – she feels very relaxed around him (seems obvious from the shirt-removal). And I start to think maybe he’s a bit of a slippery bugger as he effortlessly dodges her first question about what happens if he genuinely meets a girl he wants to be with on the show – it’s a long way from the US to Australia. Spoken like someone who’s truly never considered the fucking soul-crushing difficulty of a long-distance relationship – particularly between people who don’t know each other particularly well – he thinks if two people want it to work, it’ll work. However, he says he’s not just here for fun and that is enough for her to have an almighty couch pash with him. She has a schoolgirl crush (and a thirst for days).
Michael’s big romantic gesture to Ali (after a decade of angst about being roommates with Mack) is to force her to walk through the rain to have some winey cheesey time. Last week these two didn’t get much time together, but did confirm their mutual interest. Ali mentions that she is holding back a bit because it is ‘not finished’ with Mack. As they leave to go back to the party, Michael gives her a lingering hug, and Ali seems to be struggling with her ‘rule’ about pashing,  because she’s worried that she might go back to the party and get talking to Mack, and want to kiss him! It is clear to literally everyone that she has no chemistry with Mack and will never want to kiss him, so I don’t know if this is some convenient get-out-of-awkward-situations free card, or what.
Mack ruins any chance of any woman ever wanting to kiss him by being deeply passive-aggressive on their return. Michael pushes Ali and Mack to chat because he thinks she might finally let him down, and Mack launches in to some creepy nonsense (after essentially shaming her for talking to Michael) about how he could introduce her to his family. Everyone at home is screaming SHE’S NOT INTERESTED but before she’s forced to be direct with someone for once in her life, there’s a new arrival.
Canadian Daniel is here. I saw Canadian Daniel on the last season of Bachelor in Paradise, where he basically pretended to have feelings for Lacey to get her to sleep with him towards the end of the season, and then ditched her after the show. He’s done other garbage, misogynistic things that I have not witnessed in other seasons (he has been in both Bachie franchise shows and at least one other dating show). He is not a legitimate contender for anyone’s heart and he makes it clear in his first to-camera, where he essentially says he’s here because the Canadian women are in hibernation for winter. Personally I would go in to hibernation in 40 degree heat if Daniel decided to approach me. No doubt the man has formed himself in to some sort of Greek god in the gym (Jarrod refers to him as a ‘unit’), but honestly it’s grotesque and lumpy, like a statue made by someone who’s never actually seen a man with their clothes off. The arrival of Daniel kind of ends their conversation, or is it Mack bitterly muttering ‘He’s probably going to like you as well’?
Golly we’re not even halfway done with this episode. And I’m reluctant to spend a lot of time on Daniel, because on top of being a huge arsehole who refers to the women like objects (referring to Lisa, he says to Luke ‘Is this yours?’), he also refers to himself as a wolf and I’m also pretty sure he doesn’t understand consent and I just don’t like wasting a lot of typing energy on that. Anyway. He makes an impression on Keira, and slimes all over all the other girls while winding up the boys about ‘stealing their women’, and ends up approaching Nina for a date. She accepts, presumably to put the wind up Eden’s arse because such a sensible-seeming girl cannot actually be interested in such a skeeze. I honestly thought she was trying to purposefully bore him when she told him she plays competitive netball 3-5 times a week, but the man has seen an opportunity here.
Megan and Jake have a pash but she’s pretty convinced it’s lust, not love. Just hanging out for Elora, I’m sure. Jake may get a stay of execution at the rose ceremony depending on who comes in next – Megan doesn’t seem to have bonded with anyone else.
It’s bucketing down for Eden and Nina’s date and after making a gross comment about taking a hike to claim her ‘hot spring virginity’, he then attempts to murder them both by crossing a flooded river. Rather than actually just having any sort of OH&S in place (and Osher is so clear about their duty of care on Twitter!), some local bloke has to intervene and tell them they’re being huge fucking idiots. They end up at some slightly more civilised hotel hot tub and Daniel leers down Nina’s sensible swimming costume. However, given she hasn’t even kissed Eden yet (how?), it’s safe to say she is not going to pash old Rapeface over here. He’s disappointed because he ‘likes to go from zero to one hundred real quick’, like a sensible romantic prospect we should definitely put on our dating show, over and over again.
It’s slaughterhouse time. First, Ali has to dump Mack. She fucking flim-flams around it for an eon, talking about wanting to feel a spark. Mack has definitely felt a spark, in his pants region at least, but the most Ali can muster for him is a ‘sparkle’. Because he cannot get the fucking point he asks what it would take for that spark to happen. Mack….
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She has a gigantic teary on his shoulder because she doesn’t like hurting people, while he just stares off like he’s dead inside. Maybe if you’d just put any effort in to reading signals you could have been spared this pain. Again.
She then goes off to chat with Michael and hurrah, it is on! Michael is looking forward to getting a rose from her! No. No it is not on. She mentions again that she’s looking for that spark, and when he leadingly asks if he has that with her, she must respond that no, she’s not feeling it. Bit unexpected. Time to break out the capris and woo a new girl, I suppose.
Laurina explains that she would not feel a tiny bit bad about dumping Blake because he called her by the wrong name in the last rose ceremony. I would also consider an extremely valid reason to be that Blake has started doing his hair like this, while implying that Daniel is a dickhead:
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She pulls him aside for a chat. While she feels that they have affection, they haven’t got much of a connection, and that if there was one it would have emerged by now. And in this environment of honesty, she wouldn’t feel right giving him a rose.
His response: ‘So….okay’.
He thinks that he’s a very loving person, but shows this more physically than with words. You know. When he’s not criminally assaulting people.
He’s taken by surprise and takes Tara and Sam off for a chat. And now it’s my turn for a surprise, because Sam is actually way better at this than Tara. Sam tells him ‘Acknowledge it for a second, and then move actively forward’, while Tara just wants to know who Laurina will give her rose too. Maybe not the time, love.
Oh, and now Sam is taking Tara on a date. Tara says ‘Sam and I have been getting along really well as friends’ and they have only hugged so far, but speculates that maybe they will kiss. I am horrified at this but also kind of horrified that somehow, Sam is one of the better options on the island. Tara, like myself, thought he came off like a bit of a dickhead on the telly, and I will go so far and say he seemed a lot like a dickhead, loudly announcing that he was staring down Sophie’s dress and then trying to educate her on the music industry. And I am not going to start forgiving him for that, however, when the other options include Daniel and Jake, I can see how this might come about. I just hope Apollo arrives before it goes to far.
And he is appropriately swoon-y over Tara, telling us he thinks she looks like a supermodel at 9am in the morning. So I must give the man credit for admiring my queen, who is severely under-appreciated on this island. Their date is to make drinks for each other based on their personalities – he thinks she is fun, fresh and fruity, while she thinks he is an acquired taste (understatement). Turns out they’re both pretty crap at it, him plying her with booze while she’s a little bit deluded on this one: ‘I think I’ll be great at making cocktails. I make drinks for myself ALL THE TIME’. There’s some people playing romantic music and I think we work out why Tara would possibly not make a great Bachelorette: she’s bloody allergic to romance. Sam tries to cajole her in to a slow dance but is refused, much preferring to make awkward, self-conscious banter and over-planning their kiss. They make about 30 minutes of fuck-eyes at each other before they smooch, and I think this feeling inside me is not so much joy but sheer relief that these two people got out of their heads for five seconds.
I don’t want them to fall in love.
Because this show doesn’t actually care about romance, we do not end the episode on this. We go back to the boys, sitting around the campfire. Everything’s changing in the camp, and Mack doesn’t think it’s because of the two Americans making everyone feel narky and insecure, but because of the ‘dynamics changing’. But really, the issue here is Mack and Jarrod. Keeping in mind Jarrod is apparently not even thinking about Ali anymore and focusing on Keira (although presumably this conversation happens after he’s heard Ali has ditched both Mack and Michael), he would really like to have it out with Mack over ‘dogging’ everyone by choosing Ali first last week. He doesn’t have a leg to stand on, including his argument that Mack has somehow made a bad impression on the girls by using the rose ceremony exactly as it was intended – to choose the person you think you are most likely to have a romantic future with, as delusional as it may be – and after about 30 seconds of arguing, everyone just leaves. Send’em both home, tbh.
BRING. ON. APOLLO.

Bachelor in Paradise Australia: Episodes 3 and 4

Well, it’s tough times for those of us who tuned in to this show to watch people fall in love, given it’s not something Channel Ten is the least bit interested in doing. What have Eden and Nina or Luke and Lisa bonded over? Are they talking about futures outside the show? Who would know. It’s only a good time for lovers of…

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Most of the drama is focused on love triangles. Of course, the show is set up entirely to create them. A bunch of hot, drunk people on an island, with a perpetual gender imbalance? Yeah.

We exorcised ourselves of the Jake/Flo/Davey triangle last week, only for poor old Flo to find herself dumped in another one this week. And then there was the love quadrilateral that emerged later in the week, but we’ll get to that…

Episode Three

First up, Keira has a date card. Sam obnoxiously announces that ‘She’s not taking me, I already know! We had a chat’ and yeah Sam, we know no-one wants to take you and your bizarre birdsnest hair for a date. Keira has the hots for Michael, and she’s taking him. No-one in the world has been more pointedly and vehemently not butthurt than Tara: ‘I haven’t even kissed him’.

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She then does something that mortifies me. She starts hanging out with Sam. They are jokingly ‘distraught’ but agree to be one another’s rebounds. There’s nothing explicitly romantic, but I don’t want my wonderful queen being sucked in to his vortex.

Keira is mega socially-awkward on their date, and not just because they have to wear stackhats covered in leaves to ride horses on their beach. She keeps making weird comments about how romantic the situation is etc even when Michael seems to spend half their date talking about how beautiful Tara is. In fact, her complete inability to read his signals means she could be the perfect match for….Jarrod!

He turns up while Michael and Keira are still on their date, and the entire island flips their whole shit. Like so:

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Not necessarily a glowing endorsement, perhaps summarised by Florence’s to-camera ‘Is that….Pot Plant Jarrod? Fuck me’. Her hopes of someone to come and sweep her off her feet are dashed (Florence ended up giving Jarrod some brutal honesty on After Paradise, and tells him she thought he was creepy!). Blake, of course, picks up a pot plant to greet him with, hopefully un-pissed-in, while Leah calls ‘Did you bring us some wine?’, surely something Jarrod hears wherever he goes. Sam and Tara flirt (about his balls????) and I cover my face in revulsion.

Promptly following Jarrod is Season One Ali, someone who established herself as a bit of a keen bean by trying to pash Tim on the first night. She is happy to be the stage-five clinger of the series, but she’ll have some bloody stiff competition from Jarrod, who forms an instantaneous and overwhelming crush on her. So much for taking it easy and mingling, mate. Flo is not exactly kind when Ali turns up and Jake gives her the eye, saying of course he likes her because ‘she looks like someone from the Gold Coast’ and accuses her of looking like a Malibu Barbie: ‘her face doesn’t move’. None of this is kind, but it is also quite true. A tanned blonde with bolt-ons, big pouty lips and saucer eyes? It’s enough to make any gal a bit insecure.  And indeed Flo seems a bit intimidated in other aspects, namely that Ali is gunning for a husband and kids, while Flo seems to be quite happy having fun (and not husband-hunting in the worst environment possible!). Somehow Jarrod has heard Ali has ‘the most beautiful soul…inside’, and I’m not sure where else she would keep it (nor…who has been saying that?).

ALSO  joining, with a very purposeful stride which I admire, is Megan from Richie’s season. Megan’s a little infamous with the Daily Mails of the world as after she left (refusing a proffered rose), she went on to conduct a very Instagram-friendly relationship with fellow contestant Tiffany. Megan’s pretty clearly not a big fan of labels (which is something I empathise with) but is clear that she’s interested in both guys and girls, and is open to getting to know anyone on the show – in particular Jake, who she’s met before, and Elora, who she just presumably thinks is hot (spoiler alert for this episode AND next – we already know Megan and Elora get to know each other from the salacious promos). The next part is a bit vague but basically Megan gets a date straight away before she enters the resort – but doesn’t explicitly get to choose. Instead she chooses from a ‘menu’ of personality traits, and then the person who ostensibly best matches them is picked. I don’t actually believe this…at all, because Jake is whisked away for the date, and he doesn’t actually have any good personality traits.

Ali is being swept up in a sea of thirst. Unluckily for Jarrod, the 5-10 minutes of Sophie’s season that she watched were the ones where he got dumped, but they bond over their families being in the wine biz. Old mate Mack jumps in for the cockblock, inspiring some jealous noises from Leah about Ali’s husband-hunting. Mack and Leah both need to sort themselves the fuck out to be honest, but that’s a story for later. Mack is overwhelmed by the simple fact that Ali is asking him questions about himself (not exactly a glowing endorsement of Leah, who he’s usually shown speaking to) and asks one of the most annoying questions on earth: ‘Why the hell are you single?’

(I’m pretty sure the only way to answer that question is to take a leaf out of Bridget Jones’s Diary and reply that underneath your clothes, your entire body is covered in scales)

The Keenest Bean Who Ever Lived is pounced on by Keira when she returns from her date (Tara hissing: ‘Jarrod’s here, Jarrod’s) – they’ve had some interactions on Instagram (ah, modern romance). She is very blatantly checking him out, and starts complimenting him as soon as he starts talking about Ali.

Because this show will never release us, there’s more:

Michael returns eager to talk to Tara, not really picking up on the vibe well at all. When Ali asks Michael what he looks for in a woman, he openly gestures to Tara. Finally he takes her aside. While she initially just seems standoffish, making a point of what a great time she had with Sam, as she sits there in his ridiculous horseriding stackhat it is clear that she is incredibly drunk, and this could not be a worse time to have a meaningful conversation. Michael feels like he’s come back to a different woman – and he kinda has. He’s comes back to Very Drunk, Very Annoyed Tara. She is definitely passive aggressive, but he certainly should have picked up the hint earlier and left it to the next day. Ah well. Tara and Michael are looking cancelled….leaving her wide open for Sam.

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Megan and Jake’s date closes out the episode. She’s appropriately cynical about him – presuming he’s already got himself in the drama – but the mutual attraction is obvious. Having met when she was in a relationship, they’ve stayed in contact. By which I mean talked on the phone. WHO DOES THAT? Before entering the resort, they have a proper damn pash. Uh-oh.

Episode 4

Oh mate. Flo is on rampage. Ali is no longer on her radar, now Megan is here: ‘ ‘I don’t know much about Megan, I thought she was a lesbian’ (there’s a whole spectrum out there, Flo dear). And would she like to chat to Jake? ‘Why the fuck would I chat with him? What would I have to chat about?’. Anyway, she goes and chats with him. She says that she enjoys talking to him, although there is absolutely no evidence of this. It is incredibly tense and passive-aggressive. She notices Megan’s makeup on his shirt, and he tells her ‘It was a hug mark. We’re mates’. That’s the key part of this convo.

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Various parts of the gang are breaking it all down. Keira and Ali know that they both have a little somethin’ going on with Jarrod. And the man himself, sporting a fedora because of course, tells the boys that while he had an instant connection with Keira, he doesn’t want to get locked on to the first person. Considering the first of the two he chatted to was Ali, I daresay he’s gonna fail badly here.

The interminable Flo/Jake nonsense continues. Eden dobs Flo in to Jake, sharing that she’s been saying he’s two-faced. Meanwhile, Nina relays to Flo that Megan is being quite open about the fact that she and Jake kissed. You can see the steam come out of Flo’s ears here, and it’s not just the humidity. He must think she has an IQ below 100 to not find out about this business, she says. She starts resigning herself to going home.

Florence is feeling ‘single af’ as Lisa and Keira go through the list of couples out loud. This cuts to a shot I nearly shrieked at, of Laurina and Blake cozied up in bed.

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And now we enter love quadrilateral or pentagon or whatever territory. It starts with Mack and Leah, who have an odd vibe happen. Well, it’s not that odd. Mack is thirsty for her, and she’s entertaining herself with him until someone better comes along – but is neither so detached to not get butthurt if he pays attention to anyone else, nor so open about it that he feels he can do so without hurting some ‘loyalty’ he owes her. I don’t think it’s a game, which is he way Mack frames it. A game implies he has some chance of winning. She just likes the attention and doesn’t want to lose it. Anyway. Mack is part of the Ali Thirst Crew.

The centre of the Thirst Vortex is feeling Michael – she says he’s a ‘sweet soul’. Michael would like to talk to her thanks to their mutual background in property, which we all know really makes the panties drop. Ali thinks Jarrod is sweet, genuine, caring – a nice guy, but she feels no romantic connection, and he’s not her physical type. Good thing he’s got a date card and is about to ask her out, then.

The come upon some Fijian folks doing some traditional song and dance, which Jarrod compares to the Lion King, an intriguing choice there given the location of the Lion King in fucking Africa. They get roped in to dancing, and Jarrod is extremely Dad-like. Ali: ‘Jarrod’s dancing…I dunno. But he was definitely trying’. The date is essentially a cavalcade of Jarrod being way, way more in to Ali than she is to him, which is part of the reason I think he and Keira might be a perfect match. Despite him essentially implying her entry was heralded by angels, the best compliment she can muster is that he’s very genuine. He really does put it all out there. He continues to lay it on extra thick while she holds back, saying she wants to take her time and not kiss multiple men on the show (i.e YOU JARROD). Jarrod also doesn’t want to go around kissing guys or girls….’except for you, at some point, if it does continue down…’. Yeah very subtle bud. In the post-date interview, you can almost here the producers high-five each other over Jarrod’s soundbite  ‘If we’ve started out well now, who knows what could happen down the track. Nothing can destroy us’. Chillllllll.

Next up, it’s time to cancel Mack. Leah is finally being honest – she would take Michael on a date if she had the opportunity. Mack responds to this very normally and not at all gross and possessively: ‘If anyone is going to take you on a date, it’s going to be me taking you. If anyone’s going to kiss you first, it’s going to be me… You can’t go off with Mikey after I’ve been like…about 5 or 6 six days’. When Leah tries to tell him that their hanging out doesn’t necessarily have to be that fucking deep, and it’s Paradise, where they’re encouraged to test the waters and she doesn’t want to regret her experience, he graciously tells her ‘You can still talk to every person here’.

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Sam breaks it to Florence, who is chatting with Tara, ‘I just had a chat with Jake. He’s happy to continue having really good chats with you’
Flo: ‘ Don’t I feel honoured?’
Flo thinks he is malicious enough to tell everyone else he’s going to give her a rose so no-one else does. It’s not exactly a wild theory, he is a garbage person. Wais the bartender tells her she is living with the consequences of her actions. I would add that she is also living with the consequences of her terrible taste in men, because Davey was not a prize peach and everyone needs to stop pretending he was.
Megan and Jake discuss their sexual chemistry while sitting several feet away from each other. She empathises with how difficult it can be to date women. I promise it is harder to date Jake, please run away from this loser Megan.
It all goes off again. Michael sits down with Megan and Flo and asks Megan what Jake had said about other girls. Megan says Jake was open about the fact that he had taken out Florence, ‘but it was very much friendship’. Flo is floored and starts ranting about how he couldn’t stop kissing her and telling her how much he likes her. She then storms off to confront him in his bungalow, which unfortunately happens off-screen but with sound on. Things get heated ,with him denying Megan’s comment, her calling him narcissistic and then things get a little unclear, because I don’t know if production added in the sound effect of a smashing glass. Florence either threw the contents of her champagne glass at him, or the whole damn glass.
And look, the former is mostly a dream for any soap lover and a hilarious gif (provided the receiver is an asshole):
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But if it was the latter….if you’re going to go around accusing someone of being emotionally abusive (which Flo had), you probably don’t want to follow that up with being physically abusive yourself. Just a thought.

On Jarrod and Ali’s return from their date, Megan pays out Ali and Jarrod out for giggling, Sam obnoxiously (redundant) screams ‘Jarrod I want a download! How’d it go’, Mack is jealous and Ali somewhat shows her hand by going straight to Michael. But before things can get interesting, our boy Osher turns up to announce the rose ceremony that evening. While I think that’s extremely good news because it means this godforsaken episode is coming to an end, Leah tells him ‘Can you just give us some good news? Just casually. That’d be fantastic’.

Keira brings it a bit out a left field and starts pressuring Mack to keep her. A somewhat unlikely scenario – Mack’s life is fucking complicated enough.

Unlike the girls last week, the boys split up to discuss who will get roses. Turns out to be a tactical producer move. Jake is talking to Jarrod, Eden and Blake, while Michael is talking to Sam, Mack and Luke. Jarrod says Keira will hate him, but he plans to give his rose to Ali. Michael also has Ali in his sights for his rose. But he knows there’s a thing with Jarrod, and he knows Jarrod won’t react well if he gets in first with the rose.

Meanwhile in ladychats, Lisa thinks Jake will stay loyal to Flo. She thinks Jake loved getting a drink thrown at him. Which is a pretty hilarious interpretation, but the truth is, there’s not a lot of tension here with Jake’s rose, as we know very well from the promos that Megan stays.
Flo waltzes in to the cocktail party and Jake asks if she wants a drink.
Sam: ‘Maybe some champagne?’
Look, that’s probably the only thing I’m going to give Sam credit for in the course of the whole show.
Flo and Jake go for a chat and make nicey so the show can make us think he picks her.
Ali enters the party in a ~*~*dress*~*~ and half the men in the place flip shit. Jarrod abandons a conversation just to run over and tell her how good she looks (I REMEMBER THIS NONSENSE WITH SOPHIE). Ali chats with Michael, a grown man in capri pants, and they confirm their mutual interest. Mack corners her and freaks her out by telling her he’s thought about her a bunch over the last 24 hours. He insists he could talk to her all night, while she gently pushes to go back to the group. He feels like a comedian around her because she has a well-established awkwardness-coping mechanism of just laughing, which she did with Jarrod as well. Oh my god just let the poor girl have a cocktail in peace. The men are supposed to have the power this weak but they’re all ensnared by one girl.
Jarrod attempts to gently break it to Keira that he plans to give Ali his rose, which is pretty thoughtful. She’s immediately defensive, and when he talks about their connection growing she says ‘If I’m still around’ a bit sarcastically, and I wasn’t really buying her ‘I appreciate it’ when he says he wanted to explain it to her. Anyway, Keira goes off to have a massive teary about being loved for her, etc. You’ve seen the promos. That was this. Over Jarrod, of all people.
It’s almost rose ceremony time. Jake opines ‘this is a situation I didn’t want to be in’ even though he put himself in it, thoroughly. And Michael refers to the ‘love triangle’ where he, Jarrod and Mack are boning on for Ali. Not a triangle, mate.
Rose ceremony time! It is quite dramatic as far as these things go. Excellent work from the producers, putting Mack up first. He sends them all in to a tailspin by choosing Ali. Apart from Michael and Jarrod’s peevishness, Leah is there wondering what’s wrong with her? Is it because Ali reeks desperation? (probably not, hey).
Jarrod’s up next and gives a pining look to Ali before choosing Keira. She knows she’s he’s second choice, so one can pretty easily forgive her ‘Never thought you’d ask’ response, and the ‘…take what I can get at this stage’ thrown over her shoulder as she returns to the group.
Michael is stressing out because he doesn’t know what to do, while Jake (next to him), VERY unsubtly pressures him to choose Flo. Says he HAS to choose Flo. He lays it on so hard even though this is clearly not Michael’s decision to make, nor does Michael feel good about it.
Meanwhile, Eden chooses Nina and Luke chooses Lisa, we are never allowed to know anything about them or become invested.
Blake, Garbage Person, calls Laurina ‘Lenora’ during the rose ceremony. All the girls crack up but Laurina is done with him. Who the fuck is going to pick you now, dickhead? Get off my show.
Michael chooses Leah, which should please her. If he could just be a bit more rugged and manly (capri pants not included), he’d be just her type.
Once again, no tension because we know Megan stays, but oh god Jake does this in a fuckboyish manner, mournfully muttering ‘Willyouacceptthisrose’ without eye contact. To be fair, Megan was probably muttering ‘PleaseletEloraturnupsoon’ to herself.
As you can imagine, Flo takes this very graciously, and definitely doesn’t accuse him of being soulless, fake, and cold-hearted. Let’s hope this ends her fuckboy addiction for good.
Next week, Channel Ten goes full-on psychopathic with four episodes, Sunday-Wednesday. Once again, I have a real actual job, and I didn’t sign up to fucking recap the equivalent of the Return of the King: Extended Edition every week (plus I am interstate at the end of the week), so we’ll just have to see how we go.

Bachelor in Paradise Australia: Episodes 1 and 2

Now, I wanna manage some expectations here. Do not expect me to usually post my recaps on Tuesday. The schedule for the show is a bit iffy at the moment – this week, it aired on Sunday and Monday. Next week, it’s just Monday, but that might just be because of our pal Jesus. I cannot stay up ’til midnight writing on either of those nights. It’s dumb. And if you’re desperate to catch up, there’s folks out there writing for actual proper sites who have advance access and post recaps the second the episode finishes. If you want my unique but decidedly lukewarm takes, you might need to wait a few days.

However, today I happen to be home sick from work. After a couple of weeks of working long days, my body was happy to pick up literally any virus thrown at it. Luckily for me it was just a cold and not Hepatitis A, which sounds like a shit joke but was actually a real possibility thanks to an outbreak at a fancy restaurant where a work breakfast was hosted (I am all vaccinated as of today). So while I’m home I’m going to re-watch the episodes, and we’ll see what we come up with. I didn’t write my usual notes on my initial watch, as I was busy tweeting. I’m going to need to find the balance between Twitter jokes and note-taking this year, lest I get stuck re-watching every godforsaken episode.

I’ve seen Bachelor in Paradise US, so I’m familiar with the concept, but I will run over it, just like Osher did at the start of Episode One. Paradise has a cast of (basically) thousands, and a permanent gender imbalance with no interest in quotas. In episode one, there’s more guys than girls, and the girls will be giving out roses, meaning that the guys that don’t receive a rose will go home. Over the course of the episodes, more cast members will come in to keep the overall numbers about the same, but with a permanent imbalance and whichever gender has fewer cast members at each time doing the rose-distribution. There’s no ‘winner’ on paradise. You just win love (blech). If there’s couples that are established in the early days they can just keep picking each other the whole way through, although they better be telling a good love story or the producers will try to find some way to fuck it up. They’ll promote the cast as being ‘favourites’ but they always use some villains in because…. drama. The whole show is basically Grown-Up Schoolies. The last season of Bachelor in Paradise US had some controversy which led to a shutdown in production, which will have informed a lot of the choices made in this version. What they didn’t consider doing, of course, was not plying all the contestants with alcohol, constantly, because everyone knows that has no effect on consent, duh!

First person to arrive in Fiji (and subsequently ask ‘Is the bar open yet?’) is my precious Bogan Queen and I have never been so glad to see a person in my life. As long as Tara is there, if nothing else, we will have excellent commentary. She tells us that Bachie taught her to ‘live every day like it’s your last’ which seems a bit dramatic, even if Matty J may inspire someone to die of boredom. Tara is looking forward to fresh meat, which is something she will come to literally scream at people as they arrive. She mutters about wanting to take her shoes off and hunts down Wise the Barman, which is relatable as ever.

Old Mate Sam Frost’s Second Place Michael turns up. I was a bit of a fan of him during Sam’s season, although that faded quickly. He’s ‘extremely competitive’ and all his opening shots show him working out. He’s hoping Laurina and/or Tara will be in Paradise, and I’m really worried he somehow imprints on Tara by being the first guy there. She talks to him….a lot…about how sweaty she is. I’m not actually sure how good this show is at advertising Fiji, honestly. It just seems so humid.

Tall Luke from Sophie’s season turns up, then Lisa from Blake’s season (which I did not watch). Luke almost immediately has heart eyes for her. He says she is ‘gorgeous, attractive (bit repetitive) and has a good vibe to her’. Tara ominously says ‘this is such a good crew…I hope it stays good’ before Awful Leah turns up. Tara is open to giving Awful Leah a chance, and they ask her who she would like to see. Davey Lloyd from Sam’s season is brought up, and Lisa says she would not date him, but he would be a hell of a lot of fun. What an entry for… tada, Davey! Anyway, he’s a Larrikin who has finally moved out of his parents’ place. Congratulations. He’d like to meet Florence because they’ve been flirting on the socials. Brett from Sophie’s season turns up: ‘Got the sun, got the beach, got the babes, got the boys….what could go wrong?’. Well, I’ve got some thoughts. But we’ll get to that. Tara mentions quite casually to Michael and Lisa that Brett’s dating her friend Steph (from Matty’s season). Hmm.

Nina from Saw Woods’ season (which I also didn’t catch) turns up. Eden from Sophie’s season turns up and Tara screams ‘WHERE’S YOUR TRACKSUIT’, thanks to a very memorable breakdancing entrance.

Davey frames his choice to chat to Leah as a strategic decision regarding alliances, not romantic interest. They get along quite well and he tries to get an idea of whether she would take him on a date: ‘We’ll see if anyone better walks in’. Lovely direct Florence walks in at this very moment. She’d like to meet Davey: ‘he’s hot and funny!’. And here are three corners of the love square. Tara and Florence do a hilarious greeting dance and I just want the whole show to be about them. Instead stupid Davey pulls Flo aside for a chat, and Leah threatens to fight for Davey if she’s interested.

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Why is anyone thirsting after this dude with NO game. He asks Florence very unsubtly where her bungalow is and she seems IN TO IT? Why?

Eden and Nina have a bit of a chat. Eden is showing some seriously unforeseen quality here being interested in Nina, who is rapidly becoming one of my faves on account of her eminent sensible-ness. Eden mostly still seems like a Kiwi boofhead but he is making her laugh, so okay bro. The show should show us 1000% more of them and not…everything that is about to happen.

Not Mack. Mack’s just a bit of a sad case, isn’t he? An immense Sophie Monk fanboy who sang at her for far too long. He sees Leah straight away and I think we can safely say immediately falls in love with her, because if you don’t have long blonde hair you don’t stand a chance with this fella. Anyway. She’ll steamroller over his heart.

I’m reluctantly to even talk about who turns up next. Blake from Sophie’s season turns up. Now we already know that Blake’s a bully. It’s emerged since that Blake has been convicted of assault over a 2015 incident and has been investigated over revenge porn accusations from Awful Jen from Matty’s season. This man should not be on this show. If he is seeking redemption, being put forward as a romantic prospect on a television show (particularly one which is very alcohol-fuelled) is not the place for him to do it. Channel 10 messed up badly on this one and I will not stop mentioning that Blake Colman has plead guilty to assault and put a man in hospital until he is off the show. And even then, maybe.

Nina correctly assesses when he turns up that this is ‘someone I probably don’t need to get to know’, and this is why I love her.

Flo jokes that while he is not her type, she’s said that about a lot of guys….and then lambasts herself as sounding like a massive slut. I disagree, but it’s safe to say Florence has a bit of a fuckboy problem that I’d love to see her cured of.

And while we’re on the topic, old mate Jake from Georgia’s season turns up. He disagrees with the general option that he is the nice guy of the season, which is probably the only accurate piece of self-insight he will offer all season. He’d like to meet Megan Marx from Richie’s season (who infamously went on to date one of the other girls on the show), and the ads tell us if he can just manage to keep his shit together long enough, he might get the opportunity. He quietly slips in ‘I did meet Florence at an event where we did Family Feud for charity, so that’d be good to explore a bit more’. This is an admirable attempt at discretion, however he’s forgetting he’s talking about one of the most direct women in Australian television, because of course she spills to camera that not only did they meet, their genitals met as well (‘People talk on Instagram, then you meet and get smashed and… things happen’ which is a fairly accurate picture of romance in 2018). But it fizzled out. Florence is surprised to see him, feeling a bit awkward but pleased. And Davey is…jealous. Florence doesn’t want to hurt Jake’s feelings because she’s in to Davey.

I wasn’t kidding about this whole thing being like Schoolies.

Osher comes in and gives Tara (‘Tarzy’) a gentle roast about ‘that time I dumped you on telly’ and I’m a little scared that Osher thinks he’s The Bachelor but that’s okay. Brett’s Not Girlfriend comes up again as Osher asks if everyone is single and Brett half-heartedly raised his hand. Brett says in interview that if she turned up he’d give her a big hug and a kiss.

He responded with ‘That was the premises [sic] to get here…you had to be single….let’s just leave it at that’ and how this nonsense continued for an entire episode after this fuckery we’ll never know.

Osher announces that the ladies have Rose Ceremony control and Nina relishes the fear in the men’s eyes. Come on. We love her. Osher directly references Rose Maths and all of Twitter goes wild. He lies and says three men are going home and says ‘Pair up or pack up’, which honestly us 30-somethings have been hearing our whole lives, thanks. Flo confirms would give Davey a rose or take him on a date, at his badgering. So it’s a bit of a surprise when Davey gets the date card and decides to take Leah to avoid Jake/Florence drama. In what universe is that a good idea? Leah literally worships chaos. Flo is pisssssed. And Leah is not really in to him. She describes him as a ‘naughty schoolboy’ and they have a very mediocre pash. Immediately afterwards, she says ‘You’ve been dying to do that, haven’t you? That’s funny – feel better now?’ and not…not in a kind way. In a ‘are we done here?’ way.

When the girls ask Florence if she would subsequently give her rose to Jake, she admits to the banging (and subsequent fighting and no longer talking) and Tara goes in to deep slut-shaming mode – of Jake. They’re both from the Gold Coast and Jake has a bit…no, a lot of a reputation as a pants man… Florence seems to have heard this from others, too, but when she goes and confronts him about it, it’s hella outing Tara. She’s the only one from his area! Jake must be the stupidest man alive to not be able to work out where the leak comes from (it’s his pants. …No, sorry). Then again, they’re all quite drunk. And because they’re all drunk, I really don’t want to cover their rambling argument. Florence wants to address these rumours, Jake is immediately offended and wants to discuss who accused him instead of just talk about the issue at hand. Definitely a great way to convince someone that you’re not dodgy. It’s doesn’t end well. They all spend the rest of the night being drunk messes.

The last thing you need to know is that the next day Keira (from Richie’s season) gets thrown in to the mix (meaning there’s an extra rose in the offing), she’s very pleased with the new tits and teeth, and basically none of the men want anything to do with her. Except Jake. Because he knows his rose from Florence is at severe risk. Jake gets a date card and hemms and hawws about it for 40 years, discussing it with Brett and Davey who confirm he may have blown it with Florence. He then decides to takes Flo on the date, asking her at the perfect moment of when she was having a nice chat with Davey. Very classy.

Moving on now to episode 2. God. Finally. These bastards run for an hour and a half with ads.

So part of the important context here is that on Sam Frost’s season, Davey was all caught up in the concept of ‘the bro code’. Which doesn’t necessarily need to be gendered when it’s just ‘treat your friends respectfully’, but he takes the whole idea too far when he acts like a woman is a possession to pass back and forward. So let’s sort it out for Davey: Florence and Jake already had an opportunity in the real world. They’re both here on the show (presumably, because Brett proves this isn’t universally true) because they’re open to meeting anyone. So if Florence has shown you and told you she’s interested, take the damn girl on the date because that is the POINT of the show. Nonetheless, it wasn’t super-classy of Jake to literally interrupt their conversation to ask her on a date rather than wait five minutes. Davey still would have been butthurt because he’s jealous and doesn’t feel like he’s being treated with reciprocal respect, but nonetheless, maybe he wasn’t treating Florence with respect by making her feel second-best.

Schoolies.

Florence and Jake go to their date at a waterfall (I like that all the dates so far have been…go to a slightly-different location). It is CLEAR that Florence doesn’t really like him as a person (and vice versa), but they’re just very attracted to each other. And this is why I want Florence to be cured of her fuckboy thing. Because she has not yet learned that some boys should just be left at one bang and you’re done. Or even better, if they’re an STD risk, no bangs and you’re done. Anyway, they make out and try to avoid arguing the entire time, which is hard when one of you is a direct as fuck ice queen.

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Florence’s gut is telling her not to give him a rose, because this isn’t going to turn out well. We need to teach Florence to trust her gut.

 

The production crew decides to show us a shot of Eden and Nina having a very cute snuggling nap but refuses to show us them talking so we can actually get invested.

Hey remember Terrible Sam and his Terrible Hair? He’s here. He thinks we’ll remember him from getting the Double Delight rose, which is deeply delusional. He also thinks he’s still single because he has a ‘high expectation and a high understanding of what I bring to a relationship’, and someone for sure is high here and it ain’t me. He pulled this line last year and still has yet to prove anything he brings to a relationship except perviness and a hunger for fame. Go away, Sam. It will surprise approximately zero people that he finds himself getting along with Keira. None of the rest of the girls are having a bar of it. Queen Tara says to her cocktail-mates ‘He’s not getting a rose from me, I’m telling you that’ while mentioning to camera ‘No romantic interest in Uncle Sam [Sophie’s nickname for him]. Happy or him to stay my uncle’ and Queen Nina tells us ‘I like my men…tall dark and handsome, as opposed to short, blonde and a child’

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So the boys push Sam on Keira and they bond over Richie’s terrible laugh, which is fair. It is clear from the conversation between the boys that Brett is not pursuing anyone or making ANY effort to stay.

Upon her return from her date with Jake, Florence IMMEDIATELY and not at all subtly grabs Tara saying ‘Do you want to have a chat???’. Twice. Gee, got something to get off your chest, Flo? Keira somehow gets roped in to the chat and barely disguises the temptation to howl laughing when Florence says she doesn’t want to give Jake the rose. She somehow converts it in to a groan. Tara cannot keep her trap shut and immediately tells Davey that Florence will want to chat with him. But honestly Florence just seems to be exhausted by all the thirst. It’s almost like being a woman on the internet. When Davey asks her if she wants to hang out more, she says ‘We’re hanging out now. Be appreciative’. Oh she’s so good. She deserves better than both of these idiots.

Lisa has a very beady eye on Brett, on account of the whole ‘having a girlfriend’ thing. Tara would like Brett to stay, apparently with hopes of a reunion with Steph, the girl HE IS ALREADY DATING. Michael and Tara must have some sort of agreement in the rose stakes (girl why) because he is sitting here in this discussion with all of the girls and it transpires that Tara has attempted to convince Keira to choose Brett to keep him in. But now as Keira would like to give Sam a rose (GIRL WHY), she’d like her to put that pressure on Florence instead so she can send both her garbage men away. And Lisa would like no-one to have the pressure to choose a guy who’s not a viable option for anyone, BECAUSE HE HAS A GIRLFRIEND.

I don’t think any of this had to end in tears. When Keira decided she was invested in actually choosing someone, she should have told Tara in some other non-group context, and Tara probably would have been chill. The context has changed now that Keira has someone she’d actually like to choose, for some unknown bloody reason. And Brett doesn’t deserve the spot, because he has made no effort to secure it. But instead, because EVERYONE IS DRUNK, they all decide to go in on Tara, instead of I don’t know….asking Brett why he’s here?

Dirty Street Pie Laurina, from Blake’s season, is here. I didn’t watch that season but I very much admire the Dirty Street Pie comment. Laurina seems like a very…spiritual person, actually repeating the affirmation ‘I am love. I am light. I am laughter’ on screen. I hope production slipped this in to her room.

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She comes in with a date card and she says she’s first going to judge on looks, then have a chat and see who has the initiative for her to give it to them. Blake has no chance with anyone so he hones in on her. Laurina has a long list of attributes she wants in a man and Blake matches not a single one of them. Girl good luck. She WATCHED Sophie’s season and apparently ‘likes cocky guys’. Nina is amazed that he moved in WHEN LAURINA DIDN’T EVEN HAVE A DRINK YET, which is indeed the height of rudeness. Laurina wants to make him feel confident, so offers him the date. Honey, he has an abundance of confidence. Knock him down three pegs, at least. Anyway they go on a date, rub each other in mud and have a bit of a kiss. I will not participate in Blake’s redemption arc. She rates the date 6.2 out of 10.

I need to make note of a lot of the man-jewellery happening here. I saw Luke and Brett wearing similar pieces to this. It’s a whole thing, that may be traditional Fijian but is never, ever explained.

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Just thought you all should know.

Sam describes Keira as ‘an absolute legend’, very romantic. They are clearly not in to each other but their egos seem to enjoy some aspect of each other.

Tara is all in her feelings because she took on the idea that the girls thought she was ‘forcing’ them to choose Brett. It emerges that Tara thought everyone knew Brett and Steph were together (remembering she is a particular friend of Steph). But even production didn’t know. So when Tara gets upset (and I HATE seeing her cry, she is a wonderful sensitive angel), Get-A-Grip Friend Florence friend suggests to her, maybe go chat to Brett? Which gives production a great chance to just confront the guy once and for all. The fourth wall is broken SO HARD. ONSCREEN. But first a producer informs Tara that Brett and Steph had both said they were single during casting, so she’s on the defensive. But production gets the real FINISH HIM move. It’s stunning.

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Brett admits they have been seeing each other for a year. A YEAR. But it’s not Facebook official, so it’s fine! Tara says ‘yeah you wanted your love story, right?’ and he responds with ‘I’m not looking for a love story, but…’ and THAT’S where he loses her.

This was his little rant on Instagram after the episode, by the way.

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And look, I would never put it past production to indulge in some manipulation. I mean, we’ve all seen UnREAL, and no-one casting Blake Colman in a show can claim the moral high ground. But the ‘right reasons’ for being on the show (a phrase constantly thrown around by contestants) don’t actually include a paid holiday with your existing girlfriend.

When it’s announced that the rose ceremony is happening that night, the girls actually go off to debrief who’s getting a rose, which is interesting. It’s settled that it’s basically down to Florence to decide who gets out of what Nina describes as ‘The Naughty Corner’ – her choices being Jake, Davey or Brett. And come on, we all know Brett is out of here. The only choice is Jake or Davey, and who will piss her off the most with their thirst at the cocktail party.

Note: Leah’s gonna get sick of Mack so soon. When he tells her he thinks she’s amazing, she says ‘I know, I hear it from everybody’.

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She did a handy job extricating herself from the ‘love square’, however, and knows she won’t be facing a lot of competition for old mate Mack.

Florence is mid-rant to Nina, saying ‘Every time I turn around, Davey or Jake would appear…’ and like magic, Davey appears. Those are bad summoning powers, Florence. Anyway, he knows this is ‘do or die’, so he gets her…a handful of flowers. The biggest of guns. Michael thinks Florence is leaning towards Davey because he brings out ‘a soft spot’ in people, i.e people pity him. He doesn’t seem to have considered that Florence is an ice queen.

The rose ceremony brings us a handy outline of the established couples/alliances:
Nina + Eden
Leah + Mack
Keira + Sam
Lisa + Luke
Laurina + Blake
Tara + Michael

And of course they left Flo til last. She chooses Jake. She’s not quite there yet on her fuckboy-shedding journey, but the way she mentioned she was wondering if she’d made a mistake with her choice on After Paradise makes me think she makes some progress over the course of the show.

Davey and Brett are outta here.

Until next week. Sometime. Probably not Tuesday.

 

 

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 Bachelorette Australia 2017 Week 1: Toxic Masculinity Ruins The Party Again

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Okay, to be fair, that was just a Murderino reference, and I don’t think anything’s truly ruining this party. I think Sophie Monk is having the goddamn time of her life and she will sass anyone who tries to bring her down and/or bring a man bun to the party.

But oy.

There are a few corkers in this bunch. I’m not wasting my time talking about Blake – just go back and read anything I said about Jen or Leah on The Bachelor if you want a rant on cartoon villains. No, this is about men who I think have actually revealed something of themselves (creative editing nothwithstanding). Some of them started strong in episode one and then quickly devolved in episode two. But first let’s start with the guy who was a clear d-bag from the start – Ryan.

This guy is just aggressive. Every woman I spoke to after this episode agreed that this man has some form. A prematurely greying Kiwi 26 year old construction foreman, he doesn’t seem to have a lot of respect for women, particularly Sophie. He tells us: ‘My ideal woman, she’s gotta look after herself. She’s gotta be respectful, she’s gotta have a great smile, good laugh, funny, and charismatic, and have that sponatuity [sic] that I’m looking for in a woman’. I’ll note two things here:
1) He certainly didn’t mention familiarity with the English language
2) How many of those things do you think he ticks off himself?
The first thing he asks her upon meeting her is why her past relationships have failed. He negs her on various things including her taste in pop music, creepily licking his lips as he supposes allowed that he might be able to change her taste (Sophie: ‘Yeah, right’). She seems to see right through him, sending him away from the red carpet pretty quickly, but he’s not quite done for the night. As Sophie prepares to kick off the cocktail party with a speech, he drags her off as soon as she opens her mouth to check that she is ‘there for the right reasons’. Ryan. You’re the one that needs to answer that question, not her. It’s a blessing that he gets minimal screen time in episode 2, as I feel some pretty violent urges towards this guy.
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Jarrod made a minor impression in episode one, another Gimmick Guy inviting Sophie to squash grapes with him, as he runs a vineyard. This whole vineyard thing is a bit odd. He says to Sophie at the first cocktail party that he finds women act differently towards him – aka keener – when he mentions the vineyard, but he makes the damn thing about 50% of his personality on the show and mentions it constantly. Anyway, Jarrod makes a damn good impression on the first single date with Sophie. For some unknown reason they’re walking on a highwire – given Sophie hates heights, I think we can pretty much put the nix on the idea that the Bachies organise or even have any input in to their own dates. Jarrod’s not much of a fan of heights himself, but when Sophie damn near shits herself, this former army man goes in to cool, calm, and collected mode, and gets her through it. He had the entirety of Twitter eating out of his hand, even though he pulled out the ‘treat a woman like a Queen’ line and appears to be a terrible kisser who made me recoil from my television (it’s possible Sophie is also a terrible kisser, but time will certainly tell on that one).

So how did this guy stuff it up? By going….intensively possessive and weird. Firstly he returns to the house to give a monologue instructing the other men on How To Date Sophie Monk, and I kind of wish it was all terrible instructions so I could pretend it was sabotage. At the cocktail party he argues with the other men on his determination to pull Sophie aside to thank her for their date. I get both sides on this one – he already has a rose, so he needs that time the least. On the other hand, all’s fair, etc, etc. But firstly, he yells a classic version of the old ‘not here to make friends’ chestnut, by telling the boys that he doesn’t want to marry any of them (do you want to marry Sophie? You’ve gone on one date! And the name of the game is that she’s also dating the rest of them…). And next he gives her a pair of uggboots, causing some minor drama after Blake had already given her a pair on the first night. I mean, points to all these boys for knowing the way to the heart of a bogan,  but Jarrod…

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Sam came in strong with an intro utilising three adorable nephews boasting about how Sam sometimes takes them to Target to try on bras (??? can I blame Safe Schools on this?). During the initial cocktail party, somehow we travelled back 16 years to when the walk-off in Zoolander was a fun, current reference. Sam made an appropriate spectacle of himself and gamely took part in a concessional undie run in the freezing cold. Sophie handed him the ‘double delight rose’, a new, fuzzily-defined thing entitling him to two single dates.

Within 5 minutes of episode two starting, he is champing at the bit. The first date of the episode is announced and he’s ready to stand, hoping Sophie will ‘stop playing around with him’. I’m gonna give him the benefit of the doubt and say he’s probably not thinking too tactically (why are you in a rush, dude? Surely not having one of your dates blown straight away is a good thing?), he’s just keen for a change of scenery. No-one’s on this show to hang around with blokes all day. When another date comes up, he’s still keen as a bean, basically yelling to the camera ‘I want my date! I want my date!’. But no, he doesn’t want to be on a group date. Too bad, you’re on it. And…it’s gross. Around episode two on the Bachies is time for a photo shoot, and this time it’s ‘famous couples of [fictional] history’. He’s playing Robin Hood to Sophie’s Maid Marian, and he cannot stop himself from looking down Sophie’s dress and commenting on her breasts, loudly announcing ‘I just looked at Sophie’s cans, sorry!’. Is it possible his mental age is lower than those infamous nephews? Who told you to openly ogle a woman, Sam? It makes Sophie so clearly uncomfortable, pulling a face and saying ‘You’re not meant to tell me’ and ‘Can you please not say that’ (and laughing, because that’s what women have to do diffuse tension) when he makes a second comment. She’s trying so hard to be professional on this shoot while this guy is acting like a lech. It’s a good thing that James is also in their scene, and he’s able to rebuke Sam a little bit while making Sophie laugh. Based on her comments – particularly noting his negative, jealous comments about James – I think Sophie has seen right through Sam, and probably walked out of that shoot to get some very specific feedback from the producers on the particulars of that double delight rose.
Sam, I was rooting for you. I figured at some point during the show, they’d get rid of your ridiculous man bun combover, and you’d be a generally reasonable human being. Who would have known, that the guy who was noted with surprise that there wasn’t ‘at least one douche’ on the first night, actually turned out to be the greatest douche of all? Turns out we were dealing with a ‘he who smelt it, dealt it’ situation.
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Also if you don’t think Apollo whose real name may or may not be Jake is a beautiful perfect angel then I don’t want to talk to you.

As should be clear from this post, no, I am not recapping this season! I just have a lot of feelings and wasn’t able to livetweet this week. Want to catch up on the events of the week? Check out Smart Bachie Person Jodi McAlister’s caps at BookThingo. Or if you’re just in it for the lols, Sinead Stubbins is back in the Power Rankings game over at Junkee, and I cannot freakin’ believe I didn’t know about the hilarious Punkee video recaps before a few weeks ago.

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.
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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:
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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.
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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.
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