The Bachelor Australia 2017: Episodes 3 and 4

Life (work) happened Wednesday night, so it’s a twofer recap this week. I’m gonna try and make it as snappy as possible, because when I’m as tired as I am right now, my jokes get even weirder than usual. And when you’ve got pig-catching and cream pies, there’s not a lot of value-add in the jokes.

Episode 3
Laura is first up with the single date. Everyone on Twitter is sure Laura looks like Georgia Love, but is it possible she just has brown hair? I don’t know. I grew up in The Whitest Town On Earth, so I may just be finely tuned to the minor facial differences of white girls. Laura and Matty board a series of increasingly large boats because it’s not a Bachie Date without some transpo porn I guess. Laura chatters away nervously, and I find myself going off Matty even more (after his weird focus on Lisa not being fussy about her hair or makeup) when he tells her ‘You don’t have trouble talking’. In fact if I didn’t have her in the sweeps I may have voted for her to walk out of the entire competition when in response to her question her had to confirm that he does not in fact own any of the boats. They pull up to a waterfront property with easels set up – their very ill-advised will involve drawing each other! It goes a bit like this:
kate

During the course of this, it’s pretty clear that Laura’s a bit uncomfortable with the situation – she responds to Matty’s genuinely attempts to flirt (calling her beautiful) by leaning heavily on the banter and sarcasm. I find this relatable af, but it might show that she will struggle with having a heavily filmed romance down the line. They retire for a cheeky cheese platter and some serious chats, mostly about why he chose her to go out on a date. She finally sneaks a compliment in, telling him that he makes her feel special when he looks at her, but all in all their conversation feels very human and kinda awkward – the giggling and head-shaking to break the tension a realistic prelude to….THE FIRST PASH. They seem to have a thoroughly good time. I’m still grossed out by other people’s tongues. She gets a rose.

Meanwhile back at the mansion, a group date has been announced. Leah hopes it’s competitive, because of course. Jennifer says she would actually fear for her safety being on a competitive group date with Leah, which is a great thing to say about your friend and also means it’s good that she’s not on the list for the date.

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They tenuously link this Henry VIII-themed date, complete with dress-ups, to Matty spending some time in London – although I have to wonder how much of that time was spent touching himself while watching The Tudors to make this link.
(No judgement there, we’ve all had Special Thoughts about Natalie Dormer watching that show).
The most tenuous part of the whole thing is somehow linking It’s A Knockout challenges with the Tudor period. I’m not even going to try and explain that. First, there’ll be moving some piglets in to pens. Cobie, Akoulina, Simone and Leah are the lucky ladies participating in the first challenge. Akoulina tells us ‘If I can handle a piglet, I can handle Matty’ and I’m sure I could dig some sexual innuendo out of that…but she can’t handle a piglet, it turns out. It’s mostly a shit show – except for country girl (there may be an unnecessary ‘o’ there) Leah. Matty tells us ‘I didn’t think it would be something she would be in to…but she is quite the pig-catcher’, and… welcome to Leah’s new Recap Nickname. Cobie also proves herself adept at tackling small animals so she and Pig Catcher are through to the end-of-night banquet.

Lisa, Sharlene, Michelle and Belinda have to do a combo sackrace/quoits game, and the main thing we learned here is that Twitter thinks it’s spelled coits and when Lisa wins she will tell the camera ‘I literally have sweat from my neck, back and crack’ but she won’t mention this to Matty, which seems odd given how keen he is for her to prove that she’s no-fuss. My notes don’t tell me who else got through so just presume it’s Sharlene, Michelle or Belinda and they do very little else this episode.

Now it’s time for Ye Olde Soccer for Alix, Elora, Elise and Stephanie and I can see no problem playing football in a full-length gown against a bunch of incredibly competitive people. Nope. I think Elora actually goes for the shins at some point. Matty: ‘Football is sometimes referred to as ‘the beautiful game’. These girls have given us….something else entirely’. Elise and Alix smash it.

So now we have our six for the ‘banquet’ where it’s apparently appropriate for everyone to sit on the same side of the table. A producer makes Matty ask how things are going in the house, and Pig Catcher jumps in tell him her suffering because she’s ‘protective’ and takes other people’s emotions on. Every other lady in the room has to physically fight to stop their eyes from rolling back in to their heads. Drunk, bored Pig Catcher then interrupts Elise as soon as she gets a solo chat, to further plumb the depths of this sob story (she’s open about how fake it is in interview). She even drags her Mum under the bus by explaining that she thinks she gets her instinct to take on other people’s problems from her mother, who is a nurse. Matty, who is….surely…not that stupid, says he is glad she is ‘here for the right reasons’ which elicits a direct-to-camera reaction from Leah which is strongly reminiscent of another person who’s familiar with pigs:
dwoightto

It’s all for nought however, as Alix (who pulled the classic ‘does my bum look big in this?’ in her bustle gown) receives the rose.
There’s a ‘surprise’ rose ceremony at the end of this date, which means only girls on the group date are up for elimination and we have to put up with Jen for another episode. Osher rubs in how little time you can end up having with Matty, which seems mean for poor old Elise who got to chat to him for approximately 30 seconds.

Akoulina is eliminated and presumably ribbon dances in to the night.

swift fancing

 

Episode 4
Guys did you know that just like the Hems, Matty J was also in Pony Club?
hems

I’d forgotten that it has come up in Georgia’s season, but I’m SO glad the show has given me another reason to have the Saddle Club theme song stuck in my head for the next 40 years. It truly is…fun for everyone.

Matty has decided to take poor unsuspecting Cobie to Sydney Polo Club where she’s greeted by rain and the stallion that Matty rides up on stopping for a deeply intrusive wee, and honestly it’s 100% too much horse wang on my TV for a Thursday night. You’d think it would help break the ice but Cobie also is low-key pissing herself because she hasn’t really been pursuing equine fun since she rode a pony as a kid. Everyone back at the house debates Cobie’s ability to be ‘sexy’, given she has been giving off a very goofy, sweet, vibe so far. Jen is quite confident in her own musk, as per usual ‘I know I give off sex appeal. But for me that’s just quite natural’.
stitches

In other mansion scenes, Tara re-assures the rest of the girls who have not had a one-on-one ‘When I’m eating I save the best for last, I eat my veggies first and save my schnitty. We’re the schnitty’ which is probably going to be my new Tinder bio. Jen refers to herself as the ‘crème la de crème’ which is probably a sign that she needs some Extremely Basic French lessons from Elora.

For some reason after their ride the show cannot pay any sort of stable hand, so Matty and Cobie have to wash the horses themselves. Matty’s a bit of a control freak with the hose, but Cobie (who works in the mines), confidently asserts ‘I wash coal, I’m sure I can wash a horse’. Everyone relaxes once they head inside and devour some lovingly product-placed Johnnie Walker, in fact Cobie is so very relaxed she decides to recite a poem she has written for Matty.
slam
It doesn’t rhyme aggressively so I guess we’ll all live. Matty is flattered by the thought that went in to it and gives her a rose. There’s a bit of awkward to-and-fro-ing when she tells him she wants to kiss him, and they forget to tilt and once again I am  not pleased with seeing non-fictional heterosexuals kiss on-screen. She gets the same vehement ‘endgame’ string  music that Laura got for her pash, which is worth keeping in mind as we consider who’s a contender for the long run.

Quizzing Cobie about her date the next day, the term ‘Our boyfriend’ comes out again which I honestly think was funny about two times. I mean, if you can’t approach a situation where a man is dating over a dozen women at once with their full knowledge and consent with some humour, then you’re screwed, but it just comes off as a bit overplayed. Unsurprisingly this term is used most often by Jen, who has never had a conversation of any significance with Matty.

Everyone is on the ‘surprise’ group date that Matty pops around to invite them to, which is nice because it stops me trying to note down everyone’s names. It’s a giant board game which is a version of the ‘how well do you know me/how compatible are we?’ competition they do around this point every season. Except, there’s not usually cream pies. That’s right, there’s opportunities to smash each other in the face with banana cream pies and if you don’t know what one of those looks like, please use SafeSearch in your Google journey. Surprise surprise at who’s delighted at the idea of some cream pie action – it’s Pig Catcher. She’s lucky not to catch a one in the face when Simone (who she and Jen bullied in episode 2 along with Elora) lands on the lucky square. Simone instead decides to go for Liz, after out the corner of her eye she saw her ‘face who never smiles’. Give her something to smile about, Simone.

Michelle (the cop) doesn’t mind getting sent to ‘jail’ (which is got all intents and purposes a go-go cage) as, in her words ‘I got to drink, I got to observe’. Give her a phone to Tweet from and she is all of us watching Bachie.
Stephanie gets the immense pleasure of delivering a cream pie to Jen’s face, although Jen uses this as an opportunity to draw attention to herself.
surprised

Florence manages to impress at the question rounds, but Michelle wins (there seems to be no prize except hugging Matty). But Flo isn’t done with Matty, and Bachie isn’t done with being sponsored by RedTube for the evening. At the cocktail party, she pulls Matty aside for a little Dutch lesson, complete with sexy school teacher outfit (Alix: ‘It was very sensual’). This includes teaching him to say ‘Will you accept this rose’ in Dutch, which he cutely pulls out during the rose ceremony.

Elsewhere at the cocktail party, Leah stirs up shit by implying to Cobie that the other girls (aka Leah) will be annoyed if she tries to get time with Matty, already being in possession of a rose. This comes up every season and everyone seems to think it breaks some sort of code, despite the fact that their time with the Bachelor is incredibly limited. Cobie feels she needs to clear the air with Matty after passing up the opportunity to kiss him during the game – and given one of the girls in the mansion had earlier mentioned she hadn’t seen Matty in two full weeks, any sensible person could understand her motivation. The execution isn’t ideal – she approaches him when he is talking to Simone, and asks to speak to him when they’re done… but loiters right next to them in a way that doesn’t really allow them to continue their conversation. So Simone understandably is upset when he leaves to talk to Cobie, but given Simone’s long-standing beef with Jen and Leah, you know when those two leap to her defence, it is only to insert themselves in the drama. And do they ever. Leah marches in to the room Cobie is in with Matty, announces she is ‘playing Devil’s Advocate’ and informs Cobie that her actions have upset others. Cobie is beautifully dismissive of Pig Catcher’s attempt to stir up trouble but it is of course horrifically awkward. Leah tells everyone that Cobie told her she ‘doesn’t care’, and Jen, taking her word as gospel, tells Laura that she can’t defend Cobie as she ‘wasn’t there’, ignoring the fact that she also was not there.

As Cobie and Matty re-enter the party, Jen is shouting:
‘She’s in the in the hallway SMILING….Hi Cobes’
himark
It institutes a period of silence so awkward it can only be broken by a rose ceremony.

We farewell another person who has received no screen time since she made Matty stare in to her eyes and touch her boob for a full minute in the premiere. Farewell Belinda, who I was so unfamiliar with I wrote the name ‘Bianca’ in my notes mere seconds after her name was spoken onscreen. I hope you meet a fan of eye contact.

 

 

The Bachelor Australia 2017: Episode 2

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

First up this week, Osher arrives and once again whips out a date card from you-really-don’t-want-to-know-where. The clue? Matty felt a ‘spark’.
Usually the (always dumb) clue cards have something to do with the actual date, but it’s indicating to us it’s Elora because y’know fire.
elora

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

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

It just went for so long.

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

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

illsa

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

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

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

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

coolrider

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

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

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

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

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

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

*we all know how

The Bachelor Australia 2017: Episode 1

I’ve taken over The Bachelor sweeps at my new work so I thought I’d write some commentary to go along with it. The blog will contain longform recaps before I condense it down to something a bit more pithy for my workmates (who will probably just want to know if they’re still in the running or not) on a weekly basis . No promises every episode will get its own recap, I may combine depending how busy I am! If you want my running commentary on the episodes I’ll be livetweeting at vic_values.

Memorable entrances
My general feeling is that anyone who gets shoved in to the montage portion of the evening is probably not a long-running contender. You don’t need to have a gimmick, but if the editors aren’t working to get us invested from the start, then that’s telling us something.

michelle
Michelle is a 31-year year old cop who in a gross misuse of police resources has apparently driven her patrol car to the Bachie mansion from South Australia. Matty, secret kinkmeister that he is, asks Michelle to faux-arrest him. He is…quite in to it.

akoulina
Akoulina is a 29-year-old gymnastics instructor who apparently never got over that thing you did as a kid any time the Olympics was on, where literally any piece of fabric could be your ‘ribbon’ if you twirled it enthusiastically enough. Walking out of the limo with ribbons going full force makes her look like a complete fruitcake, but at least she shows off her career without gross misuse of taxpayer dollars like Michelle did. She also provides entertainment to drunk girls at the cocktail party with her ribbons so all in all A+

tara
As a self-confessed complete and utter bogan, I must say that Tara really did our people proud tonight. She struggled to find the right words upon meeting Matty, and eventually landed on calling him ‘mate’. And really, who amongst us hasn’t accidentally called the object of our of affections ‘mate’ like we are the oldest bloke at a country pub? I must rewatch the episode on Tenplay at some point but I solemnly swear her reaction when Matty called out her name for a rose was to enthuse ‘sick’. And she’s going to pull out ‘devo’ next week according to the preview. All of this may not make her seem like the most charming paramour – and Matty’s a marketing guy, so he’ll probably appreciate a bit of polish – but she seems genuinely charming, PLUS she’s a nanny who finds kids are ‘attracted’ (hmm) to her, which will undoubtedly appeal to our family-orientated bachie.

Elora
An incredibly odd choice from the producers here. Elora was born in Tahiti and is the only non-white woman in the entire cast… because diversity is not apparently something we worry about in the year of our lord 2017. Already marked by her difference, Elora does not arrive in a limo with the rest of the girls but arrives for some reason after the cocktail party has already begun – while fire dancing. It strikes an odd tone as this woman, already marked in her difference, is then treated as an ‘intruder’ by the other contestants. We’ve got at least five more episodes for that, ladies. Matty sweetly devotes some extra time for a chat with Elora due to her not getting a limo entrance like the others.

The beef
The real juice of the first episode generally has little to do with the Bachelor himself. Yeah yeah, maybe he’s meeting the love of his life that night. But more importantly, a bunch of women who are all competing for the same goal are going to meet each other for the first time and be continuously plastered with champagne. It’s a recipe for one thing, and that’s beef. Drama. The good stuff. One could almost say no reality TV show has really kicked off til someone says ‘Game on moll’, and The Bachelor episode one delivered the goods.

So who’s got beef?
Leah + everyone
leah
She’s a classic reality show villain, and even pulls out the ‘I’m not here to make friends’ card in the very first episode. She proudly announces that she’s not wearing any underwear, a comment made redundant by the fact that anyone that looks at her largely-transparent dress can see it quite clearly for themselves. She’s not really an interesting villain, just a drunk, attention-seeking 24-year-old who’ll hang around and screech for half the season at the behest of the producers, until Matty decides they don’t have a ‘connection’.

Jennifer and Elizabeth

 

There always has to be someone who cries on the first night and this time is was old Chest Tatt Jennifer. She’s got a real look of the Real Housewives to her and the attitude to match. This drama starts up when dark horse Elizabeth decides to openly declare Jennifer’s (totally not a wedding dress) dress to be ‘putrid’, and then when immediately called on it declares this to be ‘social commentary’, an excuse I will now also use any time I get busted bitching about someone. It later emerges that Elizabeth was actually doing a bit of the old Caroline Bingley and commenting on the mud on the hem of Jennifer’s dress, but either way this fight and its teary aftermath were juicy enough that some of the girls literally fetched popcorn to go along with all the other salty goodness.

Cue the strings
Matty did seem to have some clear favourites on the night. Michelle (of the cheeky role play) received the first impression rose – not always a great indicator of success in the end, but she sure as hell got his attention.

lisa
He also pulled aside Lisa for a chat to tell her how much she – a model by profession, apparently – doesn’t know she’s beautiful. As much as Matty managed to fall for boundary-setting, emotionally-open Georgia Love, it’s no great surprise that one of the girls that caught his eye on the first night was a quintessential Cool Girl. I’m bouncing around a bit of a post about the Cool Girl, but you’ll be familiar with the idea if you’ve read or seen Gone Girl or are basically aware of the existence of Jennifer Lawrence. The Cool Girl’s two most important qualities? She’s hot, and she’s chill. Lisa had some serious calm confidence in her chats with Matty, and she’s got hotness in spades. I can see her going a long way, but the challenge for her will be opening herself up emotionally. You don’t get the Bachie without being a bit effusive with your feels.

laura
I can definitely see Lisa being in the final two with someone like Laura. At 30 years old (to Lisa’s 24), Laura offers a different kind of confidence and warmth, and Twitter (as well as the rest of the contestants) seem to think she also bears a pretty strong resemblance to a certain Bachelorette who has captured Matty’s heart before. There wasn’t a lot to go on from this episode but there definitely seemed to be some sparks! Or maybe I’m just biased because I got her in the sweep.

If we judge by the order of the roses, then Lisa and Laura are both strong chances, along with Alix, a ‘professional body painter’ who I have dubbed Manic Pixie Cool Girl, and Elora.

And a hearty ‘we barely knew ye’ (because you received no screen time) to our first eliminated contestants, Monica and Stacey.

Next time: actual dates!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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