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:
stitches
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.
tumblr_n1grrcqjgs1s2ypwgo1_500

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.