We’re back on the beach and back on the bullshit for another round of Bachie-with-Jodi. Apparently tonight there’s going to be some kind of SHOCKING MOMENT that makes BACHELOR HISTORY, but considering that the drama has not exactly been thattttttttt dramatic so far, I’m reserving judgment.
If you want to know what went down last night: read my recap. Or, if you’d prefer a shorter precis:
- Keira took Michael on a date, and Tara and Sam pretended not to be pissed about it, but they totally were, and now people think they’re a thing (HARD PASS).
- Jarrod entered, and immediately decided he was in a love triangle because he was attracted to two different women.
- One of these women was Ali, who entered and reminded us:
- that the first season of Australian Bachie existed, and
- that you can be pathologised for looking for love even on a show about looking for love.
- The third new person to enter was Megan, the show’s first ever openly queer contestant (here’s a lovely piece about it, if you want to read more detail). She got to pick a blind date off a menu, and despite having literally every person in Paradise to choose from — INCLUDING TARA — she somehow ended up on a date with Jake, who is fast emerging as the Actual Worst on this season.
I feel like I don’t even need to recap this episode, you know. The men have the roses, which means that Jake the Fuckboy will be doling one out. He is one thousand percent going to ditch Florence and give his rose to Megan, and Florence’s wrath will be mighty, and then we’re going to have to wait a WHOLE WEEK for his comeuppance (because there is basically no chance Megan will put up with his nonsense when she realises just how nonsensical it is).
However, recap I must, so away we go.
There are two love triangles we have to deal with, the first of which is Jake/Florence/Megan, which I really, truly, vehemently hope ends with Florence and Megan ending up together and ditching Jake. Florence is markedly unimpressed when Jake and Megan enter Paradise hand in hand, and pulls Jake aside for a chat.
‘What’s that?’ she asks, pointing to a very obvious makeup stain on his shirt.
‘It was just a hug, babe,’ he tells her. ‘Why haven’t you talked to me all day?’
‘Um, you haven’t talked to me all day!’
‘I just don’t know what more I can do, Florence.’
I’m officially adding the reversal manoeuvre (ie asking someone why they haven’t done something which was at least partially your responsibility) and the brushoff upon being asked a very simple question to the official Fuckboy Playbook.
And you know what else is a fuckboy manoeuvre? Jake assuring Florence that he did not kiss Megan (which results in Florence deciding to trust him, which … OH HONEY NO), when he did.
Predictably, Florence finds out about Pashgate almost immediately, because Nina tells her. At the other end of the beach, Eden is gently trying to hint to Jake that he’s being a pretty enormous dickhead. Given that Nina and Eden are one of the established Paradise couples, it is bumming me out that we’re getting exactly no time spent on their romance, and allllllllllll this time spent on how Jake is a human dumpster fire.
On one level, it’s not surprising. We’re not getting much of the other established couple — Luke and Lisa — either. This is largely because the producers are trying to construct a story, and the romance narrative is one characterised by conflict: as the famous love theorist Denis de Rougemont remarks in Love in the Western World, ‘happy love has no history’. It’s hard to make a narrative out of ‘these two attractive people met, decided they liked each other, and now they’re an item’ without some element of conflict thrown in.
But still. You can’t expect your audience to invest in a romance if you don’t show it.
Back to the Jake/Florence/Megan drama: it gets even more ridiculous when Jake deputises Sam to come over to Florence and tell her that ‘Jake is happy to continue having really good chats with you … he just doesn’t want any arguing ever’, which is simultaneously pure distilled fuckery and pure distilled Year Five.
Understandably, Florence is not exactly pleased by this, deeming Jake a sociopath. Her displeasure is only heightened when she finds out from Megan that Jake told her that he and Florence went on a ‘friendship date’. This leads to her following Jake into one of the little bungalows dotted around the place. There are no cameras inside, but they have a heated argument, over which Channel Ten superimpose footage of a storm rolling in (a perfect example of a literary technique called pathetic fallacy, which anyone who ever had to analyse King Lear’s madness on the heath in high school will never, ever be able to forget).
During this argument, Florence throws champagne in Jake’s face, which is a total soap opera move … and one which Jake, according to Lisa, ‘loves’.
All this despite his allergy to ‘drama’. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm to the hmmmmmmmmmmth power.
And it doesn’t seem like Lisa is making this up either: at the cocktail party, Jake waxes lyrical about how hot Florence is and pulls her aside for a chat, where they have this gift of an exchange:
HIM: I don’t want to have a heated conversation.
HER: Well, I don’t want to waste champagne.
Florence has some of the best one-liners in this whole franchise, I’m telling you.
Despite her excellent bon mots, Florence has terrible taste in men, because she looks cosy enough with Jake that Megan decides she needs to look elsewhere for a rose.
Let’s put a pin in this for a moment, and have a quick look at love triangle #2: Jarrod/Ali/Keira.
Calling this a love triangle is a bit of a stretch, because “oh no, Jarrod likes two women” does not a love triangle make. In fact, the dynamics of this are a little more complex:
- Keira likes Jarrod.
- Jarrod likes Keira, but he reeeeeeeeeeeally likes Ali.
- Ali is mostly ambivalent, and unable to come up with a polite way to extricate herself from the situation.
So of course, it’s Ali that Jarrod asks on his date, where they go and sit on a bench and then get pulled into a traditional local dance. When they get to their mandatory picnic (Bachie in Paradise spent all their money on the resort, and thus has no budget for the Couch of Wine and Intimate Conversation — here, you get a picnic blanket, a few cushions, and a bottle of Spumante), their conversation is … oh dear.
Here’s a paraphrase:
JARROD: When you entered Paradise last night, it was like you were… there.
ALI: Oh. Um.
JARROD: Like, you didn’t make an entrance, you were the entrance.
ALI: Thanks? I think?
JARROD: Have you ever considered kissing on a date?
ALI: Oh! I — um — I don’t want to be kissing multiple people, and — um — it’s early, and —
JARROD: Oh of course of course of course of course of course of course of course I feel exactly the same way of course of course of course.
JARROD: of course of course of course.
JARROD: This is such a nice moment.
JARROD: Such a nice moment.
JARROD: I can’t imagine a nicer moment.
And then they awkwardly stare at the ground.
Suffice to say, Ali is not exactly feeling it with Jarrod, but Jarrod … well, Jarrod is as Jarrod does, and he’s basically ready to start picking out engagement rings.
It must be so exhausting to be on the other end of Jarrod’s adoration. Like, I cannot even begin to fathom how entirely and utterly exhausting it must be.
And that is not the only exhausting adoration Ali has to deal with. Mack — hitherto committed to Leah, but finding himself ‘confused’ by her quite clear signals that she’s just not that into him — has flung himself headlong into the fray. ‘Um, yeah, I guess I could, um, get to know you,’ Ali says, trying not to visibly back away from him.
Ali’s actual interest seems to lie with Michael, who reciprocates it. And what does it say about the quality of the men on this show that Michael the fake Socceroo — who understands as little about geometry as he does about shirts, judging by the fact he claims he, Ali, Mack, and Jarrod are in a ‘love triangle’ — seems like one of the more sensible options?
And so we come to the rose ceremony.
The predictable pairs proceed predictably: Nina and Eden, Lisa and Luke, Tara and Sam (ewwww no what is this WHERE IS APOLLO). Then there’s Blake and Laurina. Laurina accepts Blake’s rose, but as he, in fact, offers it to ‘Lenora’, I would not be looking for this relationship to be extremely long-term.
This was the SHOCKING MOMENT that made BACHELOR HISTORY, in case you were wondering. And it might be the first time the ads have understated the issue, because really, if you forget the name of Queen Laurina ‘Dirty Street Pie’ Fleure, you should be instantly eliminated. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. Go right to gaol (which Blake should do anyway, given the assault and the revenge porn and whatnot).
Then we have the Ali love polygon.
This one was always going to be determined by who got to hand out their rose first, and the producers, in their wisdom, have given that honour to the unlikeliest contender for Ali’s hand: Mack. ‘Oh! Um, yes,’ Ali says, when Mack offers her his rose, making apologetic eyes at Leah.
Jarrod is seething, but gamely offers his rose to Keira anyway. Keira knows it’s a second choice rose, because Jarrod sat her down earlier and gave her a long lecture about what a good connection they have but how he’s picking Ali anyway, which I suspect he intended to be kind but came across as utterly torturous. ‘Just happy to be the leftovers!’ Keira proclaims, clearly not happy in any way, shape or form.
That leaves Michael. ‘Pick Flo,’ Jake whispers at him through his teeth. ‘I can’t do it.’
Michael looks at Jake. He looks at Florence and Megan, and back at Jake. You can actually see the wheels in his head turning.
After Sam Frost’s season of The Bachelorette, I never once suspected that I would be interested in the inner life of her fake Socceroo runner-up, so if it has done nothing else, Paradise has genuinely surprised me.
‘Jake wants both girls for himself!’ Michael tells the camera, after a frighteningly long time.
So Michael does the only thing he can do: he picks the only remaining non-affiliated lady, which is Leah.
This means that Jake has the final rose, and two ladies to choose from: Florence and Megan.
…and we all knew what was going to happen, right?
At least the ‘please take your time and say your goodbyes’ Osher delivers to Florence is especially hushed and respectful tonight. He knows that no one deserves the fuckery of Jake — and that Florence’s acerbic wittiness was wasted on him anyway.
That’s it for this week! Next week, it looks like they try and get the audience invested in Tara and Sam as a romantical-type couple (OH GOD PLEASE NO WHERE IS APOLLO), and the dudes from US Bachie turn up. Grant is fairly inoffensive, but flagging this one now: if you think Jake is a fuckboy, just wait until you meet Canadian Daniel.
The show airs on Channel 10 on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7.30pm. You can catch up on previous episodes via TenPlay.