RECAP: Bachelor in Paradise Australia – S1 E05

RECAP: Bachelor in Paradise Australia – S1 E05
Dr Jodes presents: Bachie in Paradise S1
Background photo via Canva

It’s time for another week of watching (or reading about watching) a bunch of unlucky-in-love attractive people getting drunk on a beach! And this week there are four episodes as opposed to the regular two, so you’re going to be getting a ton of Bachie-with-Jodi content.

…seriously. Four episodes. That’s a solid six hours of television. That is too much Bachie for any one person to handle, and I’m legit very mad at Channel Ten for their programming decisions. Don’t they know that Tuesday night is #PaceysCreek night?

Because of the immense amount of Bachie content this week, let’s not prevaricate and get right into it. Last time, as you may recall (or can revisit, if you read my recap), Jake made a play for the Ultimate Fuckboy crown by ditching Florence, the Dutch queen of one-liners.

But I suspect that he will not hold the crown for long, because this week, some imports from US Bachie are entering Paradise. More on them when they actually appear, but you would have to do something pretty fucking awful to wrench the Ultimate Fuckboy crown out of the hands of Canadian Daniel.

…but then Blake did forget Laurina’s name last week (along with being a violent scumbag), so maybe Canadian Daniel will have some competition after all.

So! We begin this week with another entry in our dramatis personae, and this time, it’s an American. Meet:

Grant (JoJo’s season): Grant is a hot fireman who rose to US Bachie stardom by emphasising that he was a hot fireman wherever possible. However, they had no chemistry with Bachelorette JoJo (presumably because her type was tall, blonde, and entirely Aryan — seriously, check out a picture of her top three sometime, they could literally have been triplets), so he got ditched about halfway through the season. He then made his way to US Bachelor in Paradise, where he fell into a serious relationship almost straight away with Lace (previously given the crazy-girl edit in Ben Higgins’ season). They got matching tattoos at the end of the season (‘Grace’), and got engaged.

…obviously they have broken up since. Grant is not one of US Bachie’s more offensive contestants.

His entry immediately highlights one of the biggest differences between the Australian and US franchises. Straight away, he jumps to engagement as a Paradise endgame, and that is just not how the Australian Bachie franchise works. The one engagement we’ve had — Blake Garvey and Sam Frost — was broken off almost immediately, and engagement has been pathologised in the franchise ever since.

None of the contestants seem to know who Grant is, which I honestly find a) unbelievable, and b) quite frustrating. Like, if you were going on Bachie, surely you’d research the franchise, right? Do your homework, FFS.

Despite the fact that they don’t know who he is, Grant has a palpable effect on all the contestants. OH MY GOD HE IS SO HOT, the female contestants decree. Which is fair enough, because a) dude is a hot fireman, and b) all the men here are terrible, so no wonder they’re all over the new kid,

OH NO AN AMERICAN IS HERE TO STEAL OUR AUSTRALIAN WOMEN, the male contestants decree. WE ARE ALL IN SO MUCH DANGER.

One thing I’m going to be keeping a close eye on as we go on is the way the word ‘mate’ is used. This is the ur-word of Australian masculinity: in his book on the subject, Nick Dyrenfurth argues that the mateship narrative is a rival Genesis story in Australian culture, with the ‘legendary bond’ between Adam and Steve rivalling the romantic bond between Adam and Eve (2015, 1). I would not be surprised if a discourse of mateship emerges real fast that symbolically excludes the American men, especially if they seem threatening to the Australian men.

Alternatively, if the American men are incorporated into mateship, that’ll be interesting as well. If you’re watching along with me, listen closely for this word. I promise that, however it’s used, it’ll be in some way significant.

Grant has come in with a date card. He chats to some of the ladies (including some who are apparently in COMMITTED RELATIONSHIPS that we have NEVER SEEN FORM, cough learn how to tell a goddamn story Channel Ten cough how many times do I have to offer you my services as a consultant before you bow to my expertise and hire me cough), but Leah pulls him aside, and he ends up offering the date to her.

Given the edit, I think we’re supposed to assume that Leah is being inappropriately aggressive, but, like, come on. The lady went on a date with Davey and fell victim to his terrible pashing, and then spent a bunch of time being exhaustingly pursued by Mack. I’d be jumping all over the hot fireman too.

They go snorkelling after suggestively stripping each other’s clothes off (god, Grant really thinks he’s in a different show to the one he’s in, and Leah does absolutely nothing to disabuse him of the notion), and then we get the first sign that Channel Ten has shelled out the big bucks for their imports, because — GASP — they get a Couch of Wine and Intimate Conversation for their date. Not just a picnic blanket and the odd cushion. A whole couch.

They make the most of it by getting their pash on immediately. ‘The moment has to be right for kissing to happen,’ Grant says, and then in the next breath, ‘I wanted to kiss Leah, so I did.’

There’s a linguistic phenomenon where words lose meaning called ‘semantic satiation’. It’s what happens to clichés — like, we’ve all heard the phrase ‘big as a house’ so much that we don’t actually stop to think how big a house is and how large something must be to be that big. Grant is so thoroughly indoctrinated in Bachie lingo that a solid 80% of the words out of his mouth (the romance-related ones, anyway) are functionally meaningless.

Back at the beach, someone is entering the fray whose words are sadly all too meaningful, because every single fucking thing he says reveals what a terrible person he is. Added to the dramatis personae we have:

Daniel (JoJo’s season): Despite being on US Bachie, he is Canadian. On his season of The Bachelorette, he got drunk on the first night and jumped in the pool. This was probably the high point of his likability. On that season, he became BFFs with Chad Johnson, ie. the franchise’s most notable emblem of toxic masculinity. Daniel then went on to do two seasons of Bachelor in Paradise, where he was most notable for describing female contestants as ‘washed-up street dogs’ and lying to one contestant about being in love with her so she’d sleep with him in the fantasy suite.

…oh, and that was after he’d referred to her as ‘leftover scraps’ TO HER GODDAMN FACE.

This guy. This fucking guy. I hate him so much, you guys.

True to form, he is the Absolute Worst upon entrance.’Oh, this is yours?’ he says to Luke about Lisa, literally referring to her as an object. ‘I’M HERE TO TAKE ALL YOUR WOMEN!’ he proclaims loudly to the men. Then he refers to himself as a wolf, because referring to yourself as a predatory animal in a romantic context is SO hot and definitely not a red flag at all, especially when you’ve done it multiple times before (on US Bachie, it was alternatively a wolf and an eagle).

Daniel has a date card, and he chooses to give it to Nina. We’ve been told all this time that Nina is in a relationship with Eden, but we haven’t been able to invest in it, because this show can’t do a romance plot to save its life, I swear.

They go walking through the rainforest, and this fucking fuckhead — this guy, I swear — asks Nina if she’s ever seen rain before.

That was not a typo.

HE ASKS HER IF SHE’S EVER SEEN RAIN BEFORE.

‘…I have,’ Nina replies.

They’re supposed to be on the way to some hot springs, but in their way is a flooded, swollen, treacherous river, dark with mud. It’s a perfect example of pathetic fallacy, where the external environment reveals the internal truth: it might as well be a spot on the map marked HERE BE MONSTERS.

Daniel tries to carry Nina across the river, but a conveniently planned local pops out of the bushes and is like, What are you doing, you ridiculous people? if you cross that river, you’ll die!

Yep. Pathetic fallacy. HERE BE MONSTERS, NINA. RUN AWAY.

…seriously, though, is there some subtext here? Did the producers just realise which awful predatory contestant they’d imported and try to abort the date?

Nina and Daniel end up in a hot tub at some resort somewhere, where he tries to bully her into looking at his abs while he stares at her boobs. She is clearly not impressed, and is like, ‘um, yeah, I’m not kissing anyone until I know they’re the one I’ll be leaving Paradise with’.

Then it’s Daniel’s turn to be unimpressed. ‘I like to move from zero to one hundred real fast,’” he tells the camera. ‘Real fast.’

…they definitely didn’t clue him in on how utterly sexless Australian Bachie is when they flew him in. If he’s still around when it gets to the point where they’d do fantasy suites in the US version, he’s going to hit the roof.

Nina isn’t the only woman to use this no-kissing-till-it’s-love rule. Back at the beach, Ali uses it with both Mack and Michael, as she ditches them both un-snogged. ‘I feel … sparkles, but not a spark,’ she tells Mack when he asks her why.

It sounds ridiculous, but having to make up some bullshit excuse for a guy that just doesn’t understand WHY you’re not attracted to him, just give me a REASON, god… that is way too real.

Along with Ali + Mack and Ali + Michael, we get another breakup, one that we all saw coming: Blake + Laurina. Laurina is much more gracious than I would be breaking up with someone who forgot my name, but this is why she is queen and I am but a lowly recapper.

Blake has the audacity to be surprised by this breakup.

Surprised.

That a woman whose name he openly forgot is breaking up with him.

Jake is no longer wearing the crown of the show’s Ultimate Fuckboy. At this point, I’m not even sure he’s on the podium.

A lot of truly horrifying things have happened in this episode, but the horrors are not over yet. Uncle Sam gets a date card, and he takes Tara.

They go what looks like a whole three metres from the rest of the camp, where a pop-up bar has been set up. They make each other cocktails, which Sam screws up terribly (‘It tastes like petrol!’ Tara tells us).

And then…

No, I can’t say it. Don’t make me.

Fine.

Then they kiss.

If you heard the word NOOOOOOOOOOOO being howled loudly at about 9pm Sunday, I assume you live somewhere near me. Or anyone who watches this show. Because NO TARA WHAT ARE YOU DOING.

The only good thing that happens on this date is that Tara tells Sam his hair looks nice — about which she is entirely correct, as he is wearing a hat.

Oh, and then Jarrod and Mack have a dick-waving contest over something Manly™, but I literally didn’t understand what they were talking about. They used the word ‘dogging’ a lot, so I assume it was to do with how women are objects that men can lay claim to and offending the feelings of other men is more important than romantic attraction. Just basic man stuff.

Tomorrow: Daniel continues to exist, so expect the phrase OMG THIS FUCKING GUY to be about 87% of my recap.

The show airs on Channel 10 on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7.30pm. You can catch up on previous episodes via TenPlay.

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Jodi is a literary historian currently working as a lecturer at the University of Tasmania. Her research focuses on the history of love, sex, women, and popular culture, so reading romance novels is technically work for her. Shed a tear for Jodi. Jodi is also an author, and her debut YA paranormal novel Valentine is due out in February 2017. One time, she was invited on a special private tour of the set of The Bold and the Beautiful, and it was the single best hour of her life.

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