Why are so many of the men on this show such absolute, unmitigated garbage?
It looks like we’re going to be saturated with Bachie content, because Paradise is back again tonight! The Bachelor franchise is enormously popular in Australia, but if a way can be found to burn the viewership out on it, Channel Ten is going to try.
A brief refresher on what happened last night (although you could just go and read my recap):
- Richie’s ex, Australian Lady Alex, entered Paradise, and she and Richie had it out in a much-teased conversation which was ultimately full of sound and fury but signified nothing.
- Brooke has been spending a lot of time with American Man Alex, but she and Australian Lady Alex have caught each other’s eyes.
- People keep snogging waking nightmare boy Paddy for some reason? This time it was Alisha.
- Queen Vanessa Sunshine entered and immediately started throwing shade at all the garbage men, and I love her more than life itself.
- The men in Paradise are so terrible that multiple women are competing for Richie, widely recognised as one of the nation’s trashier Bachelors.
- Richie ultimately gave his rose to Cass, which made one of his other suitresses, Cat from Bali, storm off in a snit.
This last thing was supposed to be a cliffhanger, so this is where we’re picking up tonight. It was also supposed to be very dramatic, but it is not.
What happens is this: Cat from Bali realises she’s going to get eliminated, and storms out of Paradise instead. The end.
Of much more consequence — and something that was not teased in the ads at all, probably because it is a tragedy of the highest proportions and we’re not supposed to be this heartbroken this early on — is the fact that the other lady who is eliminated from Paradise, after human swarm of bees Bill hands out the last rose to Rachael, is Vanessa Sunshine.
‘I have no interest in wasting my time here,’ she says. ‘I literally don’t give a shit that I’m leaving.’
A queen to the end. I bow before you, Vanessa Sunshine.
What ensues next is some Year Nine-style drama that I basically needed a diagram to keep track of. In lieu of a diagram, allow me to try and explain in list form:
- Alisha and Paddy are a thing
- Paddy is best friends with Nathan
- Alisha is best friends with Cat from Bali
- Nathan gave his rose to conga line Brittney, not Cat from Bali
- Even though Cat from Bali was expecting a rose from Richie and I feel like she barely even knew Nathan?
- Now Alisha is mad at Paddy because Nathan got her best friend eliminated?
- Or something, I got lost.
The long and short of it is that Paddy and Alisha — hitherto the strongest couple in Paradise — are now officially on the rocks. ‘Yep, I’m off her,’ Paddy declares. ‘Time to pull away in a respectful manner.’
Turns out what he thinks is a ‘respectful manner’ is talking over her literally every time she opens her mouth. ‘I can’t ignore these red flags any longer,’ Alisha tells us. ‘Paddy’s turned into a bit of a psycho.’
And, like, accurate, and I’m really glad you ditched him, but … what do you mean, ‘turned into’? Like, it was pretty obvious from the get-go?
Elsewhere, something of a love … shape is forming. I’m not yet prepared to commit to how many sides it has.
What happens is this: Osher enters and announces that the woman most people in Paradise said they wanted to meet was Brooke (solid call), and the man most people said they wanted to meet was Bill (which is obviously a lie, because INSTEAD OF INTRODUCING THE BACHELORETTE TO HIS FAMILY HE INTRODUCED HER TO HIS TINDER HOOKUP FROM THE DOG PARK). Because of this, Bill and Brooke are going on a double date, and each has to pick someone to come with them.
The only way I can really explain this love shape is through another list:
- Bill picks Australian Lady Alex to go on this date
- Brooke was going to pick Australian Lady Alex, but because Bill got in first, she picks Nathan instead
- For … reasons?
- Now Rachael is sad, because she thought she had an in with Bill after he gave her his rose.
- Paddy is sad too, because apparently he also loves Brooke?
- I have to assume American Man Alex is sad, because he and Brooke have a thing.
- James is sad, because he thought he and Australian Lady Alex had a thing.
- Australian Lady Alex and Brooke are giving each other the kind of look that suggests the men are going to be extreeeeeeeemely peripheral to this date…
Anyway, Bill, Brooke, Nathan, and Australian Lady Alex go on this date. It looks extremely un-fun — they are jumping off a high thing onto, like, a giant cushion? and launching each other into the water? which looks and sounds incredibly painful? and I don’t know how anyone ever thought it could be romantic in any way? It takes a whole lot of screentime, but all you need to know is this: while both Alex and Brooke are like ‘yeah, these dudes are fine, and oooh, I might like them’, they really only have eyes for each other. ‘I get nervous around her,’ Alex confesses. ‘I think that means feels.’
I’m not the only fan of Alex and Brooke. ‘I like that Alex likes Brooke,’ James says, back on the beach. ‘I like Brooke too, and if they like each other, maybe we can all … like each other together.’
I am sorry to announce that the last man on this beach I held out hope for has now been cancelled. Bisexual ladies do not exist just so you can fulfil your threesome fantasies. Sort your shit out, James.
Next! We have a new entry into Paradise! Meet:
Davey (Sam Frost’s season): was trash on Sam’s season, was not much better on last year’s Paradise. Is described as a ‘party boy’, which is Bachie code for ‘fuckboy’, so … yeah, basically every dude in Paradise is still cancelled.
Someone who’s immediately keen, though, is Alisha. While Paddy is going around telling everyone about how she’s craaaaaaaaazy and he haaaaaaaad to break up with her, Alisha is hustling, and honestly: respect. ‘Look, you’re gorgeous,’ she tells Davey forthrightly, ‘but after Paddy, I’d hook up with anyone. I’d hook up with that tree.’
Alisha has other options beyond Davey and the tree, though, because enter:
Jules (Ali’s season): he got cut pretty early on, but from what I remember … Jules might NOT be trash? Like, he’s a little weird, but considering basically every other man here makes me do my best imitation of Edvard Munch’s The Scream,he’s actually a breath of fresh air?
An uncancelled man in Paradise. Whoever could have dreamed such a thing?
Jules and Alisha click right away, and honestly, I’m into it. They have what seems like pretty natural chemistry, in that they have an actual conversation and don’t just talk at each other about how they’re feeling OMG such a connection. It’s incredibly early days, but … might we see some actual romance in Paradise?
…not if the producers have anything to say about it. Davey and Alisha promptly get sent on a date. But the most romantic thing that happens on this date is a loving, lingering shot of a cheeseboard, so maybe there’s hope for a proper romance between Jules and Alisha yet.
I don’t know if we can call it proper romance, but someone is getting some elsewhere. That person is Shannon, who has what seems like a pretty good snog with American Connor — better, certainly, than the one she had with Paddy, which she reviewed as ‘it’s nice to, um, interact.’ This means she has now pulled into joint first with Paddy on the Paradise Snog Leaderboard, and that is something I can only applaud.
After what seems like a hundred years, Brooke, Australian Lady Alex, Nathan, and Bill return from their date. Bill and Alex agree that they’re pretty into each other, and Alex is like, ‘I keep looking at his eyes, then his lips, then his eyes again… I think I want to kiss him.’
Personally, I think she might just be looking at his eyes and his lips and his eyes again because she’s worried that bees might come pouring from them at any second, but she kisses him instead. I hope she’s not allergic to beestings.
So: Bill and Alex — an established couple? Alex seems to think so, but not Bill. Rachael immediately pulls him aside and is like, ‘so, are you ditching me for Alex?’
‘No, no, no,’ Bill hastily reassures her. ‘I have equal feelings for you and her!’
‘Did you kiss her?’
‘Of course not!’
It is safe to say that I don’t have the power to set people on fire with my mind, because Bill did not spontaneously combust.
Brooke, meanwhile, is embroiled in her own drama. She had a good time with Nathan, and is vibing with him a little bit … but she’s also got American Man Alex on the hook. ‘I’m really confused,’ she admits to him.
‘I’m only here for you,’ American Man Alex tells her. ‘If you don’t want me, I’ll leave.’
Brooke is clearly not enjoying the pressure. ‘I’m cold,’ she says.
‘Here, take my shirt!’ American Man Alex says.
And then, in the greatest moment of the series to date, he fucking peels his shirt straight over his head, revealing a set of abs so pronounced they look like a six-pack of supermarket bread rolls, and gives it to Brooke.
Talk about not throwing away your shot.
(Sidebar: American Man Alex is a) super handsome, and b) doesn’t seem to be overtly problematic, which means he should be in demand — but somehow, as soon as he’s not on screen, I forget that he exists. It’s a curious kind of anti-charisma that I’m not sure I’ve ever seen before, at least not in someone so physically spectacular.)
Brooke’s night is not done. Someone else wants to shoot their shot, and that someone is Paddy. ‘I’ve liked you since Day One!’ he insists to her. ‘We have chemistry!’
‘Paddy, it’s dark, and it’s cold, and I’m tired, and I’m literally wearing another man’s shirt,’ Brooke tells him. ‘We’re not having this discussion now.’
She has to tell him this like fifty times before he finally gets that no, she doesn’t want to talk to him.
So what does he do? Tries again the next day! ‘I feel like you’re interested in me,’ he says.
‘I’m not,’ Brooke says. ‘Really.’
‘But you’re giving me all these mixed signals!’
‘Paddy, I’m not interested in you!’
And then he talks at her and talks at her and berates her until she actually gets up and walks away and still he follows her, and gaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh why are so many of the men on this show such absolute, unmitigated garbage?!?!
That’s all until next week, Bachie pals. Warning: I’m travelling next week (I’ll be in the US), so my recaps might be a little late and off-kilter, but even if they are, fear not: I am dedicated to this nonsense, and the recaps, like winter, are coming.
The show airs on Channel 10 on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7.30pm. You can catch up on previous episodes via TenPlay.