Toxic masculinity continues as per usual on Nightmare Man Island.
Once more unto the breach, dear friends. There are so many men who are waking nightmares in Paradise, and only so many words in which I can express my loathing for them.
A brief recap of where we’re at: all the men are garbage. Some are worse than others — eg Bill is a pathological liar, Ivan is scary and violent — but they’re all garbage. Even some of the ones who seemed initially all right, like Jules, have been revealed to be garbage.
One of the strangest features of this season is that Richie Strahan — notably not one of Australia’s more popular Bachies, after his turn in the starring role in 2016 — has Bradburyed himself into likeability (at least if we’re grading on a curve). Like, he’s been quiet and inoffensive, and that’s apparently the most we can expect from a Paradise man.
In case I haven’t said it enough times: #lowbar
So — tonight’s episode. We begin with Alisha beating herself up for crumbling and giving Jules her rose in the rose ceremony, even though he’s proved himself to be garbage (see above). ‘I don’t know if I even like Jules any more,’ she tells her pals. ‘I just want a new guy to come in, honestly.’
So in they send a new guy. Meet:
Daniel (JoJo’s season): OMG YOU GUYS THIS DUDE IS A FLAMING TRASH FIRE. Even when we grade on the trash fire bell curve of Paradise, this guy is a trash fire. He’s Canadian, but he’s from the American franchise, and he was on Australian Paradise last year as well — you can read my summary of his terrible personality here.
One of the women exclaims ‘oh look, guys, it’s the douchebag!’ when Damn Daniel enters. Also, Australian lady Alex calls him a ‘condom stuffed full of peanuts’. Let that tell you everything that you need to know.
Alisha doesn’t care, though. She knows how terrible he is, but she’s like, ‘look, anything with a pulse will do, and he’s hot enough.’ She marches straight up to him and is all, ‘so, are you still intending to make women your puppets this year? BTW, I am willing to serve as a puppet.’
…smh. I get that you’re annoyed at Jules, but this guy seems actively dangerous.
Daniel has a date card, so he goes around and talks to all the women, because, in his own words, he ‘thrives on awkward situations’. When he takes Tenille aside, Ivan’s head spins around 360 degrees like that kid in The Exorcist and then explodes. When he talks to Alisha, Jules looks like he wants to burst into tears of winsome sadness. You know the possessive drill.
Ultimately, Daniel gives the date card to Alisha, who has made it very, very clear that she is on the rebound and is willing to rebound all over him. They build a raft together, and she orders him to take his shirt off and makes some extremely suggestive remarks about bamboo.
Interestingly, Daniel seems to find this all a bit disconcerting, which tells us something about how much he enjoys hitting on women who feel uncomfortable around him.
But that doesn’t stop him snogging Alisha. ‘Wow, there was a lot of tongue,’ Alisha tells the camera afterwards. ‘I don’t know how they do it in America, mate, but in Australia, we work up to the tongue.’
…obviously this is going straight into my ongoing research project about the differences between the national Bachie franchises.
Toxic masculinity continues as per usual back on the beach. Tenille is super concerned about how clingy Ivan is being. ‘I need you to back off a bit,’ she tells him.
He promptly gets super defensive and is like, ‘OH, WHAT, AM I SUPPOSED TO PRETEND YOU’RE DEAD?!’
Don’t think I didn’t notice that, for Ivan, the two options for Tenille are ‘his girlfriend’ or ‘dead’.
Tenille confesses her frustrations over the fact that Ivan is effectively cockblocking her from exploring other options to Nathan (who is one of said other options, after pissily breaking up with Zoe). ‘It’s just not fair,’ she says tearily.
‘Yeah,’ he echoes. ‘Ivan is an amazing dude, though.’
I can’t even, you guys. Sigh.
Also, Jules has decided he wants Alisha back, so he asks advice on how to do this from some of the other bros on Nightmare Man Island: namely, Bill and Nathan.
Jules. My dude. You are teetering on the precipice, but there is still hope for you. However, there’s not going to be any hope if you persist in taking relationship advice from demons from the ninth circle of hell.
When Alisha gets back from her date, she does her best to rub Jules’s nose in the fact that she and Damn Daniel got their mack on. Jules is clearly perturbed by it, but he continues on gamely, and pulls her aside.
In a clear figurative attempt to ‘rekindle their spark’ (don’t think I don’t see the hands of the producers in that one, Bachie), Jules tries to light a fire for he and Alisha to sit by. He fails, and so Alisha sighs and comes over to fix it. ‘You’ve got to get your sticks in order,’ she tells him. ‘You’ve got to sort out your foundation.’
That’s the closest we’ve had to poetry this season. I see what you did there, Alisha.
And they do sort out their foundation, so to speak, because next thing you know, Jules and Alisha are snogging hardcore next to the flaming bonfire while the violins of destiny play over the top. Suffice to say, I think they’re back on.
Daniel, unsurprisingly, doesn’t care. He immediately scores another date card, and decides to start hitting on Florence. At this point, I legitimately started screaming FLORENCE NO at my television, because I love Flo but her taste in men is SO BAD and there’s a big part of me that just wants to protect her both from them and from herself.
However, there are so many monsters in Paradise that Damn Daniel seems like a minor distraction, in the grander scheme of things. While he and Flo are on their date, Tenille takes Ivan aside to properly break up with him, and it’s extremely uncomfortable.
‘It’s all happened so fast, and it’s overwhelmed me, and we need to call this thing off,’ she tells him.
He stares blankly, and basically refuses to say anything.
‘…do you want me to say anything else?’ she says, after what feels like an hour.
‘Nope,’ he says, and stalks off to go and sulk in a hammock and cry about how Tenille has OMG BROKEN HIS HEART.
Reminder: Ivan has known Tenille for all of six days.
The situation is so bad that it’s clear even to Bill — Bill! the human-shaped swarm of poisonous bees! — how much Ivan is scaring Tenille. If that doesn’t say something, I don’t know what does.
Not that Bill is redeemed in any way, shape, or form. ‘Don’t lose hope,’ he tells Ivan. ‘Odds are, Tenille will realise she’s made a mistake and she’ll come back to you. Keep trying.’
NB: in case you didn’t realise, THIS IS THE WORST FUCKING ADVICE IN THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE. NO MEANS NO.
The episode ends with Osher delivering two pieces of news:
- Davey is being sent back to Paradise, presumably to court Flo and possibly stir up some shit with Shannon and Connor.
- With the entries of Damn Daniel and Davey, there are more men than women, so the women will once more have the power at the final rose ceremony before the end.
Dun dun dun, I guess. See you Sunday.
The show airs on Channel 10 on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7.30pm. You can catch up on previous episodes via TenPlay.