RECAP: The Bachelor Australia – S4 E11

RECAP: The Bachelor Australia – S4 E11
The Bachelor Australia Season 4
Background photo: Robert Sheie (Flickr)

It’s that time of the week again! Jump on board the Bachie-with-Jodi train. We’re on the home stretch now.

(Pretty sure that’s a mixed metaphor. And that I should use more epic Bachie transpo references. The Bachie-with-Jodi superyacht is now taking passengers, as we sail along to our seaplane, which will take us to the end. Unless you are brunette, in which case WALK THE PLANK NOW.)

Quelle surprise, our episode tonight starts with a date card, pulled from a mysterious pocket in Osher’s pants. This week’s recipient: Nikki.

Let’s talk about Nikki. Nikki is almost certainly going to win this whole shebang. Nikki is blonde. Nikki is from Western Australia. Nikki once made out with Richie at a cocktail party and it made other ladies, such as Alex, sad.

Here ends the complete list of things I know about Nikki. This is obviously a huge problem, if the show wants me to buy into her as a romantic heroine. I know I’ve said this like a thousand times, but BACHIE COME ON IF YOU WANT TO CONSTRUCT A STORY YOU HAVE TO ESTABLISH YOUR CHARACTERS. There is too much reality in this television right now.

Once again, we have a classic example of half-arsed date construction in Nikki and Richie’s single date. Honestly, it reads like a Bachie mad-lib. The base is this:

Richie picks ______ up in a _______ with ________ while wearing a ________.

You could fill that with anything. ‘Richie picks Alex up in a seaplane with puppies while wearing a cowboy hat.’ ‘Richie picks Olena up in a clown car with Carrie Bickmore while wearing a tuxedo.’ ‘Richie picks Faith up in a motorboat with flowers while wearing a loincloth.’

Maybe dates are constructed via mad-lib this season. That would make the most sense, honestly.

The mad-lib for this date is ‘Richie picks Nikki up in an old-timey antique car with hay bales while wearing a baseball cap.’ Like the mad-libs above, NONE OF THESE THINGS GO TOGETHER. You want an old-timey car date? Fine! Put them in period costume and send them dancing.

Source: jenniferlawrencehelps, Tumblr

You want hay bales and country stuff? Fine! Tons of RuRo* directions you can go. You want a baseball cap? Not fine! They are terrible! But this is just my opinion and I’m sure you could find some way of teaming with that theme!

* Rural romance

Together, however, these things are a mishmash that means nothing. If Bachie wants us to believe the fiction that Richie plans these dates just for the ladies, what it’s communicating is that Richie is not real good at planning dates.

Anyway, they drive in the old-timey car to an old-timey pub, which has been country’d up with some hay bales and flannelette. They have a beer at the bar and talk about their feelings. They move outside for the date’s second stage: More of the Same, but with some chickens wandering around. A knock-off Mumford and Sons turns up, they have a two-person hoedown, and then a conversation where they talk about how they’re rlly rlly into each other.

There’s lots of lovely stuff in this conversation, and had this romance been constructed more strongly earlier, I would probably be feeling it really hard. As it is … eh. Whatever, Trevor. This odd transpo date has nothing on the one from last year where Bachie Sam picked up Heather in an ice cream truck.

Then it’s time for the group date. It’s gross and competitive and muddy — and, word to the wise, if someone ever tries to take me on a date with mud there will be WORDS HAD — but it’s actually not too badly thought out! Good on you for using your brains, Bachie!

It’s a Tough Mudder obstacle course. Denis de Rougemont [ BT | Amz ], one of the first major historians on love, famously said that ‘happy love has no history’, and argued that love stories almost pathologically seek out obstacles to the relationship so that the narrative can continue. Obstacles, in this sense, are crucial to romance — so of course an obstacle course makes sense.

… However, as Richie and the seven ladies have to do the relationship as a team, and Osher is all like, ‘It’s like a real relationship! Working together to overcome obstacles!’ this is suggesting that the love story in question is not entirely monogamous. Which I’m fine with, but might not be quite the message the show is going for. But you tried, Bachie, you tried.

So Richie and the ladies help each other over things and under things and around things, etc etc etc. At one point, Olena challenges Richie to a race across the mud under barbed wire and beats him. She then pours a bottle of water over herself and Richie’s jaw about hits the ground with how stunningly beautiful she is. It’s a total teen romcom moment, and I loved it. (Though I might have loved it more if the show hadn’t hyped up this whole OLENA DOES SOMETHING THAT CHANGES EVERYTHING moment so hard.)

The last obstacle is called ‘the pyramid scheme’ — you can insert your own joke about how love on Bachie is a pyramid scheme here — and involves the ladies hauling the dead weight of Richie up a steep slope. If that particular Sisyphean image isn’t a perfect metaphor for how most seasons of this show work, I don’t know what is.

Part of Richie’s Official Bachie Duties is to pick an MVP, and he picks Olena, primarily because of the aforementioned teen romcom moment. They go off to a set that is STUNNING (although I’m not sure what it is) and have a chat. ‘I’m not good at feelings,’ Olena says. ‘But I think I am feeling some feelings. At you.’

‘I am also feeling feelings! And feelings take time!’ Richie says brightly. Then he gives her a rose, and they pash.

I feel like my summaries of these conversations are getting shorter, but honestly, they all blur into one. Richie doesn’t vary his material with the ladies very much. His game is not exactly, shall we say, nuanced.

Then there’s a cocktail party, and without Keira around to rile everyone up, there is really not a lot of drama. The ladies who have had two single dates are feeling pretty good! The ladies who have only had one single date are feeling unsure! Richie wears a daring midnight blue velvet blazer! End scene.

We hardly ever see the conversations Richie has with the ladies at the cocktail party, and sadly, I think I know why. Despite the fact that he is still a sexy dork, Richie is just not a very interesting conversationalist. Sigh. What a goddamn waste.

Source: Tumblr
Source: Tumblr

And finally, a rose ceremony. This night’s casualty is Kiki. She seems more cut up about the fact that she got eliminated before intruder Steph than about the fact she got eliminated, so I suspect she’ll come out of this saga just fine.

Tomorrow: another parenting date. You can’t make these more palatable by adding celebrities, Bachie. Please learn from your mistakes.

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 Lecturer in Writing and Literature at Deakin University. 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 series about smart girls and murder fairies is published by Penguin Teen Australia. One time, the first book, Valentine, was featured on Neighbours, and she nearly fainted with joy.

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