RECAP: The Bachelor Australia – S6 E03

RECAP: The Bachelor Australia – S6 E03
Dr Jodes presents: The Bachelor Australia Season 6
Background photo via Canva

Episode 3 can make or break the Bachie’s HEA, and Dr Jodes explains why.

Welcome back to another week of Bachie-with-Jodi! We’ve met your primary cast of characters, gone on our first dates, and we’re now at the time of the season where we really settle down into the swing of things and the frontrunners emerge.

The frontrunners are easy to identify because they’re the ones that get to go on single dates. By virtue of being invited on the first single date last week, Shannon is clearly a contender. Romy … well, she might have been a contender, but then she tried to eat Nick’s whole ear clean off his head and clearly made him very uncomfortable. Tonight, we have two more contenders: Brittany and Brooke.

Now, we already knew Brooke was a contender, because Nick gave her the first impression rose and the key to the Bach Pad in the very first episode, and they made a big deal over the fact that Brittany was, like Nick, from Port Macquarie (because being born in the same city is … romantic, I guess). But there is another reason why Brooke and Brittany are very clearly enormous contenders, and that is the fact it is episode three.

Let me take you back in time to 2017, to Matty J’s season. The episode? 3. The lady on the single date? Laura. The eventual winner of the show? Laura. Also: they are still together now.

Now let’s time-travel back to 2015, to Sam Wood’s season. The episode? 3. The lady on the single date? Snezana. The eventual winner of the show? Snezana. Also: they have a baby now.

Let us go back yet further to 2013, to Tim Robards’ season. The episode? 3. The lady on the single date? Anna. The eventual winner of the show? Anna. Also: they are married now.

Is this a pattern, or is this A MOTHERF***ING PATTERN?!

I mean, I don’t want to say that Nick will never ever find love if he doesn’t choose Brooke or Brittany at the end of this, but the numbers don’t lie: if you don’t pick the lady you took on a date in Episode 3 at the end, then your relationship is doomed. Note the absence of Blake and Richie on this board. They didn’t pick the lady from episode 3, and lo and behold, their relationships fell apart.

We can all learn a lesson from this. Figure out where the episode breaks are in your life, and pick whoever you’re dating in episode 3 to be with forevermore. You’ll be past the first flush of that first date — you’ll have got all that impulsiveness and carried-away-edness out of your system. The person you’re dating in episode 3 is one you picked with your heart and your head in perfect harmony. Maybe you’ll date other people later, but if you go with the person you dated in episode 3: you can’t go wrong.

…these are the things I do with my PhD in romance, guys. I’m so useful.

Anyway! To the recap!

The first single date goes to Brittany. The date card is addressed to someone who has previously crossed paths with Nick, so you can BET Cass is on the edge of her seat — and is utterly crushed when it turns out that she didn’t get the date. Being born in the same town trumps sneaky gym hook-ups, I guess.

Nick picks Brittany up on a boat, and I am outraged — outraged! — that we’re already in episode 3 and this is the first boat we’ve ever seen. Standards are slipping, Bachie.

However, I’m assuming someone in the Bachie office has been reading all my recaps, in which I regularly write OMG YOU GUYS EPIC TRANSPORTATION IS NOT A DATE, TRANSPO IS HOW YOU GET TO THE DATE, NOT THE DATE ITSELF, because Nick very clearly tells Brittany that this is just the transportation, grand as the boat might be.

No, the real date is a sport called ‘foot golf’. Basically, you get a soccer ball and you kick it into a hole. It does not look like a terribly compelling sport, but a) Nick is a professional sportser, and b) anything with balls and holes will lead him into making a series of semi-accidental sex jokes, so you can understand the appeal for the producers.

There are some things I liked about this date and things I didn’t like. For example, even though I’m not exactly Team Honey Badger, he said that Brittany looked like ‘Wonder Woman without the shield’, which I thought was a hell of a compliment. But then Brittany said that she played dumb so Nick could teach her about foot golf, and NO NO NO STOP PANDERING TO MEN’S EGOS NO.

After the foot golf, they retire to a Couch of Wine and Intimate Conversation, where Brittany asks Nick a question that I thought was quite interesting, because I’m a big nerd and I really care about how people imagine love. She asked him what the three most important aspects of a romantic relationship were for him, noting that hers were ‘humour, love, and respect’.

He replied with ‘honesty, purpose, and passion’.

A few things to note here.

  • It’s not at all surprising that ‘respect’ would appear on a woman’s list. Not. At. All. And I am suuuuuuper here for the romanticisation of respect.
  • It’s also not at all surprising that ‘honesty’ would appear on a man’s list, considering like a solid 75% of the patriarchy is just men being scared that women will cheat on them and they won’t know (cf virginity culture, most marriage law pre-a few decades ago, anything where a woman is positioned as a man’s possession).
  • The inclusion of ‘passion’ on Nick’s list is interesting, because this isn’t something that Australian Bachie tends to privilege (it goes for intimacy and emotional closeness, mostly, moreso than an our-eyes-met-across-a-crowded-room-and-now-I-must-have-you kind of thing).
  • However, I think he might have meant it in a different way: ie that he wants his partner to be passionate about something. This teams with his inclusion of ‘purpose’, which I really like. Never let it be said I failed to pay a compliment where one is due: I don’t mind your romantic schema at all, HB.
The Love Experiment by Ainslie Paton
Booktopia | Amazon | iBooks

Also something else to note, re the way that Australian Bachie tends to privilege intimacy: this conversation is itself an example of it. It reminded me a little bit of the 36 questions phenomenon (where you can reportedly fall in love with someone by asking each other these 36 questions– Ainslie Paton wrote a whole romance novel about it, if you want to see how it works on the page). Unlike the American franchise, where this would be pash central, they’re highlighting conversation here.

Not to say that Nick and Brittany do not stop off at pash central, because once they’re done chatting, they go swimming in the pool, and he gives her a rose and the pashing is ON. Given the fact that they wheel out the whole damn heavenly choir to score it, I’d say Brittany is going to be here for a while.

Episode 3, man. What did I tell you?

Oh, and very important reportage: there was a cheese platter! and even though Nick didn’t know much about wine (important to me, a wine snob), I did appreciate his pour size.

Next up, it’s the group date, and … look.

Look.

Bachie.

I’m here. I’m available. If you want an Actual PhD in Romance to consult on your show and help you put together some televisually appealing compatibility tests, I can help you with that.

You need me, Bachie. Because this is a MESS.

It’s a three-round elimination date, with the winner to get solo time with Nick. And it makes NO SENSE.

Stage One: the ladies have to pair up, shake hands with each other, and balance a ball on top of a straw held between their closed fists. The three pairs that make it the longest make it to the next round. This proves that they are compatible with Nick because … shut up, that’s why.

Stage Two: the remaining ladies have to waltz with Nick across a balance beam, in what is possibly the most intense visual mixed metaphor of all time. The four ladies with the fastest time make it to the next round.

Stage Three: the remaining four ladies have a bunch of ceramic hearts in front of them. Osher reads multiple choice questions about Nick. If a lady gets a question right, she gets to smash one of another lady’s hearts. The lady with the most remaining hearts wins.

This is the most ridiculous convoluted and lowkey nonsensical thing I have ever seen. I mean, maybe it’s meant to mimic the fact that love is complicated and takes work and a lot of time to figure out? But … come on, Bachie. Call me. I can fix this.

Because it is the worst compatibility test of all time, Vanessa Sunshine — who has openly expressed her disdain for Nick — wins.

And … guys. It’s so awkward. They sit together on a Couch of Wine and Intimate Conversation, but there’s nowhere near enough wine to compensate for the lack of intimate conversation. It goes something like this:

VANESSA SUNSHINE: …

HONEY BADGER: …

VANESSA SUNSHINE: …

HONEY BADGER: …do you like dad jokes?

VANESSA SUNSHINE: They suck.

HONEY BADGER: …

VANESSA SUNSHINE: …

HONEY BADGER: …do you like weekends?

VANESSA SUNSHINE: I like brunch.

VANESSA SUNSHINE: You wouldn’t know about brunch.

VANESSA SUNSHINE: It’s a Melbourne thing.

HONEY BADGER: Do you do linner in Melbourne?

VANESSA SUNSHINE: …

HONEY BADGER: …like, lunch and dinner?

VANESSA SUNSHINE: …

VANESSA SUNSHINE: That’s not a thing.

It’s just excruciatingly awkward. Like, so bad. I think they’re trying to give Vanessa Sunshine the Laurina edit, but it is just … not going so well.

But let’s turn to a relationship which is going well, which is Nick and Brooke’s. Brooke, as we remember, received the Bach Pad key in the first episode, and she’s decided to use it by bringing him breakfast in bed.

I am fascinated by the implications of this. The Bach Pad key seems like such an explicitly sexual invitation, so by having Brooke go at breakfast time, are they undercutting this? But then it’s breakfast in bed, so are they encouraging it? What are the implications here?

…these are the things I think about.

Brooke and Nick have quite a sweet chat, and then Brooke invites him outside to play footy. (That’s four dates involving balls in two episodes, in case you’re counting. DO YOU THINK NICK PLAYS FOOTY YOU GUYS I CAN’T TELL.)

They throw the ball around, but they’re more interested in tackling each other, and when Brooke takes Nick down to the ground (like, it’s a proper tackle, and I genuinely do not think he was expecting her to be able to knock him down like that), the pashing is as on as a Liberal Party leadership spill.

It’s also the most awkward angle at which a kiss has ever been filmed. So much arse. So. Much. Arse.

Obviously Brooke gets a rose, and I start to wonder what happens if the final two women are BOTH from this episode. What happens if we end up with Brooke and Brittany at the end? Nick won’t even have the trusty barometer of episode 3 to guide him.

There’s some minor drama at the cocktail party, wherein Kat, Alisha, and Romy try to needle Vanessa Sunshine. She just rolls her eyes and walks away, but some of the other women — notably, Shannon (recipient of the first single date) and Blair (apparently a person who has been on this show the whole time) — are suuuuuuuuuuper not keen on the trio and their antics, and it ends up in some classic mean girl bullshit, where Shannon and Blair try and say ‘um, could you maybe not be so mean all the time’ and the three mean girls are like ‘UM I HAVE NEVER BEEN MEAN IN MY WHOLE LIFE! I’M JUST HONEST AND TRUE TO MYSELF! SO ACTUALLY HOW DARE YOU?!’

Elsewhere… wince.

So Cass knows Nick from before the show, when they had some kind of vague romance/hookup situation going on. And … oh god, the awkwardness of this scene. I hope whichever producer bullied her into doing this feels bad about it, because it is so, so, SO uncomfortable to watch.

Like, it includes phrases such as ‘we know each other on a deeper level … he plays ukulele, I play guitar’. It’s that uncomfortable.

Because she gets flustered, Cass has brought along her diary to read some excerpts to Nick and — no. Nope. I can’t. I can’t remember the last time I felt secondhand embarrassment so intense. It’s actually making my skin crawl.

Never read someone anything from your diary, is what I’m saying. Especially not on television. You poor thing, Cass.

(This is not to say that Nick was not nice to her — he was actually really lovely — but you can just feel the stalker edit crashing in upon this poor woman, and the producers egging her on and on and on, and I can feel that embarrassment all the way down to my bones.)

Cass gets a rose at the rose ceremony, though, so at least she’s saved that humiliation. Three women leave — the two Cayla/Kaylas and someone called Christina. Cayla (the energy healer) tries to steal the spotlight by pulling Nick aside post-elimination and telling him about all the mean girls who are ‘blindsiding’ him, but all focus is pulled by Christina. She’s done nothing of note in this whole show, but she’s wearing this amazing black velvet cape dress and she swoops out of there like she’s goddamn Dracula.

Brief postscript re the word ‘blindsiding’: I’m almost positive this word comes from footy, and I’m even more positive that Cayla is using it wrong. I wonder if that’s why Nick vaguely pained while listening to her, or whether he was just worried she was about to give him another 2kg rock.

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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