It’s Bachie time again! Last week, we saw the Mean Girls™ get eliminated, which is the signal that we have moved into Bachie Stage 2: shit gets real.
The shit gets real stage is exactly what it sounds like. It’s not just a fun stunt any more. Real feelings are starting to get involved. Just like one would expect, when your titular Bach is down to only ten girlfriends.
This is generally the part of the season where they start focusing on the love stories, but this season has not exactly given me great faith in the abilities of the editors and producers to do this (even though you could clearly craft such a compelling one with Brooke, CLEARLY).
Tonight we open with a single date, but it is a controversial one. The recipient is Brittany (ie my pick to make it to the single date with Brooke, so never let it be said that the Honey Badger does not like what he likes), which means this is her second date. But — GASP! — there are four of the ten ladies remaining who have not yet been on a single date! What a slight!
This sounds like exaggeration, but it’s not. If people are lapping you on single dates and you haven’t even had your first, you are not long for the mansion.
Nick tells us that the second date is an opportunity to ‘separate these connections: work out which ones are just a flash in the pan and which can keep launching forward’. I’m not sure how one actually ‘launches’ a connection, but … Badgelor’s gonna Badge.
This is a classic Bachie boat date. These have been pretty light on this season — largely displaced by ball sports dates, because did you know Nick does sports? –` but I’d look for these to be on the rise now we’ve reached the shit gets real stage. ‘This is Australia,’ Nick enthuses, as their boat launches away from the shore. ‘I’ll have a prosecco any-secco now, thank you.’
Love the sentiment, hate the delivery. I don’t know how Brittany hasn’t bodily flung herself into the ocean.
They sail around the harbour and end up at the aquarium, where Nick introduces Brittany to a koala named Wayno (#straya) and then forces her into holding a giant python (not like that, get your minds out of the gutter) even though she cleeeeearly doesn’t want to. Nick cannot cope with the fact that her snake is bigger than his, so he goes and finds the most enormous python he can, and even this normally prudish show cannot resist about eight thousand coded dick jokes.
Then he makes her feed a crocodile, which NO, BRITTANY, RUN AWAY, IT IS A PREHISTORIC MONSTER AND IT IS TERRIFYINGLY SMART, THE HONEY BADGER IS NOT EVEN CLOSE TO WORTH IT.
And Brittany lowkey knows it: ‘is he going to speak to me today or is he going to keep throwing me in with wild animals?’ she muses to camera.
They do get some time to chat on their Couch of Wine and Intimate Conversation. ‘I want marriage and kids, but not yet,’ Brittany tells him. ‘I want to travel first. With someone. And then move to … Byron.’
Nick’s eyes light up, and hoooooo boy, I feel like this lady is playing this smart, where ‘smart’ is a signifier for ‘wants to win The Bachelor’. I wonder how many interviews he’s done where he’s like OMG YOU GUYS THE FUTURE OF THE BADGE IS BYRON?! He says that he’s ‘growing in the right direction’, which I think he miiiiiiight have meant innocuously, but did not come across that way.
Then she starts telling him something deep and he shuts her up by kissing her. Insert unimpressed eyeroll here.
Also, apropos of nothing, he has popped like, one thousand buttons. He has unbuttoned every button he has, as well as several I’m not convinced he does.
Oh, and she gets a rose, obviously, scored to an orchestra of heavenly strings, as Nick calls her a ‘good egg’. #romance
Next, it’s a group date. The word ‘date’ is obviously a floating signifier in all these circumstances, but this time I have a particularly quibble, because can you really call it a date if it is not about you and your prospective partner socialising in some capacity (even if five of his other girlfriends are also there), but instead about you being interrogated by a terrifying man with FBI training who’s there to determine if you’re telling lies?
I might pick the crocodile date over this one, and that’s saying something, because I really fucking hate crocodiles.
There is some vague romantic basis in it — there are tons of notions of romance that rely on the lovers unburdening every aspect of their souls to each other — but this is missing an important ingredient, which is trust. The lovers unburden their souls to EACH OTHER, for one, not some random FBI man; and they don’t go testing the veracity of each other’s claims, because they trust each other.
So yeah, interrogations = not romantic, even if Nick assures us it’s about compatibility, not who’s lying. The interrogator even says that communication is the basis of a good relationship, so, like, why would you not communicate with the Bachie? Why add this terrifying third wheel?
Nick tells us he’s doing this (ie ‘called in old mate Steve’, aka ‘the man who can suss out who’s giving you the raw prawn’) because ‘women are strange and complex creatures’ who are too hard to figure out for ‘the average rooster’. I’m sure you can imagine what my face looked like when he said that.
…I hate this so much, you guys.
But let’s go with it. Notable findings are:
- Brooke gets uncomfortable talking about her past relationships and tears up.
- Jamie-Lee and Nick barely know each other, but are kind of comfortable with each other.
- Deanna is not that emotionally involved (quelle surprise, she’s been there two minutes) and her biggest flaw is that she’s ‘competitive in yoga’.
- Sophie can’t decide whether work or love is more important (which Nick, to his credit, is kind of into? well done, Badge).
- Tenille isn’t confident she could fall in love on The Bachelor, and has ‘walls’.
- Cass is ‘absolutely infatuated with Nick’, according to the FBI guy. Also ‘absolutely besotted’, and has ‘very strong feelings. Verrrrrrrrrry strong feelings.’
…I wish they’d been kinder to Cass in the editing of this show. I really do.
But the narrative is directed towards Brooke (who the FBI guy tells Nick has ‘perfectly honourable’ intentions, which is definitely a thing that people still say). This whole process has made Brooke decide that there’s something from her past that she really wants Nick to know, and that it’s time to tell him.
She gets her opportunity at the cocktail party. ‘I’ve had four relationships,’ she tells him. ‘I was with a guy for three years. But … I’ve also had two relationships with women.’
Nick’s eyes widen.
‘I’m not bisexual or a lesbian, I’m just a big lover of people,’ Brooke says. ‘I feel more sexually attracted to men, and I want to be with one, and I want to have children.’
‘We are just souls inhabiting a body, working out which direction we want to take,’ Nick replies, which is apparently his way of saying he’s wholeheartedly supportive and this doesn’t affect his view of her in the slightest.
Obviously Brooke gets the first rose at the rose ceremony. After Osher congratulates Brittany for being the first lady to go on a second date (which is confusing? hasn’t Brooke been on, like, twelve?) and the other roses have been handed out, tonight’s casualty is Deanna. I guess being ‘competitive at yoga’ does not make you compatible with the Badge.
The show airs on Channel 10 on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7.30pm. You can catch up on previous episodes via TenPlay.