It’s Bachie with Jodi time again! The phrase ‘to put it politely, Osher was shitting bricks a little bit’ was uttered in this one, so even though this season is bad, this episode is not the worst of them.
(It’s not great, though. Get those expectations in check.)
We begin with a group date.
Actually no. Let me back up. We begin with Nick saying ‘the birds are twerking — how’s the serenity?’ which would be the point I definitely tapped out as a viewer if I wasn’t recapping this season.
But after that horrifying little moment, it’s a group date. It’s at a race track, because driving extremely fast is … romantic? There are four ladies on this date — Sophie, Dasha, Brooke, and Brittany — who are currently among our strongest contenders. This is not accidental, which signals to us that this date is a capital-T Test.
Most notable, though, is that the winner of the date gets a box of avocados. That is an actual proper prize worth fighting for in this house full of millennials.
The first part of this challenge (don’t you love it when your dates include challenges?) involves the ladies being blindfolded, guided only by Nick’s voice as they drive through an obstacle course. The logic behind this is relatively simple — do they trust him enough to be guided by his voice alone? — but the execution is not great, because Nick is, shall we say, not one thousand percent good at instructions.
Brooke performs the best in the first portion of the date. She, according to Nick, ‘finished strong, with a bee’s wanger in it’, whatever that means. The wooden spoon goes to Dasha, forced to drive a manual for the first time while wearing a blindfold.
What must it feel like, to be so blatantly set up to fail on Bachie? It must really make the artificial structures of the show clear, even if nothing else does.
The next challenge involves the four ladies reversing as fast as they can and then flicking the wheel around — ie basically doing a doughnut, because we all know that’s romantic af.
This is something which is of massive anxiety to Sophie, who, as she tells us, cannot reverse in a straight line. However, even though the ads made it out like there would be a MASSIVE INCIDENT, complete with car crash sound effects, all that happens is what Nick calls a ‘whoopsidoodle’ where Sophie accidentally knocks over a couple of witches’ hats.
The whoopsidoodle is enough for Nick to pick Sophie as the winner of the group date. They get to sit on an ‘industrial chic’ Couch of Wine and Intimate Conversation where the wine is actually beer. (NOT COOL. If you tried to give me beer when I was promised wine, there would be no intimate conversation, only shouting.) He presents her with the requisite avocados, which get precious little screen time — don’t you know the strength of your millennial audience, Bachie? linger on the avos — before Nick and Sophie delve into the conversation.
It’s so deep that Nick refers to her as ‘the Sophinator’, so I think you can infer from there how it went. ‘You keep sharing your feelings, so you can help me dig a little deeper and share mine,’ Nick enjoins her, which promotes a division of labour I am not into at all.
But then her rose is buried in the avo tray, which is kind of cute, I guess.
Next up: it’s a single date! The recipient is Jamie-Lee, the last remaining intruder. ‘I played rugby in Japan for a little while and immersed myself in the culture, so I thought I’d bring a bit of Japan here to share with you,’ Nick tells her.
This element of Japanese culture that Nick has chosen to share with Jamie-Lee turns out to be sword fighting like a samurai, which I am sure is exactly what Nick did every second whenever he wasn’t playing rugby in Japan. ‘Who wouldn’t want to dress up and wield samurai swords and bounce around the yard like a ninja?’ he enthuses.
Turns out the answer is Jamie-Lee, who is not even a little bit into this, and is only feeling Nick’s white boy Year 8 Japanese like, the tiniest bit. While Nick is all like, ‘I am pumped to get me hands on me weapon and wield it round!’ Jamie-Lee says, ‘While I’m here looking like a bit of a dick, Nick looks great.’
…at least she still thinks he looks great? There’s that, I suppose.
Also don’t think I didn’t see all the phallic implications of this, because I did. There are just too many to adequately detail in the space of this recap.
(You know who’s super not into this? The samurai instructor. As soon as Nick and Jamie-Lee leave, you can tell he basically sprints off to pour one thousand standard drinks down his throat.)
Things don’t go that well when Nick and Jamie-Lee get to the Couch of Wine and Intimate Conversation (wherein wine = sake — was there some kind of wine ban for this episode)? ‘So, um…’ Nick says.
‘Yeah, um…’ Jamie-Lee replies.
Then they stare in different directions for about one hundred and thirty seven hours.
I’ve dragged this season of Bachie a whole bunch, but one thing it does really well is show the awkward date: the dates that aren’t quite actively bad, because they’re fine, and you’re fine, but it just doesn’t WORK. Nick and Jamie-Lee are, like, teeth-gratingly awkward here.
Every person who’s ever been on a single date so far has got a rose, but Jamie-Lee does not. This is a subject of much comment among the other ladies, but now the Mean Girls™ are gone, it’s all refreshingly supportive. Jamie-Lee feels really weird about the whole thing, but they all hug her and assure her that it’s all okay … the whole thing is quite sweet, actually.
What bums me out is Jamie-Lee saying she felt a bunch of pressure to ‘grow a connection’ with Nick. I guess it makes a vague kind of sense in the context of The Bachelor, where you get eliminated if you don’t ‘connect’ immediately, but it just makes me sad about dating culture in general. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. You don’t need to put pressure on yourself to try and make it work, and lambast yourself if you choke.
But she’s not the only lady feeling a bit awks about her relationship with the Badge. At the cocktail party, Tenille is still feeling the ricochet effect from last night’s super romantic interrogation date, which revealed that she’s quite guarded and likes to keep people at arms’ length. ‘I’m scrambling, and I’m trying to work out things in less time than I should be,’ Nick tells her.
‘If you really wanted to be with me … couldn’t you put in a bit more work?’ Tenille asks.
Nick hedges around it, but it’s clear that his answer is … yeah nah.
The conversation leaves Tenille in tears. She holds it together until their little portion of one-on-one time at the cocktail party is over, but then she starts crying. And then Nick sees, and he insists on comforting her — ‘I hate seeing someone cry, and I know I had something to do with it’ — he tells us, but it’s honestly so uncomfortable. Just leave her alone, mate. Sometimes people need to cry in peace.
‘What’s up?’ he asks her.
‘I’m wondering whether I should go right now,’ she says. ‘I’m a bit guarded, you can’t deal with that. You don’t have the time to deal with that. It doesn’t mean either of us are bad people — it just means the circumstances aren’t right.’
Nick, grateful for this out, seizes it, and we say goodbye to Tenille, no rose ceremony required.
This whole incident throws into sharp relief the expectation that the Bachie does not and will not do any emotional labour for the contestants. It’s always there, percolating in the subtext, but it essentially becomes text here. Tenille wants Nick to do some work for her. Nick won’t, or can’t.
And oh god, what an enormous bummer.
The show airs on Channel 10 on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7.30pm. You can catch up on previous episodes via TenPlay.