We’ve made it! It’s been eight weeks that have felt like eight years and also kind of like eight seconds, but we’ve made it to the finale of the nightmare reign of the Honey Badgelor.
There’s a reason it’s felt like eight years and eight seconds all at once, by the way. It’s felt like eight seconds because we’ve seen precious little emotional development. Cass was gone on Nick straight away, and Nick was gone on Brooke straight away, but not much else has been going on, really — it still feels like we’re near the beginning of the narrative, not the end.
And it feels like eight years because this season has been sooooooooo booooooooooooring.
Seriously. How did they manage to make a series this boring? It beggars belief.
But let’s not drag this out any more than we need to. To the recap!
There are a few steps we have to get through in the finale of any given Bachie season:
- The Bachie’s family meets both final contestants. They’re supposed to tell the Bach which one they like better, but they never, ever do.
- The Bachie takes both contestants on one last date. It’s supposed to help the Bach pick which one they want to spend their life with, but it never, ever does.
- The Bachie has a moment of crisis over who they’re going to pick, usually while staring into the sea.
- The Bachie rejects the loser.
- The Bachie declares their love to the winner.
- They pash a lot.
I made a bold prediction last night that this might not play out quite the way it’s supposed to — that Nick might pull a Brad Womack, repeat step 4 in place of step 5 and skip step 6 altogether. So let’s see if I’m right.
We’re in New Caledonia for the finale this time around (where, tragically, Osher has not written HELP ME on the sand in huge letters like he did in Sophie Monk’s season). Nick does a lot of staring into the sea and wondering about Brooke and who he’s going to pick and Brooke and how hard everything is and Brooke. Then he meets up with his family, and is like, ‘Okay, you’re going to meet Britt and Soph,’ and they’re like ‘UM WHERE’S BROOKE?!’
But most the most notable aspect of this opening sequence comes before they even get to New Caledonia. Nick’s in the airport, walking to the gate for his flight, and he stands on the moving walkway and loudly plays the ukulele.
This is not a metaphor. He literally does this.
I don’t want to speak for everyone in the universe, but I think for speak for most of us when I say that this is the opposite of sexy.
Brittany meets the family
Britt gets on great with Nick’s family — they’re all cracking off-colour jokes in about two seconds.
‘This must have been so tough, this experience!’ one of the Cummins clan says to her.
‘Not really,’ she replies blithely.
This is perhaps a bit too revealing, because she hastily adds, ‘I’ve just got that mindset, you know, that everything happens for a reason,’ but I see you, Britt.
Britt covers for it a bit more later when she sits down with Nick’s sister. ‘I’m falling in love with Nick,’ she tells her. ‘I’m in love with him. I feel like he was made for me.’
There is something so depressing about the fact that someone as charming as Britt thinks (or at least says she thinks) that someone as ridiculous as Nick is made for her. That bums me right out.
But you know who is less articulate about their emotions? Our old mate the Honey Badger. ‘I didn’t think it’d be this difficult at this point,’ he tells his family. ‘I thought I’d know a hundred percent who it was going to be.’
This is pretty standard Bachie fare, but with one important difference: he says it IN FRONT OF BRITT.
‘That stung,’ she says to camera later.
Sophie meets the family
Sophie tells us, as she walks up to meet Nick’s family, that she is feeling ‘a thousand feelings’. I’d just like to point out that nowhere does she state that all or any of those feelings are positive.
Like Britt, she gets on well with the Cummins family, who decide that she has a great ‘passion for life’. So specific.
It’s Nick’s brother that takes her away for some solo interrogation this time. ‘YOU MUST BE FEELING PRETTY VULNERABLE RIGHT NOW,’ he bellows.
If she wasn’t before, she sure is now.
He clumsily tries to pry an emotional declaration from her, but Sophie isn’t as effusive as Britt is about it. ‘Nick just keeps growing on me,’ she tells him.
I wrote last night about how curiously unemotional this season has been. Case in point. The Australian version often isn’t as feels-heavy as the American one, but they’re usually a bit more effusive than ‘IDK, he’s growing on me’ at this point.
Sophie does cry, though, so maybe that counts?
Nick’s brother is satisfied, anyway, and he tells Nick that Sophie is like a ‘jack-in-the-box,’ whatever that means.
Afterwards, Nick asks his family for a post-mortem on both women. ‘I’m not sure either of them is right for him,’ Nick’s sister tells the camera.
Do you think they could be signalling any harder that he really wanted to be with Brooke?
Sophie’s final date
This final date highlights just how little they’ve thought about how to portray Sophie. The most they’ve come up with is ‘likes water’, which is just … not a personality trait.
Anyway, they go on jetskis — which I’m almost positive they’ve done before — then make out a little on a beach while Nick puts on a French accent almost as offensive as his dancing.
The other narrative they’ve tried to construct about Sophie is this idea that she has emotional walls up (which I see no evidence of, but … ugh, whatever), so when they get to their Couch of Wine and Intimate Conversation, they really lean hard on the fact that this is Sophie’s Big Confession.
‘It’s hard to say “I love you” when there’s another girl here,’ she tells Nick.
Nick says nothing.
‘I want to shout it from a mountain, but I can’t,’ she says.
Nick says nothing.
‘It’s hard, because if you say no … it’ll feel like I’m not good enough.’
Nick says nothing.
‘But I have some strong –‘
Nick kisses her, and the orchestral music swells triumphant.
Are you fucking kidding me?!
I’m not sure if they edited out Nick’s side of the conversation or if he literally said nothing, but this is not orchestral music territory. This is COLD. Sure, he’s the Bach and he can’t tell her everything, but he’s such a brick wall! He doesn’t even say something as small and decent as ‘even if this doesn’t work out, it doesn’t mean you’re not good enough’!
Ugh. This fucking guy.
Brittany’s final date
‘Britt and I fit together like bangers and mash,’ Nick tells us. ‘Two things that just go together!’
But I’m not sure they’re quiiiiiiiiiiite bangers and mash on this date, because they are not on the same page. Plate. Whatever. This metaphor fell apart. Blame Nick.
It starts off well enough. Nick picks Britt up in a helicopter (possibly in an effort to fulfil the Bronwyn Bishop Memorial Bachie Mandatory Helicopter Quota), and tells her such hilarious jokes:
‘Do you know what that is?’
‘No, a window.’
They end up at some random treehouse, and Nick looks up Britt’s dress as they climb up the ladder, and then they stand looking out at the view and pash.
But the wheels really fall off when they get to their Couch of Wine and Intimate Conversation. ‘You’re my reason for doing this,’ Britt tells Nick.
‘I’m falling in love with you.’
‘Head over heels.’
…they have to be editing out his side of these conversations, right? There’s no way a human person could participate so little in an intimate emotional conversation.
But unlike with Sophie, Nick actually does gather himself to say something to Britt. ‘You’re the whole package,’ he says. ‘You ooze with a complete energy. But I just don’t know if the timelines match up.’
Britt, understandably, is confused by this. ‘Don’t give up on us,’ she urges him.
‘I need to get out of my own head,’ Nick says.
Britt is so close to just being done with this fuckhead, but she holds it together. ‘I hope you figure it out, and I hope you pick me,’ she says, and stands up and walks away.
It’s a getting-ready montage!
‘I hope he picks me,’ the women say, putting their earrings in, slipping their shoes on.
‘I hope I’m doing the right thing,’ Nick says, putting what looks suspiciously like an engagement ring in his pocket.
One thing you need to know about the way this show works, if you’ve never seen it before, is that the person that gets out of the car first is the person that’s getting rejected.
And this time, the first person out of the car is…
Just like the rest of this season, it’s a curiously unemotional farewell. ‘I like you, Soph, but I can’t say I love you,’ Nick tells her. ‘I can’t commit to you … right now.’
There is no move in the world more reminiscent of the fuckboi than this: tacking ‘right now’ onto the end of a rejection, and holding out the slight possibility of a reconciliation sometime in the future.
Sophie graciously ignores it. ‘Thanks for everything,’ she says. ‘You’ll be happy with Britt.’
But … will he?
Britt thinks he will. ‘This is the closest I’ve ever been to love and real happiness,’ she says as she walks up to Nick.
‘Britt, you’re great,’ Nick tells her. ‘I like you. So much. But I’m looking for a life partner, not a girlfriend, and that’s the next person I’m going to say “I love you” to. And I can’t say it to you yet.’
Britt stands there quietly for a moment. ‘So … that’s it?’ she asks.
‘I’m afraid so,’ Nick says.
‘All right then,’ Britt says, and leaves.
I CALLED IT. HE WOMACKED.
Nick sits down heavily by the pool. ‘I did the right thing,’ he says. ‘I know in my heart I did the right thing.’
But the narrative doesn’t follow him. It follows Britt.
‘He didn’t pick Sophie either?’ she asks a producer. ‘He picked no one?’
The producer confirms that yes, that’s the case.
‘What a giant waste of time that was,’ Britt mutters, vocalising everything the audience is thinking. ‘Come on. I want to see Sophie and make sure she’s all right.’
Sophie is dabbing away tears on the couch when Britt walks in. ‘Oh my god, I’m so glad to see you!’ she exclaims. ‘You look stunning!’
‘So do you!’ Britt responds. ‘Soph, I have to tell you something.’
‘It’s almost laughable, really. He didn’t pick me either.’
Sophie stares. ‘Are you fucking kidding me?’
‘No, I’m not.’
They sit down on the couch together. ‘I feel almost sorry for him,’ Sophie says after a while.
‘You know what?’ Britt says. ‘It’s his loss.’
Damn straight, lady. Damn straight.
I hope both these ladies get excellent runs on Paradise next year. They’ve earned it, after all this nonsense.
Then the season ends with Nick kicking rocks around on a beach. ‘I came here for a chance at love, and it didn’t work out,’ he says morosely. ‘She’s out there, somewhere. I just need to start again.’
Fingers crossed he doesn’t do it on this show. When Brad Womack pulled his stunt on Season 11 of the The Bachelor in the States, they recuperated him into the narrative by making him the Bachie again in Season 15. I do not, under any circumstances, want another season of the Honey Badgelor. And neither, I venture, does anyone else.
Although Brad Womack did have an amusing gimmick where he and his twin brother Chad (yes, really) would occasionally switch places. If Nick occasionally switched places with his identical twin, I’d watch some more of that — especially as, following the Womack rule, his twin’s name would appropriately be … Dick.
But anyway — we have come to the end of this garbage season. We made it!
We have not, however, come to the end of Bachie-with-Jodi for the year! Check back next week as we dive into Season 4 of The Bachelorette Australia. The Bachie is Ali Oetjen, not really renowned for being very interesting, but … it can’t be worse than this, right?
The show airs on Channel 10 on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7.30pm. You can catch up on previous episodes via TenPlay.