All hail at the altar of Queen Georgia! This mother of dragons refuses to let anyone derail her narrative.
It’s that time of every Bachie season where we step outside the harem walls and take our romantic adventures into the wide, wide world. That’s right: it’s hometown time, as our four remaining gentlemen — Lee (Sex King of Glasses), Matty (definitely growing on me), Jake (eh, whatever), and Courtney (GIRL, RUN) — show Georgia Love their roots.
I tried to make that ‘root’ double entendre pun work a bit better. I swear I did. Just know that I tried.
But before we dive in, a word on Cam. As we all know, G Love eliminated everybody’s favourite actual romance novel fireman last night, as the nation screamed NOOOOOOO WHHHYYYYYYY. And let’s be real: we’re all still a little raw.
However! I think I have penetrated Georgia Love’s inscrutable reasoning. (We are, of course, destined to be best friends, so I know how she thinks.)
Cam isn’t a real boy. He’s a fantasy boy. He’s an actual romance novel fireman. That’s not a real thing. For the magic to remain, he has to stay Mr May on the sexy fireman calendar, that beautiful dream. If Georgia Love saw his home town — if she got out of the Bachie bubble with him — then the illusion would begin to shatter. He’d become a real person. And that’s not how she wants to remember him. She wants him to stay just as he is: a beautiful dreamy fireman with sad Bambi eyes, the moonlight in his hair, so she always, always has those perfect, exquisite memories.
That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. This is what I need to believe to get through the day.
Now onwards! Hometowns!
First up is Matty, who is a Sydneysider. Specifically, the show tries to get us to believe he and his family live in Bondi, which HAHAHAHA AS IF ANYONE ACTUALLY LIVES IN BONDI. This is the most epic fantasy this show has ever tried to spin us.
Anyway, the date starts out fairly sweet. Matty was apparently in something called Stallion Club as a child — and you can believe I had some jokes READY TO GO about that one, but there were too many, so invent your own — so he takes Georgia horse riding. ‘Yeah, I got into horse riding because my sister was into it,’ he tells her.
This is the first of many invocations of Matty’s sister, who, if he is to be believed, has ultimate power and control over his life. As a sister of three brothers, I intend to take some tips from Matty’s sister so as to best control what my brothers do with their lives.
So it starts well, but it all starts to get a bit pear-shaped when G Love finally gets to meet Matty’s sister and the rest of his family. The first thing that happens when she walks in the door is that a baby is thrust into her arms. ‘KIDS!’ Matty’s family declares en masse. ‘We love kids! Kids everywhere! Matty should have kids at once! Do you like kids?’
‘Um … kids are great, I guess,’ Georgia Love tells us.
And then she does something that is actually lowkey revolutionary for primetime, mainstream reality television. ‘I don’t think I want children in the next few years,’ she tells the camera.
This seems like such a small thing. And it should be. But from a woman in her late twenties — a woman who, like all of us, has been marinating in the YOU’RE A LADY YOUR BIOLOGICAL CLOCK IS TICKING BETTER HAVE THOSE KIDS RIGHT NOW narratives all her life — to come out and say this is actually pretty remarkable.
Sniff. You really are my fantasy best friend, Georgia Love.
If G Love’s conversation with Matty’s sister is anything to go by, nice as Matty is, these two might not really be a match made in heaven. Georgia wants to stay in Melbourne, Matty’s sister wants him to stay in Sydney. He wants kids at once, she doesn’t. ‘Seems like Matty would have to make all the compromises,’ the sister says.
Well, yeah, but he would be dating Georgia Love. And that should be enough, because she’s amazing.
But Matty, unlike his sister, has stars in his eyes. ‘There are all these reasons you shouldn’t date her,’ his sister tells him.
‘But one reason why I should,’ he replies. ‘I’m in love with her.’
That was ‘awwwww’ in the ‘oh, how nice’ way but also in the ‘ouch’ way, because I just don’t see this turning out well for you, Matty J. You’re a nice boy, but … I’m not sure if you’re my girl G Love’s nice boy.
Although she still pashes him goodnight pretty epically, so eh, what do I know.
Next up is Jake, who is from the Gold Coast. The first stop on his hometown date: his mum’s house! ‘We’re going to make the turkey for tonight’s dinner!’ he says brightly. ‘It’s a closely guarded family secret, so we don’t share it lightly.’
… Of course, he then shares it with the entire nation, so I think the romantic gesture is a bit moot. (Hint: this recipe seems to have a shit-ton of Galliano in it. Why, I cannot fathom.)
Before the actual dinner part of the date, they go and have champagne in the park. ‘Oh, all my relatives are totally hardcore and they’re going to ask you a ton of questions,’ he tells G Love.
‘Uhhhh … okay,’ she replies.
If I ever get to be one of these hardarse Bachie relatives, I’m going to make all the questions in the required interrogation trivia questions. If you’re good enough to be on my trivia team, you’re good enough to date my brother, imho.
(Of course, I am VERY serious and competitive when it comes to trivia, so my brothers might end up single forever.)
When G Love and Jake walk back into his family’s house, his mother promptly bursts into tears and hugs everyone a lot (especially Jake) before shooing everyone out of the kitchen so she can interrogate our mother of dragons. ‘Would you make him move away from me?’ she demands.
‘Well … my mother’s in Melbourne, and she’s not well, so that’s where I’m going to be,’ Georgia Love replies.
‘But I don’t want Jake to move,’ his mother replies.
‘Maybe we’ll do long distance then, but I’m going to be in Melbourne,’ G Love says firmly.
I love this. I LOVE this. No matter whether it’s <strong>The Bachelor</strong> or <strong>The Bachelorette</strong>, it is almost ALWAYS the woman who moves, who bends, who uproots her life to be near the man. The fact Georgia Love is putting down her foot about this? I love it. LOVE. IT.
The rest of the date is pleasant enough, but this Gold Coast vs Melbourne thing looms over the whole thing like a storm cloud. And honestly, it all seems a bit dramatic. Phones exist, right? Email? Skype? Hell, aeroplanes exist! While it wouldn’t be an ideal situation, it’s certainly a surmountable problem.
And then at the end when they kiss good night, Jake does this thing where he lifts her arms up and places them around his neck, and I don’t know, maybe that’s actually super romantic or something, but it just felt awkies to me.
The penultimate hometown date is Lee’s — and it’s in Melbourne! Just like he wasn’t already practically perfect in every way.
At no time does he wear his glasses — possibly the producers figured this would give him an unfair advantage — but he does wear a pretty snuggly looking cardigan, and I am. Into. It.
They start off having espresso martinis in a rooftop bar, because if you’re going to do Melbourne, you might as well go as far Melbourne as you can without actually deconstructing the espresso martinis, right? ‘So, you’ll be meeting my mum and my nanna,’ Lee tells her. ‘She’s 86. And it’s her dying wish that she meet her great-grandchildren.’
You can practically hear the sound of Georgia Love clenching her teeth.
But actually, the whole thing goes pretty well! Lee’s nanna is sassy and hilarious: ‘Lee’s not perfect,’ she tells Georgia Love. ‘But he’s a good boy. You forget all those other boys, all right?’
LISTEN TO NANNA, G LOVE.
Lee’s mum and his nanna rib him about his dorky humour, and he’s like, ‘yeah well, Georgia Love here also has a dorky sense of humour, PLUS she’s better at it than me.’
There is no romantic trope I love more than a man admitting that a woman is better at him at something at which he considers himself adept. Bless your heart, loverboy.
The only spanner in the works comes when Lee’s mother lets it slip that he has historically dated blondes. This seems to trip Georgia Love up a bit — as it would, if you suddenly suspected that the boy you liked might actually be Richie Strahan. But honestly, in the grand scheme of things, ‘has dated some blondes’ doesn’t seem like it’s that big a deal.
Not, at least, compared to this show’s true villain, Courtney the paisley menace.
They start their date out on the beach. ‘I need to talk to him, but because it’s Courtney, we have to play games first,’ Georgia Love tells us long-sufferingly.
GIRL, RUN. RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN. RUN SO FAST TIME GOES BACKWARDS AND YOU CAN GO BACK TO THE LAST ROSE CEREMONY AND PICK CAM INSTEAD.
He makes her play, like, a bunch of nippers games before they can finally sit down and have a conversation. ‘Do you actually like me? Could you see yourself with me?’ she asks him.
‘I dunno, maybe,’ Courtney replies.
G Love obviously finds this very frustrating, but even though she considers dumping him on the beach and storming out of there, she graciously goes to meet his family.
And then this douchebag sits there and is all like, ‘ugh, I’m tired, I don’t want to talk,’ and refuses to say anything at all while his siblings and G Love are trying to have a nice dinner.
Protip: if a dude acts like a spoilt brat in front of other people in order to punish you, don’t walk. Run. You run for the motherfucking hills.
‘So what’s Courtney’s deal?’ Georgia Love asks Courtney’s brother.
‘Um … he’s confused?’ is about the best the brother can offer, because it’s generally not considered fraternal to tell someone that your sibling is the human embodiment of a red flag.
And so we come to something which is decidedly not normal in Bachie: Georgia Love decides not to hold a rose ceremony.
Instead, dressed in the most incredible red gown — a gown that makes her look like she herself is a rose — she takes Courtney aside for a chat. ‘So, real talk: do you think you could fall in love with me?’ she asks him.
‘Maybe afterwards,’ he says. ‘After this process is finished and you pick me. Then I could maybe think about it.’
‘No,’ our wondrous mother of dragons says. ‘That might be your story, but it’s not mine. My story is that I meet someone here and we fall in love and we live happily ever after. And that’s the story I’m sticking to.’
‘I haven’t had enough time with you,’ he says. ‘And, like, maybe I could fall in love with you. Eventually.’
‘I’m not wasting my time on a maybe,’ she tells him. ‘You should go now.’
Seriously. We’re not worthy of you, Georgia Love. Would that all Bachies were as articulate as you.
And hey, I guess the Courtney fiasco provided us with some teachable moments about red flags. So there’s a silver lining.
If only he hadn’t been allowed to think he somehow beat everyone’s fantasy boyfriend, dreamy-eyed Fireman Cam. That just feels unjust.
The show airs on Channel 10 on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7.30pm. You can catch up on previous episodes via TenPlay.