Ali’s got so many varieties of shithead in her harem.
It’s that time again! And if you thought the men were shitheads last night … wait till you see tonight’s level of shitheadery.
But before we get to the shitheadery, we need to get through the trappings of romance, so let’s get straight into it.
Tonight’s single date goes to Taite, but — surprise! — there’s a twist. Bill finally decides to use his wild rose and steal the date away from him, despite the fact Taite begs and pleads for him not to.
Then Bill adds insult to injury by wearing double denim on said date. Why not just slap Taite in the face with your gauntlet?
Ali is clearly disappointed that she’s got Bill, not Taite — to say nothing of the double denim — but she rises gamely to the challenge. Said challenge is ‘wake-skating’. This is some kind of water sport which I know nothing about but which I can say with one hundred percent certainty that I would hate.
As always, this is not especially good television (unless all you want to watch is Sydney Harbour scenery porn, in which case … it’s fine). They wake-skate-board-whatever, they shout WOOOO a lot, Bill makes some vaguely sleazy comments about how good Ali looks in her swimmers, the end.
…well, no, actually. Ali wake-skate-board-whatevers, but Bill dramatically fails.
Ah, schadenfreude. How I love you.
And then Bill makes it worse by saying he’s going to look like a real fool because he can’t ‘get up’ and then repeats that phrase about nine thousand times, in case we didn’t get the unfortunate parallel the first time.
But he does ‘get up’, and so they’re all laughs when they get to their Couch of Wine and Intimate Conversation. ‘I’m all in with you,’ Bill tells her.
‘Would you move to Adelaide for me?’ Ali asks.
‘Yes,’ Bill replies eagerly. ‘Also I’ve been saving all through my twenties so I can have kids in my thirties.’
I don’t love the vibes he’s giving off — there’s, like, a soupçon of serial killer in there? — but Ali does. ‘You’re everything I’m looking for,’ she says enthusiastically, then gives him a rose before snogging his face off with more tongue than the Australian franchise has ever seen before.
…remember back in Paradise when Ali only wanted to pash one dude the whole time she was there? Clearly she’s taking a different approach here.
(And good on her, honestly. Get it, girl.)
Next up, it’s group date time! And this one is … interesting.
So: the premise. It’s based on the game Guess Who?. But instead of everyone picking a card and spending a lot of time asking ‘does your person have red hair?’, ‘does your person have blue eyes?’, ‘why is every single person in this game white?’ etc, the bros ARE the game board. Osher asks a series of questions, which both Ali and the bros have to answer. The bro whose answer is furthest away from Ali’s gets knocked over like on a Guess Who? board.
Now, I have a few thoughts about this:
- The academic thought. This is clearly based on a model of romance where like-attracts-like, rather than opposites attracting, which is an interesting base assumption. (Not wrong by any means, but I’m always interested by where on the spectrum texts come down on this.)
- The methodological thought. How on earth do you measure ‘most different’? I need to see a much more rigorous methods section on this, Osher. Many different readings of these answers could be sustained! What’s your theoretical lens?
- The joyful thought. Awwwwww yissssssss this date (‘date’) revolves around pushing men over. This is the closest we’ve come to my dream of a reboot of Man O Man.
The winner of this section of the date (‘date’) is Nathan, which proves, I think, that they needed to revise and resubmit their date methodology. (I am available for peer review, Bachie. It’s literally part of my job. Call me.)
The next section is also methodologically questionable. It’s an auction. I thought at first that they were going to literally auction off time with Ali — which wowwwwwwwwwwwwww problematic — but they’ve got something more complicated in mind. Each bro gets allocated a certain amount of money (Nathan gets more, for winning the first part), and then they have to bid on certain relationship attributes, eg kindness, loyalty, sense of humour. The bro who successfully guesses and purchases the attribute that Ali values most highly wins some extra time with her.
Once again, this relies — in theory — on a like-attracts-like notion of romance, and — in practice — on being able to predict Ali. If we take the vaguely creepy auction element out of it, that’s not bad. The team that dreams up the Bachelorette dates is way better than the one who does the Bachelor dates.
The winner of this is Danny, who is definitely a person who has been on this show all the time, for successfully purchasing the quality ‘respect’. So far, so good. But when he and Ali get to their Couch of Wine and Intimate Conversation, it begins to feel like a blessing that we’ve seen precious little of him up to this point.
‘I don’t say much,’ he declares to Ali. ‘The beauty of music is the silence between the notes.’
Ali manages to blow past this and turn the conversation in another direction, when, out of nowhere, he just grabs her head and kisses her.
‘Ummm…’ she says.
‘Sorry,’ he says. ‘I don’t want to move too fast.’
And then they sit in awkward silence.
If you had Danny in your office sweep, I’m sorry. I’d also suggest, if you got a paper sweep slip, that you burn it. No one wants that kind of energy hanging around them.
Next: it’s the cocktail party, where the much advertised OMG DRAMA goes down.
So, the drama is this. Nathan has apparently been talking shit about Ali to the other bros, by sharing details from some of the gross rumours about Ali and Grant that went around post the Bachelor in Paradise finale. (If you’re not familiar, she went to LA to be with him, and a lot of the rumours about why they broke up were not exactly savoury.) Not only has Nathan been sharing these, he’s been trying to convince the other bros that they’re true.
This fact is shared with Ali by Charlie (who remains a huuuuuuuge Jarrod). Ali, upon hearing this, immediately flies into action.
‘So I hear you’ve been saying horrible things about me,’ she says bluntly to Nathan.
‘I — uh — well, that is –‘ he stammers.
‘What have you been saying?’
‘I said — and I didn’t say that I believed any of it! — some things that I had heard. That’s it!’
All the other bros do the equivalent of coughing and saying ‘bullshit!’ at the same time.
‘And it wasn’t even me that started it!’ Nathan protests. ‘The conversation was brought up, and…’
Word to the wise from someone who spends most of their life analysing language: never trust a bro who regularly uses passive voice to distance themselves from their shitty action.
Ali is clearly not having any of it, so Nathan demands to speak to his accuser. ‘You’re a lowlife weasel piece of shit!’ he tells Charlie.
‘Ali’s been treated terribly by men in the past, and you’re going to perpetuate that?’ Charlie replies.
‘You’re a spiteful shithead, and I’ll take that to my grave,’ Nathan spits at him.
But all the other bros agree that it is Nathan who is the spiteful shithead. While Nathan and Charlie are arguing, Ali consults with some of them. No one has a good word to say about Nathan, and so she determines that he has to go.
She pulls Nathan aside. ‘Look, this obviously isn’t going to work,’ she tells him. ‘You need to leave.’
‘But –’ he protests.
Word to the wise from someone who reads a lot of Captain Awkward: never trust someone who tries to argue their way out of a break up. You don’t need to logically need to justify why you’re breaking up with someone: ‘I want to break up’ is enough.
But if you did need some kind of official reason to break up with someone, Nathan soon provides one. ‘I honestly believe that I am one of the best people who go around,’ he says to Ali.
That’s verbatim, by the way. I paraphrase a lot when I write these recaps, but that one is straight from the horse’s arse.
(So was ‘The beauty of music is the silence between the notes’, incidentally. Ali’s got so many varieties of shithead in her harem.)
‘Yeah, I don’t care,’ Ali says. ‘Goodbye.’
And so Nathan departs ignominiously, no rose ceremony required, to the chagrin of no one, even some of the other terrible bros in the house.
One interesting thing that does arise in his final conversation with Ali is that when Ali tells him that no one has his back, he asks whether she talked to Bill, and Ali says no, because she’s also questioning his motives. That is very much not what came across on their single date when they had their tongues down each other’s throats, which suggests that that shift came, for her, afterwards.
…if it also came as a consequence of her conversation with Charlie (which is the only thing I can really think of, as Bill was relatively inoffensive on the group date), then I really was dead on in my prediction in the first week. Despite his Jarrod-ness, if Ali trusts Charlie that much this early, I’d be very surprised if he doesn’t win.
The show airs on Channel 10 on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7.30pm. You can catch up on previous episodes via TenPlay.