Red flags abound in this episode, and we finally say goodbye to … who was that guy again?
We’re in the penultimate week of an extremely long Bachie season (thank god)! Ali, the thirstiest Bach, has whittled down her harem of boyfriends to five: Charlie, the second coming of Jarrod; Bill, a swarm of bees in human form; Taite, an anthropomorphised set of abs; Todd, the most exquisite angel ever chiselled directly from marble, and…
Protip: if we get to the penultimate week, and you’re still provoking ‘um, literally who is that?’ reactions in the audience, things aren’t good.
Also, if your hometown week is marketed as the OMG WTF week, then things probably aren’t good, so Ali, girl, be careful.
We open with the final group date of 2018 (FINALLY), in which Team Bachie has decided to go for full humiliation and make all the bros dress in lederhosen. They all look ridiculous, except for Todd, who, of course, looks seraphically perfect.
It’s an Oktoberfest challenge, because Ali has German heritage. By Bachie standards, that’s as good a reason as any to throw pretzels at a chocolate wheel.
I have no idea how this game works — like, it is not well explained — but it means that when Charlie gets annoyed because Bill clinks his beer stein too loudly against Ali’s, it is legal for him to pour sauerkraut all over his head. Then somehow when Todd fails at throwing pretzels at the chocolate wheel, Bill is allowed to pour sauerkraut on Charlie’s head, and these two things are connected, somehow?
…masculinity is weird, you guys.
The next challenge — which takes place after no one has in any way won the previous challenge, so I don’t know what its purpose was, apart from letting Charlie and Bill express their frustrations via sauerkraut — involves the bros carrying steins of beer through an obstacle course while blindfolded. We all know this is the skill heterosexual women require most in their romantic partner, so this makes all the sense in the world.
No one has ever taken anything as seriously as Charlie has taken carrying these beer steins — despite the fact that Ali gives him extremely shitty instructions, presumably to troll him. Therefore, he is fucking LIVID that Bill defeats him and gets the special bonus Couch of Wine and Intimate Conversation time with Ali. I am genuinely very surprised that his head did not pop like a balloon.
Despite the fact that they’ve been chugging beer all day, Bill and Ali drink martinis on their little date, which I feel like is a recipe for an enormous hangover. ‘I’m all in,’ Bill tells Ali. ‘I can see a future with you.’
‘But how would that work, practically?’ Ali asks. ‘Don’t you have a business?’
‘I could move it to Adelaide,’ Bill says.
Ali is thrilled to hear this — ‘no one’s ever sacrificed so much for me before!’ quoth she — and so politely ignores the bees that are clearly about to pour out of Bill’s mouth.
Next up: a single date! The recipient is Taite, which is not surprising when you consider how much he and Ali snuggled during the sleepover date last week, but … Ali. Lady. You’ve got Todd and his abs and his perfect face and his gentle soul in your mansion of bros, and you’re not going to take them out for a spin? What are you doing?
Nonetheless, Ali is very keen on Taite. ‘He wasn’t the first one that popped out at me, but since our first single date I can’t stop thinking about him,’ she says. ‘He’s just so … handsome.’
Sometime Ali is just so relatable, you know?
Unfortunately, Taite is also all too familiar. ‘Yeah, I like Ali, but I’m just not sure if I’m ready, y’know?’ he tells the camera.
SOUND THE HONEY BADGER ALARM. WE’VE GOT ANOTHER ONE.
It’s a swimming date, which is the visual equivalent of a producer yelling ‘COME ON, KISS EACH OTHER!’ at two people, because there’s not a lot that’s more archetypically Bachie than two attractive people kissing each other while wearing as little as possible.
Taite is more than willing to hold up his end of the bargain — he would happily mack on all day — but Ali is determined to converse. ‘So, what are you feeling?’ she asks him.
‘I’m feeling that I like how much we don’t need to talk — just kiss,’ he replies.
TO THE BACHIECADES. RAISE THE RED FLAGS.
But Ali has the power in this situation, and so she makes Taite talk in a game involving balloons with questions attached. (Don’t ask me what the romantic symbolism of these are. I cannot explain.) ‘What’s your biggest fear in a relationship?’ she asks.
‘Not finding someone to love,’ he responds. ‘What’s yours?’
‘Not being loved,’ she replies, clearly not very into his answer. ‘So … would you be open to being engaged by the end of the year?’
Taite’s jaw hits the floor.
It’s in moments like this that the differences between the Australian and American franchises are made so plain. If you’re a contestant in the US franchise and you don’t want to be engaged by the end of filming (ie a total of two months all up, during which you’ve spent approximately 40 hours with the Bach), then there’s something wrong with you, and it’s a dealbreaker: cf. Peter Kraus in the 2017 Bachelorette. Taite’s reaction would not be copacetic there.
But here, it seems eminently normal. ‘Um, if it’s with the right person?’ he squeaks out.
‘How would you know?’ Ali asks.
‘Time,’ Taite promptly responds.
I see what you did there, boy.
‘Sometimes I have self-doubt,’ Taite says. ‘I worry I’m not good enough for the other person, so I walk away.’
‘Can you promise not to walk away from me?’
‘No,’ Taite responds. ‘Because I want you to be happy. You deserve the best.’
Ali is silent, processing.
‘But I like you, Ali,’ Taite continues. ‘I really do.’
‘I like you, too,’ she replies.
‘…but is he willing to fight for me?’ she asks the camera.
If this is the tragic ending that this season is building towards, then they’re doing a pretty decent job putting the narrative building blocks in place here.
Charlie gloats his face off when Taite walks into the cocktail party without a rose. It makes things very awkward and silent for a few seconds — so much so that Daniel, the man without a voice or a personality, is able to whisk Ali away for a few seconds.
…if you’re wondering whether they have any kind of conversation, then the answer is no. ‘I wanted to talk to you because –‘ Daniel says.
‘Sorry, mate, I’m here to interrupt,’ Todd says, while having cheekbones that would make a Greek sculptor weep, because if Daniel were ever allowed to speak, then the world would end.
Taite angsts briefly about not getting cocktail party time with Ali, but he needn’t have worried. No one has ever had FOR SURE GOING TO BE ELIMINATED tattooed on them as explicitly as Daniel has. It is incredible with someone with as little personality as he has made it this far in the first place, but no one so dull could ever be permitted to make it hometowns.
Tomorrow, though, with hometowns, maybe Taite will have cause to worry … although his recently raised red flags have nothing on the many red banners unfurled by Charlie, so perhaps not.
The show airs on Channel 10 on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7.30pm. You can catch up on previous episodes via TenPlay.