RECAP: Bachelor in Paradise Australia – S1 E03

RECAP: Bachelor in Paradise Australia – S1 E03
Dr Jodes presents: Bachie in Paradise S1
Background photo via Canva

Welcome back to Bachie-with-Jodi, the nerdiest time you can have reading recaps of a show which mostly revolves around people getting drunk on a beach.

Bachie in Paradise is apparently too solemn for Easter Sunday, so we’re checking back into definitely-not-Schoolies a little late this week. This week, we meet some new Paradise characters slash old friends (well, ‘friends’), who I suspect are going to drive the narrative. Be prepared.

A brief recap of the last two episodes: the drama revolved mostly around a love triangle, of which the apex was Florence. As the ladies had the power (ie. the roses), she had to make a choice. She chose to send fuckboy Davey home, and keep fuckboy Jake, a decision which will in no way backfire on her. Now the men are giving out the roses, there is no way that Jake will turn on her. No way at alllllllll.

…RIP Florence.

Tonight’s episode begins with Keira doing readings for people from what I’m pretty sure is a Doreen Virtue book. ‘I LOVE TAROT,’ Michael proclaims, pronouncing both Ts in the word, ‘AND ALL THINGS SPIRITUAL,’ which may be the most painfully on-brand thing I’ve ever seen anyone do.

Before we can find out his fate, however, we get a date card. Mack — the designated reader — opens it backwards, so we find out long before he actually reads it that the recipient is Keira. She gave her rose last night to Uncle Sam, but (extremely sensibly, imo) she’s decided that he would be a terrible long-term — or, indeed, short-term — romantic prospect, so elects to take Tarottttttt Michael on her date, despite the fact that she said upon entry that she was creeped out by his veneers.

Michael, we must remember, accepted a rose from Tara in the last rose ceremony. She, however, does not seem to be particularly heartbroken by this turn of events: ‘I thought it was the funniest shit ever!’ she proclaims.

This pleases me greatly. Stay unattached so you can fall in love with Apollo and make all my dreams come true, my queen.

Michael and Keira’s date involves horse-riding down a beach while wearing hats made out of palm fronds. It is foreshadowed by a lingering shot of a shark swimming beneath the water, so you can imagine how well it goes. When they stop for a picnic, Michael spends the whole time talking about how! into! Tara! he! is!, so this is, um, not exactly the most romantical date I have ever seen.

Also, does Michael understand how to wear shirts? It’s been three episodes now and I’ve seen no evidence that Michael understands how to wear shirts.

Back at the beach, it’s a chill morning, but hark! what light through yonder window breaks! It is a new entrant! And the new entry on our dramatis personae is:

Jarrod (Sophie’s season): If you read my recaps of Sophie’s season last year, you’ll remember Jarrod. He’s way too intense, fell in love with Sophie the second he saw her and was devastated when she ditched him in the finale, developed a complex headcanon about people pissing in his potplants, and sincerely believes women only date him for his winery.

Jarrod tells us that he’s a whole new ‘cruisy’ Jarrod, but as far as I can see, he’s just swapped out his trousers for boardshorts. He didn’t even bother to change his shirt.

Florence has been waiting, fingers crossed, for a new non-fuckboy dude to turn up, but she is NOT pleased by this Jarrod turn of events. “AS SOON AS HE TAKES YOU ON A DATE HE WILL GLUE HIMSELF TO YOUR BODY AND NEVER LET GO!” she tells the camera in horror, and does her best to hide, because Jarrod has come in with a date card, and he’s painstakingly interviewing all the ladies to see who is worthy of his super intense love. He tells us he’s going to ‘mingle’, but… yeah, I’m not sure he knows how to do that.

While he’s ‘mingling’, we get another new entrant! This addition to our dramatis personae is:

Ali (Tim’s season): It’s been so long since the inaugural season of The Bachelor that it’s almost hard to remember, but Ali was notable in Tim’s season for falling in love way too hard way too fast (she tells us that she was the ‘designated stage five clinger’). That can be tough in Paradise, where not only do you know there are people competing for your beloved’s affection, but you can see it happening 24/7 right in front of your face — cf. Ashley Iaconetti in the States, with both Jared Haibon and Wells Adams — so Ali might be the Designated Cryer™.

I’m really interested in how much of a division there is in the Australian cultural imagination between the first season of The Bachelor and the other seasons, btw. A lot of the other contestants aren’t entirely sure who Ali is, and it’s really indicative of the fact that the franchise didn’t really take off as a phenomenon until season 2 (concomitant, I suspect, with Rosie Waterland’s recaps). I’ll be quite surprised if any other contestants from Tim’s season turn up, purely because no one will remember who they are.

Allllll the boys love Ali, but there’s less appetite for her among the women: specifically, Florence, who says that she ‘looks like she’s from the Gold Coast’ in a tone that makes it clear that this is the most cutting possible insult. Ali, it seems, is there to find a husband — and despite the fact that Paradise is at least nominally about finding love, this is not something that the women are particularly impressed with at all.

(I, however, am fascinated. Tell me more, please. This is such a nationally distinctive point of interest.)

While all this is happening, there is a minor stoush between Tara and Michael. They’re — not coupled up, exactly, but they’ve been mates, but while he’s been on his date with Keira, she’s been having a chat with Uncle Sam. Some of the other ladies are all like, ‘oooooh, Tara and Sam, a perfect match!’ to which I say ‘UM BE QUIET NO THIS IS OBVIOUSLY ENTIRELY INCORRECT,’ but whether or not there’s something to it, Tara seems pretty cross with Michael. He tries to have a serious conversation about his feels with her, but she pretty casually brushes him off, while further undermining him by wearing a ridiculous hat — a breakup technique I’m absolutely thinking of stealing, judging by how effective it seems to be.

I’m glad, tbh. Michael and Tara were never a couple for the longterm. Plus, the more de-coupled she is, the more likely it is for my dream of Tara + Apollo to come true.

Then we have a third new entrant on our dramatis personae — tragically not Apollo, however. This time it’s:

Megan (Richie’s season): Megan was memorable on Richie’s season for ditching him at a rose ceremony instead of politely accepting the rose like the ladies are supposed to. However, she was ESPECIALLY memorable afterwards for starting a relationship with Tiffany, one of the other contestants (and recent Australian entrant on The Bachelor Winter Games). Australian Bachie doesn’t typically make news overseas, but this was the biggest non-US Bachie story since that contestant on NZ Bachie farted in front of the Bachelor that one time.

Before getting sent straight into the fray, Megan gets handed a ‘personality menu’ by Osher and told to choose a contestant (any contestant! any gender!) off it for a blind date.

Two things here:

  1. How do I get a copy of this personality menu? I need it. For science.
  2. I refuse to believe that Megan picked the person that she picked off this menu by choice. This is so unbelievably staged.

She picks Jake, for context. This is how I know it’s staged. Unless they just have the word ‘fuckboy’ listed under his name, and Megan is — unlike literally any other person on the face of the earth — into that, I refuse to believe he has a personality.

Predictably, Jake is a bit of a fuckboy on his date with Megan. ‘Oh, me and Florence had a little bit of history, but we’re totally over,’ he blithely tells her. ‘I, like, totally told Osher you were one of the people I hoped were here. Also the men have the power this week, so you better suck up to me.’

Another two things:

  1. I’m officially adding ‘we had a little bit of history’ to the fuckboy playbook which I said I was going to start keeping.
  2. I’m also officially adding ‘we had a little bit of history’ to the Bachie. Wait for this one to become as overused as ‘here for the right reasons’.

Also, when he takes her in to meet everyone else, he kisses her, moans “you’re such a good kisser!”, and then walks her into Paradise. Whoever would have thought that someone with (apparently) with so little personality would turn out to be such a spectacular dick?

Though maybe it’s easy to hide your villainy when you have such little personality. As Florence puts it, ‘he’s good value when you first meet him but he runs out of words real quick’.

And that’s it for tonight! Tomorrow: how will Florence react to the fairly predictable villainy of Jake? Who will Jarrod choose to fall super-intensely in love with? And will Apollo ever turn up so my Tara+Apollo ship can either sail away or sink once and for all?

P.S. I tweeted about the potential of mapping personalities in Bachie via what the contestants are drinking at any one moment, and host Osher Gunsberg tweeted back to me that apparently ‘sometimes drinks are stand ins for boozy drinks. They look same on camera but aren’t….’

Two things:

  1. I am obviously citing this tweet in like a million of my papers.

The show airs on Channel 10 on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7.30pm. You can catch up on previous episodes via TenPlay.

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Jodi is a Lecturer in Writing and Literature at Deakin University. Her research focuses on the history of love, sex, women, and popular culture, so reading romance novels is technically work for her. Shed a tear for Jodi. Jodi is also an author, and her series about smart girls and murder fairies is published by Penguin Teen Australia. One time, the first book, Valentine, was featured on Neighbours, and she nearly fainted with joy.

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