RECAP: The Bachelorette Australia – S2 E11

RECAP: The Bachelorette Australia – S2 E11
The Bachelorette Australia Season 2
Background photo: Morning Rose by Pamela Kelly (Flickr)

It is on like Donkey Kong. Dr Love ruminates on why Bachie Oz has produced so many successful couples, and explores liminal spaces of infinite reality. Follow #BachaloretteAU and @JodiMcA on Thursday, Oct 27 at 7.30pm for live tweets of the final episode!

Welcome to our final week of Bachie recaps for 2017! Richie might have turned out to be a huge disappointment, but our mother of dragons Georgia Love has more than made up for it. Australian Bachie has a really great success rate, so here’s hoping that she keeps up the tradition and actually does find love. Sniff. That would be so nice.

Speaking of Australian Bachie’s success rate: it’s actually quite extraordinary, particularly when we look at it against other national franchises. Out of five Bachelor/ette seasons, we have four successful couples: Tim and Anna; Sam and Snezana; Sam and Sasha; and Richie and Alex. And the reason for that, I think, lies at this point in the series: the final three.

At this point in the American version of the show, we have the overnight ‘fantasy suite’ dates. That euphemism is exactly what it sounds like: hometowns are followed by bonetown, as the contestants are basically compelled by the franchise to have sex. This model is replicated in the vast majority of the other Bachie franchises: Bachie Canada, Bachie UK, Bachie NZ … you name it.

But not, interestingly, in Australia. They tried it in the first season, but Bachie Tim refused to take any of the three women on an overnight date because he didn’t think it was fair or respectful, and the Australian franchise hasn’t had the barest whisper of an overnight date since.

Now, it’s a big call to say that this is the reason why Bachie Australia has produced so many successful couples, but this is the obvious point of difference between the many iterations of the franchise. The emphasis is taken well and truly off sex in Bachie Oz, and placed instead on communication and intimacy. And is that surprising, really, that couples do better in the long run when they don’t begin with some producer yelling, NOW BANG, in the wings?

Okay! Enough said. Let’s check in and see how G Love is doing with (while not actually doing) Lee, Jake, and Matty.

First up is Lee, who is just … sigh. So handsome. Even when he’s not wearing his glasses. He’s leaning against a fence wearing a linen suit as G Love flies in on a chopper to meet him, and honestly, how do you even go back to real life dating when this has been part of your love life?

We’re getting towards the end of the season, so I can tell that the producers are running out of date ideas: Lee and G Love get back in the chopper, fly around Sydney, point at all the spots they went on dates, then land and have a champagne picnic. If/when Bachie ever sees the light and hires me as a romance consultant, I am going to break them of this notion that epic transportation makes an epic date. Yes, transpo is fine, but the actual destination should be the highlight.

They talk, they pash, Lee throws his wineglass away such is the height of his passion, I can’t decide if this is sexy or wasteful, on we go.

Afterwards — presumably after not too much wine, because drinking and biking is naughty, kids — they go on a bike ride about the park. ‘Imagine us doing this in Melbourne!’ Lee enthuses, and they plan out a perfect fantasy Melbourne life together.

But this puts some questions into G Love’s mind. ‘Hey,’ she asks Lee, at their next champagne picnic (that’s right, these dates are so special they get TWO wine times). ‘Do you like me, or do you like the fact that I’m from Melbourne?’

‘Look, Melbourne is great, but not as great as you,’ Lee replies.

‘Are you sure? Maybe I’m overthinking this, but –’

‘G Love, I’m falling for you, and I’d move anywhere for you.’

Lee completely opens up to Georgia about how he feels. #BacheloretteAU

A photo posted by The Bachelorette Australia (@bacheloretteau) on

Awwwww yissssssss.

‘That’s the best thing I’ve heard all day,’ Georgia Love tells the camera while grinning, and … ugh, just send the other guys home already. HMAS G Lee Love is ready to sail.

But I suppooooooooose she has to do the other dates, too. She did sign up to be the Bachie, after all. With many dates come many responsibilities.

(Quick sidebar before we move on: I hate it when people — especially women — feel like they have to apologise for ‘overthinking’. Usually it’s code for ‘I’m sorry I asked valid questions that made you feel vaguely uncomfortable, oh straight man’.)

Next date up: Jake. Next mode of epic transportation: super yacht.

Of course they do the Titanic thing, because I’m pretty sure that’s mandatory at this stage. (In Bachie semiotics, small boats = The Notebook [ Book | Film ], anything without oars = Titanic [ Film ].) But there’s actually some really interesting stuff going on in the way Georgia Love talks about their relationship, if we want to put our love studies hats on for a moment.

Over and over again, she says that she and Jake have ‘chemistry’. To be honest, I don’t really see it, but eh, I’ll believe you, oh TV bestie of mine. What they don’t seem to have so much of, however, is communication: ‘I don’t know where his head is at,’ she tells us.

I’ve talked about this before, but what we have here is a clear split between ‘passion’ (that raw connection you can have with someone without knowing anything about them) and ‘intimacy’ (a knowing of each other based on trust and communication, a sharing of deepest secrets). And while passion is important, in modern love, intimacy tends to be privileged.

A lot of G Love’s questions seem to revolve around the fact that Jake’s mother wants him to live near her on the Gold Coast, while she is adamantly Melbournian, but they never get anywhere: their conversation just keeps going round and round in circles. ‘So … how do you feel about the whole moving thing?’ she asks Jake at Wine Time #2 (which is definitely not product placement for the Star, oh, no no no).

Georgia is concerned that the distance between her and Jake could become a problem. #BacheloretteAU

A photo posted by The Bachelorette Australia (@bacheloretteau) on

‘If we love each other enough, it will be easy!’ he announces.

‘Well … no,’ she says. ‘Your mother’s sick. My mother’s sick. We both want to be near them. It’s not going to be that easy.’

‘I’m falling for you,’ he tells her. ‘And that will make it easier! I think you might be my One.’

‘He thinks I might be his One!’ G Love tells the camera, and while I think she’s trying to smile, it actually looks like she’s doing her best impression of the gritted teeth emoji. ?

So yeah, Jake’s not winning this.

Final date partner: Matty. Final date transpo: some very fast sporty car.

And … yeah, this is a little awkies. They drive around, and he’s all, ‘OMG, my hometown date was SO GREAT!’ and she’s like, ‘um … yeah, it was nice,’ clearly having flashbacks to the fact that a baby was shoved at her the second she got there.

Then they go and make their own gin, and where was this kind of effort on Lee and Jake’s dates, huh, producers? While I’m not sure that gin distillery is romantic exactly, it’s certainly kind of cool. And Matty gets a free bottle of gin to take home with him.

This has ‘consolation prize’ written all over it, but then Matty kind of brings out the big guns. Their second alcohol intimate times™ take place in a pool, and for realsies, it’s actually kind of sexy.

‘We always have fun together,’ Georgia Love tells him, as they’re nose to nose in the water in the light of what is supposed to be the moon but is obviously those big industrial film lights. ‘But do you think we can be serious as well?’

‘Yes,’ Matty says. ‘And there’s something very serious I want to tell you.’

‘What’s that?’ G Love whispers, basically against his lips.

‘I’m completely in love with you,’ Matty replies. ‘The thought of not being with you kills me.’

The pashing: it is on like Donkey Kong. And … wow. When did Matty the croquet trapeze boy become this legit hot dude?

Love is well and truly in the air for Matty and it's time to let Georgia know. #BacheloretteAU

A photo posted by The Bachelorette Australia (@bacheloretteau) on

Two things here:

1. Matty is the only contestant to have said ‘I love you’ this season, and he was scared to say it — he was psyching himself up to do it through the whole gin date. This is actually quite a departure from the ‘traditional’ Bachie format: usually, you have Bachies basically fishing for love confessions from contestants. G Love wasn’t fishing — ‘I wasn’t expecting that!’ she tells the camera — and it made the confession that much more poignant.

2. This confession takes place in the water, and there’s some symbolism around that: symbolism that might not necessarily bode well for Matty. When you’re in the water, it’s like you step outside of real life. Normal rules — like the fact that your feet don’t have to be on the ground — don’t apply in water. It becomes a liminal space of infinite possibility. But when you get out of the water, then real life comes crashing in. So the symbolic question that Matty and Georgia Love will now have to answer is whether their relationship can work as well on dry land as it did for those magical few moments they were wrapped together in the water.

But either way. It was pretty hot. And I … might not actually be that upset now if she were to pick Matty over Lee?

Because that’s who’s going to the finale with her: Matty and Lee. To the surprise of exactly no one, Jake is the one sent home at the rose ceremony. Farewell, Jake. I never really got to know you, even though you were there basically ’til the end, but I’m sure you’re … you know, fine and stuff.

Up next: THE VERDICT. Will it be perennially sexy Lee or newly sexy Matty? Will Lee wear his glasses and tip the sexy scales in his favour? You’ll have to wait and find out!

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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