RECAP: The Bachelorette Australia – S3 E02

RECAP: The Bachelorette Australia – S3 E02
The Bachelorette Australia Season 3
Background photo via Canva

We’ve met the men, and while none of them have quite yet won Sophie’s heart, she’s certainly won the nation’s – I mean, how can you not love a Bachie that utters the word ‘nerdburger’ on the first night? And it’s only going to get better, because tonight, Sophie starts dating.

In my recap of episode 2 of Matty’s season, I gave you a quick overview of the ritual structure of these early Bachie episodes, but if you don’t want to look back to the past with Matty J and are all about the present with Queen Sophie, here it is again. Each episode will have, usually in this order but occasionally with some variations:

  1. A single date, where Sophie will take just one dude on a date.
  2. A group date, where she will take multiple dudes on a date. They will usually partake in some kind of competitive exercise and she’ll award some additional alone time to one of them.
  3. A cocktail party, where everyone gets hammered and tries to talk to Sophie and competes with each other in equal measure.
  4. A rose ceremony, which is essentially a ritualised breakup in front of your peers.

Obviously, these single dates are not allocated randomly: they’re based on who Sophie wants to date that particular week. (Or, like, who the producers want her to date that week, but I refuse to believe that anyone tells Sophie Monk what to do.) Therefore, if you get a single date, it means she likes you. Like, she LIKE likes you.

(Apropos of nothing: they don’t use the term ‘single date’ in the US. They always call it a ‘one-on-one’. I have no idea why this semantic difference exists, but I certainly find it interesting.)

Anyway, the recipient of the very first single date with Queen Sophie is Jarrod, AKA the dude who is unlucky with love because ladies keep falling in love with his vineyard and not with him. He is the one I picked last night to win this thing, so clearly I was picking up on all the right signals. And the date itself is a Bachie classic – it’s a high places date.

I’ve written so many bajillion times about why high places dates are so common in Bachie, but here it is in a nutshell:

  1. Symbolism – ‘leap of faith’, ‘fall in love’, etc.
  2. Adrenaline.

This one doesn’t directly mirror the ‘fall in love’ thing, because Sophie and Jarrod aren’t jumping off anything: instead, they’re doing a ropes course between two lights at a sporting arena. And there’s a slight problem in that they’re both terrified of heights.

And… I love Sophie, but I don’t love the way this date emphasises the Manly Masculine Man Man Man as protector, looking after the damsel in distress. Jarrod says he goes into ‘protector mode’ when he sees Sophie’s fear. He’s ex-military, so that sublimation of fear makes sense, and there’s really no problem when you think about them as individual people, but when you think about them as characters rather than humans, it’s a gendered model of Male Protector Saves Weak Woman that I’m not into at all.

But this framing gets really interestingly turned around, and in a way that I quite liked. About a third of the way across, Sophie gets really scared and is like, ‘nope, I’m done, I want to go back’. And Jarrod isn’t like ‘BUT NO, WE MUST KEEP GOING AND COMPLETE THE CHALLENGE!!!1!’ – he just takes her at her word immediately, and helps her back to where they started.

Our queen Sophie likes it. Oh, she liiiiiiiikes it. ‘You didn’t pressure me,’ she says. ‘You just considered my feelings and listened to me.’ And then my eyes turned to literal love hearts as I watched. And also I started fist-pumping, because I think backed a pretty solid horse in the race for Sophie’s heart.

One thing I didn’t like so much was when Sophie asked Jarrod what he’s like with women, and he’s like, ‘well, it’s all about doors,’ and then proceeds to tell her about how he opens all doors, all the time, for all the ladies. I was like, ‘m8 she asked you how you were like with women, not with doors,’ but Sophie didn’t seem to mind so much, because Jarrod not only got a rose, but he got the first kiss of the season.

A couple of things:

  1. Laura got the first kiss on Matty’s season and LOOK HOW THAT TURNED OUT.
  2. It’s early days, but I think Sophie might be, like Matty, left-headed. Whyyyyyyyyy did I read that study on kissing laterality?! I can’t unsee it now. All I do is analyse kiss head tilt directions every time I see one and I CAN’T STOP.

When Jarrod gets back to the mansion, he rubs a bunch of dudes up the wrong way – especially Sam, the recipient of the ‘double delight’ rose, who was a bit salty that he didn’t get the first date – by flaunting his rose and then delivering a sermon on the best ways to date Sophie Monk. However, I theorise that this might actually have been a clever tactic. His advice was pretty solid, but Sam’s reaction was basically FUK U DON’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO, and a vow to do the exact opposite. Was Jarrod employing some cunning reverse psychology? Maybe we will find out.

Next: it’s group date time! The first group date of the season is always a photo shoot, and in the previous two years, The Bachelorette has owned it. In Sam Frost’s season, it was a sexy shirtless men with puppies calendar. Last year, in my queen Georgia Love’s season, it was a Mills & Boon cover date. This time, it’s a photo shoot for NewsCorp newspapers, which is… way less good. Like, ugh. Ball dropped, Bachie.

But anyway! The theme is ‘famous couples throughout history’. The first couple is Ares and Aphrodite, with the former played by Apollo the sexy magician, and some ‘Cupids’ played by a few of the other dudes, notably including douchey villain Ryan. Let’s blow right past the facts that a) Ares and Aphrodite are siblings as well as lovers, and b) that they’re Greek while Cupid is Roman, and just celebrate the fact that not only is Sophie overtly thirsty for Apollo, but so are a whole bunch of the other dudes, looking on and gawking.

The next shoot is a Robin Hood one, with Sam playing Robin, Sophie playing Maid Marian, and James playing Friar Tuck. James is in a hideous costume but he just sort of rolls with it, and it makes Sam visibly annoyed. So, either out of, I don’t know, vengeance or something, or possibly just because he’s a bit of a dick, he starts loudly commenting about how he can’t stop looking at Sophie’s boobs.

And James calmly but definitively shuts him down, in a pretty textbook example of how men can stop other men sexually harassing women. So just in case it’s not clear, we love James now, and we are definitely not going to forget his name any more.

The third shoot is a fairly uneventful Bonnie + Clyde themed one, where the most notable thing that happens is that there’s a bunch of bank notes floating around with Osher’s face on them; and then it’s time for the final shoot: a one-on-one shoot where Blake the villain and Sophie are half-nakedly playing Adam and Eve.

And when I say half-naked, I mean half-naked. Sophie is wearing a fairly modest foliage bikini, but Blake’s leafy g-string is, ahem, small.

(Also, Blake claims that Adam and Eve were ‘the first power couple’ and now I really, really want to know how he defines ‘power couple’.)

This semi-clothed photo shoot provokes mucho jealousy in the rest of the dudes, particularly Sam, who exclaims, ’awwwwww, she’s fully cuddling him!’ which I love even though I think he’s a dick now.

This mix of jealousy and thirst continues to the cocktail party, where Jarrod provokes the ire of some of the other dudes for having fallen for Sophie way too hard and way too fast. He keeps dreamily staring at her – which, not going to lie, is pretty off-putting – but he really raises the hackles of the others when he takes Sophie aside (even though he ALREADY HAS A ROSE OMG) and gifts her a pair of ugg boots. Blake the villain already gave her some ugg boots, so this leads to a Confrontation™, in which the most dramatic violin scrape you have ever heard in your entire life is played over an image of a pair of uggies.

Only in Australia. Only in Australia could ugg boots be such a source of tension and draaaaammmmaaaaa. #straya

Finally, it’s time for the rose ceremony. Tonight’s victim is Jourdan, AKA the one who cried last night because someone once accused him of cheating. I suppose it’s never a good sign when the person trying to comfort you gets incredibly easily distracted by the promise of a possum in the pool. (Not a euphemism.)

PS: Bonus highlight from tonight’s episode: the date card for the group date included the sentence ‘I’m not looking for a flashy guy’. However, they got Eden (one of the resident Kiwis) to read it, and so it sounded like Sophie was not looking for a ‘fleshy guy’, and now I’m desperate to know whether this was deliberate on the part of the producers or just a happy accident.

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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