Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Bachelor Australia recap: Season 2, Episode 4

What with all the yachts, canoes and seaplanes our Bachelor was starting to look a bit bourgeois, so tonight's episode opens with some footage of him shooting hoops in an inner-city basketball court decorated by ironic hipsters so we know he's actually a man of the streets.

There's graffiti so you know he's down with the kids.


Meanwhile, back at the Shag Mansion... and actually, can we take a moment to really look at this place, please?

Fuck.

This is what Barbie's Dreamhouse would look like if it were vomited on by all the Disney princesses and rolled in Shimmer N Sparkle Loom bands. The garden looks like it's been decorated by a Bratz doll on LSD. It is the kind of place a bride might choose to hold her "fantasy" wedding reception, featuring a lolly buffet and tables scattered with glitter and groomsmen in hot pink ties and rented fedoras. It's the kind of place where the words "fairy tale" are uttered on a daily basis.

My idea of a total nightmare, basically.

But the women seem to love their gilded cage, possibly because they can see their own reflections in it so well, so they don't even mind when they spot a glob of hair from the shower drain in the middle of the living room and...

Oh. It's just Osher Gunsberg.

"I know you don't normally see me at night, but I have something I'm sure you'll be interested in," he says.

But no sooner has he begun to unzip his pants and yell "MY ELEPHANT IMPRESSION!" he's hustled out the door by security. Sad.

No actually, he doesn't do that. He just pulls out another date card. Surprise.

"Now on this date card is the name of the person - or the names of the people - Blake has chosen to join him on tomorrow's date," says Osher, as if that's so wildly different from what happens every single week that it needs to be explained very carefully.

On the other hand, this is who he's talking to.

"I rilly want that single deet. I'm the ohhnly person in the hoose who hasn't biin on a single deet," says Amber the Canadian. No, I don't know what she's saying either - maybe she wants maple syrup?

In any case it turns out Blake has chosen Lisa, inviting her out with a cryptic one-liner of the type he is fast becoming famous for: "Do you feel the need for speed?"

"Oh no, I only just kicked my meth addiction!"

"I think it means V8 Supercars, or a jet boat... if we have to jump out of a plane I'll be very nervous," says Lisa, a statement which is unsurprisingly followed by a shot of her arriving at an airfield.

Don't worry Lisa, it's not a plane. It's a chopper.

But she needn't worry, because as it turns out she won't be going anywhere with Blake - she's just there to act as an assistant on a sunglasses commercial that he is starring in:

I really feel they could have tried harder to get some more shots of the glasses in this segment.

"So are you afraid of heights or flying or anything like that?" Blake asks Lisa.

"I mean, I've seen the form you filled out when you auditioned for the show so I know you're afraid of both, but I just wanted to check otherwise this segment isn't going to work as well."

They jump in the chopper and fly over Sydney Harbour so they can show yet another shot of the Opera House and bridge which might help Channel 10 sell this series to the UK later on and write it off as a tourism venture, and the flirting begins.

Eager to impress, Blake gets out his copy of "101 Best Pick Up Lines", turns to page 33 and reads:

Unfortunately it's a pirated copy from Japan, and some of it has been mistranslated.

In turn, Lisa gets out her copy of "101 Ways to Impress Your Boss", turns to page 52 and reads:

"I really know that you're a genuine person and I know that you don't take anything for granted so I don't mind spending this journey with you because I feel that, you know, you will appreciate it," she says.

They both shake hands and agree theirs has been a productive meeting.

They land somewhere in the Hunter Valley and it seems the high altitude has caused Lisa to lose feeling in her legs, because Blake piggybacks her out of the chopper. As anyone who's ever gotten out of a helicopter before and ducked to escape the whirling blades of death above their head can tell you, this is not a great idea.

"NOW GIVE ME A WHIZZY!"

Having narrowly avoided death by decapitation they set off on the next thrilling part of their date: a joyride in an ex-military gunner plane. They twist and turn and loop-the-loop and nosedive and they both feel the Gs, but sadly this doesn't happen:

A missed opportunity for all.

Meanwhile back at Shag Mansion, Sam has decided to "clear the air" with Laurina after their epic battle in episode three and so approaches her in the garden for a chat.

"Oh hey Laurina, fancy seeing you here in this totally unstaged scenario featuring homewares and athletic wear available now via The Bachelor website."

"I guess you were trying to be fair for Anita, but it was pretty unfair on me," says Laurina.

"I don't know what to say," says Sam, which is brilliant because this is actually supposed to be her apology.

"You could just say 'yeah it was unfair on you and I'm so sorry'," suggests Laurina.

"And also 'Laurina, you're so beautiful, I wish I had a neck as long as yours'. And maybe also 'You and Blake are so good together, I'm going to go and make you both pancakes'."

"Gluten free, thanks."

"I think Laurina and myself are just two entirely different species, and I think she's a bit of a goose," says Sam.

Well, with that neck, she may be right.

Back to speed dating, and Blake is once again carrying legless Lisa out of the chopper.

I'm sorry, but this is just weird.

"Do you want me to walk?" she asks, which is girl code for "Can you please put me down, this is totally weird".

Sadly Blake interprets this as "Am I too heavy for you?" so he says "Yeah actually, you know what - you're not as light as you look."

Luckily he corrects himself by saying "I'm joking! You're lighter than you look!", which basically means he thinks she looks fat. Top marks, Blake.

They wander through the garden to where someone has set up a table and two chairs, and Lisa reacts as though she's just seen a unicorn shitting rainbows because she has a real thing for outdoor furniture.

"This is one of the most romantic places in the Hunter Valley, it's renowned for its proposals and they've just had their 1000th proposal here," Blake says, squinting as he reads the cue cards the producer is holding up.

"Blake has brought me to his favourite restaurant in the Hunter Valley, Robert's Restaurant," says Lisa, before adding "Did I get that right? Do I have to read out their web address or anything?"

Blake and Lisa sit down to enjoy their meal, which is free on the proviso that they mention "Robert's Restaurant" at least once every 30 seconds during conversation. This is fine with both of them, as the only other thing they seem to talk about is how much they're both enjoying their date... at Robert's Restaurant.

Lisa tells Blake how she's never really been in love before because her dad didn't let her date anyone until she was 23

"It's been hard for me to open up my heart and my feelings and I have had a bit of a wall up," she says.

"I guess I have been in controlling relationships where I haven't been able to do what I was passionate about."

You know, like that one with her father, who prevented her from dating until she was in her mid twenties.

They both blather on about the importance of family and respect and then they feed each other chocolate cake which is utterly revolting and then they pash with chocolatey lips and he gives her a rose and I wish they'd just get back on the chopper without ducking the blades this time.

Back at Shag Mansion the girls are eagerly ripping open the next date card, which contains perhaps the most romantic cryptic one-liner so far: "Better out than in".

He's taking them to this restaurant.

Naturally, everyone is really excited at the prospect of a fart-themed date.

"Yeah, I think I'll sit this one out you guys."

All except Canadian Amber, who doesn't get chosen and is all "eh aboot maple syrup bacon poutine aboot aboot eh?"

Meanwhile:

Pardon?

Suddenly Holly the netballer gets an urgent call from her mum.

"You've been selected to play in the Australian national league!" shrieks mum.

As you can see, she is over the moon.

Having already invested at least three and a half hours into her relationship with Blake, Holly is totally conflicted on what she should do. Should she leave to pursue her lifelong professional dream, or stay and fight a bunch of women for the attentions of a man she's known for approximately half a day?

While she's mulling over this big decision, Lisa returns home and starts bragging about her big date with Blake, and how she kissed him and everything. It makes a refreshing change from Jessica, who is still keeping quiet about her tonsil hockey sessions because she's under the impression it makes her look classy.

Guess what: the whole nation watched you swap saliva with the bloke, you might as well drop the attitude.

Also: this.

"The only thing I can do is believe Blake when he says I'm the only girl who makes him feel tongue-tied," says Jessica.

And this.

Next thing you know we're off on the group date in the middle of the bush where Blake has stumbled across an incredible natural phenomenon: a sentient ball of wombat fur, which...

Oh, it's just Osher Gunsberg.

"You're all going on a hike through the bush," says Osher.

"Again?" sighs Blake, before realising that's not what he meant.

Then Osher tells them they'll all be camping out overnight, an announcement that comes with a flourish of dramatic music because, as we all know, women hate having to sleep anywhere that doesn't have silk sheets, a chocolate fondue fountain and hairdryers.

"BUT WHERE CAN I PLUG IN MY GHD?"

"You'll have no make up, no hairdryers, no perfume, no mirror, no heels - just the basics," says Osher, and I have to restrain myself from punching the television.

I mean, it's not like I turn to The Bachelor for my weekly dose of feminist theory, but for fuck's sake. If we could at least pretend to be in 2014 occasionally, that'd be nice.

"By the way, the 'no make up rule' doesn't apply to me, 'kay?"

"I think it'll be fairly interesting - 10 girls, one guy," says Louise, who clearly already has formed her plans for the evening.

"Let's go bush!" exclaims Osher, who is obviously right there with her.

What follows is 10 minutes of all the women trying to show how hardcore they are on what is essentially a stroll through a park. Like Zoe the 25-year-old pharmacist, who boldly strides right through a creek to impress Blake, while everyone else sensibly uses the rocky crossing one metre to her right.

Bitch, it's RIGHT THERE.

Finally at their campsite and it's time for the women to put up their tents for the evening, so the editors crank up the wacky "plinky plonk" music to illustrate how stupid they all are.

"I haven't pitched a tent since I was in year nine," exclaims Louise.

"Weird. I do one every morning."

Meanwhile, Holly is still ruminating over her mum's phone call from earlier on.

"I'm trying to have fun but all I can think about is Blake, netball, Blake, netball, and it's really distracting me," she says which is confusing, because that sounds like a pretty accurate description of her thought processes for most of this show so far.

"Goal keeper to goal defence... Centre... Wing attack... IF YOU NEED! Gee Blake is handsome... IF YOU NEED!" - Holly's brain on autopilot.

Later around the bonfire it seems Zoe's aquatic derring-do has paid off, as Blake takes her for a private chat away from the group.

"Oh no this is really nice, it's just that... well, the fire was drying my socks."

Zoe continues to impress by saying such flirtatious things as "there are many layers to the Blake onion", so he gives her a rose.

Meanwhile, back at the camp fire:

"When does the farting competition start? I've eaten, like, three tins of Heinz."

Because everyone is apparently 13 years old, Lauren begins a game of truth or dare by asking Holly if she's kissed Blake. She says no, because she didn't want to get pregnant. Everyone nods in admiration.

Diana The Princess asks Blake if he prefers blondes or brunettes. He opts to do a dare instead, and farts into the fire.

There are no survivors.

Impressed at his gas prowess, 26-year-old legal secretary Alana asks Blake what made him want to be on The Bachelor.

"Things happen in my life and I think they've happened for a reason at certain times. Each time it's been a bit scary and a bit nerve-wracking but it's led to something better. I believe for a fact I'm going to fall in love by the time this all finishes and I just hope that person feels the same way about me. There's your answer," says Blake.

"One of my mates works at Channel 10 and they offered me cash to date 24 hot chicks at the same time, so I said yes." - what Blake meant to say.

"Good answer," coos Alana, even though Blake literally said nothing at all, and the two of them go off for a private chat where she tells him she wants children. Because that's always a good conversation topic on a first date. Nevertheless it works, because Blake gives her a rose.

Having failed to conduct the girls in an outdoor fart symphony performance of Bohemian Rhapsody as planned, the next morning Blake dishes out some large helpings of baked beans to prepare them for a second attempt.

"Here, Holly, you can be the baritone."

But after a sleepless night tossing and turning about her netball career, Holly is in no mood for playing the trouser trumpet.

"This is definitely one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make," she tells Blake.

"But I can't walk away from netball."

"I wish I knew how to quit you."

So instead she walks away from Blake, softly whispering "if you need... if you need..." as she disappears into the distance.

All the other women pretend to be upset, and we head back to the Shag Mansion for yet another cocktail party. Seriously, is everyone on this show permanently drunk? That would explain a lot of the fashion choices, anyway.

Amber the Canadian immediately pounces on Blake and takes him outside for a chat, but I've got no idea what she says to him because it just sounds like "maple bacon eh aboot bacon bacon ice hockey deet" so let's just assume she talked to him about the Abbott government's stance on asylum seekers.

"I have started to get feelings for Blake, so I would like to know how he feels about me," says Shana the poker dealer. Given this episode is pretty much the first time anyone's even heard of Shana, it's a fair guess Blake's reaction will be "Who?"

Poker in the front, liquor in the... no actually I'll leave that there.

Just to make 100 per cent sure this episode won't pass the Bechdel test, Zoe, Sam, LisaLaurina and Shana all sit down to discuss who Blake is going to talk to next.

Turns out it's Laurina, who as predicted by Sam, appears to be slowly morphing into an actual goose:

"What do you mean 'do I want to get down'? I don't get it."

But enough of all this casual alcoholism, because IT'S ROSE TIME, and this week's ceremony has 20 per cent extra dramatic drums because TWO WOMEN WILL BE GOING HOME.

* A whole heap of girls get a rose. I can't remember any of their names. This episode has been going on for what feels like 15 years, and I am certain I have aged. I am ready to feel the sweet, sweet embrace of death.

* Katrina the Lisa McCune lookalike gets a rose, and tries to charm Blake by teasing "Do you think you could show a little more interest next week?", a joke which goes down really well.

Look out for Katrina's stand-up tour, coming soon to an RSL near you.

Ultimately it comes down to three: Stacey-Louise, aka the one always pulling stank faces in the background of shots, Shana, aka the one we were only just introduced to in this episode and so is probably going home, and Lauren, aka... the other one.

It's possibly the least engaging rose ceremony of all time, given no one really gives a toss about any of these women. But a decision has to be made so Lauren gets the final rose, sending Shana the poker player off to gamble her life away somewhere else, and Stacey-Louise off to... do whatever it is that she does, wherever it is that she does it.

As the two losers zoom off in their rented limousines, Blake and the remaining contestants raise their glasses in a toast, and he spontaneously farts the opening bars of "Stairway to Heaven".

"Better out than in!" Blake says. They all laugh. It is a heartwarming moment.

Now go on and READ EPISODE FIVE when Amber has another tantrum about bacon, or maple syrup, or whatever and someone says "wrong dot com", which will probably be the highlight of the season.

Or go back and READ EPISODE THREE again.



5 comments :

  1. That was good. Some wonderful 'lol' moments in your writing. :)

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  2. Thank you so much for doing these recaps - I only discovered you this past week but holy crap your writing is hilarious! My favourite thing to do after watching the episodes is to eagerly wait for your new posts. Well done!

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  3. I'm glad I kept you in my bookmarks even though you stopped doing Top Model, this is perfect :)

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  4. Watching this season of The Bachelor is like driving past a bad accident, you don't want to look but just can't help yourself. Thank you for your reviews - they're hilarious, and explain all the scenes that are too deep and complicated for me to understand. Keep it up.

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  5. You are hilarious!! Thank you for the laughs :)

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