We begin episode nine in the garden of the Shag Mansion, where the women are engaging in one of their favourite weekly activities: forming awkward live action re-enactments of The Last Supper.
"It's not fair that one of the new girls gets to be Jesus!"
"It's OK, she'll get crucified later."
Just as they're beginning to debate the significance of Illuminati symbolism in the Da Vinci canon a furball coughed up by next door's cat floats into the garden and... oh, wait. It's just Osher Gunsberg.
"The Last Supper? More like the last slappers."
"Written on this card are the details of a date in which you will be the star," he says, flinging an envelope down on the table and stalking out to the nearest vegan cafe, collecting his pay cheque on the way.
Turns out it's a single date for Chantal, with the cryptic clue "take a chance on me". I hope this means she and Blake are going to see an ABBA tribute band at the casino.
All the girls are really excited for her, except for Amber the Canadian who has moved on from Da Vinci to practice her other impressions of art masterpieces, like Rodin's The Thinker:
You should see her Koontz.
Chantal trips down the driveway to where her limo is waiting, and opens it to find a single bunch of flowers inside.
"I was expecting Blake to be in the car, but because he wasn't it made it more of a romantic adventure," she says.
So, just to clarify: dates are more romantic when Blake isn't on them.
The limo takes her to a swanky hotel where she is greeted by some giftboxes, a bottle of champagne and a single glass - so I guess she's just supposed to get pissed on her own and open her presents?
In my house, this is known as "Christmas day".
Inside the boxes are a hideous sequinned cocktail dress and some cheap looking earrings, because obviously Chantal can't be trusted to dress herself.
There's also an invitation to join Blake at the bar later that evening. Given that's about six hours away, Chantal draws a bath with rose petals scattered in it and starts boozing on by herself.
Dates really ARE better without Blake.
All good things must come to an end however, so eventually she slips on her new dress, which appears to be the unfortunate result of a mirrorball having mated with a tutu, and heads down to the bar to meet The Bachelor.
Because Blake is the televisual equivalent of valium I doze off as soon as he comes on screen and miss their romantic reunion, but we can probably assume it consisted of him looking at her new dress and going "wow!" and her twirling around to royalty-free orchestral music.
I'm woken a few minutes later by Chantal saying "Blake bringing it out on our first date was really special" and I'm momentarily excited at the prospect of something interesting happening, but unfortunately it seems she's referring to that godawful keyring she made him in episode one.
"Why haven't I put my keys on there? Oh... because... I don't want to ruin it! Yeah, that's it."
Meanwhile, back at Shag Mansion another date card has shown up (I think Osher dropped it in by drone or something) reading "Ladies: get ready for the ride of your life".
"Could it be a rollercoaster?" shrieks Louise.
Ah... Yeah. Sure. A rollercoaster. That was my first thought too.
All the new girls are invited, including Mary who may or may not be a robot vampire:
If you watch this for long enough, you'll turn to stone.
Also going on the group date is Amber, aka the most likely to flip out and punch someone when things don't go her way.
"I was so shocked that Amber's name was on there," says Lisa, who has no clue how television works.
"THE NEW GIRLS NEED TO WATCH OUT. THIS IS MY TERRITORY, NOW IT'S ON," says Amber in the calm, reasoned way she has become known for.
Amber is the one who knocks.
Back at that luxury hotel Blake is still ruining Chantal's evening by hanging around instead of letting her chill out in her suite with her champagne on her own, but she's being polite and pretending to have a good time anyway.
They sit down to dinner and Blake masterfully segues the conversation from seafood to children in four easy movements, proving once again that there is absolutely no conversational barrier he can't overcome to bring up the topic of having kids.
It goes like this:
1. "I love seafood."
2. "Every Christmas is like a seafood explosion with my family."
3. "Speaking of family, my close relatives have just had children."
4. "OH LOOK WE'RE TALKING ABOUT HAVING KIDS AGAIN."
Not that Chantal minds; she happily starts talking baby names with him, discussing whether they'd have one or two kids, and where they should go on their honeymoon.
GUYS. YOU HAVEN'T EVEN HAD ENTREE YET.
Good thing too - you shouldn't really eat shellfish when you're pregnant.
Then Blake talks about the Maldives for what feels like the 15th time this series, because apart from children and his family it appears to be the only thing he's interested in discussing.
It's at about this point that I start to consider the possibility that Blake is actually a cyborg sent from the future to study the human race in the lead up to the 2050 apocalypse who was accidentally dispatched before scientists could fully load up his conversation software. Now in any given situation The Blakebot 3000 can only respond with questions about procreation, or factoids about small island nations in the Indian Ocean.
Just as Blake is about to explain the Maldives' major exports, pastry chef Adriano Zumbo turns up to play out the rest of his contract with Channel 10, bearing what looks like the dessert equivalent of an STI:
Serve with liberal doses of Canesten.
Then they get up and dance in the middle of the totally empty restaurant to no music, and everyone pretends it's super romantic instead of what it actually is, which is completely weird and awkward. Then he gives her a rose and they pash, which means I get to do this:
This counter sponsored by the Herpes Awareness Council of Australia.
Wavy lines, doobly doo music, more wavy lines, Amber muttering about bacon and maple syrup... Aaaaand it's the next day, and time for the group date, so all the girls zoom off in a shiny red advertisement to Luna Park, where they demonstrate how well said advertisement can reverse park.
They're greeted by Blake who has obviously been there for a while, as he's carrying a giant novelty wig he won a sideshow, and... oh. That's just Osher Gunsberg.
Meanwhile that guy in red is totally giving them both side eye.
Blake tells them they have the place to themselves and they all squeal with excitement because WHAT'S MORE FUN THAN AN ABANDONED AMUSEMENT PARK?
Nothing. They're super fun, obviously.
They all race off to have fun on Luna Park's many rides including the Big Dipper, the Hurricane and 1930s favourite "The Lesbian":
It's a hot, wet thrill ride set to an Indigo Girls soundtrack.
After a few rounds on the bumper cars they head to some sort of restaurant where they're greeted by the 2012 and 2013 winners of Sydney's Least Enthusiastic Waiter awards.
Actually I lie, the one on the left won the "Most Apprehensive Waiter" award, while the other won the inaugural gong for Narcoleptic Waiter of the Year.
Because it's the most sensible thing to do after chugging cheap champagne, they all go back out to hit the rides again where they run into pop star Alanis Morrissette, who's obviously on her way to a concert or something.
"Look Alanis, I know you're famous and everything, but we've actually hired this place exclusively tonight so you'll have to bugger off."
Everyone is super excited to see their 1990s pop idol, except for Amber.
"There's only room for one Canadian around here and that's me."
As it turns out she needn't have worried, as it's only newcomer Anastasia, who apparently has motion sickness so can't go on any rides. Isn't it ironic...
Displaying little to no sympathy for her condition Blake makes her ride the Matterhorn (sadly, not in the way you might think) and it almost makes her vomit so she scarpers, leaving Laurina to swoop in and take her spot by climbing over what is probably very dangerous machinery and electrical cabling in the middle of the ride.
LAURINA 4 LYFE.
Then Blake takes someone for a ride on the ferris wheel, I'm not sure who. I think it might be Kara but it's hard to tell because she never seems to wear the same face. Seriously, I can never recognise this chick.
It's possible she works for ASIO.
Blake doesn't recognise her either, so to avoid any awkward conversation he just gives her a rose.
In the meantime everyone else hangs out and pretends to have fun playing pinball and winning shitty plastic prizes on the sideshows, although there is one moment of genuine enjoyment when Mary runs into a long lost relative...
...and when Lauren demonstrates she is NOT to be fucked with when it comes to Daytona:
"Yeah laugh it up dickhead, we'll see who's smiling at the end of the Grand Prix."
Sensing she is being outshone, Jess clings to Blake like a limpet immediately upon his return, putting all the other girls on edge.
Amber in particular is so annoyed she loses all command of English, blubbering: "Oh my god, Jess is always trying to monopolaze Blake, and today is no reception."
Of course one might argue that Amber never actually HAD a command of English in the first place...
She's not the only one; Laurina is similarly affected, stammering: "When somebody just hogs him like that it kind of robs the experience of the shared joy."
What the hell was in that champagne?
No time for that, it's time for a spell on the "Joy Wheel", which sounds very much like a sex toy but I suspect sadly isn't.
This is what is known as a "joy wheel" in my house.
"Everyone sits on it, and it spins around and you have to stay on it the longest," explains Blake.
I THINK he's talking about the Joy Wheel.
Anyway they all sit on the stupid wheel, it spins, Jess proves she may actually BE a limpet by staying on the longest, and I wonder what my life has become when entertainment can apparently be defined as watching people sitting on a spinning platform.
Prime time television, 2014.
Naturally everyone now hates Jess, especially Amber, who becomes so enraged she loses not only her command of English but her entire mouth:
It's so serious she can't even ask for more maple syrup on her Bryan Adams.
As her reward, Jess wins some alone time with Blake.
I mean, naturally she asked for a plush toy and some novelty sunglasses instead but the producers said no, so she grits her teeth and jumps on an lonely looking merry go round with him in the middle of an empty warehouse.
This is not the first time that one of The Bachelor's dates has looked like a scene from a horror movie.
"It's so romantic, just you and me... and that guy. Ignore him, it's an insurance thing."
Meanwhile, I think we can safely assume that there definitely was something in that champagne as Blake attempts some romantic talk but can only manage a garbled "It's very, very easy to go to a different place with you."
The new GP-Jess, makes it easier to go to a different place.
Jess responds in the only way she knows how: by widening her eyes and looking attentive, and then half closing her eyes and looking kind of like she's falling asleep. And by making bluebirds and bunny rabbits tumble out of her flowing locks as she trills songs about rainbows.
She also mumbles some unintelligible rubbish like "I'm looking for someone who makes my soul vibrate" and "I love that you keep your heart open in this", so I guess she had some of that champers too.
If that last ride was the wheel of joy, this is definitely the wheel of boredom.
"Just one more suck and I'll have absorbed your entire brain."
They pash and everyone sees it (except, apparently, the 10 cameras that are on them as there's zero footage of it) and all hell breaks loose.
"I HAVE TOLD JESSICA AND THE OTHER GIRLS THAT IF HE WAS TO KISS ANYBODY ON A GROUP DATE I WAS ON THAT I WOULD BOW OUT," shrieks Laurina, who has clearly lost all concept of where she is and what she's doing and for some reason thinks this is a threat everyone should care about.
They WANT you to leave, you moron.
"JESS IS LIKE A CLING ON LEECH SUCKING THE BLOOD OUT OF BLAKE'S SKIN AND IT'S DISGUSTING," spits Amber, rather definitively.
Meanwhile, I really think if anyone is sucking anyone's blood around here it might be Mary.
Oh also, before I forget:
Finally the night is over, and it's back to Shag Mansion for the cocktail party which this week has a special theme: Pretend You're Not On A Reality Show Where You're All Dating The Same Bloke.
Chantal has gone all out for the event, launching into a specially prepared speech about how Jess kissing Blake less than a day after she did totally harshed her mellow.
"It was like my experience was no longer relevant, because hers took precendence," she wails.
It's exceptional stagecraft - for a moment you really do believe Chantal doesn't realise she's on a reality dating show where 13 women are trying to pash the same man!
Not to be outdone, Laurina shouts "I'M SICK OF PRETENDING TO BE OK WITH JESS'S BEHAVIOUR!" and runs off to confront her. Just a reminder: Jess's "behaviour" is dating the same guy Laurina is dating, on that show where everyone is dating the same guy.
"Kissing on dates - I don't feel like it's a problem," says Lisa, who a) is far too sensible and b) obviously didn't get the memo about the party theme.
"IT WAS A FULL ON ALIENATING EXPERIENCE AND I WAS SUBJECTED TO THAT," Laurina howls.
"I HAVE TRAVELLED TO 15 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES OVER SEVEN YEARS OF MY LIFE AND NEVER ENDURED SUCH ALIENATING BEHAVIOUR."
Just a reminder:
Such terrible alienation.
"YOU ACT LIKE YOU'RE THE MOST PERFECT LOVELY CONSIDERATE PERSON AND THAT WAS THE MOST INCONSIDERATE BEHAVIOUR I'VE EVER ENDURED," Laurina rails at Jess.
She caps off her tirade with a perfect execution of duckface, deftly winning the evening's award for Most Fowl behaviour.
Well, with that neck she couldn't really lose.
Stashing her trophy under her wing, Laurina runs off to Blake to "get his side of the story".
Um, OK. Here's how that probably goes, Laurina: "I think Jess is sexy, so I pashed her. I've pashed most of you, actually. The end."
"If he's kissed Jessica on a group date, I'm really confused as to where this leaves me," she gasps.
Um, it leaves you in the same boat as the other 12 girls on this show: being mercilessly mocked by the nation as you all attempt to date the same man.
"When I came here I told all the other girls 'if anyone wants to get rid of me, just kiss him on a group date'," Laurina tells Blake, trying once again to get someone to pay attention to her threat.
It doesn't work, but it does beg the question: WHY HAS NO ONE DONE THIS BEFORE? I mean, she gave out specific instructions, for god's sake!
"I CAN'T MAINTAIN MY DIGNITY IF THAT'S WHAT'S HAPPENING AROUND ME," Laurina cries. I think she's still upset about Blake and Jess kissing but it could be about Amber using her good eraser without asking, or Kara stealing her lunch money. Not sure.
Meanwhile, newsflash Laurina: You're crying on a reality TV dating show. Dignity has long since left the building.
Jess gets a rose, despite her being an alien. Oh no wait, I mean alienating everyone. It's Laurina who's the alien. She gets a rose too, and immediately puts it in a sealed specimen bag for further analysis later back on the mothership.
Everyone else gets roses, blah blah blah and then suddenly it's down to two - Mary the robo-vampire and Anastasia, aka Alanis Morrissette with motion sickness.
It's a tough call but eventually Blake decides he can't risk Mary's wrath so gives her the final rose, leaving Anastasia to run out the door screaming "IT'S NOT FAIR TO DENY ME THE CROSS I BEAR THAT YOU GAVE TO ME!"
Hopefully she can draw on this experience for her next breakup album.
Now go on and READ EPISODE TEN, in which everyone is forced to bake a cake to show how much they love Blake. I'm not even kidding.
If I were you I'd avoid it altogether and just READ EPISODE EIGHT again. Seems safer.