We rejoin Bachelor Sam on the balcony of his love prison overlooking Sydney Harbour, where he is thinking about the three girls he boned the night before. ("Boned" in the Eddie McGuire sense, obviously. We don't get to any actual boning until the "fantasy suites" episode, everybody knows that.)
"I'm not here to settle, I'm here to be doing backflips for the rest of my life," he says rather cryptically.
Meanwhile, back at the Shag Mansion:
Just then a small piece of lint from the dryer flies in through the French doors and starts doing an impression of last year's host Osher Gunsberg. It is so good, none of the bachelorettes even realises it's not him (although it does remind Heather to clean the lint catcher out properly next time).
"I'm sure you're expecting me to produce, out of nowhere, a shiny, golden... envelope," the small piece of lint says.
Unfortunately this time it seems he's forgotten it, or left it on the bus or something, so instead Lint Osher makes up some crap about how Sam likes a decisive woman and they all have to decide amongst themselves who gets the next One on One Date (OOOD).
Naturally everyone reacts to this relatively dull news as if they've all just dropped ecstasy and then discovered they've won the lotto.
Except this chick, who has spent the entire morning being mildly assaulted by Heather and just can't wait for everything to be over:
"For the first time in Bachelor history, you will vote for who will go on a date with the Bachelor," Lint says.
"THE CONTROL IS BACK IN OUR HANDS!" shouts Jacinda.
So they all take turns casting their vote, and practically everyone votes for Sandra on the pretense that "she deserves it", as opposed to the real reason which is:
A few vote for Madeleine, and one votes for Nina.
Meanwhile Laura the Yorkshire vet forgets what she's doing and writes down the first thing that comes into her head:
The votes are counted and it's a tie between Sandra and Madeleine. So the conversation on this date is either going to be shouted at top volume or be restricted to year five vocabulary.
"Definitely people were voting strategically in voting for Sandra," snips Emily, as she adjusts her "Official Shag Mansion Bitch" nametag.
Everyone votes again, the ballots are taken out of the room and set on fire by a producer who then tells Lint Osher the winner is Madeleine, ensuring Sandra's crazy is hidden from Sam for at least one more episode and she'll live to create more trainwreck TV.
So Madeleine trips off to meet Sam, who is standing by the side of a river in a cable knit jumper like some sort of live action knitting pattern brochure.
"I hope whoever the girls have picked is ready for an adventure!" he guffaws.
Ooh wow, an adventure! Are they going sky diving?
Climbing a mountain, maybe?
Hang-gliding naked over crocodile infested waters?
"We're going for a little romantic row," announces Sam.
"LIKE THE NOTEBOOK!" gasps Madeleine.
And thus begins the most boring date since... no, this is it. This is the most boring date of all time. Take the sparkling conversation:
Sam: It's beautiful around here, isn't it?
Madeleine: It's soyy prettyyy.
Sam: So pretty.
Madeleine: Love it.
Sam: Oh, a waterfall.
Madeleine: That's awesome.
Their witty repartee is only enhanced by Madeleine's running commentary of the weather, and its effects on her hair and makeup, which are truly fascinating.
"It's probably going to rain as well," she laments, while Sam rows around pointing out various geographical landmarks.
"I shouldn't have bothered doing my hair today, it's already a mess," she says, throwing in an awkward laugh to show that really she doesn't mind, she's totes carefree, ha ha ha ha.
"I should have worn waterproof mascara," she continues.
"Because it was my first date with Sam I didn't want to wet my hair or wet my makeup," she says, as if that hasn't been made PAINFULLY OBVIOUS.
"How's my mascaaaaraaa?" she asks Sam, under the mistaken belief he gives half a shit.
"I look like a drowned, ha ha ha..." she laughs awkwardly, adjusting her hair.
"Now we're gunna rug up from the cold and get cosy with a picnic," Sam says.
I CAN SEE NOW WHY HE NEEDED A GIRL WHO WAS INTO ADVENTURE FOR THIS DATE.
Back at the Shag Mansion someone's finally located the missing gold envelope (don't ask - but it smells funny) and the next date card is being read out, courtesy of Some Random Girl.
"Let's rise and shine," reads Some Random Girl.
"Maybe it means we'll be staying somewhere overnight and getting up in the morning together," says Dannii Minogue, who has just wandered on set in the hopes of scoring a job on Channel 10.
Yeah sure, or maybe you'll be making bread and polishing furniture. Or learning how to levitate while replacing lightbulbs on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. So many things it could be!
"I really want this date, because I feel like I know nothing about Sam and he knows nothing about me," laments Laura the Yorkshire vet.
As it turns out Snezana is the chosen one, and everyone squeals like they're actually happy about it.
Sandra doesn't seem too upset though.
Back at Sam's adventurous picnic in the mud Madeleine is continuing in her bid to be the world's most boring person by going on about the weather again.
And her hair.
And her makeup.
"It's been a lovely start to the date except for this rain," she says.
"It's messing up my hair but like he said, messy hair is fine," she says, laughing awkwardly because her messy hair is totes not bothering her AT ALL.
"How about a glass of red?" Sam says.
"Oh yay, red!" Madeleine says, before adding "It'll stain my teeth..."
"Cheers to getting really wet today! Now you've seen me with no makeup already." she continues, as Sam considers taking the cyanide pills he's stashed in his sock for emergencies.
"I think the most important thing about a relationship is that you can be comfortable around each other, no matter what," says Sam, trying to change the subject.
"Well I'm not entirely comfortable today," says Madeleine, gesturing to her wet hair as Sam dreams of the sweet, sweet caress of death.
"Do you want some food?" Sam asks, hoping that by shoving something in Madeleine's mouth she might shut up about her hair.
"I don't want to eat in front of you, that's embarrassing!" she giggles.
NO, I MEAN SHE ACTUALLY, REALLY, TRULY SAID THIS. REALLY. FOR REAL.
Somehow Sam's eyes do not roll all the way back in his head, and he instead offers Madeleine a strawberry.
"Noooo, I'll get it in my teeth!" she protests.
After the date Sam gives his assessment.
"I think I need to process it in my head and work out how I feel," he says, which is code for "SHE IS SO BLOODY BORING AND POSSIBLY INSANE SO NO THANKS I'M DONE."
What did you think, Madeleine?
"I enjoyed my date with Sam despite the rain and my makeup being everywhere and my hair being horrendous!"
Moving on to the next OOOD where Sam is watching a bunch of hot air being sucked into a big black hole.
Just then Banana arrives, looking fabulous in a flowing white dress, leather jacket and gladiator heels. #TeamBanana4Lyfe
Their attraction is instant, and obvious.
They get in the balloon, pour some champagne, and immediately look like a GQ editorial come to life. They float around a bit, they smile at each other, it's all fascinating.
Then, not wanting to break the newly established tradition of holding picnics in muddy fields, they land in the middle of a muddy field to have a picnic.
But not before a quick walk through a random vineyard to pick some grapes. For some reason.
Banana asks Sam how he feels about her having a nine-year-old daughter.
Sam says something like "herpa derpa derp derp derp".
Banana praises him for "not being full of shit", which may be the most flattering compliment every given on The Bachelor, and we all move on to the next part of the date - a dessert buffer to be held in a leftover set piece from the Boggabilla Amateur Players' recent production of Romeo and Juliet.
They sit down, pour some wine, and quickly determine they don't have any questions to ask each other, so spend the rest of the afternoon smiling and staring wistfully into the distance.
Oh, and pashing.
You know what that means...
THE RETURN OF THE OFFICIAL BLAND CANYON BACHELOR PASH COUNTER!
Then he gives her a rose. And possibly a chin rash.
So, Banana, what do you think of Sam?
Back at the Shag Mansion the producers have found a use for all the extra Great Gatsby costumes they accidentally ordered for last week's photo shoot, by throwing a 1920s themed cocktail party.
Although there's clearly been some confusion in wardrobe with some girls misunderstanding exactly what a "flapper" dress is:
Desperate to build on her reputation for being a superhero geek who likes boys' stuff, Heather has dressed as a wampa from the Star Wars planet of Hoth:
Meanwhile, Dannii Minogue is still gunning for a job on set:
The cocktail party is completely uneventful save for the part when Sam sits down for a chat with Sarah the events planner with huge goals, and is immediately gatecrashed by Sandra the human wrecking ball.
"I FEEL LIKE I'M INTRUDING!" shouts Sandra.
After three minutes of brutally stilted conversation Sandra eventually concedes defeat and walks away, or rather awkwardly dances away shouting "SEE YA!" before concluding "That really worked in my favour".
But enough of all this nonsense...
IT'S ROSE TIME!* But first, a word from our sponsors at the Franklin Mint
* "For the 13 of you without a rose, Sam has 12 roses to give out," whispers a collection of dust that's gathered on the mantlepiece in the shape of last year's host Osher Gunsberg.
Sarah takes off her necklace and starts counting the beads, while Cha-Cha recites her four times tables in the hopes it will make her look smarter but gets stuck on four times five. Laura just shouts "ANAL GLANDS!". Approximately 23 minutes later, Jacinda exclaims "It means one of us is going home, jeez."
* "Hey bro," says Sam, and for a minute it seems he's going to give a rose to Osher Gunsberg, but it turns out that's actually one of the women.
"Hey bro, will you accept this rose?" Sam says, and Hey Bro says yes.
Rose, rose, rose, rose, rose, blah blah blah, and then it's down to two: Madeleine the biggest bore in the world and Laura the anal gland enthusiast. Sam is basically between a rockhead and an arse place.
"I would feel horrible if I went home without a rose," says Madeleine, before adding "Especially if he gave one to someone who constantly talked about dogs' arses."
As it turns out, that's exactly what happens, with Laura the Yorkshire vet scoring the final flower and Madeleine being sent away to worry about her hair and mascara and teeth somewhere else.
That's all for this episode, now go on and READ EPISODE FOUR! Or go back in time and READ EPISODE TWO again!