I have to admit it. I am much more a fan of The Bachelor than I am of The Bachelorette. It’s not that I’m not a sucker for romance. Heck, I have avoided The Notebook for years for the sole reason of my propensity for tearing up.
What I love about The Bachelor is the sheer joy I experience in my mental and emotional superiority of these women who are so desperate to snag a bloke that they would submit themselves to reality television. And then, despite myself, I find myself all caught up in one girl’s quest; proof that my brain is gradually turning to mush.
I’ve never actually invested in a whole season of The Bachelorette. Sure I got caught up in a few of the last few episodes of last season’s Australian franchise, but I think that was because of a bit of a fascination with the Bondi Vet stunt double who was a master at tying ropes.
But I just find the whole twenty-five men lining up in the hope of bedding this girl a bit…well…primal. It’s what male dogs do around a bitch, or toms around a cat. Male lions will fight to the death with the alpha male, or worse, the older male will kill off the cub so that he can mate with the female. It’s just the same here. The first bloke to pull out a crap love poem, and recite it badly, at the cocktail party is bound to be disembowelled by the other fellas. That’s even if he makes it to a cocktail party. What if one of them does something absurd like arriving in a horsehead mask?
And her wine swilling mum.
And her bully-boy brothers.
Hmmm. This could get interesting.
It begins and OMG! They start by replaying JoJo’s Midsummer Night’s Dream moment where she arrives with an ass on her head. In terms of cringe-worthy moments, surely that is up there. That’s only the first of a retrospective package, ending with Peter Brady “blindsiding” her at the last minute.
She’s learned a lot about herself since then, like how to pose pensively, framed by bougainvillea, and the poor girl decides that she has no other choice but to once again televise her quest for LUV. She wants to find someone who won’t just say love for the sake of it, but because they mean it. Oh JoJo. Didn’t you figure out the concept last time?
She’s trying to get over Ben, yet she arrives in a convertible – an old fashioned one – just like…I don’t know… Ben… used for the entire season of The Bachelor.
She sits down for a chat with three ex-Bachelorettes – at least one of them has had some action in the past few months – and they pretend to offer her advice when they aren’t distracted by pushing their shoestring straps back onto their shoulders. First fashion goal to JoJo. Cleavage highlighted, but no infuriating straps.
She has plenty of interesting questions to ask the girls though; like what they think about outrageous acts on the first night. Excluding the much aforementioned fact that JoJo turned up in a HORSE HEAD, there’s some great foreshadowing here. One of the girls reminisces about a guy turning up in a cupcake and then sharing a first kiss with him (Not sure what happened after that. Maybe his peanut frosting gave him self-inflicted anaphylaxis?) Another of the girls remembers Cupcake. Shoot me now. Even Nigella Lawson would balk at that, surely.
So the end of that meeting comes to pass, and one of the girls of Bachelorettes past suggests that what JoJo is about to do is “one of the hardest yet one of the best things she will ever do.”
I guess that means your UN Ambassador invite was just revoked, JoJo. They get it. Searching for a husband on tele is hard.
Anyway, the girls’ best advice is to wish her luck and not totally dismiss the weird and drunk guys. Probably good advice, or NO-ONE would be married.
Chris reappears to introduce some of the “extraordinary” (could there be a more non-specific word?) bachelors who have applied from across the country to meet JoJo
- Grant who enjoys walking down the street and leaning against walls in his fireman gear even when the is not a flame in sight.
- Jordan who likes to stand in the rain lamenting about how inferior he is to his brother
- The guy from a troubled background who became the mould for GI Joe and is looking for his JoJo
- James, who started watching the franchise with his mum (warning sign right there, JoJo)
- Evan, who used to be a pastor but is now an erectile dysfunction specialist. (Proof that the producers have a sense of humour)
- Ali, who has siblings who are doctors and dentists, yet who aspires to a penis: you know one of those guys who plays the piano
- Christian rejected by a racist dad (who’s laughing now, Dad)
- And then there is Luke, a Bachelorette triple threat: handsome, small town, ex-military (and Texan). Lay my money down!
Finally, it is time to meet the men face-to-face, and wouldn’t you know it. It has been raining at the mansion. Wet patches everywhere.
And then the men start arriving, and for a while it is all sorts of normal: “Pleased to meet you…you look wonderful (or variation on the theme…blah..blah…”)
Then there’s Robby. He’s a former competitive swimmer. Currently he is a part-time wannabe fashion icon (I don’t care how trendy it is, I think brown shoes look dicky with grey suits) and full-time sleaze-bag. Let’s take the most cringe-worthy moment from last season and ask your potential bride to relive the moment by taking a good old swig out of a bottle of cabernet sauvignon? I get that JoJo comes across as happy and funny, but you have to be full of yourself to bring that up as your first impression. He saunters off promising that he and she will finish the bottle later. If I was JoJo, after the swig, I would have taken a swing and smashed his smug head in with it.
Alex passes without incident, before Will emerges from the limo in a shower of palm cards containing all his best cheesy one-liners.
He’s followed by Chad, the luxury real estate agent. He smells good. Must have lashed out on some Brut 33.
He is followed by Daniel, whose profession is listed as Canadian. I guess that means he’s a moose-wrangling lumberjack or something.
By the time Ali the bartender emerges, I have realised that the brown shoes must be standard wardrobe issue this season. This is because Ali’s are a high-cut version and he has managed to tuck the leg of his trousers into one of them. Is this deliberate to give the impression of bumbling affability? Or is it to distract JoJo from his five’o’clock shadow, which I think I can actually see growing while he gazes into her eyes? Whatever, the first impression he has left is of sweat, leaving her to rub her hands her to dry them, since gold lame is not the most absorbent fabric.
Next JoJo is taught a harsh life lesson. Just because your name is James Taylor, it doesn’t make you a singer-songwriter, even if you step out of a guitar and singing about Bachelorette rituals.
The gimmicks are coming thick and fast now with the next guy, Jon, a half-Chinese-half-Scottish-natural born Canadian emerges, carefully, wearing a kilt.
“Luckily it’s the bottom half that’s Scottish,” he says.
“I’m not sure what that means,” says JoJo, like she’s never seen a sporran before.
“It’s open to interpretetation,” which must be the Chinese-Scottish-Canadian pronunciation.
“It’s ballsy,” muses JoJo. Yes. I think that’s the point.
I reckon it’s a brave move too, given that he’s about to walk into a room full of wine-swilling, hormone charged men…wearing a skirt.
The next bloke to emerge from the limo is dressed as Santa and calls himself Saint Nick. By some miracle on thirty-fourth street he doesn’t come out with the “all your Christmases have come at once” line. The next miracle will be if any of the other men strike up a conversation with him.
Chase is out next and looks like the limo driver has braked too hard and the resulting head bump has left him with two bits of dash vinyl hanging out of his nose.
But the worst gimmick of the night award has to go to Sal, who fronts up to JoJo with a pair of blue balls.
Oh god. Oh god. Oh god. By the time the ninety-seventh James arrives, I’ve almost had enough. And JoJo isn’t even in the house yet!
Then finally, a guy arrives wearing shoes that match his suit. He’s another Nick. He was doing alright, until he did the splits. Onto the wet ground. Now he’ll be walking around with a damp crotch all night.
Then a huge plush heart.
Then finally, Evan the erectile dysfunctional ex-preacher makes his entrance.
“How are you going, girlie?”
I would have thought that one of the major causes of erectile dysfunction would be a swift kick to the nuts from someone you have just referred to by a patronising, misogynist “term of endearment”.
No time to dwell on that because Wells turns up with an A cappella group. Watching from an inside window, James Taylor’s guitar shrinks to the size of a ukulele. But with a start like that, how far can Wells go?
Christian probably thought his motorbike was a pretty cool entrance, but of course he doesn’t know he has been pre-empted by a nerd with a boy band.
And followed by a war vet riding a unicorn.
Finally, Chris emerges from his vantage point in the bushes.
“Wow, JoJo! A man gave you blue balls and Santa Claus came.” That’s right up ther with things you would never expect to hear from a reality TV host.
The parade is done. Time for the fireworks.
So JoJo tells the men assembled that this season is going to be a hell of a ride. Next minute, Alex the marine is doing push-ups with JoJo sitting on his back.
Despite this, Jordan emerges as the front-runner. This is mainly because all the other men are too nervous. Ali is so nervous he now has a beard down to his knees and is standing in a six-inch deep pool of Ali juice.
So I have admitted before that I have not really been a watcher of The Bachelorette before. When Chris come in and plonks the first impression rose on the table, I must say I am firstly not impressed. It is such a stunted little thing. Yes, I know it’s meant to go on their lapel, but it just seems a bit too symbolic, especially for Evan the EDP. He, by the way, really hopes he gets the first impression rose. You do have to admires someone who doesn’t realise he is just there to make it easier for JoJo’s first elimination ceremony.
One thing is for sure. The appearance of that rose sure ups the ante. One of the fellows observes that things have become less friendly. Yes, because they were all such good mates before that.
One point of difference is the addition of spirits. Scotch certainly adds an new dimension to the cocktail party. Canadian Daniel all of a sudden looks like he’s out of Interview with a Vampire, there are toasts made to a stuffed teddy bear and you know it’s only a matter of time before the Lace moment, where sensibility and decorum crash and burn into an ashy, smouldering heap.
Daniel’s our guy. He starts trying to push Evan’s belly button. Evan doesn’t want this. Maybe it doubles as his erectile dysfunction button. But here’s a tip, Evan. Wear a tie. Maybe Daniel wouldn’t even have been drawn to your belly.
There is then much talk about belly buttons and the difference between standard American tie length v Canadian, before the now heavily imbibed Daniel finds the excuse to get his kit off. I think he might be wearing Bonds undies! Be still my proud little Aussie heart!
A few more guys make dicks of themselves, but just when you think everything is going to hell in a hand basket, Ali sweeps aside his beard and gets his slippery little hands onto the keys of the grand piano and whips out a bit of Beethoven. Way to impress a girl. This was a true WTF moment.
But after an ETERNITY, JoJo gives the first impression rose to Jordan. His lips were moist, but his hands were not. And his shoes match his suit.
You would think that we could just start eliminating now, and indeed, JoJo lines them up in front of a tray of roses. But then…dadada…one of them stupidly says in a cut away to camera that it’s great that some will be eliminated because the fewer guys the better, This has the same effect as saying “Beetlejuice” three times and incites the ghosts of Bachelor past. A silent limo pulls into the drive…
More brown shoes.
And it’s ex-bachelor Jake who’s just there to ruffle the feathers. PHEW. If this episode went on much longer I would have celebrated another birthday.
There’s a tiny bit of excitement in the rose ceremony where the firefighter Grant laments that he won’t be able to continue if he misses out on a rose to Santa Claus and the kilt guy. But Grant gets a rose, so I guess we’ll never know how that would have panned out. Vinny the bartender feels the same way, but also survives.
It’s farewell to Jon(but I’m so confused, Does she not like Scots? Asians? Canadians? Mispronouncers? Admitters of lack of underwear?) and a few other guys whose names I have already forgotten and whose gimmicks have been relegated to the great Bachelorette scrap heap of bad ideas.
But Daniel, the vampiristic, Bonds wearing, pool dipping Canadian stays, as does Santa Claus.
And his big BLACK boots.