The Bachelor Australia (Season 4) – Episode 1: “Richie, are you sh*tting yourself?”

bachelorettesI’m worried about this season, I truly am.  It’s not that I have a problem with bachelor Richie.  He came across as a very decent chap in The Bachelorette, and despite media reports about his body odour, you can’t go past a guy who’s good with ropes.

No, my concern about this season lies fairly and squarely with Channel 10.  You see, they have already cast the next Bachelorette, and she’s not even one of the contestants vying for Richie’s ring.  She’s a newsreader from Tassie, Georgia Love (Oh the pun potential!).  So clearly this is what that means; they’ve cast twenty-two girls for The Bachelor, and not one of them has enough going for them to be considered for Bachelorette 2.  Makes me wonder what sort of girls they have dragged out for poor old Richie.  I hope there is at least one decent one for him, even if the rest are a bunch of duds.

I was very sad for Richie last season.  I must confess I only got into it in the final episodes.  I just thought that Sacha was your stereotypical bachelor bloke, and Michael had that “Look-at-me-pretty-soccer-player” vibe and Richie was just…nice.  But I’m glad that Sam is happy with her choice and nicely ensconced in her media career.  It just meant that poor old Richie was left wanting.

So I think it’s great that Richie is this season’s Bachelor, and for Channel 10 it doesn’t hurt that he looks like Dr Chris Brown’s slightly less chiselled brother.  That means there’s a potential career as the latter’s body double for when he just can’t handle one more sexual innuendo from Julia Morris.

Chris Briwn_Fotor_Collage
Switched at birth?

All Richie needs now is to find a girl.  It’s not easy to find a girl when you work on an oil rig.  In fact, it’s not easy to do a lot of things when you work on an oil rig.  Like order stuff off Gumtree.

Hello.  My name is Richie.  I work on an off-shore oil rig, but if you just give me your account details…(Click)

But I digress. In tonight’s first episode, Richie gets to greet his girls at the first cocktail party.  It’s here that you begin to notice the difference between American bachelorettes and the Aussie ones.  Except for the odd lunatic who decides to turn up in her pyjamas or bring her horse along, the American girls are always immaculately presented in sparkly dresses that cleave perfectly to each enhanced bosom and implanted buttock, with every hair in perfect place.  Our Aussie girls are certainly more about “what you see is what you get.”  Half of them look like they have just jumped out of the shower and without even bothering to blow dry their hair have popped on a frock they have picked up at Supre and are hoping for the best that the Hollywood tape holds all their bits in place.

So, let’s have a look at some of the potential late night co-hosts of a Joel Creasy vehicle that nobody watches; that is, some of the ones the producers decided to spend more than five seconds on as they walked in.

Some of the gimmicks are absolutely cringe worthy.  It surely must be the mark of a gentleman to maintain eye contact with a woman you have never met who insists on singing (off-key) a song professing her deep and undying love for you.  And how chivalrous not to pack Janey back into the limo after she spoke like a six-year-old and dropped her shoe like Cinderella? How restrained he was when presented with the opportunity for porcine humour in the form of a fistful of deli meats! And did he not avert his eyes when half a dozen of the girls with crotch high splits in their dresses made a bold first impression when walking up the stairs?

Of the non-gimmicky girls, I loved Megan, the free-diver from WA.  Apart from her obvious snogging advantage of being able to hold her breath for a long time, her conversation with Richie seemed quite natural and flowing.

But that’s boring.

Vintaea was amazing.  “Are you shitting yourself?” she asks Richie.  “Coz I think this is fucking great.”  Queenslander!

Olena was the last girl to enter the house.  She says that her greatest weapons are her eyes. A word of warning, Richie.  When a girl says she uses her eyes as weapons, don’t think that that is metaphorical.  My years of dealing with Year 9 girls has taught me that THE WORST THING that can happen in the playground is something called the “death stare”.  Many a time I have walked across a playground when there is a dispute over a particular pimply pubescent male to find the place littered with bodies, victims of the DEATH STARE.  The bachelorettes, confined as a group to the mansion, revert to their 14-year-old personas.  One day you might walk into scene of carnage at a cocktail party, Richie.  Just giving you the head’s up.

Death stare
How the eyes usually come into play in The Bachelor mansion

But my favourite of the night has to be Keira. I base this on my experience with her doppelganger, Olivia from The Bachelor US:  Season 20.  Just like Keira, Olivia came in dead-set in her belief that she was going to be the new missus.  Olivia ended up marooned (literally) staring at her man sailing off into the sunset (literally) with another girl.  She was fifty shades of crazy and she was so much fun to watch.

Olivia_Fotor_Collage
Crazy works

All girls safely settled into the champagne, Osher comes in to explain the white rose.  It’s a bit much for Janey who finds too many rules a bit too grown up and complicated.  But Mr Ginsberg is scarcely out of the room before Miss Piggy swoops on Richie and whisks him away in a sea of bacon fumes.

And so begins the speed dating round.

Alex has a big secret to tell Richie.  The trailers have been teasing us with this BIG SECRET for weeks.  I was so hanging out for the moment that she revealed that she was born a man.  But no.  Ho hum.  She has a son. If Richie didn’t know that there would be a single mum in the mix, then he is truly not a student of the genre.

Having been interrupted by Faith after dropping the BOMBSHELL, Alex decides to tell the other women.

“I’m a Mum,” says Alex.

“What!  You’ve been keeping this from us!” says one of the others.  Yes.  For the entire hour since you first met each other, Alex has failed to disclose this information.

Keira loves this tidbit.  Twenty-one women and one slut, she calculates, and in her final summation, this means her personal odds are getting better.

Georgia, the artist, sums up the room: “These women have no fucking class.”

God I love irony.

There’s the pattern of girls talking to Richie, being interrupted by other girls, bitching about the girls who did the interrupting, punctuated only by the occasional reprisal of Eliza’s god-awful love ballad, a planking contest and a group of girls practising their fake bitch slaps, (a skill which will no doubt come in handy later in the series), and Vintaea complaining about her fucking earrings, her fucking dress, her fucking boobs and how fucking boring all this shit is.

Tiffany, for her part in the planking, is given a rose for spontaneity, but it’s not white, so the fur doesn’t fly too much.  But by the time Megan gets another red rose, for not wearing any shoes, the feathers are starting to ruffle.

Finally, Richie picks up the white rose and delivers it to…Alex, who delivered the biggest gimmick of all.  A child.  It worked for Schnoz (is that Bachelor Sam’s missus?) and it got Amanda down to the final few in the The Bachelor US. Alex is ecstatic, but she has forgotten that this now puts her right in the cross-hairs.

Rose ceremony time.  Richie has given out three already and has sixteen left.  By my calculations that means three girls will go home.  He starts the procession by giving roses to Faith and Nikki (who didn’t get the first impression rose despite the near flash of vajayjay as she got out of the limo).

But before he can give out a third, Vintaea breaks away from the pack.  The fumes from hair lacquer and constriction of gold lame have clearly taken their toll. She manages to get out a couple of sentences without any expletives in them.  She’s had enough and she’s going home. I don’t know how Richie feels, but I’m fucking gutted.

vintaea
Vintaea provides one of those rare occasions where a Queenslander implodes.  May you never have to wear a dress again.

The procession continues and finally everyone has a rose except for two who I didn’t even bother to learn the names of, because despite an interminable pause, Keira is through!  Keira is through!  Did you hear me? KEIRA IS THROUGH!  And Georgia is there too, and now there are at least two reasons to tune in tomorrow.

And in the words of the defunct Vintaea, “This is fucking great!”

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