“It was the moment that broke Australia’s heart…”
So the TV promos have lamented. Pfft. Not this little part of Australia. My heart broke last season when Georgia took Cameron on that date with all those dalmatian puppies! Who would have thought that she could resist a fireman covered in all that licky, waggy, spotty houndiness? Well Georgia did, and that’s when my heart broke.
No worries I thought. Cam will surely be back to find love as the next Bachelor. But alas! My heart was to be wrenched from my chest once more when Channel 10 announced they were resurrecting Matty J’s quest for amore´.
It’s not that I have anything against Matty J. It’s just that last season he came across as the poor little try-too-hard brother. Look at me, Georgia! I can fly on a trapeze! Look at me, Georgia! I can ride a horse! Look at me, Georgia! I can do magic! I just couldn’t warm to him, and I don’t think it would have mattered how many dalmatian puppies he pulled out of his little magician’s hat.
But in any case, Matty J is back, and I must say he does look much, much taller. Maybe last season he was surrounded by giants. Maybe he’s found out where Tom Cruise goes shopping for shoes. Maybe he hit puberty.
In the twelve months or so since The Bachelorette, Matty has been building up his biceps by shoulder pressing baby nephew George, standing on beaches with a surfboard under his arm staring forlornly at a dead flat ocean, and practising putting on white business shirts in slow motion.
He’s ready. Osher’s ready.
So let the auditions for I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here begin!
First up is Alix. She’s a body painter and the way she talks about it you would almost think that that was a real job. She’s got a bit of her artwork around her wrist, but otherwise she’s pretty low on gimmicks. All hail, Alix!
Actually, I’ll give the producers their due. The first few girls are all relatively gimmick free. Most of them are too busy trying to keep their nipples in their dresses.
Second up is Tara. She’s into a bit of body art herself, if painting your hands and making prints on butcher’s paper counts. She’s a nanny, and she appears to have the attention span of a toddler, or maybe even a gold fish. “Hi Matty, my name is … ooooh…sparkly house…!” She’s the first girl to have a vignette, so she’s either going home tonight or will be around until the final four.
She’s followed by Laura, a jewelry designer who impresses Matty by jamming his finger into her ring and by wearing a slinky jump suit with no VPL.
Then there’s Cobie who turns up with helium balloons to make her voice sound like a four-year-old. Matty has a go as well, but his voice doesn’t sound any different. Oops.
We’re spared any more gimmicks for a while, with Simone, Louise, Monica, Laura-Ann, Elizabeth, Steph, Sharlene, Stacy (I have a personality coz I have a sash to prove it), Sharn and Jennifer all rushed through in a flurry of lace and Hollywood tape and air kisses.
And then along comes Natalie, the bat-shit-crazy (Her words, not mine. OK. They’re mine as well) Instagram-stalking, mid-wife who walks like a tradie, speaks like she’s coughing up fur balls and who likes to use the word moist. A lot. And she gives away more information in that initial meeting than one needs to. “Hi. I’m Natalie. I used to date a woman, And I’m moist, moist, moist!”
How to follow that? Enter Constable Michelle Paxton who arrives in a police car (nice knowing our tax payer dollars are being used wisely) and steps out of of it in a smoking hot dress before wrapping Matty’s arm behind his back. He wonders if she arrested him for peeing in the bushes at the cricket. She asks him not to pee in any more bushes. Deep.
That’s all a bit too sensible though. She’s followed by Belinda who, at 34, is four years older than Matty. She produces an egg timer and puts Matty’s hand on her heart to make it easier for him to feel her biological clock ticking. A long and awkward minute later and the buzzer goes off. Her eggs are done.
Florence is next. She’s Dutch and has brought Matty a ‘very special’ present from her home land. Before he can tell her that there is a cop in the house, she whips open her box and reveals…a pair of clogs. Phew.
Then there’s Akoulina, a rhythmic gymnast from the Gold Coast wearing 1970s blue eye shadow she has probably borrowed from her Russian grandmother, followed by Lisa, a model and student, who looks like every Miss Universe Australia ever.
And then along comes Leah. Leah has been quoted by newspapers during the week as not realising how nearly nude her dress (which was basically fly screen held together with pipe cleaners) was until she saw the promos. Yeah. Right. Leah is to this season of The Bachelor Australia what Corrine was to the last season of the US franchise. Book your tickets to the jungle, Missy. Julia and Doctor Chris are waiting.
Leah was the last to arrive in the limos and she makes a grand entrance.
“Oh my God! She’s wearing my dress, only in black!” cries Jennifer on the verge of meltdown. There must have been sale down at SlutzRus.
Leah is clearly there to stir the pot, and stir the pot she does. She stirs it so much that Natalie declares that she is no longer moist. She’s sticky.
It’s also clear why there were so few gimmicks this season. Instead of one feather ruffler, the producers have outdone themselves and stuck half a dozen in there, and it is not long before before both the cocktails and the vitriol are flowing.
Osher makes his first grand entrance to tell all the girls about this year’s new addition: the secret garden. This is exactly the same as Georgia’s secret turret, except it’s a garden, not a turret, but it’s very very secret.
“It’s a very secret garden…and it’s just at the end of that path,” explains Osher.
And that is why Osher is a television host and doesn’t work for ASIO.
Leah has a secret garden she wants to show Matty, but before anyone can scratch her eyes out, they are distracted by a fiery ball throwing itself around the lawn.
It’s Elora, a Tahitian goddess who the other girls identify as an ‘intruder’, though how one can be declared an intruder on the first night is anybody’s guess. Her entry to the house is potentially explosive. With all that hair product and cheap hair extensions, one stray spark from Elora’s flaming batons could cause the whole Bachelor mansion to go up in a blazing inferno.
Things fire up anyway after Elora changes out of her fire twirling scrubs and re-emerges a vision in silver – all boobs and bum and legs up to her armpits. She interrupts Matty’s conversation and so begins the usual barging in on one another and complaining.
Jennifer and Elizabeth quickly emerge as potential heirs to Keira’s (Season 4) psycho crown.
And then it happens. Elizabeth says that Jennifer’s dress is putrid. It is. Jennifer calls Elizabeth a bitch. She is. Laura tries to mediate which lasts about thirty seconds before she thinks. “Fuck these bitches” and steps away. Good decision.
Matty comes in and gives out his first impression rose…to Michelle, who hasn’t even had a single one-on-one conversation with him since she arrived on the driveway. Apparently, rocking up in a cop car in a smoking hot dress AND conducting yourself with class and decorum can get you attention. Who’d-a thunk it? It certainly works better than lifting your leg to let a fart out. Note that well, Natalie.
“Well that’s probably it then. There’ll be a rose ceremony now,” says one of them. And thankfully there is.
The expected girls get through: the gorgeous ones like Lisa and Alix, the early front -runners like Tara and Laura, and a couple of the crazy, yet easily diposable ones, like Akoulina and Natalie.
The tension builds. The roses slowly deplete. Jennifer wants one for herself, but not for Elizabeth. Elizabeth wants one so that she can jam its thorny stem into Jennifer’s eye. Jennifer gets a rose first and stands there smugly like the cat that ate the canary until the very last rose…
“Elizabeth. Will you accept this rose?”
“What?” says Jennifer. “I never saw that coming.” Another one of those contestants who does not appear to have ever watched an episode.
Gone are Stacy, who proves that a sash does not a personality make, and Monica who I don’t think I saw once during the cocktail party.
So Matty has chosen his final nineteen. Surely there’ll be a few in there to fix his broken Georgia heart.
Strap in folks. We’re in for a ride.