When last we saw the girls, Simone and Leah had had words at the cocktail party and they decided that they hated each other.
Lucky for us, the dawn of a new day hasn’t changed that. As always, talk is about the dates. Simone is hopeful of even a group date as long as Leah isn’t on it as well. Leah, always super confident, reckons she wouldn’t mind a double-date:
“You know,” she says. “One of those dates where one goes and one leaves.”
With odds like those, I’d love watching Leah on one of those dates as well.
But we’ll all have to keep those thoughts on hold for a while, because Osher arrives with an envelope bearing a single date card. The card asks after a girl where Matty can draw on her creative side, which according to the girls could only mean Alix the body artist and Laura the jeweller, because not one of these girls knows a second meaning of the word ‘draw’. Anyway, their misguided hunch is correct and Laura gets fifteen minutes to ready herself for the date with Matty.
Elora has obviously had a chance to get in her ear and warn her against platform wedges, because Laura heads off to the wharf in sensible flat sandals. Matty soon putt-putts his way to the wharf, and Laura is clearly unimpressed by the size of his…tender.
But of course, Matty is a tricky one, and although Laura would be happy to meander around the inner harbour all day in his little boat, Matty soon reveals his great…big…one could almost say… engorged…yacht (Number 2 of the series for those keeping count or involved in a Bachelor drinking game).
Laura is so impressed that she starts rabbiting on about riding around India in tuk-tuks and getting tattoos, and that‘s incredibly boring, so it’s back to the house to find out about the group date.
The women all gather in the ‘Drama Cabana’ (and if Jenn makes no other contribution this series, we can be thankful she coined that phrase). Sharlene reads out the card, which invites pretty much every blonde in the joint, plus Elora and herself. It’s a bitter pill for Simone, who reacts like she has vomited in her own mouth. She gets the group date, but Leah does too.
Back at the single date, Matty has set up a couple of easels in the backyard of some random strangers, and he says they have five minutes to speed draw one another before the house owners arrive home.
Laura has four years of art school to draw upon (see what I did there, girls?), while Matty’s art experience stems from entering a sketch in the Brookvale Show and a few toddler years watching Mr Squiggle.
Laura’s drawing is never going to win the Archibald, but Matty’s looks like it could only have been worse if he HAD used his nose to paint it.
Through a bit of shameless flirting and inane conversation over charcoal they decide that they have a lot in common, but drawing isn’t one of them.
Before Laura can decide that Matty’s depiction of her is a deal breaker, they retire to a lounge:
“What are you thinking about?” he says in his standard conversation starter.
Oh god. Not more of that awkward Elora silence? But then a producer must whisper the word ‘kiss’ into his ear and he moves in, their lips touch, the music rises to a crescendo and all is good with the world.
The next day we are off to the group date. It’s a trip back in time (which might help to slow down Belinda’s biological clock), to ye olde fair, somewhere in the distant past when feminism wasn’t invented and the way to impress a man was to tackle a greasy pig.
“Welcome to 1509, when Henry VIII was crowned King of England,” announces Osher, and with that bit of Wikipedia research all semblance of historical accuracy is thereby thrown out ye olde window like urine into a cobble-stone street.
“As you remember,” continues Osher, “Henry VIII had six wives.”
The blank looks on the girl’s faces make in blatantly clear that they did not know this, which is just as well, since Henry beheaded two of them and at least one of them probably had sex with her own brother.
Osher goes on to say that the girls are going to compete in a series of challenges to win a place at the King’s banquet table. The first of these involves the afore-mentioned catching of the pig. Apparently no pigs were harmed in the filming of this segment, but the dignity of several girls was shattered forever.
“That Leah’s quite the pig catcher,” observes Matty, a skill to which Leah herself admits.
“If you want the sausage, you have to catch yourself a pig.”
The second challenge is a pastime little known in Tudor courts – the combo sack race and quoit throw. The eventual victors are Belinda and Lisa, but this jumping around in hessian bags has not come without physical cost; Belinda thinks she’s done a hammy, and Lisa has sweat all down her back, crack and sack.
The final challenge is a boring game of soccer (nothing has changed in five hundred years, then), just because, the producers ran out of Tudor entertainment that didn’t involve blood sports, and soon the six successful women join King Matty at his banquet.
Without sounding like Hannah the Horrible Historian (and with apologies to any historians named Hannah), I must point out that Henry VIII never dined with all six of his wives at once, but I must admit that I wouldn’t have minded watching the food fight that might have erupted between Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn.
“Get your old barren butt back to Spain, you hag,” spits Anne, launching a fist full of jellied eel.
“Shut your lying face you French-wanna-be bitch,” screams Kate, reaching for a boar’s head. “And by the way, that dress is putrid!”
So Matty decides that he will use the time to see how things are going in the house. Leah seizes the opportunity to tell Matty how the house brings out the maternal nature in her. Kind of like Joan Crawford’s house would bring out the maternal instinct in her, just before she slapped her daughter across the face and locked her in a cupboard for three weeks.
The other five women hold their tongues, for now. Maybe some of them have watched previous series and know that the dibber-dobber usually gets the chop, and this IS a Henry VIII themed party after all.
So begins the rounds of one-on-one time. Leah is having none of the other women speaking to her husband, so she barges in on poor Elise, just as she is about to reveal to Matty the second thing about her. The first thing was so boring I instantly forgot it, but…
OMG, LEAH! WHAT IF WE NEVER FIND OUT ELISE’S SECOND THING?
Leah then uses her time to put on some crocodile tears.
The whole evening has moved Matty and he gives a rose to a girl who has shown her softer side to him. Alix.
And Leah glares down the camera like the opening credits to an episode of Deadly Women.
Finally, it’s time for an abridged rose ceremony, and with one nutter (Natalie) safely back in the house, and Matty so far playing dumb about Leah, Akoulina misses out on a rose and is sent home.
But at least she leaves with her head. No dignity, but a head.