Jen is devastated after the departure of her latest best bud, Michelle. She’s so devo that while all the other girls are chugging water, she’s poured herself a Baileys’ and milk just to take the edge off.
Thankfully Osher arrives pretty quickly.
“You all look pleased to see me, but I know you only want me for my date,” he says reaching around behind him. “And here it is!”
He dumps the gold envelope on the table and Tara pounces on it. The clue inside suggests that it is aimed at one of the girls who was on the family date.
“That’s a twenty-five percent chance that I’m going on a single date!” says Jen excitedly. Of course, anyone in Year 4 can tell you that that means a seventy-five percent that she won’t be.
Probability isn’t called probability for nothing, and yet again Jen misses out on the single date. Instead it goes to Elise, who must be so happy that her dad turned up last episode to put Matty in his place.
Fifteen minutes later and Elise has joined Matty as the only other passenger on a double-decker bus. In case you missed it, Matty once lived in London until sister Kate could no longer deal with the separation and ordered him home to find a mate and produce nieces and nephews. The bus represents the time he spent away and he’s going to use it to show Elise his home. You know, a CONNECTION.
“There’s where I used to play tennis,” points out Matty, expecting Elise to faint in the awe of this titbit.
“Oh yeah. I’ve played tennis there. With beer!”
“Well my house is just there in that street.”
“True? My old house is right there in THAT street!”
She is an Olympian after all. You don’t get there without being just a tad competitive. And you’re not the only person who has ever lived in Sydney, Matty.
So Matty manoeuvres the bus through the narrow streets of Bondi, pulling up outside his mother’s favourite florist. He presents Elise with a bunch of flowers and she is elated.
“I’ve never been given flowers before!” she exclaims.
Because Elise has only dated selfish, cheap, unromantic arseholes, and the only way is up.
But there is no time to dwell on this because Dr Chris Brown is on an emergency call-out to give mouth-to-mouth to Hugh Jackman’s labradoodle and this frigging bus is blocking all the Bondi streets.
Back at the house, Jen has added Elise to her bitch list, which now includes any female within a fifty kilometre radius of the Bachelor mansion. Simone is in one of her usual sulks because she has been overlooked again for a single date. Jen observes that Simone is in a dark place; like Jen is a little ray of sunshine herself.
A group date arrives. Let’s play like it’s summer, it says. There is a collective sigh of relief. Finally the boob jobs might start to pay for themselves.
Meanwhile, Matty takes Elise to a park in the Eastern suburbs overlooking the harbour where he has set up a lemonade stand. Matty’s Lemonade Stand says the sign, except that the s is written backwards, because, know you, dyslexia chicks dig.
No date with an Olympian would be complete without some patronising stunt designed to belittle her achievements, so in no time Matty has donned his goalie gear and Elise is firing oversized tennis balls at him, all of which hit the back of the net (surprise). His kneepads sum it all up really…zzzzzzzzzz.
The final part of the date is on a boat on the harbour. It’s night time, it’s windy, and Matty is wearing a jumper. What better way to finish the evening than a spa on the bow! Next minute they are sitting in the water and neither of them look particularly comfortable. Elise is trying to tell Matty that she has feelings for him, but there are long breaks between stammered words and her eyes keep closing like she’s passing out from hypothermia.
Whether through passion or unconsciousness, Elise’s lips end up on Matty’s. He produces a rose – the second he has given Elise in as many days. Can’t wait for Jen to find out!
If Jen did find out about it, we will never know, because we are edited away to the group date. All of the girls get to take part and Jen now has Lisa centred in the crosshairs.
Osher arrives long enough to announce that they are going to compete in a series of classic Aussie beach games.
The first of these is the traditional game of “Appoint the Popular Kid Captain and Let Them Pick the Teams”. Oh, how I loved this one when I was a kid. I couldn’t wait to be the last to be picked and see the grimace on the face of the captain who was forced to have me. Fair enough, because I was always the one who couldn’t remember whether the studded side of the vigoro bat was supposed to face out or in, or whether the white or red ball had been bowled last.
And yes. I have just given away a clue to my fricken age. VIG-O-EFFING-RO.
I digress. My point here was going to be that I could feel for Simone and that her moaning was finally justified, but…nah. She’s just a whinger.
Apparently, team selection isn’t actually one of the games. The first real game is cricket. An Aussie summer staple, except this one involves the girls attempting to catch Matty’s balls in butterfly nets. That is, Jen bowls at Matty who hits the balls with a cricket bat and the girls try to catch the hit in their nets. Those of you reading in cricket playing nations will understand how stupid this game is, but for those of you reading in the USA, this is just not cricket. NOT CRICKET AT ALL.
Elora proves to be quite adept a cric-cross or la-cric or whatever the celebrity name of a marriage between cricket and lacrosse would be. Jen surrenders the bowling role so that she can neutralise Elora, but despite Jen’s best efforts to find suitable place for the butterfly net pole, Elora’s team wins.
Game two is a thong throw.
“Everybody take your thongs off and throw them in the middle,” explains Matty. “Then take turns to try to chuck your thong into the eskie.”
For our NZ friends: Throw your jandle at the chilly-bin.
For our American friends: Throw your flip-flop at the cooler.
Hmmm…having seen that in print, our Aussie vernacular seems perfectly normal.
Anyway, Lisa and Jen turnout to be the best tossers, and Lisa the best of them all.
The final game is beach volleyball except that…hang on…it is actually JUST beach volleyball, except that in a strange irony, the girls are wearing more clothes than if they were competing professionally.
Long story short, Lisa’s team wins and Jen’s team loses. Lisa, Elora, Tara and Cobie get to spend time with Matty in yet another random mansion. Tara sucks on a sausage and as a result gets alone time with Matty. Lisa confesses to Elora and Cobie that she seems to be the only one who isn’t clamouring over Matty. She admits that she likes him like she should for that stage of their relationship, but no more than would be expected at the same stage of a relationship in the real world.
It’s like King Lear. Cordelia Lisa needs to read it, because that kind of rational talk gets you nowhere.
Finally, it’s cocktail party time. Water finds its own level (or in this case, chardonnay), so it’s no surprise that Jen and Simone are now sitting together bitching about anyone else.
Matty is getting a weird vibe from Jen, so he decides to take her for a chat. There’s no way he’s taking her to the secret garden. Instead, he sensibly takes her to sit on the edge of the fountain, where he can casually knock her into the water if she gets too worked up.
If Jen has done any research through watching any previous series of The Bachelor, she seems to have forgotten it. Immediately she starts to dump on Lisa:
“She sees you like a brother,” she says. “Like a brother that a sister wouldn’t want living across the street.”
Lisa takes a swig of her chardy.
“And…she reckons you’re only in this to improve your social profile. I was in my room doing sit-ups and I can multi task and I heard it and it was totally in context and everything.”
Matty’s not going to take that without further investigation, so he invites Lisa for a chat. But he doesn’t take her to the secret garden either. Instead he’s within earshot of the loungeroom and soon the girls realise that Jen has set Lisa up as a sacrificial lamb.
Elise, rose safely in her hand, takes Jen on.
“You threw Lisa under the bus,” declares Elise, and after her single date, Elise has become something of an expert on buses.
“I didn’t throw her under the bus. I just told the truth, and I told it in a brutal way, not a malicious way,” justifies Jen, because malicious just has too many syllables for Jen to comprehend.
It’s at this point that the rubber band inside Jen’s head snaps. The only girlfriend she has left is sour-puss Simone, and that is too much for her to bear. She runs sobbing to a producer. The producer offers her a roll of toilet paper to dab her tears.
But Jen suddenly realises how this will end, because unlike in a Shakespearean tragedy, she forgot to cut Lisa’s tongue out.
In the blink of an eye, Jen has packed up her little wheely suitcase and has marched out of the mansion gates.
That’s wheely, wheely surprising, given how strong Jen claimed to be, but wheely, wheely clever in promoting her media profile.
Somewhere in the mansion another half dozen roses start to wilt.
But as we all know…the wheels on the bus go round and round…
See you next round episode.