The boys can finally fit around a dining room table and they are lamenting the demise of Luke at last night’s rose ceremony. Poor old Mac doesn’t even get a mention; it’s like he and his guitar serenade and his little leopard spot onesie never even existed.
These boys are just amazed that they have all lasted longer than Luke, but they’re not cocky about it – especially not Sam:
“I’m not being cocky, but now Luke is gone, I’m definitely the front runner.”
Then Osher arrives and delivers a date card containing a second solo date for Apollo.
“There may be a new front runner,” says Sam. But I’m definitely the front-runner behind him.”
Apollo meets Sophie at a house out in the country somewhere and he strolls down the driveway resplendent in his over-sized cardigan, like he’s on a photo shot for GQ magazine or something.
Sophie tells him she has something special planned for him and she takes him to the back yard where she has set up a pen of puppies, literally thousands of fluffy Australian Shepherd puppies. My heart does skip a beat for a minute. This date is too reminiscent of that time Georgia Love took fireman Cameron to roll around with 101 Dalmatians, then dumped him at the very next rose ceremony.
But surely there is nothing to worry about here. It’s like Apollo and puppies are a match made in Bachelorette heaven.
“He had puppies in his jacket…” observes Sophie, “…and he had puppies in his pants…”
Or maybe he was just pleased to see Sophie, or very excited about the puppies.
Anyway, they both get absolutely covered in dog hair, so they change into exercise gear, and stroll into the front yard where a strange woman has laid out a couple of gym mats.
“We’re going to be doing DOGA today,” she tells them, with a confidence that suggests that this is actually a thing. “It’s like yoga, except you do it with a dog. You and the dog become one.”
So this is either an exercise regime designed for women who carry dogs in handbags, or Sophie and Apollo have stumbled onto the set of an underground bestiality porn flick.
After an hour or so of downward dog and wayward dog, and unruly dogs who chew on Sophie’s toes, it’s time for another change of clothes before settling down on the daybed. If a measure of a date is how many outfits you get to wear, then this one must be a corker.
They chat and they smile and they seem at ease in each other’s company and Apollo says all the right things. Not only that, but some of his magic seems to have worn off on Sophie, who produces a rose out of thin air which of course he accepts and they share a kiss.
We are not privvy to Apollo’s return to the house with the rose. It could have gone something like this:
Jarrod: I see you have a rose there, Apollo.
Apollo: Yeah and I pashed her and she let me play with her puppies.
Except it would never have happened like that, because Apollo is a GENTLEMAN and not a WANKER, which is why he is the FRONT RUNNER and not the FRONT RUNNER RUNNER UP.
The next day it’s a group date. All of the men are on it except for Apollo, who is back at the house with nothing to do but work magic on Jarrod’s horticultural projects.
Today the boys are participating in a sailing challenge. Jarrod can hardly contain his excitement because it is a competition and there are all sorts of manly things to do on a boat like pulling and winching and raising jibs and Jarrod can’t wait to start so Sophie can see what a great catch he would be.
Osher picks the teams in a sort of power play that makes me think he never got to pick his team in primary school and, by god, he’s going to make up for it now. AJ, James and Stu are one team, which Stu is pretty happy about because he and James know their way around a boat. A millionaire and a financial advisor on a yacht? Who’s have thought…
Meanwhile, Jarrod, Blake and Sam have to endure a “Yachting for Dummies” class before being allowed anywhere near the water.
There are to be two races, but in the end it doesn’t matter who wins because Sophie will pick any one of the men for some one-on-one time.
Before you can say “ready, steady go,” Jarrod gets busy winching things and pulling things and shouting “Go about!” a lot.
Sam observes that Jarrod is like a giant tuna that someone has thrown on the deck and is flopping about from one side of the boat to the other in a frantic attempt to get back into the water.
While Jarrod is distracted by all the boat bits, Blake decides to make his move and starts massaging Sophie’s back. This infuriates Jarrod, but his hands are all tied up with jibs and ratchets and his face is so red that he looks like his bilge pump is about to explode.
For the second race, Sophie switches boats, and possibly because they actually know how to sail a boat, they are all super chill and manage to win without even trying.
Somewhere in here Stu does a narration to camera, and I think I spy a deal-breaker. Those little pills of saliva have formed in the corners of his mouth.
Sophie picks Blake to spend some one-on-one time with because that way she has a one-on-one date without having to spend all day with him. She takes him to task and says that she doesn’t think he even likes her and he really just wants to do blokey things with the rest of the boys. Blake responds with the old (and always fatal) chestnut of not wanting to show his emotional side. He then says that he really feels like kissing her now and she tells him he can’t ask that so he doesn’t get a kiss and he doesn’t get a rose either.
Normally we would cut to the rose ceremony now, but Sophie suddenly remembers that she gave Sam that stupid Double-Delight rose on the first night, and because she is a woman of her word, she has to honour it before she sends Sam packing. So she picks him up in a stretch hummer in hope that he might sit at the opposite end of it. But no.
Sam sits right next to her and tells her how he is not only a great voice over artist, but also an actor and a record producer and if she likes he can teach her how to make music and he could probably give her some acting lesson as well because, you know, the work just comes to him and he doesn’t have to look for it like all his acting mates.
If there was ever any more proof that Sam has enjoyed the sound of his own voice so much that he hasn’t listened to a word Sophie has said about what she is looking for, then I would like to find it.
Sophie asks him what he brings to a successful relationship.
“Magic dusty stuff,” says Sam, waving an arm around his body to indicate that the dust has settled on him as they speak.
He should have left his magic dusty stuff at home and brought his crystal ball instead, because finally it’s…COCKTAIL TIME.
Sophie arrives and grabs Jarrod to stroke his ego, but mostly because she doesn’t want him to start crying again. I will give Jarrod his due; he has lasted 58 minutes of this episode before mentioning his f*cking pot plant, but at last the f*cking thing has sprouted.
Thank you, Apollo for using your magical powers while you were home alone. The whole country applauds you.
Anyway, while Jarrod rabbits on about his circle of love, Blake and Sam have forgotten which program they are on:
“Mate, I’d like nothing more than to take you to the final two with me,” says Blake.
“Yep. We’re the most deserving here, the way we’ve played the game. The best prevail,” replies Sam, and they fist-pump each other and drink a toast to their invincibility.
Don’t you love foreshadowing?
Finally Osher arrives. He has bad news. There are six men without roses, but only four roses. Two men will be going home.
Sophie makes short work of the first three roses with Jarrod, Stu and James joining Apollo.
Sam, Blake and AJ are left rose-less, but Sophie only has one! The excitement is electric, and then Sophie does what no bachelorette has done before and she sends the boys who have the roses out of the room!
They’re all like “WTF?” but they are forgetting that they have roses and that is a good thing.
Back in the house, Sophie picks up the final rose. A name plays on her lips.
“AJ,” she says and AJ launches forward to get the rose.
“AJ. I’m sorry, but this rose is not for you.”
Damn. This girl is good! Mind you, his demise no surprise, since the last word AJ uttered was the misspelling of “cuisine” a week or so back.
With AJ gone, she walks up to Sam and Blake.
“Have I seen the real you?” she asks.
“Yep. Yes. 100% totally me. Not even 1% anybody else. All Sam,” replies Sam.
And that sorted, she gives the rose to Blake.
Our last shot is of Sam, pondering Sophie’s poor taste in men, speeding away in a limo, a trail of magic dusty stuff pouring out of the exhaust…
And then there were five.