I am actually finding it really hard to write this. I am a hot mess of emotions; angry, mad, furious…
Oh, hang on. They’re all the same emotion, aren’t they?
Let’s add disgusted, infuriated, discombobulated…
So it’s like this. It’s about time these Bachelors and Bachelorettes just stopped picking the partners THEY want and start picking the ones that AUSTRALIA wants, because, Sophie, Australia knows best and Australia knew that James was lovely and Blake was a total twat, and guess what, Australia was right.
But more about that later, because we have a few home town dates to get through first.
We’re off to Victoria for Sophie to catch up with Jarrod, at home in the vineyard. Sophie stands on a hillock under a tree. Jarrod drives up in his little orange wine-mobile, parks at the bottom of the hill and runs toward Sophie with his arms outstretched like something from a Bronte novel, if either of these two knew that the Brontes were a clan of romantic novelists and not the collective noun for baby dinosaurs.
We’re here to meet Jarrod’s family, especially his mum, Anne. Jarrod is not in love with Sophie yet (although I’m pretty sure he has said that he is and there was all that fricken pot plant rubbish), but he will be if his mum says it’s allowed. So they rock up to the door and Anne greets them and hugs her son.
“JESUS!” exclaims my husband (who you may remember cried when Matty J chose Laura but will never admit to watching).
His exclamation is in reaction to the length and intensity of the embrace between Anne and Jarrod which could only be more inappropriate if there had been the flicking of tongues.
This house is very flash. It’s the kind of place where beluga just walk into the kitchen and squirt their eggs straight into the Tupperware, and two sticks of asparagus adorn every plate, leaning against the salmon at precise angles.
Not that Sophie gets to taste any of it before Anne drags her away from the table and down the stairs to the “date dungeon.”
Alright, it might be the wine cellar, but it’s still pretty sinister, especially when Anne tells Sophie that all of Jarrod’s slutty, heart-breaking ex-girlfriends are buried there, as she waves her hand in the direction of a bare patch of earth.
“Where do you stand with Jarrod?” she asks.
Sophie considers her answer given that actually standing with Jarrod at this precise moment would be preferable.
“He’s honest and he has my back,” she says, which actually seems to satisfy Anne. They return to the dinner table.
“Jarrod,” announces Anne. “You are in love now.”
“Yes, Mummy. I am.”
And he takes Sophie outside and having exhausted every adverb in the dictionary, eventually declares his love. They embrace, and Sophie wanders off into the vineyard in the dark like when Burt Lancaster wanders off into the cornfield in Field of Dreams as a death metaphor and we can only hope it’s the same for this relationship.
The next day we’re in Queensland. Just two ordinary people – one a radio and television personality, the other a magician and sometime body-double for Chris Hemsworth – just catching up in the real world (aka Gold Coast).
Apollo introduces Sophie to his horse and his three miniature ponies and he horse whispers and…
…and he thrusts his pelvis at the horse and he makes Sophie stand like Wonder Woman, and she whispers at the horse too, and all we need is Osher to jump out of the bushes and declare the competition over right now.
But no Osher. Sigh…
Then it’s off to meet Apollo’s family, but there’s only one really worth mentioning and that’s Apollo’s Grandma Ellie who knows a lot about relationships because she is 917 years old.
“Age doesn’t come into it,” says Grandma Ellie, allaying Sophie’s concerns.
“You’re a lot older than my grandson, aren’t you? That could be a problem,” she follows, because, well, she is 917 years old.
But in the end, Grandma Ellie gives her blessing and we give our blessing and Apollo kisses Sophie good night and all is good with the world…until I remember that we have two more dates to sit through.
It is also at about this time that I realise I have forgotten to hit record on the Foxtel box and I have missed the opportunity to take blurry, ill-framed photos of my TV with my iPhone.
Next up is Stuart, who finally gets to take Sophie on the boat he wanted to take her on 12 months ago, except she thought he was a major douche.
Anyhow, it’s good that he has chosen a nautical theme for this date, because it’s all about sea-craft, seafood and semen.
Stu lures her to the stern of the boat because he has a surprise for Sophie. She thinks that it’s just a feed of king prawns and a jar of Masterfoods Seafood Cocktail Sauce.
But no. Stu is up for a game of charades.
“In the interest of up-front honesty, I need to tell you that I have had a…”
He makes a scissors motion with his hands.
Sophie stares at him blankly.
He takes a piece of paper and tears it in half straight down the middle.
Sophie stares at him blankly.
He grabs a length of tubing, seizes each end of it, and Hulk-like, rips it apart, the veins in his neck popping.
Sophie stares at him blankly.
“I’ve had a VASECTOMY!” exclaims Stu, and Sophie looks shocked.
“And by the way, I’m technically still married. I’ll get you more wine.”
Sophie shoves an entire king prawn in her mouth. It must be said that this knowledge could make a vas deferens to the finale. (Boom boom!)
She has a lot of thinking to do, like mostly how stupid she was to let James go.
There is still an awkward dinner with the family where dad, Arnold and sister. Justine are all about the money.
“I have my own money,” says Sophie. “And I’m good at making it.”
“Righto,” says Arnold. “You’re a bonza shiela.”
And she bids goodnight to Stu with a kiss.
Finally, we arrive in Perth for Blake, who takes her to the Cockburn ice skating rink to woo her with some man-made snow.
At this point, my fourteen-year-old son has emerged from his Xbox long enough to smear a corn thin, and the kitchen bench, with peanut paste.
“How staged is that?” he says, pointing his snack at the TV.
From the mouths of babes…
It turns out that Blake’s mother was a Bardot groupie back in the day, and she leads the family in recreating The Beatles arriving in Australia, except that there are only three of them and none of them pass out from being pressed against a wire fence under the weight of three thousand screaming teenage girls.
But they have a celebrity in their house and Blake is the reason why, and that means Blake will be a celebrity and then they will become celebrities…
At some stage, some of the bullshit that fell out of Blake’s mouth was how he would be Sophie’s protector.
Then his mother and his sister start laying into Sophie and Blake decides to remain mute and stare into his dinner plate.
And Sophie let James go home for…this?
Finally it’s Rose Ceremony time and Osher greets us with an appearance to tell us there are four blokes and only three roses.
Of course Jarrod gets a rose first, because despite him being a clingy lunatic, at least his boys still have a tube to swim down and he’s not married to anyone.
Apollo gets a rose because…he’s f*cking adorable.
Stu gets the final rose and Blake gets the flick. In other words, Blake gets beaten by an old, married, desexed guy.
It’s like Sophie has been watching youtube videos on “How to Deflate a Narcissist for Dummies.”
Sophie still has a good heart. She wants to make sure Blake is OK.
“RUOK?” she asks.
“F*ck you and f*ck him and him and him. Have fun with your second-best men. Ciao.”
Sophie is just left standing there in the garden. Where’s Osher?
“Not in my contract. Get Lisa Wilkinson to do it.”
Where’s her protector, Jarrod?
Off watering his stupid love plant.
Not even Stu and Apollo have rushed to Sophie to offer a comforting shoulder.
But who cares, because on that note, with the finale approaching next week, we bid ciao to the C*ckhead from Cockburn.
(And having written about it, I’m just a wee bit calmer)