Oh, Osher. Aren’t there easier ways to get a tan? Like I know sunbeds are out, but spray tans are in, and you could have saved yourself the trouble of moving to Fiji to be a referee of the love-lorn. And yet here you are.
Yes. Osher is back, this time in Fiji, to host Bachelor in Paradise, Australian edition.
For those of you who may not be familiar with this version of the franchise, in the United States the last couple of seasons have been nothing short of train wrecks. The season before last a contestant named Chad, drunk and roid-raged, abused a female contestant, passed out drunk, soiled himself, got himself ejected from the show and then launched a verbal tirade at the host. I blogged about this episode, which you can read elsewhere on my site, but it was enough to put me off watching the rest of the season – and if you know me, that really says something. Chad’s reality buddy, Daniel turns up later this season as an intruder. More about him in future posts, but suffice to say he’s a dick as well.
Last season, Corinne, the contestant represented as a drunken slut on Nick’s series of The Bachelor, drank herself into a stupor, semi-passed out in the pool and was allegedly sexually assaulted by a male contestant, resulting in suspension of the series.
Honestly, the US version was cringeworthy. I was honestly surprised (appalled) that an Australian version was on the way.
Then I remembered that Australia (sometimes) takes franchises from overseas and makes them their own – usually they involve cooking, not cooking up a storm, but let’s at least give this one a go. Besides, we have Osher.
But Osher has come back as a stinking little liar.
“We’ve assembled all your favourites!” he exclaims.
We have already seen the trailers, Osher. Keira, Blake, Leah and Uncle Sam are nobodies favourites, and I have lost confidence in Osher a little.
BUT, he has found some super serious hair-gel during the off-season. I mean There’s Something About Mary quality. Even our first contestant notices it:
“I love your hair,” says Tara, our early childhood educator from Queensland.
Osher thanks her, but then sends her on a two kilometre walk along a cement path punctuated by a series of doors – enough to work up a sweat in the Fijian humidity.
She stumbles through the final obstacle where she sees a bar. She is presented with a drinks menu which she promptly uses to fan herself.
“What’s your name?” she asks the man behind the bar ( no responsible service of television here), mistaking him for a potential mate, rather than a minimum wage extra.
“Wise,” he says.
“V-I-C-E…Wise,” parrots Tara.
“W-I-S-E. Wise,” says Wise, and the irony is not lost on me.
The tropical surroundings channel my inner Elvis Presley in Blue Hawaii (close enough – same ocean):
Wise men say, only fools rush in…
Cue Michael (hastily): Queenslander, one-time semi-professional soccer player, runner-up for Sam Frost’s affections. He’s not bitter, though. He believes everything happens for a reason – like to continue his reality TV journey.
Michael sees Tara and he reckons she’s hot.
She’s hot alright. She’s full of kava from all this waiting at a bar and she’s flapping her cocktail menu around like a frenzied cockatoo.
“Oh Michael…” she pants. “I’m soooo hot…”
Michael feels a stirring.
“…like a fat guy in an inflatable sumo suit in a Japanese steam bath. What’s the fuck with this humidity? If I wanted this I could have stayed in fucking Queensland!”
(Maybe she didn’t say that. But I’m in fucking Queensland, and it’s April, and I’m over this humidity).
Either way, Michael is no longer stirred. He’s almost thankful when Luke (Sophie’s season of The Bachelorette) arrives and Tara attempts a one-armed hug to sop up her perspiration on his shirt.
Luke, in turn, is distracted by the arrival of Lisa – one of the girls who got away from love-rat Blake Garvey.
Meanwhile, Osher is busily greeting Leah. Leah is a villain. We know this because of the villain music. She tries to kid us that she is nice and pure by wearing white, but we all know that the Virgin Mary would not have appeared in a Supre romper which exposes the butt cheeks, hangs between the thighs like a menstrual pad, and has a v-neck cut to the navel.
Davey arrives next. He is a “full-blown legend”. Just ask him.
Next comes Brett, who says he is from Sophie Monk’s season, but I don’t believe him. Apparently this is because he didn’t speak very much on that season, but he might have to here, because Tara knows him and he knows her friends and she knows he knows her friends and she knows and he knows that he is apparently dating one of her friends. And she can’t wait to tell everyone. Because Tara is the relationship police and he is an arsehole.
Next comes Eden who reminds us that he, too, was on Sophie Monk’s Bachelorette. I’m struggling to remember this until he mentions tracky daks and hip hop.
No. No. Just no.
Meanwhile, Davey has taken Leah aside and they discover that they are both in the same industry; he’s a construction foreman and she’s a dominatrix for hire architect. He seems to be besotted, until…
Florence arrives. Florence was the Dutch girl on Matty J’s season of The Bachelorette. But she declares that she is no longer Dutch, because she was so stereotyped on that season that it sucked all the Dutch out of her.
That’s a pity, because Davey has seen her arrive.
Oh wow! I could suck the Dutch right out of that!
OMG. Did Davey think that? Or was it me?
At some stage Nina (famous for the longest on-screen kiss ever with Richie Strachan) has snuck in and Eden is so enamoured that he takes her aside to talk about sea lions.
Undoubtedly this means Nina and Eden can’t hear the evil music rise to a crescendo. Blake, straight from a shoot for a Peter Alexander catalogue, emerges from the palm fronds donned in water melon pyjamas. Let me clarify. He is wearing pyjamas with watermelons printed on them. He has not hollowed out a watermelon, carved out a couple of leg holes and pulled it over his crotch like a stiff, yet juicy, pair of boxers. By his own assessment, Blake is only 50% douche (and 150% heaps good at Maths and stuff) and even Peter Alexander draws the line somewhere. But all that aside, Blake is WEARING FUCKING PYJAMAS!
But then Jake arrives. And he is wearing a jacket. In Fiji. Then the camera pans out and reveals he is wearing shorts, and loafers with no socks. It’s like his house caught on fire and it was all he could grab at the time.
Jake and Florence lock eyes. They have HISTORY. It emerges that they both appeared on Celebrity Family Feud. I’m not clear whose team won, but quicker than Grant Denyer could say “We surveyed 100 people and their top answers are on the board…” Jake and Florence were getting all jiggy-with-it in the sound-proof booth.
It’s suddenly night-time. We haven’t seen Wise in a while, but he has been working very hard all afternoon, because the gang are all looking a bit looser and most of them have changed their clothes, except for Blake, who has been wearing the pyjamas so long that it’s actually almost time for them to be practical.
Oscher has turned up with a convoluted rule about how the girls will be in charge of giving out roses but three boys will be going home but some intruders might be coming in at any time and they might be the girls’ real true loves…and somewhere in there he asks people to put their hands up if they are single and Brett puts his hand up but Tara knows everyone in Western Australian and one of them is apparently dating Brett. Remember? Oh boy. This is exhausting.
Then Davey gets to choose anyone to take on a date. He wants to take Florence, but knows she has a connection with Jake, so he picks Leah instead. Osher has arranged for a shipping container full of cushions and scented candles to be shipped to Fiji (because nothing helps a nation constantly besieged by cyclones and political coups more than a few day lounge accessories). Despite this, Leah turns out to be a dud date but, you know: BROS BEFORE HOS.
Meanwhile, Florence is pissed off. Not only does Tara have links to every relationship in Western Australia, she has revealed that she lives on the Gold Coast. Jake lives on the Gold Coast. And her sources reveal that Jake has waxed his surfboard all over the place.
No wonder there are Commonwealth Games volunteers afraid to walk around the GC at night. They know that Bachelor in Paradise is pre-recorded and that Jake could be lurking around any corner.
Florence decides to confront Jake. He is full of Wise’s Cocktail of the Day, and finally, St Jake of Georgia Love, loving son to a mother with cancer, gets snarky. Not only that, but he leaves to “go to the bathroom”. Viewers want none of that. Like, hello! This is reality TV! No body wants to see anything so real.
Soon it is morning. They are all hung over and nothing cures a hangover like the arrival of Kiera.
“I’m real,” says Kiera in her vignette, as the camera lingers over her fake boobs up to her fake lips. “I just want a man who wants me for me.”
A-hah. Clearly not.
And then she rejects Michael on spec because of his cosmetically enhanced teeth.
No time to dwell, however, because Jake has his breakfast Mojito in hand when a date card arrives with his name on it.
At least Davey was subtle about it, but Jake assembles the boys, among them Brett – who may or not be single to ask for the brudderhood’s advise.
Some-how he manages to invite Florence on a date ….
But we will have to wait for that. Osher is off working in his tan, and somewhere on the island Jarred is stumbling around, carrying a volleyball with a New Idea cover featuring Sophie Monk and Stu pasted on it with seaweed juice. Little does he know that his magazine cover is woefully out of date, or that true love might just be over the next sand dune…
TO BE CONTINUED…