Bachelor in Paradise Australia (Season 1) – Episode 3: Let the Games Begin

I know. I missed an episode.  That’s what you get when Channel 10 decides to schedule it in the last week of term when reporting and marking is due. It’s going to remain a sporadic blogging ride as well, as I head off to the Commonwealth Games to direct seven and a half thousand people per day to the toilet.  I’ll get in what I can. In the meantime, if you have tickets to the gymnastics or netball semis at Coomera, look out for me and give me a wave.

As for episode two, it was scarcely worth watching anyway.  Laurina arrived, and she who couldn’t stomach a dirty street pie in her Bachelor season has no trouble having Blake rub black Fijian love mud all over her body with his dirty hands.

Jake took Florence off on a date, which pissed Davey right off because he broke the “mates before dates” rule, and he held court all day like the King of the Lovelorn, surrounded by his minions.

Florence, for her part still claimed to distrust Jake and not feel anything romantic for him – so much so that she pashed him under a waterfall, and it was like a big soggy dagger through Davey’s heart.

Sam arrived and decided he was strategising by hooking up with Keira.  He figured he was doing her a favour by bestowing himself upon her (which he was), but she was doing him more of a favour by feigning interest, because of that whole more-guys-than-girls issue.

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Sam, Jake and Brett have a strategy meeting

Most of the rest of the episode was spent with everybody gossiping about Brett and his potential outside-in girlfriend, and it was all too much for Tara who was sent into a flap – and I mean that literally. Some-one snuck off to the gift shop to buy her one of those hand fans woven from palm fronds to help her over-heating problem, and she was flapping it around so much that she looked like a Wright brothers prototype.

Even with the fan, Tara could not be consoled.  The producers confronted Brett who said that even though he had been seeing Steph for a year, he wasn’t in a relationship because it wasn’t “Facebook official” – and just like that, Sam and Blake suddenly seem slightly less like dicks.  Slightly. And Tara, Brett’s girlfriend’s kind-of friend, was broken.

Anyway, Osher announced a cocktail party, which was just what everyone needed after a hard day of doing nothing but drink cocktails and hard-core emoting, and there was a rose ceremony.  Brett went home, and then Florence completed her absolute gutting of Davey by giving her rose to Jake.

So that’s episode 2 in a nutshell, but it’s really only worth starting to watch tonight, because…JARROD!

Bachelor in Paradise is made for people like Jarrod.  Case-in-point was Evan in the US.  Evan was a weedy, ordinary bloke who happened to be an erectile dysfunction specialist in the real world. He was bullied mercilessly in Jo Jo’s season by psychopath Chad.  We all know that was his aesthetic limitations and his profession were probably the only reasons he was selected in the first place – so he could be the foil to Chad and his ilk, and so the producers could write “erectile dysfunction specialist” on the screen every time he did a talking head.  But then something strange happened.  A girl called Carly started feeling sorry for Evan on BiP, and that pity grew into affection, affection into love, and now they are married and she is expecting his baby (her first, his fourth – apparently one does not need erectile dysfunction to be an erectile dysfunction specialist).

Anyway, this third episode starts with all the contestants sitting around talking about what a great couple Keira and Sam seem to be.  Of course they think this, because if those two were to fall in love, then no-one else feels like they have to pay either of them any interest and can give their roses to someone else.

On the subject of roses, Florence is full of regrets.  She regrets giving Jake a rose and sending Davey home, but I feel that she really regrets packing that god-awful striped one-piece that does nothing for her boobs, least of all contain them.

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Mack finds a date card in his pants.  It’s not clear how it got there, but that is where it is pulled from.  Keira gets to select a date, and because she doesn’t want to get stuck with Sam, picks Michael to accompany her.

Tara has been caught without her fan to relieve her stress about this invitation, and instead manages to drill a hole through the bottom of a mojito glass with a plastic straw.

“I’m fine. I’m fine,” she says.

But she is not fine at all.  And Sam senses she isn’t fine with it which is fine with him, because he thinks Tara is mighty fine.

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Keira and Michael’s date involves riding horses along the beach.  Neither of them has ever ridden a horse before, which I could have guessed because neither of them has changed into jodphurs.  The locals given them a pair of helmets cannily disguised by woven pandanus leaves to make them look like a pair of idiots they are being sun safe, before presenting them with the two oldest, arthritic horses in all of Fiji.  Even then, Michael’s attempts to hold Kiera’s hand are thwarted as he wrestles control of the sheer horse power between his legs.

Speaking of horses, back at the resort, Sam and Tara think they might be on some sort of rebound thing, when, like a knight on a white steed, Jarrod strides into the resort, and all assembled are in a kerfuffle of excitement.

It’s not entirely clear whether Jarrod was supposed to be in BiP, or whether after stumbling around the island for the past 18 months he has simply happened upon it by accident, but either way he has also managed to acquire a date card.

This is a new look Jarrod.  He has given up growing pot plants and instead is growing stubble.

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I’m glad he pointed this out to us, because…well, there’s Jarrod stubble and then there’s Blake stubble.  Albeit Blake is a complete wanker, but he does do a mighty good stubble, and he doesn’t need to point it out for you to notice it.  For his part, Blake is mighty pleased to see Jarrod, because he hasn’t had anyone to bully in almost a week.

Leah is disappointed because Jarrod hasn’t brought any whine.

“You know.  You’re a whine-maker.  You should have brought some whine.”

Jarrod, like me, thinks there’s probably enough whine on the island already with a whole vintage ripe for picking, and besides, everyone seems to be into cocktails. Jarrod’s date card is for the next day so that he can get to know the girls, and he makes a bee-line for Laurina – Blake’s dirty beach pie.  Who’d-a-thunk it?

Meanwhile, back at the beach, the pair of aging nags, and the horses, have managed to make it a couple of hundred yards down the beach to the obligatory day cushions.

“You’re exactly like my last three ex-boyfriends,” flirts Kiera.

“I’m into Tara,” replies Michael.

Make that four ex-boyfriends.

“Oh well,” Kiera laughs.  “I can’t put all my eggs in one basket.”

But the truth is that those eggs aren’t getting any younger, and she need to find a basket to put them in pretty quick.

Back at the resort, someone makes a passing comment that there are the odd number of boys or girls, or something.  To be perfectly honest, I’ve lost count of how many there are, because I caught a glimpse of Eden sitting at the bar and I’d forgotten he was even on the island, and I’m not sure if they count Wise the bartender in their calculations.

Cue mysterious wind gusts, water spouts, and music rising to a crescendo…a close up of platform heels striding purposefully along the now well-worn path…

Enter Ali.

Now I didn’t watch the first season of Bachelor Australia (hard to believe, I know), but Ali describes herself as a stage-five clinger.  Not only does she have this admirable quality, but she is blonde, she is beautiful, and her boobs are so big that her dress doesn’t zip up properly at the back.

Jarrod is in love.

Jake is in love.

Florence is not in love – not with Ali, and definitely not with Jake, who starts up a conversation with Ali like Florence doesn’t even exist.

“So tell me about South Australia,” begins Jake.  “I’ve never been in anyone from South Australia.”

What?  Rewind.

“I’ve never been to South Australia.”

OK then.

Regardless of what Ali’s arrival does to numbers, Osher has sneakily greeted Megan on the other side of the resort.  Megan became infamous on Richie’s season of The Bachelor for rejecting his flower, but eagerly accepting co-contestant Tiffany’s.  In other words, in terms of numbers, she’s an each-way bet.

Osher’s on to this.  He decides to give her a menu of personalities which match each of the other singles and she will get to have dinner with the one she likes best based on personality alone. It could be a boy, it could be a girl, it could be the one…

…it’s Jake.

Osher breaks the news to Jake that he’s off on a blind date.  Florence fumes, but Jarrod takes the opportunity to swoop in on Ali.

“So what state do you come from?” asks Ali.

“Melbourne,” replies the geographically challenged Jarrod, and I am reminded of how bad he was at simple maths on Sophie’s season.

Luckily, she notices that he has painted his fingernail blue, and he tells her that it is to draw attention to child abuse, which is very admirable, but it doesn’t do him any harm with the ladies either.

Unfortunately, just at that moment, Jarrod notices that their drinks need replenishing, so like a gentleman, he offers to go to the bar.  Unlike a gentleman, Mack swoops in and assumes his place on the sofa.

This is a disturbing development, because while Mack has been caught up with Leah, neither of them have been getting any screen time, and for that we have been very grateful.

Ali asks Mack what he does for a living.  Mack is chuffed because he is a window cleaner thank you very much and in FIVE DAYS no one has asked him what he does for a living and Leah’s obvious lack of interest in window hygiene makes him realise how cold and heartless she is and how much in love with Ali he is.

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The eyes are the window to the soul…

At this exact moment, Kiera and Michael return from their date.

It turns out that Jarrod and Kiera have been instagramming, and she has been sending him love hearts and now they are meeting for the first time and Jarrod feels a SPAA-AA-AA-RK.

With Kiera.

Let me repeat that more slowly.

Jarrod…feels a spark…with…KIERA!

And now Jarrod believes he is in a love triangle, but knowing how academically challenged Jarrod is in other areas, I am not confident about his skills in geometry.

The third angle of this triangle is still in a cute (see what I did there?) conversation with Mack about the wonders of Windex…

…which reminds me that my shower needs cleaning.

That about sums up the degree of romance I see in that relationship, but Mack is smitten.  He is just an animal onesie away from heartbreak.

Back at the blind date, Megan is thrilled to see that her dinner companion is Jake.  Jake is also thrilled, because it is one day ago yesterday that they met face-to-face, and that Jake is the one keeping track of this is just a little bit (no – a whole lot) creepy.  It also does little to dispel the rumours that Jake has slept with every woman on the Gold Coast – or who looks like she is from there.

To think I was sad when Georgia didn’t pick him!

Meanwhile, Michael feels like he is getting the stand-offish treatment from Tara.  That’s because Tara is DRUNK.  Tara is so drunk that she actually believes that she had a good time with Sam during the day. Twenty-seven mojitos will do that to you.

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Leah, jilted by Mack who for the last hour has been enthusing to Ali about the power of a good cider vinegar and newspaper if she really wants sparkling glass, sees an opportunity to meddle.  She tells Sam and Tara – RIGHT IN FRONT OF MICHAEL – that they are made for each other, and then encourages Sam to do his David Attenborough impersonation about frogs.

And he does, the toad.

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This makes Michael sad.  This makes me sad.

Then Nina (Remember her? She’s Eden’s squeeze, and the only reason I have noticed her earlier in this episode is because she had a bikini bottom with a matching rashie, like her Mum bought it for her from the kiddies section) talks to Florence about Jake. Myah. Again.

Flo feels stupid that she didn’t send Jake home. Again.  But not half as stupid as she’s about to feel.

Jake and Megan wait outside the door.  They pash.  They push open the doors…

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On the upside, Jake may have brought Florence a new girlfriend, but we will have to wait and see.

I head off tomorrow to volunteer for the Commonwealth Games.

Yet somehow I feel the real games are about to begin…

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