Welcome to the most boring episode ever.
It’s group date time for Dasha, Sophie, Brooke and Brittany. Nick is awaiting their arrival at Sydney Motorsport Park. It’s taking a while, because they are arriving in Hyundai i30s and I’m pretty confident that no Hyundai i30 has ever before graced the tarmac of Sydney Motorsport Park.
At least they look the part. They have their seatbelts on and they are wearing helmets. Their drivers spend the next forty-five seconds getting their i30s up to 100 and they dash up the straight breaking suddenly right at the feet of Osher and Nick – an inch more and the Hyundais would have been crumbled little Honey Badger-shaped heaps.
This challenge is all about getting the adrenalin pumping and pushing the girls outside their comfort zones, and the stakes are very high; there’s a box of avocados on the line. And that’s about the most exciting part of the whole date. Brooke and Sophie prove quite adept at driving i30s blind-folded with only Nick’s radio instructions to guide them. Brittany, however, finds Nicks instructions a challenge.
“Turn left,” instructs Nick. Brittany turns right.
“Turn right,” instructs Nick. Brittany turns left.
“Go forward,” instructs Nick. Brittany reverses over his foot.
“Quite frankly, I found Nick’s instructions debatable,” she tells the camera which is, ironically, debatable.
But for Dasha, this is a real challenge, not because of any language barrier, but because she can’t drive a manual car. I find this hard to believe. Dasha is from Russia. Here is a Russian car dealership with the 2018 Wartburg 253 taking centre stage:
Anyway, needless to say Osher didn’t think this game through and needs to do a rejig of his games budget to cover a new gearbox for an i30.
Back at the house, a date card has arrived. Cassie just knows it is for her and she justifies her position to Shannon and Emily.
“This is the first group date I haven’t been on,” she tells the girls, neither of whom have set foot outside the mansion in the last month.
“And I haven’t had a single date yet,” she tells the girls, neither of whom have had a proper single date.
“And the date card says ‘we’ve got a lot of catching up to do’ and that means me because I don’t think I told you that I knew Nick before The Bachelor and we need to catch up about that.” Shannon and Emily’s eyes have glazed over.
“It definitely me,” she finishes confidently.
The date is for Jamie-Lee.
This is very disappointing. Just give Cassie a single date already, Nick, just so she will shut her trap.
Back at the group date, they have just finished the First Ever Bachelor Reverse Parallel Parking Challenge, and Nick has decided that Sophie has put it all on the line and has won some alone time, while the other three head back to the mansion on foot.
Nick and Sophie head down to the local Beaurepaires showroom to get high on tyre fumes and suck beer from a keg. Always a man of his word, Nick presents her with a case of reconstructed guacamole.
The date goes well. The Honey Badger gives her her own nickname – the Sophinator – and then makes her fish around in the avos for a rose. They share a kiss and Nick goes home to dream about his single date with Jamie-Lee.
Now at some stage Jamie-Lee told the Human Lie Detector that she was up for anything, so the date begins with JL scrambling through the bush and over rocks in her moon-boot. But the real horror comes when she discovers that she is in for a Japanese martial arts lesson.
The Honey Badger is spinning around and wielding his sword like he’s auditioning for a Monkey reboot. Meanwhile the last time JL held a knife was to trim the skin from a wedge of brie, but her face suggests that if she had a cheese knife now she would use it to perform hara kiri – anything to end this date.
But when the swords are finally put away, a fresh hell awakes. Nick drags her through the bush again and plonks her down on an uncomfortable daybed. JL could do with a cool crisp glass of pinot grigio right now to calm her nerves – so Nick serves her up a cup of warm sake. JL pulls a face like she’s been served up lighter fluid. Maybe it was lighter fluid. Not that I have ever tasted lighter fluid, but I have tasted sake and I’m pretty sure you could use it to replenish your Bic.
Not only does it taste disgusting, but it has rendered her tongue unworkable and not one coherent sentence comes out of her mouth. When she finally gets her ability to communicate back, she makes small talk about the scenery. Nick agrees that its nice then shoves his face full of prawn crackers.
This is a date that is not going well.
Thankfully it’s cocktail party time.
The girls soon notice that JL does not have a rose. She’s not is a chatty mood and certainly doesn’t want to talk about the swords, and the sake and the prawn crackers. Instead she bursts into tears.
Cassie is quick to try to calm her:
“Single dates are really hard. I mean I haven’t had a single date yet, and that’s even harder than if you had a single date, but…yeah…single dates are hard. And like nobody ever comes back from a single-date without a rose…actually nearly everybody comes back with a rose. But I haven’t had a rose yet, because I haven’t had a single date and that’s like…yeah…hard…”
And just like that, Cassie launches her career as a life coach.
A few of the other girls are also on edge, but they are trying hard not to show it because none of them want to be counselled by Cassie.
Tennille is especially nervous.
“Are you going to chat to Nick tonight?” Cassie asks her.
“Dunno,” replies Tennille, clearly conflicted.
“Chatting to Nick is really hard. I mean, I haven’t had much time to chat to Nick, but…yeah…it’s hard…”
Like a knight on a white horse, Nick swoops in and saves Tennille from Cassie, but sometimes you just have to be careful what you wish for.
They start talking about Tennille’s barriers which Tennille reckons are Nick’s fault because if he were really interested in her he would be doing more to break down her barriers, and Nick reminds her that she is on The Bachelor and that reminds her of her escape strategy and she makes another quick getaway through the shrubbery.
Unlike last time, Nick has seen her take off, and makes an effort to follow her.
“I think I just want to leave here with my dignity intact!” she wails, as she leans against a bit of Bunnings lattice work covered in plastic flowers from the Reject Shop, and her tears leave dismal stains down her face.
“Righto” Nick says. “Let me walk you to the car.”
She gets into the back seat, he slams the door in her face, and the Hyundai i30 disappears into the night.
It is left to Osher to tell the girls what has happened and that Tennille has gone, Nick has gone home and that there will be no rose ceremony tonight.
Shannon bursts into tears.
“I know…it’s so hard…yeah…”