The episode begins with Nick running through the scrub, bare-chested, leaping over crevices and swinging from branches. It’s less like The Bachelor Australia and more like Jungle Book Australia where Nick is a grown-up Mowgli who has been raised by wombats in a national park on the northern beaches of Sydney.
Of course, he has a lot of thinking to do. He has three girls left. We know which one he wants. His parents know which one he wants. Nick still has to pretend he doesn’t know which one he wants, and therein lies the dilemma. At least he has three more single dates to get through before he has to break someone’s heart.
Sophie is standing on a clifftop at the beach contemplating her position with Nick. As usual she’s thinking about communicating how hard it is to communicate how she is feeling about Nick and how she has one last chance to communicate how hard it is to communicate.
Soon Nick rocks up in a white convertible and he and Sophie are off. Now, if you are a regular reader of my blog, you will know how confused I am about the lack of the provision of hair ties in adventure situations in The Bachelor. I get that Osher has a perfect coif and he has probably never had to wrestle hair out of his lip gloss, but if there was ever a Bachelor to get the importance of hair ties, you would think it would be the Honey Badger. And the season is sponsored by Blistex!
By the time they reach the airport, Sophie’s retinas have been hair-whipped. She can make-out the forms of a dozen little aircraft, but she has no hope of reading what’s written on the side.
“What are we doing?” she says, rummaging through the glove-box in the slim hope of finding some eye drops, but instead a dozen little tubes of lip moisturiser roll out.
“We’re going sky-diving!” exclaims Nick, feigning fear. (We know this to be a lie, because Honey Badgers fear nothing.)
I may have said it before, but I don’t really get the romance in a date where you strap the woman you potentially love to another man and then fling them out of a plane.
I am also reminded of the advice of the great love philosopher – Jack (Keanu Reeve’s character) in Speed.
Having just rescued Sandra Bullock by skimming across a tarmac on the base board of a bus, and being singed by the jet fuel explosion when said bus crashed into a fully laden aircraft, Keanu wraps his arms around Sandra Bullock, looks into her eyes and says:
“I have to warn you, I’ve heard relationships based on intense experiences never work.”
And he’s right. No matter how good those Keanu arms were (meee-ooww), where the hell was he in Speed 2, huh?
Anyhow, back in the plane, neither Sophie nor Nick appear to be too keen on this sky-diving gig, and just in the NICK-of-time (see what I did there?) the pilot says there is too much wind and they have to pull-out.
No spare undies would die that day.
Night time and Sophie is telling Nick that she has developed strong feelings. There’s a real merge of family and values and stuff.
“Wow! There’s a real difference between this Soph and the one I first met.”
Oh. You mean the one you forced into one-on-one yoga while Cat, Romi and Elisha watched on, sucking on beers and sprouting their nastiness?
Day two and it’s Brittany’s turn for a date.
She too is perched on a cliff somewhere, but there is no convertible for her. For reasons known only to Nick, aside from him seeming to have a real thing for itty-bitty buses, he rocks up in an ice-cream van to serve her up a container of mango sorbet. Worse, the ice-cream truck has “Creams for your Dreams” emblazoned down the side, like it too is sponsored by Blistex.
What better follow-up than to climb to the top of a lighthouse when you are wearing shoes completely unsuited to the task? Mind you, she could have always have taken them off, but then bachelorettes are not renowned for their common sense.
Britt has been taken to great heights, but it’s hardly a sky-diving plane, is it?
Night-time comes, and Nick has set up a cheese platter in the backyard of some historic building. Ravenous after all those f*cking stairs, Britt tries to cut herself a slab of brie, but it is frozen solid because the house is perched on a cliff top and it is the middle of winter.
Soon three forlorn characters emerge from the darkness, icicles forming n their arms.
“Oh ripper! It’s the string trio I organised,” says Nick, inviting Britt, again in totally inappropriate stiletto footwear, to dance on the soft grass.
Now, it must be said that playing a large stringed instrument is never a glamorous look, but the poor musician looks like dry ice has formed on her cello and she won’t be able to stand up without ripping the skin from her thighs.
The fate of the string trio is unknown, but at least Nick and Britt get to go inside and warm up before the fire. Just as well, because Britt’s conversation soon turns icy.
“I didn’t feel too good when my sister shoved all those copies of New Idea in my face. I need to hear it from you, Nick. What is the truth about you and Cass?”
“Well, we met, we went to the same gym. We went on a couple of dates, but when we were together, I mean weren’t together, it had gone as far as it was going to go. Like the elevator in the gum tree had reached the highest branch.”
“OK. I believe you,” replies Britt, even though he has dodged the intimate details the same way Cass did. “I’m in love with you now.”
Finally, it’s time for Brooke’s date.
Nick is really keen on Brooke, but he has checked back over his notes and has realised a couple of glaring omissions in his previous interactions with her: she has not been on an “adventure” date, and he hasn’t pashed her when she’s wearing a bikini. In fact, they’ve scarcely had a date that hasn’t involved a footie.
So next minute Brooke is on the back of Nick’s Triumph, racing through country roads until they arrive at a place called Fernbank Farm. I’m sure that Brooke, like I, was expecting cuddly lambs and wide-eyed calves and maybe even a pen-full of puppies.
But no. It’s a mirror and a couple of tubs of Crayola body paint. They could have done this back at the Bachelor pad and saved themselves some venue hire costs.
There’s some sort of ruse about this being a task where they paint each other’s feelings and then they look in a mirror at the end and see how their feelings match.
I smell a rat. At the start of this date, both of them are decidedly crap at painting, and then voila! A couple of canny edits and they have managed to reproduce the Sistine Chapel on each other’s pectoral muscles.
But that’s OK, because the whole point of the exercise is to wash the paint off under a hot (thankfully) shower, so that Nick can get a gander of Brooke in her togs.
That goes so successfully that Brooke gets to be the first bachelorette ever to get to dress appropriately for the weather conditions.
It has been a lovely date, and Brooke has feelings for Nick, but she needs some assurance. She asks him for it.
And because he is contractually obligated to not reveal his true feelings until the grand finale, he…well…he FUCKS UP!
“Of all the three girls left, I respect you the most because of who you are and what you do. But, I have confused feelings… (insert standard Bachelor final date bullshit)”
And Brooke cries. And this is not good. And I am very concerned.
Back at the mansion, Nick is looking forlornly into his glass.
Having not stocked up for weeks, the bar is running out of scotch. And wine. No point even having a cocktail party.
The girls line up for the rose ceremony. Might as well if there’s nothing to drink.
Then suddenly, Brooke breaks ranks and heads out the door.
She runs into Osher. Osher has a look of dread on his face. He has only one more chance to announce how many roses there are and it looks like it’s about to be ruined.
“Where’s Nick?” asks Brooke.
And for a second, Osher gazes longingly back into the ceremony room at the two roses on the tray, but begrudgingly takes Brooke to Nick.
Brooke is feeling hurt.
“I need to know if you can love me. But you have dodged the question.
And I don’t feel loved.
I came here to fall in love and I need to hear someone loves me.”
Nick does some odd things with his eye-brows. Had there been an eye-brow sign interpreter on set, things may have gone differently.
“I need to go home,” Brooke weeps, tears streaming down her face (but take note Tennille -waterproof mascara).
“I’ll walk you to the car,” Nick says.
There is a long hug before she gets into the car. As she drives away Nick kicks the dirt.
“Fuck!” he says, intoning the feelings of the entire Bachelor viewing audience.
So last week there were all these calls all over social media to make Cass the next Bachelorette because she was bullied by Britt and she was so in love and hurt. Me? I prefer my Bachelorettes to be ones who can form an entire sentence.
And if she doesn’t (as I secretly hope) hook up with Nick after this whole thing is over, I’m team Brooke for Bachelorette.