Well, I, like the one million people who tuned into the final episode, am gob-smacked.
It’s not even like I wasn’t expecting this outcome. When Nick couldn’t bring himself to say enough to make Brooke stay last night, I was pretty convinced that he wouldn’t pick anybody, but having invested in this story for the past eight weeks, I am left kind of…gutted.
In fact, Brittany probably sums it up best:
“What a giant waste of time that was.”
Uh-huh. Oh yes. One hundred percent.
It’s hardly worth going over anything that happened before the final decision, but when you have invested eight weeks in Nick’s path to love, it seems like I need to say something about it.
It all started normally enough. Osher welcomed us to New Caledonia – “the most beautiful place on Earth” (as long as you manage to edit out that ugly nickel refinery that dominates the skyline as the P&O Dawn cruises into Noumea for your six hour layover and then you go on the little Chou-Chou through the slums and the part of the city with all the empty buildings).
Osher is pumped. He’s been very pleased with himself. Sure half the girls left of their own accord, but he introduced so many inaugural things and now he has so many more ideas for inaugural things, and all he needs is for Nick to pick his girl and he can go back to his little office and get stuck into planning inaugural things for Ali and her blokes.
Of course, Nick’s family have assembled: his dad, brothers Luke and Jacob, and sister Bernadette. They have one question on their collective mind:
“Where’s that lovely Brooke that we all loved so much because you were so natural together and perfect for each other?” asks Bernadette on their behalf.
“Well, she said that she wanted to be with her family, and I didn’t want to stand in the way of that, so I let her go.”
Did I not see the poor girl virtually beg him to let her know if it was worth her staying because she was falling in love with him? Did I not see and hear him with my own eyes s and ears tell her that he was confused because he had three girls and he was confused about his feelings for all of them? Did I NOT hear Brooke at any time say that she couldn’t have a relationship with him because of her family?
There is a sense of foreboding in my chest now that the Honey Badger has been exposed as a bald-faced liar.
Both the girls are “grilled” by the family, and each of them has chosen boy friendly outfits so they mostly pass the family test. But Berndatte is a bit more cluey. She thinks that both of the girs are lovely and that each of them bring out a different side of Nick:
“But I don’t think that either of them are right for him.”
Thanks a lot, Bernadette. Just get that little ear worm into your brother, why don’t you?
Next day Nick takes Sophie jet-skiing and afterwards they eat cheese on the beach and then Sophie finally tells him that she is falling in love with him and he fondles her earring and he gives her a great big pash.
I suddenly feel all warm inside. It’s been a slow burn for these two, but maybe it’s been for a reason. Maybe Sophie is the one.
Then Brittany has her final date. The first part is a helicopter ride to a farm where there is a mysterious heart-shaped crop circle in the middle of a paddock and the helicopter pilot decides to land precisely there which I think is very risky because I have seen enough M Night Shyamalalalalalalan movies to know that the whole machine could be sucked into the earth and disappear without a single trace.
This doesn’t happen. Instead Brittany is forced to relive her last date, except this time she is climbing a hundred stairs of a treehouse instead of a light house so she can admire the view. It’s a magic tree-house, because you can see the whole island from there. Doubtful.
The night time date comes and Brittany tells Nick that she is full-on falling in love with him and she wants to get it just right and has written it all down on a piece of paper and everything, and she is expecting a big old bristly pash. She quickly applies a bit of Blistex in anticipation.
The Honey Badger sighs.
“Oh Britt,” he says. “You are a bonza shiela. I want all the same things, but I don’t think our time lines match.”
Britt has poured her soul out and that’s what she gets? She tells him to sleep on it, but then stands up, takes off her microphone and heads off into the night with a producer and the sound guy.
So it’s clear now.
Sophie is going to win.
And the next day I am even more convinced of it when Sophie appears in a skin-tight gold skirt and skimpy top and she looks, smoking. So does Britt, if she not a bit too…bridal. Is that a smart idea when your guy has already sounded a bit commitment-phobic?
Nick is certainly talking the talk. He has a ring. He puts the ring in his pocket. He makes small talk with Osher. He takes his place on a platform in the pool.
And then Sophie arrives first.
There is sombre music.
They gaze into each other’s eyes.
“Sophie. You’re a great girl. I like you a lot. The next time I say those three words, I want it to be forever. At this point, our journey comes to an end.”
And Sophie’s eyes well with tears and her heart breaks right in front of us and she is bundled into the car to inexplicably do six laps of the island, crying her heart out all the way.
But Nick has a ring. We saw it. He must have slept on everything. Brittany stands before him in her wedding dress. She gazes adoringly into Nick’s eyes.
“Brittany. You’re a great girl. I like you a lot. The next time I say those three words, I want it to be forever. At this point, our journey comes to an end.”
Brittany is not happy. She leaves, muttering expletives under her breath.
At some stage I have accidentally turned on the Closed Captions on my tellie. Nick stands alone in that platform in the pool. He looks pained, like an eight-week diet of nothing but cheese and beer has finally caught up on him and he is about to vomit. The Closed Captions describe it like this:
And strangely enough, this describes my reactions exactly. This has never happened before in Bachelor history. Even Blake Garvey picked Sam Frost before dumping her five minutes after the cameras stopped rolling.
Where do we go from here?
To Sophie’s bungalow. That’s where, because one of the producers has let slip to Britt that Nick didn’t pick Sophie either.
Britt must tell her, and tell her she does, and they embrace and they say “What the fuck” a lot and at least we know that they will be alright and they can watch re-runs of Wallabies games and spit on the screen together.
And we viewers are left here wondering what if?
What is Brooke hadn’t left?
What if Brittany had toned down the whole bridal gown look for the finale?
What if Nick had just thought this whole thing through?
He came into this a hero. A funny larrikin.
But he’s finished as…well…a bit of an arsehole who had no intention of picking anybody. Maybe the blokes will still love him, but I’m pretty sure his female fanbase will have taken a hit. And at least the girls have Bachelor in Paradise opportunities to salvage something, but what do you do your sponsors think when your star guy takes a hit?
No wonder he high-tailed it to Papaua New Guinea this week. Even the Kokoda Track was a better option than facing the media.
Meanwhile, back at our episode, we are left with the image of the Honey Badger alone and forlorn on the beach.
“I came here for a chance at love,” he says. “And now I have to start again.”
Yes you do, Nick. Yes you do.
There’s only one winner here, and that winner is Blistex.