So I reckon I’ve got to come clean.
When I heard that Ali was to be the next Bachelorette, I embraced it with all the enthusiasm of a photographer on a Donald Trump boudoir shoot.
And while I have been exasperated by her sticking her tongue down the throat of anything that moves, of late she seems prepared to speak her mind, and I’ve got to love her for that. The result is that a relatively boring episode turned into quite an exciting rose ceremony and things are going to get interesting from here.
But first we have to sit through a single-date with Taite. It’s long overdue of course, because Bill did the whole dirty wild rose thing and pinched Taite’s date last week. He also went out with Ali in Taite’s place.
Ali has been looking forward to this date for a while:
“It’s like we both want to dance with each other, but neither of us has taken the first steps.”
It’s a bit of an insensitive simile. I doubt Ivan’s Uber has even reached the airport yet.
And maybe Taite is keen to dance, but he’s more keen to find a toilet:
“I’m shitting my pants.”
Lucky for him the date isn’t in a confined space. Ali meets Taite in the bush and tells him that they are off on an Osher devised treasure hunt.
“Can you read a compass?” Ali asks.
More importantly, can Osher?
Osher has hidden things in the bush that Ali and Taite will need later on, so they collect:
- A bottle of red wine covered in pond slime
- A chocolate fondue set full of dirt
- A camera for taking selfies (so if you get lost in the bush and starve to death, you can record how much fun you were having)
- A snow globe with their picture in it (no idea)
All this tramping and digging and trawling ponds for alcoholic beverages is apparently very romantic and it is not long before Ali and Taite kiss under a tree.
Several (unexplained) hours pass and they end up in front of a camp fire. They gaze into each other’s eyes. Ali tells Taite that he has all the qualities that she is looking for.
Like Bill has all the traits that Ali is looking for.
And Robert has all the traits that she’s been looking for.
And Charlie. Let’s not forget Charlie.
Anyway, Taite doesn’t want to waste time talking when he doesn’t know how long it will be before he can see her again. No time for chocolate fondue either. They lock lips.
“I’m going to be thinking about this tonight when I go to bed tonight,” Ali purrs.
And please…this is a 7:30 timeslot.
Several hours later, a producer comes by to clean up the camp fire. He needs to douse the embers. He grabs the snow globe, cracks it on a nearby rock and pours it over the coals. There was a reason for it after all. Yeah for snow globes.
The next morning the boys are assembled in the lounge. Ali has told them to dress sharp, and country Dan has stepped outside his comfort zone:
“I’ve never worn these before,” he says, pointing to his socks.
Ali’s friend Jess and cousin Bianca are coming round to do some interrogating. I know that if my skinnier, prettier friend invited me around to her plush mansion to help her decide which of her ten boyfriends was the best, I would sabotage the bitch.
Luckily for Ali, Jess and Bianca are not me. They have Ali’s interests at heart, and they mean business.
They have come armed with evaluation forms and a detailed system of credits and demerits and questions – pages and pages of questions – except for the most important one:
Why are you still single?
Have you ever cheated on a partner?
Will you move to Adelaide?
Are you a party boy?
Where do you see you and Ali in three years?
And then it’s Charlie’s turn. He spends all of his time bagging Bill and not one milli-second telling the girls that he has an eight-year-old son. Grrrr…
And finally it’s Robert’s turn. Robert the front-runner. Robert who Ali really, really likes.
Robert who turns the tables and demands to know whether Ali has learned anything from her past relationships and has put in enough work for him to bother to pursue a relationship with her.
It’s time for the girls to present their findings. Todd. Tick. Bill. Tick. Charlie. Tick.
“And what about Robert?” asks Ali enthusiastically.
“NO. We hate him, your parents would hate him. We even think Paddy and the mute were better than him. No. No. No.”
Ali is confused.
And it’s rose ceremony time.
Bill and Charlie hate each other, but in a uniquely Australian way:
“Did anyone name any names?” asks Bill.
“I told them about how ingenuine you are, mate,” replies Charlie.
“How have I done that, mate?”
“You just have, mate.”
“Just stop mentioning my name, mate. It’s bullshit, mate.”
“I’m gunna keep on telling like it is, mate.”
“Fine. But just stop mentioning my name, mate.”
Somewhere along the line, Ali arrives and she takes Robert away for a chat but he delivers a TED talk about relationships and Ali is not impressed.
She is confused, but is it worth keeping the mute guy over Robert?
Finally, it’s rose ceremony time.
Taite is safe. The Rose call begins:
WHAT? This guy has literally not uttered a word since he gave his name on the red carpet in the first episode. Take that Robert. Do a TED talk about that.
And then Ali stops. She needs to speak to Danny outside. This is never a good thing.
“You know I love you,” she tells him.
(I’m not sure he does,)
“But I can’t see us being more than friends. I respect you, and I didn’t want to see you waiting for a rose that wasn’t coming.”
Apparently the same respect isn’t extended to the rest of them as Osher comes in, pockets a bloom for himself and announces that the rose ceremony will continue. I am wondering if this is even in the rules , then, like he’s reading my mind, he tells us that it’s Ali’s journey and Ali’s rules.
“Paddy.” And if that isn’t a huge middle finger to Robert, I don’t know what is.
Only Robert and Pete remain rose-less.
The tension is palpable.
Ali ponders the rose in her hand…
She looks to the two men…
“Robert,” she says. “Will you accept this rose?”
Of course he will, because he just dodged a couple of bullets named Bianca and Jess.
Pete takes it all in his diminutive stride. He’s a real estate agent, after all. He’s nothing if not thick-skinned.
But Ali has shown she is prepared to a make the tough decisions. She’s put these guys on notice, and I couldn’t be prouder of her.