Robert wants to talk.
He wants to talk so badly, that Osher has made Robert his own private entrance to the mansion. Luckily, Ali wants to talk too, and soon she is knocking.
Robert explains that he was a bit of a scaredy-cat after the interrogation he gave Jess and Bianca. Robert is in it for the long haul. Robert is totally invested in Ali.
Robert has NO-FUCKING-CLUE.
He and Ali join the other fellas in the lounge-room and Robert makes a speech:
“Well, men. You might not know this, but last week I had my bags packed and I was ready to leave.” Ssssssh.
What the…? You didn’t tell Ali this. And her lips are pursed tighter than a cat’s bum-hole. Osher installed a special door just so Robert and Ali could chat, and this little titbit never came up. Ali is starting to suspect that what Robert is really invested in is Robert, but there’s no time or pondering because it’s…GROUP DATE TIME.
They’re all off to a props warehouse to make a really lame dance video.
It turns out Ali loves to dance. Ivan must be watching this on his tellie, writhing in agonising interpretative hip-hop right now. Didn’t he dance for her? Didn’t he pull all his best moves? His heart is crushed all over again.
No time to ponder Ivan’s emotional state however, because a miracle has happened – Daniel the Mute, who has not uttered a word since the red carpet has found his voice:
“I only dance when I’ve downed a slab of beers. Even then I’m crap at it.”
Back to being mute now. Please.
Because it’s time for this season’s patronising, sexualised school-based scenario. Just as I am screaming on the inside about how it’s about time the media stopped perpetuating this teacher-as-sexual-predator scenario so I can stop wasting hours of my life each year doing Code of Conduct training, I realise that Osher has heard my calls:
This year, The Bachelorette is instead responding to the federal government’s campaign about harassment and abuse of women by producing a dance video in which a woman is sexually harassed. Awesome.
Ali is dressed in one of those pleated netball skirts that no-one has worn since about 1989. She walks into a “detention” room all sassy, before she is set upon by four men trying to replicate an ancient Britney Spears video. Then Paddy tries to pin her against the lockers before she narrowly escapes.
Then there’s something set in a 1950’s diner (ho hum) before the finale in the…Love Jungle.
Taite is dressed as Tarzan -or at least an “ape-man”. Ali is scantily clad as Jane.
This leaves Daniel the Mute to have shit rubbed all over his face and play the pathetic pervert in a pith helmet who gets to hump a crocodile.
It’s a pretty impressive hump job though; enough for Ali to select him for some one-on-one time.
Daniel appreciates it. He really values the opportunity, after being silent for sooooooo long, to verbalise his feelings:
“I’m a sweater. I come from a family of heavy sweaters,” says Daniel, sweating heavily.
And just like that, Daniel has used up all his words. Ali sees something in this, though: shyness, tenderness…a lifetime of moist contact…
But despite this she gives him a rose.
A new day dawns. Ali had planned to take Robert on a single date, but Robert has turned out to be a dead-set wanker, so she takes Todd instead.
It’s the ultimate Barbie and Ken date, where they are both dolls with undefined genitals, and a cute little girl creepy old fashion designer gets to dress them.
Ali and Todd. sit around in their undies drinking Prosecco, admiring each other’s…values. Robert is long-forgotten and now Ali is in love with Todd.
It’s cocktail party time.
As Todd explains how the date was all about taking a fancy car to a meet a fashion designer so he could design their cocktail party outfits, Robert realises that Todd has stolen his dream. The writing is all over the walls of a Wicked Barbie Campervan from that time Barbie and Malibu Skipper took off on that summer trip to “find themselves’.
Robert sees the writing on the camper loud and clear.
Charlie is also worried.
“Ali is spreading her basket, and I need to get to the bottom of it.”
He’s drinking rum for-god-sake and all these other blokes are sipping on their gin and tonics. He’s the only one who has had a date on a wire above the Sofitel Wentworth. He’s the only one who know what Ali wants and needs. He has to speak to her:
“You’re so spread out.”
He doesn’t approve.
“I’ve been in your shoes.”
But they’re a bit tight. “
“You should have been taking the front-runners on second dates by now.”
And by front-runners, he means himself, but not if he has to wear hershoes. Congrats on dissing Robert BTW.
Ali is starting to see what Charlie really is; not just the real-life embodiment of Jon Arbunkle from the Garfield comic…
…but a jealous, controlling clinger with an unhealthy obsession for doors.
And Ali has never trusted her gut more.
Finally it is the rose ceremony. Osher arrives to explain the maths – there are six blokes, but only five roses. Even after this complicated explanation, Paddy’s eyes spin in his head.
(And OMG. I am sure the music is more dramatic than usual!)
(I think he will win.)
Ali ponders the final rose in her hand. She struggles – this is clear.
“Charlie…” she manages to utter before bursting into tears.
And tears…and tears.
Why? Let’s just remind you of what this means:
Paddy is still there.
Dan, of the boring degustation speech is STILL THERE.
Daniel the Mute…DANIEL THE MUTE IS STILL THERE!
Robert blew it, pure and simple.