The Bachelor Australia Recap: surely these women have heard of costar ?
By Ellie Stephenson
We are back for another season of The Bachelor. Me and my boyfriend are seated in front of 10Play and we are keen.
The first episode starts with Osher explaining the premise of the show, managing to fit a space reference (“will the stars align?”) into the opening 30 seconds. We will be getting very well acquainted with space puns because -- in case you missed literally all the promotional material for this season -- our Bachelor, Matt, is an astrophysicist.
He also has a truly terrible explanation for why he’s on the show. He tells us that he’s a “man of science” who likes to make decisions based on “proven evidence.” He claims that because some of the couples on the Bachelor have gone on to marriage and kids, it is certified Proven™. Clearly regular dating has also produced marriages and kids but that doesn’t also get you fame and Instagram followers. Regardless of whether Matt is there for the ‘right reasons’, he reassures us he’ll pick someone at the end. This is a relief because given the montage of crying contestants we see next, it seems like it will be a wild ride. Matt also tells us he respects women, which we can assume the producers have made him say so we know he’s not another Ivan/Bill/Jules/nightmare.
Now to meet the bachelorettes! First up is Helena, a wellness coach from Mauritius with an accent that sounds like Lindsay Lohan’s fake Euro voice. Matt starts off their meeting with oddly formal questioning and then tries to slow the process down by holding Helena’s hands and taking deep breaths. This therapy session-cum-job interview tactic seems to work though and he obviously thinks she’s hot.
Chelsie, a chemical engineer, is next. She comes bearing an oxytocin tattoo and is really excited that he recognises it as “the love chemical.” This is a bit cute but mostly I just think it’s funny how excited she is that he’s smart. They both have real jobs! A Bachie first!
Now we have Abbie, who freely admits to being a Gemini because she doesn’t know what an astrophysicist is. Matt is bemused but helplessly plays along - we find out he’s a Leo. Now I want their birth times and locations to see their Costar compatibility. Sadly, astrology is fake and Abbie goes off into the mansion.
Kristen (a.k.a. “China girl”) is a certified freak. She purports to be a ‘China researcher’ but clearly she is actually a CCP plant. She tells us her dream is “to run an empire” and her whole shtick is trying to teach Matt and the other girls Mandarin. She talks like someone who has read a book on making friends and says Matt’s name at the start of every sentence. She presents him with a conveniently love-related fortune cookie message and enters the mansion followed by a whiff of orientalism and what the producers have decided is quintessential Chinese music. Look, at least her social credit score is high?
There are a couple of miscellaneous contestants to follow - Brianna, bearing a lego rose; Jessie, who wants to hold onto Matt forever; Isabelle, who forces Matt to do Pilates, which seems torturous; Mary, who makes him dance. Hannah re-enacts the problematic sign scene from Love Actually and gets really excited when Matt gets the reference (the bar is so low).
Now we meet our first villain, Nichole. She is from the Gold Coast and looks like a knock off Victoria’s Secret model, by which I mean she is generic, blonde and skinny. She enters on a motorbike, and seems to want us to know that she is Not Like Other Girls. She also doesn’t seem to want to be on the show, basically informing us that the producers have included her solely to create drama.
Vakoo is next, practising introducing herself in the limo. This is endearingly awkward. She discards her practised introduction and walks in on a red carpet (she’s a model). This is a bit odd, but redeemed by the fact that she forces Matt to also do a model walk, and he’s atrocious at it. Now we have Emma, who plans her wedding out loud to Matt. She is the season’s designated clinger and she loves to love, apparently.
Some more misc blondes and a Cat II called Cassandra (she’s a jewellery designer). Then we have Sogand, who teaches Matt to say “marry me” in Persian but doesn’t tell him what it means. Now we have Elly, my namesake, who I feel obliged to like. She toasts marshmallows with Matt and is happy when he knows about her hometown of Parkes. She feels like they have a massive spark, but that is maybe just the campfire.
Now for our arch-villainess, Rachael, a “hot young bride” with a fantastic cosmetic surgeon. She’s somewhere between a porcelain doll and a child pageant queen and we know she’s going to be an excellent commentator until she gets dramatically kicked out. She brings her friend Tonya as an accessory who Matt appears to like better. She enters the mansion and immediately starts shit about not thinking Matt is hot. She proceeds to judge Abbie for being too keen on Matt too early, but, girl, you arrived in a wedding dress.
Osher introduces a Bachelor-first gimmick of a Golden Ticket, which allows one of the girls to go to Melbourne with Matt. This makes contestants frantically interrupt each others’ fake deep conversations (which sound like a J Cole interlude, according to my boyfriend). The resulting mess is described as “like a feeding pen” and “lots of girls left, right and centre trying to grab him” (he has bipartisan support).
Amid the frenzy, there is confusion about Matt’s job. Vakoo can’t pronounce it. Bridezilla has no idea what it is. This collection of models, wellness coaches, and influencers are bemused by a job requiring qualifications. Sogand, who’s an engineer, looks disgusted.
Elly, who we now conclude is a sweetheart, nobly refuses to interrupt other girl’s conversations, and in doing so gets a proper length convo with Matt after things have calmed down. They talk about cooking and nursing. It is very wholesome. The producers try to generate fake suspense that clinger Emma will get the golden ticket, but it unsurprisingly goes to Ellie. Mary hopes she’s not a good kisser.
At the rose ceremony, Keely and Sophie go home. We are not sad because they were pretty irrelevant. Rachel miraculously stays, and Emma is relieved to get a rose because she is in love. Pleasingly, Elly, Chelsie, and Sogand are the first three to get roses. The world is as it should be.
Weirdest line: Vakoo describing Matt as a 3 layer chocolate cake which she wants to taste (that’s a bit forward).
Episode score: 7 out of 10. Elly gets the recognition she deserves but the drama is still lukewarm.