The Bachelor Australia Recap: Nicole Is Not Like The Other Girls (Except Monique)
We start this episode with Matt’s single date with Monique, Nichole’s hotter and similarly Not Like Other Girls twin. She stares out picturesquely into the mansion’s bushland, looking like a problematic breakfast TV host being photographed for the Women’s Weekly. Monique has big Sunrise energy. Matt turns up in a Ferrari, which she is rightfully impressed by. Matt is mostly just happy about the car. “How good is being the Bachelor,” He asks, and as the two get into this eminently sexy car, it does seem worthwhile.
The next part of the date involves pulling up to a large warehouse which contains two tiny planes. Matt and Monique are going to be doing aerobatics. They sit through the incredibly unsexy safety talk, in which they’re instructed to tense their stomach, squeeze their glutes, and try to aim correctly into their sick bags. Monique refuses to take producer instructions to pretend to be nervous. She does not want Matt to tell her they’ll get through this together, or put a hand around her shoulders, or any of the other Bachie tropes they wheel out whenever a woman is exposed to altitude. This is likeable and I consider stopping making fun of her for liking sport.
After their joyflight, they return to the ground and tell each other how great the date has been. I’m a little sceptical of this one; while they both seemed to enjoy flying, they were notably in very separate planes, so it’s unclear whether they enjoy each other’s company. Matt says he’s feeling his heart flutter, but that may just be a side effect of the Gs. The rest of the date seems like a faux-deep cinema ad session. We hear about Monique’s ambition to become landed gentry. She tells us about her investment properties and I half expect to hear a shout out to Commbank home loans and/or negative gearing. Then we get some BHP Billiton sponcon as Matt and Monique bond over their shared history extracting minerals.
Back at the mansion, Nikki the freaky cheerleader, characteristically lacking the ability to talk normally, wonders whether the couple have had a “snoggy snog”. They have. Monique gets a kiss, and a rose. Unlike Nichole, Monique seems to actually leave Matt wanting more. They shower each other with compliments and mistake their residual aerobatics adrenaline for romantic interest.
Now for the photoshoot group date, a Bachie classic which is incoherent if you believe this show is about finding love. It’s not though; the producers are trying to resuscitate print media by selling the photos to a magazine called TV Week, which surely nobody reads. The premise of the shoot is to recreate romance stories, and the first one is Snow White.
Isabelle is Snow White. There is very little I can say about her, except that she is tall and is a fantastic method actor, in the sense that she appears to enter a deep sleep on set. Matt is then left to hover awkwardly over her glued-shut eyes and possible snores, leaving the shoot with zero chemistry and Snow White without a kiss from Prince Charming. Helena plays the evil stepmother in a mask as bizarre as her Lindsay Lohan accent. Nichole and Rachael play the dwarves, which suits Nichole - who is definitely not at all bitter!! - just fine, thank you very much. She gets to prove she is One Of The Boys in what she variously calls a flannie and a flanno -- she can’t seem to decide which slang makes her look more down to earth, so switches wildly between the two.
Emma, the clinger, plays Cinderella. Mary and Sogand play the step sisters, who have wildly different senses of style -- Mary looks like a governess from the late 1800s in a dowdy blouse and full length skirt. Sogand wears a tight red dress and is very beautiful in a ‘inspo picture the Kardashians brought to their surgeons’ way. In this adaptation, Cinderella gets very little airtime. Mary tries to monopolise Matt, unbuttoning her shirt and gazing, unblinkly, into his eyes. This is perhaps not as seductive as she intends, and Matt breaks a sweat. He seems relieved when Sogand takes over. They lean closer and closer together, and there is definitely actual chemistry there. Matt is plausibly slightly hypnotised. Emma doesn’t get a look in.
Next up is jewellery designer Cassandra as Juliet to Matt’s Romeo. She is very tiny and seems not to be able to reach his mouth. A step stool is suggested.The other girls look on and laugh. All not-very-much of my own height feels bad for Cassandra. Someone notes “It’s a bit awkward”, which is definitely because 10 people are looking on and sneering.
Thankfully this scene is over soon and we cut to a recreation of Antony and Cleopatra, featuring Vakoo and Abbie. Modelling being Vakoo’s job, she is very stunning and everyone is correctly awestruck. Abbie, who has been fanning Vakoo and Matt, decides to take over. She stares intently into Matt’s eyes and they nearly kiss. She keeps licking her lips. Matt says he’s practising a lot of self restraint.
At the cocktail party, Osher introduces a new gimmick, where one bachelorette can go meet Matt in the orchard for some one on one time. There’s a date card with two names, and the contestants have to vote to decide who gets the time. Unsurprisingly, the names are Sogand and Abbie. This Survivor-esque turn results in the creation of a plot. The girls decide that Abbie and Matt are just physically attracted to each other and after a conversation he’ll realise she’s not for him. This will definitely not backfire.
It does. It’s true that Matt struggles to talk to Abbie. This is not because they dislike each other. It is because he is almost literally melting with sexual tension and can’t manage to form words. They kiss, much to the relief of Matt’s poor tongue. Back at the mansion, the others wonder what the couple will talk about. The answer is very, very little. They are a pair of few words and many lipstick smudges.
Abbie’s absence of lipstick does not go unnoticed upon her return to the mansion. Elly, who has been sadly absent this episode, reminds us she’s the best by saying fair-mindedly that everyone should have the chance to see if they have a connection with Matt.The producers are lucky not everyone is as sensible. Sogand finds the kissing disrespectful, forgetting both the premise of the show and the fact that she has also kissed Matt.
The rose ceremony occurs largely uneventfully, except for the very end, where Vakoo, cracking under the pressure of being the last one picked, bursts into tears. Nationwide, memories of PE classes are dredged up in the minds of the un-sporty. To be fair, I am also emotionally invested in Vakoo staying on the show, so I don’t judge too hard. The inert Snow White is sent home.
Best Facial Expression:
Kristen’s Social Credit Score: 950 - plummeting along with her number of minutes on air. There was literally no propaganda this episode and I am disappointed.
Episode Score: 6/10. So much more cookery could have happened. No pick-me-ery. No rival Persian princesses. No unnecessary Mandarin. It scrapes through on a 6 purely because of Vakoo’s luxury-gay-space-communism-esque dress and Elly’s kind heart.