Wow! Doesn’t it feel like a lifetime ago since we watched Boy Sam choose Snezana as his girlfriend / potential future wife? Even Girl Sam’s season seems like an eternity ago.
We are reminded of Richie’s part in Girl Sam’s season, including their adorable old people date. I remember being quite sad to see him leave – but it all worked out in the end because we now get to watch another whole season of his gorgeous awkwardness.
It looks like the show has given him a bit of a makeover. Look at that six-pack and smooth chest! And he doesn’t seem nearly as stuttery as last year. Hooray for beauty and speech therapists!
There’s a quick intro of Richie at home with his mum and sister. Richie reminds us his dad isn’t around, so it’s just the three of them. They play boules in the backyard and then Richie half-heartedly offers to help his mum make dinner (much to her bemusement).
But there’s no time to linger on family stuff, because Richie needs to get ready for his big night!
Our beloved host, Osher (Andrew) Gunsberg is looking just as swish as always. He’s talking a bit faster this year too, which is a pleasant surprise.
But before the limos arrive, we are subjected to a couple of pre-filmed packages of this year’s stand-outs.
First is Megan, who I’m letting it be known was my first pick when I looked at her photo online the other day. I already think she’s going to be Top 3. She has a bit of a Natalie Bassingthwaighte vibe going on, and likes to do outdoorsy stuff like skateboarding and free-diving.
Next is Noni, who seems very cute and sweet. She is half Balinese and designs swimwear. The only slightly odd thing about her is her obsession with bacon. For all you non-vegetarians out there, you’re probably thinking ‘what’s so wrong with being obsessed with bacon?’ And even though I haven’t eaten the stuff for almost seven years, I can understand where you’re coming from. But! Do you love it so much you’d get a tattoo of it?
Then there’s Marja, the yoga teacher. She would be ecstatic if Richie was also a yogi. I think the producers were trying to make her look all hippie and new-age, but she didn’t seem any different to at least fifty percent of the women I know here on the Sunshine Coast.
Janey is 26 and from Brisbane. She skips down the flower arch in Southbank dressed like a princess and buys a Cold Rock ice-cream covered in marshmallows and sprinkles. She says a whole bunch of random words like ‘mermaids’, ‘unicorns’ and ‘fairies’. She is a children’s entertainer, so I guess she can be partially excused for her behaviour.
Georgia is an artist who sells paintings to homes (at least that’s what I think she said). She admits she’s an alpha female, but claims to have a squishy marshmallow heart.
Oh. That’s it? OK – we’re up to the big night already!
The new mansion is decorated to the absolute maximum degree in flowers, candles and lanterns. I do love how pretty everything looks. Even the hedges are decorated with more fairy lights than leaves.
OAG welcomes us, looking very much the Ken doll. His skin is soft and his hair hard. Let’s get to it!
I’m sure I’ve said this before, but I feel like watching a season of the Aussie Bachelor is like flashing back to a 2004 US Bachelor. It’s much less polished, and the gimmicky intros are so much more awkward. I can’t decide what I prefer.
But our first arrival sets a lovely tone. It’s Nikki, in a sparkly gold dress that reveals lots of cleavage and leg. She seems nice.
Then it’s my pick, Megan. She’s from Richie’s side of the world and shows up in a beautiful blue dress with cut-outs on the sides. They find out they have the outdoors in common and have a much longer chat than I’m used to seeing on the US Bachelor. Megan makes a comparison between free-diving and love and not being able to breathe (or something), and then compliments him on smelling nice.
Janey arrives in an actual princess dress with crinoline, making it stand out like one of those toilet roll holder dolls. I think she honestly believes she’s in a Disney movie right now. She even has Disney facial features, with big eyes, expressive eyebrows and the hugest smile I have ever seen. She giggles through her intro with Richie, but he seems charmed. He asks what she wants to get out of this experience and she responds with ‘I’d like to date you’. She tells us that she will buy Girl Sam a jumping castle and several bottles of champagne if she gets to kiss Richie. Her last move is to pretend to lose her shoe, Cinderella style.
Bless her heart.
There are a few quick intros after that, from Natalie, Georgia and Tiffany (Tiffany looks cute. I pick her to go far too).
Then Eliza arrives. She rocks up in a black dress that has a slit almost to her bellybutton. She swaggers over to Richie and calls herself Lady Eliza before proceeding to sing an off-key song that goes for ages. She tells us she’s ready to find her penguin and then high fives Richie before ‘accidentally’ missing the low five and slapping him on the butt.
I have no words.
Alex, the pretty blonde shows up after that. We know we’re supposed to like her, because she gets the sweet background music. It works though, because I love her already. She reads Richie a quick poem, which could have been cringey, but wasn’t. Richie is stoked because he’s never had someone write a poem for him before. Aww.
This is followed by a few other non-event arrivals: Kiki, Aimee, Rachael, Marja, Sophie, Laura, Tolyna and Mia.
Oh, but then there’s Keira. She has a bit of a Lara Bingle thing going on. I think she think it’s 1996, because she’s wearing a black dress with spaghetti straps and a velvet choker. She tells us she’s a good catch. Richie seems to agree (at least for now) and asks Keira what turns her on. She laughs, thinking he means the question in a dirty way. Richie blushes and Keira struts off, telling the camera that they had too much chemistry. Ha.
Meanwhile, Eliza is singing her song again. I’m not sure why but it looked like she was singing to an empty room (I think this was a bit of producer trickery).
Sasha arrives, wearing a dress that looks like an ostrich. She is Russian.
Faith is next. She is very cute and gives Richie a keyring, saying something about having faith in her.
Bacon lover Noni shows up and presents Richie with a bouquet of roses actually made out of bacon. Richie LOVES it. He loves it even more when she tells him ‘Don’t go bacon my heart’.
Vintaea gets out of the car next. She looks lovely in a sparkly gold dress. And then she opens her mouth and a whole bunch of expletives tumble out. Richie tells her he can keep up with the swearing if necessary.
Vintaea’s response? ‘Thank f**k.’
As she walks away, she tells us he has good alignment with his teeth and she’d probably eat that face.
Last up is Olena, a very pretty Ukrainian who says something in her native language, urging Richie to track her down later to find out the translation. (FYI, it was that lovely quote by Maya Angelou – “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”)
And with 22 women inside the mansion, the cocktail party begins!
OAG explains that the white rose is back, and this year it means the lucky recipient will get some uninterrupted time with Richie at a secret hideaway on the property.
Richie joins everyone, toasts the room and is then swept away by Noni, who is the first woman brave enough to request alone time.
Nikki cuts in a few minutes later, and Sasha and Rachael decide they are not impressed with her.
The group quickly breaks up into the nice girls and the mean girls. Heading up the nice girls are Megan, Alex and Tiffany. On the other side we have Rachael, Keira, Georgia and Sasha. The rest of the women are either too quiet or too quirky to assess at this stage.
Alex pulls Richie aside to reveal she has a five year old son. Richie doesn’t get a chance to respond to whether he’s cool with that, because one of the other women cut in.
Alex goes back to the couch and tears up a little. The mean girls smell blood and ask her what’s wrong. She tells them about her son and they all gasp. “You’re been keeping this from us!” they exclaim. Yes, Alex has kept this knowledge from them for a whole… what? Ten minutes? You can tell they think it works in their favour, because adding a child to the mix makes things more complicated for Richie. Or does it? Did they not see last year’s outcome?
Georgia thinks the women have no class, and then proceeds to swear about it.
Keira tells Richie that if she had a do-over to answer the question about what turns her on, she’d say the white rose.
Eliza starts singing again, but that could just be a repeat of the earlier footage. The women agree she’s nuts, though. She then suggests a plank-off and is the first person to fold. It comes down to Tiffany and Richie, and Tiffany collapses, saying she let him win.
Richie loves this and gives Tiffany the first red rose. I wonder how Eliza felt after this, knowing she directly contributed to Richie’s connection with another woman. She does admit that she’s used to being the biggest personality in the room, and finds it unsettling that there are several people here who are even crazier.
Georgia and Keira start pretending to fake slap each other. Vintaea tells us repeatedly how bored and uncomfortable she is. She continues to swear like a sailor.
Janey finally gets her time with Richie when he gives her back her shoe. She gushes about it being one of the best moments of her life.
Megan waits for her moment with Richie, and he hints that he’s been looking forward to talking to her more than anyone else. He loves that she’s taken her heels off and that they both like being casual. Olena tries to interrupt them, but Richie sends her away for a few minutes, because he wants to give Megan a rose first.
The night is wearing on and Richie hasn’t yet handed out the white rose. He picks it up… and then we have to wait for an ad break to find out who scores the coveted prize.
I think I may have said out loud ‘please pick Alex! Please pick Alex!’
And he does! I am kind of worried at how much of my emotional wellbeing is tied up in this show.
Alex is stoked. She stutters and almost cries. Richie wants to make sure they have time to talk uninterrupted about her parental status some time in the near future.
Keira and Rachael have tantrums because they didn’t get the rose. Keira wants to go to bed now, and Rachael makes it clear she’s not going to congratulate Alex.
Nice, ladies. Nice.
And now it’s the actual rose ceremony!
Tiffany, Megan and Alex all have roses. The rest go to:
Oh jeez. What is Vintaea doing? She asks to speak to Richie, and then we have to wait for ANOTHER ad break before finding out she wants to go home. Alright then.
- Sasha (why on earth is she eating her rose? Do they do that in Russia?)
Poor Aimee and Natalie are sent packing on the first night. I actually had Aimee down as a contender, so I guess I’m going to have to re-think that one now.
There’s no time to rest, because we have another episode tonight! There will be two dates – single ones I assume.
So who’s excited for The Bachelor to be back? Do you love Richie? Who do you want to win?
See you tomorrow!