To be honest, tonight’s episode was kind of emotionally draining. I’m not into that bitching stuff at all. Why are the producers giving Keira so much damn screen time? She is not funny or interesting, and she just seems to be complaining for the sake of it. Plus, her facial expression doesn’t ever seem to change, which makes me wonder if she actually believes anything that’s coming out of her own mouth.
Ah well. I guess this is what we signed up for.
The show opens with the usual time lapse photography montage, flipping from day to night. At least I thought that was the case, until OAG showed up and greeted the ladies with a jaunty ‘good morning’.
He happily throws the first date card into the centre of the group and retreats, knowing that if he stays, he’ll be consumed by a swarm of over-excited females.
I hardly recognise anyone this morning. I swear Sophie had red hair on the last episode, but today it looks black. And a completely different style. Weird.
The invite reads: Be my castaway.
Alex thinks Megan has a connection with Richie and will score the first date. Which is funny, because Megan thinks the same thing about Alex. I love those two!
But it turns out Nikki gets it. Richie’s reasoning is that she was the first one out of the limo, so she should also get the first date. Fair enough.
Of course Keira isn’t happy. *sigh* I’m already over her and it’s only five minutes into the show.
Apparently Nikki only has fifteen minutes to get ready before Richie is due to arrive and whisk her away. She runs upstairs to change, and I’m pretty sure she ran out of time, because she forgot to do up all the buttons on her shirt or do her hair.
I’m joking. She looks really cute with the windswept look and those little white shorts.
The sound of a helicopter signals the start of the date. There is sufficient footage of the arriving chopper and the other women’s jealous faces to justify the cost of renting one of these babies for the day. Richie steps out, quickly says hello to everyone, and then grabs Nikki to take her back to the helicopter.
Nikki makes a comment about only ever having had one relationship, and that she met her ex when she was fifteen. Did I hear that right? Wow! So the first proper date she’s ever been on is on a reality show? Talk about putting yourself back out there in a big way!
Keira makes some comment about this whole situation not being natural. Uh, you think? She is also wearing a weird off-the-shoulder white hanky top. I just kept wanting to yank the sleeves back up.
‘Ready to rock?’ Nikki asks Richie.
‘Ready to roll,’ is his smooth reply. Damn, I love that guy.
They fly over the Harbour Bridge, and Nikki tells Richie about her fear of heights. She admits that she would never be able to do his job (which for anyone who hasn’t being paying attention is rope access technician-ing on an offshore oil rig).
Richie makes a joke about how they’ll be abseiling out of their helicopter. Nikki looks petrified until Richie assures her that they will actually be landing normally, nearby on a deserted island.
There is a handy rowboat waiting for them on the sand, so Richie takes Nikki out for a little paddle around the bay. He starts to tell Nikki about growing up somewhere fourteen hours north of somewhere else but gets distracted when his champagne cork pops prematurely (that is not a euphemism).
They laugh about it and do a nerdy high five. Richie even comes out with his first ‘crikey’ of the season. I’m amazed I haven’t heard a ‘cool bananas’ yet.
Back at the mansion, the girls are gossiping. Kiki appears with the second card. Eliza tells us she’s ready to get silly. OK then. So I’m guessing the singing, the plank-offs and the general wackiness we’ve witnessed so far is nothing compared to the ‘silly’ Eliza?
The second card reads: Let’s Shoot Back In Time.
Most of the women are invited on this date: Sasha, Tolyna, Faith, Georgia, Eliza, Alex, Laura, Kiki, Mia and Keira.
Bizarrely, everyone except Keira cheers when her name is announced. She is unimpressed, because this means she won’t be getting the next one-on-one date. She’s like a weird girl version of Chad from this season’s US Bachelorette, only not as entertaining.
The women who aren’t going on the date are naturally upset that Keira isn’t more grateful. How dare she not be excited about the chance to spend a few scripted and uncomfortable minutes with Richie and nine other women!
Back on the date, Nikki and Richie are taking a playful dip in the ocean. They then relax on the sand, and Richie chops open a couple of coconuts with a machete. I don’t know why I found that so appealing. But I did.
He then makes them do a cheesy arm wraparound while they drink the coconut juice. Ah, there’s that awkwardness I love.
Richie briefly explains about how hard it is to be vulnerable with his feelings, before Nikki confirms that she has only ever had one partner. They were together for twelve and a half years and broke up a year ago. They were engaged, and broke up six months before the wedding.
Wow. That’s a lot to take in on a first date. But Richie takes it all in his stride and appreciates that Nikki is strong enough to make tough decisions when it counts.
They row to another beach where a campfire is set up, and Richie tells Nikki how great she is. Nikki is practically swooning. Apparently her ex never complimented her. They then joke about living near each other in WA, yet meeting on the opposite side of Australia.
There’s a bit of small talk where Nikki says ‘like, yeah’ and ‘yeah, nah, this is awesome’ several times and I think about how wonderful Aussie TV is.
Richie produces a rose he’s hidden under a nearby blanket and they make out. First kiss of the season! Yay! It was very sweet, and I’m glad Nikki was the recipient.
Naturally, the girls back at the mansion are speculating on how successful Nikki’s date has been. Some of them think she won’t kiss him, but others think she will but won’t tell them.
Well, Nikki does admit to kissing Richie, but claims it was only a peck in exchange for getting the rose. “There was no full-on pashing,” she assures them. Ha! Someone’s being a bit of a fibber!
The next day, the group date women head off to an old homestead (amazingly, I have no idea yet who this year’s car sponsor is!) . They are wearing a variety of unusual outfits: shirt dresses without belts, playsuits, and Keira has on a leather jacket with tiny shorts and another choker. She is now channelling Madonna from the mid 80s.
The editor from Woman’s Day stands beside OAG and explains that today they’ll be doing a 50s inspired photo shoot.
Faith, Kiki and Tolyna will be pretending to attend a classic garden party. Eliza, Georgia, Laura and Mia will be dancing around a jukebox. Keira and Sasha are going to be at an old-school diner, and Alex gets the coveted spot as the only woman accompanying Richie in his convertible Cadillac on a fake date.
Keira makes some inappropriate joke about drinking milkshakes with Richie and hoping hers brings him to the yard. And she is super unimpressed about Alex getting a technical one-on-one.
The girls all get made up and change into their costumes. Apparently a garden party in the 50s meant you were only allowed to wear a swimsuit. Kiki looks stunning in clingy leopard print. She reveals that she has modelled in the past, and it shows. But Faith and Tolyna also look cute – and Faith steals the show as she tries to look seductive on an inflatable watermelon, but ends up looking adorably dorky instead.
Keira is dressed like a virginal Sandy in Grease and sits opposite Richie as they pretend to share a drink together. But Sasha won’t let Keira hog all the attention and plays up the flirty waitress role perfectly. Keira admits that Sasha has succeeded in psyching her out and she’s not used to feeling that way. In the end, she has to resort to calling out Richie on his lack of attention towards her. Ha.
The jukebox shoot is equally cringe-worthy. Eliza dances like Kenickie’s date Cha Cha in the Grease dance-off, while Mia, Laura and Georgia stand off to the side, not knowing how to act.
The last shoot has Richie dressed as Danny Zuko (I think they used Grease as the sole inspiration for today’s date) and Alex is wearing a tight red satin dress.
They climb into the Cadillac and the photographer urges them to make as much physical contact as possible. This includes an ‘almost kiss’ at the end. If Keira and a few of the other mean girls hadn’t been watching and making immature comments, I think they would have made out for real. Apparently Alex also has previous experience as a model, only part-time (I always crack up when I hear that term because it reminds me of this) and tells Richie it’s all about the angles and channelling Zoolander.
Richie pretends he needs modelling tips, but I think several months of being groomed for TV and also being a sneaky secret model for Chadwick’s means that he knows what he’s doing.
Richie admits that Alex gives him butterflies. Oooh.
For our final date of the episode, Richie shows up on his motorbike, bringing along a spare leather jacket and helmet. He has saved today for a woman he’s been dying to get to know: Olena.
Nikki is jealous. Poor Nikki. It’s only going to get worse from here on in.
Olena is absolutely gorgeous and has this quiet, Eastern European intensity that Richie finds intriguing. Olena admits she’s scared of dating because in the past, the guys she’s picked have been completely wrong for her, or set her hair on fire.
They head out on Richie’s motorbike through the countryside, to a random field where a picnic is laid out for them. Olena says she was worried when they hit bumps on the road and had to hold him tighter. Richie says he noticed that and it was a deliberate ploy.
But enough pleasantries. Olena dives straight in and asks Richie why his dad isn’t in his life. She then asks about his plans to have children. He answers them in a way that satisfies Olena, and then takes her back to his Bachelor pad for a bit more alone time.
When they arrive, they stand outside admiring the view. Olena points to a part of the house and asks what it is. “That’s my sleeping quarters. You wait until you see that!” Richie says enthusiastically.
“Easy, darling,” Olena drawls. Richie blushes.
They go for a swim, but Olena is quiet. She admits she has walls up and doesn’t let people in easily.
Richie seems happy enough though, and later presents Olena with a final surprise. You can tell she’s expecting a rose, but she gets a red cocktail dress instead. I couldn’t tell if she was disappointed, or just being Olena. But she did look gorgeous wearing it, and that’s when Richie finally brought out the rose.
She thanks him with a chaste kiss on the cheek. “I don’t kiss on the first date,” she tells us later.
The pre-rose ceremony cocktail party has already started, and the women at the mansion are finding it awkward that Richie is still out with Olena. Nikki says she could understand if Richie was smitten with her, because even she loves her.
The two finally arrive, and the nice girls are happy that she received a rose.
“Did you touch his body?” they ask.
“I was on a bike with him, so I was allowed to,” is her dry reply.
Richie pulls Nikki away for a chat, presumably to assure her that he still likes her after dating someone else. OMG – Nikki’s dress! It was sparkly and green and looked like it required tape to keep her boobs in and her thighs covered.
Keira suddenly decides she loves Nikki, which only confirms my thought that the words coming out of her mouth don’t mean anything.
Alex brings out her white rose, and Keira is suddenly unimpressed again. The nice girls defend Alex, saying ‘why wouldn’t you use it?’. And then we find out that it’s like a never-ending pack of Tim Tams and Alex can whip it out whenever she wants. Was that actually explained to us last night? I must have missed it.
Alex approaches Richie (who seems quite pleased by her pro-activeness) – and he whisks her away to some secret turret-like area at the top far edge of the mansion.
“I can’t deal,” Keira whines.
“It’s just me and you and absolute privacy,” Richie assures Alex.
And half a dozen camera crew, he forgets to say.
Alex tells Richie she grew up with her grandparents on a farm and loves dirt bikes. They discover they have a friendly football rivalry, and then Alex explains how she had a ‘gap year pregnancy’ when she was nineteen. She asks him how he feels about kids, and while he told Olena that he would rather travel and experience life before having children of his own, he tells Alex that he is not going to discount her just because she’s a mum.
Back downstairs, Keira is in full melt-down mode. She is taking Alex’s time with Richie as a personal attack.
Alex floats back down to join the group. “Nothing can dampen this feeling,” she says dreamily.
Oh, honey. Why would you say that? Now the Bachelor gods are going to have to strike you down.
Keira starts berating her the second she sits down. But I was proud of Alex for remaining firm, and not letting Keira get away with her behaviour. Alex eventually walks off, knowing she has the support of nearly all the group behind her.
It’s time for the rose ceremony!
Nikki and Olena already have roses, and two women are going home tonight.
The other roses go to:
- Rachael (who was mean last night, but we didn’t hear much from today)
- Georgia (as above – although she did make a joke with Alex about punching her in the face)
- Bacon lover Noni
- Keira (sigh)
- Alex (yay!)
- Megan (woo-hoo! I suspect Richie is saving her one-on-one date so their relationship doesn’t peak too early)
Mia and Laura are tonight’s casualties. I wonder if they blame Eliza for hogging all the time on their group date. Mia cries, but Laura is hopeful. Don’t worry, ladies. You’ll be fine.
The next few weeks look to be a huge combination of bitching, tears, over the top dates and lots (and I mean lots) of kissing.
Bring it on!
See you next week!