Another episode begins by featuring the mansion in some of the usual arty time-lapse photography. I continue to find this footage quite pleasing, despite it making up a sizeable proportion of each show.
The guys are sitting out in the garden with their morning coffees. Two of them are wearing tank tops, but everyone else is dressed for the snow. Will is even wearing a beanie that looks like something his grandmother knit.
Osher shows up, looking sharper than I’ve ever seen him. He’s wearing a crisp white shirt and a slate grey duffel coat. Go Osher! You could join Michael as a part-time model!
He drops off today’s single date invite, which turns out to be for Alex! This is good news because Alex is feeling the pressure to get Sam to notice him.
Sasha admits he’s finding it difficult to think of Sam dating anyone else. And as we will witness throughout the show, he almost single-handedly destroys the chilled out boy love fest we have come to know and love.
The date card’s clue is ‘First Date Butterflies’. Sasha hopes that this means Alex will be visiting some sort of childcare centre where he’ll make a butterfly painting with Sam and then come home. Ha. Nice one.
Sam meets up with Alex at a plane hangar. I think he’s actually driven there in a Citroen, which is a refreshing change from all the Nissan Qashqais on Boy Sam’s season.
Sam tells us that Alex is different to her usual type, but seeing as that hasn’t worked out very well for her so far, she’s excited about getting to know him better.
Alex observes that Sam isn’t really afraid of anything. This is confirmed when she tells him they will be going up in a couple of Tiger Moths today just for fun.
Sam almost seems disappointed that Alex is into the idea. I think she was hoping he’d reveal some secret fear of heights so she could comfort him. What good is a date like this if one person doesn’t have an excuse to get up close and personal with the other?
They don old school caps and goggles and hop into a plane each. A crew guy physically spins the propeller to get it started – I am so flying illiterate that I didn’t even know that was a thing (at least not in 2015) – and the planes swoop off into the sky. Sam and Alex blow each other kisses before Sam’s plane goes rogue and does a few loop-the-loops. Alex watches, guessing that his plane is about to do the same thing.
Naturally a few seconds later, he is also upside down. ‘This better be worth it!’ he yells. I don’t really know what he expects to be the trade-off. An extra week in the mansion? Being the final man standing?
They land safely and both gush about how awesome the experience was.
‘I can’t feel my legs,’ Sam laughs.
Back at the mansion, the guys are playing a rousing game of foosball. Dave discovers the next invite and gathers everyone around to announce the latest invitees.
‘Game on’, it reads.
Davey is pumped. He doesn’t even care if it’s cage fighting. He’s ready. After the last date, he’s learnt what NOT to do.
On this date will be Davey (phew for him!), Richie, Sasha, Will, Kayne and Dave.
Sasha seems to take great delight in pointing out the guys who weren’t invited.
‘That’s Mike, Kieran and Tone, all alone,’ he announces.
Meanwhile, Sam takes Alex to the Botanical Gardens where a picnic has been set up on the grass in front of a glass case filled with butterflies. The metaphors about feeling butterflies run rampant.
Alex says he has to take his top off, but he really just means his jacket. Unfortunately, he still has several layers on underneath. They sit in front of a chest laid out with a whole cake AND a tier of cupcakes but don’t eat any of them. Such a waste.
Sam wants to know a bit about Alex’s background and is quite impressed when he tells her he’s spent at least two years in five different countries. Alex is like this season’s Lana. But will he have more success than his female equivalent?
Sam decides that all that exposure to other cultures must make him a well-rounded person.
‘Well, look at me,’ Alex laughs.
Sam then asks if she has the qualities he’s looking for. He admits that he is now a bit fussier than he used to be because he doesn’t have time to mess around anymore. But he thinks that so far Sam has what he’s after. The only problem is, he keeps getting lost in her eyes so he can’t concentrate properly.
Sam gives him the rose and they kiss in what I’m going to call a pash peck.
The scene then cuts jarringly (this could have been the TV reception but I don’t think so) to where they’re suddenly inside the glass case trying to catch butterflies.
The guys wait for Alex to get back. Davey thinks he’s too reserved for Sam and so if he gets a rose, he will have to re-think his whole strategy.
Alex arrives with the rose and does a little bow. I guess Davey needs to re-think his strategy.
The guys ask if he kissed her. He admits he did. Then Sasha takes it too far and asks for in-depth details. It was a bit weird and creepy and kind of turned me off him.
He then goes on to tell the camera that he didn’t talk about his kiss with Sam out of respect for her. Sorry dude, but asking for details from the other guy is just as disrespectful.
The next day, the group date guys meet up at an indoor trampoline centre. The strange editing continues with bizarrely loud Brazilian music playing as Osher informs them that they are about to play extreme dodgeball.
Sasha tells us that this is his forte (okaaay).
Sam shows up, and Osher explains that the winning team will win time with her in a Turkish bath house.
Richie reveals that he is super competitive. We know this because he says it, prefaced with the word really about five times.
Sam chooses Davey to be the captain of the blue team and Richie to be the captain of the red team. Richie has a strategy to pick Will and Kayne because Will is unexpectedly fit and Kayne is strong from all that abseiling.
Davey picks Sasha and Dave to be on his team.
‘I think this will be pretty easy,’ Sasha boasts. ‘We’re against the musician, the rapper and the rope access guy.’
They all change into tiny shorts and singlets, and each captain gives their team a pep talk. As they jog out onto the court, Richie tells us he feels like Russell Crowe in Gladiator. Will tells us he feels like he’s as close to being in a Mighty Ducks movie as it’s possible to be.
The game begins. Everyone assumes that the blue alpha males are going to win, but then Davey is knocked out within five seconds and it suddenly gets interesting.
The red team easily win the second round too. The blue team blame Will for being so thin and basically impossible to hit.
Blue win the third round, but then red win the fourth, meaning they win overall. Yay!
The next thing we know, the blue guys have gone back to the mansion and the red guys have changed into hessian robes and are lounging around in a tiled room with Sam.
This isn’t awkward at all. It’s even less awkward when they decide to slather mud on each other. Sam goes first, rubbing everyone down. Then it turns borderline pornographic when all three guys simultaneously rub mud all over Sam.
Richie tells us he didn’t even think about the fact that there were two other guys there. He was just worried about putting mud on Sam without being a creep.
Will is pretty easy to please. ‘Alex may have got the kiss, but we got the exfoliation,’ he says.
I can’t imagine how excited he must feel then when he then gets some proper one-on-one time while Sam rubs him down with a loofah.
Sam mentions how concerned she is about their lack of chemistry. I don’t think he does himself any favours when he tells her how settled he is now and how he’s basically ready to stop travelling and act like a grown-up.
Sam tells him she wants passion and that she couldn’t handle someone proposing just because they thought it was the right thing to do.
Then Richie gets an even more intimate scenario featuring Sam and a rose petal filled spa. He talks about how hard it is to open up because of his divorced parents. It’s interesting to see that this revelation doesn’t have the same effect on Sam as when Sasha said the exact same thing just the other day.
At the end, they hug it out. Way to make a romantic situation not romantic at all guys.
It’s time for the cocktail party! The boys are all worried about their place in the pecking order and it’s starting to get a bit competitive. Sasha outright asks everyone who they think is going home. Davey doesn’t rate his own chances. Tony also realises he needs to make some ground soon or he’s out of there.
Sam arrives wearing a gorgeous black dress and her hair out. Michael pulls her aside right away, which weirds Sasha out.
‘Michael never does that,’ he says, confused.
It turns out Michael has a gift for our Bachelorette. It’s a cassette case filled with baggage tags that have fun facts about him written on them.
These facts include such things as ‘my favourite numbers are 8, 4 and 11’ and ‘my favourite dish is crab with black bean sauce’. There is also a card that tells Sam she gets one free kiss.
‘What kind of kiss?’ Sam asks.
‘Do you have to even ask that?’ Michael replies.
The other guys are watching, so Sam wisely decides to save it for later.
Not to be outdone, Sasha also drags Sam away, because he too has a present. It’s a gift-wrapped frame featuring a drawing he did with Sam’s favourite number (four) filled with tiny pictures of things that mean something to her or them as a couple. Like INXS, because it’s her favourite band. And stick figures of her as the fourth child between her siblings.
‘How do you know all this?’ Sam marvels.
‘I listen when you talk,’ he replies proudly.
I can’t figure out if it was romantic or stalkery. I’m sort of leaning towards the latter considering his behaviour this episode, but it could just be what the producers want me to think.
The rose ceremony rolls around again. There are ten guys left… Alex already has a rose… and two guys are going home.
The show tries to make out that this is shocking. Two guys! But that’s just the way every other Bachelor show normally works.
Roses go to:
Poor Will and Kieran leave roseless. Will gives a cute speech and then tells us how hopeful he is to find a fellow oddball to fall in love with in the near future. Kieran is also super sweet in his departure. I have a feeling those guys are going to be just fine.
Next week sees the return of the dreaded two-on-one date, and we already see that it’s going to feature Davey and Tony. The other guys get to organise a kids party, and some handle it a lot better than others.
See you then!