Previously on The Bachelor: three strange women – or two normal women and Brittney – entered the mansion, and Tenille attempted to escape only to be hunted down by an enormous white bubble and returned to the house.
Tonight on The Bachelor: if Romy doesn’t get kicked out I will burn the mansion down.
At the Epping Aquatic Centre, the usual crushing sense of hopelessness is alleviated somewhat by the presence of the Honey Badger, who loves both group dates and swimming carnivals, and thinks this justifies taking a group of women to a swimming carnival. I like hamburgers and books, but I don’t put the dictionary on a bun for dinner.
TAFKAAG is also at the pool, because he’s been sleeping in the toilets.
“Nick’s body is very sexy,” says Brittney, like a four-year-old identifying a triangle. Tenille is hoping we’ve moved on from the whole Romy-vomiting-hatred affair, but guess what? We haven’t.
The women are competing for private time with Nick. Emily is excited: “this is crunch time for me,” she says, aware that if Nick goes another day without talking to her, her chances of marrying him will be diminished. Cat is angry that they have to swim, because she hates swimming almost as much as she hates women, but she is glad she isn’t on a team with the intruders, who she refers to as “basic bitches” because they have yet to purchase any of her awful jewellery.
The first event requires bachelorettes to get balls in the pool and bring them to Nick, so he can see which of the women most resembles a labrador. Brittney struggles straight away, as it turns out even beach balls instinctively flee her presence. Emily, however, is surprisingly good at this game – sometimes all it takes to find your hidden talent is to have a TV show invent a non-existent sport for you to compete for a rugby player’s sexual favours.
As the women compete for the balls, Cat starts bodily grabbing other women to prevent them reaching them. “This cat’s got claws,” Nick chuckles, perfectly fine with the blatant and violent cheating happening in front of him. No wonder the Wallabies dropped him. “I don’t feel bad,” says Cat, “I would never feel bad for another person,” and then giggles, “Oh that sounds really bad!” But it’s OK, as nobody’s opinion of Cat could possibly sink any lower than it already is.
Even with Cat blocking and grabbing and borderline sexually harassing everyone else, Emily gets the last ball and the red team wins. Tenille is happy because her team won. “I don’t know what Tenille is so happy about,” says Cat, even though it’s obvious what Tenille is so happy about, because her team won. “If Emily hadn’t been on the red team, they wouldn’t have won,” Cat goes on. But…Emily was on the red team. And so was Tenille. And the red team won. So Tenille is happy. This is a very difficult concept for Cat to grasp. She only knows of two reasons anyone could be happy: a big jewellery order, or drawing blood from a woman’s face.
It’s now time for the final round: the red teamsters, Emily and Tenille, will have to climb into large plastic bubbles and race each other up the pool. It’s one of those moments when you have to think that the method of selecting a life partner, as devised by The Bachelor, has some subtle flaws in it.
Cat hopes Emily wins the race, as she considers Tenille to be “basic”, which is Cat-speak for “might be prettier than me”
The race begins, and it quickly becomes clear that there is no more majestic sight than two women in plastic balls crawling the length of a pool. Or at least, one woman – Tenille finds herself completely unable to move, despite having mastered the art of standing up inside the ball and then falling down. “She’s more interested in how she looks than winning the race,” Cat sneers, but this is unlikely because she looks like a complete idiot.
So Emily wins, and she and Nick sit on a couch and stuff their faces. But will they be stuffing their faces with…each other? Emily tells Nick that the first time she met him she could see into his soul, which is one way to cut to the chase. She lets him know that he’s a “genuine dude”, which he chooses to take as a compliment. Nick stares at Emily blankly, not quite sure to make of a woman who claims to be able to look into his soul despite the fact he can’t remember having met her before at all. He responds by babbling vaguely about conquering the world, giving the impression he would like to establish a standing navy with Emily. He says he has a beautiful connection with her, but sounds like he means it in the sense of having someone to hang out at the library and do research with. Then he calls her an iceberg, and nobody knows what’s going on. But Emily gets a rose, so she can’t have put him off too much. Then they kiss. Gross.
Back at the mansion, Alisha is still refusing to wipe that damn smile off her face. She reveals that there is a single date card, and it’s for Brooke. Cat is disgusted by this news: after all the hard work she’s put in to verbally and physically attack the other women, after all the snide comments and unprovoked insults, after the time she tried to kiss Nick against his will, somehow he is STILL not into her. Cat doesn’t see the point of hanging around if Nick isn’t going to recognise how sexy obnoxiousness can be. “I could be working on my business,” she says – there are so many rolls of tinfoil not being turned into earrings right now.
“For today’s date I’ve chosen my little rhinoceros beetle, Brooke,” says Nick, and really, who knows what we should make of that? He arrives at the mansion. “Nick walks in and I’m not going to pretend that I’m happy, cos I’m not,” says Cat. To be fair, Cat hasn’t been happy since she was three years old and she found out that other girls exist, but this time she is genuinely riled up. You feel like she might cut a bitch, or even worse, give a bitch some of her jewellery.
Nick and Brooke are in love with each other so they couldn’t give two shits about Cat’s neuroses. They drive off into the countryside, and there is a prime opportunity for the show to redeem itself by having them keep driving and never come back. But sadly it’s just another stupid date. They arrive at a “Balinese mansion”, although not Balinese in the sense of being in Bali.
In the gardens, Nick and Brooke sit down next to a screen. Behind a screen is a man called Guy with an easel. Guy is going to sketch Nick and Brooke based on their descriptions of each other.
Nick goes first, describing Brooke’s “rounded features”. “I’m not saying she’s fat,” he hastily adds, to make sure that she knows he’s probably saying she’s fat. Brooke and Nick are holding hands, and Nick is shaking with nerves. He’s terrified he’ll accidentally use the phrase “kind of like a poorly-conditioned tapir”, but he’s doing quite well and his description is, overall, that of an attractive woman. “I could stare into Brooke’s eyes for a long time,” he says, but to be honest he could stare into anything for a long time: there’s not much going on with him.
It’s Brooke’s turn to describe Nick, and though it’d be easy for her to just tell Guy to do a Google Image Search, she chooses the path of most resistance. So determined is she to make things hard for herself that she doesn’t go for the obvious description: “Imagine a really stressed-out chicken auditioning for a role in Deep Throat”. Instead she bangs on about beautiful curly hair and kissable lips and honestly what is the point of any other woman even being on this show?
Back at the mansion, Cat is wondering the same thing. “I’m feeling pretty shit, to be honest,” she says, but sadly it’s not due to a sudden attack of self-awareness. Romy and Alisha, who also know the pain of seeing men prefer other women to themselves, are full of sympathy for Cat’s awful hilarious predicament. Oddly enough Alisha, who has spent so little time with Nick she may actually be living in a different suburb to the rest of the women, doesn’t at all mind listening to Cat moan incessantly about how hard it is not getting a single date. But Alisha is a pretty self-aware woman, and she wouldn’t want to date her either.
The girls move on to discussing what a horrible attention-seeking bitch Tenille is for running away from Romy, as if Romy hasn’t had a lifetime of people running away from her to get used to it. Alisha is outraged that Tenille is trying to make Romy look bad, but Romy’s been doing that since she arrived and Alisha isn’t angry at her. Double standards.
At this point the camera crew asks if the wyrd sisters have anything else they want to say. They don’t, so the crew starts packing up. It’s really weird and there is no explanation for why we are watching this.
After the crew packs up the women keep talking – LIARS! They agree that Cat should give Nick an ultimatum, because if she does, he won’t send her home. They don’t say what kind of ultimatum: maybe something like, “If you don’t let me dry-hump you I am going to show you my new line of bangles”.
Meanwhile on the date, Brooke and Nick check out what Guy has drawn. It’s a fantastic drawing of Brooke and Danny Rand, AKA the legendary Iron Fist. They are very impressed. Nick can’t believe how in love with Brooke he is. “I never expected a girl in her early 20s, by the name of Brooke, to make me feel like this.” He doesn’t explain what he has about the name Brooke, but goes on to say that she’d make a great wife. Pack up guys, this is over.
Nick tells Brooke she seems mature beyond her years, which is pretty patronising. Brooke says she does feel like she’s more mature than all those other dumb skanks, and they chat about how life is awful but that’s good because sometimes life is nice. It’s pretty goddamn deep. Nick tells the camera how he feels differently about Brooke than the other women: with the others he just wants to kiss them and make them fight for beach balls, but with Brooke he wants to bring her a beach ball of his own. He’s never felt this way about a woman or a beach ball. He gives Brooke a rose, but it might as well be a ring. Then they kiss for about seven hours, which Romy would no doubt find tacky.
Back at the mansion Brittney is dancing like a maniac and making a series of inexplicable noises. Most of the bachelorettes are here to land a boyfriend, but Brittney is clearly here to audition for the role of co-host on Hey Hey It’s Saturday. Either she’s been drinking since last month, or she’s off her meds.
The cocktail party is a toga party, which means everyone looks like a bit of a dick, but Nick especially. Brooke has returned with a rose, and Cat is very unimpressed. “Too much of a good thing is dull,” she says, but it’s unclear what the “good thing” is in this scenario. Is it that Brooke has too many roses, or Nick has had too much Brooke, or that Cat has said too many nasty things about other women?
Nick gets serious when he calls Tenille away for a private chat. Romy and Cat gloat, believing he’s going to scold her for her behaviour at the last cocktail party. Instead, he asks her who’s been mean. Cat and Romy start to panic, as Nick finding out what their personalities are could ruin their whole strategy on the show.
Nick arranges the ridiculous number of candles on the table to represent Cat, Romy and Alisha, as he is not so much of a moron that he doesn’t know who the dickheads in the house are. He asks Tenille to move the mean candles into the “mean section”. She moves them all. Nick is utterly unsurprised, and assures Tenille he’ll take care of it. “I hope to see a happier you,” he says. He tells the camera that he is not having any of this bullshit in his house of love, and “it’s time to go”.
This is VERY exciting, as it looks like we might be about to have a Bachelor first – someone suffering the consequences of horrible behaviour. And someone behaving decently, so that’s two firsts.
Cat, Romy and Alisha have been desperately chattering amongst themselves about what a basic bitch Tenille is, apparently under the impression that Nick will keep them around if they can raise the volume of vicious comments per minute. Nick comes in and asks Cat to join him for a private talk. The audience holds its breath as one, scarcely daring to believe that something wonderful is about to happen.
Nick sits down with Cat and explains that there’s trouble right here in River City, trouble with a capital T and that rhymes with C and that stands for Cat. Cat denies being mean and claims all she ever does is speak her mind. Like when her mind says, “Call that woman an ugly bitch”, she speaks it.
“This is a place of love,” says Nick, having never seen this show. “Things keep happening and your name keeps coming up, and I can’t deal with it anymore…it’s stopping me from finding the girl of my dreams,” he goes on.
Cat is in tears, which is funny as hell. “I’m not going to try and convince you who I am, I know who I am,” she says, inaccurately.
To camera, Nick says, “Cat can say whatever she wants”, which is broadly speaking true. To Cat, Nick says, hey Cat please get the hell out of my life you hideous nightmare of a woman. And then Cat gets in the car and CAT GOES HOME.
One down, two to go, am I right?
TAFKAAG arrives and a dreadful sense of foreboding strikes Alisha: what if Nick has decided he doesn’t like awful people? That’d be terrible news for Alisha and for the woman she’s there to help win, Romy. “What a little bitch,” says Alisha, referring to Tenille, who broke the code of the sisterhood by telling Nick the truth through the medium of candle movement.
Alisha and Romy are in tears, knowing that they are in big trouble now that Nick has the faintest idea what they’re like. Will they be eliminated, or is Brittney so annoying that even Romy and Alisha would be preferable? It’s a close thing.
It’s rose ceremony time, and Romy declares herself “f***ing mortified” that Cat has gone. “She’s the life of the mansion, she deserves it more than any of these losers,” she adds, with that effortless charm that has endeared her to all viewers.
“I’m going to be absolutely gutted if I leave the mansion tonight,” says Alisha, because she has no home.
TAFKAAG arrives and informs the women that it’s been an eventful night. The women agree that this is true. There are nine roses. Two women are going home. By coincidence Romy and Alisha are two women. But is that too much to hope for?
The tension is unbearable, but is broken by Brittney’s deafening squawk crashing onto the soundtrack to explain that she’s feeling confident and she’s pretty sure Nick likes women who are very stupid.
Sophie gets a rose as part of the union accord.
Shannon gets a rose just to pad the running time a bit.
Cass gets a rose as a reward for keeping relatively quiet this episode.
Deanna gets a rose because sure, why not? It’s Deanna!
Dasha gets a rose because Moscow girls really knock me out, they leave the west behind.
Brittany gets a rose because she is quite nice really.
Tenille gets a rose so SUCK ON THAT ROMY AND ALISHA.
In voiceover Romy and Alisha are swearing their heads off and Australia is very much here for this.
Jamie Lee gets a rose because she’s still wearing a moon boot and it’d be cruel.
Romy gets a rose because…wait WHAT? Jesus Nick, grow a pair.
Nick asks if Romy will accept the rose, and Romy says, “I’m not sure.”
Nick and Romy go outside and Romy confesses that she doesn’t feel she can accept the rose because she had assumed that Nick would marry her, Cat and Alisha together, and it doesn’t feel right if he doesn’t. So Romy gets in a car and is driven back to her home swamp.
But Brittney and Alisha didn’t get roses, so they’re going home too. Which means four women booted in one episode, and they just happen to be objectively the four worst women in the show, and possibly the four worst women on earth.
It’s genuinely one of the greatest feelgood moments in the history of Australian television, and for the first time in my life it seems like maybe goodness CAN exist in this world. Maybe…maybe humanity has hope. Maybe one day the sun will rise again. Maybe finally, we can live.
Tune in next week when the women get some much-needed therapy and Brooke confesses her dark secret: she is Nick’s mother.