Previously on The Bachelor: Rachael suffered the awful fate of being kicked off a show she had no interest in being on.
Tonight on The Bachelor: public obscenity laws are put to the ultimate test.
It’s night at the mansion and the Bachelorettes are pretending to be friends. “I feel like it’s anyone’s game at this stage,” says Sogand, trying to convince herself that Matt hasn’t already forgotten she exists. TAFKAAG pops in to beg for a warm place to sleep, and gives them a group date card.
The card reads “Relationships are a balancing act. Can you take the highs with the lows?” Yet another awkwardly reified metaphor is coming up. Going on the date will be Elly and Abbie, accompanied by Mary, Helena and Emma as spectators.
Mary is pissed off that Elly is going on the group date. Nichole is even more pissed off that Elly is going on the group date and she’s not. “We’ll just go pack our bags,” she snarks. Well…yeah. Why don’t you? You know you’ve got no chance. Cut your losses, go home, have sex with a cameraman, whatever.
Abbie is also pissed off at Elly, and resolves to weaponise her body immediately.
The lucky ladies arrive at the group date to find acrobats. TAFKAAG tells them that the skills used in circus performances are very similar to those used in a relationship. This is not even close to true. At some point the threads holding these analogies together surely have to snap. The next date is going to involve enlisting as mercenaries in an African Civil War, because Matt believes a relationship is a constant battle for independence.
Anyway the women begin practising their circus skills for want of anything better to do. Elly goes first and the other women can’t help but notice that Matt and Elly are basically married. However, Abbie believes that Matt has far more chemistry with her than he has with Elly. But then, Abbie has never met a man without believing she has chemistry with him. She could watch a Hepburn-Tracy movie and tell everyone that Spencer has more chemistry with her than he has with Katharine.
Abbie now gets the chance to straddle Matt, which is what she listed as her life goal in high school. Then all the women get to do some fairly stupid and pointless things, but the stupid and pointless things that Elly does are definitely giving Matt a firmer erection than the stupid and pointless things the others are doing. “We are here doing trapeze, stop doing foreplay,” says Mary, but that horse has very much bolted.
Abbie refuses to give up, though, determined that one way or another she is going to give Matt a handy today. Helena is depressed because she feels that Matt doesn’t care about anyone except Elly his wife and Abbie his mistress. Mary just rolls her eyes. Emma feels betrayed that Matt would act this way after all they’ve gone through together.
After testing the women’s ability to do dumb stuff for no reason, Matt chooses Abbie to do a special routine, on the basis of “trust and communication”. His decisions are basically just Madlibs at this point. He decides which girl he wants to feel up that day, then sticks a pin in a wall chart to decide what his reason will be.
Back at the mansion, Chelsie, Sogand, Kristin and Nichole are sitting around watching themselves slowly disappear from old photos a la Back To The Future. Sogand hates the idea of Abbie getting extra time with Matt, a prime example of dramatic irony. The group date girls arrive home to tell the wallflowers that Abbie’s boobs have talked Matt around yet again.
Back at the circus, the weird crazy moustache guy teaches Abbie and Matt to swing around on a curtain. “We obviously communicate really well,” says Matt, referring to Abbie’s ability to talk bullshit and his ability to believe it without question. “It’s also hard to ignore the sexual chemistry,” he adds, referring to Abbie’s ability to rub her crotch on him and his ability to stain his jeans.
What follows is a slice of acrobatic pornography that no decent human being could watch without an overwhelming feeling of nausea. Abbie and Matt swing on the curtain and giggle and moisten themselves in full view of a horrified public. “I’m not even thinking about this performance, all I want to do is kiss her,” says Matt, who is a gross sleaze but even worse, an incredibly unprofessional acrobat. What is the POINT of this carefully choreographed curtain swinging thing if you’re not going to think about it?
Next, obviously, Abbie and Matt sit on a couch, but for a change, it’s a differently-shaped couch, and instead of candles there are laser-y things. Abbie tells Matt that she feels a deep connection to him and expresses her shock that she actually likes him, which is understandable because nobody can really figure out how anyone could like Matt. She sees a future with Matt, probably involving a lot of paid appearances at nightclubs and possibly some t-shirt cannons.
Matt gives Abbie a rose, because he knows handies don’t come for free. “Honestly, I couldn’t be happier,” says Abbie, underestimating how happy she’s going to be when Kiis FM offers her a contract.
It’s a new day, and Matt is sitting at a table somewhere trying to remember how his face should look if he wants people to believe he has feelings. “I’ve invited Chelsie here to the Mercure Sydney,” he says, earning his pay. Chelsie has been selected for this single date mainly to send a big “fuck you” to Mary and Nichole, but also because he forgot which one she was.
Matt and Chelsie have a lot in common: they both work in the scientific arena, they both look weird when they smile, and neither of them have any chance of being chosen by Matt to win this series of The Bachelor.
Today’s date involves rappelling down the side of a building, because a relationship is like a wall and you have to learn to be down to earth or…I dunno, man. I’m so tired.
Back at the mansion Abbie is gloating. That’s all you really need to know. Emma swears. Sogand grimaces. The angels cry.
Back on the rooftop, Matt says he can see a future with Chelsie, which is the least believable thing said on Australian television since the last election. Together, Matt and Chelsie begin walking down the side of the hotel. It’s incredibly nervewracking because of the very real possibility that they will both plummet to their deaths, after which Channel Ten will edit the footage, add dramatic music, and manipulate previously-taped interviews to make it look like they are both commenting on the experience after the event. I mean, airing footage of the deaths of two reality TV participants? Very unethical, but you can’t deny it’s a strong possibility.
Matt describes himself and Chelsie as “space prawns” going down the side of the building. He’s a bit weird, is Matt.
They get to the bottom and are extremely proud of how well they did and how stupid they looked. “If I’m gonna make a fool of myself, I’m glad it was with Chelsie,” says Matt, who would hate to have made a fool of himself in front of a woman he liked.
After the descent, it’s time for some candles and couch time. They get drunk and discuss adrenalin. Matt doesn’t think he would’ve done the descent if Chelsie weren’t there. Which is true: it’s not like the show would’ve paid for him to do it by himself.
Chelsie wants to show her true feelings and not leave the date with any regrets. Accordingly she tells Matt about the terrible relationship she had in the past, and that it made her associate emotional honesty with being rejected or ignored. “Why is that?” Matt asks, even though she just told him. Chelsie’s last boyfriend cheated on her and told her she deserved to be cheated on. Matt can’t believe he treated her like that, and is now in an awkward position because dumping Chelsie at any point from here on is going to make him look a right bastard. She’s a smart girl.
Matt tells Chelsie he likes her because she challenges him, which I guess is pretty good, compared to “I like Elly because I want to spend the rest of my life with her” and “I like Abbie because I want to have sex with her constantly”. “I don’t want Chelsie ever to feel like she’s not important,” he tells us, which, again, is going to make it a real bummer when he sends her home. That won’t be tonight though: sister got herself a rose.
Time for a cocktail party. Mary wonders whether it will be her or Nichole to go home. “Where do I stand?” she asks, though it’s pretty clear where she stands: a long way away from Matt. Nichole, conversely, is feeling fine: she’s just decided to give up and take advantage of the free booze.
Chelsie gets back to the mansion glowing like a woman who has just been made a handsome man’s third choice. The Bachelorettes are slightly concerned. Helena believes Chelsie is a real threat. “She’s a dark horse…literally,” she says, which is not strictly true, as Chelsie is neither particularly dark, nor actually a horse. But we’ll forgive Helena her stupidity because this is a stressful time for her.
Sogand is feeling extremely threatened by the fact that Matt prefers almost anything on earth to spending time with her, so she decides there is only one course open to her: the reinforcement of cultural stereotypes. With that in mind, she puts on a belly-dancing outfit, brings out a chair, sits Matt down, and has some kind of slow-motion seizure in front of him. Abbie’s previous assertion that Sogand is not right in the head is beginning to look fairly reasonable. She shocks Matt by revealing that she’s never had any belly-dancing lessons, like a man setting fire to his own hair might admit that he is not a trained stylist. “You’re just self-taught?” Matt squeaks, as every cell in his body screams for escape.
A bit later, Elly shows the girls what REAL strategy is: taking a man’s clothes off. She brings Matt a present of a flannelette shirt, necessitating the removal of his current shirt. This causes the other Bachelorettes to subtly caress themselves, except for Abbie, who has seen it before and is incredibly smug. Sogand is sad because even though she thought her “belly-dancing” went “well”, Matt seems to enjoy being undressed by Elly a lot more than he did watching her jerk around like the girl from The Ring.
Rose ceremony time. Sogand is scared because her full-body heave didn’t go as planned. Mary is scared because Matt has no recollection of her existence. Two women are leaving the mansion tonight: they both could be gone. Although it also could be Nichole, who is hopeful of getting a rose and terrified of having her alcohol cut off.
Giving his usual moronic fake grin, Matt gives a rose to Elly, his fiancee.
He gives a rose to Kristin, because after all she did jump out of a plane for him.
He gives a rose to Emma, because why not twist that knife a little more?
He gives a rose to Sogand, because it’d be a shame to humiliate her twice in one night.
Three women left, one rose. Is it to be Mary the play-by-play commentator, Helena the Hitchcock blonde, or Nichole who is just fucken over it?
He gives a rose to…
It’s quite a shock that Matt gave the rose to the only one of the three who he has ever shown the slightest bit of interest in, but in the end he couldn’t pick Nichole because of her resting bitch face, and he couldn’t pick Mary because he’s a man who knows what he wants, and what he wants is a white woman.
Tune in next week, when “it’s time to meet the all stars”, a completely meaningless exercise.
The Bachelor S07E01 Recap: A New Hope
The Bachelor S07E02 Recap: Invasion of the Body Snatchers
The Bachelor S07E03 Recap: Any Given Sunday
The Bachelor SE07E04 Recap: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
The Bachelor Australia SE07E05 Recap: A Dog’s Journey
The Bachelor Australia SE07E06 Recap: Farewell, My Lovely
The Bachelor Australia SE07E07 Recap: The Most Dangerous Game
The Bachelor Australia SE07E08 Recap: A Bridge Too Far
The Bachelor Australia SE07E09 Recap: The Backup Plan