Previously on The Bachelor: Cass continued to live in a sad fantasy.
Tonight on The Bachelor: Men in Tights
The sun rises over a world blighted by hatred, but still there is love, in the bush, where TAFKAAG has descended from his makeshift treehouse to welcome the bachelorettes to one more of the increasingly misleadingly-named “group dates”. Nick arrives on a Segway, wearing a stackhat, creating the impression of an emu with ADHD. As usual, the group date is actually a really weird game show. The women split into two teams, captained by Brittany and Brooke. “I’m definitely going to try and win,” says Brooke, who has completely run out of things to say. The teams will compete in two areas: answering questions about Nick, and Segway racing. This challenge is designed to…
You know what? Let’s not even bother pretending there’s a point to these things anymore. This challenge is designed to make the women look stupid on Segways. That’s it. Cass and Dasha lead off. They ride around the place on Segways and then they ride around a bit more. You can tell from that description how gripping it all is. Cass is way ahead of Dasha, and she crosses the finish line, where TAFKAAG asks her who Nick thinks should pay on a date. She says the man, she is wrong. Dasha comes up behind her and incorrectly answers what Nick thinks is most important in a relationship. So that means there’s a…delay I guess? They have to wait a bit. Then they have to answer the questions again, and Emily and Sophie are riding the second lap, and this thing is as confusing as it is monotonous. The most interesting thing about it is when Sophie calls the Segway a “Subway”.
Anyway, it goes on for a while like this, questions and wheels and so forth. Round and round they go. At one point Brittany’s team subs in Nick for a lap and it turns out he’s really bad at Segwaying. What becomes clear is that these women care deeply about winning the race, and that this show destroys your sense of perspective.
Then Brittany falls off her Segway. Everyone is deeply concerned about her safety, worrying that she has been mortally wounded even though it didn’t really look all that bad. The cast and crew run down the road to check on her. She’s in a lot of pain. Or a little bit of pain. She’s slightly sore. “Are you OK?” asks TAFKAAG. “They don’t call me Hurricane Brit for nothing,” says Brittany. “That’s not what I asked, goddammit,” says TAFKAAG. Not really but he should’ve because it’s true.
Brittany hasn’t just lost her dignity and a small amount of skin: she also lost the race. Brooke won, as she always does and as she ultimately will. Nick chooses Brooke from the winning team to spend one-on-one time with her, because she performed superbly in the race and also he has already chosen her to win the show. Shannon is deeply unhappy about her choice. “Brooke’s my friend,” she lies, “but she’s already had heaps of time,” which is true.
A seat is mysteriously squatting in the woods, and Nick and Brooke sit down to get on the piss. Brooke shows Nick her shoes and Nick puts a blanket over her. The eternal dance of seduction. There’s not a huge amount to say about yet another encounter between Nick and Brooke. They’re madly in love with each other and they talk like they’re madly in love with each other. They discuss Segways, but in a way that lets you know that in this conversation, “Segway” is code for “let’s bone right now please”. Nick tells Brooke that he’s developed a beautiful connection with her, and that he’s glad he met her. This is a great sign for Brooke, because studies show that 99% of successful long-term relationships begin with two people who are glad they met each other. Then Nick gives her a rose, sadly being forbidden from giving her all the roses.
A new day has dawned and Nick is contractually obliged to go through the charade of another single date. This one is with Emily, who he promised a single date to ages ago, and he must fulfil this promise because he is a man of integrity. I mean, not THAT much integrity – he is on The Bachelor – but relatively speaking, like compared to that Blake guy or Richie for example, he’s got integrity positively leaking from every gland.
Nick meets Emily by the water, because otherwise Nick would dry and shrivel to the size of a walnut. Nick gazes across the water at Luna Park, silently wondering whether he could make his mouth open that wide. He’s just about to try fitting his whole fist in, when Emily shows up and he has to take her into the Sydney Opera House to watch the Australian Ballet rehearse. “I can’t believe it!” says Emily, but sadly it’s true. Apparently this is pretty special for Emily because she’s really into ballet, so it’ll be a thrill to see how people who have also devoted much of their lives to it, but who are actually good at it, do it.
They watch a couple of ballet dancers doing ballet dancing, which is…I mean, you know what it’s like. They wave their arms around and waggle their legs and pick each other up and turn around and stuff. It’s ballet. The dancers are called Kev and Robyn, which is unexpected: who ever thought a ballet dancer could be called “Kev”?
But wait, there’s more: now the dancers are going to TEACH Nick and Emily some ballet. This requires that they wear some dance clothes. Nick is forced to put on a jockstrap, which shocks him to his very core. He has never heard of such indecency, and frankly this is not the way he believes the little honey badger should be treated.
In the rehearsal room, Nick is fiddling with his bits. The jockstrap and tights combination is less than comfortable. “This is going straight up my crackle,” he says, more vividly than we would honestly prefer.
As Nick’s testicles scream for freedom, Kev shows them some basic moves, and Nick performs them with all the fluidity of an animatronic chicken that’s been struck by lightning. Kev tells them that they will now perform a pas de deux, which is French for “dancing with Nick”. Nick finds the routine difficult to learn, as well as totally pointless. “This will either take us to the penthouse or the shithouse,” he says, refusing to elaborate.
Despite the vast disparity in their skill levels, slowly but surely Nick and Emily learn to pissfart around and not take the exercise seriously in any way. Still, they are definitely ready to perform for Kev and Robyn. Which is to say they are not ready to perform for anyone, but since there are no consequences of any kind for performing poorly, they are definitely ready to perform. And so they do. And say what you like about the Honey Badger, he can really jump about like a dickhead when he feels like it.
After the week or so of dance practice, it’s now time for Nick and Emily to head off and get drunk. Meanwhile back at the mansion, the women are sitting around bitching about Brooke and how she’s always getting time with Nick and she keeps getting roses and why don’t they get time with Nick and why don’t they keep getting roses and does this mean Nick is in love with Brooke and is there even a faint chance that he hasn’t already made up his mind and basically why don’t we all just kill ourselves now.
Back on the harbour, Nick and Emily sink a few frothies and chat about journeys and what they’ve learned. It’s tedious as hell. Nick tells Emily he’s a Libra. Emily tells Nick she’s a Pisces. Their connection is just that tenuous. They both need more alcohol. “That romantic spark doesn’t seem to be there at the moment,” says Nick. He’s disappointed as he’d thought Emily was a nice lady but now that they’re sitting down to champagne she’s steadfastly refusing to be Brooke, and he finds that selfish.
It’s time for a cocktail party, and the other women are discussing how certain they are that Emily is going to come back with a rose, because they’re under strict instructions from the producers to engage in dramatic irony. TAFKAAG enters the party, begging for a scrap of food. He tells them there is only one single date left before the hometown dates. Nick will decide who goes on that date tonight. Having given them this grim warning, he scurries back to his underground lair.
Nick arrives and pretends to be pleased to see the women who aren’t Brooke. He asks Shannon if he can have a word with her, and is startled to discover that Shannon is not Sophie. He makes the best of it, though, and asks Shannon how she’s feeling. Shannon says she’s feeling optimistic, the poor deluded sow. “I feel we could empower each other to be the best version of ourselves,” she tells him, and Nick is such a gentleman he doesn’t even call her a wanker.
As Nick takes bachelorettes away for a quiet chat one by one, Sophie gulps champagne and grows ever more stressed. Meanwhile there’s some dude in the background. No explanation. There’s just some dude there. What’s he doing there? Explain the dude, dammit.
Finally Nick takes Sophie off for a chat, and she illustrates her feelings on a whiteboard. Why do they even have a whiteboard in the mansion? She draws a flower – no wait, it’s not a flower, it’s Nick, She seems to think Nick looks like a flower. She draws a big heart to show that Nick has a big heart, and a fire to show that Nick is on fire. Nick is impressed by the effort Sophie has gone to to show her feelings, and by the fact she sourced a whiteboard at such short notice.
Nick is holding the single date card. He must hand it to one of these women. He asks Sophie to come with him. Sophie is excited. At least I think Sophie is excited: it’s hard to tell without a drawing.
Shannon, on the other hand, is heartbroken and intoxicated.
“I thought we had a really good conversation,” she sobs, but if all it took to snag Nick was good conversation he’d be married to Tatafu Polota-Nau. She walks off in torrents of tears and alcohol, thoughtfully providing producers with a great promo shot.
It’s time for the rose ceremony. One woman will go home to wither on the vine, unloved and undeserving of love forevermore.
Nick enters, pumped up for another fun night of dream-smashing.
Sophie gets a rose because their single date will be awkward if she’s not there for it.
Brittany gets a rose because falling of a Segway and going home in one week would be too much.
Cass gets a rose because Nick is still unwilling to kick a puppy. She hugs him for so long it’s technically assault.
Emily gets a rose because even though she bored the shit out of him, the girl can dance.
Dasha gets a rose because, as you might recall, she’s bangin’.
This means Shannon is going home, and goes to show that not having any personal contact with someone for several weeks can put a kink in any relationship, particularly a relationship that doesn’t exist yet. All the women surround Shannon and hug her, doing their best to restrain their glee at her defeat.
Nick takes Shannon outside to apologise for condemning her to misery for life. “You haven’t got to know me,” Shannon wails. “You should’ve given it another date. We would’ve made a great couple.” She rambles drunkenly on about nooks and crannies for a while, hoping she can stay at least long enough to vomit on his shoes. Nick sighs deeply as he watches her weep and sniffle, amazed at how utterly correct he was to kick her out. He puts her in the car and smiles the shy, contented smile of a man who knows he now gets to take possession of Shannon’s entire wardrobe.
Driving away, Shannon laments, “I thought I knew what he was looking for, but I had no clue.” So true. So funny.
Tune in next week, when Nick and Sophie get pucked.