The Bachelorette Recap: Don’t bring a bracelet to a donkey fight

Let’s get one thing out of the way immediately: The Bachelorette’s name is Georgia Love. Get it? LOVE. Which is also the name of an EMOTION. Also, it’s the emotion that this show is ABOUT. Don’t you find that simply DELIGHTFUL? If not, these next few weeks are going to be hard going for you.

Georgia is a hard-working TV journalist who enjoys sitting on cliffs staring into the distance and also standing at windows staring into the distance. She has taken the ultimate gamble for this show: quitting her job in TV in order to take a different job in TV that will be of enormous benefit to her TV career. It’s a risk, but she’s willing to take the chance of a massively increased profile and hugely lucrative opportunities if it means she can find love. Which is also her last name.

Finding love is important to Georgia because she keeps coming home at night and finding that she is unable to hug her career. And so, seeing no other option for forming a relationship besides a game show, she takes the step into the not-very-unknown. Stopping only briefly to have awkward stilted conversations with her parents, Georgia sets out on her quest to find the perfect man. Which according to her means a man with a guitar who makes bad jokes, so it’s good to see she’s not aiming too high.

Georgia takes a car to the mansion, where Osher waits, surrounded by Christmas lights and ready to make all the other men look good by comparison.

Osher asks Georgia why she gave her career away, which is not what has happened in any way whatsoever. She says she did it in order to find someone to make her laugh, because I guess they’re thin on the ground in Tasmania. He asks her what love looks like. Recognising that the question doesn’t mean anything, she gives an answer that also doesn’t mean anything.

The first man to show up to slobber over Georgia is Cameron, who is a fireman and loves kids. In a good sign for potential chemistry between he and Georgia, he also likes staring into the distance, although Cam prefers to do it from piers.

Erotic.

Upon learning that Cam is a fireman, Georgia asks if he’s ever been in a calendar, because as far as she knows that’s all that firemen do. Unfortunately Cam HAS been in a calendar, so Georgia squeals and gibbers like a hyperactive hamster. She then talks about how she would like to sexually assault him.

Next up is Jake, who has been on blind dates before, but notes, sagely, that being on The Bachelorette is different to that. Jake is from the Gold Coast and wears a ring to remind him what his initials are. Jake and Georgia bond immediately by correctly identifying the colour of each other’s eyes.

Next Bachelor is Rhys, who is an entrepreneur-slash-model and basically embodies everything you’ve ever hated about every man you’ve ever met. He’s essentially a robot constructed of the most loathsome qualities of mankind down the ages. He looks like he stepped straight out of a scarf catalogue and talks like he’s just trying to steer the conversation around to the subject of why the movies he’s seen are better than the ones you’ve seen. He speaks French to Georgia to impress her, but unfortunately she also speaks French.

Here comes Courtney, who doesn’t think you can put a date or a number or a time on love, and apparently believes there are people who are trying to do this. He tells Georgia that meeting her reminds him of the time he was in Year Two and made a bracelet for a little girl, so he’s made the same bracelet for Georgia, as a sign of the fact that he has not developed emotionally since the age of seven.

Next fella is Dale, who looks extremely stressed, probably because of his ugly suit. He is too uninteresting to spend any time on, and we move quickly on to Ryan, who has brought Georgia a bag containing chocolates and a bubble pipe. Ryan isn’t all that interesting either though, so we move on to Matt, who has made Georgia a mixtape to show her how he feels about being from the past.

Next comes Carlos, who gets a backstory montage because he’s obnoxious and difficult to be around, so the producers love him. “She’s in trouble,” he says in the car, and he’s right but not the way he thinks. Carlos owns a nightclub and on the weekends is a stripper and in his spare time just sits around at home rubbing extra oil into his hair. He has brought Georgia some expensive jewellery, because he wants her to know he has so much money he can throw it away on strangers for stupid reasons. She says she hopes she can give him something in return. “If it starts with an R and ends with an E I’ll be happy,” he says. Georgia has no idea what he means. She just stares at him, baffled. I think we’ll see that look a lot.

Georgia asks Carlos what he does. “Some men collect hats, some men collect cars, I collect businesses,” he says. “And also I’m a stripper.” He leaves without explaining who these men who collect hats are and where they can be found.

Our reporter infiltrated one of their meetings.

In case we thought Carlos was the worst person we would meet tonight, next comes a man with a donkey. “What is happening?” says Georgia, trying to keep her tone light but clearly fearing she is about to be murdered. The man with the donkey is Lee, and he has brought a donkey for a very good reason, which is that he is a moron. He proves this by saying to Georgia, “Does my arse look big in this?” Note: he doesn’t say “Ass”, he says, “arse”. He PRONOUNCES it “arse”. Which, even if you approved of the pun, ruins it, because “arse” is not another word for donkey, “ass” is.

What I’m trying to say is, Lee is not only the stupidest man on earth, he actually works hard at it. Like, he’s gone to a lot of trouble and expense to show Georgia how massive an idiot he is.

Georgia seems to like him, though: ineptly-delivered puns and superfluous livestock happen to be her turn-ons.

“Take me NOW”

Moving on, we meet Aaron, for two seconds. And then Jay, for two seconds. And then Tommy, for two seconds. And then Matt…did we have a Matt before? No time to dwell on it, he’s gone.

“It’s very humbling that all these guys have come here to potentially fall in love,” says Georgia, which is a weird thing to say. How is it humbling? “Creepy”, I would understand, but I don’t see why it should be “humbling”. Does she know what humbling means? Or is it one of those words like “joke” and “personality” that she never learnt the meaning of?

The next Bachelor who is worthy of a montage is Ben, who is as big a wanker as you’d expect from a montage-Bachelor. “I don’t have kids but I am a father,” says Ben, but actually he’s not a father, he’s just a very stupid man with dogs. He clearly loves his dogs more than he will ever love any woman, and this could end up in a really heart-wrenching decision for Georgia — just like Richie and single mum Alex in The Bachelor, but much more annoying.

Speaking of “much more annoying”, Ben trips on his way up to Georgia, and says, “I’m falling for you already”. What a fucking creep.

Georgia seems to have drawn a bead on Ben pretty quickly, as she immediately begins talking to him as if he were three years old. He quickly confirms her first impression by giving her an update on his bowel movements, and then a t-shirt with a photo of him and his two dogs on it so she knows that he’s not just dumb, he’s mentally ill.

Ben is so weird he makes Clancy seem normal, which is ridiculous because Clancy, being a man who has applied to be on The Bachelorette, is clearly not normal. He makes an effort to assuage our fears that he might be a regular guy, by taking out a shaver and offering to let Georgia remove his beard. Georgia plays along because she knows you should always humour a psychopath until help arrives. She holds up her hands to see what Clancy would look like without a beard, even though this will actually only allow her to see what he will look like if the lower half of his face is shot off.

Incredibly, there are more men to come, and the next one is Sam, who is very handsome and rides a motorbike so what more do you want? We get some nice footage of Sam in the shower and grooming his douchebeard. Sam never had much trouble attracting women, which we probably could’ve guessed. He’s hoping the Bachelorette will be an attractive woman, which is a pretty funny joke — you’re really rolling the dice on that one aren’t you.

Sam asks Georgia a series of questions, to which she gives a series of wrong answers. She has a cat, which Sam is allergic to. She doesn’t like pineapple on pizza, or rugby, both of which are woefully incorrect. She finally crushes Sam’s dreams by saying she keeps tomato sauce in the pantry, which upsets Sam because he is some kind of pervert who keeps tomato sauce in the fridge like you’d imagine Jeffrey Dahmer probably would.

Sam is amazed that Georgia disagreed with him, when usually women agree with him. He can’t understand it, and apparently didn’t notice that he never told her what he thought before asking the questions, so he never gave her a chance to agree with him. Also, it seems a bit of a stretch to class ownership of a cat as “disagreement”, unless at some point in the past Sam asked Georgia to never buy a cat.

Georgia notes with trepidation that she and Sam don’t have the same interests. Well, they don’t share an interest in rugby, but apart from that I don’t think that “interests” were even discussed. Although the history of the Bachelor/ette franchises does suggest that most participants in this show are boring enough that they’d consider sauce storage an interest.

Anyway, that odd depressing little game over, Sam walks into the mansion, and all the other Bachelors immediately drop their tails between their legs and start whimpering, fully aware that they are now in the presence of the alpha male.

The Bachelors all discuss what celebrities they look like, and some excruciating banter is exchanged on subjects ranging from physical attractiveness to how funny a man wearing glasses is. Courtney tells Carlos about his homemade bracelet, and Carlos sneers at the pathetic poor man. Lee tells the others that he brought a donkey, and everyone considers calling the police, except Ben, who’s enough of a dickhead to think that bringing a donkey sounds like a pretty smooth move.

Aaron and Rhys bond over their mutual love of hating all the others, and it quickly becomes apparent that love is blooming in the mansion already. Aaron wants to put money on Rhys winning the competition, but there’s a tightness in his features that testifies to his hope that Rhys will choose him instead.

Suddenly Osher arrives and, as is his way, kills the fun stone dead. He explains the concept of roses to the men. In The Bachelorette the white rose is called “the first impression rose”, and it’s yellow instead of white. I guess this is because the colour white is effeminate or something.

Carlos is pretty confident of getting the yellow rose, because he gave her a gift that “represented who I am”: i.e. money.

In addition to the yellow rose there is also a “golden date” card, which will allow its possessor to plan one single date and one group date with Georgia. Carlos plans to use the card for evil, as he has used everything in his life up to now.

And now, the big moment: Georgia arrives in the courtyard, and falls over. She’s so drunk. Ben is incredibly impressed, because where he comes from a woman who can get up after falling over is what every man most desires.

Now comes the mingling, which is as dull as you’d expect. Jake manages to get Georgia alone by reminding her he’d promised her a whisky to ease her insatiable thirst for alcohol. Courtney is blown away by Jake’s mysterious ability to “listen to women”, but it’s a double-edged sword: Georgia starts telling him about her father’s work in the erectile dysfunction field, and let’s face it, you don’t bring that up in your first conversation with a man unless you’re trying to send a message.

Unbelievably, there’s still more than half an hour of this to go. Various men sidle awkwardly up to Georgia while she’s talking to someone else, and stutter out an agonising request to maybe talk to her sometime if she’s OK with that.

A touching moment comes when Georgia is talking to Aaron, and Rhys approaches, not to interrupt, but to sit down with both of them and have a nice affectionate chat with Aaron. Georgia feels like a third wheel, but that’s just because she is: Rhys likes Aaron more than her. In fact he’s never felt this way about anyone. “If she doesn’t like me, I might take him,” Rhys tells the other men, but he’s not serious: he’ll take him whether she likes him or not.

After the threesome breaks up, Georgia has a chat with…I don’t know, one of these guys. Can’t remember his name. Anyway she has a chat with him about Disney movies. His favourite is Aladdin — Lion King is too sad. It’s literally riveting.

Oh Cameron. It was Cameron.

She’s talking to some other boring guy when Sam grabs the initiative and asks if he could have a chat when she has a spare moment. Though what he’s really saying is, “Look at my face. You know you want this.”

Sam says he’s never been out of his comfort zone with a girl before. I guess all of his past girlfriends have put their sauce in the fridge? He and Georgia discuss deeper matters like coriander and top sheets. She’s ambivalent on coriander, and he sleeps with just a doona. This relationship is already on the rocks.

Miraculously, they find some common ground on Steve Carell, and when combined with Sam’s face and body, that’ll probably be enough.

The party suddenly takes a dark turn, as Rhys begins demonstrating yoga poses in the courtyard. Ryan tries to copy him. Sam says it’s “the most masculine thing I’ve ever seen”, so he’s not just a pretty face: he’s a sarcastic one.

Rhys puts on the moves.

I’m not really sure what happens next, but it ends up with Courtney taking Georgia away and Rhys wondering why his contortions didn’t land him the girl. “Courtney keeps impressing me. I genuinely want to know more about him,” says Georgia, in tones of real surprise: she’s never wanted to know more about a person before.

Back at the party, Carlos tells the others about his stripping and his clothes and his enormous amounts of money. He then sets off to sit down with Georgia and keep her fully informed of his money as well.

Somehow, this episode isn’t over yet.

The men are still talking rubbish. Aaron is doing a weird voice to Rhys. Clancy tells Rhys he wishes he was as beautiful as Rhys. Rhys feels awkward because Aaron is sitting right there.

Then Georgia arrives and shaves off Clancy’s beard. What would be really funny would be if after doing this she sent him home on the first night. She shows her puckish sense of humour by not shaving off the full beard, just taking bits off the side so he looks mental. The other men take Clancy inside to fix up his terrible face by taking the rest of the beard off. “She certainly didn’t shave anyone else’s face,” says Clancy, apparently actually believing this augurs well for him.

The Bachelors discuss who will get the first impression rose. Carlos is worried that Lee might score highly with Georgia because he brought a donkey, and he knows that “women love animals”. Whether “women love animals” translates to “women love strangers to bring them live donkeys” is an open question. Carlos wishes he had brought a baby with him. The Bachelorette does strange things to a man.

Anyway Lee doesn’t get the yellow rose, and neither does Carlos. Courtney gets it, because he made a bracelet out of pasta and all the other men are lazy bastards. Let this be a lesson to all men: make her a crappy piece of childish craft, and she’ll pretty much do anything for you.

Rose ceremony time. Carlos says it’s like being in the Willy Wonka Factory, but that’s not true because none of them are fat.

Here comes Osher to stretch the running time a bit more. He explains the roses and the date card again in case they’ve already forgotten. Georgia has thirteen roses, which means two men get a lucky escape. But Rhys hopes he won’t be one of the two: “it’s a lot of effort to go through to go home first night,” he says, but really it’s not. He’s hardly done anything, if we’re honest.

Lee gets a rose because hey, donkeys work, I suppose.

Cameron gets a rose because he said Aladdin and not The Fox and the Hound.

Clancy gets a rose because yeah, in all seriousness you can’t shave a man and then send him home, that’s a dick move.

Jake gets a rose because, I dunno, she wants to find out who Jake is?

Ryan gets a rose because of his adorable curly locks.

Jay gets a rose because he’s been ignored enough tonight already.

Sam is starting to panic.

Matty gets a rose, possibly by accident.

Tommy, remember him? Nope, guess not. Anyway he gets a rose.

Sam is really starting to sweat.

Matt, who is not Matty, gets a rose.

Aaron gets a rose because she wants to see his love for Rhys blossom and flourish.

Rhys gets a rose because there can be no Aaron without Rhys.

Two left. Four dudes. All of them pretty rubbish, but Ben and Carlos definitely the rubbishest.

Ben gets a rose because Georgia literally has no taste in men.

And finally…

Sam! To everyone’s shock, being phenomenally good-looking turns out to be a bit of a plus in this show, and Sam’s fears that he blew it by admitting his deviant sauce-chilling ways prove unfounded.

This means Carlos and Dale are going home. Dale therefore becomes eligible for a Lifetime Achievement Logie for Television Personality Who The Audience Learned The Least About Before The End Of Their TV Career. And Carlos, I guess, is out the price of a Tiffany bracelet. Should’ve saved the money and bought a bag of pasta instead.

And thus, with the lesson that money can’t buy everything, although it can certainly buy a really great, comfortable life and lasting happiness and make losing The Bachelorette not matter at all, we depart this marathon episode and watch a trailer for Ten’s hideous new show The Wrong Girl.

Tune in tomorrow when everyone develops a mysterious itch.

The REAL romance is, as ever, to be found in history. Buy Australia’s definitive history book, Error Australis, and become lost in the epic sweep and, you know, so on.