The camera pans away, & Mike bursts onto the screen like the adorable little bubble of happiness he is, and greets the contestants with his usual, "Helloooo laaaaadies". They stiffly smile back at him, and are "lounging" around wearing what appears to be the latest collection of summer separates from Iconic (nod to sponsor). In case you care, Mike is wearing a white short sleeved shirt with cats on it.* He has a message for the girls from Art, which is something bog standard along the lines of how much he enjoyed meeting them at the COCKtail party. Yawn. But at least we know the producers have manners, Mike then goes on to tell them that the producers have organised a "series of special & romantic dates". The girls all have frozen smiling faces, but I think I hear a couple of them say, "Ooooooh", & thank god they do because I was starting to worry if they were ok.
FIRST DATE CARD. Matilda tells us she thinks she'll def be getting a card, and all I can think is that she's being too quick out of the gate, because god knows New Zealanders despise anyone who show the slightest amount of self confidence. Lisa hitches up her dress, grabs the card, and shoulder barges Mike into a nearby bush*. Bye Mike. The card reads, "No man is an island", and Matilda cleverly thinks the date could be on an island somewhere. Wow. The others girls politely but tensely say, "Ooooh" at this & I feel like the producers have been screaming at them to "be more, you know, be more, just, oh for fucks sake just say "OOOOH" at LEAST".
Anyway, Poppy gets the single date & looks like she is going to explode (which she does later, actually, in a way). Alysha looks like her dog just died and is close to tears. Amanda comforts Alysha which is very nice but is probably thinking, "Pull it together, you despo.". Chrystal tells us that it's great that she didn't get the first date, and I want to spit like an alpaca. We see some footage of Poppy doing her thing, yoga etc, and it's fine until she starts acting like a weirdo on a bike. The camera pans to Art looking like he is in a Hallensteins ad beside a seaplane. He says that he chose a seaplane date because "Poppy seems like a lot of fun". Christ, he's bland. Handsome, but bland. Poppy leaps out of the Suziki Swift (nod to sponsor) & seems RAPT with the choice of date. She legit says, "oh my giddy aunt" and this pleases me. She tells us she can't keep her eyes off Art and I can't keep my eyes off his eyebrows. The pilot looks bored, & I sympathise.
Back to the house. The girls are awkwardly sitting around under a white pop-up gazebo from Bunnings that I saw on special last week for $59.99*. They're all pretending to paint their nails, but like they all didn't get special nail art before coming in. The bedazzled red wine glasses from Briscoes are back, and this is my cue to top up my drink. The girls are having a scripted conversation re. what Poppy & Art are doing on their date. Even though the date card referenced an island, Matilda thinks they could be "surfing" and I groan. Someone else suggests that they're "at a beach" and I am dead. The producers are desperate for one of the girls to wonder if Poppy and Art have kissed, so Amanda steps up to the plate and earns herself a $20 voucher from Michael Hill in the process*. She also informs the group that she would totally kiss Art on the first date, which could have gotten her another voucher, but also gets her a side eye from Chrystal. Lisa has a sly dig at Chrystal& asks if she's gutted that she's not on the first date, which C denies, because she is not giving these bitches ANYTHING.
Back to the island. Art says that he aka the producers have organised an "amazing seafood platter" for Poppy the vegetarian who eats fresh fish. She shows him that she has a dreadlock, and he looks repulsed, and I am a bit as well. He says, "I don't NOT like it", but we all know what that means. He also tells Poppy she reminds him of his mum and I am crab facing. They shuffle down the beach, and have magically changed outfits. Where the hell was the stylist? In another seaplane? This show is getting big budget which is a shocker for TV3. Art tries to skim rocks but is rubbish at it, so they go to gawk in some rock pools like they are in primary school.
Back to the house where the girls are so bored out of their minds that they're reduced to playing cards. Look, is it JUST me, or are all the same girls getting all the screen-time? E.g. Matilda, Lisa, Dani etc. Anyway, they're discussing how much they want to get him alone so they can see him shirtless. I want to tell them that if they'd just stayed viewers like the rest of us, they'd probably see more torso. I think they're playing Last Card, & the fact that I'm thinking about this is an indication of how interesting this scene is.
Art & Poppy have completed their 17th lap* of the small beachfront just in time for the producers to have set up a picnic underneath a tree. Oh god. Did she? Did Poppy really just let out a fart? I have to rewind this & I'm scared to watch. Yes she did, and I just can't with this. We are DEF watching an NZ show, can you imagine this happening on the US Bachelor? FFS, I'm all about being comfortable on a date, but are you that feral that you have to fart on a first date? Jesus, Poppy. Art says it is funny, but we see him pocket texting Mike to come and save him*. It looks like they are going to kiss, but Poppy tells us she's not going to kiss him until she's "in at LEAST the top 5", -girl has standards. She also tells us she wants 5 kids and I snicker because I used to say that until I actually had one. Poppy gets a rose, because the producers beat Art until he gave in.*
All of a sudden the girls have changed into different outfits, & Matilda walks in with a date card. Why didn't Mike come in and give it to them? Is he over it already? Hayley wonders if it's a single or group date, & I'd forgotten she was even there. The card reads, "Today we are all at sea", so what they'll be doing is anyone's guess, There are heaps of them going on this date, & the girls that aren't chosen look depressed. They should cheer up though, because Chrystal is going so they are spared her company for a few hours at least.
Camera pans to the chosen girls down at the waterfront, & some of them are wearing huge floppy hats which is both impractical & ridiculous- which is more or less a good summation of this show. They walk down to a jetboat place, and Matilda thinks they might be going on a jetboat and I am losing hope. But it's okay, Mike is here! Wearing the same shirt from yesterday, come ON TV3- you spring for a seaplane (maybe 2) and you can't give Mike another shirt? He tells the girls that it could get a little "intrepid" on the date, the girls giggle and look at each other wondering what "intrepid" means. Mike tells the girls that he knows someone aka Art who is up for a "wet and wild adventure" and I am squirming & laughing because the joke is just too easy.
They're on the jet boat now, and Dani assures Art that she won't spew on him. However given what happened on his date with Poppy, his expectations must be low when it comes to bodily malfunctions.One of the girls just said, "the wetter the better" and I side eye her. They pull up beside a luxury yacht, which looks dope, & I am stoked that there's finally a date I can't get onboard with. THAT PUN. There's a gratuitous shot of the girls in their bikinis & I quickly check my phone to see if anything more exciting is happening elsewhere in the world. There is, but I am committed to recapping. You're welcome.
Does Shivanni hate everything or is she a fellow sufferer of bitchy resting face? She's unimpressed at all the skin being shown, and maybe she should have worn a wet suit. She looks sour as hell. Chrystal looks around and says, "Who am I going to talk to?", & girls flee in different directions, or pretend to be asleep. Art appears topless and they all scream "WOOOOO!" while simultaneously trying to cover themselves up. They decide to play a game of quoits, I don't know what that is or how to spell it & I can't be arsed googling it. It's do do with throwing rings on sticks, like you care. Kristie is gunning for the win & lepping about, Chrystal is ignoring them all, & Shivanni looks constipated.
Eventually Chrystal & Danielle are stolen (haha) away by Art to go on one of those sea donut/biscuit things. Better them than me, The other girls tell them to, "hold on" but really mean, "fall off, you slores".C & Danielle give Art a kiss on the cheek and it's about as erotic as a donut/biscuit, baked or inflatable. They all hoon along really fast for a bit, & then fall off, which is basically a metaphor for what happens on every season of The Bachelor ever.
Back to the house. The girls are sitting around popping bottles and bored out of their minds. Someone said something, then someone else said, "Mmmhmm" & then the producers quickly got the hell out of there & we go back to the boat.
The girls are pretending to eat when Art invites Dani to go on the jetski. Her face says JACKPOT & the others are writhing in jealousy. Especially Kristie, who scares the shit out of me quite frankly. Dani & Art have what looks like a blast if you like that sort of thing, then have lame heart to hearts. Dani pulls the trusty, "I'm cold" card & scores cuddles from Art. while the other girls vomit over the side of the boat*.All of a sudden everyone is in cocktail dresses with perfect hair and makeup, & the continuity on this show is bullshit. But who cares about continuity when there's tension between Chysrtal & Danielle? Danielle has some rather scathing remarks about C about how little substance she has, & she's stolen the words out of the nation's collective mouths.
Shivanni finally (FOI-NALLY) looks like she's having a good time, chatting to Art about safaris and such nonsense, when Kristie plays up. BIG TIME. She holds up her empty glass & drunkenly slurs/yells, "Arrrrrrthurrrrrr...my GLASSSS isthhhhh emmmmmptyyyy". Kristie, you are the worst. Everyone looks shocked & disturbed, & even though she is a dick I am laughing because this is the most interesting thing to happen so far. Arthur shuffles over & refills her drink, & you can tell he would much rather have ignored her. The other girls hope that her behaviour will stop her getting a rose, but like the producers would let that happen. Art thinks that Dani is the stand out so far, and because it is sunset, she gets a rose.
Errghh, I HATE how stalky the girl's eyes are when someone is having alone time. They just stand there and gawk and gawk, when really they should be taking advantage of the open bar & the fact they have time off from their jobs/kids for awhile. Natalie is telling us she is going to try not to b such a scaredy cat this evening, & I am rooting for her. Alysha interrupts the alone time between Art & crying Brigette, but it falls extremely flat & she looks GUTTED about it. Brigette mocks Art's name & I think she might be drunk & over-confident. Art is desperate to get away from these two so he "steals" Christy away, thank god because I'd forgotten she was there. Poor thing, she is crying, & Natalie chooses THIS moment to be brave and interrupt. GAH! NATALIE!!! Christy bounces, & Art has suspiciously red eyes again. Natalie tries to keep the conv' going, but Art is clearly not into it, which is a shame because Natalie seems normal, even though she lacks tact.
it's the rose ceremony, & thank god Mike is here to restore calm & order to this crowd of banshees. He states that it's been an eventful week, & I'm in shock that it's been a whole week- or that they're trying to convince us it's been a week. We find out that 2 girls will be getting rejected tonight, & I am guessing it'll be that blonde one we never see & that brunette one we never see, which speaks for itself. Crying Brigette gets a rose, & Art tells her it's not a sympathy rose which is a bald-faced lie if ever I heard one. Either that, or something happened in the bathroom that I don't want to think about. Kristie gets a rose in spite of her treating Art like a waiter & looks smug as per. Matilda, Amanda & Lisa all get roses which makes me happy, but is hardly a shock. Chrystal gets a rose & "shockingly" fails to hug & kiss Art for the gesture. Danielle is snarling & I am laughing because this is perfect. Natalie gets a rose for her interrupting efforts, so YAY for her. Someone called Carissa gets a rose, as do the accordion player & Alysha- hopefully this means she won't cry. The final rose is for Danielle who has stolen his heart.
Byeeeee to Christy & Natasha, aka the blonde one & the brunette one. I'm sure they are lovely humans, but they were just too absent. When you're in a bunch of hungry coug's, you've got to step up to the plate, even if it means farting to get some solid screen time. Next time it looks like they'll be climbing the Harbour Bridge, bungy jumping, & driving rally cars which is all my worst nightmare quite frankly. It also looks like Chrystal will be unleashing her inner bitch, & as much as I hate to admit it, this is exactly why I watch these kind of shows. I hate myself.
*I made this up but it's probably true