The episode starts with Art jogging through some park somewhere in Auckland, running like he's being chased by a marauding bunch of Bachelorettes (apt). Except if that were the case, Art being Art, would lie down on the ground immediately and let them all pash him- because god knows this guy is intent on pashing EVERY SINGLE ONE. He does some things that may be called chin-ups (who cares), and I guess this is to show us his arms. I dutifully stare at his arms while scoffing Tim Tam biscuits, and wonder if any episode will ever forgo the shot of Art gazing wistfully into middle distance. I doubt it.
At the "mansion", the girls are rabbiting on about how shocking it was that TWO girls were sent home the night before. Because in no history of The Bachelor multiple girls have never been sent home. Shocker. I note that even though last night most of them were bawling their eyes out at the departure of Brigette and Carissa- they don't seem to give a shit right now. Not that they're fickle, though, god no. Kristie pulls out a date card which she has been sitting on and I'm just glad Poppy wasn't the one sitting on it, jesus, those farts. Alysha tells us she THINKS it will be a "single date with a twist"...which is not exactly rocket science, given that that's what has happened for the past 7 ep's- but cheers for that gem, Alysha. The card reads, "If you want to get my attention, make a splash", or something vague along those lines. The girls squeal, "A DIVING COMPETITION!", and, "JUMPING!!!", and I top up my pinot while muttering profanities not so quietly.
SHOCKING TWIST- it's a group date! The girls all scream and paw each other, Dani exclaims, "Oh my gawd, I wasn't EXPECTING that!", and I am baffled as to why it is so exciting. But I guess when you're spending all day doing nothing, and then having to spend time with bland as fuck Arthur, anything will seem astonishing. C Monster tells us she is the "group date queen", which I'm not so sure is a good thing. The girls going on the date are Poppy, Danielle-the-accordion-player, Amanda (who is weirdly clawing at Danielle's pony tail), Matilda (who claps for herself), and C Monster (who promptly asks if anyone wants to buy her spot). I snigger, and then genuinely laugh out loud when Dani says to the camera, "Chrystal is such a DICK sometimes"...because...yes. I cosign. With a flourish- right, Court? ;)
More and more weird stuff is said, like Art saying he invited girls he thought would all get along- and the camera pans to C Monster. Then we find out that Danielle is recovering from a sprained ankle after Art double-bounced her on the trampoline date. Okay- two things. One, why didn't we see that? Two, people that double bounce other people on trampolines are unequivocally fuckwits. Fact. Moving on, they're all playing volleyball in the pool, and C Monster is sunbathing off to the side. Art intelligently notes that she doesn't seem interested in mingling with the other girls...hmm...perceptive. Matilda tells us C Monster may as well not be there if all she's going to do is take a nap, and I call time out. Because I would MUCH rather lie in the sun and chill out than biff a ball over an inflatable volleyball "net" with a bunch of dickheads. It's not often I side with C Monster, but there you go.
At this stupid juncture, they all awkwardly clamber out of the pool, pulling their sponsored bikinis out of their bums, and Art decides he would like to have a private chat with Poppy. Fair enough, I say, because she looks like the kind of girl I'd love to sink a few wines with. They have a very peculiar conversation about how she wants to kiss him, but doesn't want to kiss him until there are less girls left...or something. It's nice to know that someone on this show has, uh, morals. He tells her he doesn't want to kiss her anyway, obviously he is joking but it is so obviously rehearsed that it's not amusing. I will say that these two do seem to have some weird chemistry vibe going on, and you can't fake that shit. Trust me, I've tried- but that's another story for another day.
The next thing that happens is something that I can TOTALLY relate to- and there's zero sarcasm here. Matilda is scared to dive- and so am I. BLESS. Art does his usual, "Huhuhu Matilda can't dive and I've never met anyone that can't dive and I am so cool and patronising" thing, and I clench my fists. More biscuits. Matilda has several adorable attempts at diving, and looks 100% the way I did- when I still used to try. But she does it eventually, and I feel unreasonably proud of her. I know this is weird of me, but I truly do get how bloody scary it is flinging yourself headfirst into water. Maybe almost as scary as having to be paleo, or do crossfit.
By the pool (where IS that pool?), Chrystal is passed out, and Art is sitting in a position designed for optimum ab exposure. He also looks all oiled up- did Mike do this? Actually, Art probably did it himself. Danielle the accordion player needs someone to rub sunscreen on her back, and NATURALLY Art is the best person for the job. I think this is lame, because everyone knows how to get stuff on their backs themselves (uhh, fake tan, etc)- you just have to contort yourself freakishly. But she is desp' for some handling, I guess, so we'll roll with it. Because he maimed her ankle yesterday by being a double bouncing dickhead, he picks her up and carries her off. The other girls scowl and bare their teeth while I roll my eyes- again.
ERRGHHHH now Art has "fired up the barbie" and it all looks so stereotypical and rubbish. He's blabbering to the girls about how the right cut makes "SUCH a DIFFERENCE", and whatever, like you did the groceries for this meal. Plus, there's nothing wrong with rump. Hmmph. He also tells us he's pretty good at barbecuing- but who the hell isn't?? The BEST part is when he tells them (condescendingly, again) that he THINKS they're going to be impressed...and Poppy tells him her last two boyfriends were chefs. Art says, "Oh CRAP", and his face is priceless. I feel like this is the only genuine emotion/reaction we've seen from him all season, so finally, snaps to you, Art. Finally. I still don't like the cut of your gib/jib though. He takes Matilda away for a "chat", even though she just totally took the piss out of his cooking (which he made her retract, by the way)- and she recites a HAIKU for him and I just FELL IN LOVE with her. I LOVE HAIKU! The best line was the end line, which was, "Give me a rose now"- I laughed and laughed and laughed because I was just so pleased with her. Diving fear and haiku- perf'. Listen to me sounding all soft, I need to get a grip. Look, she gets a rose, ok?
The next scene is down at the waterfront, and they are going on Michael Hill's super yacht...wowahweewah. If that's not a blatant nod to sponsor, I don't know what is. I don't know anything about yachts, but it looks like a miniature frigate. But then again, I also fucking hate boats, so don't even listen to me. Nat tells Art that she wasn't going to even come on the date, and he is taken aback that a female wouldn't want to spend time with him. He then makes her jump off the side of the boat into the water, and she tells us she is spitting out bits of tooth- given that they're in the Auckland Harbour, she's lucky that tooth fragments are the only things she's spitting out of her gob. I can't believe how chill she is for someone who just chipped a tooth, I'd be screaming my head off, but I am a jerk like that. Art feigns concern, but really just wants to get stuck into doing some paddle boarding.
This may come as a shock to you guys, but I bloody love paddle boarding, so this is a good date activity in my opinion. Nat has a BANGING bod', and paddle boards like a champ. She is such a good girl. Then they, uh, have a shower together. It's a BIT RISQUE. They have togs on, don't worry, this is TV3, but you just KNOW Art had to keep his shit under control. The less we think about that, the better, so let's move on. So they're having dinner, and it looks pretty fancy. But...there's salmon- and Nat hates salmon. There's also olives- and Nat hates olives. How about some sundried tomatoes? Nope, she hates those too. I am dying laughing. Art is trying to be a suave guy and giving her a tonne of compliments. Nat tells us, "He compliments me all the time and I hate it"---- this is such a Kiwi thing, honestly. It's like in our nature to say, "Ohhh nahhh, noooo, I'm gross" rather than accept it. And Art keeps PUSHING it, christ, leave her alone, dickhead- she's clearly uncomfortable- which he notes,
So what does our heroic guy do? Decides to take her "downstairs and see if sparks fly". Ummm. Okay. That's pretty shit. And gross. He's trying to sit really close to her, and the body language is mad- she's just not comfortable at all, and it's actually quite yuk to watch. He offers her a rose...she accepts...he tries to kiss her...and she has a minor flip out. Honestly, this is horrible. She's so shy and awkward, and I'm really getting the impression she's feeling forced to be there and act like that. Art keeps saying how disappointed he is, and how it "just got weird", and I scream, "Because you were being a pushy asshole, you dick!". Thank god it's over, because that made me feel incredibly uncomfortable.
Right, it's the next morning- I think, and the banshees are sitting around gossiping about (what else?) Nat and Art's date. Amanda is playing with someone else's hair AGAIN and I get annoyed because if there's one thing my South Island mentality can't handle, it's touchy feely people. Just, STOP it, get off, hnnng. Stop pawing and trying to hug all the damn time, urrrghh. There's a wonderful bitchy moment between C Monster and Alysha; C Monster says "Nothing good happens after midnight" (clearly meaning that all good things happen after midnight), and Alysha says, "Well you would know" (referring to C Monster's late night museum dip kissing escapades). C Monster shoots back, "And you would not!"- meaning, "YOU VIRGIN". Matilda says it's awkward and I think it's great.
COCKTAIL PARTY COCKTAIL PARTY. Always my fave part of the show because it's when all of them are drunk and fucked off, and also because it's nearly the end. TV3 has it's best "tension" plinkyplonkyplinkyplonky music playing in the background, and god knows how they manage to squish 9 girls onto a 4 seater couch but they do it- bedazzled red wine glasses, hair extensions and all. Art shuffles in, "steals" Nat away and the other girls are raging because SHE JUST HAD A DATE WITH HIM RAWWWWR. Get over it, lads. Art incessantly prods Nat into telling him why she got so "weird" at the end of their date, and she says it's because she doesn't like to kiss on a first date. But I think (and this is JUST my opinion) that it was a little more than that...partic' because she's already told us she's never been on a date/had a boyfriend before. Hmm. Poor girl.
C Monster and Amanda are sitting alone ploughing into another bott' of Lindauer's finest. Amanda tells us she's really going to try and talk to Art at the cocktail party...but something tells me she's done her dash, and it's too late. They are really going balls out on the bitchiness, which is cool, but I am a little shocked at Amanda- where did this come from? Has she turned into C Monster's minion? They have a bitch about Art "taking Alysha away" for a chat, and C Monster is all, "MARK MY WORDS KRISTIE OR ALYSHA IS GOING HOME". Whatever, you are annoying me, C Monster- too much screen time and too much awful eye liner. Meanwhile, Alysha is being a dobber and telling Art what a dick C Monster is- and he acts all shocked...groaaaaaaaaaaan.
Right, now Art is asking the others what's going on with C Monster and co. and acting even MORE taken aback and I am at the end of my tether. I need tequila- but like I'd keep that in the house. Danger. Alysha uses her best teacher voice to tell C Monster off, and predictably C Monster doesn't give a shit- and tells us it's boring. Which it is, so reluctant snaps. She saunters off, saying, "See you on the flipside", leaving Alysha and Kristie sitting their shaking their heads and tutting. Huhuhuhu. They look exactly like disapproving school teachers, and that is because they are- it's perfect. OOOpp, it's the end of the cocktail party and Amanda is GUTTED she didn't get a chance to talk to Art. Well, sistah, perhaps if you weren't so busy sitting with C Monster and bitching about the others, you'd have had more of a chance. You snooze, you lose.
Rose ceremony time, and it is beautifully tense. Nuggety Mike appears for about ten seconds before having a brief bro down with Art, and disappearing again. Honestly, this is getting ridiculous. So who gets the roses??? Matilda and Nat are safe, thanks to the haiku and the chipped tooth. The first rose goes to Alysha, and C Monster tries to foot trip her- they haaaaaaaate each other. It's another slap in the face for C as Kristie gets the next rose...but then C herself gets a rose...this is after Art has been informed what a total DICK she is. The producers are keeping her in, and I guess it's a good thing for the ratings, but it's hardly "reality" TV. Poppy and Dani get roses, thank god, because they are lovely, and I'm not making that up. It's between Danielle and Amanda...and the rose goes to Danielle, so hopefully we get to see some sweet accordion playing soon. As for Amanda- she had so much potential at the start, but it seems like she got sucked in by C Monster. I note that no one is crying except for Amanda...not even C Monster- weren't they "besties"? I groan for the zillionth, billionth time, and turn off the tv. I'm free for 4 1/2 days! I'm going to spend it going out for a (non paleo) degustation dinner tomorrow night, sleeping, drinking wine, and not exercising. How you you like DEM apples, Art? You big jerk <3