Roses like cuddles,
And violets like kissing.
Matty likes horses,
And horses like pissing.
It’s early morning on a drizzly day in Bachelorville, and we skip straight past the suspense and wonder of Osher arriving at the Womansion with a single date card to an actual horseriding date with Matty and Cobie instead.
It’s so hard to know what to say on a first date. What you really need is a good icebreaker. A joke, perhaps. An anecdote about a funny thing that happened on the way here. Or of course a titanic horse wang and four uninterrupted hours of horse wee.
After the ice breaker, it’s hard to know what good and bad things to say are.
“Here, wear this helmet” for example, is a bad thing to say to a girl on a first date.
“This is the beautifulest thing I’ve ever been a part of” is great, especially if your date isn’t fussy about things that are real words.
“I wash coal, I’m sure I can wash a horse” is a good thing to say, as it shows your versatility.
On the flip side, once you’re inside on a date couch surrounded by mahogany and whisky, it’s not a good time to talk about your ex. See also: any other time at all ever.
“I enjoy your company” = GOOD thing to say.
“I wrote you a poem” = BAD thing to say.
“That was an extremely good poem” = GOOD thing to say, but an extremely big lie.
“Will you accept this rose, Cobie? = GOOD.
Finally, “I really want to kiss you” is clearly a fantastic thing to say to a guy on a date, because after not kissing Elora and Lisa on their dates, literally nobody expects this:
Meanwhile, back at the Womansion, Jen busies herself with her favourite hobby: asking herself questions and then answering them.
“Am I jealous that it’s not me and it’s Cobie? A hundred percent”.
To punctuate her point, Jen takes a moment to remind us that Cobie is only pretending to be sexy doesn’t naturally ooze sex appeal like herself, which seems like a good time to bring this up again:
Far preferable during this exchange is the unbelievably delightful Tara’s helpful metaphor for everyone who hasn’t gone on a date yet: “When I’m eating my dinner, I save the best thing ‘til last. I’ll eat my veggies first - my schnitty’s the last thing I’m gonna eat. We’re the schnitty”.
Regardless of sex appeal or schnitty, Matty wants to know more about the ‘lorettes, so he takes a leaf directly out of Jane Austen’s Pride And Prejudice for the all-in group date. You know, the bit that goes “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a tops rig must be in want of a life-sized boardgame”.
The girls traipse out to the garden to find Osher, a massive game board, a makeshift stripper jail, some pies, and nine times the average yearly human wine intake.
The complicated version of the rules is that each player must roll a dice and have their progress dictated by questions about Matty, compatibility tests, penalties that involve losing your place on the board, penalties that involve going to jail, and penalties that involve getting a cream pie directly in the nugget.
The simplified version is: this is a game of opportunity.
The opportunity to get bitchy, hold grudges, and use the phrase “karama’s a b*tch”.
The opportunity for Osher to shout “CREAMPIE IN THE FACE”, which is an entire category on websites polite internet users don’t talk about.
But mostly, it’s the opportunity to make this face:
Additionally for Jen, it’s the opportunity to pull focus and rub dairy-free synthetic cream into her cleavage, but I feel like if we just ignore her maybe she’ll go away.
Michelle just pips Florence at the post to win, and her prize is… ah. Her prize is skipping straight forward to the cocktail party without getting a prize. I don’t know if karma’s a bitch here, but TV editors certainly are.
In order to get noticed and become the instant favourite of men and gay ladies with schoolteacher fantasies, Florence grabs Matty as soon as he arrives at the party and teaches him to say “you have really beautiful eyes” and “will you accept this rose” in Dutch, using a blackboard she brought in her handbag.
Unfortunately that’s the end of the fun part of the evening, as another play starts. It’s a Shakespearean drama called OF MOUNTAINS AND MOLEHILLS: A MANUFACTURED DRAMA IN THREE PARTES.
PARTE THE FIRSTE: THE GREEDY LITTLE MOUSE in which Cobie, who’s sweet as jam but has two group dates, a single date, a pash and a rose under her belt, interrupts some Matty and Simone couch time to apologise for something Matty barely even noticed. Not that cool really, but she probably didn’t mean any harm.
PARTE THE SECONDE: BOOZY AND THE BANSHEES. Jen, side-stepping the fact that this situation involves her exactly no amounts, reneges on her prior claim that Cobie was only pretending to be sexy and claims she’s now only pretending to be – and I think this is the correct sociological term – “sweetsy sweetsy cutesy cutesy”. We are assured loudly and repeatedly that Cobie is, in fact, a “HUSS-LAH”. Imagine trying to spend time with a guy when the object of the show is spending time with a guy. The nerve.
PARTE THE THIRDE: OKAY WE’RE OVER IT. Look, I don’t care. Leah goes to tell Cobie she’s upsetting people, Cobie weighs her priorities and says she’s okay with that, Leah reports back to the throng, people defend Cobie, everyone goes back to primary-school level arguing, and suddenly the rest of us empathise with Jen for the very first time as she leans on an old friend to get her through the whole pathetic mess:
By the time we get to the Rosatorium, tensions and boobs are high.
Dressed in a buffed obsidian suit, Osher introduces Matty, who javelins roses at the girls one by one while their voice-overs assert their robust certainty that they are totes Matty’s destiny.
Eventually only love coach Belinda and we’re-starting-to-sort-of-recognise-you Elise remain, and with a final thorned swoop, Matty makes his decision.
For whom does the egg-timer toll?
Bye, Belinda. We’ll never forget your red carpet egg-timer, or how this really isn’t all that good an advertisement for love coaching if we’re being honest.
You can follow Jo Thornely on Twitter for some more brilliant Bachelor commentary.