It’s the moment that the last 350,000 eighteen-year-olds without Netflix have been waiting for.
The Bachelor premiere. The ‘main event’ of the reality TV schedule. Sure, it’s still absolute trash – they all are – but this is the one that draws out the ‘classier’ bogans.
Case in point is the Bachelor himself, Locky Gilbert, the kind of bloke who’s up climbing Mount Kosciuszko at 6am so he can be in the TAB by 11.
He had 22 women (and one penguin) scrapping over him on Wednesday – the most he’s had at once since the ‘What Happens In Vegas’ Contiki tour of July ’17.
Before we get cracking, it needs to be said that the kind of trash served up on The Bachelor is far more palatable than the day-old nappy that is Married At First Sight.
If MAFS is the junkie going ashtray to ashtray in search of a half-stubbed Winfield, then The Bachelor is that time your aunt booked a Hollywood Down Under tour just so she could go through Hugh Jackman’s bins.
‘Ooh! There’s still half a tub of Chobani in here!’
The first 45 minutes were devoted to the one-on-one introductions, a series staple that seemed exhilarating in 2013 but now just feels like Tinder in slow motion.
First up was Steph, 26, who clearly knew that first impressions were crucial.
‘F**k, I love a spicy burrito!’ she said, followed by, ‘Hey! I’m Steph. What about you?’
‘I meant the burrito,’ she clarified.
‘Nah,’ replied Sunnybank Shakespeare, who’s probably Paleo or some s**t. ‘Burn calories, not taste buds!’
Locky’s clearly never had a spicy burrito, or he’d know there’s no faster way to burn a few hundred calories than sliding one of those monstrosities down your digestive tract.
What takes hours in the gym can be accomplished in just a few frantic minutes on the bog at Westfield food court.
The procession of future influencers continued with ‘boss b**ch’ Areeba, whose theme music screams ‘CHANNEL 10 WANTS ME TO BE THE VILLAIN!’
‘I hope you like bossy girls!’ she said, before kicking him in the balls and walking off.
This was followed by the classic ‘reject montage’ that burns through about a dozen women in 30 seconds in an effort to save time.
It also serves to let the audience know who’s getting booted over the next two weeks (looking at you, Leilani, Georgie, Bel, Gemma, Marg, Paige, Nicole, Nadine and Roxi).
It’s common knowledge that the bookies know who wins The Bachelor the day after filming wraps, when all the underpaid production interns flock to Sportsbet.
Then the overpaid editors put the result beyond doubt by searching for ‘winner’s theme’ in their sound library and cutting it into the relevant contestant’s scene.
Marketing consultant Bella was the lucky lady on Wednesday, her entrance riddled with more camera cuts than a Michael Bay movie.
Locky: ‘Sorry for starin’. I got lost in your eyes!’
Bella: ‘Not as lost as I got on your Facebook profile on the way here (giggles).’
Locky: ‘Oh s**t.’
Bella: ‘I took a wrong turn at your Year Ten formal and found myself staring at you playing tonsil tennis with a Madonna impersonator outside the MGM Grand in 2017.’
Locky: ‘Right, yeah, “impersonator”.’
Bella: ‘Oh s**t…’
The fact that Bella found his ‘Contiki’ gallery and still showed up is all the evidence we need that this is a very tolerant woman who’s ready to go the distance.
Of course, no season premiere would be complete without a manufactured meltdown courtesy of the only contestant who needed to ‘re-sit’ her psychological evaluation.
It all started at the cocktail party, when self-proclaimed ‘repressed ranga’ Zoe-Clare abducted Locky for some one-on-one time.
They were hardly three minutes into their chat when Areeba strolled in and popped a squat beside them.
Zoe-Clare: ‘Did anyone order a tricycle? Because here comes the the third wheel.’
Areeba: ‘I hope you guys don’t mind if I join you?’
Convinced this was some sort of ranga race attack, Zoe-Clare flipped her lid and stormed off to speak to the producers.
‘I don’t want to go through this experience feeling different because of the colour of my goddamn hair… the colour of my complexion,’ she bawled.
‘It just isn’t fair!’
Producers: ‘What are you on about? You’re the fairest one here… hey-yo!’
Social media naturally blew up at Zoe-Clare’s laughable attempt to highlight the plight of the humble redhead.
Australians hate a queue jumper and we all know the societal reparation for redheads isn’t scheduled until 2050 at the earliest.
Her hair will be grey by then anyway. (Greyheads are scheduled for 2075.)
Elsewhere, the women were furious that Locky gave some alone time to the woman who rocked up dressed as a penguin.
‘Is this The Bachelor, or Blue f**king Planet!?’
Osher Günsberg kicked off the rose ceremony by informing us that Zoe-Clare had ‘fallen ill,’ which is prime time TV speak for ‘smashed a whole box of Fruity Lexia and dead-horsed in the front yard’.
There’s nothing more insufferable than drawn-out reality TV elimination segments, so let’s just skip to the finish.
Two boring women from the entrance montage (Nadine and Paige) were left empty-handed and sent packing.
‘Oh, wait a sec!’ said Locky, pulling one final rose out of his pocket and handing it to Nadine (or was it Paige?). Classic reality TV misdirection.
‘Can one-a youse place this on Zoe-Clare’s corpse on the way out? I think she’s zonked it in the water fountain.’
He’s a class act.