So there I was, recovering in the emergency room after a vodka shot induced near-death-experience from recapping the season finale of The Bachelor Australia, when it came on the TV:
Yes, it appears that after three years Australians have finally decided they quite enjoy watching desperate singles fight each other for flowers on the telly, so now we have The Bachelorette - just like the The Bachelor, but more predatory.
In this very first season, one woman will be wooed by 14 men who may or may not be interested in her but definitely want to beat each other.
It's a bit like this, but with 20% more Osher Gunsberg.
So without further ado, here we go again...
We begin with an introduction to our bachelorette, Sam, (yes, apparently everyone who appears on these shows has to be called Sam), who you may remember from her starring role in the failed disco revamp of The Lion King in 2014:
She has to dance her way to safety from the hyenas!
No actually, that would have been less tragic than what actually happened to Sam, which is that she got proposed to by the human equivalent of Stilnox and was then summarily dumped about a week later. (You can read all about that in my Bachelor Season 2 Recaps)
She also had a tendency to explode.
Poor Sam explains how hard her breakup with Blake was because of "all the media scrutiny", saying how "devastating and humiliating" it was to have everyone in Australia knowing the ins and outs of her private life.
"I don't ever want to go through anything like that ever again," she says.
"Doing this is reminding me of how genuinely I loved Blake," she says, crying.
"I still don't think I'm over it."
Well, this should be an interesting season.
"I'm at the point in my life where I want to meet someone and I'm tired of being single," says Sam, who is 26.
Meanwhile, at home:
But Sam is different now, she's grown as a person and knows herself a lot better and is stronger, which is all of course to say that now she has brown hair instead of blonde.
And so as Sam gussies herself up and tries to cover her sagging, wrinkled 26-year-old skin so no one will know how tragic a spinster she is, let's meet a few of the blokes who will be vying for camera time this season.
First up is 30-year-old Richie, who might look like the kind of guy who would send back his latte for not being single origin but is shown abseiling down a wall to royalty-free rock guitar music and doing shirtless pull-ups at the beach so is clearly a macho man.
"Did somebody say matcha? Sweet, I'm parched, brah."
"I'm the kind of guy who likes to grab life by the coat tails and really enjoy it," says Richie, kicking off a brand new Bland Canyon Bachelorette Drinking Game: drink a shot every time someone on this show mangles a metaphor or idiom.
I'd say "see you at the end" but I think we'll both be blind by then.
Moving on, and you reckon Richie's manly?
WELL CHECK OUT SASHA:
He may have a girly name but HE WEARS A HARD HAT, DAMMIT.
"I've got cars, I've got a successful career, but I'd trade that all in just to find that one special person," he says.
"Did I mention that I have cars? I mean, like, not just one. Cars. With an S. I own multiple cars, is what I'm saying."
Moving on to Michael, a 34-year-old professional footballer who's played with the Socceroos.
And is either really tall, or Channel Ten is especially proactive in their equal opportunity cameraman hiring.
Next up is 25-year-old carpenter Davey, whose name is actually Davey.
"Most people when they first meet me think I'm quite annoying," he says.
"I'd make a good boyfriend because I make everything exciting and fun. Obviously I'd be annoying but that's just part of it."
Great sell, Davey.
Still, something tells me it's not exactly their personalities that this show is trying to sell us on right now...
Points off Sasha for being the only one not to get his shirt off in the first five minutes.
Back at the newly disinfected Shag Mansion, Sam has finally arrived and is busy talking to a small pile of leaves in the yard that she has mistaken for host Osher Gunsberg.
"I'm stronger and I know so much more about myself after last year and what have I got to lose? I'm pretty sure the worst has already happened," she laughs.
"Don't bet on it."
But her moving speech is cut off by the sounds of a Year 12 formal rental limo coming down the driveway - it's time to officially meet our first bachelor!
Enter Dave the plumber, who makes a strong first impression by greeting Sam whilst being attacked in the neck by a small bat.
"Great, I swore to mum I wouldn't get meningitis, and now this..."
"Jeez I almost slipped over on the rose petals out there," Dave says.
"WA HA HA HA!" guffaws Sam.
"I almost split my pants!" Dave says.
"WAAA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!" roars Sam.
"I'M A FUN GIRL EVERYTHING IS FUNNY HA HA HA PLEASE DON'T THINK I'M A BITCH."
"Go inside, relax and have a drink!" says Sam, as if she's hosting an AFL grand final barbecue.
Alex is also known as "HELLO, YES PLEASE AND THANK YOU".
Alex looks great, sounds great, and then gives Sam a pair of cute fold-up ballet flats in case her feet get sore and SHUT THIS WHOLE THING DOWN AND JUST MARRY HIM IMMEDIATELY.
But there's no time for that because here comes Davey the annoying carpenter!
"Rolling up in the limo was absolutely nerve breaking," he says.
I did warn you.
Not to be outdone by Alex and his ballet flats, Davey reaches into the bushes on the way down the driveway, snaps off a few geraniums and thrusts them into Sam's face before announcing he's getting nipple rash from his suit.
"Go inside, relax and have a drink!" says Sam, reading from the autocue.
Moving on to David (yes that's right, so far we have a Dave, a Davey and a David - get some imagination, parents of Australia), who is 31 and "an international model", aka: the one the producers want us all to make "Zoolander" jokes about.
Well guess what, guys? I'M NOT GOING TO PLAY INTO YOUR OBVIOUS SET UP.
Except for this one time.
"I reckon everyone's going to be pretty cool, I hope to make friends with the other guys," he says.
"I'm not like, conflictuous or anything."
I really did try to warn you...
"Go inside, relax and have a drink!" says Sam, as we all begin to wonder if she has anything else to say, ever.
Next up comes Sasha, who immediately wows Sam by handing her his dirty serviette from the KFC meal he ate in the limo on the way over.
"Sorry, I couldn't find a bin."
"WA HA HA HA HA!" roars Sam, who may or may not be taking regular hits from a tank of nitrous hidden under her skirt.
Sasha asks Sam what sort of things she's into.
"Yeah um... uh... yeah... uh... um... yeah," she replies.
This is going to be a long season.
"Go inside, relax and have a drink!" says Sam, as one of the producers pulls the string in her back to reset her for the next bachelor.
"I've spent weeks working out how to impress this woman," he says.
And this is what he decided on:
Hiring an owl to attack her. Good call.
Meanwhile, nek minit:
I would definitely give him a rose.
"Go inside, relax and have a drink!" says Sam, as I long for the sweet embrace of death.
Naturally, Sam is totally blown away by this gesture.
"LOOK AT YOU YOU LITTLE SWEETHEART THAT'S AMAZING!" Sam gushes, as he hands her a stalk with a single crushed petal on top.
The parade of crappy gifts doesn't stop there, with 25-year-old Pizza Hut tablecloth enthusiast Kayne showing up with an ice block:
"Sorry, they were all out of gingerbread men."
And it seems even celebrities have signed up for the show this year, because in walks famous rapper Macklemore:
"Only got $20 in my pocket! No really, can I borrow some cash? I couldn't pay the limo guy."
Followed by 1980s heart throb Tom Selleck:
"I know what you're thinking... and you're right."
And finally this guy, who seems totally normal:
Yep. He looks like husband material.
"Go inside, relax and have a drink!" says Sam.
"Seriously, please relax."
As it turns out the blokes don't need any encouragement, as they're all inside having a mighty piss up and have pretty much forgotten all about her already.
David the international model, who is definitely not a plant paid by producers to act as douchebaggy as possible and stir up drama, immediately starts making friends by leaning against doorways and mantlepieces and telling everyone in detail about how he is an international model.
"Sometimes I think I think too much - but I don't," he says, so thank god that's cleared up.
"Oh so you chose not to wear black tie? That's very... modern."
Finally Sam stumbles in and gives a welcome speech so teary and rambling it's like Gwyneth Paltrow accepting the Oscar at her sister's wedding.
"You don't even understand I've been thinking about it for the last couple of days how incredible yeah how incredible it is to actually have people that are here for me which is the craziest thing ever and I can't express how much I appreciate you guys for even being here it's amazing I wasn't expecting to get emotional so soon it's just yeah it's one of the most it's really lovely so I really appreciate it and I've heard you guys have been saying really lovely things so that's just really lovely," she says, near hysterics.
"Er, sorry, can I just check the exit clause in my contract...?"
As Sam burbles and blurts her way through an awkward speech that could be summed up in one word - "hello" - Drew the owl tamer expresses his sympathy.
"There was a big male part of me that just wanted to give her a big hug," he says.
I think we all know which male part wanted to hug Sam the most.
Amazingly when Sam gets to the point approximately 25 minutes later no one has died of boredom, so the cocktail party begins casualty-free.
Well, I say "cocktail party" but really it's more like "blokes standing around with beers". What? You can't have men drinking CHAMPAGNE. What is this, the Sydney Mardi Gras?
Meanwhile, watching at home:
"Oh sure, NOW you have beer."
All the blokes immediately agree upon the implementation of "bro code", which is a cute way of making "politeness" sound more macho. Like how "man flu" is just regular flu, and a "man cave" is just a room with an X Box in it.
According to Bro Code, one bro must not interrupt another bro when said bro is in conversation with Sam.
"Fuck that," says David the international model, and stampedes over to where Sam and Dave the plumber are competing to see who can act the most impressed by the other.
"I'm impressed by you!"
"No I'M impressed by YOU!"
"HA HA HA LOOK HOW IMPRESSED I AM!"
"HA HA HA HA I'M ABOUT TO PASS OUT I'M SO FUCKING IMPRESSED!"
David the model dispenses of Dave the plumber with a single flick of his Pantene tresses, and
get down to business making sure Sam understands he's a model.
"So I've told you how I'm a model," he says.
"I didn't ask to be a model, it just sort of came to me. But I have other projects on the side, I'm not JUST a model. I hope that's not what you pigeonhole me as."
"Hey did I mention I'm a model?"
"I was born in Poland, so lucky for whoever marries me in the future they will have a European passport," he says.
"And they'll also be married to a model."
Sam moves on to Michael the almost Socceroo, who explains that as a professional athlete he's constantly packing his life into boxes and moving from place to place as he signs with different teams.
"I have to ask - why are you still single?" she says.
"Sorry, were you listening to anything I just said?"
Meanwhile, inside, David is leaning on a mantlepiece waiting for someone to notice he is a model.
"Do you think Sam has reservations about you being a model?" Richie asks.
"I think everybody has reservations about me being a model," David says.
"Also mate, can you move? You're blocking my light."
Outside in the gazebo, Will the musician (the slightly psycho looking one) is serenading Sam with a ditty he wrote especially for her.
Sadly it begins "Sam, you're better looking than Peter Pan", which neither rhymes nor is much of a compliment, considering Peter Pan was a young boy who lived on an island...
...and who looked like this.
Will goes on to sing in falsetto about her "pixie ears" and asks if she'd join him for "a couple of beers" (so at least the ending rhymed).
Naturally, Sam reacts to this totally unimpressive stunt in the usual way:
"WA HA HA HA HA WOW THIS IS SO AMAZING!"
Not wanting to be outdone in the crappy stunts department, Kayne offers to stand on his head for 20 seconds which, as we know, is a surefire way to impress any girl.
As long as they're in Year 3.
It also helps if you can actually do a headstand.
"How would your friends describe you in three words?" she asks.
Davey thinks for a moment, and then replies: "Full blown legend."
If your date makes this face at you in the first two minutes of conversation, you know you're nailing it.
Davey goes on to explain that his nickname is "the girlfriend guy" and that his best pickup line is "smile if I can kiss you".
This is literally the only time in this entire 75 minutes Sam HASN'T smiled, so well done Davey.
Things go slightly better with the owl guy - at least she's got something in common with him.
"Yeah I use Tresseme too!"
But it's Sasha who emerges victorious, winning the first rose of the night.
Inside, David the international model is totally chill, saying "She'll probably come and find me soon anyway."
"And when she does, she'll be so impressed. Check out this pose!"
BREAKING NEWS: Alex is still hot.
But enough of all of this nonsense because...
IT'S BROS TIME!Oops, I mean...
IT'S ROSE TIME!
Sorry, little guy.
* "For the 13 of you left, Sam only has 11 roses to give out," says a small pile of dust on the floor that looks vaguely like The Bachelor host Osher Gunsberg.
Sasha gets out his set square and starts drawing up equations, while Drew the sleep technician starts counting sheep. and Davey yells "Eleven roses? What is that in Bro Code?"
Approximately 23 minutes later Alex yells "It means two of us are going home."
"And guess what? It won't be me."
* "I think the owl has bought me maybe a week or two," says Drew, demonstrating not only a sense of unbridled optimism but a fundamental lack of understanding of what actually impresses women.
"Should I remind her that I'm a model?"
"I'm totally safe - I wrote a song about Peter Pan FFS!"
* Alex gets a rose. Drew gets a rose. Richie gets a rose. Tony gets a rose. Everyone is too embarrassed to ask who the fuck Tony is.
* "Not getting a rose would be like queuing up for the world's greatest rollercoaster and you're one inch too short," says Will.
I think this qualifies for a drink.
* Rose, rose, rose, rose.
And finally it's down to three - Davey the annoying carpenter who or may not be a ladies man, some bloke I've literally never seen before and Doctor Who.
Seriously, who the hell is that in the middle? Has he been here the whole time?
Unsurprisingly, given that Davey is the only one of the three to score any screen time this episode, he gets the final rose.
And so it's goodbye to... whoever those two dudes were... and hello to more episodes filled with even more of Davey's annoying antics. Hooray...?
Stuck with an awkward goodbye to two guys she hardly knows, Sam takes a deep breath and says the only thing she can think of: "Go inside, relax and have a drink!"
Want more? Then let's move on and READ EPISODE TWO.