30 April 2015

The Bachelor NZ Eps 13 and 14: Hometown visits

Open wide and say ahhhh nice houses, we're on to the hometown visits. Art manages to squeeze in a game of tennis with another guy who isn't important enough to introduce to the nation before he heads off to find Dani and - no tongue on greeting each other? Just a hug on Herne Bay beach by way of hello? I did not see that one coming. The prospect of meeting one set of your four girlfriends' parents would crush anyone's libido. Wait. What? Step-mum and step-dad are going to be there too? Two sets of parents and Dani's twin sister. Intense.
The ghetto.
Dani worries that Art will find her father quite 'full on'. Apple. Tree. While the women are busy falling over themselves to welcome Art, Dani's dad and step-dad adopt some typical "You don't impress me" posturing and I am busily scoping the minimalist interior for signs of which set of parents live here. I deduce that it is her father and step-mother's house purely because he seems to know where the bin is when a glass gets broken. The relationship between the four parents seems very convivial. It's not hard to tell who Dani gets her affectionate nature from.

Her dad has a chain smoker voice but a heart of well, I'm not entirely sure. He takes Art out into the garden for a game of dArts. I know. Art spins him a line that he really likes his daughter but Robbo's not really listening because he's thinking about the body he used to have while standing next to Art's impressive set of guns. Meanwhile, Dani presents her real mum with a bracelet courtesy of Michael Hill JewellerTM because apparently this is what you do when you're busily breaking The Bachelor's face and want to demonstrate that you've missed your mother while doing so.

Art is grilled by both sets of parents but in particular by Dani's step-mother, Amanda, who struggles to understand the concept of competing against other women to find love on a television show. Art pretends to look like he cares. She asks who is going to be the one to raise the children. One step at a time, Mandy. He's only interested in the act of making babies with Dani, not actually having the babies. If Dani does not win the final rose, we will know where to point the finger of blame. Amanda is scary.

To ease the post-interrogation stress levels, Art and Dani go shopping in a very suspiciously empty shop before farewelling each other.

With one hometown visit under his belt, Art looks more prepared for what to expect on his next family visit with Matilda. She is also waiting for her boyfriend at the beach. Before they arrive at a holiday home on Waiheke Island where Art will get to meet her father, Ken, and friend Georgie, she coaches him to laugh at her Dad's jokes. Ah, Dad jokes are a real litmus test aren't they? Matilda's parents separated when she was 13 and are no longer on speaking terms so with just two people to meet, this visit should be a cakewalk for Art.
Much idle chitchat, so awks

They walk in the house to meet Ken and Georgie who have flown in from Australia and for once, Art is not the most awkward male in the room. Good old Ken obviously doesn't like awkward silences so launches into some historical babble about a vege shop and I am dying. The boys bond over the BBQ while Matilda and her friend make salad and small talk.

Ken warms into his role and, like Art, seems to be very genuine and articulate. What is happening to me? This episode is making me lose my cynicism. He is very protective of his daughter and they have a private chat where he keeps her feet firmly on the ground by asking her whether she will be okay if she is not the last one standing. No bedazzled piece of jewellery for you, Ken.

Matilda takes Art to visit her old primary school and shows him where she broke her other arm. Mentioning an event that happened over 15 years ago is the only exciting thing to happen on this visit.

Poppy's house is either not up to filming standards, or she rents and her housemates aren't happy for it to appear on the show because Poppy meets Art on a communal farm complete with paleo chooks where she used to do volunteer work. Art meets her best friend, AJ, and her mother, Sarah, who has flown over from Australia. Poppy greets her mother like a 5 year old and then leaves her friend standing there awkwardly waiting for a hug.

Art and Sarah have a chat together and Art cries that he can't have four girlfriends. AJ falls a little bit in love with Art when she hopes Art stumbles on one of her questions to gauge his suitability, but he answers it with aplomb instead. Sarah is charmed by her prospective son-in-law and tells Poppy that he is TPG and I agree but only if it means totally phunking gormless. Disappointingly, it means The Perfect Guy so Poppy gives her mum a bracelet.

Art and Poppy go out for a cocktail and have a little conversation where Poppy confides that she has had her guard up because of the fact she is reminded that there are still six other girls, five other girls, three other girls and by this stage even Art loses patience with the glaring error in her basic maths speech and cuts her short. With Dani lightyears ahead of her in the kissing stakes, Poppy has her work cut out for her and this is her last chance to leave a lasting impression.

By hometown visit number four, Art has got some real swagger going on. Alysha is waiting for him outside the only open shop on Invercargill's main street (probably). It is a stone's throw away from the emergency contraceptive dispensary and Art notes that for later (possibly). They head into a chocolatier to make their own chocolate because aphrodisiac. Things get dirty in the Deep South and Art obligingly licks chocolate off Alysha's neck. Risque. He's still a good boy underneath it all and brings Alysha's mum some flowers to help compensate for the stink stirling silver heart-shaped necklace that Alysha gives her later on.

Alysha's dad really likes Art but real men don't talk about these things so we can only guess that he approves because he gives the sheep a few extra bits of bread. During the family meal, he gives a father of the bride toast and Art looks scared.

After dinner with the family, Art and Alysha have some time to themselves rugged up in the paddock next to the house with a motorbike and some goalposts in the background. At last, a hometown visit I can relate to.

Who has made enough of an impact on Art to remain in the front of his mind as he makes his decision on who will come with him on the upcoming fantasy dates?

Cue panoramic shot of Auckland just to remind the viewer that we are now back in the big smoke. There are some highly staged shots of each of the girls gazing pensively into the distance in their evening gowns for dramatic effect. There are only four girls remaining, each as desirable as the other and we nod empathetically at how extremely difficult it will be for Art to make his decision.

It feels like an age has passed to reach this point. Alysha and Matilda receive roses. Dani and Poppy look like they are going to pass out on the floral carpet. Then, HIGH DRAMA, Art asks to speak to Dani in private. He questions how serious she is about him. What the blind hell?! Has being on this show made him a bit thick? I can't blame him, after six weeks of this mindless television, I feel less capable of functioning in the real world myself. Dani launches into an impassioned speech about how much she wants him that he cannot possibly doubt how MUCH SHE WANTS HIM. And so, after a glorious beginning and showing promise of a real connection with Art, Poppy's journey of love is over.

We are down to the final two episodes. The girlfriends are flown to the Gold Coast for the fantasy dates in which Art hopes each girl will truly be able to reveal the extent of her seriousness about him. Can't. Hardly. Wait.


  1. Dying with laughter reading this! God they were 2 boring episodes weren't they?! Still I feel the desperate need to watch to the end - like car crash telly.

  2. Oh Leanne!!! I have totally lost the plot of who is interviewing who and who is the entertainment here, I am pretty sure that your commentary is far more entertaining than the actual show!!!! If only you were not so far, or if I were not so far away, then I could totally imagine watching this with you and having hysterics while doing so!!! I love the bit about the houses not be up to standard, that made me laugh so much!!! Oh, and the TPG - your version of course!!!!!!!!! xx

  3. I can't believe this is a real TV show!!