Sophie Monk Is The Bachelorette That Australia Needs

This is going to be the best season of all time.

Sophie Monk

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It makes so much sense that Sophie Monk is Australia’s next Bachelorette.

It makes so much sense that on Saturday afternoon, when I saw it on Twitter, my reaction was “Oh yeah, of course” because it was such a natural fit that I somehow already knew it to be true. It’s like when you’re a kid and someone explains gravity to you, and you’re glad to know the facts but somewhere deep down you already intrinsically knew the deal.

Of course Sophie Monk is the next Bachelorette.

As someone who has recapped the last two seasons of The Bachelorette — and The Bachelor, which is infinitely worse — I know that it takes a very particular type of personality to make these shows interesting. Being a nice, attractive person isn’t enough. Maybe in life it’s enough, but it is not enough to make you compelling on television. That’s just a fact.

The best contestants on these shows have a specific self-awareness coupled with a backstory filled with disappointment and missed opportunities, that makes us want to root for their revenge narrative. Sam Frost was a great Bachelorette because we all wanted to see her stick it to that dumb dumb who publicly dumped her for another contestant — something Frost discussed openly in pretty much every episode of the season.

You’ve gotta have an agenda if you’re on The Bachelorette. And I reckon Sophie Monk wants to fuck this shit up from the inside.

When she was 19, Sophie Monk was on one of Australia’s first reality TV shows, Popstars. On the show she was painted as the dippy Marilyn Monroe impersonator (her audition song was an impersonation of Monroe singing ‘Happy Birthday’; it’s an odd and surreal choice, which in retrospect is extremely on brand). She was also a “trained acrobat”.

When the producers of Popstars visited her family home in the Gold Coast to tell her she had been accepted into the group, Monk looked genuinely gobsmacked. “I’d have hoped that she’d go classically,” said her mum quietly. Sophie Monk was on the most popular show in Australia, in the one of the most successful local bands of 2000 and her mum was still disappointed that she wasn’t singing songs from Les Miserables, or whatever. Sophie Monk is just like you.

Sophie Monk will be an excellent Bachelorette because she’s a reality TV veteran and knows how this shit works. Reality TV is only good when the ‘characters’ producers have placed in fabricated situations are given room for their authentic wackiness to come out. It’s only interesting when people act in a way that contradicts normal codes of behaviour.

The last season of The Bachelorette slipped from mildly amusing to dull was because everyone acted exactly as you thought they would. Georgia Love was hopeful and vulnerable, her suitors were (mostly) polite and ordinary. Its predictability is what made it bland.

Luckily, Sophie Monk is a bit weird. Actually, she’s really weird. Sophie Monk is that kid in your class who vocalises everything that goes through her head in wide-eyed wonder, keeping such a straight face that you don’t know if she’s being serious or if she’s playing you.

And this is why she’s the perfect choice.

On Popstars, her various Rove Live appearances where she’s always more entertaining than him (and he seems obsessed with talking about her exercise regime) and more recently as the winner of Celebrity Apprentice in 2015 and a judge on Australia’s Got Talent, Sophie Monk is always funnier and more frank than you remember her being. (Well, I’ll never forget how funny she was on Popstars but that was an important show for me).

It’s unclear if her role on The Bachelorette was already settled before Sophie Monk appeared on possibly the funniest ‘Hard Chat’ of all time, but if you ever need a reminder that Monk is savvy, self-aware and 100 percent ready for any ‘dumb blonde’ bullshit that is thrown her way, it’s the perfect thing. She doesn’t care if you think she’s dumb, because she knows she’s hilarious, and that makes her endearing as hell.

“People think I’m super smart,” she says, while Tom Gleeson tries to keep frowning at her disapprovingly. “But a teacher at school said I actually had quite a high IQ and went and checked it. But a few days later I asked her what my IQ was and she said, ‘No, it was low’.” Tom Gleeson loses it.

“Am I giving you the right shit?” she asks, straight-faced. “You’re giving me the great shit,” he replies.

When talking to Fairfax, Monk said that she was excited to be on The Bachelorette because “at least they background check them and stuff, so I know it won’t be my stalkers. It’s the safest I can be.” I’m excited not only because it’ll mean there’s a Bacherloette contestant who is over 30 (!!!!) but because if anyone can call bullshit on the most artificial, glossy game show on TV, it’s Sophie Monk — particularly if she’s only doing it because she can’t be bothered doing background checks herself.

Sophie Monk is the the Bachelorette Australia needs. She is one of us. She doesn’t know who Bill Shorten is either.

We are living in the best of times, where our reality TV is now functioning as postmodern meta-commentary on reality TV itself, where everything is a reference to something else and no one is bothering to pretend any of this is really real or in any way accidental. Imagining Sophie Monk reacting to 23-year-old tradies in pastel shirts reading out poems they have written for her and serenading her with acoustic guitars has already made me laugh three times today.

It’s going to be amazing.

(Like, super amazing.)

(Is it on yet.)

The Bachelorette will air on Channel Ten later this year.