The Bachelorette Recap: A Pre-Finale Catch-Up On One Of The Year’s Best Reality Shows

If Michael wins tonight, I will burn this motherfucker to the ground.

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In the 19th century, if a Welsh man wanted to wed a lady, he would get his friends and some horses, and pretend to charge at her house. The bride-to-be and her friends would set up obstacles — tying ropes to trees and setting booby traps — to foil him. Then, if the man somehow made it to her house, he was required to sing witty songs and recite poetry until she decided he had adequately won her heart and the wedding was on.

In 2015, we make construction managers wear ill-fitting velvet blazers and jump out of airplanes. In the words of the great poets of yore: lol, we are truly #blessed.

For those who like to hop on the bandwagon, just as it’s ready to topple sideways off the rails, Australia’s first Bachelorette is Sam Frost: the woman who won The Bachelor last year but was then dumped for the one who came third. Sam Frost is 26, you see, so she needs to get married before she’s required by law to take a vow of celibacy and make a new life for herself atop Australia’s tallest mountain, living out her lonely days grinding the cabbage that fills Chiko Rolls, as is our nation’s custom.

That fact aside, it’s safe to say The Bachelorette has been WAY better than anyone had expected, and pretty much made The Bachelor’s boy-Sam seem like the human equivalent of a soggy toilet roll. Girl-Sam is fun! When she wants someone to kiss her she just tells them to, with the same authority as the most popular girl in your school daring you to wag. You can’t say no! She’ll ruin your life!


“Defy me and perish.”

People have also been giving a lot of love to The Bachelorette contestants — men who regularly talk about their childhoods, hurt feelings, and desire to get hitched. But I don’t know if these dudes are particularly lovable, or if it’s just that we’re not used to seeing men in this vulnerable situation on reality TV; for once they’re not the ones in control.

On these kind of shows, we often see female contestants pining for love and being rejected, but with men it’s coded differently and we say, “Ohhhh, they’re looking for LOVE, how cute!” Society expects women to be on the lookout for a man 24/7, so it’s somehow less endearing to watch. But when men want love and marriage, they’re presented as exceptional; particularly if they don’t need to be convinced.

Or maybe we just rooted for the rest of the contestants because one of them looked like a Bond villain.


“So we meet again, Sam Frost. This pocket square is sewn from the scalps of my enemies.”


Sasha: 30, a construction manager and the favourite to win. He acts like a surrogate dad to the other contestants and says things like “boys” and “at the end of the day” even when it’s the beginning of the day. He is constantly thinking about the end of the day.

Richie: 30, a rope-access technician which sounds like a circus job but is actually much more boring. He is super blonde, affable, and is like the only nice guy at the pub in that suburb you hate.

Michael: 34, an ex-professional soccer player who is actually a real estate agent now. He taught everyone what a “coatigan” was, and for that we will never forgive him. He also seems a bit like a vampire, but instead of thirsting for pumping arterial fluid, he craves throbbing real estate properties.

Throughout the series Sam has been asked if she’s “over” last year’s Bachelor breakup, which evidently she is not. But it’s chill! Now her biggest issue is choosing from three guys who are deeply in love with her, rejecting two on national television, and reaping the ultimate gender revenge!


Footy trip, 2015

In last night’s episode, the first date is with Sasha. Sam says he gives her a feeling she “can’t really describe” but then immediately describes it: she likes that he’s blokey AND soft! Huh, not that complicated really. In preparation for the date, Sasha has been blindfolded and held in the back of a limo for three days: a fact that is unsurprising given Sam Frost is the ultimate master of torture.

Don’t believe me? Observe:

Exhibit A: She knows that Sasha is terrified of heights. She knows this because she once “tested” his devotion to the journey, by asking him to jump off a cliff.

Exhibit B: She knows this.

Exhibit C: She knows that Sasha really, really hates heights.

Exhibit D: She decides that she wants him to go fucking skydiving.

I mean, girl, what are you DOING? Sasha is kind of pissed off but pretends not to be and just confesses several times that he is “shitting” himself. Sam giggles and says it’s a metaphor for their relationship: “If you can get through this, you can get through anything!” Because apparently having a relationship with her is like confronting your greatest fear and wishing for death?

Sasha gets more pale the higher the plane gets. Sam is so happy, because it means he loves her.


Why does my heart/Feel so bad.

At the end of the day, the skydiving goes well! Sasha doesn’t die, he has a chance to gesture towards his “fruit and veg”, and he even gets to nurse Sam when she feels faint from a rush of adrenaline. Sam thinks it’s so ironic: Sasha was the one who was meant to feel like shit! “The experience has brought us so much closer,” she says, as if they’d both recently survived the sinking of the Titanic.

Predictably, the make-out portion of the date goes well (“Look how many bloody flowers there are here!”) and Sasha pretty much tells Sam that he loves her. Sam admits that she is nervous he won’t like her outside of the show; she can’t afford this many flowers in the real world, you know? But Sasha says that money doesn’t mean anything if you don’t have anyone to share it with (a classic rich person thing to say).

Hey, it’s Richie’s turn!

Richie makes Sam feel good “inside and out” despite the fact that he’s a grown-ass man who says “cool bananas” and “let’s rock it!” Richie should be super annoying but he’s not. Somehow his absolute elation at every piece of small stimuli around him is totally adorable. Plus he thinks everything is just like “the movies”: mountains, snow on trees, snow angels on the ground. He draws a love heart in the snow, which initially made me want to hold him down and tell him ugly things about the world, but he’s just so goddamn nice that I can’t really hate him. Sam thinks so too, but that’s the problem. He’s too nice. He must have “walls”.


Pictured: Richie playing hard to get.

Everyone on this show is obsessed with walls. Everyone is continually discussing their own walls or someone else’s walls, and how far along they’re getting in dismantling these walls. To the causal observer, you may think that you’re watching Scottie Cam really struggling with the design of a South Melbourne studio apartment. Despite the fact that Sam makes several comments about how attracted she is to Richie with such feverish intensity that she sounds like an escaped nun on heat, Richie admits that being a “nervous Nelly” means that he’s had trouble expressing his feelings. Sam wanted to crack open the candy shell and get to the gooey center, but she just can’t get there. Maybe he’s just not the Pod for her.

Hm, guess it’s time for Michael.

Michael has no walls. He’s like an abandoned work site that you can just sort of wander in and out of as you please. This results in him being aggressively affectionate and showering Sam in hugs and kisses constantly, something she responds to quite enthusiastically. “You smell and feel amazing,” Michael says to Sam, as if she was a recently renovated Victorian terrace that he was offering to prospective tenants.

Sam decides that they must take to the sea — TO WALES! No wait, they’re going to see actual whales. Oh, okay. Sam skillfully avoids Michael’s query about whether she would ever propose to him by yelling, “LOOK WE’RE UNDER THE HARBOUR BRIDGE!” but otherwise has a nice time (FYI they both decide that the Mere Male in your life needs to be “pushed” if you ever want to put a ring on it. Hahaha, get to work laydeez!)

The theme of the date is fish for some reason, so Sam takes Michael to an aquarium for dinner. He cannot seem to get his head around the fact that there are so many fish near him and seems genuinely bewildered by the basic concept of an aquarium. I guess they don’t get many swordfish in Transylvania?


“It’s crazy, because we can see them, but we’re not getting wet.”


Though he is wearing a bow tie and is objectively the cutest, Richie is sent home. Sam is mega upset by this and starts to cry as she hands Michael the final rose, which frankly negs on his vibe a little. Richie tells her that she’s taught him that “love exists” then Osher’s like, “make tracks, mate”.


Okay, I didn’t have a clear favourite up until now, but the game’s clearly changed. If Michael wins tonight, I will burn this motherfucker to the ground.


The Bachelorette finale airs 7.30pm tonight on Channel Ten.

Sinead Stubbins is a writer from Melbourne who has done stuff for Yen, frankie, Smith Journal and Elle. She tweets from @sineadstubbins.