Three things The Bachelor producers are getting right this year
I'll be upfront, I'm a die-hard Bachie fan and I have no idea why. It's a show about a bunch of women who are trapped in a mansion vying for the attention of one seemingly unattainable man. They're liquored up, plastered in make-up, sewed into extravagant sequinned gowns and forced to stay awake into the wee hours of the night so the producers can get the right shot/ manipulate a situation to create a juicy hook to reel us all in with.
It can't be healthy for the Bachie either. He's constantly dipping in and out of various emotional entanglements, balancing the responsibility of multiple hand-picked fragile hearts on his very shoulders.
Eventually, the majority of the girls end up suffering from a severe case of Stockholm syndrome, pouring every ounce of their energy into trying to get the bachie's attention until one "lucky" girl is crowned the winner. Her prize? A fleeting relationship with someone who is no longer produced to be the man of her dreams.
If Unreal is anything to go by, that's only scratching at the surface of what these people are put through. And what's it all for? Love? No, of course not. It's for our sick, sick viewing pleasure.
So yes, I'm all too aware of the problematic nature of the show. But at the same time, I just can't stop watching! Luckily this year the producers seem to be doing things differently and appear to be sprinkling some positivity amongst their carefully crafted chaos.
They've chosen a relatable bachie
While Nick 'The Honey Badger' Cummins isn't your average joe – due to his high-profile footy career – he also kind of is? Taking a leaf from Sophie Monk's season of the Bachelorette, the producers have finally realised that Australia just wants to have a good fucking laugh. All of the time.
We're open to the idea of seeing beautiful men and women showing off their hot bods on telly, but after a while it gets kind of boring (à la Richie Strahan). We come for the bods but we stay for the lols, and that's exactly what The Honey Badger is giving us.
Not lauded for his looks or ability to pensively stare out at sea, we're actually able to relate to this dude. We all know a bloke like him and honestly, who wouldn't want to be mates with him?
He comes across as a really nice guy who genuinely cares about the wellbeing of all the girls. He doesn't mince his words and is as honest as his contract will allow him to be when discussing his feelings for them all. By the same token though, would a truly genuine fella go on this show in the first place? I just don't know...
They've given us a smidge of diversity (FINALLY)
Front runner and all round babe of a human, Brooke, is a proud queer Indigenous woman who wants to be a role model to young Indigenous people through her work as a mental health youth worker. She's not your average bachie babe.
Brooke and Nick made an instant connection, leading to her receiving the coveted key to the Bachie Pad in episode one and she's got A LOT of air time (and three dates) since then.
This is a first in Australia's Bachelor history and it's about fucking time. While the rest of the 'chosen few' are incredibly white-washed, this is a step in the right direction.
Brooke also recently revealed to Nick, and the rest of the nation, that she's previously dated women. Could this girl BE any cooler? Even if she doesn't win Nick's heart (although she should) having such a diverse woman on a show like The Bachelor will do wonders for minority groups watching on.
They've made a public statement on "mean girl" behaviour
In the most recent episode, Nick pulled aside one of the contestants and asked her to tell him "who is being mean" in the house. Alisha, Cat and Romy, aka 'The Mean Girls' were shown to be the nastiest of the bunch, often huddling in their own corner making remarks about the other girls, causing drama and stirring the pot left, right and centre. While the three girls argue this was a case of strategic editing, which is highly likely, they also admit to playing along with it to a degree.
Image: The "mean girls": Cat, Alisha and Romy.
In a post show interview, the girls revealed they quickly cottoned onto the fact they were going to be edited as the villains, with Romy saying: "they wanted a villain, so we gave them three." It has also been revealed this week that Romy is an actress, but that's way less of a big deal than most click-bait articles have made it out to be. Turns out she is just an actress, who was paid to be on the show, as were all the girls. She was not hired as an actress to cause drama on the show. She's just your regular run-of-the-mill contestant.
Upon realising who was causing the drama in the house, Nick promptly put an end to it all, sending Cat and Alisha home, stating that he wanted the mansion to "be a place of love".
However appalling their behaviour was on set, it's important to remember the three girls were manipulated to come across in a certain way, so we shouldn't be singing the praises of the producers for too long. The girls were simply the kindling, the producers lit the match. I do think it's a positive step to call out bullying behaviour in a public forum and for Nick to show that he won't stand for it. It's more than his bachelor bros have done before him.
Kate Neilson is the founding editor of Twenty Something Humans. She likes eating her toast in bed and drinking her gin with lime. Lurk her @katiepotatierose.