Last year I got swept up in The Bachelor Australia phenomenon; I knew all the players, watched each episode and was once, somewhat embarrassingly, named in the Top 3 tweeters for an episode.
But this year’s series lost me from the get-go. I was snuggled down on the couch all ready to commit to another season of fast-paced teasing on Twitter when one of the contestants started going on about how she’d never been in love. She was 12.
Okay, she wasn’t 12, I think she was in her early 20s and as it turned out, she left the show to pursue a career in netball (making her sound like Sharon Strezlecki from Kath & Kim) so she wasn’t really that committed to the game anyway … but seriously, I know you feel old, but here’s a hint: you’re not old enough to be on a reality TV that’s all about manufactured romance with a husband as the trophy.
I’m pretty sure you shouldn’t be humiliating yourself on TV at that age; you should be going out dancing with your friends, backpacking through Europe or drinking too much tequila and sleeping with inappropriate people. They’re the kind of memories that will keep you warm when you’re old (like 32) and make excellent fodder for cocktails with your girlfriends not being bitchy or being bitched about on national TV.
Needless to say, I immediately clicked off and vowed not to watch any more. The world, sadly, would have to survive without my sarcastic wit (which I’m sure some contestants would be thankful for if they’d seen any of last year’s commentary).
Anyway, despite not watching a single episode, I seemed to have been caught in the crosshairs of this week’s brou-ha-ha following the cancellation of all media interviews with Blake and his lucky (or as it turns out not-so-lucky) winning lady, Sam.
For those who have managed to avoid all media—and watercooler chat—today, Blake dumped Sam. After proposing on national TV. With a mammoth rock. In South Africa.
That’s right, after apparently getting down on one knee in what sounds like a heavily promoted advertisement for South Africa and popping the question with the most divine of engagement rings (kudos to whoever picked it, because that thing was stunning from the pictures I’ve seen), Blake backtracked.
Not immediately, of course. Apparently he waited until last week—the week before the finale was going to air—and then backed out of there faster than Julia Robert’s character could get out of the church in Runaway Bride.
According to a media release issued by Network Ten, the much-loved Bachie, when faced with real life, changed his mind.
“Once Blake returned to his everyday life, he realised that they both wanted different things from a relationship and had different priorities. Blake has the greatest love and respect for Sam, but has made the difficult decision to end the relationship,” the statement said.
Well, that’s a bit shit, isn’t it?
Fans of the TV show are up in arms. Someone even call him a cad. Ouch.
I mean, if he did it by text, then he really is a cad and I guess you really should be 100 per cent, without a shadow of a doubt, positive that person is the person you want to be with FOREVER AND EVER before you propose on national TV, but from my very limited (ie. non-existent experience) I’m guessing the decision to call off the engagement didn’t come easy.
And, as a serial holiday-romancer I can tell you, changing your mind happens—especially when you return to ‘real life’.
It’s all well and good to fall in love when you’re living the high life in Europe, the USA or even South Africa, but things tend to look a little different when you return to the mundane, the normal and the sometimes boring life you lead, especially if you’re from different locales.
A few years ago I came home from holidays head over heels for someone. I was practically out of my mind in love with and planning to pack up my full-length mirror, 5000 cocktail dresses and bicycle and move across the world and then he came to visit and it’s safe to say, while we loved each other, that was one of the worst weeks either of us have ever had.
The pressure and expectation which I’d put on myself—and him—was suddenly like a giant elephant in the room (and we weren’t in South Africa so that damn thing didn’t belong there) and suddenly, he was uncomfortable, I couldn’t keep any food down and I broke out in a spectacular rash from being so stressed out. Both of us were sad that something that was so right just a couple of months earlier could go so pear-shaped so fast.
Add to that the fact your courting ritual involved one person competing with a house full of other women, cameras recording your every move (and date) and a whole bunch of swanky dates which Bachie wouldn’t normally be able to afford (I mean, what real estate agent flies someone to South Africa on what is effectively their third date?).
And then you can’t even go and hang out when you get back because you’re under contract to keep it all a big secret. FOR TWO MONTHS.
It sounds more like a reality TV show than real life … oh that’s right, it is a reality TV show and we’ve only seen a slice of what happened and clearly aren’t going to get much by way of explanation now that it’s done.
And while I think it’s all totally ridiculous, I do still have questions:
1. What happened to the $58,000 Bunda engagement ring? (Because if no one wants it, I’m happy to take it, just to help out.)
2. Have any of the rejected contestants been beating down Bachie’s door for a second chance at love/an extended 15 minutes of fame?
3. Is there going to be an ‘after the rose’ post-series wrap up where Sam gets to smack Bachie over the head with a bunch of roses?
3. Can someone please drop me over a #dirtystreetpie?
So let’s all give Bachie Blake a break, let Sam mend her broken heart (perhaps starting with tequila and my awesome list of break up recover songs) and let’s remember that they’re both real people.
And people—even the attractive ones—make mistakes. Blake’s mistake was proposing and Sam’s was going on a reality TV show, but I’m sure they’ll both know better next time.
Let’s all have a #dirtystreetpie and just calm the hell down.