Tim Robards - The Bachelor.
hat's a first impression?'' my 10-year-old son asked me as we were watching The Bachelor. I'll confess here that dad's away and occasionally this week the kids and I have indulged in some bad reality television. I'm not a bad parent, honest, it's not like I've let them watch The Only Way is Essex, or The Real Housewives of Vancouver, just Prime7's Slide Show, which we've all fallen in love with - it's hilarious and clever, 7.30 on a Wednesday night, don't miss it - and the first two episodes of The Bachelor. Sometimes there's nothing nicer than snuggling on the lounge and laughing hysterically at the antics of contestants on television. We did that for both Slide Show and The Bachelor, and for totally different reasons.
Watching Slide Show, we got the giggles watching performer Anthony Callea having to deal with the comic genius of Frank Woodley as they had to make the letters of the word ''zones'' with their bodies, proud that my kids got the comic genius of Frank Woodley.
I was quite proud too of the astute judgment of my 12-year-old daughter, wise beyond her years, who was a little horrified by the behaviour of the women on The Bachelor, and I could see that she was tucking away ideas about how not to behave around men when the time came when she would have to behave around men.
She was quick to get that, my good girl; she was quick too to perfect the Jolene death stare - and as an aside, let's get Jolene up against Julie Bishop in a stare-off, oh bring that on! She was quick to realise too that there was nothing too real in this reality show. But then, in this post-election week, when my son asked what a first impression was, and my head was reeling with thoughts of both the bachelor and the prime minister, Tim and Tony, I got it all mixed up and confused.
My answer to my son was clear. A first impression is what you think about a person the first time you meet them; do you like your new classmate, is that girl at swimming nice?
Usually it's used in the context of adult relationships, whether or not you find a person attractive, both physically and emotionally, when you first meet them.
What was your first impression of dad? he asked. I thought he was rather nice. And I was proved right.
I think my son got it, mind you his interest in The Bachelor was waning by this point. He'd given a few hot or nots as the girls came down the red carpet to meet Tony, I mean Tim. But he was over it, my son, neither Tim nor Tony, let's hope both of them have some enthusiasm left for the job ahead. So, yes, I'm going to go there. Find a way to tie in Tony Abbott to The Bachelor. First impressions, ways to win over the ladies, dates, disappointments. Like I said, dad's away and my brain may have gone a little to mush.
But it's not that long a bow to draw really.
I'd like to think I'm like the majority of voters - and, if I'm honest, I know I'm not, because you are all far more clever than me and actually pay attention to what it is political parties are offering pre-election - but I don't know much about Tony Abbott, nor indeed the Liberal Party. Sure, I read what's been written in the papers, see him make a few gaffes on the television, see him in his lycra, with his daughters.
First impression? I could take him or leave him. But I guess now I have to take him. And for the next few months he's got his chance to impress me. You might be thinking that this is completely the opposite to The Bachelor, and in a way you're right. Here it's the girls who have to do the impressing. That's how they're thinking too. But if you've studied The Bachelor, and, in another shocking admission, I have been a fan of the show since it premiered in the US in 2002. I've studied the show, I know how it works. (But don't ask me to explain politics of any sort).
In that first series Alex Michel chose Amanda Marsh over Trista Rehn. They broke up after several months, and Rehn went on to star in the first series of The Bachelorette. She chose the delectable firefighter and former NFL player Ryan Sutter and they are still married and have two children. Their televised wedding in 2003 remains one of the most watched reality television shows ever. See, it can work. Call me a hopeless romantic. (Call me a pervert too, but some part of me - maybe that part that's still there from 20 years ago - would love to be on The Bachelorette, imagine, months in a mansion with 25 hot fellas after you … it has been a very long week …)
The key to The Bachelor has always been to make yourself available without appearing too needy. Paying attention Ali?
The key for Abbott will be, now he's the main man in the house (and that house better be The Lodge, not Kirribilli), will be how he handles the attention, without putting the women in the house (that's us, women of Australia) offside.
We don't want to hear him talking about the sex appeal of the other women, we don't want him appearing too desperate, or trying to seduce those around us (whether that be through tax cuts, or parental leave, or some other idea he's not going to be able to deliver). We want him to be honest, to be there for us, to treat us with respect, and look out for our best interests. We want him to mean what he says and say what he means - he said something like that already, I think, still a little unclear of what that actually means.
We've given him our approval, well the majority of you did, and so now we want him to pay attention and try and win us over.
Australia, will you accept this rose?