Surrounded ... The Bachelor meets his roses.
What is it?
A lonely bachelor simultaneously dates 24 women in a bid to find ‘true love’. At the end of each episode, the aforementioned bachelor leads a ‘rose ceremony’ - the ladies who aren’t given a rose are shown the door. Eventually the harem is whittled down to one and the happy couple ride off into the sunset.
Blake Garvey with mother Andrea.
This is the ‘getting to know you episode’, featuring the backstories of almost-too-good-to-be-true bachelor Blake Garvey and some of the contestants.
Netballer Holly was first cab off the rank and stumbled her way through nervous small talk with the bachelor. Finance consultant Sam nearly stacked it down the stairs, Emma F forgot his name and Amber was interesting because she’s from Canada.
With a bevy of beautiful girls hoping to catch Garvey’s eye, it’s no surprise some contestants employed some unusual tactics to get noticed. Design consultant Chantal got crafty with a handmade heart-shaped trinket, Lauren arrived on roller skates, Louise made her signature cocktail and Katrina sang more than competently.
Like season one, some of the ladies are bland while others might just have a screw loose. ‘Princess Diana’ is a five-year-old trapped in a 28-year-old body who thought it entirely appropriate to (literally) crown Garvey her ‘Prince Charming’. West Australian Samantha came on a little too strong with a creepy teddy bear and lingering stares.
The crazy baton has passed from season one bachelorette Ali to dog groomer Anita. To her credit, she admitted she’s a bit crazy, but expressed a hope that Garvey will find her quirks endearing. After drilling her name into Garvey’s head (“if you forget, just think ‘I need her’ and say it really fast”), she gave us the season’s first cringeworthy moment with the world’s worst attempt at a serenade. Anita spent the rest of the evening stalking her prey, even after she was initially rebuffed, though her persistence paid off.
Holly was the first to get a little one-on-one time with the man of the moment, but was soon interrupted by Kara and Tiarnar. These two seem early contenders for series villains, along with the aloof “edgy Audrey Hepburn” Laurina.
The first red rose went to playful musician Katrina, but there’s a twist. While the red roses guarantee a place in the next round, the single white rose is somewhat of an immunity token granting safe passage through the next two rose ceremonies.
Holly the netballer took that coveted prize, while bachelor Garvey dismissed awkward Samantha (WA), both Emmas (WA and VIC) and nurse Karla (NSW).
My early pick, #teamsam.
In a sentence …
It’s like The Bold and the Beautiful played out in real life – blind ambition, clashing egos, plenty of drama and ample eye candy.
Other than the gratuitous shots of the topless bachelor, Garvey’s straight-talking grandma is by far the most exciting and interesting woman on the show.
Anita’s hilariously awful singing, which seemed even worse when compared to the dulcet tones of Katrina.
Worth watching again?
There’s no middle ground here, you’ll either be repulsed by the show or you’ll be hooked. If it’s not for you, memorise a few names and you’ll be able to bluff your way through the inevitable water cooler conversation.