What a trip to *finally* find this ol’ WordPress log-in, folks!
Now, a LOT has changed in my life (and of course, we are all currently dealing as best we can with this COVID-19 pandemic), so things might not be entirely the same as they used to be here. But let’s give this blogging caper a crack again, eh Katy?
Anyone who knows me definitely wouldn’t think that my favourite F word would be fitness, but there you have it. 2018 is a year for surprises.
Maybe you’ve noticed that for the last 9 weeks, my Instagram stories have been less sweets, more sweat; less vanilla icecream, more vanilla protein; and you’d be right in thinking that I’ve changed. I really have. I’m hoping that it’s a forever change too – although let’s not get ahead of ourselves and be happy with where we’re at right now.
It all started in mid-January when I connected with Tamara, owner of new functional training gym PLC Maroochydore through a Facebook group, and she invited me to come along to the club’s launch that weekend. ‘Meh’, I thought… ‘Meh and no way.’ Fast forward 24 hours and I was puffed after getting the laundry in off the line, and was turning down a coffee date with friends I hadn’t seen in a year because I didn’t want them to see how much weight I’d put on.
‘Ok’, I messaged Tamara, ‘I’ll see you there!’
So off I went to the Saturday morning launch of PLC‘s first club on the Sunshine Coast. You can follow along with every nervous thought of that morning if you head to the PLC highlights in my Instagram stories, but the basic premise is that I was terrified and intimidated by the plethora of very fit folk turning up wearing teeny shorts, drinking green shakes and chatting about their pre-workout protein preferences. I mean, I’d just had a large serve of bacon and eggs on Turkish for breakfast, washed down with two coffees to prepare myself!
The workout itself absolutely slaughtered me, I had to stop after only one of three rounds, and I slunk off afterwards without chatting to Tamara, because I was so embarrassed at my lack of fitness. She reached out during the week after though to invite me back in for their regular sessions, and was really encouraging – and reminded me that of course everyone’s first workout would be hard. Well, duh Katy.
My first week at PLC was a bit of a blur. I went along once a day every day, and had my first InBody scan which is a way of measuring body composition… and if you think I’ll be sharing some of my ‘before’ figures and photos just yet, you’re sorely mistaken. The three main areas of focus for me were percentage of body fat and muscle mass, and my visceral fat level (that’s the icky yellow fat around our organs, the stuff that will eventually kill us). I was incredibly sad reading those results, I mean I’m 36 years old and have no reason not to look after my body, yet clearly I had ignored it for so long. What felt worse was knowing that over the last six or so years, I had worked in both the activewear and sport industries, and had been surrounded by innumerable people with the knowledge and encouragement to help me, yet I’d played the cynical part and kept rebuffing anyone’s friendly concerns. What a prime idiot I’d been. Imagine if I’d started this journey six years ago!
Fast forward to a month later, and while I hadn’t quite dedicated myself to a full program including nutrition support, I was attending two PLC functional circuit sessions every weekday, and was only shopping from around the outside of the supermarket – no processed food at all. My first four weekscan was pleasantly surprising, I lost 2.5kg of body fat, gained a little muscle mass (which was fine as I was only looking to maintain that level), and lost a visceral fat level. I was off to a slow but satisfactory start.
For the next four weeks, I committed to the PLC nutrition program which consists of a series of Yor Health products and 60/30/10 meals, and my daily nutrition looked a little something like this:
• Yor Health Supergreens + Berry Blast + Fibre shake for breakfast
• small Yor Health protein shake after morning workout (this is actually delish and I look forward to it every day!)
• YouFoodz lunch
• piece of fruit or small bowl of steamed vegies for afternoon tea
• YouFoodz dinner
I had previously tried YouFoodz and really love them for the convenience factor (with a husband who works away, I’m always looking for an easy way to prepare food for just me), and once Dion and Tamara from PLC helped me make some good YouFoodz choices (hot tip, pasta is not your friend), lunch and dinner every day were sorted.
I’m just about to wrap up my tenth week of attending PLC twice a day every weekday, and was excited about hearing my results this week – my body feels incredibly different, both in the shape and fit of clothing, and also in strength and ability. I have bruises on my thighs from kettlebells, and callouses on my hands from deadlifts and pushups. I need new sneakers because my current ones are too slippery for lunges and bear crawls, and I have started to wear my hair in boxer braids because I’m sick of sweaty hair all over me. This is the new Katy, the one who doesn’t really care what bouncy young 20 yearolds think of me, because the people who love me are getting a better version of me.
Since January 16 and in just 10 weeks, I’ve lost 7.8kg body fat, gained 900g of muscle mass, lost 6.3cm off my waist (where most of my visceral fat hangs out), and have dropped 4 visceral fat levels. I have a whole new daily routine, I have new friends who support and encourage me, and I’ve dragged a few friends along to PLC as well. It’s not a reality television show, but it IS a journey, and it’s to be expected that I use a few pithy sentiments now and again.
Huge props must go to my mate Bella who I managed to persuade to come along with me (I think that telling her she gets to laugh at me on battle ropes is what got her over the line) – she is a million years younger and fitter than me, but constantly encourages and supports me, while still pushing herself with massive weights and fast reps. Bella has also had some super results too, so congratulations kiddo!
I can only share about my personal PLC experience, and I am delighted to report that it has been 100% positive. The high-fiving and RnB music took a while to get used to and is certainly well out of my comfort zone, but usually I’m too busy counting down those last ten seconds to think about it, and I only harass Dion maybe once a week to please play an old-school rock soundtrack. (He ignores me, but I’m ever-optimistic.) And to update you on my stamina, I have been able to finish every workout since that first one – no more slinking off a third of the way through!
With a history of scoliosis (a triple curvature of my spine means touching my toes is a pipedream) and knee issues (thanks for the torn meniscus, netball), I always knew that I wouldn’t be able to do all the stations in most of the workouts, but I always feel supported to adapt them to lower-impact exercises, and am still pushed to my limits. Remember that time I succeeded at a box jump? I know I’ll never forget it! (Although I haven’t done one since, so there’s that. One day.)
There’s no danger of me becoming a health and fitness blogger so I will leave it to the PLC pros to explain more about their workouts, nutrition program and schedule if you’re interested, so head over to their Facebook or Instagram pages where you can see live workouts and ask the coaches anything. You might even see me pumping iron in the background!
If you’re local (or maybe if you’re not – PLC have clubs at Northgate, Pittsworth, Morningside, Toowoomba, Burleigh, Carrum Downs, Coomera and are opening soon at Caloundra), and would like to know more, search out PLC on social media, there’s a whole tribe of passionate folk posting info and photos, and message a coach for a free one week trial at a club near you. Sunshine Coasters, I’m always looking for people to throw a medicine ball at, so if you want to join me for a session, you’re welcome any time!
*My membership and nutrition products have been generously gifted by PLC Maroochydore, but all opinions are my own. I’m under no obligation to provide a positive review, I am sharing because I truly believe that what I’m doing at PLC is working, and I love it.
There’s no question that statement earrings are having a major moment this Summer. Whether it’s colourful tassels or fun acrylic dangles, I’m obsessed with this accessory trend. I’ve rounded up my favorite statement earrings of the season, and already have a few of these pairs in my earring wardrobe. (Note: the best kind of earring wardrobes come from Bon Maxie and MijMoj Design.)
Size matters but so does comfort, so the latest lightweight earrings are right up my alley – no lobestretch here! Another reason I love a statement earring… they distract from tired eyes or even a bad hair day.
Trainee Mama wears Lovisa white tassel earrings, I’m wearing $4 Kmart tassel dangles.
I love a neutral tassel with EVERYTHING – all colours, all prints, it’s all good. I especially love a neutral tassel made of natural raffia. Perfection.
Now this is my go-to earring style, I love playful styles with a little sense of humour! I’m wearing Lindy Lou Frida dangles* and Sqwark earrings* from Spotting Unicorns. Think palm trees, birds and animals, even undersea creatures!
It’s that time of year again – Christmas Party season!
Every year, November brings with it the search for the perfect affordable and stylish dress to wear to work and social occasions.
These are some of my favorite dresses under $80 (some even under $60!), with key trends covered like off-the-shoulder (OTS isn’t going anywhere this Summer), ruffle sleeve and quirky prints. And I’m amazed, there’s not a stripe amongst them!
The navy B Collection Broderie dress from Big W is the perfect budget option for a work Christmas party, while I love the floaty boho style of the Erin Louise maxi and Chasing Case pattern dress for casual family barbeques by the water. And the quirky Santa-hat-wearing flamingos of the Mandy Little Party Dress are fabulous for ANY festive celebration!
Which is your favorite? I don’t think I can go past the flamingo LPD, or the Amy Pineapple shift! (Predictable, I know!)
Ok, so I know I’ve said before that I’m a pretty casual no-makeup kind of girl… but I still love being pampered. I think it’s super important to spend time on yourself and do what makes you feel beautiful.
I have previously had lash extensions, but whilst I loved the dramatic look of them on the day they were applied, they very quickly began to fall out, taking my natural lashes with them. I had been thinking about getting lash extensions again recently, but was nervous, and not sure I could deal with the patchiness and spidery look between appointments. Then I spotted my friend and fellow Sunshine Coast blogger Natalie Tink (AKA Miss Monogram) looking fresh as a daisy with gorgeous long natural-looking lashes, and she gushed about Janice of Blink! the Eyelash Expert*!
Fate was kind, and Janice actually reached out to me to ask if I’d like to try a set of her lashes, and I agreed… with a little trepidation. Janice works out of Soul Ocean Spa at Ramada Marcoola (the ol’ Surfair for longtime Coasties) and a skin clinic in Mooloolaba, as well as being mobile. That’s right, she can COME TO YOUR HOUSE!
Because I am a sucker for a day spa visit, I trotted along to Soul Ocean Spa which is only 5 minutes from my place, and immediately felt right at home – this place is a hidden treasure on the Sunshine Coast! With plenty of lush plants and gorgeous tropical decor, it’s a stunning spot to get pampered.
Janice asked me to be open and honest about what I wanted from my lashes, and since I am pretty minimal with makeup, I wanted them to look very natural and nothing too dramatic. I also wanted to make sure they wouldn’t look clumpy or spidery at all! After a quick chat, it was time for a nap. Seriously… I have fallen asleep within 5 minutes of every appointment, as it’s just so relaxing!
I feel so much more confident even when I’m not wearing makeup. I can just run out the door and run my errands without really having to worry about putting on makeup since the lashes make my eyes look brighter and fresher – and there’s no mascara residue casting a shadow under my eyes.
With all that said, I am SO happy with my experience with Janice from Blink! the Eyelash Expert, she really is an expert. Janice has really customised my lashes to my face and lifestyle, and certainly won’t apply lashes that are too long and heavy that would damage my natural ones. I will share a ‘how to look after your lashes’ post shortly, and can tell you that it’s super-simple really. Just keep ’em dry after application and a few brushes a day!
Don’t just take it from me, all of Blink! the Eyelash Extension’s reviews are outstanding and I can see why! If you’re looking for a freshen up for Summer – I love that I can swim makeup-free and not look like a panda – then contact Janice and let her know I sent you, for an exclusive discount on your first appointment!
Osher welcome us to the stunning and romantic islands of the Kingdom of Thailand, and reminds us that just two girls remain. Math is not my strong point, so I’m super-appreciative for the memo.
We watch Matty board the Air Asia plane, and he ponders the time he’s spent with each girl as he gazes out the window on the Tarmac. Not for the last time, were told that this is the hardest decision he’s ever had to make.
(Anyone else wondering if Elise and Laura are seated next to each other on the plane?)
Before either of the girls show up, Matty had some alone time with his family. I want to take a minute to point out here that I know not everybody is a fan of Matty. I certainly wasn’t at the start of the season, but I think he’s a genuine guy looking for love (or at least a hot date for this year’s Spring Racing Carnival).
Elise arrives and greets the family (Matty’s mum and brothers) really warmly, makes small talk and discovers that Matty’s mum Ellie played hockey back in the day. Brother Tom takes Elise aside and immediately grills her, more intensely than most job interviews I’ve been on! His first question is the incredibly rude ‘how many lovers have you had?’ – WHAT THE ACTUAL? Elise handles herself well with Tom, and is comfortable sharing her love of family. Matty’s mum Ellie enjoys Elise’s gentle, warm and vibrant nature, and even offers up any of her other three sons if Matty doesn’t choose Elise in the final Rose ceremony.
Laura has a hard act to follow after the family’s love fest with Elise and she feels the pressure early on, and fills all the available space with words. All the space.
She doesn’t let any of Matty’s family get a word in, and when Matty goes she speak, she even talks over him! Brother Tom picks up on her nerves and decides to home in on her weaknesses, comparing Laura’s driven independence and lack of hobbies to Elise’s well-rounded and more stable life.
After chatting with Laura, Mum Ellie says Laura is articulate, what? Are watching the same girl?
Matty gets no clear guidance from his family, and whilst Elise seems to fit in the best, Mum seems won over by Laura’s clumsy efforts to impress.
For their last date, Matty meets Elise on a huge motor cruiser on the Andaman sea, under a grey and threatening sky. He tells her how delighted he was to see her fit in so well with his family, and she’s says that she loves him, he confuses it as a cue for ‘I want to make out’. I hate it when that happens.
They paddle to a deserted island beach, and more sharing follows, surrounded by the trappings of a tropical picnic, before they take a dip. As they spend the evening together, Elise voices her concerns about it possibly being their last night together, and Matty kisses her again – and says nothing to ease her worries. Mate, you can give a LITTLE. Ben Flajnik actually told girls he loved them on the US Bachelor, so it’s not impossible.
Laura is thrilled that their final date is a scenic helicopter ride, and they fly into the mist over the Thai jungle, over the beautiful limestone islands and brightly floating fishing villages, to land at an elephant sanctuary.
As Matty is explaining about the rescued elephant fasai, Laura interrupts him – stop it, girl! They give Fasai a wash, and then passionately kiss in the water RIGHT NEXT TO THE ELEPHANT. NOPE. If it’s not culturally insensitive, at the very least it’s putting them at risk of dysentery.
They’re then punted down the river on a bamboo raft as it rains, and Laura doesn’t stop laughing. Not once. Australia is bored of Laura’s laugh, for sure.
I’d really like to know who was in charge of shipping all the fairy lights to Thailand, because they are everywhere in the garden where Matty takes Laura to lay on a daybed and kiss. Honestly, it’s gotta be a fulltime job in the props team.
We watch both the girls get ready for the final Rose Ceremony, and not a soul is surprised by Laura’s choice of a creamy white beaded crop top and maxi skirt combo. Elise reverts to her first-night style, wearing a glittery gown with a train and a thigh-high split.
Matty slowly does his shirt buttons up, very VERY slowly, and keeps checkIng the Larsen engagement ring box in his pocket, before meeting Osher at the petal-strewn garden terrace where the ceremony will take place.
Osher asks what’s different about him since that first night back at the mansion, and Matty replies that he’s now in love. Nawww. Fortunately it’s not lost on Matty that he’s been on the receiving end of this position before, and doesn’t want to hurt the girl hasn’t won his heart.
The first girl out of the boat onto the beach is Elise. (Remember, if you’ve ever watched the show before, you know that being the first out of the limo/boat/seaplane/train/tandem bike on finale day isn’t a good thing.)
The second Elise walks up to him, he looks like he is going to vomit. And Elise can tell that she’s not the one.
He reminisces about the first night they met, and how their slow start gave them a great foundation, and tells her that she is incredibly worthy of finding true love, but it’s not with him. She thanks him for the journey, and wishes him well.
Elise leaves with dignity intact, and quietly and tearfully wonders if it was worth the risk, and you just know that her dad is gonna be calling Matty up for a quiet word.
Laura is next to step barefoot out of the boat and briefly speaks to Osher about her thoughts and fears before walking up to the garden terrace.
The minute he sees her, Matty’s face lights up, but manages to put her off the scent. He confesses that he loves her, and Laura is shocked and surprised that he’s not sending her home. He asks for her RIGHT hand, and gives her a whopping great diamond PROMISE ring.
Sidenote: I feel like the eclectic jewellery designer might want something a little more unique than a diamond solitaire (not me, mate – I love my solo stone), perhaps a pear morganite?
And that’s a wrap on this season, and I am both glad it’s over and slightly resentful that wasted so much time and stuck it out. Thanks for joining me, folks.
Here’s hoping Sophie Monk’s Bachelorette season is more entertaining. At the very least, there’s more eye candy for us all!
We’re getting to the pointy end of the dullest season ever, and with three girls left, it’s time for Matty to whittle it down to a final two.
The Bachelor producers checked their notes and realised we haven’t seen much of Matty’s abs for a few episodes, so we open to a shirtless Bachelor pondering his three ladies while wistfully looking out to the ocean.
Fortuitously, Laura is also standing by the beach, contemplating how much she should tell Matty about her feelings for him, when he pulls up in a convertible Cobra, wearing a regrettable shearling and denim jacket.
Laura seems delighted when Matty pulls up at a headland and tells her that they’re going to jump off a cliff go paragliding. Because that’s exactly what we all want to do when we’re trying to decide who we want to spend the rest of our life with! (Not at all… I would like to chat and find out what their bathroom cupboard looks like, and maybe chat about whether Vegemite belongs in the pantry or the fridge. Priorities, folks.)
As they fly through the sky, whirling across the water, Laura and Matty both squeal and holler, getting more and more close emotionally (again, that’s sarcasm, people).
After their adventure in the sky, Matty takes Laura to a fairy-lit garden to chat, and presents her with a sketched portrait of her that he’s been working on. Anyone else sceptical? It’s no Archibald Prize entry, but its eons ahead of his last effort.
Laura is moved by the gesture and opens up to Matty, telling him that she’s definitely falling for him, and he reciprocates with a long kiss.
Matty rides in the engine of a steam train to meet Elise at Thirlmere Station, and greets her as if he’s returning from war, scooping her around the waist and pulling her in close. All the romantic feels, folks. Except it’s more friendly fun, less fiery passion.
They talk and kiss for the entire afternoon train ride out to the campfire, where we’re mercifully spared the fairylights and silk flowers, and instead the area is lit by the flickering campfire and plenty of lamps. Matty pulls out a giant bowl of marshmallows, which may well be the highlight of the episode for me.
Again, the conversation quickly turns to how much Elise cares for Matty, and she also shares that she can see a future for them, and even more importantly, she’s falling in love with him. Yes, she’s the first to say ‘falling in love’!
Tara’s date kicks off with a seaplane, and yep, she runs down the pontoon and hollers ‘Oh sick! Matty and a seaplane, my two favourite things!’ Really, Tara? They’re your favourite things? (I would argue that she’s never met my puppy and eaten a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.)
They take a scenic flight around Sydney Harbour, before landing in the water and disembarking onto a yacht to watch the sunset and drink champagne. Just a standard Bachelor date, really.
The producers return to the fairy lit scenario, with Matty and Tara smashing another cheese platter before Tara confesses her deep affection for Matty. Matty shares that he can’t imagine saying goodbye to Tara, leaving us thinking that it’s got to be the late favourite Elise going home tonight.
The last rose ceremony in the mansion brings out Osher’s golden vocals, and he huskily-whispers that Matty only has two roses to hand out tonight.
Who receives roses:
Laura and Elise.
Who goes home:
Tara. The GC nanny who called Matty ‘mate’ on their first date, Tarz is a fan favourite who will definitely be in the running for future Bachelorette series. As Matty walks her to the limo, he reminisces on their fun time together, and his voice cracks as he bids her goodbye. If Matty chooses who the Daily Mail reports he chooses, then he is going to regret saying goodbye to Tara!
Tara brings the Gold Coast’s blingy reputation to the mansion in this sequinned Ziolkowski gown – and there’s no mistaking this golden girl for a meter maid!
This episode starts with a very rushed feeling, with our Bachelor Matty going straight to the Gold Coast to meet Tara at Movie World before opening hours, and Matty seems more excited about not having to line up in queues for rides than he is to see Tara. (Can’t blame him for his honesty. Those queues are a beast.)
They scream through roller coaster rides and toss quoits at Sideshow Alley, before strolling to a picnic – with the obligatory giant teddy bear under Tara’s arm. She gives the rundown on her family, and she warns him that brother Troy may be a little protective.
Side note, for the visit to her family, Tara is wearing my favourite Mister Zimi tropical print skirt with a flouncy yellow off the shoulder top. Love it!
They enter the family home and Tara’s niece and nephews are delighted to see their aunty, and we can see straight away that her family is close. Troy then interrupts Matty and Tara’s joint ‘first meeting’ story to take him outside for a chat with the boys. Tara’s bro calls Matty out almost immediately, asking outright if he’s going to pick Tara; and when Matty answers that he just doesn’t know yet, Troy calls him a liar!
At dinner, everyone seems a little more settled, and Tara is obviously reveling in time with her family although Tara’s older sister whisks Matty away to ask some straightforward (but not unexpected) questions. While trying to sell Tara to Matty, she says ‘she’s just a girl, mate’, leaving us in no doubt that she is in fact Tara’s sister.
Now, seasoned viewers of the Bachelor will know that this episode follows a particular format, with each lady professing her love for the Bachelor, although they won’t hear it in return. And of course, the girl who holds her emotions in the most, won’t make it through to the final three.
Tara does what she’s supposed to, and both tells Matty that she can see herself falling in love with him, and also cries as he leaves. Double emotion, well played Tara. The goodbye kiss was very lingering, so there’s also that working in her favour.
The Bachelor producers try to fool us with the opening scenes of the next hometown date featuring a Dutch windmill and country garden with push bikes with tulips and cheese wheels in the bike baskets, and all of a sudden we’re transported to Amsterdam.
But we’re not, we’re in Melbourne, at Windmill Gardens. Florence and Matty embark on a little bike tour together (although you can’t fool me, the Dutch don’t wear helmets) before enjoying Dutch beers and a picnic.
As Florence’s family couldn’t make the trip from the Netherlands, Matty and florence visit her Dutch friends Maja and Marlies. Marlies opens with a strong punch, implying that Matty is only in it for the fame, then follows through with loaded questions about Matty liking more than one girl. (Did you ask these heavy questions of Florence, Marlies? Did you?) Marlies seems unconcerned that her implications around Florence maybe wanting to leave Australia one day might put Matty off.
As Florence bids Matty goodbye, she too reads the flash cards held up by her producers and tells Matty that she’s falling in love with him. The kiss goodbye is just a peck however, so viewers are definitely led to believe that Florence may be leaving tonight.
Elise’s family live in South Australia and we see Matty meet her on a blustery cliff, and it looks like they’ve both raided Oshers bomber jacket wardrobe. The navy and khaki combo they’re both wearing is just adorable, and so on trend right now. Elise leads Matty to an even windier spot along the headland to stand and chat, which seems pointless.
Now, as soon as Matty meets Elise’s parents and siblings on the verandah, it looks like a Myer catalogue, with all those white teeth and pressed chinos. Mum Marie heads into the kitchen and Matty generously (and sensibly) offers to join her and give her a hand while she lightly grills him and he lightly mashes the potato.
Dad Phil seems like he’s ready to give Elise’s hand in marriage and the evening is the smoothest yet. Will Elise confess her love for Matty? Not quite, as she just tells him how much he means to her, but doesn’t use the L-word, before they kiss and Matty departs for his final date.
Stop everything. Laura has rescued a three-legged dog named Buster. HERES THE TRUE LOVE STORY, FOLKS.
Laura lives quite close to Matty, so they both have the hometown advantage now. After meeting on the beach, they stroll along the beach to a picnic and Laura shares that Matty will be meeting three generations of her family. Laura’s grandies are adorable, and give Matty their blessing almost immediately.
Sister Alicia asks Matty the responsible yet tough questions, and they bond more than grill, which is refreshing. As Laura chats privately with Alicia afterwards, she expresses hesitation about telling him how she feels, and is reassured by her sister that she should tell him.
As they kiss goodbye, Matty asks Laura if she feels 100 % into this, and she turns it around and asks him if HE does. Oh Laura. No, sweety. Matty can’t actually share his feelings, it’s a reality show.
He gives enough almost imperceptible head nods to let Laura know that she’s safe, and leaves to go make ‘the hardest decision so far’.
Who receives roses:
Elise, Tara and Laura
Who goes home:
Florence. After plenty of hugs from the ladies, Florence leaves quietly and starts preparing for Spring racing season. You gotta admit you just KNOW she’ll be wearing the best fascinators in the birdcage this year. The highlight of the episode’s Rose Ceremony is the warm and comforting hand that Osher gently places in the small of Matty’s back.
Apart from Tara’s fabulous Mister Zimi skirt, I was left underwhelmed, so no style pick this episode.
This episode has a VERY speedy feel to it, with fewer throws to camera and group chats between the women, waiting for something to happen. Straight away, all the women are on the evening’s first group date, which is all about self awareness, and fittingly they’re all competing to win a date with Matty to go watch the most self aware man on Twitter, James Blunt. (Seriously, even if you don’t like his music, follow him. He’s a salty delight.) Let’s not forget, it’s in the Nova Red Room. In case you were wonderful which radio station will be getting the Bachelor exclusives.
Matty asks some questions based on how the girls like to think of themselves, and the ladies rank themselves.
Who is the funniest (in order): Tara, Florence, Elise, Cobie, Laura, Elora
Who is the most down to earth – Elise and Elora battle it out for top spot, as the girls remind Elora that being a spiritual sage-burning hippie doesn’t make you down to earth.
Adventurous – again, Elora refuses to budge for Florence in the top spot.
Positive – Cobie is given this honour, with no questions asked.
Honest – Florence jumps straight to the top, for her no-holds-barred attitude.
Considerate – Elora refused to even state her case, which ironically meant that Laura and Florence considerately moved down a step to be lower on the compromise ladder.
With Laura and Tara out after this round, the remaining four ladies have to go through a list of deal breakers and choose the relationship deal breakers most important to themselves, to match to Matty’s top five deal breakers, which are:
Not wanting to have children
With a draw between Elora, Elise and Florence, Matty announces his tie-breaker deal dreaker – being incompatible in the bedroom. Florence is out, and both Elora and Elise move through to the next round, where they need to write declarations of what they’re after in a relationship and read them out to Matty in a mock wedding ceremony room, with the remaining girls watching on from the Bachelor mansion.
Elise’s heartfelt wishlist is moving and honest, and she shares about her desire for a family man, a best friend, and a partner to walk in life with. The ladies watching on are moved as well, and it’s a stark contrast to Elora’s very intense and confident vows, all about spice and passion and being lovers. She’s got one thing on her mind, for sure.
Matty really connects with Elise’s sweet declaration, and invites her to the special Blunty concert, but first they enjoy a chat about vulnerability, and Matty has the upcoming hometown dates on his mind. Having already met and enjoyed time with Elise’s dad, Matty obviously wants to get in on their Mexican Christmas dress-up parties.
James comes in and turns out that Matty and James are on first name terms, which sounds as awkward as it looks. Matty and Elise kiss and sweet James sneaks off to leave them alone to pash, in a room full of musicians and cameramen and lighting techs and producers. But the gesture is nice, so there’s that.
For the episode’s single date, Matty really wants to get to know Cobie more intimately and move past the friend-zone, so he invites her to join him on a high ropes course. What? She’s scared of heights, which of course Matty and the producers didn’t know when they planned this date.
Even though she’s obviously nervous, Cobie doesn’t fall into the frightened squealing and ‘I’m so scared’ trap rubbish that so many Bachelor contestants thrown into a safety harness have succumbed to, and she and Matty climb down from the trees to enjoy a fruit platter and cider together. As she’s previously shared, Cobie expresses that she’s terrified of falling for Matty. A producer just off screen prompts her to open up and declare her intentions, just before Matty lets her down gently.
Poor Cobie, she doesnt see it coming, and Matty lets her know that he just doesn’t feel a spark between them. Cobie leaves upset but certainly doesn’t embarrass herself by begging or blubbering. Atta girl. (It’s how the girls leave that really gains my respect.)
As the girls wait (reclining glamorously) for Matty and Cobie to return, Osher arrives to let them know that Matty has sent her home directly from their date.
Elora expresses shock and sadness about the Cobie situation (which actually is a big fat lie, she’s delighted), and the rest of the ladies are speechless, especially when they hear that there will be no cocktail party and the rose ceremony will take place imminently.
Who receives roses:
Elise, Tara, Laura and Florence
Who goes home:
Elora. And my word, the goodbyes are more dramatic than previous weeks. Matty wisely uses the ‘I want you to be free’ excuse, which I’m guessing most midriff-baring, abrasive, Tahitian fire-twirlers have been on the receiving end of before, and which is also probably code for ‘you’re not really the kind of girl I could take home to meet my family’.
(Also, Tara whispers to Elora just after he picks Florence, ‘It’s ok’, which delights all of the internet. Is that a withering glance we see there, Tara?)
It’s such a shame that the rose ceremony is so short and sweet, most of the girls really look smokin’ hot tonight. Tara’s lace Asilio jumpsuit definitely deserves more airtime!
Rumour mill: The internet has been abuzz all week with production-leaked gossip that Matty and Elora DID spend the evening together in the eco-cabin on their second date together, which certainly makes this episode more interesting. It would also explain why Elora was so shocked that Matty wouldn’t kiss her at last week’s cocktail party!
‘Can you actually believe that there’s only seven of us left?’, asks Lisa. Yes Lisa, yes we can. This season actually feels like it started back in 1998, all the single eliminations are wearing thin, and all of Australia is ready for a big cull. Osher enters wearing a maroon bomber, talking about hometown visits, and pulls out a a single date card.
The date card reads ‘Last time we fell for one another, let’s now take things to new heights’, and all eyes are on our little Dutch girl as her previous single date started with rappelling from a tall building.
It turns out that the producers haven’t spent ALL the budget on Moroccan lamps, as Matty flies in and picks up Florence up in a helicopter, for a scenic flight over Sydney, to a lavender garden with two pottery wheels. (Real life, right. I go to those places all the time.)
As they throw clay and Matty uses his surprising pottery experience (he was a potter from age 6-12, and even won a couple of awards), we have an almost-Ghost moment, as Matty slides in behind Florence to help her with her vase. I’m guessing the budget couldn’t stretch to paying royalties to use the Righteous Brothers’ Unchained Melody’, as the soundtrack for this special moment is provided by the usual Bachelor violin quartet.
Thanks to the Bachelor prop team, there’s a couch in the bush – an actual couch – and there’s definitely a lot of chemistry as they chat about their clay-time. Florence admits to having feelings growing for Matty, and he shares that he really admires her honesty and fearlessness.
Here it comes, the kiss and rose. Although where’s the Bachelor rose blanket? Matty is distracted Florence from the blanket by asking her to fetch him a fig from the fruit platter.
The following day, our seven remaining ladies all turn up to the group date in activewear, and Elora’s boxing braids show she means business – especially if the opportunity arises for her to get rough with Matty. Also, there’s a LOT of midriff.
Osher invites the girls to write their fears about falling in love on a timber board, and then they meet Michael, a boxing coach and take out some of their frustrations. Even without Osher’s generous introduction, we can guess that Michael has a history of boxing, the poor fellow has the classic cauliflower ears going on.
One by one, the girls take jabs at each other and at Matty, and Lisa manages to get in a low blow, knocking Matty to the ground. An excuse to get close and wrestle him? Of course it is.
As Michael demonstrates, the girls are going to punch through the timber they’ve written their fears on, to help them symbolically move past those fears. Cobie volunteers to go first, and reading her personal thoughts out loud brings her to tears, before she smashes through her board.
One by one, the girls smash through their timber, and Matty is moved by Tara’s honesty and picks her for a one on one date. They head to the city for a night on a rooftop with a personal chef who makes them fresh Pad Thai, and I’m stoked to finally be watching a date that looks closer to a real date. (Also, we’ve swapped out the Moroccan lamps for Asian red paper shades, which is a lovely change.) Tara shares that she’s keen as a bean to take Matty home to meet the family, and I’m sure I’m not the only girl who reckons that Christmas lunch at Tara’s house would be a hoot!
At the cocktail party, Matty takes Cobie for a chat in the Secret Garden and he surprises her with a Rose, and thanks her for opening up and sharing her vulnerability during the group date.
Elora sees this as a challenge, and whisks Matty away for a chat, then tries to steal a sneaky pash at the cocktail party – which Matty turns down… making him the first Bachelor in television history to turn down any kind of sexytime action.
Who receives roses:
Florence, Cobie, Tara, Elise, Laura and Elora
Who goes home:
Lisa. The leggy blonde was Matty’s first favourite, but without a second single date, they never had a chance to kick up the chemistry.