After an elongated recap of the previous episode, we open to the ladies having already moved into the mansion and artfully lounging around the courtyard waiting… for what, we wonder? And here it comes, the first date card.
Ellora seems like a smart girl, but it is hard to trust the judgement of a girl wearing big ol’ chunky heels to walk along SAND. We’ll forgive her for that however, because she said she doesn’t mind if it rains on their first date – she seems pretty damn low-maintenance. Turns out Ellora is a teeny bit more exotic than we first thought, as she’s of French descent, was born and grew up in Tahiti, and has been living in Hawaii. (Not exactly a gold medal for diversity for the producers, but they tried.) The folks at Instax should be pretty happy with their product placement deal, as Matty snaps a sweet selfie of the two of them with the Instax Mini70 as a reminder of this moment (and I’m guessing to also sell to the Daily Mail about a week before the season finale, to really keep us guessing).
Meanwhile back at the mansion, Jennifer is calling Ellora a threat and warning both Leah and Sian that while she loves them (really?), she would walk all over them for Matty’s heart.
A group date card arrives at the mansion, and Jennifer delights in announcing that Cobie, Liz, one of her personal faves Sian, Laura, Florence, Tara, Simone, Natalie, Leah, and her good self are headed off to ‘remember the first time they fell in love’.
Ellora and Matty are gazing at each other, before playing an annoying high school game of ‘what are you thinking?’ and Ellora starts talking about the temperature in the room rising. I like you, girl; but what on earth. This is dullsville. She then passes along a prompted question from the producers about how Matty is feeling about Georgia, and he gave a well-scripted answer designed to keep the peace in the Channel Ten stable. Wait, is Georgia still in the stable?
Matty is obviously concerned about ever having to move from Sydney, so he checks with Ellora that she doesn’t plan on travelling or moving on anytime soon, ignoring the fact that she throws the word ‘adventure’ into her answer. They trade a rose and a chaste kiss, and Ellora heads back to the mansion hoping to hide the fact that she’s head over heels by calling it ‘really real’.
Jennifer slugs a red wine, and proves herself to be incredibly jealous. (Remember Jennifer? She was the one who says that she’s not a jealous person.)
The group date takes the girls far away to a special location (the pool patio) to dress-up and enjoy a competitive fashion shoot for Women’s Day, which sounds to me like a special kind of hell. Also, who reads Women’s Day anymore? Seriously, are they not just reprinting early 90’s issues to bulk up the rubbish on medical centre coffee tables?
Florence prepares for her 80’s photo shoot with a lot of eyeshadow and some chewing gum in case of a sneaky pash; and Jennifer prepares by giving the other girls a LOT of grief about their hideous dresses before donning Straya’s ultimate non-sexy outfit – the red and yellow cap and rashie of our sunshine superheroes, volunteer lifesavers. Flo and Matty enjoyed great chemistry, before Jen jumped in the pool and tried to take over the shoot while the girls all side-eyed her.
Laura, Elizabeth, Natalie and Sian – the 80’s school formal shoot was fun and dorky and contained NO sexual tension, but Matty seemed to enjoy rocking the daggy dance moves with Laura. When Sian pulls out the Worm in her fuchsia sequin bubble dress, Matty seemed confused and impressed. Sian is officially friendzoned.
When Tara, Simone and Cobie come out wearing remnants of Glee’s cheer wardrobe, Matty’s little eyeballs almost explode; and when Simone gets some one-on-one time chatting to the man of the moment, Cobie is delighted as she’s not had many opportunities to talk to Matty while Leah (our resident show-off) rants about how Simone just wants to be the centre of attention.
When the photo shoot groups were announced, Leah terrified Matty by announcing that yes, THIS is happening; and then terrified the girls by wearing a Bad-Sandy outfit – leather leggings and jacket and all. the. blonde. curls. Matty delights everyone by pulling away from Leah as she moves in for a kiss, although she doesn’t seem self-aware enough to know he was REALLY off it.
The next day, Matty arrives at the mansion unexpectedly in a spunky little vintage sports car (which is much too small for two tall people) to take Lisa for a game of tennis; and she certainly dresses to impress in a country-club worthy white outfit. After about eleventy million lost serves, Matty listens to 12 seconds of Lisa’s coaching suggestions and aces it. A friendly game with a kiss and some Pimms at stake ends with Lisa giving a pity cheek kiss, and Matty looking around for some medical assistance and a solution to his clicking elbow (not a sound you ever need to hear on a dating show, BTW).
Lisa should feel robbed by the strawberries and Pimms promise, as there were obviously bikini strings attached – feeding each other whipped cream in the pool looked WAY less romantic than I think Matty had hope for. To remind us that we’re all here to find love, the traditional ‘What are you looking for in a partner’ conversation ensued, with the date rose given to Lisa, so she’s still a frontrunner.
And to the cocktail party… Jennifer starts by eating her feelings again and stating that Matty isn’t just there for the taking (has she seen this show before?), Florence reveals ALL THE LEG, and Leah turns as green as her dress as Ellora swoops in to take Matty for a chat and a kiss, even though she’s safe and holding a rose. Ellora keeps it clean, and says to Jennifer ‘I don’t think you’re very nice’, and somehow Jen manages to sound like she believes herself when she claims to be a bright and vibrant person. What?
Who receives roses:
Cobie, Alix (who is even taller than Lisa), Simone, Laura, Akoulina, Elise, Michelle, Sian, Elizabeth, Florence, Stephanie, Tara, Jennifer, Sharlene, Belinda, Natalie, Leah.
Who goes home:
Sweet Laura-Ann. I’m disappointed because she seemed like a closet party animal and that Italian fire just never got lit.
My style picks of the evening:
Lisa again, in this bombshell Wheels and Dollbaby rose gold sequin dress
Simone in this J’adore two piece was stunning, and hello abs! She could give Matty a run for his money with the whole washboard stomach situation.
I feel like I’m already choosing favourites, even though I know I should wait a little longer to commit my heart to one contestant. (Hang on, I feel like Matty should do the same!) And is it just me, or is Jennifer’s jealousy too painful already?