‘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.
Laura’s navy Zachary the Label dress is the best of a dull bunch this evening.