The fairy lights are lit, and the Bachelor mansion lounge room is full of ladies reclining elegantly, sipping Skinny Tea (look, that’s a bold assumption, but I stand by it), and we open with a serious discussion about how 10 girls is a lot less than 13 girls. We also see some real insecurity from our bolshy Jen, wondering when she’ll get the single date she’s wanted for so long.
Alas, Osher delivers a group date card for Jen, Simone, Elise and Cobie, and with the mention of home comforts, talk turns to the possibility that they’ll be feeding Matty.
‘Obviously I’m a great cook’, Jen says. Um, what makes it obvious that you can cook? I *look* like I can cook, but that doesn’t mean I have any culinary skills. What is this unseen but obviously clear sign that someone can cook?
When the girls arrive at yet another enormous mansion, they are brought to tears by Osher and Matty advising them that each of them has one of their parents there to join them on this group date. (I can’t think of anything worse, not least because both my feminist parents would firmly denounce the Bachelor producers for the completely contrived emotional trauma which showcases antiquated heteronormative relationship ideals. Thanks folks.)
Poor Simone confesses immediately that her mum can’t cook, and they all sit down for a drink BEFORE heading into the kitchen in pairs (which doesn’t bode well for those cooking last… drunk cooking helps nobody but the chef).
As Elise and her straight-shooting dad Phil start cooking a seafood dish, the rest of the families chat outside, and of course the parents are grilling their daughters about how much time they’ve had with Matty. It’s awkward as can be, when the girls are all gushy and ‘Oh, I really like him, he’s so great’, then the parentals dig further and find out that their beloved baby girls have only had a handful of short chats.
Remember that Matty loved Elise’s Mexican-Christmas family pic from the fishing game? Well, she definitely looks like the frontrunner in the normal family front. Phil is asking regular dad-questions, and there’s not too much drama. They serve up a delish-looking seared tuna salad – which of course Jen hates. Meh.
Simone and her mum Lorraine look like a blonde comedy of errors in the kitchen, while Cobie and her father Brad have a super-comfortable relationship, and Matty seems to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere with them. Jen and her mother (less overbearing than you’d expect) whip up a deconstructed Banoffee dessert, and I’m surprised that there’s been no crazy salt-for-sugar swapping by Jen to sabotage the other girls. Matty selects Elise for some more one-on-one time, and Jen is predictably shocked and sulky.
As Matty and Elise chat, he opens up about how comfortable he feels with her, and gives her a rose. The kiss that follows is a little less than passionate, but I’m just hoping that it’s because Elise is a sensible soul and refuses to get pash rash on national television.
The next morning, the women are interrupted at breakfast by Matty riding up on a beautifully pom-pom adorned camel, and he invites Tara to join him. She drops a few four-letter words as they get up and ride off down the mansion driveway, and Matty reassures her that he knows exactly what he’s doing, as this is his first time on a camel too!
When they arrive at their Moroccan pop-up tent, they’re greeted by a decent array of Moroccan tea and lanterns (I feel like the props team placed an accidentally-huge order for these, so thought ‘How can we use ’em all?’)
They chat and enjoy a few glasses of spiced tea before a surprise visitor turns up – a belly dance instructor! All of Australia cringes, and Matty confesses he’s an awful dancer. We have to agree, mate.
Holding hands, Matty and Tara relax after the awkwardness of the dancing, and he probes to find out more about her sensitive side. They talk about their similar values and future family plans, and they share a kiss and a rose exchange – which is about ten times more passionate than his earlier exchange with Elise.
As Matty and Tara return to the Bachelor mansion to join the cocktail party, Jen mentions that they’re holding hands like brother and sister. Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ve never held hands and looked up from under my fluttery lashes at my brother, so that’s a strong no from me. On Tara’s insistence, Matty gives the ladies a demonstration of his newfound dancing skills. Again, don’t dance Matty. Just don’t do it.
Jen takes Matty away to shove a dessert platter at him, and it’s uncomfortable viewing to see her talking to Matty about her lack of time with him, and she sounds like it is all about the competition for her, not the chemistry. She also finishes his sentences, which is THE WORST. (It’s also my worst habit, so I shouldn’t judge.)
The rose ceremony seems even more Moroccan-lantern-lit this evening, but I might be imagining things.
Who receives roses:
Tara, Elise, Cobie, Lisa, Laura, Florence, Jen, Simone and Elora.
Who goes home:
Michelle. Without a single date, Michelle’s aloofness did her no favours; the girls all seem pretty sad to see her go, so she was obviously a decent lady. Also, there’s no limo camera this episode.
Elise is the real winner of this episode, wearing a gorgeous navy Winona playsuit that I freaking adore!