Abbie has to be the most complicated villain we’ve ever seen on The Bachelor Australia.

She’s absolutely the villain at the moment – at least, in the way the show and it’s genius producers have framed her. Why is she a villain? Well, she goes after what she wants – Matt, time with Matt, winning challenges to get time with Matt. Nothing will stop her, especially not other women in the mansion like Elly getting teary because they really, really feel they need time with Matt.

I’ve had a bit of a rollercoaster ride in terms of how I perceive Abbie. At first, she seemed like a really bubbly, pretty woman who got along super well with the Bachie. Then, she threw Monique under the bus over the whole dogcunt saga, which seemed like poor form to me – why dob on someone else in the mansion, why not just focus on your own budding relationship with the guy?

But beyond that, which was now weeks ago (in Bachelor years, that’s months) all Abbie has done to prove her villainous nature is to put herself first.

Let’s look at the current drama – Abbie convinces Elly to give HER the date card with Matt, because Elly has had several solo hangs with Matt and Abbie says she had things she needed to communicate to Matt.

This is the moment that throws me a bit feelings-wise.

On one hand, she straight-up fucking lied to Elly to secure the date card. She clearly had nothing she needed to desperately say to Matt because she ended up eating cheese and laughing. Which is, to me, a totally valid use of solo time with the guy – the entire point of this show is to see if you and this Bachelor are a vibe or not, and constant D&M convos are not the way to work that out.

But if she were doing things in an honest fashion, she would have just told Elly she felt she needed more time with Matt to get to know him. I can’t help but feel she knew exactly what she was doing – pretending to have ~things she needed to say~. It’s fine to express your own anxieties about time-with-Matt but manipulating kinda moves you into demon territory.

But! Here’s the devil’s advocate side – the crux of the Abbie issue is that Abbie put herself before Elly when she just wanted to hang with Matt. It’s like a form of “you broke girl code”, because Abbie was meant to feel bad for Elly and let her have the time to say whatever she needed to say.

But what the fuck even is “girl code” in this TV show situation? I get that you’ll make friends because you’re stuck with these 28 women for a while, and some of them are going to be your kinda people. But if you were at this point and really liked the guy, why WOULDN’T you be doing everything in your power to grab snatches of his time when you can? Like Abbie has said before, she’s not here to make friends, she’s here because she wanted to find love.

Even tonight, we saw what happens when you don’t take initiative and get in there. Kristen had been hanging back for weeks – she had her solo date with Matt and then it seemed like she just coasted along, not wanting to be grabby or pushy. She had a really cute date, but he ended up booting her because he’d ALSO had cute dates with other women, who had then been going out of their way to express how they were feeling and show him they were in it 100% by trying to get extra time with him.

Whether you like it or not that’s the premise of this show – one dude, a bunch of potential partners. He’s not going to be able to get to know them all naturally, so the women kiiiind of have to take initiative to get in there.

Isn’t that what Abbie’s doing? She’s just smarter about it than the rest of them, who are getting bogged down in being selfless and girl code and blah blah?

I don’t want to go as far as to say this whole setup and how we respond to it (hating Abbie, liking Elly) is playing into damaging sexist tropes of women needing to be meek and selfless, and you’re a bitch if you know what you want and go for it. It’s not that simple, I don’t think – some of that is in there, but Abbie has also been a bit of a snake (lying to get the date card, grabbing the first position in that who is the most XXX game thing). I don’t for a second think her behaviour has been exemplary at all in this process.

But I also don’t feel like she’s a 100/10 villain for being proactive about scoring time with Matt. THAT’S. THE POINT. OF. THE SHOW. That doesn’t make her fake, or “not here for the right reasons”. Maybe she isn’t here for the right reason – I don’t know! She could be scoring all that time for the Insta likes in future.

But she also could be going for it because she’s seen this show before, and is aware that unless you get in front of the Bachelor’s face, he’s not going to notice you because there’s far too much going on.

It’s also interesting to note here that Elly felt fine to go dob on Abbie for being fake (which is just a vibe Elly has, and not based in any specifics at this point) but was shaming her for doing that to Monique weeks back. She didn’t have to dob on Abbie – Elly is clearly a front-runner and could have just used the time to tell Matt how she feels, which is what Abbie has been doing with all her Matt-time.

I get that she was clearly frustrated and we all act emotionally when we’re feeling stressed. But it’s just interesting to me that Sogand would spend all her time telling Matt’s sister, and every other bloody person in existence how Abbie’s fake, and now Elly is telling Matt Abbie is fake, but Abbie uses all her time with Matt and the people who influence his life to just talk about her feelings for him.

ANYWAY. This has been a very deep dive into the Abbie/Elly drama, and I’m again aware that this is a SHOW and PRODUCERS like to manipulate our feelings. I just think we could all take a second to suss if we really consider Abbie a villain for doing what she can to score time with a guy she really, really likes.

Image: The Bachelor