Hoooooooooo boy. It’s clear that Bachelor In Paradise Australia is not pulling any punches this season, amirite? Making Vanessa Sunshine pick a date based on their B.O? Filming the entirety of Richie & Alex‘s frankly heart-breaking argument over the demise of their relationship? Letting everyone get drunk and make fools of themselves? Ooooft.
We’re back again to recap this bitch – we being me (Mel, Senior Style & Features Editor) and Josie (Head Of Editorial). Strap in, mateys.
JOSIE: So here we are back in Paradise and while Cat laments she can’t get it up for any of these blokes, Rachael I’m 34 is crowing about how at least two of them are deeply in love with her and how can she possibly choose between 14 year old Bill and 7 year old Nathan?
MEL: Rachael has seriously gone from being all “I’m just so open to love I’m so ready for a relationship” to “not YOU, not YOU either”. I get that she’s concerned about their age but then she legitimately creamed her jeans as soon as Richie walked in the door.
Also like dear Rachael-I’m-34 – he is clearly King if Emotionally Unavailable Island. And I say this knowing she’s not across Alex and Richie’s dirty laundry, which we will get to later. Like the guy is not putting out an air of “let’s settle down I’ll move cities for you”.
JOSIE: Quick aside, we really set ourselves up snack-wise this episode. Not one, but three chocolate options here.
MEL: I have said this since the beginning, will someone please for the love of god just send us sustenance for these end-of-day viewing sessions. It is all I ask, truly. Just a nice pizzey. Or a little doughnut.
JOSIE: Anyway my whole beef with Rachael-I’m-34 dropping everything for Richie is, like, doll he didn’t want you last time you were on a reality show together so a) what makes you think it’s going to be any different this time and b) why would you even want to go there when he rejected you? Bask in the attention of new hot young guys, I say. Also: a drink for every time Rachael I’m 34 screeches “He was MY BACHELOR!”
MEL: She was absolutely saying it seriously in that tense Cat convo and then covered it up by being like HAHAHAHAHA KIDDING! Also can everyone stop calling him her ex? HOW IS HE HER EX.
JOSIE: OMG that killed me! Like, if you go on 2 dates with someone ON A TV SHOW they are not your boyfriend. And therefore, when he then doesn’t select you to continue on said reality TV show, that doesn’t make you exes?
MEL: The bit where Cat takes Richie off for a chat and Rachael’s just left at the bar, lol.
JOSIE: Never before have we seen a more aggressive perusal of a drinks menu.
MEL: It doesn’t even make him someone she dated. SORRY but it’s true – you were simply on a show with him and there wasn’t chemistry. I wouldn’t even count Nikki as Richie’s ex you know?? It’s not real life guys! There’s cameras up your left nostril at all times!
JOSIE: Also, side note: a drink for every time a painfully Australian person says “BULA BULA”. I’m concerned that saying “Bula” at every given opportunity will be Richie’s Paradise version of “Cool bananas”. “Hey Richie, can we have a chat?” “Yeah ha BULA BULA hey”.
MEL: It’s also definitely not Bula-Bula it’s 100% just one Bula but you can’t tell Richie that, clearly. The man is on a mission. Speaking of – the Alex/Richie tea was frankly just really sad and uncomfortable to watch. I mean we all know exactly what they were talking about and like, that’s just heartbreaking tea not a zesty brew.
JOSIE: Yeah I don’t even know how to tackle it really. Like if they didn’t openly come out and say the word that we’re all thinking, we can’t say it either. What I will say though, just generally, I think it is *insane* that the first time they talked about it was on national fucken TV. Like the relationship clearly ended badly if they never cleared the air about what happened, like, not with 56 cameras in their faces. But they both seemed glad that they had that talk and it seemed a bit better after that. They still studiously avoided each other but it was less tense.
MEL: Yes it is quite literally some Black Mirror bullshit to talk about that for the first time ON A REALITY SHOW. I guess forcing them into one location together brings that shit up, but still… In saying that though I also found watching exes talk about their past relationship far more boring than I thought I would. It really was just Alex saying “you weren’t there for me” and Richie saying “changing the goalposts” for 4,000 years. I think another Ice Age happened and we missed it because we were watching those two talk at each other on loop.
JOSIE: Yeah, the combination of “changing the goalposts” and “AFL career” just made me zone out and also reminded me I have to put my footy tips in for this week.
MEL: Also let’s take a moment to appreciate Alex downing two drinks at once to handle her ex.
JOSIE: Can we talk about something less serious but possibly just as awkward, the fucken cooked date between Vanessa Sunshine and Nathan?
MEL: Oh my GOD. Forcing Vanessa Sunshine to sniff the armpits of used men’s shirts, on a steaming hot Fijian Island no less, was the Lords work by those producers.
JOSIE: And then forcing Nathan into a car, shirtless, and then making him sensually massage a stranger. Inspired stuff.
MEL: Nathan in the car was magnificent. The man looked like he had possibly been left in there for hours, with no air con. It’s like an ad for proper pet care during summer.
JOSIE: Dr Harry Cooper would be furious at this kind of treatment!
MEL: Meanwhile I’m thinking all these women need to give up on the hair straighteners, it’s clearly too humid did they learn NOTHING from season 1.
JOSIE: Another thing no one has learned from season 1: sunscreen – it’s your friend.
Meanwhile this extremely puce-coloured sunburnt man is also an ANGEL. Can someone please love James since Mel and I both have boyfriends, please and thank you.
MEL: Oh my god, please. The man needs the angeliest angel partner in all of the land, he deserves it. I’m enjoying his friendship with Alex, by the way. What I’m not enjoying is the entirety of this island putting their genitals on a platter for Richie. I get it, he’s fucking sexy – but he’s also CLEARLY, from all the gossip we all read and no doubt these women did too, a total trash fire in relationships. Like their chat aside I cannot stress this enough – the gossip mags are never entirely wrong collectively and this man seemed like he was not ready for a serious relationship. Example – he couldn’t even get up to say hi to his ex ffs.
JOSIE: He certainly wasn’t. And the fact that he and Alex just stopped talking after what happened between them is also a red flag. And Rachael I’m 34 actually concerned me during their conversation. Firstly doll, read the room – the man had just had a 7 hour long conversation with his actual ex (not just his “reality show we went on 2 dates on TV ex”) and grabs him, drags him away and then coquettishly lolls all over a sun lounge making eyes at him. THEN he actually just opened his Bumper Book Of Clichés and started spouting them at her, clearly not interested. But she’s like “so you’re TELLING me there’s a chance!”
MEL: Omg I could noooot with Rachael whizzing him off for an intense chat about his non existent feelings for her. Honey the room is literally screaming at you that this is a bad idea. I sometimes feel bad for Rachael because she just can’t seem to help herself with the insane levels of intensity. It’s like she starts a little intense and then ramps it up until she’s basically screaming “MARRY ME” in their faces.
JOSIE: Well that brings us to her completely insane conversation with Nathan before the rose ceremony. It’s like Rachael I’m 34 has forgotten the experiences of Rachael I’m 33 in the last season, when she didn’t make any connections really and didn’t get to stay for long. This new Rachael decides to take the guy who actually seems to really like her, scream “YOU’RE 23!” in his face and then start to quiz him about marriage and babies.
Just because she thinks she’d prefer Richie to give her a rose, Like, any guy would be hesitant to answer those questions after knowing someone for literally 2 days? What the hell did she expect Nathan to do, offer to inseminate her on the spot? I felt for him in that situation, it was so uncomfortable and he was visibly pissed.
MEL: And he answered it really well he was basically like “I will when I meet the right person” which is about all you can say in that situation – I mean you’re on a reality show Rach and you’ve been on it for 2 days, maybe just get to know this guy a bit? Not demand his loyalty for a lifetime, Idk? Here’s something I really REALLY can’t stand – Paddy and Alicia. Surely this is a game plan from Alicia to stick around on this show. Surely.
JOSIE: Oh my god. My favourite thing about reality TV shows are these clearly set up by the producers dates but someone says “I’ve planned a special surprise for you!” and the other person coos “Oh my gourd thank you, you’re so sweet” and it’s just some Reject Shop cushions, sparkling wine and one piece of Brie cheese on a plate.
And that’s what Alisha “planned for Paddy”. My first point is: Why. The man looks like a boiled chicken.
My second point is also: Why. They do not seem to talk about anything aside from going “Oh my gourd cheeky!” while sipping daiquiris and laughing like drains.
MEL: The entire thing seems based on wanting to fuck which is still weird to me. But that is because Paddy is the wooooorst and says things like “your loss” when girls aren’t into him and I would rather have sex with Santa Claus than someone who behaves like he does.
JOSIE: He may as well have Fuckboy tattooed on his neck, I just simply cannot with him. If they are trying to make us buy them as this season’s ~ unlikely couple ~ a la Tara and Sam I refuse to engage!
MEL: As you said – unholy union! Not here for it! Here’s a union I can get behind – Brooke and Alex. Even though every time they interact they give them the sexy lesbian sax music. I almost hated that they had thrown the two token bisexuals together but learning that Brooke and Alex were going to meet up IRL and had a mutual attraction has made them grow on me as a concept.
JOSIE: My take is Brooke sucks at flirting. I had zestier interactions with boys in the canteen line at school. So who knew the first rose ceremony would be this spicy? Firstly, I KNEW Nathan would pull some fuckery because he was that pissed off with Rachael. But to choose Unhinged Brittany, that was a shock to me.
MEL: Same! I can’t believe it. Speaking of couples I’m into – Cassie and Richie. They look related but at this point they’re my favourite pairing, which says a lot about this selection of people right now.
JOSIE: Yes, Cass and Richie are cute but we both kept saying “Please don’t hurt her please don’t hurt her please don’t hurt her” every time they were on screen together. In all seriousness Richard, don’t hurt this pure sweet soul. Honey Badger already did a number on her.
MEL: And of course we reached peak unhinged Rachael when Richie picked Cass. That fall – incredible.
JOSIE: Um, what the actual fucking shit was that? Was that just some weird editing? Or did she just have 16 strawberry daiquiris and pass the hell outta the conscious state for a sec? As Ben our colleague said when I showed him my excellent GIF making skills: “wow she just folded into another dimension”.
MEL: Part of me thinks she faked it for attention, the other part of me truly believes Rachael has absolutely hit limit on her daiquiri intake mixed with this high pressure situation and a guy who rejected her being in front of her face. WAIS. STOP MAKING THIS WOMAN MOJITOS. Meanwhile of fucking course Cat walked out instead of facing rejection. Of fucking course she did.
JOSIE: It was pretty hilarious. Cat put in the WORK on Richie and that was such a slap in the face for her – just love how dramatic those reactions were, one woman falls over in shock while another one storms out and unzips her top on the way out. Absolute scenes.
MEL: Richie is the trussed turkey of this buffet of men and he fucken knows it.
MEL: Keen for the fallout from that tomorrow night, and to see Cass & Richie fall in mildly problematic incest-vibes love!
JOSIE: Who needs the incest vibes of Jaime and Cersei when you’ve got Richie and Cass? (Answer: you and me, we very much need them and will be writing GoT recaps as of next week).
Catch more of Mel and Josie on their podcast, All Aussie Mystery Hour.