The Bachelors Recap: Send Everyone Home ‘Cos One Bachie Has Put All His Eggs In One Basket

Hear ye, hear ye: welcome back to the 11th annual Hunger Games season of The Bachelor Australia — although it’s not *technically* annual because, for some ungodly reason, Channel Ten decided to drop a SECOND series of the dating show in 2023. Much like a Christmas gift you didn’t ask for (nor want), this season will once again feature three leading men and buckle in folks, because me thinks Bachie Dad Osher Günsberg is about to introduce them.

…Or not. There’s a black screen and an ominous single piano note playing in the background.

the bachelors 2023 episode 1

“We begin… at the end,” the screen reads, and it’s all very murder mystery. Hopefully without the murder, but it IS The Bachelors and who knows what to expect these days. Anything for the ratings, babes.

THERE THEY ARE!! The Bachelors, all tuxed up and walking through a ye olde property like nice gentlemen who look like they’re about to start butlering at Downtown Abbey.

the bachelors ben wesley luke
Top of the morning to ya.

The one with the curly hair says he hasn’t felt true love or been in love for a long time. Another man with a sexy accent says he wants his relationship to “defy the odds”, and the third fella DROPS THE L-WORD as we see several women exiting limos.

It’s nice, it’s different, it’s unusual and I’m impatient.

Damn, Bach dad Osher wasn’t lying when he said this season was “documentary-style”. We just copped a glimpse of a random man and cameramen. Bachie Number Three seems confused. So am I. Are you a producer? Are you a fourth Bachelor coming in at the 11th hour to steal the women away? Oh, nope, they’re just doing that thing where they break the fourth wall for Dramatic Effect. Another Bachie sobs into his mate’s shoulder while a cameraman films like a peeping Tom through a stained glass window.

Excuse me, sir, who are you?

“Back to the Beginning.” UGH. Now we have to wait a WHOLE season to find out WTF that was all about. Two minutes in, and I fear I’m invested. *shudders*

The camera is doing that blurry, documentary thing again. Will this annoy me as the show goes on? Probably. But right now there’s no time to dwell because OSHER’S HERE!!! And he’s BLOND!!! He and his new do give a swoony monologue about fInDiNg LoVe while simultaneously serving Postcards slay as he walks through the streets of Melbourne. He says The Bachelors S11 is the “most romantic” yet and I’ll be the judge of that, thanks Osh.

Ah yes, Melbourne, the City of LUUURRRVE.

Formal introduction time, and we say howdy doody to Curly Bachelor — AKA Ben — who wastes no time in telling us he’s a model and that he’s lived a hectic life thus far. He not-so-subtly drops tea that he’s kinda loaded and now invests in environmental conservation. Ben — who allegedly has beef with Zac Efron and is also a property developer — is on the hunt for The One™, which is basically the only criteria needed to get onto this show.

They’re coming in hard with the thirst traps as we meet Wesley at Bondi Beach. Old mate is a Brazilian-born fella who says his “hips don’t lie”. Do with that what you will. He says he has a Master of Arts and Theology and that God “shaped” who he is. He’s also never had a girlfriend. Also do with that what you will.

And because no trio is complete without a bloke who’s a little rough around the edges, so we’ve been blessed with country boy Luke, who seems far too wholesome for what my waters are telling me is going to be a shitshow. OH, oh my. He’s chopping wood and he’s shirtless, which doesn’t feel very safe but I am very much enjoying it.

Luke is a 28-year-old lumberjack and if you don’t mind me saying, I’d like to climb him like a fkn tree. 

He believes people’s first impression of him is that’s he’s a “dumb country bloke” and I want to personally fight anyone who’s ever had this thought cross their mind. Ten are really heroing him as the Golden Retriever-type because fucking LOOK AT HIM. He’s giggling alongside some cows. Wholesome AF. Luke then reveals he’s a former NRL player whose career ended prematurely due to an injury and hats off to him, because he’s v candid about the toll it took on his mental health and how his family, specifically his step-dad, helped him through.

Now THIS is the content we need more of on prime-time telly, pls and thanks!

There goes that swoony AF music again as Lumberjack Luke spiels about being a hopeless romantic and dear god. Is it too late too sign up as one of his suitors? He also drops the casual bombshell that he was once engaged but things didn’t pan out as he’d hoped. He seems very emotionally intelligent which is a pivot from last year’s star athlete *cough* Horny Felix *cough*

We’ve finally arrived at the bougiest Bach mansion that has ever Bach mansion-ed. The vibe is kind of like the State Library made sweet love to the Palace of Versailles and gave birth in Melbourne. Osher sits down with the bros and pretends they’ve never met before, then gives them a pep talk ahead of meeting their future wifeys — the first of which could be walking through the door RN.

Buckingham Palace WISHES she was this iconic.

Aarthi, 30, is the first gal to enter the mansion, kind of like Goldilocks coming across a random house in the woods. ICYMI: The Bachelor has done away with the red carpet meetings and mini-dates for a more *authentic* vibe. As authentic as a reality show with a camera crew and meddling producers can get, that is. The fellas continue to chat with Osher as a montage plays out of unidentified — and probably unimportant in the long run — suitors arrive at the mansion.

They’re all in ballgowns and they toast to finding love. Their smiles say happy to be here but their eyes tell a different story. They’re not here to fuck spiders.

Strong undertones of I’m here to find love, not make friends. A tale as old as time.

We’re introduced to Anastasia, 32, who wants a MAN, not a BOY. She’s got pizazz. And the gall to do multiple takes of herself getting out of the limo. Another woman, Mel, braaa-braaa-braaaps her way to the mansion. She does a Sound of Music twirl and declares she’s ready to parrtayyy. Wesley says he’s into “clumsy girls”, and the shot cuts to 25-year-old Brea, who reveals she’s “basic”. She asks whether there’s beer instead of champagne. There’s not. 

The women, obviously prompted by producers tryna stir the pot, start making snide comments in their confessionals about someone named Lisa. Comments like “a lot of confidence” and “not afraid to speak her mind” are thrown around. Read also: these girls are THREATENEDDDD and TBH, so am I after I see the stunning redhead exit the limo in slow motion. She means bizniz. 

“At the end of the day, I’m not here to make friends… If you do something wrong, I will go straight nukes. World War Three, darling. The world will burn.” And there it is, folks. DING, DING, DING! I think we have our first “villain” of the season. 

Don’t h8 me ‘cos you ain’t me, darling.

Osher giggles like an evil overlord and clacks his wedding ring on his champagne flute, which is met with resounding shrieks remnant of a 2008 Justin Bieber concert. The Bachelors are introduced and then everyone is whisked away to a Bridgerton-esque ballroom, complete with a string orchestra. It’s all very classy and appears to be no place for the “dog c*nt” sagas of Bachelor seasons past.

While Lisa confesses she’s “hotter” than her co-stars and talks to herself in the corner, Luke tells the camera that he’s been hellbent on talking to one particular woman after clocking her as soon as he walked in. Lo and behold, Ben also has eyes for one specific gal and hoooooly shite, they’re both keen on Mckenna. Turns out it’s not just the women who aren’t there to make friends, because Benny boy cuts Luke’s grass faster than you can say “Osher Günsberg” and steals Mckenna away for a chat. But WAIT. Wesley spills some tea to the camera. He too wants to get to know her!!!! 

mckenna bachelors

They might as well send everyone else home and change it to The Bachelorette starring Mckenna. The three men can joust for her affections. Channel Ten, take notes.

Lisa can’t understand why all the blokes are fighting over Mckenna instead of her and I dunno, it might have something to do with the fact she’s actually making an effort? IDK, just a thought. The 25-year-old confessed that after her chats with the Bachies, Ben is at the top of her list. But no love is lost for Luke because his eyes are already elsewhere on Ellie. Two seconds later they’re touching hands. They’re giggling. The music is all swoony. His second fairytale of the night takes off.

You are definitely the second only sheila I’m interested in.

Going two for two, Ben’s also decided he wants to get to know Ellie and my god, the peacocking is next level. Eventually, Luke takes his new fave girl away from the party (and more importantly, away from Ben and Wesley) to get to know her. He’s already asking whether she’d be willing to relocate for love. Ellie reckons Luke whisking her away to a balcony is the “most romantic thing” anyone’s ever done for her, once again proving that the bar is on the floor when it comes to men.

Per Bachie lore, it’s a big fkn no-no to play tonsil tennis at a cocktail party (or ball), but it seems Luke and Ellie didn’t get the memo because two seconds into their chat, they’re pashing. 

Tongues are going everywhere and another one of the gals watches on from a distance. She’s definitely moments away from spilling the beans to everyone else.

luke ellie kiss
Sloppy Kiss At First Sight <3

Back to Ben. He’s swept off his feet by Angela and it seems the feeling is mutual! But there’s no time for lovey-dovey behaviour because we’re back on the villain grind, this time with Anastasia getting her back up about being in a room with “20 idiots” and beefing with Mel, who questioned whether she was a stripper (she’s not).

Wesley’s finally getting some screentime in his one-on-one with Holly, who by all accounts is a fucking delight. I’m a fan. I’m an even bigger fan of her reaction when Wesley confesses he’s never had a girlfriend: 

Glitches in commitment-phobe.

They’re really taking this bogan Bridgerton thing in their stride because the orchestra starts playing Rihanna’s We Found Love and the Bachelors each choose a lady to dance with in scenes that can only be likened to an awkward high school debutante ball.

Lumberjack Luke is SMITTEN as he boogies with Ellie. I’m not sure he’s aware there are other women in the room. While I’m totally here for the love at first sight schtick, it doesn’t make for good TV when the whole premise of the show is exploring connections with multiple women, non? 

It’s all very lovey-dovey and sweet until a woman I haven’t laid eyes on until this very moment storms out of the ball because she’s not getting any attention. It’s the oldest trick in the book, but it works because Wesley chases her out to the driveway. However, she’s not after one-on-one time with the Bach, she’s trying to hail a limo to get her TF outta there. Laters, baby.

One down, 23 to go.

King of cutting people’s grass, Ben bonds over sustainability with Holly, who is an environmental scientist and ecologist. Did someone say match made in heaven? It’s an absolute nerd fest in the most endearing way and the chat ends with Ben teaching her how to slow dance. Wesley WHO?!

ICYMI: Luke and Ellie shared a good ol’ smooch on the balcony, and now everyone is hearing about it. Lisa is PISSED because she allegedly had her eye on Luke. She ain’t too phased though, because she’s shifting gears to focus on Wesley because he has more “spice”. 

Meanwhile, our Brazilian Bachie is making an effort to chat with the more reserved girlies, which leads him to Brea, who is quells her nerves by doing… the hot potato?

Wait until Wesley learns I can mash his banana too!

Straight up, Wesley may have found his sought-after clumsy girly because Brea reveals she had to swap her shoes upon her arrival after tripping on her way to the mansion. Manifestation works, people!!!!

The night is not over yet, though, because IT’S ROSE CEREMONY TIME BABYYYYYYY. The pressure is on, the gal pals are stressed —possibly because they’re lined up beside what looks like the garden section at Bunnings.

Think you’re traumatised already? Producers will beat it by 10 per cent!

Osher, doing that weird Batman voice again, reveals the gentlemen have just 20 roses to hand out — may the odds be ever in your favour.

Wesley’s first rose goes to Holly, while Ben chooses Mckenna. Angela seems a smidgen shocked it wasn’t her. Luke, all starry-eyed, gives his rose to Ellie. Shock-fuckin-horror.

More roses are dished out to women whose names I’ll have forgotten by the time this episode is over. Some of the ladies look physically pained as the ceremony drags on. Others look like they’ve well and truly checked out.

Get me in a fucking Uber, rn.

Ben has the final rose and looks less than thrilled to be giving it to Anastasia.

Producers forced me to pick u.

Batman Osher returns to tell the remaining women (who are apparently named Chrystal, Carla and Kristen) the fucking obvious: you did not receive a rose.

There’s a farewell as all the gals who have known each other for five minutes feign sadness that their competition is being sent home.

One of the eliminated ladies makes off with the silverware tray the roses were presented on and if you can’t steal a man’s heart, steal the next best thing, I guess?

Driver, can we stop at Cash Converters on the way home????

Fuck. They weren’t lying when they said The Bachelors is a marathon, not a sprint — that episode felt like it went for 34 years.

I need to lie down. Until next time!