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Bachelor of Art

We’re not going to lie, dear readers, it hasn’t been the best week for New Zealand’s least-read reality TV reviewers. Joe received his third academic warning of the year, while George was expelled from Young Labour for making a scene at the conference and abusing the president for being “insufficiently radical”. The wolves are well and truly at the door, so it was with some trepidation that we settled down with a box of RTDs to watch Tuesday’s installment of The Bachelor. That’s right, everyone: this week we actually watched one of the episodes most of the way through.

So what happened? Well, it was pretty much the same as any other episode (we imagine). Our host Mike Puru kicked things off as usual by materialising uncomfortably close to the contestants and breathlessly describing this week’s activities. Puru reckons we need a change of scene so we’re off to the Bay of Plenty.

Cut to Arthur sitting atop The Mount at dawn, looking over Tauranga like he knows where he is. Art says he’s keen to “have some brand new adventures and hopefully a little romance.” Joe cracked another Cody’s and George rolled a smoke. We were in for it tonight.

Before we knew it we were off on an Individual Date. This time it’s Kristie who’s been singled out, apparently Art’s taking her to a “secret location he’s known about for a while”. The secret spot hoves into view—it’s an idyllic little swimmin’ hole! “Feels like Harry Potter” reckons Kristie. It reminded us more of Lost, but Art’s no John Locke and within minutes he’s once again clowning about in the water.

Just as we were longing for the Smoke Monster to appear, Kristie begins hyperventilating in the water. To the surprise of no one Art is “trained” in “surf life-saving”, and after about 30 seconds of staring slack-jawed at his struggling date, he drags her back to shore and hails himself a hero.

Now it’s back to Tauranga where Mike’s put everyone up in a shabby little apartment. Kristie returns from her date looking resigned and the other contestants waste no time asking where her rose is. It emerges she didn’t get one and it’s poignant as all hell. Chrystal’s jaw drops but she’s loving it, having become completely comfortable in her role as a pantomime villain.

Mike’s managed to throw together a horse trek group date and before we know it everyone is saddling up. Art looks ridiculous atop his Clydesdale—his is by far the biggest horse there and he’s carrying on like he’s a Cuirassier in Age of Empires III. The gang sets off on their trek with him in the lead; let’s hope there’s a group of Pikemen waiting around the corner.

But horror! Matilda’s been knocked off her horse and has broken her wrist. This is dreadful, and it’s made worse by seeing Art completely unable to express sympathy. He gives her a rose—a clumsy attempt by Mike to avoid a lawsuit. The group date is cut thankfully short and everyone’s whisked back to the mansion.

Mike appears once more, like a plague bacillus visited upon us by a vengeful god. There’s no time to indulge his nascent alcoholism with yet another cocktail party so we get straight into the Rose Ceremony.

But we can’t take our eyes off Puru who absolutely steals the show in this scene. It appears he’s become consumed by his love for German New Wave Cinema and hovers near Art with an insane brooding intensity reminiscent of Klaus Kinski at his best. Incredible stuff.

Anyway, Art became paralyzed with indecision like a stupid Prince Hamlet and none of the contestants were sent home.

When the episode finished, a sombre mood descended on our horrible little flat. We’ve become more than a little jealous of all these activities—it’d sure beat another night binge watching Lost and eating Joe’s terrible bolognese.

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