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Hear ye, hear ye, I do decree!
Another season of the Bachelor NZ to be reviewed by me!
Roses! Dates! Champagne! Michael Hill!
Whose wildest dreams will our new leading man fulfil?
Each week we’ll watch as he looks for his queen,
Let’s just hope he’s more interesting than bloody Art Green.
Desperate to avoid a repeat of last year’s Bachelor catastrophe, when Jordan Mauger ditched winner Fleur hours after giving her the winning rose, the producers have gone in a completely different direction with this year’s bachelor Zac Franich. He might look like just another tall, white, brunette man with a passion for sports, but you’re wrong, because he also has a very deep tan. And they got rid of Mike Puru and Dominic Bowden’s hosting it now — I’m telling you, it’s a whole new game!
Zac is a 28-year old surf life saving coach from the Hibiscus Coast. He loves his family, he loves his students, and he looks a lot better in motion than in promo photos. His favourite book is Catch-22 and I was surprised to learn he can read. When asked what kind of movies he enjoys during a round of tipsy group small talk, Zac claims one of his favourites is the John Belushi classic The Blues Brothers — nice try Zac, but unless you have your own DeLorean à la Jordan I’m calling BULLSHIT on your passion for ’80s film.
The Bachelor is only in its second week as I’m writing this so it’s still hard for me to tell the difference between any of the bachelorettes. All of the women standing out to me so far are not doing so for the best reasons: Taylar, who reminds me of every girl I was scared of at high school in Christchurch; Nina, who won’t stop babbling about how she’s not like the other girls and how much she loves Harry Potter (and she wasn’t even the only contestant to mention HP in her opening interview — like, we all read them, but is a show about adult relationships really the time to be bringing child wizards up with great fervour?); Lily, who has the upper hand as a snowboard instructor but is unfortunately completely dead behind the eyes; and Bel, who LOVES. HER. CATS. There are some other nice and normal blonde girls who will stick around for a few weeks, but who will be this year’s Naz? It’s going to take a lot of sneaky editing to make any of these women look mean in a funny way.
As per usual the group dates all involve some kind of physical activity and I look forward to the producers scrambling for ideas all but short of forcing the ladies to do the beep test. So far we’ve done relay races and touch rugby. Everyone pretends they love it — or maybe they do? I don’t. The one-on-one dates are a little more traditional, though still situated in the middle of a rugby pitch or a table on the beach safely between the flags (get it? Life saving). “I’m kind of like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman,” says early front-runner Viarni of her evening with Zac, catching herself to add, “except I’m not a hooker.” Let’s just hope Zac isn’t like Julia Roberts in Runaway Bride. What’s Jordan Mauger up to these days anyways? You didn’t hear it from me (you did) but I’ve heard he can be spotted at many the Auckland club getting down and dirty on the d-floor. Romance is still alive! Raise a glass of miscellaneous champagne to that, ladies.