Regi Varghese AAP Nick Cummins The Bachelor
This year's Bachelor. (No, the other one.) Image credit: Regi Varghese/AAP.

The Bachelor: simultaneously the most implicitly horny and least literally horny show on Australian TV. For years, The Bachelor and its stablemate, The Bachelorette, have filled a mid-budget niche for viewers wanting to see true love bloom on screen between robot people who could not, from looking at them, conceivably have genitals.

When Sophie Monk graced screens last year, producers seemed to have finally cottoned on to what we really want to see: stars who call the toilet the dunny, or who might accidentally say “fuck” in a broad accent while wearing evening attire. Tonight, the “relatable” era continues with Nick “The Honey Badger” Cummins.

You already know Cummins: a Wallabies star whose otherworldly blokiness made him famous a few years ago when his gently incomprehensible Australianisms took off. Listening to him, it seems like he was distilled in a lab by scientists trying to create a larrikin who isn’t likely to say something racist. Well, now he’s looking for love on Australia’s best worst TV show.

He’s certainly a departure — Bachelor men, both Bachelor stars and Bachelorette hopefuls, all tend to look like they own a Roger David loyalty-card and go to the same would-you-like-an-IPA-while-you-wait-for-your-$60-standard-white-guy-haircut barber. Cummins on the other hand has an unironic moustache and a big mane of curly locks. He has a big hairless body which allows him to run very fast, and a huge, distressingly thick neck. But will this mean good television?

Crikey takes a guess at what the season has in store:

  • Early on, the producers will hit us with what we want, the Honey Badger doing what he does best: spouting a bunch of Australian-adjacent gibberish nobody could possibly understand. Deeply concerning? Yes, but certainly charming.
  • Osher, the show’s eternal, omnipresent host, returns from his dark slumber once more. In between segments he is left to stand motionless in a vacant room in the Bachelor mansion, deep inside his mind palace, thinking about the universe, really exploring the shit out of concepts. Occasionally, he is disturbed by a cleaner.
  • There will be a rugby challenge of some kind, of course. This is an easy one. The show is not known for avoiding low-hanging fruit, and in this case the fruit is resting on the ground. Kicking a goal? Scoring a try? The possibilities are huge, but almost certainly limited to those two things.  
  • All the bachelorettes will constantly stare at Cummins’ gigantic thick neck, on which his head rests like a tiny plum. Nobody can look him in the eye because they’re distracted by his vast neck. At one point he smashes it against the corner of a cupboard without noticing.
  • The lucky ladies vying for Nick’s heart will be subject to intense emotional and psychological strain as they compete on little sleep, restricted food and terrible conditions, praying that they don’t get chosen in the editing booth to be the season’s psychopath. The good news is that, for their troubles, they’ll bag about $100 a day.
  • Brands, baby! Australian reality TV is filthy with brands, and The Bachelor might be the filthiest of all. Barely an establishing shot will go by in which a contestant won’t be walking into a Sofitel, living it up on a Skybus, marveling at a “world famous” Canberra Zoo, or awaiting a date outside one of those restaurants owned by the MasterChef guy who punched a teenager.
  • Someone won’t be there to make friends, and will make sure we know it. We get it: you’re not good at making friends. You can keep this to yourself.
  • The show will fail to reach anywhere near the levels of horniness and messiness of its US counterparts, whose producers go the extra mile to ensure the contestants are constantly at hog wild levels (a strategy that hasn’t always worked out for them). The first night of The Bachelor/ette US routinely includes fights, make-outs, and breakdowns. What can the Honey Badger hope to do to match it in the first episode? Go berserk on beers and charge through a buffet table? Kick a football straight into an ice sculpture? Use the term “flamin’ galah” endlessly until the producers are forced to cut? We’ll find out tonight if Ten can bring the goods.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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