The Bachelor Australia

By David Knox on September 7, 2013 / Filed Under Reviews, Top Stories 15

2013-09-06_1916There are 25 single ladies in The Bachelor Australia vying for the attention of Tim Robards.

And there are about 75,000 tea-candles vying for one hell of a house fire. There are flammable frocks at every turn, and more fairylights and fake flowers than a Christmas grotto.

The French Provincial mansion that is home to TEN’s new series has been over-dressed in an effort to match the US prototype series. There’s glossy filters, swirling music, aerial shots, and a Balinese-style daybed by the pool.

The girls are dressed to the nines, in all sorts of figure-hugging, bling-dripping evening wear for the show’s first cocktail party. Hairdos are wrapped around gorgeous faces that have been heavily brushed with cosmetics. For a “reality” show, there’s not much that’s real about this, except perhaps the desire for a happy ending.

But a fairytale romance is just what The Bachelor Australia is looking to sell and aspiration is its currency.

This series has been a long-running success in the US and it’s abundantly clear that Shine Australia has had to stick like glue to all the Mills and Boons trimmings of this format. Whether Australian audiences take to its gaudy manufacturing remains to be seen, but given these limitations, the first episode stands up well as a mix of competition and overt romance.

30 year old Tim Robards is a dashing Prince Charming: attractive, muscular, with gleaming teeth. The opening video package shows him at work as a chiropractor, with his parents and siblings (hello, younger brother!) and practically capable of caring for sick puppies and saving the world… so what’s wrong with him? We’re never told. Under the scrutiny of this picture perfect format do I think we will ever find out? Not really.

We’re told he is also “Australia’s most eligible bachelor” although it’s surely the work of scriptwriters. What’s he worth financially?

Amongst the bevy of single ladies are lawyers, hair stylists, professional skateboarders, models… even a woman from the Shire. They range in ages from early 20s to mid 30s, but only 2 of them struck me as being non-Caucasian.

Each of them meets Robards on a red carpet, resulting in lots of cooing and gushing, some necessarily awkward moments, and some that are just trying too hard. During the cocktail session everyone is trying for some one on one time with him, which is when conflict begins to emerge.

A few brazen women interrupt private time between Robards and their competition. Claws begin to come out when the first roses are already being given during these chats. There’s an emphasis on ladies panicking about being overlooked as time at the cocktail party begins to slip away. Haven’t they been to a TV shoot before? These things take hours….

Smiling host Osher Günsberg bookends the first episode with no effort, but isn’t yet given much to do. I’m hoping he brings some humour to this oh-so-serious affair.

A montage of upcoming episodes promises plenty of lavish fairytale romance dates, sometimes decked out in absurd costumes.

I worry about the show getting clear air for its launch, and indeed whether the rural nature of The Farmer Wants a Wife is more representative of the audience than this Latin Telenovela. But at least it is an alternative to singing, cooking and renovation so on that front it deserves to score with a female demographic.

The Bachelor airs 7:30pm Sunday and Monday on TEN.

15 Comments »

  1. randwick September 13, 2013 at 7:28 pm -

    seems as thought the bachelor will be onl tonight. I’ll be surprised if the ratings for this will hit 500,000 tonight… if it doesnt, it further proves the bachelor was again another flop ….. and somebody in ten needs their head to be placed on the chopping block for incredibly bad management …..

  2. quickanddirty September 12, 2013 at 10:12 pm -

    Does anyone else find it ethically or morally wrong, to put these women in a vulnerable situation, ply them with alcohol and simply film the inevitable train wreck, calling it entertainment? I know they have signed up for it but taking advantage of fools, simply cause they agree, does not make it any less questionable. I mean really. I suppose its just about keeping the public distracted and confused with rubbish on their TV’s, so they stay apathetic and god forbid, get off the bums and take action or get involved in something that really matters. Come on people.

  3. shovesf September 11, 2013 at 9:06 pm -

    Talking of Australian Princess, I think Alana (the flight attendant) was one of the contestants back then. I am ashamed for picking up on this… Can anyone confirm this?

  4. slam September 9, 2013 at 4:34 pm -

    David- you were hoping Osher was going to offer some humour? The girls did that for him- our house was in hysterics

  5. Jason September 9, 2013 at 11:30 am -

    Saw five-minute bits of this while commercial breaks elsewhere. Funniest thing for ages. The fake tan supplier and cosmetic dentists must be making a fortune.
    @cronker – Caught my tweens checking out the nude on-line photo, making the comment “nothing exciting there”.

  6. David Knox September 9, 2013 at 11:07 am -

    LOL thanks for the reminder!

  7. csh September 9, 2013 at 11:05 am -

    There’s been a hole in my heart ever since Australian Princess was axed.

    Finally we see something approaching that level of frivolity and trashiness.

    Will these long years in the darkness end now?

    Although, with ‘Princess Diana’s former butler’ as a star, not much could really top Australian Princess for laughs.

  8. squareyes September 8, 2013 at 7:54 pm -

    Have decided to give this a go and 20 minutes in have decided it’s just ok.
    But if this is what TEN is trying to pass off as Event TV, well they really have forgotten what that concept is.

  9. maxxdude September 8, 2013 at 2:11 pm -

    Australia has never taken to the US version so I don’t know whether they will go for an Aussie version.
    If for some reason they do are Ten planning on a Bachelor then Bachelotette format?

  10. J Bar September 8, 2013 at 7:48 am -

    Contrived and ridiculous “reality”. Like something you would scrape off the bottom of your shoe.

  11. swimj September 7, 2013 at 11:12 pm -

    am I the only one looking forward to this :S

  12. jezza the first original one September 7, 2013 at 11:09 pm -

    The 3 and a half stars given at the end of the review is both very kind and rather generous.

    This looks a truly dreadful show on par with Australian Princess, this type of garbage may work well in the U.S., but I think ( and am sorry to say hope) it will be yet another ratings disaster.

  13. randwick September 7, 2013 at 2:05 pm -

    The ads for the bachelor suggest the program is will be full of bitchiness and offer nothing of substance if a view watches it….. if the ads aren’t a turn off for the series, I’ll be very surpised ……

  14. cnrmlj September 7, 2013 at 9:13 am -

    Train wreck coming. Will be lucky to rate better than being Lara bingle or the shire after a couple of weeks.

  15. cronker September 7, 2013 at 8:28 am -

    I wonder whether these ladies have checked out his “dowry” in the online nude shot?

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