Tim's looking for one special lady amidst 25 harpys

Tim’s looking for one special lady amidst 25 harpys

Picture this: You’re young enough to be legitimately at a nightclub, dancing and drinking the night away with friends. All of a sudden the lights come on and there’s an announcement it’s closing time (“You can’t go home but you can’t stay here”). For some it’s just a simple case of falling out the door and into a taxi and home; for others you can smell the desperation. “How did it get to closing time and I don’t have someone to go home with?”

Welcome to The Bachelor Australia.

Pitched as Ten’s next big thing – certainly the man at the centre of this 25-way tug of war Tim Robards could fit that bill – the show fits neatly into the format played out so successfully in the US and many other markets internationally… “Meet hunky single guy (HSG). Meet 25 beautiful and for some reason entirely desperate women who are vying for his affection. Now let’s see who will demean themselves the most to get noticed by either HSG and/or the cameras.”

Robards appears to be a complete gentleman amidst this malestrom of money/fame-powered emotion. That’s certainly his brief: let the chicks fight over him. Any guy would but for a moment love to be in his position, having 25 lovely ladies all clamouring for his attention. Until the reality sets in that the greatest responsibility the Bachelor has is to try to weed out the ones he doesn’t like yet keep the series interesting.

We saw that last night with the rise and fall of Joelene.

Plucked from the innocence of The Shire, this beautician had her sights openly set on consuming as much screentime and Bachelor-time as she could, yet it didn’t work. Not even her alleged breaking of someone’s rose (the moment itself somehow not caught on one of the many cameras about the cocktail party, yet the aftermath displayed for all to see) was enough for the producer’s to influence Tim’s decision to keep her in the Top 20 ladies that then start the luxury date cycle with Bachelor Tim.

Joelene stands out for so many reasons. As for the other ladies… well, there’s already characters starting to show their form, though at this stage their names are a blur. There’s bitchy girl with the weird accent. Needy girl who panicked she wasn’t going to get a rose because she’s already in love with Tim. Dancing personal training girl. Umpteen mean girls. Their stellar personalities will shine through in the episodes to come and allow us all to more accurately pass judgement on them for their physical and/or personality failings, such is the joy of a show where those involved lay themselves open for such critique.

Host Osher Gunsburg served not much more than to bookend the show last night, though that was more than enough as it allowed the “drama” to find its own life. He was dapper as in his suit and will indeed have many more moments to shine as the rose ceremonies that round out each episode become the focal point of the competition.

That’s right – The Bachelor Australia is nothing more than a competition. Don’t be fooled into thinking this show exists for some nobler purpose. A majority of these ladies are doing it for the showreel and the cash – “love”, whatever they perceive it to be, would be a nice outcome but not necessary. After all you can find love at any time but how often are you paid to do it on national television?

Strap yourselves in, people. These ladies have a way to go yet before they reveal just how low they’ll go to win the dating competition that is The Bachelor Australia. If you’ve never used Twitter before now’s a great time to start as it becomes the ultimate companion to the show, almost a bloodsport commentary. It’s gonna be horribly delicious.

The Bachelor Australia – Tonight 7:30pm, then weekly Sun 7:30pm, Channel 10.