The Bachelorette got under way on Wednesday night with Brooke Blurton making history as the franchise’s first Indigenous and bisexual Bachelorette. There’s no denying these changes are overdue, but if the burden of that responsibility weighed heavily on the 26-year-old, you wouldn’t know it.
Brooke Blurton is The Bachelorette.
Sweeping through The Bachelorette mansion, Brooke made her mission clear.
“It’s not about gender, it’s not about genitalia, it’s about connection,” said the proud Noongar-Yamatji woman.
You don’t hear the word ‘genitalia’ enough on commercial television, and if this is the kind of Bach-chat Brooke will be serving up, then we’re in for a delightful season.
The Bachelorette marks Brooke’s third attempt at finding love on TV, having previously appeared on The Bachelor in 2018 and Bachelor in Paradise in 2019. But there was a definite sense of occasion to Wednesday’s premiere, and Ten missed no opportunity to remind us we were witnessing history.
Within the first five minutes, The Bachelorette host Osher Günsberg had reeled off a bunch of inspirational promo-lines including, “it’s time to smash some boundaries”, “you can’t be what you can’t see”, and finally, “this will be the season that redefines The Bachelorette”.
Brooke Blurton and Osher Günsberg on set of The Bachelorette.
But the more things change, the more they stay the same: Osher’s hair remains immovable, the mansion is still a bit creepy, and the first episode always drags.
Tonight’s was no different, a blur of forgettable suitors, obvious favourites and possible villains. So, rather than tediously recap every minute, here are the six things you need to know from The Bachelorette premiere.
There are so many carpenters
The franchise has been criticised in the past for lacking diversity so imagine my surprise when three of the first men we meet are carpenters. Konrad, Beau and Johann all rock up and declare themselves to be of the Jesus-profession, which lends itself to plenty of one-liners. “I’m good with my hands,” smiles Beau.
By the time Ryan arrives – “Lovely to meet you, Brooke, I’m a plumber” – it seems casting was limited to anyone in high-viz.
We’ve had the first stolen kiss
It’s an unspoken law in Bach-land that you don’t kiss anyone during the first episode, but if Osher has taught us anything, it’s this “will be the season that redefines The Bachelorette.”
One of Brooke’s suitors is 30-year-old Jamie-Lee, who will be a familiar face to Bachelorette viewers, having also starred on Nick Cummins’ season, where she first laid eyes on Brooke.
Having met on a previous season of The Bachelor, Brooke and Jamie-Lee shared the first kiss of the season.
Since then, Jamie-Lee has harboured a secret crush on her. “For three years, I’ve wondered if this is one-sided,” Jamie-Lee tells us during the cocktail party.
Brooke promptly dispels any concerns by whisking Jamie-Lee off to a corner of the garden and sealing their reunion with the season’s first kiss.
And the first stolen…bench?
Less sexy is the scandal involving a stolen bench. Konrad marked his arrival by presenting Brooke with a handmade love seat. He planned to take her to this loaded bench for a chat later in the evening and presumably explain why he was the right carpenter for her.
Jess sat with Brooke on the bench that Konrad built.
But before he got the chance, he was bench-blocked by Jess, who grabbed Brooke by the hand and led her to the love seat. Cue mansion controversy.
It all feels a bit like an awkward school dance
Much of the curiosity surrounding this season stemmed from how the men and women would interact while vying for Brooke’s heart.
But as the cocktail party kicked off, it seemed less like a bunch of adults looking for love and more like a bunch of school kids seeing the opposite sex for the first time.
Safety in numbers. The Bachelorette boys stuck tight to one another.
The boys hung with the boys, the girl sat with the girls, and everyone sussed each other out from afar. “It’s so crazy that there are males and females in the same space,” gasped Taje, one of the female suitors.
Fingers crossed, the contestants become more comfortable around one another, and the gender divide becomes less of an issue. To quote Brooke: “It’s not about gender, it’s not about genitalia, it’s about connection.”
We met the favourites
Besides Jamie-Lee, the early frontrunner seems to be Darvid Garayeli, the Brisbane-based owner of a landscape maintenance company. We know he owns a landscape company because he arrived via a ride-on mower.
Darvid and Brooke established an instant connection, and he was the lucky recipient of the First Impression rose, ensuring he was safe from elimination for now. Darvid is top three material, along with Jamie-Lee and possibly Konrad.
And the first loser
It wouldn’t be the first episode of The Bachelorette without saying goodbye to someone whose name we can barely remember. Sadly time was up for Johann (that’s one less carpenter!), who notched up a total of 30 seconds of air time.
Goodbye sweet Johann, we hardly knew ye.
It is worth noting that Jess – she of the stolen bench – was in the bottom two, which is usually a good indicator of a possible future villain storyline.
The Recap Rose Ceremony
If Brooke gets to hand them out, then so do we
Worth a rose: Tage. A youth worker and fellow First Nations woman, Tage was adorably nervous when meeting Brooke. “I can’t even look at you,” gushed the 23-year-old.
Got to go: Beau. Not only did he use the term “Cute AF” to describe Brooke twice, but he also described himself as a photographer when really he is a carpenter (shockingly). He then asked her to pose for an impromptu photo shoot, the worst kind of photoshoot.
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