Welcome back friends, it's been an eternity. How's your health? How much of Art Green's book did we get through over summer? I read one chapter and then ate a giant pile of fish and chips. It's all about balance, he reckons. Anyway, The Bachelor NZ is back for 2016 and there have been some MAUGER changes.
Move over Art, you are simply too ripped, too handsome and too good at eating apples. It's time for a real Kiwi bloke - you know that super relatable Fred Dagg type who drives a DeLorean and has haunting white anchor tattoos on his knuckles.
Jordan Mauger is an interesting new twist on an old classic, his strong jaw sweeping the information superhighway ever since your good mates at The Spinoff spilled the beans that he was The Bachelor. He's an actor, filmmaker, jandal-wearer, and hardcore water enthusiast.
Forget the man drought, this guy is about to bring on an ACTUAL drought. Talking of thirsty, poor Mike Puru was so quenched for human interaction - presumably after months locked in the mansion cellar - that he about had a hernia when someone told a mild joke.
And on that upbeat note, let's get on to the rankings.
Rebecca has LITERALLY already written the book (thesis) on romance in reality television, which makes her about the coolest Bachelor contestant since Ashley S talked about onions for 99 years. Don't be sucked in by those innocent shots of her playing Scrabble with old people and spelling out LOVE (only seven points mate!) - she clearly knows the game inside out.
Just look at the skilful way she charmed a self-described "film nut" with a Star Wars quote, and then casually dropped in that she'd love to have an empty cinema to herself one day. Relying on her Jedi powers to seduce Jordan, soon enough his heart was being squashed into a trash compactor of affection. This some true and pure UnREAL carry on, even more so if she actually wins. She might not be here for the right reasons, but I definitely want a signed copy of that PhD.
Sweet hairdresser Sarah was the first to get a single date, where she was immediately put through the Jordan Mauger Academy for Bachelorettes Who Can't Wakeboard Good. She bailed about 400 times, and I began to get nervous that we wouldn't make it to the rose ceremony, let alone out of here alive.
Luckily, Jordan is dab hand at hanging ten (or five), and we finally got those edgy Krusty Demon-style stunt shots that The Bachelor NZ audience definitely needs and wants (?).
Helping Sarah to get back in the saddle, the pair shared their first weird kiss together in the ocean. I still don't know what to make of it, her face looked eerily similar to my cat's when I kiss her on the head too many times.
Fleur is Dutch, has the ethereal hair colour of The Children of the Corn, and can spin a hell of a good hyena yarn. She secured herself some crucial one-on-one time after being the woman who went the farthest into the ocean Jordan, which was lucky because he was about to share his picnic with a local jellyfish. It's possible that several women drowned along the way, but that didn't stop her receiving Jordan's not-so-secret rose.
Shawty had that apple juice name, dress with the stuff (with the stuff). Ceri was the first entrant to The Bachelor mansion, bringing with her an ahh, refreshing drop of the finest Kiwi brew. That will be GREAT for the hangover after the cocktail party. Later on, Ceri opened up about her previous abusive relationships. If Jordan boots her after that, then he's got to be one rotten apple.
Amanda is a shy student nurse who is yet to pass Poisons 101: Reasons to Not Draw on Your Skin With a Sharpie. Getting Jordan to remember her name through through some elaborate skin art, she was left emblazoned with a large A on her hand. I've seen Easy A, and I've read at least the first sentence of The Scarlett Letter wikipedia page. Careful Mauger, we may have an adulterer on our hands.
Metz is a Samoan princess, sent to The Bachelor mansion to keep morale sky high and Beyoncé references bountiful. We are not worthy of Metz. Any hint of Metz leaving and I am going to be Fleur staring down the barrel of nine hyenas.
She likes her faux roses with giant carabiners attached, and her ponies with decorative hair accessories. What's not to love?
Without naming the publication, Kate works as an account manager for a VERY popular women's magazine. She's also gluten-free, and prone to making peen-based jokes like the first person to get drunk at a hen's night. After Jordan told her to make sure she had the right sausage, she whipped back with an absolute sizzler about it being the right size. I like her.
Erin is a super yacht masseuse, which could come in handy when her and Jordan inevitably have that awkward "so when did you meet Tom Cruise on a big boat" chat.
She's blonde, she has a face, so Lara is guaranteed to be at least top ten. Plus, when she wedged herself in between Ceri and Jordan it reminded me of this real good part in Extras, which is enough to keep me smiling for a few more weeks at least.
Shari is the quiet one from Paraparaumu who doesn't know what her name means, and I have inkling that she might be around for a while. She sported a wedding dress in the first episode, and then this intriguing combover in the second, so frankly who knows what is coming next.
Firefighting crossfit legend Danielle is already making great television, from the moment she pointed to her ring-free finger expectantly. I gave her some of her own special tatts for the time being, but perhaps she can trade in some of that bling to Michael Hill and secure her own rock one day. For now, I'm just happy to watch her harp on about crossfit.
If you haven't been modelling since the age of five, you need to step aside and let Claudia show you how it's done. She's dated surfers, sold dresses to Paris Hilton, and blinks less than Hannibal Lecter. She even brought a homemade jar of wizened bliss balls with her. Look at him, he absolutely loved them!
Naz is number one in my book, but I'm not the one looking for forever love. She's easily the most turbulent talent The Bachelor NZ has ever seen. Interrupting every woman every three to four seconds, Naz is already stirring the pot with the wild rumour that Anna said she could find a guy like Jordan "in any club". And lest we forget her iconic catchphrase:
Although she's amazing in the drama stakes, I worry about Naz's longevity. All I'm saying is, my Papa don't like her and he likes everyone:
All I know about her is that she is scared of bananas, so here is a Storm in a teacup. Goodbye forever.
Lindsey is a doctor all the way from America, which basically makes her a celebrity. She can't be that good at her job though, only detecting one of Jordan's hearts when we all know that he now has two (if you include the felt monstrosity that Catherine gave him).
The More FM wildcard has already got some major beef on the boil with Naz, which wasn't helped by the fact that she called her Thingy. Hold on, isn't Jason Gunn also on More FM? THERE IS SOMETHING THEY ARE NOT TELLING US...
To quote another Gabrielle:
Out of reach, so far
I never had your heart
Out of reach,
We were never
Meant to be
This could all change by next week of course, but at this stage the only thing I know about Gabrielle is that the other Bachelorettes sometimes call her Gabs, and also that I've never seen her before in my life.
She's a vet who made a bold entrance (hands in air) and seemingly hasn't said a single word since. Who are you Nicole? Will you be able to help out on Alicia's farm? Will you be on hand when any rogue Koala pooping incidents arise this time around? So many questions, not enough answers.
This hungry pooch who captured the hearts and minds of the nation with a single gaze:
Harmony, who threw herself into the throw pillows and forgot about the competition altogether:
The welcome return of Black Doris, the greatest personal joke on television:
For more in depth Bachelor analysis, check out The Spinoff