Reality shows live and die by their casting.
Take My Restaurant Rules, for example. Just two weeks ago, I decided the world didn't need another cooking show . But then along came Katikati chef Daniel who last week went into meltdown mode when asked to critique a meal that had just been made for him by another team.
"The salmon's overcooked. The lemon, honestly, is well-grown, but that's about it," he said as he angrily took a big bite out of his wedge of citrus. Suddenly, My Restaurant Rules looked a lot more interesting.
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The Bachelor and Bachelorette franchises are much the same. With the same old format pumped out year after year, it's up to the casting to keep things interesting.
The makers of the most recent season of The Bachelor Australia missed the mark with astrophysicist Matt Agnew at the helm, with their very vanilla leading man delivering a bland season. But last night's season premiere of The Bachelorette on Bravo delivered some fresh hope for the show.
Famous across the ditch for a star turn on Gogglebox and I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here, new Bachelorette Angie Kent is beloved for her down-to-earth charm, something she immediately brought to her new role.
The self-proclaimed "Bogan Bachelorette" told viewers she was looking for her "match made in weirdo heaven". She admitted to previously thinking with her vagina when it came to relationships. She asked if she could take her heels off midway through the introductions to the 20 men vying for her affections.
With a long-time and probably wise mantra of "dogs before dudes", Angie also said she'd been single for eight years. But I really don't like her chances of breaking that partner drought on the show — because this new group of bachelors represented another triumph of weird (and sometimes wonderful) casting.
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Timm (not a typo) brought a giant bunch of sunflowers along to his introduction with Angie, before telling her, "I just wanna share moments with someone." Deep.
Meanwhile, car salesman Kayde turned up in a lifeguard outfit, because he fancies himself as a Zac Efron lookalike. Ciarran was resplendent in a red velvet suit, describing himself as a "sexual Willy Wonka".
Firefighter Jamie arrived in his uniform and brought an adorable dog with him. He mistook Angie's overwhelming enthusiasm for puppy cuddles as a romantic connection, even after she told him "I haven't even looked at your face."
Other men turned up with gifts or props for their Bachelorette. These included a meat pie (which vegetarian coeliac Angie couldn't eat), a box of beers and a live reptile. Speaking of reptiles, Jess, a local politician from Noosa, then arrived, wearing a cape and carrying a giant throne. He gifted Angie a key.
"Is it the key to your heart?" she gamely joked. "It's the key to my apartment," Jess said, before telling Angie she'd "have to work for it".
In a twist on the usual format, the final bachelor to arrive turned out to be Angie's brother, Brad.
While you'd be forgiven for thinking The Bachelorette has finally run out of ideas and is now plumping for incest, Brad was instead going on an undercover mission to help his sister weed out the bad eggs.
It wasn't an especially difficult assignment with Jess still wearing a cape, still carrying around his throne and bragging about not accepting Angie's special 24-hour date rose if she offered it to him.
He then picked a fight with the sensitive Jamie, before telling him to "grow up", which was a bit rich coming from a man wearing a cape.
Unfortunately, host Osher Günsberg turned up towards the end of the first cocktail party to spoil the fun and reveal to the group that Angie's brother walked amongst them.
As Brother/Bachelor Brad was sent packing, Angie was left to dole out some roses. In a move that I'm sure had nothing to do with bringing a bit of extra drama to the show, Angie asked Jess if he would accept a rose, something she probably immediately regretted when he made her wait for an answer.
"How was my pause?" he asked, gleefully.
When the Bachelorette's own brother winds up looking like one of her better options amongst a cast of suitors, you know it's looking bad for Angie's quest to find love — but I guess the fun's just getting started for the rest of us.
The Bachelorette Australia airs Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 8.30pm on Bravo.