Enough. No more drongo jokes. It's time that I saw contestants on dating show The Bachelorette NZ as more than just a pack of munters and bogans, and recognised they have hidden depths. As in quite hidden and very deep depths.
I've only ever referred to them as drongos in the past fortnight but something has changed. Something has brought about an entirely different aspect to the dating show.
Last night's episode introduced five new drongos – sorry, guys – to join the remaining 10 drongos – sorry, boys – in the bid to win the fair hearts of the two bachelorettes, Hottie Lesina and Hottie Lily.
Not 10 contestants. Fifteen.
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It's a disturbing statistic but it demands a reckoning. We will all have to get our heads around it. The matter is a severe test for the nation but I think I can help.
The sight of five new drongos – sorry, men – was so alarming that I immediately wondered, "Where the hell do they find these people?" And then I worried, "What if they have more up their sleeve? What if they have an endless supply of drongos – sorry, fellows – to draw from?
"Where would be the likeliest source, and is there some sort of clue that they all seem kind of lifeless, waxy, and cast no shadows?"
Yes, of course. They're all zombies.
Verily, the dead shall walk the earth. They're the undead, or the grateful dead, happy to be dug up, dusted off, and directed to stagger and lurch towards Hottie Lesina and Hottie Lily. It's the dating show of the living dead.
You know it makes sense. Plus there was a cunning in-joke, a giveaway, in last night's show. Hottie Lesina and Hottie Lily were spending the day with their dates. The remaining contestants wandered listlessly around Buenos Aries, where the show is being filmed these past two weeks, and guess where they went?
They looked totally at home and in their own skins for the first time in the series. Oooh look, they sighed, with deep contentment, a crypt. Ooh look, they gasped, with a thrill of pleasure, a coffin.
And then along came host Art Green, pale and fangy, all but swirling a black cape around his shoulders, drinking the show's blood to keep him toned. You'd never know he was 10,000 years old.
But it was an ingenious twist to introduce five new zombies. Who saw that one coming? Good twist!
And yet it was worrying, too. Right now we're confronted with a kind of 1st XV of the living dead. What if they introduce another five new zombies tonight? Or 20 on Tuesday night, a thousand next week?
The Bachelorette may never, ever finish. It threatens to lurch and stagger on until the end of time or the dead return to their graves, whichever comes first.
It's a depressing prospect but also profoundly sweet. After all, the essence of the show, the very thing that makes us watch, is the promise of immortal love.