How Women’s TV Is Turning Us All Into Misogynists

We’re getting less empowered with every minute we watch.

Spoiler Alert: The Bachelor Just Proposed To His Winning Lady

Do NOT read this is you haven’t watched the finale yet.

The Bachelor Australia Recap: Snezana Wins Woody’s Heart

“I love you and I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” – Sam Wood to Snezana Markoski.

And the shock The Bachelor Australia 2015 winner is: Snezana. And thank God for that – after the previous horror of seeing this year’s Bachelor, Melbourne personal trainer/entrepreneur Sam Wood, 25, let crowd favourite Heather go – he has far surpassed my expectations of him by choosing classy, gorgeous and genuinely lovely Perth single mum Snezana Markoski, 34, for the win.

RELATED: The Bachelor Recap: Batch-Man And H-Bomb More Fizzle Than Sizzle

At the final emotional rose ceremony, Sam – aka Woody, as I like to call him – tells Snezana he’s madly in love with her and praises her inner strength, warmth and beauty and for making him a better man.  He also reassures her he’ll also love and cherish her nine-year-old daughter Eve – thereby making me, and no doubt the rest of Australia, finally fall a little bit in love with Woody ourselves.

“You are the first girl that I met and you are the last, because I’ve fallen in love with you,” he tells a stunned, and stunning, Snezana, who’s been a early favourite of Woody’s – and mine – from the beginning.

Beautiful, inside and out – Snezana’s impressive composure, maturity and womanliness put so many of the much younger, silly, game-playing, fame-chasing girls in the lady prison, sorry mansion, to shame. From the start, Snez really seemed to be in it for the “right reasons” – to find love – and her style and sophistication was a joy to watch. And there’s no denying the firecracker chemistry and spark she’s shared with Woody from the get-go.

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After Woody sent Sarah, 26, home in the second-last episode, runner-up for Sam’s heart, Lana, 27, while also an impressive and accomplished human – give the girl’s gorgeous side-hair a Gold Logie! – bizarrely didn’t seem all that upset that she wasn’t the last one standing at the end.

Was she perhaps – like many of the other girls – purely more interested in winning than in actually forming a life-long partnership with Woody? Didn’t she grasp how serious – and refreshingly so – Woody was in getting married and having kids pronto?

I’ve got to say – this The Bachelor Australia 2015 series was everything I wanted and more. Woody has WAY more heart and grit than I thought, as evidenced by him choosing Snezana and Eve. Blended families are very common these days, but Woody could have taken the “easier” way out by opting for a much younger woman with far less baggage. So, huge congrats to Woody for shocking and surprising the nation with his depth of character and ability to cut through all the bullshit to follow his heart and choose the lovely sophisticated Macedonian beauty.

I mean, remember the horror of last season’s fake Blake Garvey and his brutal dumping of Sam Frost – this after he proposed to her on live TV?! It’ll be cool to watch Frost get her groove back as The Bachelorette Australia, which airs next Wednesday, to soothe the giant gaping hole left in our TV viewing now that The Bachelor Australia has come to a close.

And while Woody didn’t get down on bended knee and propose to Snez, he did present her with a cute locket gift for Eve and a $22,000 custom-made diamond encrusted promise ring, which he designed with the help of luxury jeweller Zamels (cue sponsor spotlight here).

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This series end was oddly – and pleasingly – heartfelt and emotional. You couldn’t help but cheer for Woody as she chose Snez – especially after meeting his lovely family, including his delightful Poppa Sam, who declared of Snez and Lana: ”They’re both lovely kids”.

And now, after finally revealing his true heart and manliness, I’ve not only got a wee crush on Woody, but on host Osher Günsberg too, whose lovely manner with the women and the Bachelor makes me wish we could fix him up with the love of his life too.

One final thing: let’s hope Woody didn’t let Snez watch that footage of him in a hot pool make-out session with Lana, from the second-last episode. That’d be enough to give champion side-eye giver Snez a serious hernia.

From 21 women down to just one: well played, Woody – well played. Snez is a hell of a catch – let’s hope their fairytale continues.

NB: By all accounts, the cute couple are still together and Sam has said he is “totally in love” with his chosen one. Ah, true love – isn’t it the best?

What do you think? Did Sam pick the right woman?

Images via news.com.au and au.news.yahoo.com

The Bachelor Ep 11+12 Recap: Intruder Rachel Gets The Arse

Few moments in life are as painfully awkward as the horror realisation that the person you’re smitten with really, really isn’t that into you, at ALL. And so it is for poor, hapless The Bachelor Australia “intruder” – food blogger Rachel, 29, who – aside from seemingly having an actual, bizarre aversion to food – woefully misinterpreted her fleeting moments with our Bachie Sam Wood, aka Woody, as being positive.

RELATED: The Bachelor Ep7 + 8 Recap: Mansion Of Misery Or Death Star?

Of course, Rachel’s days were numbered in the previous episode 11, when she failed to show any maternal side at all when each of the six remaining contestants were charged with directing a bunch of actual, real live children – “eww!”  – in a sporting obstacle course. C’mon ladies, wise up – any fool can see kid-mad Woody’s looking for an instant breeder?!

Bizarrely, this episode was also characterised by Woody’s apparent meltdown, whereby shit got too real for the manly hair helmet and he flat out refused to send any of the final six women in his harem home in that night’s rose ceremony. After counselling a sweaty, upset Woody, has handsome host Osher actually clocked up enough clinical hours to quality as a practicing psychologist?

In this latest episode, Rachel’s bags were clearly already packed and sitting outside the mansion of misery, with her limo on stand-by, going in to this latest rose ceremony, when Woody finally sent her home. Seriously, what took him so long? Every time he interacted with Rachel he resembled a man who’d swallowed a fly. Or was the producers’ delight in seeing Rachel offend every other woman in the lady-prison too much and what ultimately saved her from eviction the previous night?

And, here’s the thing – we’re down to the final five women now before “home-town dates” and I feel like the series has started to lag. Sure, new “intruder” the very hot and accomplished Lana, 27,(pictured) has clearly turned Woody’s head, but is there any doubt he’s going down to the wire with hot favourites FTW: Heather, 29, Snezana, 34, and Sarah, 26? I could be wrong, but I reckon Nina’s next to get the big boot – there’s a reason she’s only had one date with Woody thus far.

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And, aside from the usual ridiculous amount of camera time devoted to Nina’s weird tongue action when she’s fired up and her general, eye-rolling rage, much else of note happened this Ep12. Er, aside from a gratuitous nudity grab where the women’s sexual frustration was further heightened by Woody stripping down to unbuttoned pants at an art gallery group date – hello group assignment hell! Dude does have a good torso and oddly alluring nipples, I’ll give him that.

In other news, WTF is with Heather’s bizarro grandma outfit which keeps flashing onscreen? Did the women also have to play fancy dress as their fave nanna? Our hipster dudess is wearing a furry cardi mess, pearls and ugly hat – where was the Network Ten stylist here? Did she make like Emily, and also do a runner?!

I’m also loving with some ridiculous degree of schadenfreude, the “original” four remaining women’s extreme discomfort at having to share Woody with newcomer Lana. It’s like: “How dare you come in late and think you can date our group boyfriend, bitch?!” And it’s not just the mansion of misery’s new resident bad gal, Nina, (pictured) who feels this way. The gorgeous Snezana has been giving Lana such seriously good side-eye game, that side-eye queen, Italian movie goddess Sophia Loren would be proud.

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Ooh and cue much hilarity at watching the lovely luminous Sarah, now the series’ youngest contestant, fawn over Sam’s alleged romantic overtures in setting up a make-out couch overlooking Sydney Harbour and presenting her with alleged diamond earrings he picked out for her. “I can’t believe you did this?!” Um – well – he didn’t, on both counts. Well played, dastardly Bachelor producers. Oh and her cute, OTT declarations that a performance by an Opera Australia soloist “was the most incredible thing I’ve ever experienced” and “she made me feel things I’ve never felt before” left me wondering if she’s more in love with the Bachelor lavish date porn experience, than the actual Bachie Wood.

So, to wrap up, some answered questions: Can Woody actually handle – gasp – harem favourite Snezana having a nine-year-old daughter? When is someone going fix nice Osher up on a date? And can sourpuss Nina cause any more havoc and hate in the house before she too is sent packing? And, above all: when will Heather finally just take home the prize – Woody and his oddly hairless golden torso (pictured) – once and for all?! Stay tuned for more The Bachelor hilarity and humiliation galore…

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Images via couriermail.com.au, vavnews.com, news.com.au

The Bachelor Ep7 + 8 Recap: Mansion Of Misery Or Death Star?

It’s business time on The Bachelor Australia as the mansion of misery has now been reduced to just seven prisoners, sorry, women. Oh, the drama!

RELATED: The Bachelor Ep5 + 6: The Battle Of The Brunettes Ends In Tears

The remaining ladies will no doubt be in deep mourning following the “shock” departure of Rachel, 28, a somewhat dour blonde lass, who seemingly never had a conversation with our Bachie Sam Wood, aka Woody, let alone an actual single date with the man. Indeed, I noted with much amusement that some on Twitter were referring to her as gorgeous blonde frontrunner Sarah’s “spare”.

So, to recap – Ep8 opens with this overtly morose declaration, from one of the mansion of misery’s more depressive contestants, following Jacinda’s “shock” departure: “We’re always so flat after we lose someone.” Jesus, it’s The Bachelor, not Vietnam!?

The ladies, aside from Ebru and Emily, the latter who already has a rose, then quickly don helmets and racing suits for a group date whereby they get to take out their sexual frustration on each other in the guise of go-carts. It quickly descends into a farcical Nina Vs Emily face-off, which has more to do with two women each trying to beat and humiliate each other and far less about actually winning poor Woody’s heart (and, erm wood). Poor Woody. It’s his turn to feel degraded.

And once again, Woody shows he’s got some brains in that bouffant. And just a quick segue, while we’re on the topic of hair, has anyone else noticed how Osher and his hair helmet are starting to eerily resemble Ray Martin?!

Woody seems none too impressed by Emily’s bitchiness in showing up Nina to emerge victorious in the go-cart challenge. He actually – gasp – seems quite intuitive and cluey.

Snezana, 34, the lovely, luminous European lass, then gets a second one-on-one date with Woody, much to the other women’s consternation (main picture). Woody channels Miami Vice in a beige jacket and tight pants arriving aboard a vintage speedboat, in which he squires Snez away to a super-romantic Little Italy themed picnic spread. Snezana is cute in her naïveté that Woody actually arranged it all. Bless.

Meanwhile, back in the house, Nina (pictured) distinguishes herself by breaking the girl-code to rat out on the lovely Snez, who had grudgingly confided in both her and Beck that she did in fact share a passionate pash with Woody in the previous episode’s group date “hoedown” at the Australiana Pioneer Village (more on that later). The other girls react with mirth and goodwill mostly, aside from Emily who takes this opportunity to trash-talk Nina behind her back, while she tries her best to save face and explain why she threw Snez under the bus.

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Snez and Woody share some hot chemisty on their date, but is she in his head as well as his, erm, wood ala Heather? I think not. There’s more pashing and a weird pink dessert in the shape of a Star Wars Death Star which Woody has “arranged” to honour his hot date’s love of the science-fiction franchise. Erm, cute – I think. Is Snez Heather’s Death Star undoing? I think not.

Back to the mansion of misery and hormonal hell, where Nina confesses to Snez, to get it off her sizable chest, that she ratted out on her. In addition, Rachel finally gets sent home having not said or done anything of worth the entire series this far. Did the camera crew fall asleep every time she spoke?

Ep7’s aforementioned group date “hoedown” – that word has never carried so much poignancy and weight – saw young Jasmin evicted after she refused to pretend to get maternal about sheep. Woody wants to breed soon, y’all!

Also, Emily and Woody went on a hot beach date whereby she showed off her perfect bikini body and he showed off his perfect, giant torso and they both woodenly and robotically discussed their respective angst at not being married with kids, yawn. He then presented her with precious gems in the form of a treasure hunt bracelet to buy her favours. Cue to Emily’s happiest moment in the house thus far (pictured) – receiving jewellery – which says it all about her, really. She sure as hell ain’t there for our Woody, I’d wager. Oh and did I mention the other poor contestants had to endure huniliation galore in the form of apple bobbing and sheep herding at the hoedown?! The things you do for love (or 15 minutes of fame).

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I remain, as ever, #teamheather as it seems to me no one else stands a chance. Woody is smitten with our hipster chick Heather to the point their “relationship” seems strong, despite his ongoing, strong sexual attractions and make-out sessions with a harem of other women in the house. OK, six others now. Heather, FTW!

Images via www.dailymail.co.uk; tenplay.com.au

What Is The Bachelor Doing To Mental Health?

I am a reality television junkie – and it hurts to admit that. It’s pretty shameful to say that I love watching TV shows in which either a) celebrities go about their daily lives, b) normal people get into a competition for something, or c) outrageous people are actually paid to party and do stupid things. I like to justify it by saying that it comes from my own stressful lifestyle where watching trashy TV shows is like time out for my brain.

RELATED: Woody Gets Hard At Work In Bachelor Season 3 Premiere

However, it’s impossible to turn my brain off completely and that’s why when watching The Bachelor the other night, I thought about how completely immoral and stupid it is to pit women against each other for a man they don’t even know. But of course, this is obvious, and often why the show is opposed by feminists and anyone with a brain.

It’s the fact that strong women still put themselves in this situation, where they are quite literally competing against other women for the affections of a man that they barely know. While watching the show from the comfort of your own home, you actually feel uncomfortable in the way that these women are portrayed as petty and jealous, with every move and look scrutinised purely for the entertainment of the audience.

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For the women on the show, being in The Bachelor mansion could be having a detrimental effect on their self esteem. Putting all their energy into trying to win the affections of a man and whether they are successful or not in gaining his attention and affection is almost a cry for help regarding self-worth and self-esteem.

However, it could go both ways. On one hand, these women could be so sure of themselves that whether or not they win a competition to get a boyfriend will not affect them or the way they see themselves. On the other hand, they could be taking to heart the producer’s choices and/or Sam’s choices and making mental notes of all the things that they deem not good enough to land them a man on a television show.

In that respect, we do have to praise the women who leave the show and tell their last piece to camera in a way that empowers them to get back out there and be themselves to find the right man for them.

It’s a bitter world out there and while I do love a good Bachie romance and am looking forward to Sam Frost killing it on The Bachelorette, we do need to ask ourselves whether someone’s self esteem should be worth our entertainment.

Images via popsugar.com and yahoo.com

First-Date Etiquette: Top 5 Dos And Don’ts

Are you a fan of The Bachelor Australia? Chances are, if so, you will have recently guffawed aplenty and enjoyed endless schadenfreude along with the rest of Australia at arguably the most awkward, one-on-one TV date EVER.

RELATED: The Bachelor Ep4: Will Batch-Man + H-Bomb Live Happily Ever After?

I’m talking about episode three – when Sam Wood, aka Woody, as I like to call him, squired a young, hapless lass called Madeleine (pictured below, at right) out in a rowboat for a picnic. It quickly descended into date hell thanks to a series of long, awkward silences and inclement weather, which saw Mads become the poster girl on what not to do on a first date. Poor Woody could barely stop his eyes from rolling back into his head while she spent the entire time obsessing about her hair/teeth/appearance and then flat-out refused to eat in front of him and/or drink red wine.

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Inevitably, Woody had little choice, but to send poor, anally-retentive Madeleine home at his earliest opportunity and it got me thinking: has this episode perfectly encapsulated the world’s worst first-date behaviour? Dating ain’t easy to be fair, let alone in front of a camera crew on a national TV show. And in real life, dating can be both downright scary and ridiculous; it’s a challenge to be yourself when you’re nervous and out to impress.

I know – I’ve been there – after one long-term relationship after another, I dated a lot in my late 20s-early 30s. At times, it was excruciatingly hard: I felt like an extra straight from Sex and the City going: “Where are all the decent, available men?” And navigating dating etiquette, as I discovered, was no easy task.

Enter Jodie Bache-McLean (pictured), the much-respected and admired director of both June Dally-Watkins (JDW) and Dallys Model Management, who spoke to SHESAID about her top advice on first-date etiquette.

“I think when you accept an invitation from someone, it is only respectful to be polite and gracious. Any other type of behaviour would be completely inappropriate,” Jodie says. “Really, if you do not want to be there, simply do not accept the invitation.

“On a first-date, you must treat others how you would like to be treated – with respect and dignity – even if you know very early into it that this person isn’t for you.”

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So, what did we learn from The Bachelor? Here are quick and easy top 5 first-date dos and don’ts with expert advice from Jodie for good measure:

1. Go with the flow: If it all doesn’t go according to plan (what does, in life?) and it instead say, rains on your date, ala Mads’ and Woody’s picnic-from-hell, try your best to be fun and light-hearted and laugh about it. I used to try viewing dating as a game: the less seriously you take it all, the better. A little rain never hurt someone – don’t be so precious and fun you can’t let go. Aim to extend your horizons by meeting new and interesting people.

2. Don’t be a bore: No man or woman wants to go on a date with someone who spends the entire time being insecure, fussing about their appearance and seeking constant reassurance. A confident, easy-going nature is the first-date ideal – remember, no one is perfect, so stop trying to be. And keep the negative self-talk in your head: aim to be positive, confident and interested in your date. Talk less about yourself and ask lots of questions; keep the banter playful and light.

“On that all-important first date,” Jodie adds, “Be careful of over-disclosure. There is no need to ditch the dirt on any previous exes, or ask the person to divulge all the dirt on their previous relationship; this is not a first-date conversation starter.

“Instead, be interesting and be interested. Good conversation is like a game of tennis: when asked a question, you answer like returning the ball, you return the question, and this starts conversation and makes you both feel at ease.  One point I do want to add is make sure you allow the person to finish what they are saying. There’s nothing ruder than not allowing someone to finish  answering a question; being a great listener is a skill and is admired by many.”

3. Eating is not cheating: Poor Mads hilariously told Woody: “I don’t want to eat in front of you, that’s embarrassing” and refused to – gasp – drink wine: “Yay red, it’ll stain my teeth”. Omg, what the actual f*** – I wanted to throw something at my TV at this point. It’s OKAY to eat in front of a love-interest – in fact, I’d be highly suspicious of anyone who expected otherwise?! And drink the wine too ladies – a glass or two will loosen you up, which is just what poor, old Madeleine really needed.

4. Time to pay up, buddy: Real-life dates which do not involve The Bachelor-like super yachts, rowboats and candle-lit beach dinners at sunset may instead involve the age-old quandary of who should pay for dinner. Oh the humanity! My take is that a woman should always offer to pay half, especially if said date is a total nightmare. You will most likely find most men will be more than happy to turn traditional and foot the entire bill though – beware the undesirables who make a big fuss about it or who ask you to pay the entire bill! That’s not going to end well.

And Jodie concurs, but adds the first-date inviter should almost always pay. “Traditionally, if you are invited to dinner by someone, the expectation is that they pay. However, if you are not comfortable with that, then by all means when you are planning the date, you could say something to the effect: ‘Lets share the bill.’ That way, it is flagged before the dinner begins.

5. Dress to impress: It’s a first date, not a skin flick – you don’t have to reveal all your goodies to him on a first date. I say dress sexily, but appropriately. You don’t want to be like poor, old Bachelor frontrunner Sarah in episode two, who wore a skirt so tiny you could practically see her pink bits throughout her entire date spent looking terrified aboard a super yacht. I like to model what my Year 8 drama teacher used to preach: “Wear a skirt long enough to cover the subject, but short enough to be interesting.” Word! Or, wear whatever you bloody well want, as long as it’s classy and comfortable. I met my husband while out on the town wearing jeans, a cute top and stilettos.

first-date etiquette, sex, dating tips, The Bachelor Australia

 Images via www.ayi.com; www.rabblerousetheworld.com; news.com.au

The Bachelor Ep5 + 6: The Battle Of The Brunettes Ends In Tears

Does anyone else feel like The Bachelor Australia has morphed into a The Hunger Games-style drama, whereby the reality dating TV show’s producers are striving to devise new, torturous and humiliating ways to kill off, although not quite literally, the contestants?

RELATED: The Bachelor Ep4: Will Batch-Man + H-Bomb Live Happily Ever After?

Ep6 quickly became a battle of the brunettes after Ebru, 31, and Jacinda, 33, and Bec, 28, are thrown into a “groundhog date” ala Groundhog Day to test how the girls “handle things when the chips are down,” to quote Bachie Sam Wood, aka Woody as I like to call him. Cue yet more humiliation galore as the poor lasses are each, in turn, subjected to the date no one wanted, all in order to ascertain who was this season’s most uptight lady, ala #dirtystreetpie Laurina, from Season 2.

What a mean-spirited way to whittle down the numbers? The scantily-clad ladies were all forced to endure a fake limo flat tyre test; a hair-raising and (dampening) jet boat ride on the Sydney Harbour; a flirty, OTT and rude waitress in a restaurant and a disgusting serving of inedible “delicacies” including fried crickets and duck tongue, I think, although my eyes were rolling back into my head and I can’t be sure. Yummy!

After much stoic, admirable and fake excitement at every twist and turn, you’ve got to hand it to the ladies – they each hold up well in the wake of Woody’s perverse pleasure, with him naturally in on the joke at the ladies expense.

And here’s the thing: I can’t work out if Woody is so emotionally retarded that he couldn’t foresee the women’s natural upset at this degrading scenario, or is he just a very, very good liar when it comes to soothing their ills? I mean, what a way to make women feel special, right?

And what the actual fuck: why is charity worker Rachel, 28, who’s barely been on screen the entire time and somehow made it through to the top 10 women seemingly without spending five seconds with Woody, now akin to the show’s narrator? Is she extra hot?

It quickly becomes apparent that Woody can well imagine getting, erm hard over Bec (pictured) and Ebru, despite the latter’s over-zealous baby talk, but he ain’t got no trouser love for poor, old Jacinda, who I both like and really feel for. Sigh.

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All the women fall apart to differing degrees – causing widespread drama, drama, drama in the mansion of 1000 tears – when they inevitably realise they’ve been set up when they each return to the house.

Woody then walks into a “lions den”, that is this estrogen-fuelled snake pit. Each woman expresses her dismay while Woody seemingly soothes their ills with compliments like: “But you’re really hot and I’d totally do you” to Bec (OK, not in those exact words).

The beautiful and lovely Jacinda, a rough diamond is there ever was one, wearing a very revealing crop top and skirt, then evicts herself as, heartbroken, she is forced to listen to Bachie lament he feels no chemistry between them.

Is Bachie the most empathetic and emotionally honest Bachelor to date? Hmmm. He says he feels genuine sadness saying goodbye to Jacinda (pictured) and it’s an important reminder as to why he’s on the show: he’s there to find a true friend, but also a genuine love he can totally sex until the cows come home.

The Bachelor Australia, reality TV, dating, dating tips

Osher glides in and announces to call Jacinda has evicted herself and Woody has aborted the rose ceremony in his apparent grief. And so ten women become nine. “It’s becoming really real,” says Heather, all hormonal rage and deep, deep sadness.

As for Ep5, if you missed it, these were the giddy highs and lows: Emily bitched to camera a lot; Heather looked equally simpering and sad at having finally realised she’s in dating hell; Osher’s shiny hair almost stole the show at various points; and busty wedding planner and yet another brunette, Nina, 28, (pictured below) worked her ta tas and an ugly grey jumpsuit with Woody to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge and break the longest world record onscreen kissing attempt. They achieve it – cue awkward kiss that was less Hollywood heart-melt and more “Omg when will this end!? And gleeful, maybe someone will suffocate?!” They kiss for a record four mins 10 secs and she rewards Woody over dinner with an “almost” nip slip and the knowledge she’s been single for 4.5 years. Whoa!

An infamous gold date card then sends most of the already competitive ladies on a soccer match with a difference, whereby Woody has the time of his life watching the women try to outdo each other dressed in tiny shorts, sporting hilarious, giant bubbles. Mad, bad Sandra, 27, whom let us remind ourselves is a primary school teacher in charge of minors, disgraces herself by being loud and obnoxious and Woody soon sends her packing in the limo of despair. Poor love – I hope she gets some counselling. She looks like a sad clown.

Oh and one more thing: Heather may be a mastermind. She keeps her cards so close to chest, none of the other girls fully grasp the “deep connection” she and Woody seemingly share, although he does single her out for a one-on-one chat, where he jokes he may never be able to let her go. Both express how much they miss each other. Cute. I still have my money on these two to go the distance.

So, with Sandra gone, who will become the mansion of misery’s resident nutter now? And will Heather actually risk slipping into the “friendship zone” if she continues with her weird and stupid penchant for calling Woody “man” and “dude”? Stay tuned for yet more humiliation galore…

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Images via smh.com.au; tenplay.com.au

The Bachelor Ep4: Will Batch-Man + H-Bomb Live Happily Ever After?

I’m calling it, ladies (and gents): The Bachelor Australia has fast become The Heather and Woody Show – aka our dastardly TV superheroes Batch-Man and H-Bomb – and everyone else just may as well go home.

RELATED: Woody Gets Hard At Work In The Bachelor Season3 Premiere

Yep, for the 13 remaining poor, hapless ladies locked away in the lush mansion of misery at Sydney, our Bachie Sam Wood, aka Woody as I like to call him, is really just going through the motions. Who can possibly compete with the super-cute Batch-Man and H-Bomb scenario? Now, it’s become all about the producers destabilising their considerable erm, “connection” by throwing fireballs into the house of horrors.

Ep4 picked up with Heather finally making her move and asking Woody out on her white-rose “power move date” after the “dude”, as she prefers to call him, all but begged her to play her hand in Ep3.

Quick Ep3 recap while we’re there: Woody sent a silly, self-obsessed and vain lady-child called Madeleine home after the girls voted her for a one-on-one date and she spent the entire time boring our Bachie senseless with endless, tedious, uptight and self-conscious BS about her hair/teeth appearance and weird eating habits whereby she flat-out refused to chill out enough to fuel her body – gasp – in front of Woody. Here’s exactly how not to behave on a date, ladies! And he hated her behaviour so much he sent the beautiful lass home instead of her runner-up Laura, aka Anal Glands. Talk about the worst date EVER!?

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I’m actually shocked to find myself quite liking this Bachie for once. He seems a lot more emotionally honest, real and less pretentious than his previous counterparts. I mean, the fact that he was quite gallant, genuine and diplomatic about Madeleine’s departure speaks volumes about his character.

Now, back to Ep4: The girls eat fruit salad and fake sadness for Madeleine’s “shock” departure when Osher’s luxuriant hair walks in and announces Heather is on her white-rose date. The camera cuts to Heather’s major love rival Emily making bitchy comments about them just being friends.

Next up, Heather and Woody head off in a luxury, red sports car to her fave prop hire, event styling company so she can give him an “idea of who I am”. They pretend to do an exercise session so she can test out Woody’s passion for hot and sweaty pursuits Cameras cut back to Heather and Woody jelly wrestling in costumes, as you do. Is there a spark or isn’t there? Does he want to stick his tongue down her throat or NOT?!

Heather, now dressed in a miniature skirt cooks for him and they share deep and important intimacies such as her growing up father-less and her later search for her dad and Woody shares his grief at losing his mum to cancer. I’m not making light of this, because this is a rare and lovely moment of genuine TV realness.

the bachelor australia, sam wood, reality tv

Hold the phone! Despite saying he’s had the “perfect date” Woody boldly confesses over dinner he’s worried they’re falling into the much-dreaded “friendship zone”. “I feel like we’re in danger of just becoming fantastic friends,” he says. Heather’s jaw drops to the floor. “Pash him!” I screamed at the TV. Thankfully, there’s no need, Woody eventually goes in for the big pash after presenting her with a rose. After much pleasing tongue-hockey, he declares there’s “lots more fun dates to come!” Phew!

The cameras cut to the mention where the remaining 15 angry and hormonal girls are stewing in their own juices. Cue yet more Emily bitching to camera. Yawn.

Meanwhile, through all this a gold card has arrived announcing a group date: it’s a beach bikini showdown! Joni aka “falsies” as I like to call her for customary ten inches of make-up, including false eyelashes, in broad daylight suddenly gets lots of camera time so we know she’s doomed. Falsies worries she’s not fun enough for Woody. You think?

Lo and behold Anal Glands, who’s English, gets a chance to talk to Woody again and f***s it up once more by mentioning – yep, you guessed it – anal glands. Is she a frustrated comedian? He’s so sending her home, too.

Meanwhile, Woody subjects the poor women to a mini-beach triathlon. Joni then goes into “freak-out mode” in baby waves and Woody is forced to give her the much-coveted, later one-on-one beach date in sympathy to her madness. He says she’s “incredibly intense and I want to see if she can take it down a level”. Fail – Joni’s just getting started! Woody falls asleep while she bangs on all serious dullness.

Cut to the rose ceremony where Anal Glands is in denial about going home. Woody goes in search of the luminous Snezana (pictured), who eventually – gasp – gets Woody’s first kiss in the house of a thousand tears. Just a bit of Ep3 back-story people – this gorgeous Perth mum is also giving H-Bomb a run for her money as she and Woody appear to share a special bond after a hot-air balloon ride and vineyard picnic. Again, the fact that Woody appears to so far accept Snez has a daughter he didn’t in fact father makes me think he’s not a total scumbag. It’s not a big ask at all in real life, but this is TV la la land.

the bachelor australia, sam wood, reality tv

Lo and behold their tiny kiss goodbye on the lips is a MAJOR drama people as some twit called Jasmin, who has the social skills of a gnat and whom ran away from Woody on the beach when he dared to try to talk to her, throws a giant fireball into the mansion of mayhem by virtually running from room-to-room announcing that Woody has in fact PASHED A GIRL!

Poor Snez. Heather’s all dropped pie expression until Sam rescues her by giving them a moment alone so she can present him with their superhero poster. Sam lights up like Christmas tree and Jasmin again reports back to everyone in the house they “only” exchanged a peck on the cheek.

Osher glides into room all hair and funereal countenance. Two girls are going home! Someone called Nina, who’s never had an actual single or group date gets the first rose. Who the hell is she? Did the producers forget about her until now?

Unfortunately, silly and vacuous Jasmin gets the second rose as Heather thunders. Finally, as predicted, Woody sends Joni, aka “falsies” and Laura, aka Anal Glands, home. Amen.

And my biggest high for the night? Osher himself favouriting one of my tweets. Beat that! Stay tuned for more hijinks, heartbreak and heinous Emily bitching…

the bachelor australia, sam wood, reality tv

Images via www.popsugar.com.au; www.bandt.com.au; thenewdaily.com.au; tenplay.com.au

The Bachelor’s Happy Ending… Finally?

Blake Garvey, otherwise known to Australia as The Bachelor, has announced to the world that he is finally with his one true love – apparently. Garvey had proposed to Sam Frost in the last episode of the series before coming out and revealing that the pair were no longer together just 24 hours after the finale aired on Network 10.

We all know what followed. Even if we wanted to avoid it, it’s become almost impossible and the network have done a fantastic job at continuing the storyline despite the the actual series having now ended almost two weeks ago.

So what did we learn on The Project last night? Blake and Louise, one of the ladies booted off the show (in the second last episode to be exact), are happily in a loving and committed relationship with each other… since Saturday. Yep, Saturday, as in three days ago. Sounds legit, right?

RELATED: The Bachelor’s Achy Blakey Scandal

If we didn’t already have our reservations about playboy Blake (via the naughty party pics that have emerged of him as a topless waiter), you’d have to question the fact that this guy proposed to one girl while having “feelings” for another.

And then the first bombshell – Louise points out that Garvey actually wrote her “a very beautiful, very heartfelt letter” that she had received BEFORE the finale. Hmmm…

Louise also pointed out that she believed Blake had been “protecting me by sending me home”. Sorry Louise, that’s not quite how the show works.

Regardless of all that, Louise says, “It feels right… I need to trust in his word”. Well, Sam trusted his word, too. But we all know how that ended.

The pair will now get on with their lives, posing for Woman’s Day, which had followed them to Thailand for the exclusive images, and maybe we can focus on something else for a while – like Big Brother’s plummeting ratings.

But no, not yet. Because tomorrow the jilted ladies, Lisa and Sam, get their say on the matter and The Project gave us just enough for a teaser: “That is the biggest load of shit I’ve ever heard in my life” – thanks Sam. Me too.

Sam Frost Steps Out Solo For Agent Provocateur Launch

The Bachelor’s Sam Frost stepped out for her first public engagement this week post Blake. Hitting the red carpet solo for Agent Provocateur’s Fatale fragrance launch at the Carousel Bar of the X Studio, the pretty blonde wore a textured voluminous skirt by Mossman Clothing paired with her own vintage top.

Samantha Frost, Agent Provocateur, The Bachelor

Mingling with Sydney beauty bloggers and socialites, Sam looked relaxed as she tested out Agent Provocateur’s new fragrances: Fatale and Fatale Pink.

Inspired by the infamous sirens that graced the glamorous Hollywood Age, Fatale and Fatale Pink are sexy, sweet florals that fit perfectly with the brands’ Lingerie heritage.

Think notes of pink pepper, black currant and gardenia with seductive vanilla and musk. (Fatale pink starts with accords of tangerine and pear blossom). 

Fellow guest Imogen Anthony had fun with the femme fatale theme, channeling cat woman in her Felicienne Corset Dress by Misha Collection and fab feline headpiece.

Samantha Frost, Agent Provocateur, The Bachelor

Guests were treated to a gourmet selection of canapés and truffles, Moet champagne, tunes from Peter Dolso and a live performance from Tiaan.

While Sam candidly admitted on the night to texting rumoured couple Blake and Louise, she revealed she had no response back.

“I’m a bit Bachelor-ed out at the moment but ask me again in six months,” she told The Project.

Judging from the popular reaction in the room it’s clear the break-out star of the Bachelor is perfectly poised to capitalise on her fame.

With a background in publishing, Allison Voight has written for numerous local and international fashion magazines. She also has her own style blog, StylistaSister. She is Creative Director at Voight Photography and Design, which she co-owns with her photographer husband. Their work has appeared in publications including Vogue Australia, Cielo, Elle, En Vie and Fashion TV. Catch her on Instagram at @stylistasister

The Bachelor’s Achy Blakey Scandal

I’m all agog, I am aghast: the “fairytale” that was The Bachelor has in fact turned into a heinous nightmare, after Network Ten confirmed today Blake Garvey and Sam Frost have in fact split.
As a shocked and outraged nation mourns the demise of Blake and Sam’s “relationship” and social media bays for Garvey’s blood, some background if you’re one of only a handful of people (including my husband) who boycotted the blood sport that was this year’s The Bachelor reality TV show.

Related: Why The Bachelor Is Bad For Your Relationship

So, to sum up: after 10 weeks of dates, dramas and dirty street pies, tall, dark handsome Perth auctioneer Blake – whom I always found extremely beige in personality and emotionally vacant – got to pash and fondle; humiliate in various degrading circumstances; and force some 30 women to declare their undying love for him at a Sydney prison, sorry mansion, for the nation’s vast amusement, entertainment and schadenfreude.

And of the 30 women, six were “intruders” sent in for the producers’ and ours’ collective enjoyment, only to be quickly voted off over the course of a few episodes. Blake then whittled the remaining women down to the top four of Jessica, Louise, Lisa and Sam, with the latter the favourite from the start to win the heart of “Blake the Snake”.

Fast forward to last night’s thrilling The Bachelor final rose finale in South Africa, where only the eternally-smitten, aforementioned Sam, 25, and Lisa, 27, remained. Lisa, who had previously wisely held back on saying the “L-word”, unfortunately did end up confessing her undying love for Blake firstly to his aunty and mum (as you do) and then to him, only to be booted off the show at the final hour when Blake the Snake declared his one, true love was in fact Sam.

Of course, mere hours before Australia found out who the final “lucky” chosen one was on The Bachelor, the shit hit the fan and social media went nuts over the news that Network Ten had cancelled all Blake, Sam and Lisa’s media interviews today and in the lead-up to the finale.

Then, Twitter conspiracy theories peaked with the one about Blake fathering a baby with one of the previously rejected Bachelorettes (obvs not Sam).

Well, I can confirm SHE SAID readers that while there is no Bachelor baby (bugger), as I said above, you may need some counselling, wine and chocolate, for it is true that Blake and Sam are splitsville.

Today, Network Ten issued this curt presser, along with a caveat, “There will be no further comment at this time.”

“Network Ten can confirm that Blake and Sam have sadly ended their engagement. When Blake proposed to Sam in South Africa, he did so because he had genuinely fallen in love with her. He was excited to start a life with Sam and was very much looking forward to their future together.
Unfortunately, not all relationships are meant to be, and feelings invariably change. Once Blake returned to his everyday life, he realised that they both wanted different things from a relationship and had different priorities. Blake has the greatest love and respect for Sam, but has made the difficult decision to end the relationship.”

dating tips, The Bachelor, Blake Garvey
Well, bugger me!?

But wait, there’s more! Interestingly, Sam broke her silence, on her Twitter account @fro_001 earlier today, saying: “People need to stop asking why we broke up. Trust me, I’m just as in the dark as you all are.. Blake is the one calling all the shots here.”

So, what gives Blakey baby? If the poor dude hasn’t already fled overseas to avoid the lynch mob on social media, he may be in need of some bodyguards. And, speaking of Twitter, my favourite analysis of the situation has been from the very smart and funny Todd Sampson, @toddsampsonOz who said: “perhaps Sam realised she was dating a production company for the last 8 weeks not Blake. #TheBachelorAu.

So, what can we all learn from this debacle, aside from the fact that TV reality shows are, in fact, not based on reality? And that if you go on a TV reality show to find true love, you need your head read?!

On a more serious note, the sinister I’m-a-princess/life-is-a-fairytale myths perpetuated by such TV shows as The Bachelor, which are so hazardous to women’s emotional and mental well-being and relationships, are still alive and well in our society.

So, I don’t know about you, but I’ll be teaching my daughters to: beware of tall, dark and handsome auctioneers who appear too good to be true; never seek true love on a TV reality show and above all, to find their own man – to never allow a love interest to pash/fondle and confess his feelings to 29 of their closest friends in a secluded mansion cut off from the world. How is that ever OK?!

And one final thing: who gets to keep the bloody $58,000 Bunda diamond engagement ring?! Should it actually go to The Bachelor’s most dastardly, devious and evil producer?

What do you think?

How To Be Emotionally Honest In Relationships

Are you obsessed with all things The Bachelor on Network Ten, as I am, and cringed at Blake Garvey’s seeming appalling lack of emotional honesty at times?

Remember when Blake (pictured) recently told poor, smitten Louise on their boozy Blue Mountains picnic, shortly before she straddled him (as you do, on national TV) that “you make me so happy” then said off-camera, that he wasn’t sure if there was “enough of a spark?”

RELATED: Why The Bachelor Is Bad For Your Relationship

Then, there was the time he recently happily enjoyed some sexy time in a hot tub with young, besotted Jessica – henceforth to be known as “steamy Jess” – only to whinge to Australia that he was essentially worried they had too much of a spark and not enough substance? Cringe!

Jesus, get it together, Garvey?! Unless I’m missing something, I’m pretty sure Blake the Bachelor hasn’t exactly told any of these women he’s allegedly all having relationships with much of his actual, true feelings.

And, sure, it can’t be easy being emotionally honest with a bunch of women on a reality TV show, not to mention ones who are all obsessively and fanatically in love with you, but I just want him to try a bit harder so that the final four women’s hearts don’t break upon the shock of being suddenly and brutally rejected.

So, listen up Garvey, here’s some top tips from a leading relationships psychologist, who wishes to remain anonymous, about how to be emotionally honest in relationships and why it matters so much.

“Emotional honesty in a relationship means expressing what you really feel,” says the psych. “Communicating with your partner in an open and honest way is the basis for a strong relationship. This can be difficult as not everyone is in touch with their emotions, or has the language to openly express how they are feeling.”

So, why would anyone be false and deceitful about their emotions in a relationship? The relationships psych says this is actually more common than you think, with both men and women guilty of Blake-esque behaviour by telling partners what they want to hear, as opposed to their true feelings.

“People are dishonest about their feelings because their desire to have this relationship and all that is associated with it makes them ignore or cover up their true feelings,” she says. “For example, someone might express love for a partner that they don’t really feel, because they really want to be in a relationship, have sex, or fear being alone… Or they may not want to hurt their partner’s feelings.

“It is very important to be honest in a relationship, particularly in terms of the emotions you are feeling. If someone is feeling a certain emotion, but saying something different there will be a dissonance which will undermine the relationship. It will be likely to cause problems of trust in the relationship because their partner will probably sense that they are not being honest.”

And, if God forbid, any of us are faced with a potentially very emotional and awkward relationship breakup – and I don’t envy Blake having to do this, with multiple women on national TV no less – how on earth do you do it honestly, without insulting the other poor, unsuspecting and love-struck person?

“Use ‘I statements’ to take responsibility for the breakup,” says the psych. “Use a kind and caring manner and body language, but say honestly how you are feeling. You might also want to preface the conversation with something like: ‘Look, I need to be honest with you about where I see our relationship going’.”

As in going nowhere fast, eek!

The Bachelor airs every Wednesday and Thursday nights at 7.30pm, with the finale on next Thursday, October 2 at 7.30pm.

dating tips, The Bachelor, Blake Garvey

Why The Bachelor Is Bad For Your Relationship

Confession time: I love The Bachelor – aired on Network Ten twice weekly. I adore its delicious schadenfreude; what woman (or man, although my husband hates it so much, he has to leave the room) hasn’t yelped, whooped and cringed at the TV every time The Bachelor’s Blake Garvey (pictured) – he of the gorgeous, chocolaty voice – gives that blank, shutters-down I’m-about-to-send-you-home look to one of his many poor, smitten lasses in the mansion!?

I’m addicted and I can’t wait to see whom Blake chooses – #teamsam all the way!

But behind this reality TV show’s ridiculous, over-the-top romance and glamour lies an ugly, well, reality which can ruin your relationship if you’ve not got your head screwed on right: I’m not even kidding.

For The Bachelor strongly perpetuates the I’m-a-princess/life-is-a-fairytale myths that are so hazardous to women’s emotional and mental well-being and relationships. Sure, what woman wouldn’t want to be whisked away for a romantic, champagne picnic date atop the Blue Mountains, or even taken in a limo to eat a #dirtystreetpie for that matter, but when the cameras stop rolling, what will all the rejected women be left with?

Are they all now going to expect to be carried off into the sunset on luxury dream dates every time with their future partners? “Where’s my helicopter/vintage car/limo!? Dammit, I just WANTED BLAKE!”

And every instance one of the poor, deluded lasses in the house utters the immortal words “I’m so touched Blake arranged this special date for me and wanted me to experience this…” my heart dies a thousand deaths.

Blake didn’t “arrange” anything, you silly lass!? Dude just shows up and I’m fairly certain does exactly what those dastardly producers tell him to do. Witness the rise and fall of model and fashion designer Laurina Fleure (pictured below), for example, she of the aforementioned #dirtystreetpie and #hetouchedhiseye Twitter infamy, who was booted off the show last Wednesday night.

The Bachelor, relationship tips, dating tips, love, romance, reality TV

Her downfall came after she dared to be quite rightly offended when Blake gave her the ol’ blank, shutters-down I’m-about-to-send-you-home look, complete with a dirty eye scratch for good measure.

I cheered on Laurina as she left the mansion, head held high. And while she was a very divisive character – her “Melbourne is amazing” real estate rant at the end was priceless and cringe-worthy, and her extreme lack of empathy for the other women in the house was appalling at times – I still admired her for sticking to her guns.

What woman wouldn’t be a tad confused, even a little offended, if told to dress up to the nines then taken to a pie takeaway shop? I believe The Bachelor producers (and poor, old Blake for that matter) realised very early on that dramatic, out-there Laurina made for good TV, despite hers and Blake’s lack of compatibility, and so they strung her along right until the end – the final six, for that matter.

Even Laurina herself has recently said she and Blake were “flogging a dead horse” when it came to their “relationship” and I use the term loosely. The producers continually hung her out to dry in unwinnable situations and therein lies the danger of these heavily contrived TV dating shows. They’re entertainment, not reality. The fairytale is not real. And, as I’ll teach my daughters, if you go through life expecting to be treated like a princess, ala The Bachelor contestants, like some passive Cinderella-like character, waiting to be swept off your feet and not in charge of your own destiny, you are only setting yourself up for a fall. True love exists, but you need to be in the driver’s seat, not a passive participant expecting Prince Charming to find you.

And it’s barbaric and demeaning to say the least to see multiple women competing for the affections of one man. At times, while watching The Bachelor, I wish I could race to the women’s prison, sorry luxury mansion, and set them free!

“There’s a whole world of men out there, girlfriend, go get happy with a man of your own!” I’d yell at them, before feeding them cupcakes and champagne.

“Or, better still, get happy within yourself first, sister, then look for your partner.”

For life ain’t no fairytale. The romance and love part is easy – it’s the keeping the happily-ever-after bit alive in a marriage that takes deep love, trust, commitment, friendship and endless patience and forgiveness.

The Bachelor airs every Wednesday and Thursday nights at 7.30pm, with the finale on Thursday, October 2 at 7.30pm.

The Bachelor, relationship tips, dating tips, love, romance, reality TV