IT’S that time of The Bachelorette season when the budget dries up and all producers have left to bankroll these final dates are a couple of Red Balloon vouchers and some last-minute, hastily-begged-for sponsorship deals.
For the semi-final, we’d usually be heading overseas with the final three. Not somewhere too extravagant. Whatever deal’s being pushed on the Jetstar homepage, really. For The Bachelor semi-final, Richie and the girls got their passports stamped over in Bali and hung out at the temples for a few days.
But it seems someone over at The Bachelorette is being a little tight with the purse strings. Georgia’s told she’s staying local, but she can have full use of Sydney Harbour and charter a total of one helicopter. Wine and cheese is unlimited: A rule for both The Bachelorette and my personal life.
Despite this lack of international glamour, Wednesday night’s episode still manages to give us one of the most vulnerable, raw and exposed moments of television we’ve seen all year. Georgia’s been begging for some assurance from the boys that they’re in this for real. And Matty’s jacuzzi declaration may have just secured him Georgia’s heart.
It involves a hot tub and several minutes of awkward float-humping. But more on that special moment in a tick.
These final days are an important time for Georgia. She has a huge decision to make and she’s feeling quite overwhelmed. So she pretends to journal.
She lays around for hours pretending to journal and she ends up getting so caught up in her pretend thoughts that she doesn’t realise the time. She has a date with Lee to get to.
There’s afternoon traffic and Uber’s price-surging.
The only way to get there in time is to cash in the one helicopter ride she’s been allocated this episode.
As usual, Lee looks fly as he waits patiently in a field for Georgia to arrive. When her chopper finally lands, she doesn’t tell him she’s late because she’s been journalling all morning because that’s not ladylike.
Taking into consideration the money problems, their date’s still incredibly ordinary.
They joyride the chopper for a little bit, steal some bicycles and eat some cheese on a rug, but mostly they talk about how Melbourne rules.
Because nothing else happens on this date, Georgia needs to latch onto something so she suddenly gets freaked out about how much they both love their home town.
“What if I wasn’t from Melbourne? Would it be the same if I wasn’t?” she asks him in a panic that night.
He says the fact they’re both from Melbourne is conveniently amazing and even if they weren’t, they’d make it work.
“Where you live doesn’t define you. Our connection’s far deeper, I feel, and far more real than just living in the same state together,” he says.
“The feelings I’ve had for Georgia ... I was going to say I haven’t felt in a long time. But to be honest, I’ve not felt ever before,” he tells us later.
He tells her he’s falling for her. She says similar lovely things about him and they kiss.
For Jake’s date, Georgia decides to take advantage of the Sydney Harbour access producers have granted. They’re allowed to hire a superyacht, but they have to steer and man it themselves. The challenge is accepted.
“I’m happy in his company, in his arms. I can’t think of anywhere else in the world I’d rather be,” Georgia tells us, unaware she basically said the same thing about Lee 24 hours earlier.
She brings up that, on the home visits, Jake’s mum expressed concerns about him leaving the Gold Coast to be with Georgia in Melbourne. But before the conversation gets too serious, it comes to a halt when they’re made recreate that move from Titanic.
But that night, Melbourne comes up again. It’s confusing. Georgia has a problem with Lee being from Melbourne, the same city she lives in. And now she has a problem with Jake not being from Melbourne.
“I’m not saying that if we were to be together at the end of this you’d have to move to Melbourne,” she says, basically telling him he’s moving to Melbourne, “But if that was something we chose to do would that be easy?”
“Distance is only distance if you let it be,” he says wisely, even though its not a proper saying.
Having totally not solved this issue, they kiss.
With both the helicopter and yacht privileges used up, Georgia dips into her own savings to hire a car for Matty’s date.
During home visits, Matty admitted to his passive-aggressive sister that he was falling in love with Georgia. And now he wants to tell her. But he doesn’t know when to.
They head to a distillery and invent their own gin. It’s here Georgia gives us the most contrived analogy of the series.
“I feel like the important things about making a good gin are probably the kind of things about making a good relationship,” she says knowingly. “A lot of compromise, communication, bit of spice, bit of sweetness. Makes a good gin, makes a good partnership.”
Matty’s so distracted about finding the perfect moment to tell Georgia his feelings he spends the whole date looking like he’s holding in pee.
Speaking of pee, they end the night with a jacuzzi. This is Matty’s last chance to lay it all down. And he does. All while being semi-naked in a hot tub and awkwardly float-humping Georgia in the water.
It’s the most vulnerable, raw and exposed moment of television we’ve seen all year.
“I’m not just treating this as a game, at all,” he tells her nervously. “To me, this couldn’t be more serious. There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that I want to end up with you. Like, the thought of not being with you kills me. And I’d do whatever it takes to make it work. You’re exactly what I’ve been looking for.”
She tells him she loves being around him and says the location dilemma of him being in Sydney might not be a problem because she just wants to be with him.
“While I’m standing here I want to be completely honest,” Matty continues. “And when there’s an opportunity I want to take it. I don’t know why it’s hard but, I’m completely falling in love with you.”
For the last few weeks, Georgia’s been begging for some assurance from the boys that they’re in this for good. Matty’s declaration catches her off guard, and it may have just won him her heart.
“I didn't expect that. But I couldn’t think of anything I want to hear more,” she says.
At the rose ceremony, there’s no mingling with a cocktail party beforehand. There’s no use pretending to be friends anymore. So they get down to business.
The three boys all wear the same suit but in different colours like they’re Destiny’s Child.
Matty gets the first rose, so it’s between Jake and Lee.
“If Georgia doesn’t choose me I’ll be gutted. I’ll be heartbroken,” Lee says.
“I feel like the connection Georgia and I have is something really special,” Jake tells us.
But it turns out their connection is not strong enough. She cuts Jake loose.
She says meeting his family on the home visits made it too difficult to take him away from the Gold Coast when she’s not 100 per cent certain of what they have.
She’s knows that’s harsh and so does he.
“I’m just really devastated. That hurts. It sucks. I don’t like goodbyes. And it was a ‘goodbye’, it wasn’t a ‘see you soon’,” he tells us in the car after.
“I really showed Georgia the true me and really wore my heart on my sleeve for the first time in quite a long time. I’m not sure what to think or feel. I’m sure it’s gonna hit me like a freight train soon.”
So, will Matty’s nautical love confession be enough to win Georgia’s heart tomorrow night? Or will Lee’s stunning looks and convenient Melbourne location make him the winner? Matty offers true feelings. But Melbourne has a croissanterie. It’s a tough decision.
For more observations on hot tubs and croissanteries, follow me on Twitter: @hellojamesweir.