The Bachelorette Australia: Paper Roses (and No-one Proposes)

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! So excited for this episode to start. Bachelorette final! Watching the recap at the beginning of the show, my overriding thought was, ‘Please don’t be Michael’. I had visions of being distraught/inconsolable by the end if things didn’t pan out as I wanted. Yes, I think I had become a little too invested in the ending of this show. In my defence, it is real! Not like when I got upset that Kate died in Last Tango in Halifax. Though that’s still a bit of a sticking point, too.

Anyway. Final episode. This should be a lovely post to write, not least because I am accompanied by black tea and double coat Tim Tams.

We begin with a voiceover: Sam talking about Michael’s gorgeous soul, amply illustrated by footage of him choosing from the bread basket on his flight to New Zealand (where our heroine shall choose her hero). I’m in no doubt that he opted for the most soulful rolls.

We had a quick flashback to meeting the finalists – did they have to remind us that Sash is not gifted in the art of paper rose making? I had blocked that rubbish out of my head for weeks. They showed it again anyway, perhaps to juxtapose Sash’s imperfection with Michael’s uber-slickness. Whatever – I probably shouldn’t have raised it again here. Sorry, Sash – the paper rose was, however, substandard. Look, never mind.

The boys met the “fam”. Sam’s sister shared my thoughts on Mr Perfect – the smooth answers are completely off-putting. I did enjoy watching Michael’s jaw literally drop at this point, before some smoothness quickly fell from the open mouth.

In contrast, Sash’s answers actually WERE perfect.

“How would Sam fit into your life?” “I don’t know – we’ll just be a normal couple.”

“Are you doing the show to grow a profile?” “Look at me. (That would have done for me.) I’m off back to building after this.”

“Do you love Sam?” “I’m not saying that for the sake of saying it.”

Hurrah. Sash has this. On to the final dates.

Michael gets some rafting experience followed by a thermal spa. “I’m a bath guy.” Ew.

Michael loves how Sam brings out his own spontaneity. He thinks Sam always leads this adventurous, raft-and-bath kind of life. He doesn’t know she doesn’t have nice things.

Sam disappoints me here. She really really wants the men to tell her they love her. Not that they’re falling in love with her, or that they can see a future with her, or any of that ambiguous crap. I LOVE YOU. SAY IT.

But Sam, saying I love you doesn’t make it true. S’only words. Don’t you remember that other bloke? Asked you to marry him but didn’t actually want to marry you? He just said it! People just say stuff! Why would you place so much importance on words over feelings and behaviour?

Anyway, as you can imagine, Michael practically falls over himself to obey orders. He’d written it on his hand – much eye-rolling from this sofa – a week or so back anyway, so it can’t have come as that much of a surprise to Sam. But she needed to HEAR IT. And Michael was gagging to SAY IT.

Happily, we then get to see Sash and Sam’s final date. They have a lovely time together and we hear, via the magic of voiceovers, that Sash is umming and ahhing over that love business, because it’s not just a laugh, but time is of the essence and it’s now or possibly never and a few other time-related clichés.

With far less build-up than Michael, Sash simply tells her. And Sam and I have a cry together. And I poke Sam and tell her they had better be a genuine expression of delight that her one true love is reciprocating her feelings, because I am genuinely touched and will not be played like this.

Sam tells us that this changes everything. I worry slightly that Sash is now too good for her – didn’t Sam tell us she only has horrible things? Or something like that. Sash deserves nice things. No, don’t fail me now – let’s get to those bloody limos and see who gets out first.

I prepare myself for disappointment, recalling Lana a month ago and my abject horror when she stepped from the car in first place, destined to come second. This time I must be ready for any outcome, not blindly optimistic.

And....’s Michael who is first out of the traps. Phew. Phew, phew, phew. I relax and smile, not because I am mean but just because Sam has chosen correctly. I can enjoy the last few minutes now.

Except, who can enjoy this? Sam is struggling, Michael is uncomprehending, then he gets it, then he tells Sam that it’s okay, it’s okay, many many times, and I think what a lovely man. And he says someone has to get hurt in this and that he’d rather it was him than her. Aw. He is so wonderfully gracious I almost go back and edit previous uncomplimentary remarks about him. Almost. But one swallow doth not a summer make.

Oh, let’s wrap up this beautiful show. Hello, Sash. Sam babbles on for HOURS and I just want her to say “It’s you”, but no, she must babble so I wait somewhat impatiently until finally, FINALLY, she tells him that she loves him so much. And Sash says, “Really?”

See. That’s genuine. Michael would never have doubted it. In fact, he didn’t. But he was wonderfully gracious (and the loser) so let’s not knock him while he’s down.

In a fairly embarrassing postscript, I woke up this morning, remembered that Sam and Sash are together and felt happy all over again. I may also have thrown out a couple of #BacheloretteAU tweets last night declaring my joy – very much against type.

I also gave thanks that I am not a (regular) Daily Mail reader, as pictures of the happy couple were reportedly published ahead of the final, ruining the fun for many. I am always impressed that the winner of The Bachelor/Bachelorette remains secret, particularly given the amount of press contestants took part in this time around and the prevalence of social media.

So, hopefully Sam and Sash will live happily ever after. Hopefully Sam’s protracted monologue re never being able to find love and wondering why her relationships NEVER work out won’t have set alarm bells ringing within Sash. Eek. I’m going to let her off that one – perhaps she had a director in her ear, demanding more words before she is allowed to let Sash off the hook and she just got flustered. Maybe she’s just keeping it real and she really is crap at maintaining relationships. Maybe she was right when she said she has just been waiting her whole life to meet Sash. Aaaah.

See, now I’m happy all over again.

Sam and Sash – yippee!