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And the winner of The Bachelor is... Rosie Waterland.

Hey you guys,

I didn’t expect to be writing the most anticipated pop culture post of the year here on Mamamia, but welcome to the final episode of The Bachelor season 4.

I’m not here to tell you the winner. You can find out about that later on our site. And I’m certainly not here to write a Bachie finale recap. That was meant to be Rosie’s job tonight but she’s unwell and, just like Hillary Clinton (they’re very similar), she’s had to take some sick leave from work to recover.

We’ve spent all day today thinking long and hard about how to cover the final Bach episode in Rosie’s absence and we decided to do that elsewhere on Mamamia.

But I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge what an extraordinary phenomenon Rosie has birthed here at Mamamia in recapping the Bachelor.

In all my years in the media, I’ve never seen anything even remotely like it.

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Let me tell you how it started. Back in 2012, cramped in our first Mamamia office around our shared desk, it went something like this:

Rosie: I want to write recaps of The Bachelor.

Me: The TV show? Is that on? No Rosie, you can’t recap The Bachelor. That show is so sexist. Shut up.

Rosie: But I love it.

Me: No.

Rosie: But it’s amazing.

Me: No.

Rosie: But I’ve already written it, on my own time.

Me: \_(ツ)_/¯ OK whatevs.

And so it went. Encouraged by Mamamia’s then editor, Jamila Rizvi, Rosie wrote and wrote and wrote and developed her recap style along with all the other writing she did for the site. It was a slow build. She kept at it.

During that first season, her recaps built a cult following but they didn’t blow up until season two when Blake was the bachelor and Rosie’s posts went Next Level.

Click through for some of our favourite Rosie moments. (Post continues after gallery.)

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 Like many, I didn’t watch the show, I just read the recaps which somehow didn’t require show-watching as a prerequisite. In time, I started watching the Bachelor to enhance my enjoyment of reading Rosie’s recaps. This – according to many sources at Channel 10 – provided an unexpected ratings benefit to the show which increased as a direct result of the buzz generated by Rosie’s Bachie magic on Mamamia.

People would stop me in the street and ask me about Rosie and tell me how much they loved her. How obsessed they were with her recaps. Her fan-base was diverse and spanned generations, something I noticed even in my own life. My mother’s work colleagues. My teenage son’s girlfriends. Teachers at my daughter’s primary school. Sales assistants in every shop I walk into. This one time, I had a doctor rave to me about how much she loved Rosie’s recaps during my pap smear.

Watching Rosie’s star ascend was a gift. It filled the hearts of her friends, her family and her co-workers at Mamamia, all of whom had supported her and loved her through her struggles. This is a woman who, if you’ve read her book or her writing, grew up with incredible challenges. She had a traumatic childhood and she has fought battles with her body, mental health, PTSD and a host of other issues that would have felled most people.

She got a book deal. She got (for a while) a car. She was offered TV shows and sponsorships and all manner of things as a result of her Bachelor posts and she deserved every single one of them.

In the 25 years I’ve worked in the media, her rise has been unprecedented. I’ve seen people become famous quickly but they’re always the ones who work in front of the camera. Reality show stars, models, actors… not writers.

Never have I seen a writer become a star. Not like this. Not at this level.

Rosie and I have talked in depth many times over the years about why her recaps – which were not the first reality show recaps to be published in the media by any means – exploded in the way they did.

This is the conclusion we came to: Rosie gave us a way to feel smart about watching a dumb show. She looked at The Bachelor through a feminist lens, subverting the wildly sexist and regressive values for which it stood: a beauty contest of women competing for the attention and ultimately love of a fairly ordinary (and occasionally awful) bloke.

She called it out for what it was: a glorified reality show version of polygamy. But she did it with intelligence and humour and respectful affection for the contestants, for Osher as host and for the whole network of producers and production assistants that she knew worked hard to make an engaging piece of entertainment.

Watch the moment Rosie received a copy of her debut book. (Post continues…)

She had strict parameters about what she wrote and the way she wrote it.

She wrote with integrity. And this is far far harder than it sounds – to be so bitingly funny without ever being cruel. She would never ever comment on the physical characteristics of the contestants and never be nasty or bitchy.

As a proud feminist and someone who has always been unflinchingly honest and vulnerable about her own struggles with body image, she was horrified by the thought of mocking anyone for how they looked. She’s always been better than that.

We’re not the only ones who love Rosie… (Post continues…)

She also refused to write about the gossip or even listen to it. From early on, people would send her tips about scandals or secrets involving the contestants and she would always ignore them. Her objective was far more meta than that. She wanted to write about the phenomenon of the show, not tear down the individuals who were on it.

It’s a testament to how skillfully she navigated this that she is friends with Osher and many of the show’s former contestants. I would guess she has pretty much cult status within the bachelor house. She is certainly responsible for coining the term “bachie” which we all noticed the girls using in season 3.

So. I can’t say I was surprised when Rosie decided a little while ago that this Bachelor season would be her last. She’s got a lot going on and it’s been an extraordinarily emotional 12 months for her since her book, The Anti Cool Girl, was launched to massive acclaim – it has won awards and sat on the best-seller list for many many weeks. If you haven’t read it yet, what’s wrong with you?

My beloved Rosie has experienced massive highs (see above) and soul-crushing lows with the death a couple of months ago of her north star, best friend and soul-mate Antonio, who was always her biggest champion.

It’s time for change and a new chapter for Rosie and for recaps.

Knowing that Rosie wanted to finish up after Bachelor, we have been quietly grooming her successors with absolutely NO PRESSURE! NONE.   There are two of them, they’re great writers, hugely talented and utterly terrified at the thought of stepping into Rosie’s enormous shoes and you’ll meet them when The Bachelorette starts next week here on Mamamia. Rosie has already given them her blessing which made them breathe a wee bit easier. A wee bit. Or maybe they did a wee. Anyway.

But tonight, it’s about Rosie. About saying thank you for all the lols she brought us with her recaps. For making us feel smarter and not like bitches for laughing ourselves sick at her ability to take a cheesy show and create insightful, hilarious commentary from it.

On many nights here at the office, I have watched Rosie write her recaps and she poured her heart and soul and brain into them. She dug deep twice a week, every week of the Bachelor season for four years. She never missed a recap. She always tried her best for you, her audience to whom she felt a huge responsibility as well as overwhelming gratitude for all your support, your tweets and snapchats and Facebook comments, the way you shared her recaps and told your friends.

You have no idea how that has changed Rosie’s life and it’s been a privilege for us all here at Mamamia to have been a part of that.

Get well soon, Rosie, my brave beautiful friend. You’ll always have a home with us here at Mamamia. We love that you’re still hosting the Binge podcast and we’re pumped about your live shows and your next book. Will we proudly champion your every success and publish your glorious words. You’re family and always will be.

We love you.

Mia xxxxxxxxxx

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