In retrospect, we should have known what would become of this season of The Bachelor.
We began with a novelty: A former professional athlete with an established profile. Nick Cummins, known affectionately as ‘The Honey Badger’, was the loveable larrikin who epitomised what it was to be a Good Aussie Bloke.
But the novelty, which at first appeared genius, came with a fatal flaw.
Cummins was never chosen because of his appeal to women. This season was predicated on his appeal to men.
As male viewers sat on the couch and laughed, “I wouldn’t mind getting a beer with that guy,” the women wondered, “What am I not getting?”
Indeed, this season found a new audience. But it also lost its old and loyal one.
It would be a mistake to think The Bachelor franchise is about the women on our screens falling in love with the man who holds all the roses. That is simply a bonus.
The show is far more about the women at home falling in love with the man who holds all the roses – and on this season, most viewers likely wouldn’t take up the offer of a second date.
This has little to do with Cummins the person and everything to do with how the season has been manufactured.
It feels as though we’re sitting at a dinner table, and Cummins is looking over us for the nearest man to exchange a ‘bit of banter’ with.
To reiterate – that is not to say Cummins doesn’t.
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But whistling at a woman when she arrives on a date, referring to them as ‘birds’ and telling dirty jokes is not content aimed at women.
It is content aimed at men.
The archetype of the rugby playing, ocker, alpha male, brings with it another characteristic most women are familiar with: A guy who doesn’t really like hanging out with women all that much.
Perhaps the producers are playing to it. We’ve seen numerous dates where the conversation has fallen silent, Cummins unable to find any common ground with an adult woman. Unless they’re willing to tackle him, throw themselves on an ice rink or play a bizarre game of golf soccer, the chemistry is noticeably absent.