The Critic Bachelor: Finale

The Critic Bachelor: Finale

Fuck me, it’s the end of the Bachelor. After weeks of awkward small-talk there are only two girls left standing. Who will win between Amelia and Amanda? The final saga of the Bachelor contains drama, scandal and the kind of fuckery usually only reserved for those who cut the Pint Night line. Read on if you dare.

The week started with hometown dates, or in other words, meet the flatties. On a Tuesday night, Jack “waltzed” along to Amanda’s flat after consuming a jug of beer and the visual feast of a youth politics debate. He was greeted by delighted screams and escorted to a seat in the middle, ready to be interrogated. On the surface, the date went well. Jokes were made, star signs discussed. Amanda admitted that Jack “fit in quite well with our flat dynamic which was a pleasing thing as a potential lover”. Her flatmates largely agreed. Isabella reported that Jack was “great” and seemed like a lovely person, whilst Katie remarked on the good banter and shared political beliefs between him and Amanda. But below the surface, the murky chaos of undefined relationships was bubbling away.

To Jack, the drama in the date largely centred around Amanda’s tea-making ability. “I’m sure she tried really hard, but this was a really pale tea. It was paler than me, and that’s really saying something. Basically just sugary milk.” He does conclude, however, that the incident was “refreshing, like everyone has a flaw”. At this point in the interview I reminded him that he was unable to cook or drive. To Amanda and her flatmates, however, the date held a few “red flags”. Drama! Kira asked him why he went on the Bachelor and what he wanted from the experience, to which Jack apparently “didn’t really give a clear answer and kind of tried to avoid the question”. Katie noted his answers “didn’t show true drive to meet a lifelong partner”. Amanda, our beautiful bachelorette, agreed with this assessment, saying she doesn’t “know what his full intentions are after this is over. He still doesn't have his heart in the game, my red flags are at half mast,” adding she gauged that he was quite closed off. “To be honest, I’m shocked I’ve made it this far!”

Jack was rescued from further psychoanalysis by a surprise government announcement that Auckland was entering Level 3. “I just internally go ‘oh fuck’,” Jack summarised. Claudia observed Jack immediately jumping on his phone, adding “he seemed very distracted from that point on and seemed to switch his focus from Amanda to Harlene which was a bit of a red flag”. Look out girls, Harlene Hayne is here to steal your man. 

With the final rose looming, one would expect love and sloppy french kisses in the air. The truth is, dear readers, Jack is alarmingly unenthusiastic. “We have a connection,” he muses. “She’s really nice, we clearly get along.” When he looks at Amanda, I ask him, how does he feel? He doesn’t reply. Could he see her as a potential partner? “How do I word this? I’m unsure. I think it’s really coming down to, what do I want to get out of the Bachelor?” I was astounded this was a question he was asking himself this late in the game. That’s a beginning-of-competition-question, Jack! So what does he want? “I think I’ve already gotten the main thing out of it for me, which is a fun experience.” Honestly. Men.

After the Covid-comeback, I reach out to Amelia to check in about her upcoming hometown date. That’s when the email comes. She’s pulling out of the competition. Fuck. Although she could have stuck it out to the end, Amelia says “it felt dishonest having Amanda super interested in him and me less so”. She doesn’t want a boyfriend “especially one that I would have to cook and drive for” and rather wants to “live in a cottage with my best friend and a cat”. Fair enough. Amelia’s apparently been wrestling with the decision to pull out for the past three weeks (so basically the whole competition) after she entered as a joke “and then it went way too far”. The Bachelor ship is sinking, fast. I’ve got an emotionally-unavailable man, a winner-by-default, and more red flags than a communist convention.

Having heard the news, Jack says it’s “gutting” and “obviously painful”. In an interview he admits, “I’ve eliminated six people throughout this … to be rejected once, it’s about time someone caught up with my reign of terror.” I laugh but secretly know Jack has been rehearsing that line for the past three days, having overheard him practicing in his office. Sometimes his sheer level of calculation is terrifying. In the meantime, no one has told Amanda she’s won. No one knows what to do. Critic delays the column for a week to regroup and get really drunk. Finally, there’s a consensus that Jack should take Amanda on one last fantasy date.

So, on a Wednesday at 5pm, the pair dined at Great Taste, the iconic all-you-can-eat buffet. Jack arrived 10 minutes late, and only ate a small portion of food, about a quarter of one plate (Amanda estimated he ate about $4 of food for a $28 meal). “I was like, bitch you’re nervous. Firstly, I understand, I look this good, but secondly can you please eat something? It’s so hard being hungry and trying to impress someone at the same time,” she laughs. Food aside, the pair genuinely did have a good time on the date. Jack says he felt a little bad that Amanda was more energetic than him, “but the chat was good. We found more things to connect over, like potatoes and guinness.” Physical touch was low on the menu, but I managed to drag some details out of the two love birds. He gave her his Selwyn ring to wear (“He said it looked good on my finger!” gushes Amanda), she kicked him by accident under the table and the pair hugged, once. It was only a quick hug “out of respect for the social distancing guidelines,” says Jack.

Back at the Critic office, Jack was able to announce to Amanda that she was, in fact, the winner. He starts by doing a small speech. “It’s been an absolute fucking delight, these past few weeks.” Amanda interrupts him, yelling “Oh god can we just cut to the point? A bitch is about to have an aneurysm!” He cuts “to the fucking chase” and congratulates her on winning the competition. Despite the lack of competition, Jack reveals in an offside interview that “I mean, she won for a reason. She won because she had the best chat, and was one of the most interesting girls, but also the most interested; in like what I had to say and what I had going on in my life.” Dear God, the bar is low and just gets lower. Dating is rough out there, huh.

However, there’s a twist! In an idea that we totally didn’t steal from Love Island, Critic offers Amanda a choice. She can either choose to be with Jack or walk away with two trays of Red Bull. She chooses the Red Bulls, saying “That’s a 48-pack! You [Jack] barely have a 6-pack.” Yet when interviewed about her decision to pick the delicious beverage, Amanda reveals she was joking. Confusion ensues. She runs back to Jack, explaining “I don’t even like Red Bulls! I’ll take your one can.” Aw. Maybe love does exist after all.

So what’s next for the young couple? Truth is, no one knows. Amanda reveals that “he’s a really nice guy, so I’d definitely like to keep in contact and let the love flourish. I guess part of me is a bit of a simp and I really do hope there’s life after the Bachelor. I haven’t got to show him my head game yet, which is the most exciting part of me.” Jack is a little bit more on the fence. “I think we both have to figure out where we both sit. I gauged pretty early on in the Bachelor that I probably wasn’t overly keen on getting into a relationship through this, but I’m still keen to hang out with her, she’s a very cool person and we get along very authentically.” Well, that’s it folks! Honestly I’m just glad this series is over so I can focus on my own desperately lacklustre love life instead of Jack Manning’s dirty flings. This column has aged me. Regardless of how their romance ends, one thing’s for sure: there’s a new political figure around town. As she walks off into the moonlight, Amanda suddenly stops. Slowly, she turns around and utters a single, poignant phrase. “My time as first lady has begun.”

This article first appeared in Issue 16, 2020.
Posted 5:04pm Sunday 30th August 2020 by Caroline Moratti.