We meet the fresh crop of Australian farmers on a quest to find love.
The path to true love is lined with ram’s testicles, and nobody knows that better than The Farmer Wants a Wife. The popular Australian dating show returned during the new year, with five more white heterosexual male farmers joining the love muster, destination Wifetown. Over the next few weeks, these shy cowboys will woo a bevy of single women the only way they know how: by getting up and close with sheep balls.
FWAW is a hectic clash of rams and romance, country and city, hormones and horticulture. The farmers are lonely men of the land, the women city slickers looking for their happy ending. Thousands of wannabe brides applied to the show, hoping to be caught in love’s lasso and taken to the country to find everlasting love amid the silos and the shovels.
“There’s something about a country boy that just gets me going,” one hopeful says. “City guys suck,” claims another. Say no more ladies, we understand. Everyone wants the fairytale, as long as it includes a sweaty cowboy shouting “FIRE UP THE UTE MUSTER” and ripping off his flannel shirt while the Australian flag waves proudly in the background. No? Just me, then.
What’s so weird about five women living with one man while they compete to win his heart? In 2022, absolutely nothing. These farmers want true love and an easy life, and I tip my cowgirl hat to them for realising what these women really offer: a new form of unpaid labour.
The farmers bring their five favourite women back to the farm to get to know them better, and suddenly a whole lot of shit gets done around the place. The women wash the farmer’s underwear, shear his sheep and fix his leaky drains, all in the name of compatibility. Nothing gets a farmer hotter under the flannel collar than a sheila with a strong work ethic, but note to self, never trust a man who asks you to clear his pipes on the first date, unless he offers to hose you down afterwards. It’s the little things, after all.
On the farm, sparks fly quickly. “This is how we light the drip torch,” Farmer Andrew says as he teaches his girlfriends how to start a burn off, while Farmer Rob takes us to another romantic plane by showing off a ram’s bits and pieces. “That’s a massive ball bag,” the women say admiringly, presumably looking at the sheep. Cupid’s arrow just struck us all through the heart, and now I feel like a massive feed of chops.
By episode three, romance is blossoming like a field of turnips gone to seed. There are sneaky pashes in the ute tray at midnight for some, while others are sent home early, their hopes and dreams left hanging like a dead kangaroo in the chiller. It’s hard to keep track of which farmer is falling for which sister-wife, because in this vanilla world where the land has apparently only been lived on for four generations, the farmers seem interchangeable. The most memorable bloke is Farmer Rob, who stands out with his long, lush beard. “I would mack on with the beard,” says whisker fan Meg. That’s exactly what we came for, so let’s get cracking.
FWAW proves that romance never dies, it just gets in a ute and does donuts in the paddock. This wacky journey along love’s bumpy highway has only just begun, and there are plenty of starlight dinners and portaloo meltdowns still to come. “Cheers, boys!” the farmers say when they meet up to swap love notes. “Farmer Sam gave Mackenzie a hickey!” say the women. Fingers crossed these farmers find their perfect partner to help plough their fields, and quickly. After all, they’re fully invested, balls and all.
The Farmer Wants a Wife screens on TVNZ 2 on Thursday and Friday nights, and on TVNZ OnDemand.