Alex Casey delivers her first power rankings for contestants of The Bachelor NZ 2017, including many dazzling teeth, Dombo prayers and Zac Franich laughs.
“It’s easy to meet people, but hard to find someone,” said our new Bachelor Zac Franich, eyes narrowing on the distance as he tried to figure out what he had just said. It’s this inscrutable poetic hardship that has led him straight to the belly of the love beast in The Bachelor NZ season three, where the chimes are plentiful and the humble reality stars drive themselves around like peasants.
Poor Zac had a tough time in his debut week. First he looked like he was going to be sick in Dominic Bowden’s cupped palms, then he said he felt like a gazelle being stalked by lions, then he said he was slowly drowning. The women just kept showing up, like 19 might be a little too many perhaps?
Luckily, Zac’s friend and confidante Dom Bowden remained there throughout to swoop down from the mansion roof like a big ol’ pterodactyl in Hallenstein’s finest. We had to say a sad goodbye to Elaina, the woman who delighted a gleeful Zac with her Fresh Prince inspired rap; Charlotte, who made them reshoot her introduction three times; and Monique, who offended Zac’s Australian mother multiple times.
The romance pendulum hangs in the balance for the remaining women but, in the words of our Bachelor himself, let’s let future Zac deal with that. For now, here are my picks from week one.
Look, you don’t need to have graduated university like ol’ Franich McBraggypants to understand the symbolism of a sequin dress that is literally DRIPPING with red roses. The 22 year-old account manager from Mt Maunganui was first out of the car, first to get one on one time and first to get a white rose in Bachelor NZ history.
I think she loves the beach (is she a damn liar tho?) and has an alleged French/Italian name that will keep Zac thumbing intently through an atlas for at least the next few weeks. Also, I think they have identical sets of teeth which is a huge positive for wedding photos and only really a negative if their bodies need to be identified by their dental records in tandem one day. Sorry that was dark.
Look, it’s a V for Viarni and a V for victory, at least for now.
It’s just nice to see someone excited at the prospect of their date wearing shoes AND brushing their teeth. It’s the little things, you know? Preschool teacher and quizmaster Molly failed to stun with her factual recall (was just “…whales”) but that could simply be a symptom of only ever having to run a quiz for three people who look like they are on the cusp of a collective coma.
I will say this though: watch your context-less hand gestures on national television there Molly mate.
If there’s one way to get Zac Franich on side, it’s to make a decent prop-based pun. Like English rose Jess’ novelty tea. Novel-tea. Geddit?!
With Zac going into cardiac arrest re: that, we learned a little more about Jess. Approached to do pageants at a young age, Jess went on to win Miss Tourism New Zealand and develop a passion for being photographed by balding men in the great outdoors.
Lily was amazing right from the moment she thought she was still 17 years old (she’s 20) all the way up until she took a big swig of Zac’s beer and barked Aussie slang at him. Determined to continue “winging life”, the snowboard instructor has pioneered a new drinking challenge that is sure to ruin lives: I call it The Pickled Walrus.
“It’s wasn’t the best party I’ve ever been to” she announced at the cocktail party, before pining after Miriana because she had interesting stories – perhaps even more interesting than Zac. Cool as she is, Lily “winging it” might make her much more of a wingwoman.
Hannah and Zac seemingly haven’t spoken a proper sentence to each other since their limo (Suzuki) introduction, but that doesn’t change this absolutely first impression that gushed so hard Zac kayaked on out of the property all the way back to Red Beach.
She’s the granddaughter of Sir Howard Morrison, she has a PhD, she’s been in the New Zealand Navy, she has a daughter and she works in the community, so what in the heck is Mariana doing giving Zac some crappy post-it note with a Pinterest quote on it? Anyway, he was visibly shook by her achievements, and will keep her round long enough to regale him with more tales of the seas.
Like The Bachelor? Then you’ll love UnREAL on Lightbox, a look behind the reality television world that’s even darker than Dom Bowden’s spray tan.
Claudia of the Moaning Myrtle impression promises to have a lot more where that came from. She explained to Zac that she had been in a car accident and broke 19 bones, which he found “intriguing” – perhaps solely because he thought the human body was just one big bone. Claudia will stick around because Zac reckons she “has a really old head on her shoulders.”
But can you spot an old head in a lineup?
Nina summed up humanity in the most succinct way possible, “we are all just overgrown gorillas trying to hide our leftover body hair.” This Harry Potter nerd is so dedicated to the wizard grind that she has seemingly etched a scar into her forehead to prove that she is the chosen one.
I have no doubt in my mind that Nina is a total legend, and if you need any more convincing just check out how many handy towels she’s got ready to go at the drop of a full red wine glass. That’s someone with their shit together.
Madame Rosie is an ex figure skater and current psychology student, who carries herself like the actual Queen of France. People always tell her she looks like Snow White, she says, which either means she is ready for Prince Charming or more likely she wants to bunker down with seven short fellas and have a kip for a while. The Bachelorette NZ, perhaps?
A mini Anne Batley-Burton, Bel is all about being magic and having cats. There is definitely a disturbing sinister side to her though I reckon, based solely on the fact that she feeds her cat on the carpet and uses 5000 dollops of Olivani in her cooking which is basically what Jared Leto’s The Joker would do if The Joker made cakes.
Star of Reality Trip, Steph took us all through a harrowing journey of her own by deciding to present Zac with a FOUR PACK of those weird chalky Guylian seashell chocolates. We all know those have been in your drawer since you found them tucked away in the bottom of your Ya Ya Club Christmas stocking mate!
Katey was weirdly obsessed with the notion that Zac was wearing glasses, which he wasn’t, and then completely botched the introduction by forgetting his name. That’s a guilty Denver if I’ve ever seen one.
Taylar is a Christchurch hustler from way back, who led the interrupting charge and opened the floodgates for Zac being ‘stolen away’ in 10 second chunks at a time. We found out that her greatest fear is being trapped in a room with a bunch of bees, which is weird because my greatest fear is charging into a clearly-closed door on the telly.
Apart from being a dead ringer for Lili Bayliss from X Factor NZ, I got nothin’ on Ally quite yet. I think I saw her eat a chip on the Big Brother-style security camera? Is that good? Seems good.
The haunted topiaries of the mansion have had more screen time that Lucia tbh.
Who are you what are you where are you why are you who am i
Prayer hands Bowden
In Ryan Seacrest’s name, Amen.
This ad synergy
Oh but’s what this, totally seamless sponsor and franchise talent integration?!?! Take all my money, give me all of your teeth.
The Bachelor NZ airs Sundays at 7pm and Mondays at 7.30pm on Three
This content, like all television coverage we do at The Spinoff, is brought to you thanks to the excellent folk at Lightbox. Do us and yourself a favour by clicking here to start a FREE 30 day trial of this truly wonderful service.
Subscribe to The Bulletin to get all the day’s key news stories in five minutes – delivered every weekday at 7.30am.