Our local Bachelor exports have finally made it to the international stage in The Bachelor Winter Games, but at what cost to the nation?
For the longest time, I was steaming mad that no network in New Zealand had bought The Bachelor Winter Games for us to all to watch through our fingers with the rest of the world. The spinoff reality show reads like a dystopian nightmare: put the best and worst of the international Bachelor franchises together in a ski lodge in Vermont to find love with each other and also… bobsledding competition? Part amateur sports, part orgy, part terrible parade, we sent three brave tributes: bachelorettes Lily and Ally from season three, and bachelor Jordan from season two.
Ah yes, Jordy Pordy pudding and pie, kissed the girls and made the whole country cry. After an extremely painful season that ended with the winner, Fleur Verhoeven, newly single and weeping live on Story (RIP) a mere 48 hours after the final, it seemed like things couldn’t get worse for anyone involved. That was until April 2017, when Jordan Mauger revealed on The Real Pod that he flipped a coin to decide who he would choose to bear his glitzy friendship ring of perpetual shame and sadness.
And now, nearly a year later, it’s finally gone global.
“But just how badly has Jordan and his coin flip been received?” I hear you shriek. Well, you just have to watch this clip from episode two of The Bachelor Winter Games, in which Jordan is released into the ski resort to swill his whisky in a chair like a Bond villain. The rest of the Winter Games contenders return home after a big day of ice skating and also kissing to find there is an intruder in their midst. Dean, an upright hammerhead shark from the US, walks in and looks suitably gormless at the sight of Jordan Mauger. Someone shouts an involuntary “OH!” Oh, indeed.
“Who the fuck is that?” says Ashleigh, notorious scream-crier from The Bachelor and Bachelor in Paradise. “We walk into the house and there’s just a dude sitting in the chair with his legs crossed, and a glass of douchey scotch,” narrates Kevin, Canadian bro-hunk. “He doesn’t even get up to greet us at the door, he’s like ‘come to me, come into my house.’ Buddy, you’re the new guy… get up.” Straight off the bat, it would appear there are bad vibes all round. The other contestants do not want to c’mon and go to Jordan’s party.
“Sorry I’m late,” says Jordan, “there were some visa issues. There’s a travel ban… anyone trying to find love, you’re out.” Dean, not enjoying Jordan’s jokes and tomfoolery about the serious game of reality television romance, asks Jordan to instead talk about his experience on The Bachelor, his hammer-head eyes glistening. “I was in the second season of The Bachelor New Zealand, and I didn’t really feel a connection with anybody,” explains Jordan.
The rest of the room is now looking at him like he is skinning a kitten – many of them would forge a connection with an old piece of ham if it means they can be on the telly for three minutes longer.
Turns out some people already knew about the coin flip. “In Australia, we’ve heard rumours that Jordan maybe flipped a coin to decide on his final two women in his season,” says Courtney, our trans-Tasman buddy from The Bachelor Australia and mouth-kisser of Lily. “Come on buddy, this is real life, these are real people’s emotions you are playing with.” The 1 minute 21-second clip is almost at its end, but it’s too late. I’ve already plaited my hair in front of my eyes and filled my ears with hot glue to stop any more cringe seeping in.
“If the rumours are true…” says Courtney, Antipodean ally no more, “what a douche.”
Quite frankly, the only way this situation could be worse for our national brand is if a representative from New Zealand violently spewed up and then made out with someone. Oh, wait.
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