Almost all of Australia was willing The Bachelorette’s Sophie Monk to find love, which made it all the more difficult to watch her choose the wrong guy.
The 37-year-old television personality claimed in the premiere she wanted a “good Aussie bloke who would make a good father”, but ended up choosing the opposite in Stu Laundy – the millionaire publican who’s still married and has had a vasectomy.
The alternative – 31-year-old winemaker Jarrod Woodgate – fit the bill far better, but unfortunately Channel 10 producers did a hatchet job on him and edited him to look clingy, desperate and possessive.
The normal, nice guys in the competition were booted long before the finale, leaving viewers to scratch their heads and concede that, yes, by her own admission – Sophie really does have terrible taste in men.
Oh my God. It is a LITERAL SOPHIE’S CHOICE. They both suck. The producers are geniuses. #bacheloretteAU
— Jamila Rizvi (@JamilaRizvi) October 26, 2017
Stu was the bookies’ favourite to claim Sophie’s heart, entering late in the show as an intruder in a desperate bid to reconnect with her after she stood him up last year because she was hungover (always the perfect start to a lasting relationship).
The son of pub owner Arthur Laundy and the brother of federal minister Craig Laundy, Stu is heir to a family fortune worth just over $400 million and owns a fleet of cars and a yacht. Not exactly your average Aussie bloke.
He also has four daughters aged 10 to 16 – who he bizarrely refers to as his “littles” – none of whom Sophie has met yet. Oh, and did we mention the wife? Yep. Wife. Because they’re still married.
On that note, viewers at home were less than impressed with Stu’s appraisal of the aforementioned spouse.
He told Sophie’s sister that while he enjoyed his 15-year marriage, he and his wife weren’t good friends and she “didn’t enjoy a laugh” as much as he did. Ouch.
— Ben D. Thuhnee (@idkmybffkanye) October 26, 2017
"I don't think she enjoyed a laugh as much as me."
— 👻🌈 Ira Snave 🌈👻 (@IraSnave) October 26, 2017
I feel sorry for Stu's ex wife having to watch Stu say he hasn't been happy in 20 years and she 'doesn't have a laugh' #BacheloretteAU
— Jessie Seaborn (@Jessica_Seaborn) October 26, 2017
Nevertheless, Stu cited his marriage as the reason he’s not a playboy, as media outlets are fond of labelling him, and used it as an excuse for not declaring his love for Sophie until the last minutes of the season.
Jarrod, meanwhile, announced his devotion to Sophie in episode two and, despite his creepy clinginess, really did love her for her, just like she always wanted (and like she told us 50,000 times).
Jarrod’s ex-girlfriend Amy went into bat for him, telling New Idea: “He couldn’t give a damn about fame and fortune. Everyone wants to fall in love and be happy with that special someone, and he deserves it.”
Even Sophie acknowledged he was the right choice as she gave Jarrod the boot on a sandbar in Fiji.
But Stu – who’s also been linked to other celebrities like Sophie Falkiner, Stephanie Rice and Laura Csortan – triumphed, much to the chagrin of those on social media gunning for an “I choose me” finale.
God I hope she tells them both to piss off and runs away with a cocktail waitress. #BacheloretteAU
— Virginia Trioli (@LaTrioli) October 26, 2017
A small source of comfort came in the form of eliminated contestants James Trethewie and Apollo Jackson, who continued their on-screen bromance at James’ house in Sydney by watching the finale with soft toys, beer and breadsticks.
Maybe true love is real after all.
Reunited at last 🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽 😬😬😬 … bunny teddy's, beers & breadsticks 😂😂😂😬🐰🥖 .. welcome to Manly @apollojacksonofficial stoked to have you in town bro !!! #bunnybrothers #breadsticks #beers & #bacheloretteau
A post shared by James Trethewie (@jimmys.paradise) on