Entertainment TV The Bachelor’s secrets seem spilled but maybe it doesn’t matter

The Bachelor’s secrets seem spilled but maybe it doesn’t matter

Nick Cummins Sophie Tieman
The one definite about The Bachelor is that Nick Cummins (with Sophie Tieman) is a damn fine kisser. Photo: Instagram
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Before Thursday’s final episode of 2018’s The Bachelor, it seems a lot of its secrets have already been spilled.

Or have they?

Well before the screening of the final rose ceremony (shot at a lagoon-style resort pool in tropical Noumea), there have been reports leading man Nick Cummins chose Brittany Hockley over Sophie Tieman after Brooke Blurton dramatically abandoned ship.

Score one for the rumour mill: Brooke indeed walked out on Cummins on Wednesday after he refused to give her the “reassurance” she craved: “I need to go home.”

Then came buzz that TV pair Nick and Brittany broke up soon after cameras stopped rolling, despite – according to Woman’s Day – having already started making wedding plans.

But hold the bus. “He’s getting married,” Cummins’ uncle Mike, a Manly pizza shop owner spilled. Who to? Uncle Mike’s loose lips closed up.

At the same time it was claimed the titular hero, who earlier this week flew off to do a Kokoda Track charity walk, had reignited things with Cassie Wood, who he rejected last week.

Whatever the facts – and all will soon be revealed – whether leaks really matter is an even more intriguing issue than whether they’re true.

And the bigger question is whether the leaks are another manufactured twist in the tale and prime example of how much the show’s producers are master puppeteers of not just contestants but viewers.

“I suspect it’s deliberate,” a commercial TV source told The New Daily.

“They have serious stipulations in the contracts about leaked information. People just wouldn’t get paid if they were caught, and six months of salary is on the line.”

A second source isn’t so sure, saying if there are leaks from the Ten camp, “It’s because maybe Nick has already left town and they’ve got nothing to lose”.

As to that, Cassie – who keeps popping up – told Sydney’s KIIS FM the Papua New Guinea trip “was organised before The Bachelor.”

On rival radio show Fitzy & Wippa, the 23-year-old Sydney student dismissed reports she’s on with Nick.

“There’s a lot of fake news and I believe he’s with the winner and having a happy life,” she said.

Nick Cummins Cassie Wood
Could Nick and Cassie ride into the sunset together after all? Photo: Instagram

Despite the promise of genuine romance offered by The Bachelor, storylines have long been manufactured. In the case of Sam Wood and Snezana Markoski, and Tim Robards and Anna Heinrich, Cupid’s arrow found its mark.

In other cases, the drama – most notably Blake Garvey proposing to Sam Frost in 2014 before recanting – has been enough to keep fans coming back for more.

Certainly, this year’s leaks haven’t affected ratings. Viewers tune in for the entertainment and the vicarious rush of eventually seeing that ring box prised open poolside.

In an interesting experiment, The Bachelor’s producers will be heartened by the fact the show’s increasingly cheap dates haven’t been a turn off.

Every week, Cummins and his TV harem have had to pretend to be bowled over by having to sit down and hash over feelings on yet another couch set with yet more candles and yet more booze.

The penultimate episode on Wednesday saw most of the budget blown on Cummins’ skydiving jaunt with Sophie, which left nothing in the kitty for his outings with Brooke and Brittany.

They made do with climbing up a lighthouse and doing body painting.

Amid the various florid declarations (“This is the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for me”) and a lot of pashing – at which the Badger seems to be most accomplished – the most interesting thing was Cummins’ explanation of his relationship with Cassie before the show.

He said they met through a mutual friend, then saw each other for a couple of dates.

She told a different story to The New Daily: “We met in a bar in Manly, didn’t chat, locked eyes. I didn’t know who he was. We bumped into each other at a couple of events and then spoke at the beach when my dog ran up to him.”

Which just goes to prove, with this year’s The Bachelor, it’s hard to know what and who to believe, while being strangely predictable at the same time.