Entertainment TV Ali Oetjen’s motley crew on The Bachelorette may be the biggest turnoff ever
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Ali Oetjen’s motley crew on The Bachelorette may be the biggest turnoff ever

2018's Bachelorette
Ali Oetjen, the sweet man in the suit of armour and the rest of her posse on Ten's 2018's The Bachelorette. Photo: Instagram
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And just like that, with the very first male love hopeful on Ten’s The Bachelorette, my patience with romality shows finally ran out. I’m off to get my nose hair removal kit, so my synapses have something non-cliched happening to them.

Freedom! No more soaring angel strings. No more “I’m here for the right reasons”. No more walls to tear down. No more sycophantic der brain contestants. No more waterfall pashes. I’m done.

And it’s not because of leading lady Ali Oetjen, even though she said she wasn’t going to follow her romantic history and “get hooked very quickly”, then gushed over every man (except ghastly gym manager Paddy).

It’s your fault, Charlie the construction foreman. Yes, you, the first man out of the limo. You, carrying a home-made dream journal. Who are you, Meghan Markle gifting Kate Middleton?

You, Charlie, with your words (read out in a grim monotone) which may or may not have been a threat: “I hope to have my name written down on each and every page.”

That was it. I’m too old for this brand of allegedly romantic inanity and everyone else should be bored by comments like “I love being out in nature” and “Do you know it’s a full moon tonight?”, not to mention fake dramatic hooks suggesting a transgender scandal.

Poor Ali (whose Pollyanna-meets-Pamela Anderson persona grated on viewers before her debut enough to cause social media protests) doesn’t get off so lightly.

Armed just with a lot of stuff from self-help e-books, she has to see it through for a whole series.

If this motley crew – bad poets, Segway riders, men with tipped hair, brawlers, someone wearing a suit of armour from a show bag (although underneath it he seemed promising) – are the best bachelors in Australia, our gene pool is in trouble.

Reality TV didn’t end well for the Adelaide radio station sales executive on 2013’s The Bachelor or this year’s Bachelor in Paradise, which led to a short-lived romance with US fireman Grant Kemp, a grub with a big mouth.

So why is she doing it all again? Why face potential failure and the excoriating opinions of strangers?

“Because love is the greatest feeling on Earth and I think this whole process was designed for me,” she told The New Daily hours before her show debuted on Ten on Wednesday night.

“I feel very empowered to find love.”

Ali was coy about whether she did just that: “I’m very happy at the moment.”

She may also be under the hammer. Her show launched less than a week after Nick Cummins created furore and a small slice of history after not choosing anyone on the final of The Bachelor.

This time around, Ten and the show’s producers will be keen to get a love match. But the star, who watched the show with friends over prosecco, is unfazed: “It’s too late now to feel pressure because it’s already filmed.”

Which is terrific, but still risky. Asked if there’s a better way to find a fellow, the former ballerina said she’s “tried every angle outside of TV and inside TV. I am a woman who knows what she wants.”

Does she? On Bachelor in Paradise, she seemed oblivious to the snake oil charms of Kemp (who is still flogging kiss-and-tell stories about his ex, this week to New Idea) while women viewers were yelling “Don’t do it” at their TVs.

The question is whether she just has bad taste in men or was snowed.

“Part of me wishes I’d never met him. Another part thinks I had to experience that to know what to look for, to help me find Mr Right,” she said.

“Everyone has one of those exes that just doesn’t go away. I never knew people like him existed.”

The same could be said of the bachelors, who Ten introduced in an Instagram post on Sunday.

“All the new Bachelorette guys look like a NSW Police lineup for a fatal Friday night king hit incident,” wrote one Twitter user.

“There are men in this photo who look like luncheon meat with craft-time eyes attached,” noted another.

Also at issue: a lack of diversity, Paddy (again) and his deep mulberry suit notwithstanding.

Bachelorette Twitter

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