In true 2020 fashion, the highly anticipated season finale of The Bachelor proved to be a bit of a let-down, with star Locky Gilbert making the obvious decision by choosing Irena Srbinovska.
Runner-up Bella Varelis was left devastated and fuming after the man who confessed his love for her only hours earlier, dumped her in favour of her on-screen nemesis.
“Can I leave?” Bella said, turning to stone before our very eyes as Locky openly wept.
And while Irena was widely considered a shoo-in from early on, viewers were left feeling frustrated after producers promised a twist they “wouldn’t believe”.
— shiesty (@bishcheese) September 24, 2020
Like every Bachelor star before him (except maybe The Honey Badger), much of the final episode followed Locky’s internal battle – which of his leading ladies really had his heart.
And what a battle it was.
Bigger than the State of Origin was the war between former-friends-turned-rivals Bella and Irena.
“My gut is choosing Bella, but my head is choosing Irena,” he said, leaving many to wonder if ‘gut’ was a euphemism.
Would Locky choose Bella, whose big, brown doe eyes have effectively distracted him from the drama she caused in the mansion?
Or Irena, the nurse and fan-favourite who is, by all accounts, way out of his league?
Irena is way too good for him. #bachelorau
— The Hobbyist (@TheHobbyist11) September 17, 2020
(The good news is, it doesn’t even matter – both women have amassed enough Instagram followers by now that their imminent influencer careers will likely be more fulfilling than anything Locky is bringing to the table.)
Rumours online abound of rejection from all corners of the triangle – probably in retrospect a bid from producers to drum up viewers. The anti-climax we were finally delivered wasn’t out of place for this ill-fated season.
Let’s recap, shall we?
Flames fizzle too…
Starting off with a bang (who could forget Zoe-Clare’s impassioned, ‘Redheads are people too’ speech, which was arguably this year’s highlight), this season was jam-packed with ‘firsts’.
The first coronavirus lockdown, the first televised and unforgettably awkward Zoom dates, and the first time viewers were forced to witness a leading man with such a questionable chest tattoo.
Narrating over the top of his long, introspective looks in the mirror and pensive close-ups, Locky told viewers he was in love with both finalists, as if this was supposed to shock us.
“I have fallen in love with ya,” the wordsmith told Bella the night before breaking her heart.
If a man says, “I’m falling in love with ‘ya’…” the ‘ya’ is the giveaway. A) that he almost certainly hasn’t, and B) that if he has, you can do better #thebachelorau
— Rosie Waterland (@RosieWaterland) September 24, 2020
The tried and tested method of a heart-strings tug of war is just as much a Bachelor staple as the roses, plus it’s been playing on all the commercials for the past week too.
This year’s finalists were no doubt feeling ripped off they weren’t flown to some of the Southern Hemisphere’s more exotic locations, as in previous seasons. Getting dumped in the Hunter Valley is infinitely less glamorous than being dumped in Fiji or South Africa.
Despite the disappointment, contestants pulled themselves together enough to endure an uncomfortable encounter between Bella, Irena, Locky and his mum.
Locky’s mum wasted no time letting viewers know her son needed a “strong woman” who would “put him in his place” and “stand up to him”, but was as equally stumped as her boy when it came to who should get his final rose.
Viewers wondered, given Locky’s apparent need for a strong maternal figure, if perhaps his mother would have been the best candidate.
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During the final dates, Locky told both women he loved them, a move he later regretted, following a borderline hysterical breakdown.
And as Locky fell to pieces over his difficult decision, he could have also spared a thought for the rest of Australia, where viewers were harbouring their pandemic-dashed dreams for some entertaining reality TV, only to encounter predictable mediocrity.
“They don’t deserve this,” he sobbed.
Neither do we, Locky!