by James Weir
IN A matter of minutes, Sophie Monk's quest for love on The Bachelorette has descended into a sweaty mess - filled with ego clashes, atomic front-wedgies and nudie runs.
In series three of Channel Ten's reality dating show, the testosterone is high, the haircuts are cheap and the masculine behaviour is aggressive and arousing.
But before the chaos unfolds, we're allowed a moment to catch our breath and get to know the real Sophie.
The camera pans across the shores of Australia's iconic Gold Coast to find the divine Sophie Monk strolling casually along the damp sand in a Camilla kaftan.
Immediately, these scenes remind me of the film clip for the extremely underrated Bardot song These Days where they're all on the beach at dusk having a party. The 10-year-old inside me hopes Katie Underwood and the other gals will burst out of the sand dunes for a surprise reunion but that's just wishful thinking. Katie's far too busy with her massage parlour for this nonsense.
"I know I'm not your typical Bachelorette. I'm 37, I'm a massive bogan. And I really hope Australia backs me on this and don't think I'm a tool," she tells us, making us love her even more.
Fellow Australians, we're currently living in uncertain times. There's a lot of fear. There's a lot of hate. But there are two simple things you can do to help solve this.
The first car arrives and a white cloud of smoke forms. The sound of a creepy music box fades in. The fog thickens.
Suddenly, there's a bang and a spark. A white light claps across the atmosphere and we all lose our vision for a split second.
"Crap! What's this!" Sophie spits.
A man in a black suit emerges through the fog. He laughs at our suffering.
"HAHA! You right?" he asks. If he wasn't so hot we might consider calling the police.
He smiles, pulls out a white napkin and sets it - along with my loins - on fire.
As he extinguishes the flame, the white napkin turns into a red rose.
His name is Apollo and he's a sexy professional magician which I believe is a textbook example of an oxymoron.
"I always thought magicians were nerd burgers," Sophie confides in us, and we nod heartily in agreeance.
"He turned a napkin into a rose. Imagine what he could turn a bed sheet into," she giggles. "A mudda fricken mess," we reply.
Suddenly, the music makes a jarring cut to '90s rap beats. Clearly we're about to meet someone very cool.
"My name is Eden, I'm 33 and I'm a scaffolder from Perth," he tells us - as if this information explains the gold chain and Missy Elliot tracksuit.
After busting some moves he's learnt from Julia Stiles in Save The Last Dance, he informs Sophie: "This is something I don't do anymore."
And Sophie shuts him down immediately: "Because it's out of fashion?"
Next up is Jourdan. He straps a homemade blindfold to Sophie's face, kisses her without consent and then runs off.
Sophie's reaction is appropriate.
It's at this point some sleazy slap base starts playing and these three big ballers rock up.
The boys' Uncle Sam soon follows and Sophie delivers her second best burn of the night.
"Is that a man bun?" she inquires. "Did you get that when it was in fashion?"
He gets defensive.
"My nephews think I look like Thor sometimes, so," he says.
FYI, he does not look like Thor.
OK, bear with me a sec while I drop a few solid pars on our next fella Luke.
If any other guy rolled up to the mansion and declared his job was "business culture consultant" I'd make fun of him and his made up career. But Luke is different.
Luke has the dreamy eyes of Jake Gyllenhaal and the ruggedness of a Hemsworth. He looks like he smells like sex and grass clippings and I would like to have that please.
I just want to shove Sophie out of the way and accept the gift he's brought along and call the entire game off. I'll move into his apartment and spend my days cooking him dinner while he's out consulting on businesses and their culture. At night I'll wash his underwear and call his mum and tell her he's OK.
Earlier today, someone alerted me to some racy photos of Luke that show him shirtless and chugging a beer while wearing a pair of Bonds boyleg briefs. May I confide in you - that photo is now the background on my iPhone.
All of a sudden, this bloke brings a pizza and he has my full attention.
Then we have a token guy with a guitar who sings the words "you" and "me" over and over in various keychanges for an unnecessarily long time.
Finally, we meet the series' trouble maker. Allow me to introduce you to Blake.
"I'm nothing like this show has ever seen before," he tells us, as overlay footage of him taking a selfie rolls.
"By the time I'm 40 I'm pretty confident I can buy whatever I want. Walk down to the Farrari shop and say, 'Yeah I'll just take that'. My parents have given me pretty good genes, so I want to do the same for my kids. I'm only going to date and marry a hot girl."
We he arrives, he gifts Sophie a giant box filled to the brim with his favourite selfies.
Inside the mansion we watch on as all these straight boys drink and yell "yewwwwwww!"
It's at this point time I'd like to take a time out to do a snap poll on WHO WORE IT BETTER:
"I always thought there'd just be one douche," the guy who isn't Thor observes to the other boys. This is our cue to head back out to the driveway to meet Ryan. He's a 26-year-old construction manager who is in desperate need of a new shirt.
Remember Michael, the runner-up and fake soccer player in Sam Frost's series of The Bachelorette? Well Ryan is this series' Michael. The traits are identical: everything from the ego to the around-the-eye Botox.
Back inside the mansion, some of the boys decide they don't care about Sophie anymore and turn their affections to Apollo the hot magician.
"You take one look at him and think, 'I'm not even a man. He just looks so healthy and strong and handsome," someone says lustfully.
The camera cuts to Apollo again and my goodness he's beautiful. OK. So, Luke stays the screensaver on my iPhone's locked screen - but Apollo has secured the primo slot as my iPhone's internal background.
Osher finally appears to get this party started. He declares he's about to unveil a "worldwide Bachelorette first". Then he pulls out a half-faded rose that's kind of pink and kind of white. It may even be half dead.
"THE DOUBLE DELIGHT," he dubs the rose, stealing the name of my signature sex move. Whoever Sophie gifts the rose to gets to go on two dates with her. FYI: My double delight is a bit more exciting then that.
As Sophie enters, she begins to deliver a speech before Ryan interrupts and whisks her away to a cabana. The other boys are furious and scream "SAVAGE!"
All I take away from Ryan's chat with Sophie is his eyebrows are so arched I think they might be drawn on with a Texta.
After Sophie escapes the clutches of Ryan and his eyebrows, she decides to trump Osher's "Bachelorette world first" with her own.
She hikes up her dress, sits on the patio furniture among the boys and forces everyone to play a hearty round of "never have I ever" which ends in tears.
"Never have I ever been cheated on!" Sophie yells. Jourdan, who has now developed a limp that wasn't present for the first 50 minutes of this episode, begins to cry.
"I was accused of cheating when I didn't," he sobs as Sophie runs over to comfort him.
"Yeah they do that - they accuse you of cheating when they're cheating," she sympathises.
"She didn't do it either," Jourdan clarifies. "No one cheated."
"Ah," Sophie says, inching away from him as it's finally determined no one did anything and Jourdan may not even be crying.
Breaking the awkwardness, Apollo spots something unusual on the grounds. He leaps out into the backyard and points. "Oi what the hell is that??" he yells, lunging across the grass - his strong thighs almost busting out of his suit pants.
"Finally!" I think to myself. "Katie Underwood and the girls are making their appearance to stage a Bardot reunion!"
But it's not Katie Underwood. It's just a sea otter/rat/possum (it's not really determined and I want answers) in the swimming pool.
The boys crowd around and the otter makes its way to land and scurries into the bushes - making a high pitched screeching sound not unlike the noise I would omit when surrounded by the same group of boys.
All of a sudden, someone yells, "WALK OFF!"
Apparently, there's some competition between the two boys with man buns and the two neater boys. And the only way to solve this is to have a Zoolander-style "walk off".
Sophie's roped in as judge and at first I think this is so ridiculous but when it's declared the loser has to do an undie run my perspective changes and I'm totally here for this.
It gets messy quick.
At one point Sophie is smothered with a jacket.
And then another guy reaches into his pants and gives himself an atomic front-wedgie - ripping his jocks out in scraps and throwing them in Sophie's face.
Sam - the guy who isn't Thor - is dubbed the loser and the boys start chanting "get undressed!" and this scenario is kind of my dream. He strips down to his underwear, runs around the backyard and jumps in the pool before Sophie gives him the double delight.
After everyone gets dried, dressed and finds underwear that hasn't been ripped to shreds, we gather at the first rose ceremony of the series.
We get rid of two guys. This would be sad if we knew who they were but we don't so it doesn't matter. It's the guy we haven't seen before and another guy with a million flyaways.
They're sad. But they shouldn't be. I'm always available for a double delight.
For more observations on Katie Underwood and voting yes, follow me on Twitter: @hellojamesweir