Thanks, Sophie Monk, that was an awesome first date

Sophie Monk on the first episode of The Bachelorette season three. Photo: Channel 10

Sophie Monk on the first episode of The Bachelorette season three. Photo: Channel 10

Whether or not Sophie Monk finds true love on The Bachelorette, she'll win plenty of hearts. She is funny, smart, self-deprecating yet confident. And, as pretty much every one of her 18 suitors tells her upon meeting her for the first time, she looks pretty good too.

"I'm 37, I'm a massive bogan," she says by way of introduction for those of us who missed the 18 years of her career since she emerged as an instant pop star in the girl band Bardot.

Her intentions are honourable, she insists. "I hope Australia understands that I really want to find something genuine, and they back me on this, and don't think I'm a tool."

Osher Gunsberg, fresh from his honeymoon with Matty J and Laura (it was great, thanks for asking), wants to know what she looks for in a man. "I like a sense of humour, but not too cocky," she says. "I like intelligence as well. I really don't care about looks."

"Let me get this straight," he says, channelling the incredulity of the entire nation. "You really don't care about looks?"

"I don't want someone prettier than me, to be honest," says Sophie, who says she has dated her share of actors and rock stars in the past. "I don't want to wake up somewhere I'm not gorgeous."

She must be totes devo then when the first rabbit out of the hat is tall, dark, and ridiculously buff. Not that she can tell at first, because he emerges from a cloud of smoke.

He holds out what appears to be a white rose, sets it on fire, and then it becomes a red rose. Holy crap, it's David Copperfield!

"Don't send me up in flames, 'cos I'm highly flammabale," she says.

"You're looking smoking," says magic-man, whose name is apparently Apollo.

To the camera, Sophie says she always thought magicians were "nerdburgers, but Apollo was smooth, one of the hottest magicians I've ever seen ??? he turned a napkin into a rose. Imagine what he could turn a bedsheet into."

Magician-cum-god Apollo.

Magician-cum-god Apollo. Photo: Channel 10

Next to arrive is Jarrod, fresh from the set of The Farmer Wants a Wife. He manages his family's vineyard, and he wants to treat Sophie like a queen, which is why he's brought a huge basket of grapes, because queens always do their own crushing.

Luckily, Sophie says, wine is hobby and her passion. "Drinking it, not making it," she says.

Eden, a 33-year-old scaffolder, is next, and he turns up with a boom box, wearing a tracksuit, and does some break dancing. Dear God, why?

"I want to make an impression, so she can pick me out of a line-up," he says. "But not in a criminal kind of way."

Apparently she'll have more chance of spotting him in that line-up if he's facing the wall. "I could see his back crack a bit."

In they come, bloke after sweaty-palmed bloke, all in dinner jackets or sharp suits, most with short back and sides, a lot with designer stubble, which is clearly to The Bachelorette what blonde is to The Bachelor.

Not Sam, though. This self-professed Thor lookalike has a secret weapon: his three young nephews. He sends them out of the trenches first, and Sophie is defenceless in the face of this onslaught.

"Little boys. That's my favourite," she says. "Oh shit, that sounded weird didn't it?"

One suitor unveiled his secret weapon - his three nephews.

One suitor unveiled his secret weapon - his three nephews. Photo: Supplied

"We just wanted to say you look pretty and would you date our uncle," one of the homunculi says.

"I'd like to date all of you," she says, apparently no longer worried how creepy that sounds.

Finally, Uncle Sam emerges. He has a man bun.

"Did you get that when it was in fashion, or now," she asks. No, she doesn't like the man bun, but she does like a man who's at ease with kids, so let's not rule Thor out just yet.

The suitor himself, Uncle Sam.

The suitor himself, Uncle Sam. Photo: Channel 10

On they come, these besuited suitors. One guy dabs, another rides up on a polo pony, a bloke called Mac almost slips on his backside as he walks in with his guitar to serenade her.

He's clearly spent weeks working on the lyrics. "You-oo-ooo, and me-ee-eee," he croons. "You-oo-oooo, and me-eee-eeee."

"Nice," she says, incorrectly.

He doesn't take the hint. He actually keeps going. "You-oo-ooo, and me-ee-eee/You-oo-oooo, and me-eee-eeee."

"Beautiful voice," she says. The less said about the lyrics the better.

Blake, who describes himself as an investor and entrepreneur but is really just a gigantic hot-air balloon of ego with the words "I love myself" printed in three-metre-high lettering on the side, enters with a big black box.

Blake was quickly established as the villain of the piece.

Blake was quickly established as the villain of the piece. Photo: Channel 10

"I love that massive box," she says. He wisely bites his tongue.

"When you go that extra step, it's super-easy," he confides to the camera. "The girls definitely love all that crap."

Inside are Ugg boots, red wine, a fluffy jacket. "This is literally me in a box," Sophie gushes.

It's taken just a couple of minutes, but Blake has been established as the one we're clearly meant to hate. Mission accomplished, Bachelorette producers. Your work here is done.

As the blokes bond over cocktails in the Bachelorette-nee-Bachelor mansion, Uncle Sam says, "I always thought they'd put one guy in who is just a douche, but I haven't seen it". Clearly he was in the toilet when Blake strutted in.

But wait. There's another limo in the drive. Could this be said douche? Will there be a deuce of douches?

Enter Ryan, a 26-year-old construction foreman. He hammers Sophie with questions about her motives, and why she hasn't yet found love if she's serious about the whole enterprise. "His approach was bit more aggressive than I'm used to," she confesses to camera.

To him, she says: "You've got great hair."

"I certainly do."

Douche.

He asks what music she listens to - she says Bieber, Britney - he says he'll change that. The dude has clearly mistaken her for a brumby he intends to break in before sun-up.

Inside the mansion, he cuts off her welcome speech before she's even got a full sentence out. He drags her aside, for more interrogation.

My name is Ryan and I'll be your interrogator tonight.

My name is Ryan and I'll be your interrogator tonight. Photo: Channel 10

Are you here for the right reasons, he asks. I'm going to go out on a limb and predict this will not be the last time we hear that question this season.

She is, she insists. She's not found someone before because of the circles she's been moving in.

"The entertainment industry can be very narcissistic and superficial, it's filled with people with massive egos, and I just want to meet someone outside of that," she says. Thank you Ryan, thank you Blake; you can go now.

The blokes, meanwhile, are falling over her like a bunch of seagulls on a chip. Jarrod catches her eye with some sincere talk about his youth (he was fat; he joined the army as a way of giving himself a "kick in the arse"), while "weirdo" Jourdan describes his ideal date with her (though not to her). It includes a "long drive to absolutely nowhere, long chats about absolutely nothing, where nothing makes sense". It's a bad acid trip, in other words.

The only way to separate the wheat from the chaff - or the man buns from the clean-cuts - is by having a Zoolander-style walk-off. There's a double-delight rose up for grabs - worth two dates - so this is serious, Mum.

First up, man buns Sam and Harry do some fancy dance moves, some moonwalking, knee-drops, backflips. For guys as drunk as they are, it's impressive stuff.

Next up in the peacocking stakes are Blake and Hayden.

Blake tries his Blue Steel, and is pathetic. His key move is to throw his jacket over Sophie's face.

Hayden takes the Zoolander schtick a step further, channelling Hansen, sticking two hands inside his pants, wriggling around, and finally pulling out a warm pair of undies.

Like Blake, he thinks it's a great idea to throw these in Sophie's face. It may not be the way to get that double delight rose, he admits, "but it's a nice way to leave my mark on her".

Yep, I'm pretty sure I saw that mark. Eww.

Inexplicably, Sam is selected as the loser, and his punishment is to strip to his underwear and run around the pool.

This was filmed in the depths of winter, remember. It's cold. So cold that beneath his dinner jacket and white shirt, Sam is wearing a thermal undershirt. And beneath his trousers, he's wearing thermal leggings. Beneath them, thankfully, he's wearing boxers.

An hour or two later, he's stripped down to the boxers and he's running around the pool, into which he eventually flings himself.

Props, Thor. Props.

"I love that Sam did that, because it shows he can take a joke, he's got balls," says Sophie. In fact, "I think I saw them".

Oh, she's having fun here, and why not?

It's rose time, and amazingly it's Uncle Sam who gets the double delight. But maybe he shouldn't be quite so double-delighted. "I think you're similar to me," she tells him, and then, to the camera, adds: "It makes me feel really comfortable that I've got someone there who's like a friend already."

Sam, my man, you've been friend-zoned.

She dispenses roses, until they're all gone and just two suitors are left. Goodbye Chad and Jamie, we never even knew you.

And hello Sophie Monk. That was a great first date. Here's to getting to know you a whole lot better.

Facebook: karlquinnjournalist Twitter: @karlkwin Podcast: The Clappers

The story Thanks, Sophie Monk, that was an awesome first date first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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