BACK FROM THE BRINK: ‘If you’re going to do it, do it’
WHEN one girl breaks your heart, just go back out there and replace her with another lady who looks just like her.
One year after Matty J was left doubled over and heartbroken in a pit of mulched roses by Georgia Love on The Bachelorette, he's come back from the brink. In tonight's The Bachelor's finale, the 30-year-old marketing manager ended an eight-week search and selected a girl he says he's fallen in love with. His choice? Georgia's doppelganger, Laura Byrne.
Some might find the visual similarities weird. Oprah might call it a full-circle moment.
Either way, with fan favourite Tara out of the picture thanks to her shock elimination on Wednesday night, we weren't really fussed over who Matty picked.
Besides, it wasn't really a surprise. We all knew it. It was a choice we've basically known for the entire series thanks to some obvious storylines, a mole inside the production leaking information to the press and the paparazzi capturing the finale months ago.
In an ideal world, Network Ten would've employed that guy who organised Schapelle's escape from Bali. A fleet of cars and fake plane tickets and Mercedes Corby setting up Instagram accounts should've been involved.
Hindsight's a beautiful thing.
If you've never watched this show before and don't know who these final two girls are, please allow me to summarise: Laura has a three-legged rescue dog and is probably on her way to inking some mildly lucrative Instagram product endorsement deals over the next few weeks. She also keeps describing herself as easy-going - a tell-tale sign that she's not actually easy-going.
Then we have Elise, who is genuine and lovely. She has the warmth and confidence of a netball mum.
While Elise would have been a lovely choice, ultimately Matty fell for Laura and her Instagram endorsements. Expect to see annoying, too-cute selfies of them doing the Bondi to Bronte walk while holding protein shakes falling into your social media feeds from tomorrow.
Despite Network Ten's well documented financial issues, they've sprung for some flights to Thailand for the big finale. And after watching what feels like a 20 minute in-episode promotion for Air Asia, Osher greets us on some kind of boat and he's wearing more linen than a North Shore mum.
Matty's mum and three brothers have come along for the ride too. They'll meet the girls and basically make Matty's decision for him.
I feel it's important to note the humidity in this episode is insane and it's really messing with everyone's hair and they all have a sweaty sexy glow going on.
Anyway, Elise is first up and Matty's brother Tom marches her away for an interrogation. His questions are as bold as his eyebrows.
Then it's mum's turn. She's really calm and centred and talks slow and I assume she does a lot of pilates. Girlfriend knows where's it's at and she's hatched a plan. She basically says she's going to be a snake and pretend to be Elise's friend so she can ask her some real personal questions and catch her out.
Elise gushes about how much she loves Matty and then his mum falls in love with her and she's satisfied. Matty's family is totally team Elise.
When it comes time for the family to meet Laura, they take a seat on some carved Balinese furniture and things go downhill. For 15 minutes, Laura frantically monologues about herself and the junky jewellery she makes.
Seriously, she craps on forever.
She actually doesn't shut up.
She tells Matty's mum and brothers that she's super breezy and that the "9 to 5 isn't for me" and "I wanted to be an artist" and Matty's mum would like to bring Elise back in please.
Laura needs to shut up. But she just keeps crapping on about her jewellery stall.
Matty's brothers find it all really interesting.
They all try to interrupt her but she just keeps talking over them until Matty tells her to STFU.
Matty's brother Tom isn't feeling it.
"Laura doesn't feel like what he wanted in a girl. She's lovely but he doesn't seem fully compatible with her," he yawns.
Tom then takes Laura to a cabana for a grilling and tells her she's basically not as nice as Elise.
Later, talking to Matty's mum, Laura breaks down while admitting she's falling for Matty.
Matty's mum remains stone-faced and stares at Laura while she sobs, offering no sympathy in the hope she withdraws herself from the competition entirely, leaving Elise as her daughter-in-law.
"I would be more than happy to have either of those girls come into our family," Matty's mum tells us, but we really know she's only talking about Elise.
Matty says his family have been too vague and he still doesn't know what decision to make. They have not been vague at all. His brother Tom actually tells him "I preferred Elise".
But we still have 25 minutes of airtime to fill, so Matty embarks on his finale dates with the girls to make up his mind.
Elise has completely opened up about her feelings for Matty. She loves him. She really does.
But during their final day together, there's a sinking feeling in her stomach.
Over drinks, she takes a moment. Secretly, she wonders if her heart is about to be broken in a matter of hours. She knows this is probably their last night together. She tells Matty that. He nods, but says nothing.
Deep down, they both know their romance is about to expire. But for now, they don't think about that. Elise says she's in love with him. She doesn't care about her heart. She wants to be reckless and put it on the line. And then they neck on a cane lounge.
For Laura's final date, they sit in a creek and scrub an elephant who looks very unimpressed at her forced involvement in this show.
They then sit in a boat while a storm rolls over and Laura laughs it off and tells Matty again that she's totally easy going and doesn't care about being soaking wet but really she can't wait to find a hairdryer. Oh, she also says she loves him.
The following day, Matty has to make a decision. He soaks in the resort's infinity pool - and he makes his choice.
He meets Osher on a secluded island with grey skies overhead. They both look uncomfortably steamy and if I was there I'd have insane butt sweat going on.
Matty says he's come a long way since his heartbreak last year.
"Theres one big difference and that's I'm in love right now." he says, and I just don't buy it.
Matty goes and stands on a rug that's been placed on a grassy knoll and awaits the first girl to arrive.
Elise arrives by boat and producers immediately realise they didn't think this through: the girls have no way of getting from the boat to the shore. A local is recruited to carry them across the water in a fireman's carry.
As Matty begins, Elise knows where this is going.
"The more I've gotten to know you, the more I've realised that we are so similar in so many ways," he tells her. He basically calls her his sister. And we know what that means.
"You are so worthy of being happy... And finding true love. But I'm so sorry... That it's not with me," he tells her.
She's disappointed. She tries to smile but, in her eyes, we see her heart break. She thanks him for being honest and says the word "journey".
As she walks away to the car, her emotion comes through and the tears fall.
"I fell in love with a man who doesn't love me back," she says. "It was always a fear of mine to open myself up and let myself be happy and have that taken away. I found something that was worth opening up for and I really enjoyed doing that, and I thought it was special. And I felt that it was, and...And, clearly, it was a one-way street."
She says she's "confused if it was worth it" - which is perhaps the harshest thing we've heard Elise say all series.
By the time Laura is carried to land, Matty does that thing where he tries to act sad and trick her into thinking she's being dumped.
"It's OK. Whatever it is, it's OK," she says, bracing herself. "If you're going to do it just do it."
But then he says "PSYCH!"
"I think about you every single day. The only way I can describe... how I feel towards you is...Laura, I love you," he smiles, kissing her and sliding a fancy ring on her hand. She's offended it's not from her own jewellery line but that's an argument for tomorrow.
I wish them and their life with Laura's three-legged-dog and Instagram endorsements all the happiness in the world.