I missed the premiere of First Dates on Seven on Wednesday night. Goodness knows why – it’s not like My Kitchen’s Rank, Celeb Charades in the Jungle and Farmer Wants a Missus all launched in the same week. But now it’s Friday night and TV schedule is a little clearer, so it’s time to check out the catch-up TV options. In the First Dates premiere we meet international model Aiden, who likes running his hands through his own flowing locks. International models have had a rough trot on TV lately, with Dapper Dave from the Bachelorette lambasted for his stellar work in a Patons catalogue.
Aiden is the hipster beardy kind of model who wears a low-scoop neck tee. He’s never been on a blind date before. It looks as though the show has taken over a whole restaurant for filming purposes, which I guess makes it easier to get footage. And the staff (presumably wannabe actors who make a buck in hospitality) are in on the act, asking the lonely hearts leading questions like “Are you nervous?”. digestive issues. Model likes the Island/Polynesian look, so he’s in luck with the stunning Emily. She’s only 21 but is already sick of modern blokes not making an effort to be romantic. The producers have stuck Aiden at the bar with a drink to make him sweat a bit, although he’s a confident fellow who no doubt has been headhunted to be on the show. They meet and it’s a bit awks. Emily is from the Seychelles and Aiden doesn’t know where that is.
Cut to Bachelor No. 2 and it’s Nicholas Nicholas. Yes, for reals.
Poor Nick Nick is so nervous he asks for a straw for his tequila shot, for fear he will spill it all over himself. “I liken myself to an excitable puppy – like most puppies I’m loving and endearing, but like most puppies I end up pissing the floor and making a mess.” Date Dannii arrives and she looks like a girl who works out a lot and has a BFF who runs a spray-tanning biz. She normally goes for hunky tradies but has decided she needs to try something different. Nick x 2 definitely fits this bill. He cleverly tells Dannii the tequila is for her, but can’t maintain the charade and confesses all. She suggests he “balls up and take it like a man”. He does. Date No. 3 is 40-year-old Caterina who is rocking a coppery fro. She loves dancing with her gay BFFs but now wants tall and handsome. Date Chris fits that bill, but you know he’s a knob when he opens his mouth and tells the maitre d “Good evening – I believe I have arrived”. He greets Caterina by holding both her hands and speaking with lots of lingering pauses. It’s totes creepy.
Then he says: “You know what, if we’re going to spend a little bit of time together, let’s get lubricated.” Urgh – this guy needs to date Cougar from MKR. Over at Nick Nick’s table, Dannii has twigged Nick has forgotten her name. They enjoy a bit of banter about his general hopelessness. “Strike,” she laughs. At date No. 1 Emily is doing most of the talking, while at No. 3 Chris is going from bad to worse. Caterina must think it’s a gee up.
Date 4 begins and it’s Lauren, 28, and Corbin, 27. Lauren talks very, very, very fast and does not come across as desperate at all. I already know from the promos she has crazy eyes, so this should be excruciatingly compelling. They bother work in marketing so should be able to make small talk, but he’s in digital marketing and that’s “stuff I don’t know and I don’t like that stuff”. (Ha, ha – she’s just joking … but not really). Lauren is afraid, at the grand age of 28, that she is going to become a crazy cat lady and die alone. Usually this is an exaggeration but honestly, poor Lauren, for a marketing expert you’re not presenting the best side of yourself. You need to go on Gruen and be the subject of their “How Do You Sell …” segment. Over at another table, Double Nick sneaks off to the loo to phone a friend for help with his patter. He heads back to try it out on Danni, but halfway through actor/waiter Terry shows impeccable comic timing by arriving with their food. The Channel 7 editors cack themselves, cutting to a shot of a zucchini having its tip sliced off.
Seychelles Lady says she has never been in a relationship. Perhaps this is because she is still a baby at 21. Model is just throwing out the odd “mmmm”, “yeah”, “mmm” in response. At Date 3, creepy dude is refusing to divulge any information about his family, friends or career and is determined to stay in this character he has created. Meanwhile, Crazy Eyes talks her date through her training regime (up at 5am six days a week to train). Good on her, I guess, but then it gets weird when she orders the steak with cafe de Paris butter, but asks the waiter how much butter is in the butter? Umm, a lot? The waiter tries to stir the pot by suggesting she has chips with her steak. The steak arrives in all its buttery goodness and Corbin tries to keep the peace by agreeing with everything she says.
And the dates keep coming – glad they are not dragging everything out. Tom, 23, hails from Broken Hill, so they’ve dressed him in a blue shirt. He’s a well-spoken lad who’s never had a girlfriend, let alone a date at a fancy restaurant. Here comes Vanessa from Bright (uh oh – that’s a loooong way from Broken Hill). She’s only 19 and is a real sweetie. Tom, legend that he is, pulls out the chair for Vanessa, which is something the boys in Bright would never do. Note to Creepy Chris: Now that’s how to behave on a date. Date No. 1 is over. The don’t live in the same city, so a relationship would be tricky.
Over at Date 2 Double Nick is quick with the compliments but he’s such a bumbler it’s endearing, not creepy. Speaking of which, Chris has challenged Caterina to stare into his eyes for four minutes. He takes her hand and starts stroking it. She is a very polite, tolerant woman. They’re splitting the bill, which we can see is $131. She puts in $70. Surely Channel 7 pays for their food and this is all a charade? After it’s over he finally let’s slip a little personal info. She says “maybe” to date two, he says “yes” so she upgrades it to a yes. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat! There must have been more footage of him being normal that didn’t make the final cut. At the kids’ table Vanessa can’t believe what a polite, kind lad Tom is and he seems equally smitten. Corbin is wishing he could join them when Crazy Eyes explains she’s not crazy, it’s her past boyfriends who have set out to make her crazy because they can’t stand her being so awesome and un-crazy. Then she drops that one of her fave movies is Wedding Crashers and Corbin knows he’s in real trouble. Please, Channel 7, can you do a Second Dates series so we can try and find love for the normal people from this season. Back to the kids and Tom offers to write her a letter … awww … now every grandma in Australia wants him to be her adopted grandson. At date 2, Double Nick nicks off to fix up the bill, then gives whatsername a wooden heart with his name on it. She’s been a good sport.
The kids are on dessert and they are totally going to be going steady by the end of the night. Crazy Eyes: “If one more person gets married and has a baby, I’m going to die, just so you know.” Does he have a three-year-plan? Nup, he’s not a goal setter, unlike her. He pays the bill and she thinks he is boyfriend material. It’s time to ask Corbin if he wants to see Crazy Eyes again. “What am I meant to say?” he replies. And then it’s a no.
Poor girl – let’s hope it was the pressure of the TV cameras that got to her because she is going to cop it for a while. The bill arrives at the kids’ table and both reach for it. He insists it’s his treat, which given she’s only 19 and probably an impoverished student, seems fair. “I felt like a princess,” she says. They are both too shy to say they’d love a second date, but look at their hands.
At the end we get a montage of what happened next: Nick Nick has been too nervous to call Dannii for coffee, creepy dude disappeared and the young lovers have yet to go out – noooooooooooooooooo!