Game over Sophie Monk, give it to the hotel heir

It was going to be dealt with sooner or later.

A 37-year-old celebrity bachelorette looking for a life companion among a bunch of bickering, exceedingly normal 20-somethings is not a common foundation for reality dating shows.

Regardless of the angry backlashes and positive think-pieces over the May-December age discrepancies between Sophie Monk and her suitors, there are practical considerations to keep in mind here.

Monk has dated rock stars, Hollywood actors, media power players - is some management consultant from the Sydney suburbs really gonna cut it? A magician, even?

On Wednesday night, Ten gave her a convenient out with the addition of four new, and mature, intruders.

"They are all very handsome and very eligible bachelors, all older than each of these men here," Osher welcomed the newcomers.

"Are they coming in wheelchairs?" quipped Blake.

A slick wisecrack, I'll admit, but it couldn't disguise the fact that the original housemates were already sweating in their skinny jeans.

First, though, "old soul" Apollo wins the coveted solo date.

Taking the episode's ageing angst further, Monk pulls up to the date in an Aston Martin, kerchief billowing like Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief.

"He reminds me of a movie star from the Golden Age," she says of Apollo. Victor Mature, maybe.

Their date, a pre-war inspired soiree filled with goofy camera selfies (no Instagrams), is a winner.

"Vintage is so my jam," says Apollo, with the elegant verbiage of a young David Niven.

After an awkward foot massage ("It's so moist," says Monk) and a slow-dance to a crackly phonograph, Monk gets serious.

"He's a lovely guy, he's got everything going for him, but he's young... How is he so wise beyond his years?" she ponders about Apollo, a 24-year-old who does magic tricks.

Surprisingly, Apollo's answer elicits a "Yep, that'll do it" from viewers.

He opens up about his mum's battle with breast cancer when he was young. He reveals he's suffered a heart attack that shut down his kidneys and left him in intensive care for two weeks.

"It was a pretty traumatic experience... I feel like I grew up pretty quickly," he says. "It humbled me massively and just changed what's important."

Understandably, the dude gets a rose.

The other guys, who've been anxiously awaiting a group date game of "bicycle polo", get some bad news in the form of a chopper filled with those new bachelors, all elegantly tuxedoed.

"The winner could be in the chopper," says some mysterious Nostradamus, as the intruders file out one-by-one.

First, there's Guy, a chisel-jawed 37-year-old from Western Australia with a British accent and a bowtie. Being an optometrist, he hands Monk a pair of sunglasses.

"Hopefully, they take away some of the glare, and help you see clearly who you want to be with to the end," he says. Monk half-smiles politely.

Belabouring the maturity angle, the boys, off to the side, are furiously plotting hazing rituals for the newcomers.

"Spit on your hands before you shake," says one. I feel like Guy's gonna wake up with no eyebrows back at the mansion.

Up next is the clear-domed AJ, a 37-year-old father of two and chef, who hands Sophie a specialised menu he's crafted for her.

Unlike Guy, the boys love him and his chef-y mug. "I'd be more threatened by that guy's personality than his looks" says Hayden. It might be a compliment, I dunno.

Next comes shaggy-haired Paul, a 39-year-old law student with five kids.

"Five kittens?" asks Apollo.

"I've got five sons," Paul confirms. "And I'm also a grandparent."

"He's got kids who have kids. He's the youngest oldest dude I've seen," says Jared.

The show's producers save the biggest threat till last. In TV voiceover parlance, you might call it "a game-changer".

He's Stu, 44, a "third-generation publican" and father of four. A little outside research tells me he's Stuart Laundy, the heir to an estimated $500 million family fortune.

Hmm. A marketing manager from Melbourne or a $500 million family fortune? A pubescent magician or a $500 million family fortune? Hmm. Tough choices ahead for Sophie.

In even more bad news for the others, Sophie recognises Stu from a chance meeting on Sydney Harbour a year ago where he played swashbuckling hero to her party of friends and family.

"The fact the Stu's gone to all the effort to make his way on The Bachelorette when I've already stood him up... He really wants me, I think... and I hope," she says.

We could stop here, because I think we know exactly where this show is going. Alas, there's still a rose ceremony to be held - and four guys are going home.

Of course, the new guys quickly make their mark.

Stu and Guy earn their roses, and, after a brief Sophie breakdown where she dashes off-set and cries into Osher's arms at the prospect of voting off some originals, she gives the final rose to chef AJ.

On the outs are Hayden, Brett, an oddly exuberant Harry, and Grandpa Paul.

Paul drops his head and sheds a solitary tear. Stu reaches into his blazer and lends him a spare cheque for $30,000 to mop it up.

Stick a fork in it, I think this season's done.

The story Game over Sophie Monk, give it to the hotel heir first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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