Air Date: 22nd September, 2011
Host: Bernard Curry
Beauties: Darlene, Dolly, Emma, Gaia, Jacelle, Jordan, Mackenzie, Maddy, Sarah, Troy
Geeks: Adam, Bendeguz, Colin, Gilbert, Jimmy, Julian, Lachlan, Nathan, Theo, Helen
Synopsis: Being the first episode of the new series, a lot of time is spent getting to know our new beauties and geeks, as well as establishing the teams for this series. We were treated to a 90 minute episode to fit all this in, as well as the first challenges and the first elimination. Then the surprise twist of the season was introduced. With the elimination of the first couple, a new couple is introduced with our first male beauty and female geek.
With the advent of a new series of Beauty and the Geek, I thought we have the perfect material to replace our reviews of the now finished season of Torchwood and Game of Thrones. From the indications of the first episode, this promises to be another very good season of the Australian incarnation of the show.
As is the nature of the first episode, the geeks stand out much more than the beauties. It is easier to find distinct and individual personalities in this group, whereas the beauties are all identically ditzy. Though I will say, as pointed out to me by my Bride, that there are a few more brunettes this year than is usual, so that is a nice change. I will say though that so far, every beauty does seem genuinely nice in character, to their credit. I will probably have a lot more here to say about the geeks though, as for me they have always been the life of the show.
As with last season, there is a twist to season three. Last year, the twist was that one beauty was actually a twin. Interesting concept, but one that was poorly executed, with the fact being revealed as early as the second episode. As such, having twins added very little to the concept. This year however, we have a male beauty and a female geek. How this will affect the game remains to be seen, these two having only been introduced in the closing minutes of the episode. This does promise to have more far-reaching consequences than last season, though, that is for sure.
I will now go through each couple, and share my thoughts after one episode. I do reveal how the episode ends, so if you have it taped and have not watched the episode yet, be aware of spoilers.
Adam and Emma
Little has been covered on this specific couple yet, so the cynic in me wonders if they are not going to last very long. Adam is a meteorologist, which one beauty indicated to us is the “study of meteors”. Emma has particularly not stood out yet, but checking out the series website, apparently she is the reigning Miss FHM 2011.
Bendeguz and Dolly
Bendeguaz is one of the early stand-out geeks, with the combination of weird name and odd personality, he could be this season’s Xenogene. He is a historian who lives his trade, claiming to have been born a little old man. He is overdue for a makeover, especially that moustache, but he seems like a genuine character. Dolly is in a career of hair and beauty therapy, but once again, nothing has happened in the series to really make her stand out yet.
Colin and Gaia
This is one of the couples that was up for elimination this week. Colin is a Cambridge educated scientist, and was nominated as he was already considered to be one of the more confident geeks, an assessment I can agree with. Gaia also got a bit more screen time, being a part-time nanny, though, at the risk of repeating myself, there is nothing as yet that makes her stand out from the other beauties.
Theo and Jacelle
This is another couple that ominously received very little attention in this first episode. Theo seems like a genuine shy guy, a mathematician by trade, yet as yet I cannot form a more specific opinion than that. Jacelle I actually cannot remember anything specific at all. It is only her job description, trainee barmaid, that rings a bell for me for her role in the series so far.
Julian and Jordan
There was a bit more focus on this couple, being one of the couples to successfully complete a challenge and have to nominate another couple. Julian is a very unfortunate case, his innate geekiness augmented by braces and desperate need of a makeover. Learning he was a molecular biologist, a man of my own trade, does make me feel he is a kindred spirit though, and I hope he does well. Dancer Jordan seems genuinely nice, and has already formed attachments in the house. She was very emotional when asked to make a nomination for elimination.
Lachlan and Sarah
This is the other couple to successfully complete a challenge, and they were forced to nominate another couple for elimination. They selected roommates Colin based on his confidence, and Gaia was the unfortunate tag along by association. Lachlan is a law student, very nervous in nature, but a nice guy. Sarah, a promotional worker and model, was for me a Billie Piper look-a-like, so she stood out for me from the beauties (it is the mile wide smile i think that drew the comparison). These two seem to have bonded very well early, so I am curious to see how far these two go.
Jimmy and Mackenzie
I admit it, I have two early favourite couples, and this is one of them. The fact they get a lot of focus is promising to make an investment of attention in this couple too. Jimmy, an IT support technician, enters wearing a Star Trek uniform, and litters his interviews with Trek and Star Wars references. Mackenzie is a covergirl who thinks Jimmy is adorable. She does give him some high compliments in the hot tub, to which Jimmy is really not sure how to handle, both sad and sweet at the same time. He also cannot handle a male beauty in the house, seeming to almost flash back to bullies. It is really sad, and as such you kind of really want him to do well in the competition as this is the type of person that really needs the confidence boost.
Gilbert and Maddy
This is my other early favourite couple, that also has had some good early attention. Gilbert is a bearded ranga doing a doubler degree and collecting belt buckles. I think I warmed when he admitted having a girlfriend for three weeks in year nine and that being one of the best times of his life. With statements like that, emotional connection is assured, and you want, even need, his romantic chances to improve as a result of this show. Maddy is a cheerleader, and seems quite lovely, warming to Gilbert very quickly. She also stands out as one of the brunettes!!
The twist: Helen and Troy
Is this an in-gag? Helen (of) Troy??? Introduced at the end of the episode, these two are an unknown factor, though she has already got the attention of a few geeks, and he has the attention of a few beauties. He is a personal trainer, naturally, and she is a statistician. We shall learn more though next week I am sure
The eliminated couple: Nathan and Darlene
Some time is spent on this couple, I suppose to give them their due, but this is the couple we will be searching our memories to recall when the inevitable reunion occurs in the season finale. Nathan is a comics and video games enthusiast, even introduced wearing a $400 Assassin’s Creed costume. Darlene is a casino hostess, whom is shown in a very good light in this episode. Nathan is in tears about the nomination, yet Darlene genuinely is concerned, and both come off as very likeable, Somebody has to go though, and this week these two were the unfortunate ones.
This week, the challenges once again follow a very similar theme as to previous years, especially once again taking advantage of getting the beauties to wear very little to a certain level of discomfor for the geeks. They jump straight in with the beauties wearing very little and getting the geeks to paint fashion items on them where they belong. Not one geek can make eye contact, and frankly I can’t blame them. They are real gentlemen, and see women as people before they see them as bodies. To be honest, it felt a bit exploitative, but the geeks came off as the heroes for me.
The beauties own challenge was interesting and frustrating. I am no great geography wiz, I am the first to admit it, but not knowing where to look on a map for Germany, or that the Pavlova is Australian, beggars belief. Their outfits for this challenge were less exploitative, but still skimpy. Adding slime to the world map to add a comic element though I will admit was very amusing though, if completely unnecessary.
Final thoughts?? This was a very strong season opener, with the most likeable bunch of beauties as a whole to date, some really interesting geeks that are awkward in non-threatening ways, and a twist that promises to be much more effective than in previous years. From this point the series is likely to follow previous years in format and execution, however there are personalities well worth following through to the conclusion.
4 stars out of 5
Beauty and the Geek Australia preview [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xsf2Z56iFGs]
Beauty and the Geek Australia airs at 8.30pm Thursday nights on Channel 7.