I used to think there were two kinds of people: those who watch The Bachelor/ette, and those who don’t.
But it turns out there’s a third kind: those who can take or leave the on-screen search for love but are obsessed by the recaps written by Rosie Waterland and published online by The Mamamia Womens Network.
The numbers are impressive. During Season 3 of The Bachelor, Rosie’s Recaps attracted 2,638,808 unique browsers*. The first episode of The Bachelorette pulled 360,000 USBs and by the second, numbers had grown to 484,000.
So what’s so special about a Rosie recap and why did they become a thing?
In my opinion, it’s because Rosie is a vodka spearmint walnut coffee voice in a vanilla choir. Not everyone likes it but those who do become obsessed – and evangelical.
The recaps were like nothing we’ve read before, but they echoed what viewers were thinking. Crucially, they’re not bitchy or mean, but a hilarious narrative with a rich vein of feminist ideology. In Rosie’s recaps:
The posts acknowledge viewers know producers pull strings, juggle budgets, place products and manipulate outcomes, but we don’t care. We just want to be entertained, we want a laugh, we want something to talk about with our friends. Rosie’s recaps gave us that.
“And heeeere we go again.
Week 2, Episode 3, and it’s really feeling like we’re getting into the muscly swing of things. We open on Bachie Wood doing some serious thinking/muscle flexing while looking out onto a random body of water. He has a lot of feelings about love etc, and he can only have them in a tank top.
Once Bachie Wood has done his thinking for the day, we cut to the Girl Prison, where Oshie’s hair interrupts their very casual-looking and definitely natural girlie hang out sesh to tell them that this week, The Bachelor is going to do something that has NEVER BEEN DONE IN THE HISTORY OF THE BACHELOR. Lots of whispers/squeals/”what is it?” … Apparently Bachie Wood likes a ‘decisive woman’ (does he? He has revealed nothing of himself! I CANNOT PENETRATE HIS OUTER SHELL. WHAT EVEN IS YOUR PERSONALITY BACHIE WOOD?) and he’s decided that he’s going to generously let the girls choose who will be released from Girl Prison for a day to spend some time with him.”
During and after each episode, social media lit up with #rosierecaps
Many commenters found the recaps more entertaining than the actual show:
Commercially the show / recap combo was a win win win win as Channel 10, Mamamia and sponsors revelled in the numbers. Rosie did nicely too. Poking fun at the blatant product placement scored her a Bunda diamond bracelet and a shiny new Nissan, not to mention a book contract and massive publicity for her just released memoir, The Anti-Cool Girl (very, different from the recaps; brilliant but harrowing). Rosie is often scathing about the show, calling it dumb, repetitive and boring:
Still, Channel 10 has no issue and happily sends Rosie her advance episodes. All’s fair in love and ratings.
Predictably, other writers and networks are jumping aboard the recap bandwagon, wanting a slice of Bachelor/ette action. Certainly the idea of a recap isn’t original. But an unknown writer using the kind of language people actually use, then inventing her own vocabulary to create a community centred around a sexist, outdated, cheesy concept? That’s original. No wonder we fell in love.
*Verified by Effective Measure
Kate Hunter is a Senior Copywriter at BCM