There was movement at the station for the word had passed around that Wollongong's great blonde hope on The Farmer Wants a Wife was going to have a meltdown this Sunday.
Would she join the wild bush horses, filled with old regret, as all the cracks gather and she frays?
Could this be the end of the road for Our Olivia, and therefore the end for you and me, dear reader?
In case you've been living under Mulga Bill's bicycle for the past few weeks, this is where we recap the shenanigans from Australia's favourite agriculture-related dating show, The Farmer Wants a Wife, cheering on the ladies from Wollongong until they're all packed off in the back of a ute, in the romantic way or the non-romantic way, however the case may be.
With Cassandra a casualty of the first episode and Christina having bit the dust since, the hopes of an entire region lie with one Olivia Benic, an admin officer and one-time Wollongong High School captain who had appeared to have Farmer Matt wrapped around her little finger ... until she didn't.
But because the next episode hasn't happened yet, or it has in real life but it hasn't on telly yet, or the other way round, this will not be a recap but a precap. A preview, but some things might be just totally made up. Like on reality TV.
Will losing her cool rob Olivia of her greatest asset so far, her ability to always be Miss Congeniality among the self-obsessed tantrums and half-brained uncertainty?
Or will it prove to be the best way to get an easily led bloke's attention, as most other contestants have tried already?
The story so far
Olivia's been something of a frontrunner for the too-delicate hand of "Farmer" Matt. They'd been getting on like a double-mortgaged farmhouse on fire since he took a shining to her "personality" and she took a liking to his lips.
There were four rivals for the master bedroom; three remain and it's harder than ever to pick a winner.
Clearly none of them are Olivia whose strategy so far is to hold her ground, be easy to get along with, dress bare-shouldered, and take her chance for a lip-lock whenever she gets it.
Let's consider her competitors for the hand of Matt in love-or-something-like-it.
Both of them are correctly known here as Someone Who Is Not Olivia (SWINO). But because we have to differentiate, "real names" may be briefly necessary.
Chelsea is a twin from Western Australia who has been handing producers a free tray of scones lately, talking about her uncertainty as to whether she would want to leave her family for farm life.
So why she would be here on this NSW Southern Tablelands farm in the first place? Because her twin is off trying to woo another farmer, with zero qualms about leaving the family.
Annabelle, whose intro bio said "I guarantee you I will be laughing 24/7", either misunderstands "laughing" or "guarantee". At lunch with Matt's parents last episode, she developed an "unwellness" that apparently related to the sun being up in the sky. She went tearily to bed with a camera crew beside her ready to film Matt's mandatory cajoling.
Annabel was rewarded by the parents in the form of a 24-hour date with Matt and if he can manage that he's a better man than most. Which we suspect he is.
The parents seem like thoroughly decent people but we're going to count them as Olivia's opposition as well, after they awarded the prize date to someone who was literally not there. Plus their advice "don't rush" could only refer to Olivia, as if they'd seen all the snogging in previous episodes and wanted him to turn down the steam.
Traps and enemies everywhere.
More recap madness: Just what all men want - more complications and drama before going to bed
Hard to predict this one. The editors have lined up clear narratives for both the SWINOs that would justify them being dumped. But it hasn't happened. Are they exploiting Matt's nature and leading him into a trap as well?
After one farmer packed up his wife and left the series early, are they forcing Matt to keep three possibilities around until the final dramatic moment?
Would Australian commercial TV producers ever exploit real people's lives and feelings like that?
What upsets poor Olivia? Does she cry ugly? Do her and Matt have anything to talk about once the tonsil hockey dries up?
Does Matt really love his "uni friend" from the previous episode more than any of these TV ladies?
All these, and more, important questions will never be answered at least until you tune in right here to the next recap.
The Farmer Wants a Wife airs at 7pm Sunday on Seven and streams on 7Plus.
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