Like a rabbit from a hat, Günsberg the Great materialises with a date card. Just the one this time. “I think it’s a second date for someone,” Alex speculates hopefully, winning the prize for the least popular theory in the room.
“Love is on the horizon for… Rachael!” she reads, instantly bursting Keira’s hot air balloon fantasy bubble.
Rachael hits the high seas, but her boat is stopped by a more impressive vessel, The Bach Pearl, manned by pirate Richie Strahan.
Some bonding aboard reveals the pair has a common thirst for adventure. Their chemistry certainly suggests Rachael could become considerably more than Richie’s first mate.
At the mansion, the wait for a second date card is intense. Georgia is concerned that her lack of one-on-one time with Richie says something about their relationship. Alex is inclined to agree.
Back on the love boat, Richie and Rachael take their burgeoning relationship to new heights. “How’s the view?” she asks, steadying her nerves on the ascent to the crow’s nest. “To be honest, not too bad!” replies Captain Cheeky, eyes lowered.
Like a moment from a movie – Titanic, to be exact – Richie urges Rachael to trust him and raise her arms in flight. “Titanic,” he confirms.
At the mansion, Kiki has crept upon a date card - it’s a garden party, and all the Bachelorettes are invited. While Kiki approves of the girls-to-Richie ratio, Alex suspects there could be a twist in store...
The single date, meanwhile, is checking Rachael’s boxes. Rippling abs?
Taking the plunge in spectacular style, Rachael scores a 10.0 from the Western Australia judge for her dive...
... but loses points for nearly drowning and blinding him.
It's yo, ho, ho and a bottle of rum below deck, as Richie and Rachael down a dram or two, chased by a slightly fishy critique.
Day two, and the Bachelorettes are dressed to impress, while a casually attired Richie is headed for a woodland rendezvous with Osher.
The Master of Surprise reveals that three new Bachelorettes are speeding Richie’s way, and these women are “up for anything.” Enter the Date Crashers: ‘Quad Bike Steph’, ‘Dirt Bike Sarah’, and ‘Horse Whisperer Khalia’.
As Richie spends the afternoon getting to know each, one thing becomes clear: the original Bachelorettes have some serious competition.
A fact which starts to dawn on them as they spot the intruders dramatically descending towards the mansion in a helicopter. Alex attempts the world’s first eye-induced engine failure.
Richie’s arrival somewhat thaws the Antarctic atmosphere...
... before Georgia decides to turn defense into offence, setting up a confrontation between Kiki and Keira, who dispenses with the pleasantries and moves straight onto the peasantries.
All eyes are on the Date Crashers causing an upset at the Rose Ceremony, but it’s Megan who produces the biggest shock of all by refusing a rose.
“From the moment I met you I felt like you’re someone I could fall in love with...” she begins, “but I can’t fall in love with such competition and intensity.” Her heartbreaking admission leaves the Bachelor shell-shocked.
A reeling Richie manages to gather himself enough to offer the final roses, with all three Bachelorette newbies among their recipients. Georgia’s romantic hopes are nipped in the bud, however, and she departs the mansion empty-handed, but far from speechless.
Coming up in episode 8… The single date you’ve waited for, and the dramatic exit you didn’t see coming.
Grab our GIFs on our official GIPHY page: giphy.com/thebachelorau