THE powers that be at Channel 10 clearly found a winner when they cast Sophie Monk as last year's Bachelorette. She was gorgeous, already had a public profile and could crack a mean joke under pressure.
Now Ten may have pulled off another coup for the next season of The Bachelor.
According to reports in Woman's Day and the Daily Telegraph, former Wallabies star Nick "Honey Badger" Cummins is set to fill the role this year as the network seeks to continue its winning formula.
"He's going to be great for the franchise. Funny, witty, with a huge cult following. This is a stroke of genius for the network," a source told Woman's Day.
The 30-year-old's notorious Aussie larrikin personality has proven to be a winner on the footy field, and turned him into the face of Tradie underwear, The Iconic clothing brand, Head and Shoulders and Tourism Australia.
In fact, given his achievements on the field, it is remarkable how much Cummins' forceful personality has overshadowed the rest of his career.
The uninitiated among you are probably wondering where that nickname, the Honey Badger, comes from. We couldn't explain it any better than he did himself a few years ago.
"There was a documentary on National Geographic or Animal Planet, one of them Fox bloody setups. Yeah, I watched this thing and this honey badger was going toe to toe with a male lion. And um, he was underneath him - underdog, obviously - on his back, clawing away, one two and then bloody, the big fella got his canastas clawed off and he trod off round the corner and fell over, and the badger gets back up and I thought, what an animal. You know, that's bloody ... that's impressive."
Cummins talks like that all the time. Where most of us would say "great", he says: "Holy tomorrow. How good? Bloody, you beauty." It's obviously going to make for fabulous television.
While past series of The Bachelor have had a decent progression of viewer ratings in their season openers, none have quite hit the ball out of the park. Perhaps this is because Aussie viewers and single women alike want more than just a dull bloke with a pretty face and no personality churning through the group dates and rose ceremonies each night.
The first season of The Bachelor, with Tim Robards, launched to 669,000. Season two with Blake Garvey, launched to 692,000. The third season, with Sam Wood, began on 846,000. Season four, with Richie Strahan, hit 882,000 and last year's season with Matty Johnson began on 846,000.
By contrast last year's premiere episode of the Bachelorette saw Sophie Monk draw in 1.22 million people.
In fact you could even use one of the Badger's hilarious, honest quotes to describe the sometimes lacklustre ratings of previous years: "We were all sizzle and no steak, but now we're off like a bride's nightie."
With the Port Macquarie born Cummins working his charms on this year's lucky ladies, it is a fair bet that Channel Ten will have another ratings winner on their hands.
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