AFTER suffering through the most hideously painful date, Sophie Monk has been forced to eliminate a stunning man in favour of a guy we thought was on The Bachelorette as a joke.
We all laughed at the possibility of Jarrod making it through to the finale. We wanted to see how far he and his stalkerish tendencies would go before Sophie got too creeped out and sent him home.
But as the weeks rolled on, he's made it into the final three.
At the beginning of Wednesday night's episode, we're certain Jarrod will be going home tonight. Surely, Sophie and producers have had enough fun with him and it's time to get serious. For Jarrod to make it into the final two and head into the finale, someone would have to screw up big time in these crucial last dates. And they do.
Apollo goes and ruins everything on his final date. It's so bad that not even one of his magic spells can reverse it. Suddenly, our expectations for the finale are up in the air, and this one terrible date throws the finale into chaos.
Sophie has no other choice but to eliminate him - leaving Jarrod and Stu to vie for her heart.
A man so pink in colour and intense in nature has made it through to The Bachelorette finale. It's a result this country never expected. Maybe we're being trolled. Or maybe we've just been given the gift we really needed to see out a rubbish 2017.
Moments into tonight's episode, we're presented with a terrifying situation. Jarrod is almost forced to strip down to his underwear and dance around a racetrack.
In a wise move, producers intervene and stop the challenge from going ahead and we settle for wine and cheese.
As conversation turns to what they've gotten out of the past few weeks, Jarrod says he's made some amazing friends along the way and I have a lot of questions about this statement but they're all kind of summarised by this one picture.
Over wine, Jarrod wraps Sophie up in a shawl like a nanna because girls love it when you treat them like old ladies. After force-feeding Sophie a grape, he then demands to know how she feels about the declaration of love he made last week.
Sophie begins to cry while looking around over her shoulder. It seems producers haven't been paying attention to her secret cue to interrupt and she's frantically trying to get their attention.
"It's just, um ..." she says, lifting her hand to her chin, running her smooth nails across her bottom lip as she stalls.
"I just really want someone to love me for me," she says.
Jarrod is thrilled and takes this to mean Sophie also loves him. Keep in mind, Jarrod would also accept the phrase "please get off my property I don't want to call the police again" as a message of affection, too.
For Stu's date, Sophie picks him up in a limo and don't ask me why he insists on sitting like a lady.
Today's surprise date is set at a Sydney aquarium where, upon arrival, Sophie and Stu proceed to body shame a dugong.
They keep making comments about how fat he is and how he apparently only eats lettuce and if he truly does only eat lettuce then he really shouldn't be having weight issues.
The dugong doesn't appreciate Sophie or her Michelle Bridges attitude. The dugong also doesn't take nicely to the insinuations that he's been sneaking snacks outside of his very restrictive diet of lettuce.
When Sophie and Stu cringe and call the dugong hairy, it's the final straw. The dugong attempts to throw his body out of the water and onto the platform to confront them and Sophie is so frightened she drops to her feet and scampers behind Stu's leg.
High on adrenaline from her near death experience with the dugong, Sophie decides life is short and you can't waste any moment of it. So she asks Stu point blank when he's getting divorced from his wife.
"Very soon hopefully," he replies, clearly unsure himself.
When Sophie asks Stu if he could see himself marrying her and having kids, he decides his best response is to ugly-laugh in her face.
For Apollo's date, Sophie puts great thought into organising something theatrical and fun that he might appreciate.
They get all dressed up and head to the Blue Mountains where they sit on some stones and watch some opera singer warble for a few minutes.
For the entire song, we just watch close up shots of their faces as they stare at the singer. It's really uncomfortable because whenever I have to watch a performance in a small group, I get really self conscious about what my face looks like and so I decide to smile but then I don't want the musician to think I'm laughing at them so then I change to a neutral facial expression but then I start to worry that I just look like the moody bitch I truly am.
Sophie and Apollo don't admit it, but I know this thought process goes through both their heads.
Suddenly, Sophie wells up. Tears begin to stream down her face.
Unaware of Sophie's emotions that are pouring out directly next to him, Apollo just smiles and stares blankly ahead. And when it ends, he cheers and yells "awesome!" as if it's some kind of football game.
"I'm not sure we quite felt the moment together," Sophie tells us.
In her fur and jewels, Sophie clamours into a clearing in the bush to deliver a concerned monologue.
"At this point, I need more than small talk, I need emotional and I'm not sure he's there yet," she confides.
Over wine, Sophie's lack of connection with Apollo only becomes more clear.
He's perfectly nice and very handsome and has massive arms and a chest I would like to fall asleep on, but everything he says is unstimulating and just boring.
Sophie's concerns loom in her mind. Disengaged and distracted, she stares down at her lap.
"So ... from now on you've got a massive decision, don't ya?" Apollo says, struggling to make conversation.
"Yep," is all Sophie can muster.
The lack of chemistry becomes too much. And suddenly, something in Sophie's mind snaps.
"Sometimes I think you're not that into me," she says. "Because the rest of the guys are so passionate and emotional and fighting for me. Where as you're like ... sometimes I think, do you even like me?"
Apollo's reply demonstrates the lack of passion he was just accused of.
"I do. I really like you," he says, hoping his broad smile will make his words seem more compelling and charming than what they actually are.
Sophie decides the conversation needs to go deeper. So she puts on her shoulder pads, channels Tracy Grimshaw and starts firing questions.
She asks about his career plans and he says something vague about some "stunts" in the works. He fails to mention the music career he plans on launching immediately after this episode airs and the embarrassing album cover that accompanies it.
Sophie then asks about marriage.
"Yeah, honestly, yeah! Yeah, like, in the next like four years ... like, four to six years, yeah I can see myself getting married," he beams. He says he wants to travel the world performing magic or training circus animals or whatever it is he does. He doesn't realise he's just given the completely wrong answer.
By this point, Sophie's fed up. She's fed up with Apollo for not being the man she wants him to be. She's fed up that he's turned out to be another guy looking for a bit of fame. And she's fed up with herself for not seeing it earlier.
It seems this date couldn't get any worse. But then it does.
"Is there anything you want to ask me?" she asks.
He can't think of anything.
For the next two minutes, we watch real-time footage of Sophie and Apollo sitting together in silence on the couch in this dark lounge room surrounded by too many flowers. With their shoulders slightly touching, they stare at the floor and don't say a word.
"Bread stick?" Apollo offers, breaking the uncomfortable silence.
"I'm all good," Sophie replies.
We then watch Apollo struggle with the funny cheese knife as he scoops brie onto his bread stick.
When it comes time for the rose ceremony, we worry that the unthinkable may happen. At the beginning of this episode, we assumed Jarrod would leave. But now, Apollo and his terrible date have thrown everything into chaos.
Apollo is sent home, leaving Jarrod and Stu to become the oddest final two contestants we've seen on this franchise.
If Apollo's sudden downfall has taught us anything, it's that men come and go. But photos of them looking hot AF in a leather kilt are forever.
For more observations on breadsticks and dugongs with body image issues, follow me on Twitter: @hellojamesweir
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