by Thinus Ferreira
Who is Qiniso’s so-called “Prince Harry”? Who is the most awkward kiss she’s had in maybe forever? Is a girlfriend or sister or mom showing up to help her as a “mysterious lady”? Are more men waiting to climb out of a long limo?
The first episode of The Bachelorette SA with Qiniso Van Damme on M-Net (DStv 101) was packed with some scintillating twists and surprises. Here are 9 of them:
1. More men?
Let's start at the end of the episode. The tease of episode 2 shows that everyone went back outside after Qiniso met and mingled a bit with the group of men, only to be surprised by a long, white limo making a noise.
The episode strongly suggests that the bunch of XY chromosomes that Qiniso met in episode 1 are not all there will be and that several more men will be jumping out in episode 2 to meet her. But one of the guys said "it's a lady".
Someone asks if there are more men arriving. So, are there more men waiting for Qiniso and perhaps one of her girlfriends to help her suss out the lively livestock?
2. Rose ceremony
The episode briefly included some upcoming shots of the first rose ceremony.
If you freeze-frame, and count, it looks as if there are actually 18 men standing in three rows, waiting and hoping to receive a rose from Qiniso, so it's clear that possible a few more men might just join the party.
3. On the banks of the Vaal River
The men who got introduced to Qiniso on Thursday night still arrived by limo – or on a bicycle – but not in a city and instead at a swanky building on the banks of the Vaal River. Is this someone's house or a resort?
It's here where the men greeted Qiniso Van Damme and where everyone will be staying for this season, at least initially. Since we see her at a place with waves and the sea – other than Cape Town – it’s also a given that she will be going to other places during the course of the season.
4. Not Build-a-Bear
"This is not Build-A-Bear. This is The Bachelorette SA," quipped Qiniso in Thursday's premiere episode. "And I'm trying to find my endgame." She later said she's looking for a man who can make her laugh and someone who she can trust.
5. Most awkward kiss
Qiniso says that one of the men kissed her – we don't know exactly who yet – and that it is "the most awkward kiss that I've had on this journey. And in life in general." Which dude is the bad kisser?
6. Prince Harry
One of the guys says "Prince Harry is going to sweep in". It clearly demonstates that the men have sized each other up and that they consider one of them to be the "prince" who's got Qiniso's eye. But which one of them is "Prince Harry"?
7. Covid-19's impact
"The global pandemic has affected everyone. TV shows are certainly no exception," said The Bachelorette SA host Jason Greer on Thursday night, without mentioning the actual word "Covid".
"In order for us to realise this season, the cast and crew had to quarantine themselves away from the world. A special Bachelorette bubble was created in which everyone was kept safe from infection." The show’s end credits also list a designated Covid officer.
8. Lessons learnt
"It's difficult because you're competing with people and it's hard to be vulnerable. But I'm confident that I'm ready to let go and let this journey happen," Qiniso explained when Jason Greer asked her what she learnt from her reason on The Bachelor SA.
9. Knysna luxury
The end credits flash the name of the Pezula Resort & Spa.
That's located on South Africa's legendary Garden Route, so we now know that at some point during the season Qiniso and a man or men will be heading to this lush paradise resort of indigenous forests, mountains, lakes and pristine beaches.
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