It's been three weeks since we embarked on a fascinating exploration into the human psyche on a beautiful tropical land.
We've watched avidly as the pack of genetically-blessed Homo sapiens attempt to secure a mate, in a series of (constructed for our entertainment) mating rituals.
Yeah alright, we're talking about the fact we're
killing brain cells and our social lives watching Bachelor In Paradise.
But it's brought the drama, we'll give it that much. Backstabbing, partner-swapping, break-ups, make-ups, rose-givers going rogue…
There's been lust, envy, wrath, pride (and obvs some other ~feelings~ that don't count as deadly sins but let a gal build some momentum, will ya?).
It's fair to say the BIP stars are little fiery balls of emotion right now.
But arguably the most fascinating observations from our FOUR EVENINGS A WEEK viewing habit comes from watching the contestants actually get their flirt on. Probably because it's the most relatable thing for us lot viewing on the lounge.
We've watched them carefully select their prey via date card and begin the wooing process, often with disastrous cringe-inducing results (Oh, hi Eden). Others have been more successful and are already getting a mortgage on a love shack and discussing their future spawn.
But which of the contestants should we be taking mating advice from, if any? Here to help us decode the whole exhausting process is Dating & Romance Consultant, and founder of Datelicious, Karina Pamamull. It really is a jungle out there.
Rachael: The keen bean approach
Okay, so casually falling into the splits playing volleyball was inspired. But Rachael is coming off as hella keen on anyone who's interested in her (at time of writing, American Jared).
"Rachael has made it crystal clear she wants a hubby," says Karina. "She's been direct about this being her driving focus and as such she's been very flirtatious with the men she's been speaking to.
"But this can so easily fall into the 'too keen' or needy category. She has to be really careful as although showing a lot of interest can play to men's egos in the beginning, this will wear off pretty fast."
Leah: The “I’m leaving” approach
Fresh from keeping American Jared as her 'back-up plan', Leah has recently adopted the approach of threatening to leave paradise whenever she thinks she's not getting a rose ("Off you fuck then," shouts Australia and the remaining contestants in unison).
It has, however, provided us with arguably the best moment of the season: Keira's "BORING" rebuke and menacing threat of booting her out herself if she threatens to leave again.
"Leah's clearly not getting the attention she needs at the moment," explains Karina. "This is classic 'look at me behaviour' but it's backfiring and isolating her. As far as dating tactics go, it's a bad one: No-one likes a drama queen."
Apart from Keira #amirite.
Sam: The reformed man approach
Australia might be stoked on Sam now but it wasn't that long ago he was dismissed as a bit of a douchebag on Sophie Monk's series. Karina says his new approach to dating is a conscious one.
"It seems to me Sam went into this very aware of his poor public image. And it helps he's gone after Tara, a fan favourite. This conscious approach to change shines through in how well he treats Tara. It's definitely working for him."
Ali and Grant: The “I would die for you” approach
Look, I'm not even going to distinguish between these two. All I've seen is sucking face and heart eyes. It's a mood. But is it too intense?
"This seems like a classic holiday romance to me," says Karina. "Holiday romances are amazing but when actual reality sets in… Also, history is repeating itself (both Ali and Grant made similar professions of love in their previous respective Bachelor series).
"And saying you'd 'die for someone' you've only known for a few weeks — no matter how much you're in the romance bubble — is too intense."
Eden: The infantile approach
I'm going to go ahead and say smashing food into your date's face is NEVER going to work. Nor is writing them a fake love letter and embarrassing them horribly in front of everyone. But is there end game to acting like you're in a schoolyard?
"Definitely not," says Karina. "His attempts at flirting have been appalling and inauthentic. He needs to go back to school to learn some manners."
Elora: The forward approach
Elora made it abundantly clear she was there for one reason only: Apollo. (Srsly, same, bbz.)
Her approach has been, well, pretty bloody forward – and totally not working for her so far.
"Being direct can work (particularly if you're coming on to a shy guy) but in this case, it's all been a bit much," Karina says. "There's no mystery or intrigue there. And the whole 'you love to travel, I love to travel' conversation was transparent."
Jarrod: The “I wonder what we’ll name our future child? Let me bathe in your bathwater” approach
You're intense but god love ya, Jarrod.
"Jarrod is such a love puppy! But his forthright approach could definitely scare Keira off," says Karina. "He needs to tone it down a bit before he freaks her out."
Thomas: The unpredictable approach
The Canadian hottie went rogue with his rose after trying to get between Megan and Jake. Drah-mah. Will his stirring of the pot pay off?
"It will go one of two ways (obviously) but I'd say it's too risky," says Karina. "He's trying to divide and conquer and it could actually work if some of the other men aren't willing to fight for their women. But from what we've seen so far, that's not going to happen."
Keira: The treat 'em mean approach
Keira and Jarrod are already acting like a married couple. "Shoosh Jarrod, you don't know what you're talking about" was iconic. These two have been on and off at a worrying rate however. The one consistent has been that Keira loves telling him like it is.
"Such a black and white approach can work, so long as the man you're with isn't too sensitive."
Apollo: The ‘literally doesn’t even need to try’ approach
^But I didn't even say anything
Poor sweet Prince. He rocks up and women are calling dibs on him like he's some sort of man meat. He doesn't even need game; he just needs to exist.
Obviously it's easy to land women when you look like a Greek god but Karina says Apollo knows his real selling point is his sweet personality.
"Apollo doesn't need to chase or flirt or play games and he's just being himself, which is actually an amazing approach in itself," Karina says.
Simone: The ‘stay the hell away from ma man’ approach
Bloody oath, you wouldn't want to be getting in the way of Simone and Apollo if you know what's good for you. The self-proclaimed 'Psycho Sim' might come out and nope, don't like it.
"Jealousy isn't an attractive emotion and it's been letting Simone down," says Karina. "She should try to let steam off in private and practice a bit of self-awareness as it could ruin a good thing."
Megan: The ‘changing her mind every two seconds’ approach
Who bloody knows what Megan wants at this stage. A 'deep' (chortle chortle) connection with Thomas or a laugh-a-minute with Jake? Side note: I don't think I've ever heard her emit even a peep of laughter with Jake?
"This approach isn't working for Megan," says Karina. "She's just going to confuse and annoy them. I think she needs to do a bit of soul-searching to work out what she's looking for."
American Jared: The “What the fuck is going on?” approach
It's been steadily funnier each time American Jared has worn that perplexed 'What the actual fuck?' look. When Eden forged a love letter from him and when Thomas gave Rachael his rose, to name but a few. He seems pretty cruise-y and drama-free. Or is he?
"American Jared is playing a good game," says Karina. "He's going to win his woman his way. He seems to be biding his time and acting smooth.
"By coasting along this way, he'll come out well."
Jake: The snake (jk!) approach
Jake never smiles with his eyes. It's disconcerting. He seems into Megan and was very quick to forgive her for pashing Thomas — but there's a definite disconnect.
"I can't help but question his motives," Karina agrees. "His approach appears forthright but somehow still disingenuous."
Tara – The down-to-earth angel approach
Australia's sweetheart Tara is bringing the lols along with making us like Uncle Sam. She seems genuinely smitten. So how does she do it?
"Simple. By being herself," says Karina. "She's not got an agenda and acts like she always has. And that's hard to resist."