Sunday Territorian

Ladies’ choice

Three young women work together to sort the cads from the keepers in Binge’s new dating show FBoy Island Australia, writes

- Siobhan Duck

MILLS & Boonstyle dates, solemn eliminatio­ns and a pervasive now- ornever fatalism to fi nding your happily ever after? You won’t fi nd any of that on FBoy Island Australia.

The new Binge original series sees three women have their pick of 24 suitors and team up to weed out the nice guys from the “fboys” (who don’t have romance on their minds). If she chooses wisely, each woman can walk away with a relationsh­ip and $50k to split with Mr Nice; if she picks a cad, he pockets the $50k (or opts to be reformed).

The philosophy underpinni­ng the show – sisters before misters – appealed to its stars: model Ziara Rae, 21; occupation­al therapist Molly O’Halloran, 26; and profession­al DJ Sophie Blackley, 26. The trio believe viewers have grown fatigued by the outdated ideas of romance on other series. Blackley, in particular, says she signed up not just to win love and money but to “call out these guys’ behaviour” in solidarity with those who are fed up with being treated badly.

As a guide to the uninitiate­d, Blackley says an “fboy is someone who only thinks about himself.

He’s not going to care about you or what you want. He’s only after one thing, and I’ll leave that to your imaginatio­n to figure out.”

O’Halloran also had an ulterior motive. Nursing a broken heart after splitting from her fiancé, she saw the series as an opportunit­y to reclaim some control in her love life.

“What’s different about this show is that it essentiall­y flips the genre on its head,” she explains.

“I really like that this is three girls working together to work out which of these boys is an fboy who’s after the money and which of them are nice guys. And I appreciate that it’s not a catfight. It’s not about girls b----ing behind each other’s backs; it’s us working together to establish [who’s a bad guy]. That was really one of my reasons for wanting to apply – it’s about girls supporting girls.”

If she had to navigate a show like The Bachelor, O’Halloran says she would lack confidence without the security of her wingwomen.

“I think The Bachelor has been a bit boring,” she adds with a shrug.

“It’s a bit done. There’s a lot more satire [and] humour in our show, which I really enjoyed. It’s also about real women. Yes, we have profession­al lives and we get stuff done, but we’re also having fun getting to know the guys, rather than [being] some pictureper­fect bacheloret­te on a pedestal. I feel like we’re more realistic and relatable – at least I hope it comes across that way.”

Based on a successful US franchise hosted by comedian Nikki Glaser, FBoy Island

Australia is fronted by social-media and radio star Abbie Chatfield, whom Rae recalls watching compete for Matt Agnew’s heart on The Bachelor Australia in 2019.

“I can’t imagine anyone better to host this show than Abbie Chatfield,” Rae says.

“She was horribly slut-shamed on The Bachelor, and she has completely turned that whole thing on its head. She’s so open talking about women’s health and sex. She has made us all feel so comfortabl­e in embracing our own feminine energy.”

 ?? ?? Love on the line: From left, Ziara, Molly and Sophie are looking for the real deal on FBoyIsland­Australia; below, series host Abbie Chatfield.
Love on the line: From left, Ziara, Molly and Sophie are looking for the real deal on FBoyIsland­Australia; below, series host Abbie Chatfield.

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