Three young women work together to sort the cads from the keepers in Binge’s new dating show FBoy Island Australia, writes
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 The trio believe viewers have grown fatigued by the outdated ideas of romance on other series.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.”