Osher Günsberg on what The Bachelorette 2021 brings to Aussie screens

The Bachelorette

• “We saw her hurt, and now we really want to see her get what she wants.”

The seventh season of The Bachelorette Australia has kicked off, with Noongar-Yamatji woman Brooke Blurton taking the reins. It’s the first version of the format anywhere in the world to feature a bisexual and First Nations Bachelorette.

As always, playing Cupid is host Osher Günsberg, who is helping guide Brooke on the next – and hopefully final – chapter of her love story.

Mediaweek spoke to Günsberg about the history-making season.

“I’ve been saying for a long time, you can’t be what you can’t see,” says Günsberg. “For the production company to put it up, for the network to go for it, and everyone to make it the way we made it, it just speaks volumes. We are a vast country with as diverse a makeup of people as square metres of land. To be able to reflect what our community is on primetime television is so incredibly powerful and incredibly important.”

Bringing Brooke Back

This is Brooke’s third appearance on the franchise, having been a contestant on the Nick Cummins’ season of The Bachelor and then taking off to Bachelor In Paradise. Günsberg says there are a few things that make her so endearing as the central Bachelorette.  

“For a start the fact that she’s a very powerful woman. She stands firm in who she is, and what she believes and what she feels is right and wrong. She is very committed to her career and her purpose around her career and youth work. And she’s so good at it. She also happens to be stunning! 

“We’ve seen that she has boundaries that maybe some of us wish we could have had, like when she chose to leave Nick’s season in a quite dramatic moment. That turned out to be the right move, as we saw what he did at the end of that season. We get to Paradise, and her heart is on the line. She’s showing how vulnerable she is, she says ‘Yes, I’m really interested in seeing Alex’, and then has to hear Alex go ‘Actually what I’ve got with this fellow is better than what I’ve got with you’. She was so sad, we saw her hurt, and now we really want to see her get what she wants.”

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Brooke Blurton

Producing The Show

For the second year in a row, Günsberg says The Bachelorette faced strict protocols while creating the show.

“Bubbles, upon bubbles, upon bubbles, upon bubbles. I can’t even begin to describe to you the levels of care and the incredibly strict protocols that we put in place and adhered to to make sure that it would be safe for people to make out on camera during a pandemic. It’s intense, and we’re all really grateful for it because it helped us all feel safe coming to work.”

Covid protocols weren’t the only thing that stood out from previous years, with one aspect unique to this year’s season.

“I’m really happy to say that we were deeply engaged with diversity specialists not only from the First Nations perspective, but also from the non-heteronormative perspective,” says Günsberg. “The whole crew was very much involved. Even me, I’m a 47 year old white guy who grew up in the suburbs of Brisbane – there’s non-hetro people in my life, but I don’t know what I don’t know about the details. So everyone in the crew from the production runner to the director and everyone in between was very deeply engaged in learning and understanding. 

“I was just so proud of absolutely everyone. Lighting, cameras, sound, wardrobe, everybody. Everyone was so into making sure that when everyone stepped out on camera, there was no weird energy at all. You can’t expect people to fall in love if there’s weird energy.”

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The Bachelorette contestants with Brooke

Breaking Ground

Günsberg says that a lot of the foundations leading up to this moment was put down by commercial casting and commercial creative.

The canary in the coal mine is commercials, to be honest. When I first moved back to Australia from America in 2015, I couldn’t believe it – every ad was white people. I’d go down to Westfield and it wouldn’t look like the ads on my TV. I’d go back home, watch ads and see white people, white people, fat dumb dad doing something stupid – I hate fat dumb dad, I hate him. Get him off my ads. 

“In America, diversity and inclusion is a humongous thing. There are commercials on TV with a Hispanic family enjoying something, an African American family enjoying something, an Asian American family enjoying something. I came back here and it was just all white people. Now I’m watching ads, and there’s a beautiful African Australian family selling a house, and away you go. That’s amazing, that’s what Australia looks like when I go outside my front door.”

The Masked Singer

Earlier this month, Günsberg unveiled Anastacia (AKA the Vampire) to the 1.217m who tuned in to The Masked Singer finale.

“Masked Singer is the complete opposite to Bachelor vocally. It’s an extraordinarily fun thing to do. I just adore being a part of the love story of The Bachelorette, I love that I get to be a part of it, but there’s a part of my soul that just gets unlocked and comes to life when I stand on that shiny floor. I love the fact that I’m involved in a television show that means absolutely nothing – it has no prize, it’s completely meaningless. The only thing it’s there to do is bring joy, and I love that we get to make it. It’s an extraordinarily fun show to make.”

Günsberg on the set of The Masked Singer

The Bachelorette Australia airs Wednesdays and Thursdays 7.30pm on 10 and 10 Play.

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