Last night, the 2022 season of Farmer Wants A Wife revealed who the farmer’s final picks were, and two out of the three I was hoping for took home the golden onion.
- Farmer Ben, 27, from Wingham, NSW, (he’s the sparkly eyed emotional one) and his final two: Kiani, 24, and Leish, 32
- Farmer Harry, 24, from Kyabram, VIC, (he’s the tall one) and his final two: Bronte and Tess
- Farmer Will, 26, from Berriwillock, VIC, (he’s the one who dishes out the epic hugs and who – surely – needs to be snapped up by the Home and Away casting team because He Is Adorable) with his final two: Madi and Jess.
The no-shows: Farmer Benjamin, 33, from Guyra, NSW, and Farmer Paige, 28 from Cassilis, NSW.
Oh, sure, there’s been some gossip online around the issue of whether there’s a fake farm, or a fake farmer. Last year’s FWAW was beset with drama, one issue being the outing of Fake Farmer Sam as a truckie. Rumours have been swirling this year about our true-blue lanky youngster Harry. Relax, he’s not a fake farmer – but there is a fake farm. But wait, there’s a reason. SoDramaticOnline got an explanation from the show’s producers: Farmer Harry’s farm wasn’t used onscreen due to covid restrictions while filming was underway, so he was transplanted 900 km to another dairy farm. And there was nothing fake about that adorable little baby calf plopping into the hay in Episode 10.
For the finale, we’re “off-farm”, to use the vernacular of the show, and our Farmers are belting up and buttoning down for their drives to the big smoke to visit their ladies’ families.
Harry is on-screen first, pacing in his (or not his! See fake farm issue above) bedroom, prior to his journey up to visit Bronte in Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. Bronte is one of the newbies – think friendly, think sunflower paddock snog, think bathtub a la McLeod’s Daughters. He worries that he doesn’t know where her “timeline” is – she’s talking kids but he’s thinking travel.
They meet up at the Big Pineapple and Bronte shows him her parents’ wedding photos before they head off to meet her mum and brothers.
Harry’s a hugger! Mum gets a lovely one, and when the boys ask Harry the hard questions, he shows what a people person he is. Harry blushes like a tomato and the brothers say they were worried about the age gap prior to meeting Harry, but he has won them over.
Ben and Kiani are next up on screen. A newbie, Kiani is full-on and Ben gives us the big deal statement: “She’s the person I need in my life to get me out of the hole I may fall into”.
We meet her mum and dad and brother, who don’t think he has time for a relationship with Kiani as well as running the farm and caring for his child. Umm … why is this a surprise? The family share a loaded look over their loaded forks at the table.
Will and Madi meet up in Melbourne and I’m invested in this pair. Madi is the sweet one: think mud wrestling, snoggy-time among the fallen trees by the dam, pink dresses.
He meets Mum, Dad and Nan and everybody gets a hug (even Dad) who lays it on the line: “I want someone who doesn’t muck her around and treats her with respect”.
Madi congratulates her family on being very well behaved, and then Will and Madi head off for a nighttime date.
Back to Ben and Kiani, and Kiani tells Ben her feelings are very strong and she is “in the fall”, which is quite a lovely expression.
Madi says to Will, “I don’t want this to be the end”, but then she says to the camera, “There’s a very big chance I’ll get my heart broken”. Oh dear.
We’re then treated to a heap of random happy shots of FWAW 2021 lovers Andrew and Jess tossing plump cushions about and hugging kelpies, which turns out to be a furniture advertisement, before the second round of lady-visits commence.
Harry arrives on the Gold Coast to visit Tess, who has made no secret of the fact she has another 18 months of study before she’ll be footloose enough to visit his (real) farm.
He brings her flowers (aww) and she makes him a coffee at her barista gig, but I’m feeling a little riled up about Harry’s “I can’t do long distance” because – mate – we don’t sabotage someone’s education, but then Tess’s mum Lisa calms me down: “You’ve gotta let love find its way”.
Ben heads 6 hours north to Brissie to visit Leish and we meet her friends. She’s calm and firm and thoughtful: committing herself to a farm move will happen after he declares himself, not before. As it should be, Leish, go you. Leish’s friends think he’s genuine, which I’m happy to hear, because all this Kiani stuff has me feeling very, very anxious about Leish’s prospects.
And now to Esk … a 20-hour trip for Will to visit Jess. Will says, “Our relationship was a slow burn”. Jess was the one he played footy with (yes, there was dirt and tackling and body contact) and paddling in the dam with, and she’s been a little cagey about her feelings.
At the Esk property, mum, the older sister, and the step-dad are there, and everyone gets a hug (of course) and the sister launches straight into the tough ones: “Do you know who you’re going to pick?”
Will tells the camera Jess hasn’t opened up about how she really feels about the distance between her home and his farm and he worries she isn’t ready to leave her family.
Leish and Ben share some alone time in Brisbane and he tells her that Kiani is “an ideal fit” (!!) in that she can move tomorrow. Leish tells him straight she wants to spend the rest of her life with him.
Back in Esk, Will and Jess head off to walk the fenceline, hand in hand, and Jess says she’s been hesitant to let her walls down but now it’s crunch time. Will tells the camera it’s time to go “next level” and see what the future could hold for them.
Will’s face when she’s talking to him – he’s so invested – and, yes, I’m feeling worried for Madi at this moment. She’s saying stuff to him but it doesn’t feel DEEP to me, but I’m very probably wrong because they step together and yowza man oh man Farmer Will can HUG.
Of course all of this family time leads to the inevitable montage of Farmer Will needing some staring-over-the-water time, and Farmer Ben needing some weepy time in his smart blue blazer, and Harry has to buff his boots with some lambswool with a very thinking look on his face.
So where are we at? We’re at the 2/3 mark in the show and the sun has risen on Final Choice Day.
Will straps on his belt.
Harry packs up his fake bedroom (again).
Ben scratches his jawline.
More boot buffing. More aerial shots of Landcruisers traversing country lanes. More shirt buttoning.
We cut to Tess, who looks like she’s dressing to get married, and I am worried. All I have in my head is Harry’s words, “Long distance is not for me”.
Bronte is also getting ready. She looks divine.
Harry says his best case scenario is he says he “loves one of the ladies and she says it back”. (Aww.)
But Tess and Harry meet on the park bench and, oh dear, Harry starts talking, and he’s barely a few sentences into how great she is when he says the BUT word.
Oh no! She looks so sad! She thinks he’s not picking her but then … WHAAAT!! I did not see this coming: he wants to be with her despite the distance.
Kissing and hugging et cetera ensue
But then, oh no, it’s Bronte’s turn to drive to the park bench, and it’s heart-wrenching because we know he’s made his choice but she doesn’t and the music is all low and blomp blomp blomp like funeral music and yeah. It is Hard To Watch.
Bronte starts. She will respect his choice and she thinks he’s a lovely person who was very open to being honest and vulnerable and sharing himself. He says But and then Unfortunately and then I’m Sorry and then the deathknell: Fallen for Someone Else.
Bronte: I’m feeling pretty defeated.
Well, she may feel that way, but she took the news like a champion and I was very proud of her. What a sweetheart.
The scene shifts to Ben gripping the fenceline being – you guessed it – weepy.
I think he knows he’s going to break Leish’s heart because he’s going to choose the razzle-dazzle over the sensible.
Kiani is all impulsive and good-looks and mercurial and Leish is the thinker. The realist. The wife.
Because Harry’s set-up for his choice was the yes lady first (Tess) then the no lady second (Bronte), I’m super worried when Leish arrives first, but then Ben starts talking about the impact of a relationship on his daughter (surely that means he’ll pick Leish!) but he is worried about her life and job in Brisbane.
Darn it. The producers cut the scene mid conversation and we flick over to Kiani. Ben tells her, “We both fell hard and fast … when you showed up it turned everything upside down … there’s one woman I see next to me …”
AND THEN A FLIPPING ADVERT BREAK, WHAAAT!!!
Oh boy he’s weeping. His heart is not with her … it’s with Leish!
Kiani gives him a hug and well, yeah, I feel a little sad for her but I CANNOT WAIT to see Leish’s reaction because I’m totally Team Leish on this.
So it’s back to Leish and Ben doesn’t muck around now: “Leish, I’ve fallen madly in love with you.” And SHE CRIES.
“This farmer has definitely found a wife,” says Ben, and I’m happy at this moment, but I’m also thinking if Will doesn’t pick Madi I’ll be gutted.
The final choice. I’m worried. Will says Madi is ready to settle down versus Jess has the spark, and he is looking crook as. Poor bloke. He’s so lovable that of course the rejected one will be crushed.
Madi is on set first and says she came into this looking for kindness and laughter and support. He tells her it’s been really stable and good (is this boring stuff? Is this lover language? I don’t think so) and he looks like he’s going to cry.
Oh nononono don’t pass her up.
But then he says it: “He found someone else.” Not her.
Oh, she’s gutted.
“I’m happy for you,” she manages to say and that he showed her how she deserved to be treated, and this, readers, is me typing and crying at the same time.
Oh Will. Why!
But then Jess is on screen and darn it, she’s adorable too and he tells her he’s falling in love with her and hugs and kissing and et cetera ensue. But then … in the closing seconds of the show when the grass is gleaming emerald and the sun is glowing gold and all is good and lovely in the farmer’s worlds … we get a couple of seconds of promo for the reunion episode (on tonight!).
And there’s wedding talk. Whaaaat?
Stella Quinn writes rural romance with characters you want to fall in love with. There’s animals and tractors and irrigation pipe dramas, and she wonders if maybe Channel 7 needs to new reality TV show: Farmer Road tests a Rural Romance Writer’s Plot. Wouldn’t that be fun?
About the author: Stella Quinn
Stella Quinn has had a love affair with books since she first discovered the alphabet. She lives in sunny Queensland now, but has lived in England, Hong Kong and Papua New Guinea. Boarding school in a Queensland country town left Stella with a love of small towns and heritage buildings (and a fear of chenille bedspreads and meatloaf!) and that is why she loves writing rural romance. Stella is a keen scrabble player, she’s very partial to her four kids and anything with four furry feet, and she is a mediocre grower of orchids. An active member of Romance Writers of Australia, Stella has won their Emerald, Sapphire and Valerie Parv Awards, and finaled in their R*BY Romantic Book of the Year award.
You can find and follow Stella Quinn via her website.
Don’t miss Stella’s latest book A Town Like Clarence
When Kirsty Fox goes on the run to escape a crash-and-burn at work, she finds a family she didn’t know she needed… A witty and warm rural romance perfect for readers of Rachael Johns and Alissa Callen.
They say a change is as good as a holiday. Joey Miles is hoping so after leaving the city behind, his stockbroking career in flames, to embrace a brand-new challenge: farming. But while returning to his hometown somehow feels right, he’s got a long way to go to get back on his feet financially and the last thing he needs is the townsfolk meddling in his love life (or lack thereof).
To the townsfolk of Clarence, Joey has always been the ultimate tragic romantic hero – and it’s time this hero had a happy ever after…
But Kirsty Fox is only in Clarence to dig up information about a World War II figure from her family’s past – she has no intention of sticking around and finding out if Joey is as adorable as he seems. Kirsty doesn’t stick around. Ever.
But when the locals of Clarence spy the chemistry between these two, a secret item gets added to the agenda of the next town committee meeting: matchmaking. This warm-hearted community will pull every trick in the book to show Joey and Kirsty everything they’ve unwittingly been searching for is right under their noses… What could possibly go wrong?
Chicken wrangling, an adorable kid niece, a secret in a cow shed and a big-hearted town full of meddlesome wannabe poets… This new romance from Australian author Stella Quinn is a knockout.