Farmer Wants a Wife offers a tasty bite of reality

This year's farmers who are looking for love are (from left) Alex, Neil, Sam, Nick and Harry.

This year's farmers who are looking for love are (from left) Alex, Neil, Sam, Nick and Harry.

By GLEN HUMPHRIES

It's hard to argue with a success story - and Farmer Wants a Wife has been quite successful indeed.

The show was a UK creation back in 2001 - though some think it was in turn inspired by a Swiss show from the 1980s.

Since then, there have been versions made in 30 countries and they've had quite a success in finding farmers' wives (or husbands, despite the ever-so-slightly sexist title of the show).

Across the various international versions, there have been 99 marriages and 225 children as a result of the show.

Australia's tally is nine weddings and 19 kids.

That Australian version appears to have outlasted all the rivals - we're heading into the 10th season of the show. The UK version only lasted two and, oddly enough in America, the home of reality TV dating shows, it got canned after one series.

Possibilities: Contestants in Farmer Wants a Wife.

Possibilities: Contestants in Farmer Wants a Wife.

But Australia loves the show - and it's pretty easy to see why.

While it sits in the dating show format along with the likes of The Bachelor/Bachelorette and the odious Married at First Sight, Farmer Wants a Wife is light years away from those shows.

It's genuine and honest; the farmers and (almost) all the contestants are there to find a partner, rather than acting out of some stupid belief that appearing in a reality TV show will be their springboard into a career in entertainment. Or boost their Influencer cred.

This series there are five farmers and they're all guys.

There's Alex (29, sheep and cattle farmer from Cunnamulla, Queensland), Neil, (43, sheep farmer from Crookwell, NSW), Sam (28, tropical fruit farmer from Innisfall in North Queensland), Nick (44, vineyard owner from Devlot, Tasmania) and Harry (29, grape, cotton and sheep farmer in Goolgowl, NSW).

Each farmer has had his profile online and women have chosen their favourite and asked to be on the show. The farmers then pick their top eight, who turn up on episode one and vie for the farmboy's affections.

And it's a rough first meeting for everyone because, at the end of the debut episode those eight women have to be culled down to four. Which means half of the women disappear after the first episode.

Watching the show it's easy to tell which ones get cut; they tend to be the ones who don't get much screentime. No point in introducing a woman if she's only going to get cut at the end of the episode.

As Alex says, four women isn't that much easier - "the theory of having four girls at once sounds great but obviously I've bitten off more than what I can chew."

Still, for him the TV show will probably end up being more successful than Tinder. He's in such a remote area that he has to set his Tinder radius to 160 kilometres and still only finds five women.

But no matches.

Farmer Harry's got a hopeful attitude to the dating game; he's hoping to find a woman who's "a bit like a John Deere tractor ... reliable but hopefully not as expensive."

The worst moment in the first episode is reserved for Sam. He finds a woman he really likes but, while thinking he's complimenting her, actually delivers quite the insult.

One can only assume that woman won't end up becoming his wife.

FARMER WANTS A WIFE

7.30pm, Prime, Sunday

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