Bach lies exposed: Clinger axed after past revealed
THE Bachelor's clinger has been left shattered after a string of lies about her past with Nick Cummins is exposed, ending in her heartbreaking demise.
It started as a joke seven weeks ago - Nick's stalker ex-girlfriend infiltrating the competition with night-vision goggles - but it has spiralled out of control, concluding in a tragedy involving multiple casualties.
We clocked Cass's hair extensions from day one. But the lies were harder to spot.
What propels a girl so timid in nature to rewrite her past? Infatuation isn't a crime. But living a double life in order to conceal a summer romance? One might argue it says more about the society the girl is living in than the girl herself.
I'm obsessed with that new ABC doco-series, Exposed: The Case of Keli Lane, and I think the drama has gone to my head, but let's push on with this thrilling and completely unnecessary investigation into the mind of Cassandra.
Growing up on Sydney's north shore, Cass could've been the golden girl of the peninsula. She was blonde and athletic. A star on the field. Her sporting ability gave her access to a certain kind of clique in the tight-knit community, but she lacked the confidence of the other girls. Particularly with boys. Instead, she exhibited agonising innocence - naivety she never outgrew.
Things changed in 2017. A boy named Nick moved to the beach. He was a sports star but not like the others who roamed the Manly esplanade. There was no attitude, just an easiness. Cass remembers the moment she saw him. The instant their eyes met is the second she drowned.
The truth about what happened between the pair has only been alluded to in whispers. Cass has been vague with the other girls in the mansion about the past romance. But when a bombshell is dropped on Thursday night, it all unravels. Secrets are exposed. Cass is left shattered - and alone.
The only way to get to the bottom of this mystery is to return to the place Cass and Nick met. We rent a car and cruise on up to Sydney's northern beaches to investigate.
"I met Nick on the northern beaches. It's where I live. It's where he lives. I've already told my family so much about him based on our past. He has met my brother before at my birthday last year," she says, these details hinting at a relationship that's far more than a fleeting hook-up in the Manly beach toilet block.
"Falling in love in this situation is definitely a possibility for me. I just feel certain about him. And if he feels the same way, I'm one step closer to that perfect fairytale ending."
It's quite the motivation. She seems relentless in her pursuit.
To write Cass's story is hard because sad truth blurs with giddy fiction. What the shy, quiet blonde has told us is very different to the information she has shared with others during this series. Depending on who's around, she'll tell you her time spent with Nick in the lead-up to the show was an intense love affair. Other times, their past romance in the outside world is played down and recalled as a casual date or two.
The only thing clear is Cass has been in love with Nick for some time. And this is confirmed when we meet her mum at the family home.
Mum hands us some room temperature water served in champagne flutes and willingly offers up the intel.
"You were really into him," she recalls about Cass's obsession with Nick. "(You were) running around the house going, 'What am I gonna wear? What am I gonna wear?'
"You even wrote him on your list of people you really wanted in life."
We almost spit out our room temperature water. As we politely ask to view the handwritten list, Cass denies everything and shoots her mum a look.
Still, like all mums, respect for your privacy is not a service they've ever claimed to provide.
"Yes you did," she blurts out before offering further details about Cass's List Of Dream Boys. "That 'wish board' thing. You always said he was potentially the one."
Cass continues to deny the claims but her mum persists.
Why did things end between Cass and Nick? Neither has ever explained. We do know that around the time it fizzled out, Cass had become infatuated. Her move into The Bachelor mansion was a last-ditch attempt to reignite whatever it is they once shared.
Out on the driveway of her mum's house, Cass plans on telling Nick she loves him. But she doesn't.
"I came here to fall in love and I feel like … Ahhh …" she says, falling into his arms, unable to say the words. "I don't know what to say. I'm scared."
The opportunity comes. She misses it. He walks into the dark.
"If it's not me at the end I'll be absolutely devastated and I'm gonna get my heart broken," she sobs.
Cass walks back inside and begins flipping through magazines, cutting out pretty pictures to glue to her wish board. She's not the only one who has been reading the mags.
Up in Port Macquarie, Brittany's sister has been perusing the latest New Idea. She tells everyone she reads it as a joke, but we all know she's obsessed.
Anyway, she has come across some interesting information. She has read that a former flame by the name of Cass is in the competition. The reports says it's all part of a carefully planned arrangement - Nick signed on to the series under the agreement he will choose the girl he's already dating.
Brittany arrives at the family home and her sister reveals all.
"Rigged!" she cries. Brittany breaks down. This is news to her. She knew Cass and Nick had met in the outside world, but Cass was clear with the girls nothing ever happened.
This was a lie. She lied about not owning a wish board and she lied about her romance with Nick. It's a pattern of ingrained behaviour. Sustained too long, a person can start believing their own stories.
Brittany feels like an idiot. There's only one thing left to do: confront Cass. She's not looking for a fight, she just wants answers - the truth.
We feel the tension as soon as we arrive at the cocktail party. All the girls have come straight here from the airport after catching late afternoon flights back from their respective hometowns. But this isn't just the natural irritation that comes after enduring a regional Jetstar flight.
All four girls keep their distance and stand in different spots around the patio. Brittany clocks Cass. She sips the remainder of her gin and tonic, walks over and asks simply: "What happened between you and Nick."
Cass is nervous. It's clear Brittany knows something.
"Umm … ahh. This is really hard. I came in here … I didn't know it was gonna be Nick. Obviously there's past history or whatever you want to call it. I pretty much explained everything to you … but left out a couple of details".
It's always the smallest details that are the most important. And they're often the ones that will bring you down.
Brittany presses Cass further. She knows there's more to the story.
"Obviously I met him at a bar, (I) didn't speak to him. Then ran into him at the beach and … he came to my birthday," Cass stutters, whirling through the timeline of how she got to know Nick. "But after that I'd bump into him at the gym and stuff. And he asked me out to dinner a couple of times. So I went on a few dates with him and … yeah."
Brittany's had enough. She's fed up with the lies and she's not believing the innocent act anymore.
Brittany wants Cass to understand how embarrassed she feels now this secret information has been exposed in such a public way.
"It came out for me at my hometown. And I was mortified. Never been so embarrassed in my life. I just feel so stupid," she says slowly.
Cass stands up. Her instincts are to run but she knows there's no where else to go. Her eyes well up as she puts her hand on Brittany's shoulder. "I'm so sorry," she whispers.
Brittany's not finished. She demands to know what exactly went on between them. It's in this moment Cass unravels.
"I wouldn't say we were in a relationship. I wouldn't say we were dating. I don't even know if you'd call it seeing each other," she stammers.
So why did he meet your brother? And why was he at your party? Also, do we really care? Either way, it doesn't add up.
"We went on a couple of dates and … yeah … there were feelings there. But nothing eventuated from it on the outside," she continues.
We don't know what to believe anymore. Cass has told so many versions of her past with Nick it's impossible to say what the truth is.
"Was it physical?" Brittany asks firmly, making Cass squirm.
"We … like … I don't know what to say … yeah, like, we kissed and … stuff. I don't know. I don't know. This is really inappropriate, I actually don't know how to handle this situation," Cass stutters.
Brittany is done being sympathetic. She wants Cass to feel just a second of the humiliation she has felt in the wake of this bombshell.
"Were you staying with each other?" she pushes.
Cass reaches breaking point and cuts her off. "This is really inappropriate Britt," she blurts out.
She never answers the question. We'll never know what happened. The rose ceremony is suddenly called and, almost instantly, we're left with two girls standing in front of Nick: Brittany and Cass.
"If he doesn't feel the same way my heart will be completely shattered," Cass confides.
He doesn't. And as predicted, Cass's heart splinters into pieces.
It had already gone on too long. This had to end tonight. To let it go into the finale would have been even more heartbreaking.
"I didn't see it coming," she sobs.
But we did. From episode one. And we didn't even need to borrow Cass's night-vision goggles.
For more observations on wish boards and lying, follow me on Twitter and Facebook: @hellojamesweir