This is a story of a romance that overcame the odds - odds of exactly 21 to 1 as it turned out.
Sam was living in a high-pressure environment. While it's often the case that a boy's mother or granny will ask ''when are you going to get yourself a nice young lady?'', Sam had a whole television network and a large proportion of the Australian population asking him the same question. If he ever had any doubts about his sexual orientation, the closet door was just about to slam closed with Sam inside it, as he was buffed and polished to perfection in preparation for Marathon Dating. The teeth were whitened to a point where they dazzled satellites passing overhead; his hair, skin and beard lavished with hipster love, potions and unguents, and his body honed until he had abs that could move The Commando to tears.
Snezana was a woman of beauty and poise, but a little unsure of herself through a lifetime of having a name that no-one could pronounce without showering her in spittle. She also had the responsibility of being a single Mum, and was having to leave her daughter in Perth while she went to Melbourne for a date of epic proportions. One that would last for months, but where at least she wasn't in danger of being taken to a skimpies bar or dining on a rat kebab.
It's easy to see that sharing a house with 20 other women can have its downsides, particularly if someone eats the last chocolate biscuit or hides the hairdryer. But when everyone is also planning on dating the same guy there can be a tension in the air that makes a pack of hyenas around a dead donkey look like a tea party. Luckily the girls all became immediate best friends and the TV network regularly swept their rooms for concealed weapons.
Snezana and Sam enjoyed doing all the things normal couples do when their dating budget is funded by a mega-corporation; hot air ballooning, boating, going to the ballet, all the while getting cosy in the knowledge that there weren't more than a few million people watching their every move. There were kisses stolen on occasions when they shouldn't have been, but by the time everyone made sure the camera angles were right, the outbreaks of passion had the spontaneity of a synchronised swimming routine. Roses were distributed as passes to the next round and gradually, Snezana amassed enough to stock a florists.
At last we saw that true love had emerged, surviving the media frenzy of the show and the subsequent need to keep everything under wraps until the final went to air. This was possibly easier than surviving the claws of some of her competitors, who achieved their 15 minutes of fame but whose perfect noses were in some cases seriously out of joint at missing out on the glittering prize of Sam himself.
The tricky bit is still to come with negotiating a long-distance romance to accommodate Snezana's daughter and possibly the return to a humdrum life beyond the spotlight. But if they've got what it takes; the will, the communication skills; the connection, then we hope that Sam and Snezana will be permanently un-bachelorised.