No Amount Of Rationality Will Stop Us From Watching The Beauty And The Geek Makeovers

Image courtesy of Channel 9
Beauty and the Geek contestant Mike Gambaro after his makeover
Makeovers! There's a reason why the word pops up so much under the #BATG Twitter hashtag, and it's the same reason why Channel 9 is heavily promoting them during this season of Beauty And The Geek. It's rather obvious: we love TV makeovers and can't get enough of them.
But what is the true appeal of seeing the geeks undergo a physical transformation on a show that's been branded endearing or sexist, depending on which critics you speak to?
The BATG makeovers are not only meant to be a physical change, but signify an internal transformation from what's often a timid, shy or socially awkward 'nerd' into a vibrant, confident and charismatic man.
Watching other people undergo a makeover on TV can give us hope that we too can transform or turn our lives around.
"We love to see people transformed, to go from being a nerd to something inspirational," Married At First Sight relationship expert John Aitken previously told "The make-over is coming out, a visual way of seeing someone change. We want to see how they are transformed."
On the other hand, it could be as simple as shameless voyeurism that leads us to come back for more of the makeover goodness — yes, my eyes (and ovaries on the verge of explosion) are curious to see what heavenly beauty lies underneath geek Jason Mihalopoulos' scruffy beard and I won't be shamed for it.
While in the past we've seen all the makeovers take place in one or two episodes towards the end of the series, this year's BATG scatters the before and after reveals throughout the season. It's a welcomed format change because the geeks continue to 'evolve', the beauties have someone they can talk to about fake tanning, we as viewers have more entertaining TV to watch, and the network enjoys higher ratings.

Mike Gambaro's Makeover

So far we've only seen two makeovers on Beauty and the Geek and the first one was when Mike Gambaro scrapped his excessive facial hair, glasses and Batman T-shirts with the help of celebrity stylist Jeff Lack.
"The fake tan was the most daunting thing. You didn't see it on screen but that was daunting to be walking around with a room full of people and just being fully out," Gambaro reflected on the makeover experience in an interview with Nine.
But it looks like the temporary tanning torture paid off because the beauty he's paired with, Heidi Mitchell, says she's a big fan of his new look.
"I was gobsmacked, when I tell you I was speechless. I was literally sitting on the edge of my chair," she said on Today Extra.
Image courtesy of Channel 9
Beauty and the Geek host Sophie Monk with contestant Mike Gambaro
Rumours have been floating around that Gambaro's actually an actor who was asked to grow his beard out, specifically for the show. It comes after an old social media image surfaced in which the radio panel operator looks similar to his post-transformation self. However, the reality star has put the whispers to bed, saying it's a "compliment" that people thought he was an actor.
"I was sweating so much. I'm in Queensland, and I'm in that big Ghostbusters costume… so the beard looks a lot shorter in the photo," he told Who magazine. "That actually is just because I'm so drenched in sweat."

Christopher Mattiske's Makeover

Christopher Mattiske's the second BATG contestant to undergo a makeover. The 30-year-old software engineer came out looking like a runway model after a haircut and new threads.
Since the transformation, he's tried to maintain his polished new look.
"I've been getting haircuts much more regularly than I used to and trying to wear the clothes that the stylist Jeff chose out for me," he told Nine.
It shouldn't take bottles of fake tan, flashy wardrobes and ditching the specs for someone to appear more attractive or feel a sense of boosted self-confidence. But as long as the TV gods keep serving up makeovers on a silver platter, we'll be tuning in with no complaints.
Beauty and the Geek airs on Sunday at 8pm and continues Monday and Tuesday at 7:30pm on Nine and 9Now.
Want more? Get Refinery29 Australia’s best stories delivered to your inbox each week. Sign up here!            

More from TV