"I don't know if I should be runnin' or chasin'," the Honey Badger balked.
Four episodes into season 6 and we're hooked on the 27-year-old legal secretary from Melbourne, and you should be too. Here's why:
1. She Nailed Her First Impression—On Us
By negging Nick on the red carpet, she made it clear she's running her own race. And her assessment of the Bachelor was bracingly honest: "He looks pretty good in a suit but is he willing to lose the moustache?"
Her blasé "Not thrilled" reaction was a meme in the making. And yet, her classic "villain script" soundbites were also her ticket to a rose, at least in the early rounds.
"Some people might call it sassy, I call just think that it's confidence," she told the no-doubt-salivating producers. "At the end of the day, I couldn't care less."
2. She's Playing a Long Game
"We know she's Vanessa Sunshine because she's told us about 15 times," political advisor Alisha scoffed after Vanessa's initial introductions. While it played out ridiculously on screen, it did make Vanessa instantly unforgettable.
Plus, she may as well have added "Hashtag" in front of Vanessa and "Trademark" behind Sunshine, setting up Vanessa Sunshine for post-show marketing opportunities. Smart girl, that Vanessa Sunshine.
3. She's Bringing the Looks
From her first plunging Cassandra Renée Couture gown, Ms Sunshine has played a tight fashion game. Even in the episode 2 photo-shoot challenge, while wearing fireman overalls that even nice girl Brooke described as a "potato sack," she elevated it to editorial level fierceness. "Whatever," she said. "Watch me rock it."
Her rivals, fashion designer Cat and photo shoot director Romy watched on incredulously. "Classic Vanessa Sunshine," Cat said, shaking her head. You hear that? Classic! This was episode 2. The girl's an icon already.
4. When They Go Low, She Goes High
While initially pegged as the mansion mean girl, mostly due to her confidence, resting bitch face and indifference to Nick, it has played out instead that Vanessa Sunshine has copped the bulk of the bullying, getting backstabbed and ganged up on by the "trio" of Romy, Cat and Alisha.
Through it, she's reacted with admirable stillness under attack and her own jabs have stayed above the belt.
"I'm not a fan of Romy's. I think she's a mean girl who thrives off making drama for other people," was her assessment. Her takedown of Cat was just as calm and collected: "She's pretty cocky," she said in episode 4. "And I'm not sure why."
5. She Doesn't Need the Honey Badger
While her hard-to-get schtick will not likely see her score the final rose, it's refreshing to see a woman who knows her self-worth and isn't willing to act giddy for a guy she wouldn't typically be interested in.
"I genuinely have no clue who he is," she said after her post-challenge mini-date. "I still don't." And while her humourlessness made for cringe-worthy— but amazing— viewing, Vanessa Sunshine is in on the joke.
"Last night's 'date' went well," she posted on Instagram after her intensely uncomfortable bench chat with Nick aired. "Clearly needed to watch some Nat Geo to learn to speak Honey Badger. Oh well, Still here. #StillDon'tLikeDadJokes."
Vanessa Sunshine for Bachelorette.