Check your Bachelor fantasy league scores and hunker down, here’s what you missed on this week’s episode of The Bachelor.
Another January, another journey for love. Where does ABC start off this season? Thankfully, with a recap of Arie’s journey through The Bachelor franchise, to remind young millennials just exactly who he is.
I have to admit, I’m a pretty big fan of The Bachelor, and even I didn’t know who Arie Luyendyk Jr. was when they announced the 36 year-old, racecar-driver-turned-real-estate-agent as The Bachelor. (I’m sure I’ll learn to pronounce his name at some point.)
And to jog our memories even more, ABC schedules a sitdown meeting between Sean Lowe (The Bachelor five years ago), his wife Catherine, and Arie. You’ll remember Sean as the only Bachelor in this history of the show to remain with the woman to whom he gave his final rose. Yep, those are the odds we’re working with. (The Bachelorette has a success rate closer to 50%, for reference.)
This year, Sean offers up some subpar advice. You’ll remember it as the same advice that he gave to Ben and Chris Soules two and three years respectively. As they are currently both single, take his advice as you will.
ABC highlights a few women with video montages that could double as The Real World audition reels. Here’s what we’re working with this season:
Caroline, a realtor from Massachusetts (who went to high school with my cousin!), Nysha, a nurse from South Carolina, Tia, a physical therapist from Arkansas (who was friends with Raven from last year’s season), and a taxidermy enthusiast (which is a thing, I suppose?), named Kendall from California. Oh, Kendall.
After the intro videos, I have a few thoughts running through my head: To the girl from Salt Lake who is so used to being pursued that she’s never had to pursue a guy before, you can see your way out; and to the 23 year-old professional photographer, Maquel, why did you put a sheet over the bride and groom you were photographing?
Based on my first impressions of the girls walking out of the limo, my favorites are Caroline, Jacqueline, Krystal (the Amanda Stanton of this season), and Bekah.
But, far and away, the best part of this whole show is that each girl seems genuinely surprised by the number of other girls that arrive. As if the number of contestants drastically changes one year versus the next.
And overall, my biggest takeaway is that ABC is recruiting Laurens at an alarmingly fast rate. There are four Laurens this season, up from only two Laurens two years ago. That’s an 100% increase in only 2 years! At this rate, the entire show will be entirely Laurens in less than 5 years. (I predict season 27.)
The first night of The Bachelor is always fiercely uncomfortable to watch, and this season doesn’t disappoint. But, they hit a new low when one girl asks Arie to smell her pits. You know? To make a good first impression. At that point I genuinely had to put my head in my hands.
After the introductions come to a close (I would’ve recapped them but they were surprisingly underwhelming this year), Arie proposes a toast, “To getting a second chance for love.” Then, each girl attempts to chokes down their cocktails before stealing him for a little alone time. Ah, the bloodbath begins. First up is Chelsea.
As the night wears on, girls literally line up to get their turn to speak to Arie for 30 seconds. A few highlights from their 30 second conversations: Brittany and Arie race child-sized cars, one girl gives him a foot massage, and Caroline and Arie eat pizza. Props to Caroline. Theirs could be the most powerful pizza-related love story since Pizza My Heart.
And, as the night progresses, a new Olivia Caridi (remember her from Ben’s season?) emerges from the crowd. And yes, it’s Chelsea. She breaks the cardinal Bachelor rule, by pulling Arie aside for a second conversation before every girl even has a chance to talk to him once. And throughout the episode, she provides more UV protection than a Sunglass Hut. (*BECAUSE*OF*ALL*HER*SHADE*)
Unsurprisingly, she, too, wins the first impression rose. I’ve got my eye on you, Chelsea.
We blink and it’s time for the rose ceremony. As the sun begins to rise over the desert location of The Bachelor mansion, the girls shift nervously in their stilettos. But, unlike the two hour premiere episode, I won’t keep you waiting. Here are last night’s (read, last September’s) victors:
Still in the Driver’s Seat: Caroline, Maquel, Annaliese, Chelsea, Jacqueline, Bekah, Tia, and presumably at least two of the Laurens.
Not on Track: Brittane, Jessica, Olivia, and at least one of the Laurens.
As a side note, I’ve come to the rather upsetting realization that many of these girls are younger than me… and yet are somehow ready for marriage. Along with Bekah’s mysterious age (which I’ve heard is 22), this is something I’ll have to ponder between this week and next.