Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back.
The Bachelor could not return to our lives at a better time of the year. Christmas has come and gone, and you’ve watched George Bailey run around Bedford Falls screaming, “My mouth’s bleeding, Burt! My mouth’s bleeding!” Every time his voice gets louder 10 angels lose their wings. New Year’s Eve/Day is over and you vowed to never get talked into going to an 80’s cover band party again where you ring in the New Year with a bunch of strangers wearing neon windbreakers. Now you have returned to work where you politely asked a coworker how their break was, and they went way too into detail about the dynamics of their relationship with their parents. Then you go home and try to forget about it all and you scroll through Twitter begging for a distraction and you see that the local newspaper tweeted a story about Kacey Musgraves’ boots being stolen in Nashville and she now might write a song about it (that’s a real thing). Now all you can think is, “When, when does it end?”
And then it hits you… The Bachelor, the greatest reality competition not named Survivor or Big Brother, starts tonight!
Then you run to your car, speed out of your garage, and fight through all of The Bachelor traffic on the roads to meet up with your crew to watch Ben Higgins’ quest for love – or fame, or wanting to show off his new haircut, or whatever his goal is.
Before the Limo
First, we took a trip to Ben’s hometown of Warsaw, Indiana where we saw Ben shooting hoops on a goal that was attached to a barn – something that hasn’t been done since the 1960’s. I feel like they just pulled up to that barn and started filming, and the owners immediately ran to their bomb shelter and shut the door. Warsaw is a town of less than 15,000 people, which would seem small if we didn’t spend last winter watching a guy beg girl after girl to come live in Arlington, Iowa – the city equivalent to dial-up internet. Either way, they are getting repetitive by featuring small-town boys from the Midwest seeking love. I liked it better the first time when it was called literally any Hallmark Channel original movie.
Ben later walked in on his parents during what I’m assuming was the filming of a Viagra commercial where they were sitting in Adirondack chairs looking over a body of water. I was waiting to hear a voiceover say, “You never know what will put you in the mood, so you should ask your doctor if…” After pulling up a third Adirondack, Ben’s parents began to give him advice on love where they seemed totally into this idea of him being The Bachelor. If I went to my parents before I was The Bachelor, there wouldn’t be any tearful love stories of how they met. It would be an hour of them saying, “Are you seriously going through with this? You realize that a lot of people watch this and that there’s no going back, right? Ok, well I don’t like it, but do what you want.” Then they would’ve unpaused their series recording of Blue Bloods.
My biggest takeaway from the beginning of the episode was how much girls love Ben. Not just the girls on the show, but every girl everywhere. “He’s the most attractive Bachelor yet,” was announced in the room before we even started the show. The danger there, of course, is that a season can be boring when the guy is put on a pedestal. Think back to your favorite seasons — Brad, the Firestone guy, Ben F, Juan Pablo, Farmer Chris – no one was really crazy about these guys, and a season is entertaining when you don’t really care what happens. But now everyone feels like they have so much invested in guys like Ben because they followed him all year on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and ChipMeet – an app where local singles bring you Chipotle.
My concern that the show might be boring was immediately squashed the second the girls hopped out of the limo.
The limo entrances are the best part of the premier besides the season previews at the end, so that’s what we’ll focus on. I personally enjoy them because I get to see the girls that I made rash generalizations about based off of one picture and five questions that they answered in their bios. The name of the game for limo intros is “how crazy can I present myself as in 90 seconds,” and they did not disappoint. Let’s talk about a few of the standouts…
Lauren B, the flight attendant, did what any flight attendant does best – drop as many flying and love puns as possible! She handed him wings and said, “I hope you are ready to ‘take-off’ on this journey together.” She should’ve brought the rest of us barf bags. Hopefully Ben is sitting near an exit row.
Caila, the very next girl, ran and jumped in his arms, which is a bold move, but she missed out an easy love-metaphor pun. She so easily could have (and should have) said, “I’m ready to take a leap of faith with you.” What a shame. Caila is so the girl in every group of friends that holds the group together. She’s never mad at anyone, and she keeps the group intact. I bet she has invited upwards of 45 people to Starbucks to just catch up, and started every conversation with, “How’s life?” In the bios I wrote that she will drive everyone nuts because of how nice she is, and I think I swished that one.
Samantha, the attorney, told Ben that she just found out on the way to the mansion that she passed the bar exam. First off, there’s no way she found that out in the limo. You can’t have your cell phone out in that limo without it being destroyed by champagne, glitter, or having Lace go on it and change the language to French. I can’t wait to watch her over the next few weeks explain to the girls that the bar exam has nothing to do with bartending.
Jubliee, the 25-year-old professional war veteran, got out of the limo and had a conversation with herself, which is an interesting strategy. I’d like to see her do all the talking on a one-on-one date at a restaurant. The waiter walks up to the table and Jubilee cuts him off and says, “Hey guys, can I get you started with any drinks or appetizers? Yes, we’d each like a Moscow Mule to drink and an onion stack for starters. Alright, I’ll get that started right away. Thank you, sir.”
Lace got out of the limo and kissed Ben because she wanted to see how quickly she could unveil her craziness. 10 seconds is apparently how long that takes! More on Lace later.
Lauren R decided to A) not tell Ben her name, and B) immediately tell him that she’s been stalking him on social media. Yes, of course any normal human would look up someone on social media that they were going on a date with, but you don’t tell them! Sitting down on a first date: “Hey, it’s nice to meet you. So tell me about your family’s vacation to Jackson Hole back in 2009.” I can’t believe she got cut on the first night…
Shushanna elected to not speak any English when meeting Ben for the first time. I understand if you know another language and you want to impress him with it, but at some point you should imply that you do in fact know English and can speak it reasonably well. Shushanna’s only chance on this show was if she had a super normal nickname like Shan, Anna, or Lauren – because what’s another Lauren when you already have four.
Leah showed up with a football and then snapped it to him and said, “I knew you were a catch.” The only thing weirder she could’ve done with that football is made him go under center instead of shotgun.
Lauren H had the most sneaky sad intro by throwing Ben a bouquet that she caught at a wedding the previous weekend. I guess Lauren H let it go to her head when the annoying bridesmaids at the wedding kept yelling, “You’re next! You’re next!” The only thing that would have been sadder is if she brought him a mason jar full of her own tears.
Mandi, who a reader nicknamed Mandi-kin for her manikin-like features, walked out of the limo not holding a rose, but wearing a giant rose on her head. The only thing that would’ve been more apt is if she was wearing a literal red flag to warn of her craziness.
The twins, Emily and Haley, walked up to Ben side-by-side and then giggled through their entire 90-second intro. It wasn’t a bad intro considering that this was the first time the scientists in the Bachelor lab had let them interact with humans from the outside world. The rest of the girls freaked out like they had never seen twins or any two people that look remotely similar. I thought someone might splash water on them and yell, “Witch! Witch!”
Maegan, the cowgirl, was somehow able to resurrect Lil’ Sebastian from Parks and Rec. I predicted that Maegan would show up in cowgirl boots and get really drunk, but I didn’t see her bringing the mini-horse. I thought there was a better chance of her setting up her own mechanical bull in the middle of the cocktail party.
Then Breanne showed up and did the hottest thing that a guy with Celiac disease could ask for: she destroyed a bunch of bread. I’ve never felt like something was more geared towards me – a girl destroying bread on the front steps of the Bachelor mansion. It was the greatest thing since sliced gluten-free bread. Maybe I’ll catch up with her at the next Celiac convention.
Tiara, the chicken enthusiast, DIDN’T SHOW UP WITH ANY CHICKENS! How is that possible? If your occupation is listed as a Chicken Enthusiast, you can’t just walk up to Ben and have a cutesy meet and greet. You have to either hand him a live chicken and/or do the chicken dance.
Jackie may take home the ultimate crazy crown and be a first-ballot Creepy Hall of Fame member for bringing Ben a save the date card for their future (fictional) wedding! Can you imagine if someone did that in the real world? I’d call the police. Her biggest fault on the save the date card was putting a wedding hashtag. Can we, as a society, get over the wedding hashtag? I know you like it because you can see all the pictures that your friends put up while you were “accidentally” spreading cake on your husbands face. But the real problem is that it’s not just a wedding day thing. Someone will be getting married in late December but they’ll start putting their cutesy, #mynamebecominghisname hashtag all over social media in early February! Please, spare the rest of us from it until at least the week of the wedding. Your Aunt will tag you in enough pictures at bridal showers thrown-and-attended by your mom’s group of friends to satisfy your photo needs before the big day.
Lastly, Ben called his parents on speakerphone, which I hope happens three times per episode. “Hey mom, a girl told me that I could pollenate her rose later on. What does that mean?” Or, “Hey dad, how would people in Warsaw react if I brought home someone named Shushanna? Not good? Ok, I’ll just pick one of the Laurens.” If I called my parents after meeting all the girls, my mom would say, “Hey, your dad is asleep and I’m watching Homeland. Can I call you back?”
What would an opening night cocktail party be without an oral exam in the first 5 minutes? Or without a girl telling him that she quit her job to be there to find love? Or without a girl playing a sport with him?
Or without girls from a previous season showing up?
I wish that we didn’t know that Becca and Amber were coming back. That would’ve been a nice surprise on opening night – a much better surprise than someone bringing a mini-horse. Ben seemed legitimately surprised to see Becca, but he looked like he had no idea who Amber was. Becca had to literally say Amber’s name before he realized who it was, but that’s beside the point, because…
The night belonged to Lace, for better or for worse… much, much worse. The drunker she got the less she was able to open her mouth while talking. I’m not sure if she was drinking white wine or Elmer’s Glue. For your best Lace impression, just try talking while keeping your top and bottom teeth touching.
In my bio breakdown of the ladies I said that Lace was probably born and raised in the back of a strip club, and last night I felt vindicated. She’s one of the worst that we have ever met on opening night. I’m guessing that her name is Lauren, but her friends call her Lace because she laces her drinks with prescription drugs.
However, we need Lace. She had to get a rose. No, she’s not going to win the show, but she’s going to be must-see TV for the next few weeks. Plus, if I were the Bachelor then I would want to see how the girls react to a crazy person. If a girl gets wrapped up in all of the Lace drama, then she’s not the one for me. But, if a girl says a few things to me about Lace under her breath, then hey, it might be a match. I’m ready to see Lace on a group date, and I wish and hope it is some sort of competitive date.
The last thing I want to throw out there is the fantasy game that I created last season. The only change I made was adding a 4th girl that you can pick instead of just three. I’ll try to keep the points up to date on these posts throughout the season, or I may throw them on a post later in the week.
Enjoy, and I’ll see you next week!