the bachelor: episode 1

OH MAN. thanks to frigid temperatures, i don’t have work today, so i’ll be able to watch The Bachelor’s monday night premiere AND post my brilliant thoughts on it. i know i said i wouldn’t just recap it, but it’s must easier for me to write my thoughts as i watch, then go back in to edit.

because i’ve already written about the countdown show, i won’t recap who Juan Pablo is – and that’s what we spend a bunch of time discussing in the first few minutes. it does seem that his parents and daughter are going to be in LA for the first couple weeks of filming – which is nice. i would NEVER let her watch this season, though – that would be all kinds of traumatic.

there is an incredibly awkward shot of a couple snuggling on the beach while JP plays soccer alone and looks mournfully at them. the guy in that couple definitely noticed and looked at the camera as if to say I’M HAVING A MOMENT, PLEASE ASK THE GENTLEMAN IN THE PINK SWIM TRUNKS TO LOOK ELSEWHERE.

i am not sure why Sean stops by. he and Catherine are now engaged, from Sean’s season. but…how does JP know him? did i miss something? this is awkward. Sean has no eyebrows. or he has them, they’re just invisible. it bothers me. he asks JP if he has a strategy for kissing them, which sounds like some sort of “i’ve never kissed a girl before, WHAT DO I DO?” question, but is more about the sheer number of ladies to kiss.

i really appreciate that they have a conversation about how the show is not real life. Sean points out that JP will not know how the women are in real life – and to keep his head screwed on straight, so to speak. real life is not riding off into the sunset on an elephant, to paraphrase Sean. i may cross-stitch that on a pillow.

Chris Harrison tells us that “Juan Pablo fever has reached epidemic proportions”. is there a cure? what are the symptoms? i’m worried. now, we see some intro videos to a few of the contestants. let’s dive in, shall we?

Chelsie, 24, from Columbus, OH. she seems to think that she should have found The One by now. uh. okay. Renee, 32, lives in Sarasota, FL, and paddleboards, and i have ab envy. she has an 8-year-old son. Andi, 26, is a gang prosecutor from Atlanta – that job is the most bad-ass sounding job. the courtroom scene they show is SO clearly scripted that i want to punch my laptop. Amy, 31, is a massage therapist from LA, and if you want the weirdest intro video ever, it’s her, crawling on some random client. “I want a man who wants to be rubbed by me” – honey, you said that. out loud. on tv. and the creepy, creepy airplane noise she makes as she fake-feeds JP breakfast? NO JUST NO. she then actually falls out of her chair and rolls around on the grass. alright. next up is Nikki, 26, a pediatric nurse from Kansas City, MO – i have no real thoughts on her other than she is pretty and seems nice. next we meet Lauren, a 25-year-old mineral coordinator from Oklahoma.

oh, Lauren. we find out that she was in a relationship “a little over a year ago” that led to engagement, then he broke it off by phone six weeks later – she still has the dress and the ring. she tells us it’s not a thing you get over – um, so….maybe you aren’t ready for a show like the bachelor?

Valerie, 26, is from a small town in California, and she says she hopes the other girls look like goats. i really, really hope she’s the crazy one this season. she makes my dream come true saying that she knows she’s pretty and is not afraid to file her nails to talons so she can scratch some eyeballs out. YAY. Lacy, 25, is from La Jolla, CA and comes from a family with 9 special needs people (siblings? i’m not sure). she opened an elderly care facility at age 20, and says things like “you’re not completely dressed without a smile on your face”. oh dear. she tells us she has always cared for her family and the elderly and is ready to care for a man and family of her own. WHAT ABOUT YOURSELF, LACY??

Clare, 32, hails from Sacramento. i’m sorry, they all look alike to me now. they’re all blonde. she is part Mexican, and from a big family, and her dad had brain cancer, and we are treated to some awkward video of her sitting on a park bench in a garden of roses looking at photos of him. I AM UNCOMFORTABLE WITH THIS EMOTION. there is a chance that JP will see the DVD that her dad made for the man she would marry to watch. okay. producers are on that.

OKAY. finally, limo entrances, and JP can meet some ladies. he finds out he’ll be meeting 27 contestants, not 25. first out is Amy L., followed by Cassandra (she is REALLY tall, and i hate her dress, and there are actual crickets because she cannot think of anything to say). Christy is wearing a very bridal dress. i judge. Christine in her green dress earns a “wow” from Juan Pablo. she also brings a gift for Camilla – smart lady. our nurse friend Nikki steps out, hands him a stethoscope, and has him check how fast her heart is beating. this is a savvy move. he basically has his hand on her boob. as she walks inside, he actually bites his fist and mutters, “no more limos”. i am amused.

limo number two! Kat hops out and demands that he teach her how to salsa immediately. next up is Chantel, one of the few black women this season. from previews, i think she sticks around for a bit, which is good, because i love her blue dress and want to see what else she will wear. Victoria is up next – she is from Brazil, and i also like her dress. oh no. Lucy, our free spirit, hops out in a flower-child outfit – flowy with a flower crown, and JP says “so cute” and that is…no. ew, she isn’t wearing shoes. Danielle is next – another nurse, and wearing a beige dress.

oh. and then it’s Lauren, who bikes up on a piano-bike. wtf. JP says “i like that” but raises his eyebrow and i think he’s a bit alarmed. she goes into the house, and then JP darts inside to find out her name. that is adorable.

Chelsie pops out of the third limo in a pretty silver dress. there is some stupid joke about having chemistry. no. Valerie wears cowgirl boots and a dress that has sheer panels that basically point at her lady business. Elise is a first grade teacher with a super sparkly dress. Ashley is a first grade teacher too, and talks in a whisper. and gives him a gold star sticker. nope. next out of the limo is a woman in bright pink, sporting a pregnant belly, and grunting like she is about to go into labor. this is Clare. she is not really pregnant. i am weirded out by this. Alli from Chicago steps out with a soccer ball, wearing soccer cleats, and a dress with a VERY dangerous slit. Amy J (massage lady) is out next, with an ill-fitting dress, and is real intense (“i’m here for you”). then Renee, who talks about her son, and checks on how JP is doing, and is really fabulously calm. Lauren the mineral coordinator chooses to say “you’re so gorgeous” for her first words to JP. ugh. Maggie from South Carolina is out of the limo with a VERY thick southern accent and a fishing hook. weird gift.

next out of the limo is an actual dog. and her owner, Kelly, who is a dog lover – not a profession.

Lacy is out of the next limo, with a prescription from Cupid’s Pharmacy (not making that up) and a dress that hoists her bosom up high. next is Alexis, then Kylie (she looks like a mermaid). Sharleen, an opera singer, is next up, wearing a dress that makes me really nervous that her sideboob will escape. finally, Andi the prosecutor steps out – she looks stunning, y’all.

okay. that devolved into Do I Like Their Dress Choice? – apologies. THERE ARE SO MANY WOMEN. Chris Harrison tells him to pick one woman for the first impression rose (FIR, from here on out). JP does a toast, and i wish i could screencapture the weird stank-face made by Ashley the 1st grade teacher – she looks like something smells HORRID. he turns on some music, everyone dances, there is a photobooth, it’s basically a party. he talks to women, which bores me. i will say that Renee is a frontrunner in my book – she seems down-to-earth, can carry a conversation with him about parenting and takes interest in his life, and so on. Lucy (free spirit) tells us that the girls who will go home are the ones who won’t go “bam, i’m Lucy”. honey. you’re the only Lucy. she also says that real hippies don’t wear shoes – again, you are NOT A HIPPIE. you are obnoxious. Massage Amy gives him a massage through his suit, and says “i just wanted to rip it off him and pour my oils all over him – but that day will come”. i cannot emphasize how much she scares me.

“it’s not just a rose, it’s my future” says Maggie. the FIR is on the table and everyone is tense and no one seems capable of approaching him on her own. we find out that Elise’s mom passed away about a year before. Lauren, who wants to get married because her last engagement bombed, is panicking about not being able to talk to him. sigh. lady. stand up. walk over. say “hi, i’m Lauren. this is awkward, but want to chat?” and now she’s crying. Ashley talks to her, and Lauren sobs through the phrase “i’m so ready for this”, indicating exactly the opposite feeling. Ashley says a VERY teachery thing – “who is in control right now?”, which is a thing i say to my students when they’re blaming others for their problems. she sits down with JP, tells him the whole sordid tale (the timeline shifts to “a few months ago”, and we find out the ex had a son, so i think…this show is maybe not a good choice right now for Lauren).

JP talks to a lot of women (thank god we don’t have to see all the conversations). the FIR is still out. he seems impressed by Sharleen, who is well-travelled and very poised and stands out, i guess. he gives her his suit jacket and goes to get the FIR while she tells us that she didn’t feel an instant connection, that it felt forced.OMG AWKWARD. she pauses forever after he offers the rose, and says…”sure”. and i don’t think he quite gets that she is not sure, and he thinks she is surprised and nervous and will sleep well tonight. um. this is really uncomfortable. i get what she means – it’s the first time she’s meeting him, there are 26 other women – this is forced, it is weird, and i think she was just being herself and not trying to get the FIR, and couldn’t read him because he’s a new person and neither of them can read the other just yet.

Final Rose Ceremony Results

Roses: Sharleen (FIR), Clare (fake baby), Nikki (nurse), Renee (my fave), Andi (prosecutor), Alli, Chantel, Lauren S (piano-bike), Kelly (dog lover), Cassandra, Danielle (nurse), Chelsie, Kat (awkwardly, Kylie walks forward, having misheard), Victoria (from Brazil), Christy (her dress looks like a wedding dress), Lucy (NOOOOOO), Elise, and the final rose goes to….Amy L.

among the people going home: massage therapist Amy, mermaid Kylie, Lauren (who i genuinely feel for – she seems scared that everyone will pity her, and i think she needs to realize that the broken engagement was awful and people probably worry about her because that SUCKS), and Valerie-the-goat-lady.

the last bit of the show gives us a sneak peek of the season, and shows us why editors should  get paid well. we see someone sobbing on a bathroom floor, saying “Juan Pablo! I hope he dies!” and someone else going “she ruined this for everyone” and another person saying “no one has ever dealt with this before” and Juan Pablo walking out of a talking-head interview. draaaaama.