======= ======= ====== ====== ====== ===== ==== ====== ====== ===== ==== ======= ======= ====== ====== ====== ===== ==== ====== ====== ===== ====
Alright folks, I’m back. Sorry for my absence during Bachelor in Paradise – sometimes medical school requires giving up the things you love most, i.e. watching television and napping.
If you’re reading this, I’m not going to bore you with the rules of the
meat market The Bachelor. This season’s Bachelor is Ben Higgins, who we met during the most recent season of The Bachelorette. When he revealed his deepest fear is being unlovable to Kaitlyn, she responded by making sweet love to him in the Fantasy Suite and proceeded to dump him a few days later, ironically a pretty accurate synopsis of her entire season. Although he didn’t emerge as the victor of the The Bachelorette, he got his own season out of the deal, so I’d wager he still came out ahead of the Princess.
Tonight’s episode began with a snapshot of Ben and his family in his hometown of Warsaw, IN. He tells the camera “I really think my family and friends want me to be happy.” Well I’d fucking hope so, Ben. If they don’t, maybe you should focus on finding new friends instead of a reality show bride.
His next stop was a Q&A session with a few previous Bachelors: Jason, Sean and Chris. He spent most of the conversation asking about how it felt to kiss multiple women throughout a single date, and I start to worry that he doesn’t entirely grasp how this show works. By the end of their talk he sweat through his shirt, so either he’s incredibly nervous, he needs more time to acclimate to California, or the molly is finally kicking in.
The rest of the episode was devoted to meeting the 28 women who will be aboard this season’s train wreck. ABC previously released bios of the contestants, so between those and last night’s episode, I think we’ve got a pretty good idea of what we’re working with. Let’s break it down:
Lauren B, 25, Flight Attendant, Marina Del Rey, CA
Her bio says that her guilty pleasure is brunch with mimosas, and anyone who feels guilty about brunch blackouts is not someone I need in my life right now. She gave Ben a set of pilot wings she lifted from work and he seemed oddly into it. To each their own.
Caila, 24, Software Sales Rep, Hudson, OH
Right off the bat, I think Caila is a power player in this season. She just seems like the type of girl Ben would go for. Other than spelling her name wrong, she has an actual job and doesn’t say anything weird in her bio. In this game, being normal buys you at least 3 roses, so I have a feeling she’ll stick around.
Jennifer, 25, Small Business Owner, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
If you say that you are a small business owner and don’t specify what type of business you’re in, I’m going to assume it’s illegal or illicit, which seems to fit the rest of Jennifer’s personality. She says that if she could break any law without repercussions, she’d tan nude at the beach. Personally, I’d take a piss anywhere I damn well pleased, but to each their own. The general public would probably be happier with her choice anyway.
Jami, 23, Bartender, St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
Jami is a bit of an enigma to me. Upon meeting Ben, she tells him that she’s friends with Kaitlyn and heard he had a “really, really, big…..heart.” I’m already uncomfortable. Her favorite fictional character is Black Widow from The Avengers and her favorite book is The Crucible. She also describes herself as “inexperienced” as a lover, so maybe spend less time nerding out on comic books and old high school reading assignments and more time being a normal 23 year old.
Samantha, 26, Attorney, New Smyrna Beach, FL
She graduated law school in the top 20% of her class and the first thing she told Ben was that she just passed the bar exam, so she probably isn’t high strung or anything. She also bears an uncanny resemblance to the girl who “just has a lot of feelings” in Mean Girls. Her voice makes me want to rip my ears from my head.
Jubilee, 24, War Veteran, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Before she steps out of the limo, we get to see a few clips of Jubilee kicking ass in her military uniform. She was active duty for over 4 years and fought overseas, so my hat is off to her there. She told Ben talking to him made her more nervous than dodging incoming enemy fire, and if that’s true she may find more success on Survivor, American Ninja Warrior, or The Hunger Games.
Amanda, 25, Esthetician, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
I can’t tell the difference between Amanda and Lauren B. from Chris’s season who was also an esthetician, and I still haven’t given enough of a shit to learn what that particular “career” entails. Her bio says she’s afraid of aging and has already started getting Botox, so between that and being a divorcee with 2 children at the age of 25, it seems Amanda has already thrown up enough red flags to cripple a soccer team. Run away, Ben.
Lace, 25, Real Estate Agent, Denver, CO
She has a stripper name and the soundtrack of the show changed to villain music as soon as she stepped out of the limo, so she’s probably going to be a major player in this season. She wanted to get the first kiss of the season, so she walked right up to Ben and took it. Stay tuned for more on Lace.
Lauren R, 26, Math Teacher, Houston, TX
Right out of the gate, Lauren R. tells Ben she has an advantage over the other girls because she’s taken the last 2 months to stalk him on all forms of social media. Her bio states she wants to have an “army of children” so if she makes it to the Fantasy Suite, Ben should definitely check those condoms for holes; however, I’d be surprised if she makes it that far considering she was so drunk she forgot to tell Ben her name.
Shushanna, 27, Mathematician, Salt Lake City, UT
She is very attractive, but she appears to not know English. It’s a bold strategy, and I like it.
Leah, 25, Event Planner, Denver, CO
Add Leah to the list of small blondes that all look the goddamn same. She says she doesn’t meet guys because bars, the gym, and online dating are all terrible, so when you’ve exhausted those options I suppose reality television isn’t that far of a jump. She has Stage 5 Clinger written all over her.
Joelle “JoJo,” 24, Real Estate Developer, Dallas TX
To be honest, she’s already starting with negative points for being named JoJo. She digs that hole even deeper when she comes out of the limo wearing a unicorn head mask. Hard pass.
Lauren H, 25, Kindergarten Teacher, Ann Arbor, MI
I may have a crush on Lauren H. Her favorite movies are Elf, Legally Blonde, Mean Girls and The Hangover, so there’s like 50 points to Gryffindor right there. She also says she wants to be Chris Harrison for day, and when Chris Harrison retires you bet your ass I’ll be the first person in the interview line trying to replace him. Lauren H, if you read this, hit me up on Twitter (@CrickWatsonMD).
Laura, 24, Account Executive, Louisville, KY
I’m torn on Laura. She has this Laura Prepon circa That 70’s Show thing going on that really works for me, but then tells Ben her friends call her Red Velvet, which made me gag and almost choke on my wine. I guess Lace isn’t the only one this season with a stripper name after all.
Mandi, 28, Dentist, Portland, OR
This girl is strange as fuck. Coming from someone who has had roughly the same amount of education as her, you don’t just take a quick little break from your career to get your jollies at the Bachelor mansion. When she exits the limo, she is wearing a rose on her head, and tells Ben that if things go well tonight, she might let him pollinate it. As if that pick up line wasn’t hard enough to resist, she proceeded to give Ben a dental exam because she “won’t date a man that doesn’t floss properly.” In her bio, she says she has a tendency to drink too much and given that dentists have pretty easy access to various narcotics and other anesthetics, she’s probably just here to party before her court-mandated trip to rehab, which explains why she looks like a coked-out Heather Graham.
Emily& Haley, 22, Twins, Las Vegas, NV
I can’t even dignify these two with their own paragraphs. Judging by their bios, they seem shallower than a kiddie pool, which makes sense because they’re 22. Haley says her greatest achievement is making it to the semi-finals of becoming a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader – so just to be clear her greatest achievement is not getting a job. Go home and get your GEDs girls.
Maegan, 30, Cowgirl, Weatherford, TX
Maegen is 30 years old and was accompanied by her miniature horse, Huey. Instead of letting her into the Bachelor Mansion, I wanted to give her a hug and put her back in a limo headed to the nearest FarmersOnly.com meetup. Her bio mentions she regularly decapitates snakes with a shovel, which seems incredibly aggressive and makes me wonder if there’s something she’s hiding. A penis, perhaps.
Breanne, 30, Nutritional Therapist, Seattle, WA
Much like Brienne of Tarth, I am terrified of this woman. There is something in her eyes that screams crazy. She says that she doesn’t eat any gluten because “gluten is Satan” and forces Ben to physically break loaves of perfectly good bread as their introduction. I’m sorry, but if gluten is Satan, sign me up for hell.
Isabel “Izzy,” 24, Graphic Designer, Bradford CT
Izzy has this young Katie Holmes thing going on and she probably should have ridden that wave for a few episodes. Instead, she showed up in a onesie to find out if Ben was the “onesie for her.” Do less Izzy, do less.
Rachel, 23, Unemployed, Little Rock, AR
Rachel is a child. Not only did she make her entrance riding a hoverboard, but when she was asked in her bio if she could choose to be any animal, she chose to be Cookie Monster. At some point Chris Harrison is going to have to sit her down and explain the concept of puppetry. He should probably throw in that Santa isn’t real.
Jessica, 23, CPA, Boca Raton, FL
I’m a fan of Jessica. She knows how to smolder and it works for her. She’s 23 and already a CPA, so she must have passed those exams right out of college, meaning she’s solidly smart and has decent career prospects. Why is she on this show?
Tiara, 26, Chicken Enthusiast, Redmond WA
Tiara is the classic hot versus crazy dilemma. She says that since “I don’t have any human babies, my chickens are my human babies.” She even has a special chicken baby named Sheila who is with her all the time at home. Her biggest concern is who would come first in her life – Ben or her chickens, but I have a feeling that may be decided for her.
Lauren “LB,” 23, Fashion Buyer, Stillwater, OK
Perhaps its naiveté, but I never realized Stillwater was a burgeoning fashion metropolis. Maybe she’s just in charge of picking up t-shirts for Eskimo Joe’s or something like that. Her favorite date was visiting the jungles of Nepal – has she been on this show before? Her bio mentions having to go see a doctor in Germany about being constipated, so she sounds like a really fun girl to date.
Jackie, 23, Gerontologist, San Francisco, CA
I’m torn on Jackie. At first, I thought she could be this season’s girl next door- she’s pretty, but not as glamorous as her competition. Her bio talks about doing some adventurous stuff like paragliding, so she’ll definitely stand out on group dates that involve any sort of “activity.” But, she brought Ben a save the date with the hashtag #tohigginsandtohold, which makes me question her grasp of reality.
Olivia, 23, News Anchor, Austin, TX
Olivia is stunning. When she gets out of the limo, her and Ben just stare at each other. I couldn’t even focus on their conversation because it seemed like their chemistry was palpable even through the television screen. Either that or I was refilling my wine.
As the 25 women (26 if we’re counting Emily and Haley as separate humans) settle in to the Bachelor Mansion, Lace quickly begins an attempt to assert herself as the queen bee. She has all of the sass of Kaitlyn, but none of the charm. Ben comes inside from the driveway and begins to address all of the women, but before he finishes, Mandi cuts him off and pulls him outside for some one-on-one time. The night proceeds in a similar fashion with the women preying on Ben like a herd of wild cats fighting over a single, frightened mouse until another limo arrives. We learn that two contestants from previous seasons want to have a future with Ben, and out of the final limo steps:
Becca, 25, Chiropractic Assistant, San Diego, CA
For those of you who are new to Bachelor Nation, Becca was the runner-up on Chris Soules’s season of the Bachelor – not because she wasn’t attractive enough (clearly), but mostly because when Chris asked if she was willing to move to Buttfuck, Iowa after they’d dated for all of two months, she was like “Uhh..maybe?”
If she’s coming back again, she’s in it to win it. Or she wants to be the Bachelorette.
Amber, 30, Bartender, Chicago, IL
To be honest, I’ve seen more of Amber in the last year than I have of some of my family members. She started on Chris’s season, graduated to Bachelor in Paradise, and is back again for Ben’s season, and I have a couple of theories. Either the casting pool this season was so homogenous that the producers had to resort to recycling contestants, or they’re under pressure to finally have a nonwhite Bachelorette and at this point she has the most name recognition. I don’t think the producers would bring her back for no reason, so I’m intrigued to see how her storyline plays out.
Once Becca and Amber entered the mansion and declared themselves as fellow competitors, I’d wager more than one dress was shat. Even Ben’s face dropped and he was speechless when he saw Becca for the first time. When Amber came up to him, he was like “Oh hey, good to see you!” with about as much enthusiasm as you’d muster to suggest grabbing coffee after running into someone at the grocery store you’ve been trying to avoid since the produce section. The rest of the episode consisted of Lace and Mandi getting more drunk and more aggressively desperate for Ben’s attention as the rest of the women tried to have normal conversations with Him. Unsurprisingly, Olivia got the First Impression rose, and although Ben said there wasn’t a clear standout in the crowd, I have a hard time believing him.
This may be the first rose ceremony we’ve seen in its entirety since Juan Pablo’s season. Olivia snagged the first rose, so the remaining 20 (Jesus Christ) go to:
1. Lauren B – There are 4 Laurens for fuck’s sake. Either they need to start getting booted quickly or I’m going to have to come up with some other creative way to tell this herd of white girls apart.
2. LB – See above.
3. Caila – Her and Ben both sell software. It’s a match made in nerd heaven.
4. Amber – Apparently two seasons of this shit under your belt does teach you how to get a rose.
5. Jami – Canadian who wants to get to know Ben’s giant…heart.
6. Jennifer – The brunettes aren’t as easy to tell apart as I initially thought.
7. Jubilee – Veteran. It’d be downright un-American to send her home on night one.
8. Amanda – 25, divorced, two kids. That’s not how my fairy tale ending would start, but I’m not calling the shots here.
9. JoJo – Unicorn girl.
10. Leah – Not Amanda or Lauren B.
11. Rachel – She must be up way past her bedtime at this point. Hopefully she called her parents to let them know there are grown ups at this party.
12. Samantha – Looks like she’s going to get her chance to bake a cake made out of rainbows and smiles after all
13. Jackie – If she ends up making it through a few more episodes, I’ll come up with something wittier about her.
14. Haley – She is the hotter twin.
15. Emily – She is the twin with the eye twitch.
16. Shushanna – Maybe English is not Ben’s love language after all.
17. Lauren H. – Be still, my heart. Selfishly, I hope she gets cut loose soon.
18. Becca – I mean, obviously.
19. Mandi – EVERYTHING IS THE WORST.
20. Lace – I spoke too soon. Now everything is truly awful. Lace is so self-absorbed that getting a rose wasn’t enough to make her happy – she was disappointed by the lack of eye contact she got from Ben during the ceremony. Congratulations Lace – you’ve proven yourself to be certifiably batshit insane with less that 15 minutes of screen time.
This means we’re saying goodbye to Red Velvet, the chicken enthusiast, onesie girl, Brienne of Tarth, Maegen (and more importantly, Huey), Jessica the CPA, and the drunkest of the Laurens.
As if gaining holiday weight wasn’t depressing enough, the contestants on this shitshow are starting to all be younger than me – the average age is 25. Not sure how much of this my ego will tolerate. Based on the preview of upcoming episodes, it seems like we have lot of people professing their love for Ben and even more shedding their tears over him. Also, it seems that Lace gives Leah a black eye, so I’d wager we’re in for yet another installment of “the most dramatic season yet.” See you then..
Image via Shutterstock