On Monday night, America's favorite reality TV dating show returned and the participants have been using their Crest White Strips, fasting because the camera adds 10 pounds, prepping their rose ceremony suits, and are ready for love or public humiliation. Yes, dear readers, it might seem like mere months ago we were watching Juan Pablo bring shame to the Bachelor franchise (because we were), but it's already time for another round! Who emerged from that Johnny Pabs fracas unscathed? Andi the Atlanta District Attorney, or as I used to call her "Ombre DA" (sadly, now she's straight brunette, so the nickname no longer works) is our intrepid bachelorette and this season promises tears, allegations that guys aren't here for the right reasons (but of course), and far flung dates in counties that these idiots have never heard of.
Chris Harrison starts the episode on a somber note, saying that one of Andi's suitors, Eric Hill, died after he completed filming. Chris describes Eric as a man with a lot of "passion and a courageous spirit." Oh also, he's hot and has super white teeth. This season is dedicated to him. Some people get memorial benches, others get memorial scholarships, and Eric Hill gets season 10 of the most formulaic, predicable reality dating show on network television. His family must be so proud.
We see lots of B roll of Andi "putting away the bad guys" (apparently that involves taking iPhone photos of graffiti), arguing motions in court (OK I'll admit it -- girl can rock a pantsuit), and packing up her office (put that Georgia State Bar Association license away because you don't need it where you're going!), then chatting with her parents. We met them in the last season when her father reamed out Juan Pablo and Bachelor Nation fell in love. She drives away from her family's McMansion and lands in the middle of a shopping montage in Los Angeles! Hats! T-shirts! Duck lips!
Andi drives her convertible to the Bachelorette mansion, where our beloved host/therapist/best friend forever Chris Harrison eagerly awaits. He greets Andi and she acts gobsmacked that she is, in fact, the bachelorette (despite how things played out at the close of last season when you could tell that she timed her exit perfectly to be in contention for this position). But there's no time for pretend shock -- tonight's the rose ceremony! Andi's sister arrives to help her pick out a dress and give her a pep talk. Well, we made it 12 minutes before we heard about "putting yourself out there" and "opening yourself up" and I hope we're all ready for what this season will bring.
Andi switches from the gold dress to the metallic dress (to throw off her sister?) and I love the change because I'm always a fan of the color gunmetal (not so much guns, but that's a story for another time). She marvels to Chris Harrison that, "some guy is about to get out of the limo and that could be my husband." It sounds so romantic when you refer to your soul mate as "some guy," doesn't it?
She takes her place and the limos start rolling up. Who is America about to fall in love with for a night or a few weeks before he becomes a Wikipedia page footnote?
-Marcus a "Sports Medicine Manager" (steroid dealer?) who rocks a grey suit with no tie, but comes off as an oddball.
-Chris a farmer from Iowa who is built, hot, and genuine. Yes please.
-JJ a "Pantspreneur" who I hate on sight. I appreciate your Bill Nye the Science Guy costume but this isn't a Halloween party, dude.
-Marquel a Sponsorship Salesman who is our 1st gingham shirt of the night. There are about 5 more where that came from, but he's hella dapper and gentlemanly.
-Tasos a very intense Wedding Coordinator who brings a lock and talks about the Lover's Bridge in Paris. (How do I know about that site? Emily's season of The Bach!)
-Cody the Personal Trainer from Chicago pushes a limo up the driveway to show Andi that he's not kidding about being into hallucinogens -- I mean -- being a Personal Trainer.
-Steven a Snowboard Designer from CA who drops "stoked" and "rad" during the episode and bears a striking resemblance to Shaggy (the Scooby Doo one, not the "It Wasn't Me" one).
-Rudie the Attorney who wows Andi with what he calls "a little fun Attorney humor." Sorry Rudie, there's no such thing.
-Carl the Firefighter from FL who is super tall, has wide strides, and gives Andi a glass globe. Cute move.
-Jason the Wisconsin ER Doctor who is has a blonde bob that just screams "there's a spring sale at Talbots!" He drops a lame pick-up line and probably lives to regret it.
-Nick V. the fidgety, awkward Chicago Software Salesman whose pants are too short.
-Dylan the Boston accountant who is not only wicked hot, he's also charmingly nervous, and from the greatest city in the nation. COMPETITION OVER! (Also, he shares a name with the greatest character in television history, the inimitable Dylan McKay.)
-Patrick who kicks a soccer ball at Andi (oh that's not annoying when you're in strappy heels, guy!), then drop kicks it into the woods (look out, Craft Services table!), and mentions Andi's ex, Johnny Pabs. Overall, a horrible entrance for the Bach record books!
-Emil the grey-bearded helicopter pilot who looks like a rugged mountain man (nice), but explains his name as "Anal with an M." In the future, how about ya not lead with "anal"?
-Brett the mulleted hairstylist who carries a lamp because he didn't want to show up empty handed. Ya know what would be more polite than what you just did, Brett? ANYTHING.
-Craig the Colorado who-knows-what who pops a bottle of bubbly and won't stop grinning and freaking out. As I like to say when I'm around overexcited people, please act like you belong here and stop being uncool. (Yes, I'm a WASP.)
-Ron the Tennessee Bev Sales guy who is rocking a popular look -- the gingham shirt. He seems cool and very worldly. Makes a good impression.
-Bradley the Wisconsin Opera Singer who is super intense and wants to serenade Andi. I don't see him lasting long.
-Josh B. the Colorado Telecom-something who is bland and wearing a gingham shirt.
-Nick S. the Golf Pro who cruises up while honking the horn of a golf cart! Oh man you're not tiresome and annoying at all, buddy!
-Brian the Pennsylvania basketball coach who reminds me of every guy I ever met when I lived in South Boston. Pasty but hot and very sweet.
-Andrew a nondescript Social Media Something who also rocks a gingham shirt.
-Mike who wants to be called "Camps" and probably thinks he's the only guy with a voluminous blonde bob in a 5 mile radius, but he's about to get a rude awakening in the form of Jason, his friggin' doppelganger right inside the manse!
-Eric the "Explorer" who gives Andi some dolls from Peru and makes a cute entrance. Also, the entire season is dedicated to him.
-Josh M. the "Former Pro Baseball Player" whose identity hinges upon his old job. Brace yourself to Kenny Powers jokes this season, readers. He's hot and stocky, though, so I dig him.
And there we have it! The first night proceeds as most do: a lot of awkward small talk, plenty of interruptions, and a Bachelor reject showing up to demand that he be admitted. Wait, what?
Yes, Chris Bukowski, formerly seen on Emily's season of The Bachelorette, Bachelor Pad, and also seen in Bachelor Nation's nightmares is in the driveway and he insists that he MUST meet Andi! The security guard is unimpressed and Chris Harrison isn't having it, either. Harrison asks Andi if she wants to add Chris to the cocktail party and she says no, out of respect for the 25 suitors (good call, Poor Man's Eliza Dushku!). Chris finally leaves without his flowers ("my wife is going to be happy tonight!" says the security guard. Can we make him a recurring character, please?).
Andi's making good choices and sniffing out bullshit, which she reveals by giving the first impression rose to Nick V., the fidgety, awkward guy from before. She likes his sincerity and his "aww shucks" response to receiving the rose is wonderful. Past Bachelors and Bachelorettes would often give that first rose to the most arrogant and bold person (thus creating a monster who would always insist that he/she "didn't come here to make friends") but Andi's flipping the script and I love her for it!
Some conversations happen: Josh M. comes off as arrogant but flirty, Marquel does a black and white cookie tasting (GET IT?), JJ shows her preppy pants, Chris talks about his family's corn and soybean farm, and before we know it, it's time for the line up -- I mean, rose ceremony.
Nick V. is safe with his first impression rose. Who are tonight's winners?
-JJ - I suspect he's here with an agenda. A pantsgenda.
-Eric - explorer doesn't win the whole thing, we can safely guess.
-Marquel - will that black & white cookie become a choco-vanilla swirl?
-Craig - dude you need to CALM DOWN and act like you've talked to a woman before.
-Tasos - he's not her normal type, so we'll see what happens.
-Josh M. - he's her normal type, which seems to mean he's a jerk face.
-Brian - sweet basketball coach can travel into my heart anytime (even if traveling is against the rules)
-Bradley - congrats on making it through this cut, Opera Ma, but I think that we'll be saying, "Opera Man bye byyyyyye!" like Adam Sandler circa 1994.
-Marcus - he wowed Andi with his German and Polish language skills, which is weird since both of those languages sound like hitting a bag of wrenches against a wall.
-Andrew - dark haired gingham random!
-Ron - another gingham shirt!
-Carl - super bland, but the 3rd gingham in a row! Gingham hat trick! The Gingham Gang is representing!
-Chris - Iowa farmer will be with us for a while, I bet.
-Dylan - YES! I was worried about that little scamp, but he made it. He's a strong contender and if Andi negs him, I will be psyched because then maybe I get a shot. Hey, Dyland and I are both Red Sox fans and I've built relationships on much less before.
-Brett - I hope that one of the guys snips off Brett's mullet in his sleep. Arriving with a stolen lamp is almost as bad as carrying a watermelon (and yes, that's a Dirty Dancing reference for the believers).
-Patrick - Soccer Ball Psycho. This guy gives me a bad vibe.
-Cody - blonde trainer who I bet spends a lot of hours on the dance floor waving glow sticks, if you catch my drift.
-Nick S. - professional golfer made the cut by the skin of his teeth. He won't be here long.
Who's walking out of the Bachelor mansion in shame but at least feeling cooler than Chris who got negged without even meeting Andi?
-Both blonde bobs -- Jason and Camps. I guess Andi's attracted to guys who DON'T remind her of the mom from The Wonder Years. There's no accounting for taste!
-1 gingham shirt (Josh B.) who seemed drunk but hadn't embarrassed himself too badly until he exclaimed that he had just "embarrassed the $$ out of myself."
-Rudie the Attorney (turns out lawyer humor doesn't work!)
-Emil (who lead with "anal")
So now we're at 20 suitors and this season is shaping up to be a big one. The crew travels all over Europe, kisses a lot, and most important, nearly self destructs because of personality conflicts. I can't wait!
My favorites so far are Dylan the Mass hottie, Chris the Iowa farmer, and Brian the sincere basketball coach. Who are yours? Leave them in the comments!