Monday night kicked off another season of The Bachelor and it featured all of the elements that Bachelor Nation has come to know and love: awkward limo entrances, freak outs about "one-on-one time," and lots of tears (and waterproof mascara).
This season Juan Pablo is our intrepid Bachelor and even a cynic like me can admit that he's a breath of fresh air for the tired (but delightful) franchise. He's a Venezuelan hottie who keeps finding himself back in upstate NY, strangely enough (born in Ithaca, college in Rochester) and is now based in Miami. But this season's antics will be going down in the infamous Bachelor mansion in LA, which is like a glorified frat house at this point. Juan Pablo or "Johnny Pabs" (as we Bach insiders like to call him) has a young daughter Camilla and currently works as a consultant for a sports entertainment agency. He's desperately searching for a woman to be his wife and his daughter's mother, and what better way to find that diamond in the rough than by asking a team of producers to wrangle some long-haired ladies from all over the country?
But before the ladies arrive, former bachelor Sean (blonde, pasty, Texas boy) gave Juan Pablo some tips, most of which were focused on "kissing strategy" because apparently Sean has been taking dating tips from an 8th grade boy. (If you need a refresher on Sean, I skewered his season on my blog here.)
Finally, it's time to meet the girls, but there will be 27 this time (up 2 from the standard 25). Ladies were clamoring for this blonde Ricky Ricardo so they added 2 more spots! Chris Harrison is back to spout off ridiculous proclamations for another season, saying, "Juan Pablo fever has reached epidemic proportions!" and somehow keeping a straight face.
Finally, the parade of limos is ready to rock and Juan Pablo is looking fantastic in a gorgeous, black suit. The 27 ladies run the gamut and it wouldn't be a Selena Bachelor recap if I didn't describe and mock them each individually. Here we go...
-Amy L.: A local reporter in a red dress that I swear I saw at Rave circa 1999. Corny, but nice.
-Cassandra: A 21 year old "former NBA Dancer" (yeah, and just list my credits as "former director of ice cream sales at the local town pool") with absolutely nothing to say, but a lot of cleavage to show.
-Christy: Chicago native in a white dress with a crown. She's from south of Wisconsin and she's cheesy (Heyo! Packers jokes!).
-Christine: A blonde knockout in a green dress whose job is "Police Support Specialist" which means, "Dispatcher," right?
-Nikki: Another blonde (REPRESENT!) in a black dress with a plunging back and a plunging front (SO MUCH PLUNGING) who is a pediatric nurse and brings along a stethoscope for a little game of G-rated doctor.
Note: As she walks away, Juan Pablo bites his fist and American officially falls in love with him.
-Kat: Another blonde (WHAT WHAT) in a gorgeous red dress who asks JP to teach her to Salsa. Forced touching -- good work, girl!
-Chantel: Finally breaks the blonde streak, but she does it in a gorgeous, blue cocktail dress, which was a refreshing change from all the ball gowns. She speaks Spanish to JP.
-Victoria: She enters clumsily wearing an awful yellow dress that is a drab shade and hangs badly. Sorry to be so negative, but things just weren't working here.
-Lucy: She arrives barefoot and stomping like a Wolly Mammoth, wearing a dress that resembles a bedsheet and a crown of flowers. As if she weren't bad enough, her "job" is "Free Spirit." Only rich kids get to "work" at doing nothing and call it "being independent." Oh my goodness I loathe you, girl.
-Danielle: She is a gorgeous girl, but her dress is truly atrocious. It's flesh tone up top (as we know, this is my biggest pet peeve next to nail clipping on the subway) with black at the bottom, but it's a sloppy ombre that doesn't transition gradually, so she just looks like a bad, homemade tie dye.
-Lauren: Brunette knockout in a gorgeous, mermaid style black dress (mermaid style is the best when you have dumps like a truck, or even like a sporty SUV) who walks up pushing and playing a piano. Girl must have some arm and leg strength in addition to musical talent!
-Chelsie: Blonde in a one shoulder, silver dress (love it) who asks JP to do a science experiment with her, then says "instead of doing a chemistry experiment, why don't we have chemistry between us." Cute and memorable, even if it's kinda lame.
-Valerie: Personal trainer (who exhibited some anti-women tendencies in the earlier clips and if there's one thing I cannot abide, it's women who aren't friends with other women) from Cali who is in a metallic dress and cowboy boots. We get it, lady: You're SO multi-faceted (TWO WHOLE FACETS!).
-Elise: Busy, blonde vixen in a super sparkly, gold dress. She seems nice, but her whole look made Marilyn Monroe's "Happy Birthday Mr. President" dress and hair seem subtle.
-Ashley: Rocks a brunette updo (little dated, but cute), gold dress, and gives Juan Pablo a gold star sticker because she's a teacher.
-Clare: Rolls out of the limo in a fake baby bump (kooky! Fun! Kinda weird!) underneath a gorgeous, fuscia dress. Memorable, but I hate it when you can practically see the producers pulling the strings for a shocking entrance.
-Alli: Brunette in a gold dress who arrives wearing Samba Classics and kicking a soccer ball. It's a fun entrance, but I hope that she had nicer shoes to change into because flats have never done anyone any favors.
-Amy J.: Horrible metallic dress that completely flattens her chest, plus dated hair and heavy lips. If she gets kicked off The Bach, I'd like to get her on a makeover show PRONTO!
-Renee: Single mom from Florida with great highlights (over brown hair), black dress, and a laid back attitude.
-Lauren H.: Cute brunette from TX who we learned earlier was proposed to, then dumped. Ouch. Proceed with caution, girl. A super competitive dating TV show might not be what you need right now.
-Maggie: South Carolina native with a sweet accent, great hair, and a fabulous red dress.
-Kelly: Enters with a dog and a super boring speech pattern. Snooze.
-Lacy: Brunette in a purplish dress with silver edging. She has 9 mentally handicapped siblings and works with the elderly. Oh my goodness could you BE any sweeter?
-Alexis: Puts her make-up on with a trowel (which is a shame because she's pretty) but rocks a rad, black dress.
-Kylie: Redhead in a pastel pink dress and too much make-up, like a trashy Strawberry Shortcake who follows Whitesnake on tour.
-Sharleen: Brunette, sophisticated opera singer who is a Canadian. She's hella elegant, but seems a bit too serious for Johnny Pabs.
-Andi: An ombre-haired Eliza Dushku (seriously, did you guys notice that resemblance?) whose chemistry with Juan Pablo is off the charts! She rocks a killer dark blue dress and she's a District Attorney from Atlanta.
Once they all arrive, Juan Pablo kicks off a DANCE PARTY and the crew plays with costumes in a photo booth cause this aint your mamma's Bachelor! (No, it's more like an upscale bar mitzvah, but with more drinking and tension.) The crew of 28 strangers dance and feign enjoyment for the cameras, but we know what's on everybody's mind: ROSES. Chris Harrison earns his (probably insanely large) paycheck by bringing out the first impression rose on a tray and it's all everybody can talk about. Juan Pablo mingles and has assorted interactions, some of which are good (he flirts with Nikki the nurse like crazy; he and Renee talk about being single parents), some of which are bad (Amy J. gives him a massage which J. Pabs says was "awkward"), one of which made me want to punch my television (with Lucy tells him, "Don't be nervous -- be sure" and then says that she arrived sans shoes because "real hippies don't wear shoes.") America: We have this season's villain and "Lucy The Faux Hippie Who Is Actually A Psychopath Despite Her Attempts to Appear Chill and Relaxed" is her name! (But we can just call her Sucky Lucy for short.) She's like an uglier, more unkempt version of Courtney from floppy haired Ben's season and I'd bet my life savings (a Starbucks gift card and a $25 credit at Zara) that she's going to drive the other women crazy in the Bach manse.
Sharleen (old soul in a tan dress) scores the first impression rose and she seems stunned and about as excited as I am when I bump into an old flame while I'm having a bad hair day (it's a rarity, but occasionally it happens, and it's a nightmare). J. Pabs says that he likes her sophistication and how she carries herself, and either he's got really interesting, unique taste in women or he knows how the freak out the other 26 ladies by making unexpected moves. SPICY!
There's some other 1:1 interaction, but let's get to the good stuff: The rose ceremony! Sharleen is safe with her first impression rose, so who else scores 'em?
-Clare (Johnny Pabs digs a baby bump, as we know!)
-Nikki (JP digs the nurse).
-Renee (Will these single parents soon be playing doubles? Do you like tennis puns!)
-Andi (Ombre Elisa Dushku is going to be around for a while, I'm betting).
-Alli (if her Samba Classics got her a rose, I wonder what a pair of Umbros could get her!)
-Chantel (showing some leg pays off!)
-Lauren S. (being a piano-playing Sisyphus is a good thing in Bach land).
-Kelly (JP likes dogs, but probably hates your vocal tone).
-Casandra (here's hoping she can grow a personality by the next time she has to speak).
-Danielle (props to JP for seeing past her awful dress!)
-Chelsie (Johnny Pabs wants to study chemistry with you and I hate myself for writing that!)
Then, Juan Pablo says "Kat" (as in the blonde in the slinky red dress), but Whitesnake Strawberry Shortcake thought he said her name ("Kylie") so she started walking forward. In the words of Chris Harrison, this was UNPRECEDENTED! And super awkward. JP corrects Kylie (effectively saying, "Please stop walking toward me because this rose isn't for you") and gives Kat the rose. Ouch.
-Victoria (despite your blah, yellow dress, you got a rose! Congrats!)
-Christy (word to the wise: never rock a crown again and ease up on the bronzer, Chicago).
-Lucy (the worst girl in the world begins to spin her web of deceit. She accepts the rose, then twirls away because OF COURSE.)
-Elise (blonde vixen walks up to accept her rose like she's accepting an Oscar).
-Amy L. (first one outta the limo is the last one to get a rose, as they say in old Bachelor folklore).
So who is heading back home and dreading the air date for this first episode?
-Lauren H. (Sweet girl, it was too soon. You seem rad but calm down -- you don't need to be married off at 25. But props for rocking half up-half down hair with aplomb.)
-Amy J. (The massage was a bit much... as was your dress, hair, make-up, and personality.)
-Kylie (I'm sure Whitesnake has a big gig at a VFW hall this weekend and they'll be thrilled to have you back, girl. Chin up!)
-Ashley (I guess grown men don't really want to be given gold stars -- weird, huh?)
-Christine (I can only assume that she has a horrible personality cause girl is a knockout with great taste.)
-Valerie (Internalized sexism is almost as ugly as your cowboy boots.)
-Maggie (I'm going to miss that sweet S. Carolina drawl and yet I hardly know you!)
-Lacy (We saw a quick shot of her giving Juan Pablo a puzzle made of a photo of him & Camila. Yikes. Nice intention, but a little bit stalkery.)
-Alexis (Ease up on the foundation, girl! You don't need it!)
This week's recap was a long one, but I had to line 'em up and knock 'em down like they're overly made-up bowling pins looking for love. From the previews, this looks to be a thrilling season filled with make-outs in China and the tropics, shouts of "I hope Juan Pablo dies" from a bathroom stall, and tears. Here we go!