The Bachelor is back for Season 17, and I’m here to recap this season for you all, starting with tonight’s two-hour premiere episode. Since it’s the episode where we meet the contestants, naturally some weird stuff goes down. I’ll explain in my recap below!
Meet the Bachelor
Our lone ranger this season is Sean Lowe, the 29-year-old from Dallas, Texas. On The Bachelorette Season 8, he told Emily that he loved her yet ultimately was dumped in third place. I still maintain my position that he looks like a blond, jacked Kris Allen. My impression of him is that he’s a nice, family-oriented guy who doesn’t have much of an exciting personality. Hopefully he’ll prove me wrong by, say, whipping out a tie to satisfy some girl’s Fifty Shades of Grey fantasy? (More on that later.)
From the preview section alone, it already looks like this season won’t differ too much from previous ones. There’s the one crazy girl who is alienated by the other ladies but acts completely differently around Sean. There’s an ambulance. 24 seconds in, and Sean’s shirt is off already. We haven’t even been formally introduced to Sean yet!
As we watch Sean jog on the treadmill, do bicep curls, wipe off his sweaty face, and ponder the meaning of life over a seaside balcony, Sean describes his desire to find a wife and probably said some things about embarking on an amazing journey.
Sean meets with Arie Luyendyk, Jr, the runner-up from Emily’s season of The Bachelorette. Yay, Arie! His hair looks dashing as ever. Arie gives Sean various romance-related advice. He coaches Sean on how to properly say “Will you accept this rose?” and how to break up with a lady.
Sean: “Arie, I’ve had a great time with you, I just don’t see that long-term connection with you. My heart is just leaning towards this other person.”
Arie: “That’s not what you said in the fantasy suite last night.”
Finally, Sean asks for smooching advice from makeout-master Arie. Arie describes the importance of keeping eye contact, touching the other person’s head with your hands, using minimal tongue, and I quote, “You’re not just kissing, you’re kissing with your whole body.” That’s a pretty good way to think of it, I guess. “I gotta write that down,” Sean responds. Already done, buddy, I got your back.
Meet the Contestants
Next, we’re introduced to a select few of the contestants in their hometowns. Chances are, at least half of the final four will be featured here, so pay attention! 26-year-old Desiree designs wedding dresses, 24-year-old Tierra from Denver is absolutely obsessed with Sean (crazy alert), and Robyn is an African-American engineer from Houston. Glad to see some minorities back on the show! Diana is a 31-year-old single mother from Utah, and Sarah is a 26-year-old advertising executive who was born with only one arm; the umbilical cord got wrapped around her left arm while she was still in the womb. Wow, what a backstory. We see her cook and bike with one arm, conveying that she’s completely capable of living a normal life despite missing a limb. There’s also 25-year-old Lesley M, a political consultant from Washington, D.C., 25-year-old Kristy, a model who says that girls will be jealous of her, and AshLee, a 32-year-old professional organizer from Houston who was adopted and lived in multiple foster homes as a child. Probably the most… eccentric is 28-year-old Ashley P., a hair stylist who says she doesn’t know why she’s still single. Oh dear God, this is the girl who was in all of the previews, isn’t it. She describes her obsession with Fifty Shades of Grey. Maybe that’s why she’s single. ”I totally hope Sean rips my clothes off and spanks me,” she says. This will be an interesting relationship…
Then, the 25 girls step out of the limo and meet Sean. Jackie, a 25-year-old cosmetics consultant from Florida, puts on red lipstick and kisses Sean on the cheek, proclaiming that she’d like to leave a mark before the other girls do. 29-year-old Selma from California, the next woman out of the limo, takes a tissue out of her cleavage and wipes the stain off her cheek. “WHAT, THAT’S SO FAKE!” my mom yells from across the room. Good thinking, mother. Kelly, a 28-year-old cruise ship entertainer sings a song to him. “Oh my gosh, she’s crazy,” my mom comments. Ashley P. asks Sean if he’s read any good books lately and then pulls a tie out of her cleavage while Sean stares slack-jawed, unsure of what to say or do. Robyn does some backflips but slips on the last one and lands on her knees. Yikes, that’s embarrassing. Paige, 25, was on last season of Bachelor Pad but was eliminated on the first night. Apparently she’s a jumbotron operator, which was a weird thing for me to see on the screen because that’s the name of my sports blog! (Google it if you’re curious.) She’s wearing a lot more makeup than she did on Bachelor Pad 3, so I didn’t recognize her at first. 24-year-old Tierra has a tattoo of an open heart on her finger and wants a guy to complete it. Okay, that’s adorable. There’s an awkward silence (and a commercial break) as Sean asks her to wait while he goes inside.
As we come back from commercial, Sean tells host Chris Harrison he’d like to bend the rules a little bit. He returns and gives Tierra a rose (already!), noting that he doesn’t think there’s much in waiting until the rose ceremony. He says he hopes it doesn’t create any tension among the girls. Obviously that’s going to make the other girls jealous. Amanda, 26, a Californian model, holds both of Sean’s hands and vows to get the awkward silence of a relationship out of the way immediately by just standing there and smiling at him. When it’s over, he says it didn’t feel that awkward. Was I the only one who heard crickets chirping?! Desiree brings two pennies for them to make wishes in the fountain together. Lesley M. comes out with a football in one arm. Oh, that’s been done before. However, she switches it up a bit and instead gets a good view of his behind for a solid ten seconds, pretending to be the quarterback behind the center. That would make a good screenshot. “I was just admiring the view,” she says. Lindsay, a 24-year-old substitute teacher, comes out in a wedding dress and veil. She kisses him full on the lips. Oh dear, she’s drunk already. Just as Sean thinks all of the ladies are in the mansion, Chris drops the bomb that there’s a 26th lady, and it’s Kacie B. from Ben’s season! I never watched Ben’s season, but she seems nice enough. The girls’ claws are out as they recognize who she is.
Inside the mansion, Sean and Kacie talk about what a good time they had the last time they hung out. Sean and Desiree have a nice talk about their siblings, and he hands her a rose. The girls are getting nervous. “I mean, you’re stunning, but it’s not the first impression rose, it’s just the first rose,” says the girl with the third rose. Oh chill out, already, WHO CARES. AshLee, Selma, Robyn, Katie, Catherine (who looks Filipina!), Jackie, Brooke, Sarah, Diana and Leslie also receive roses before the rose ceremony. Lindsay, meanwhile, wants to show Sean how much of a goofball she is but wishes she were more sober. She asks for another kiss as they have their “first dance,” but he obviously declines politely.
Ashley P., the Fifty Shades of Grey girl, ends up getting absolutely wasted and dirty dances around the house. This gives us some good one-liners by Sean:
Sean to Ashley P.: “I have a rape whistle in case I’m in trouble.”
Sean to the camera: “Fifty Shades of Grey may have become 50 shades of drunk tonight.”
As the night goes on, Sarah becomes more dejected. “Sometimes I feel like I don’t deserve what anyone else gets,” she admits. “Guys feel like it’s easier just to date a girl with two arms. I’m a pretty strong person and I can rationalize things pretty well … the only thing that comes to mind as to why I’m still single is that I only have one arm.” Awwww, darling. That breaks my heart. She’s open to talking about her arm and doesn’t want to be perceived as disabled. “I have the same heart, and I just don’t want you to feel uncomfortable,” she tells Sean. He gives her a rose. YAY! “It’s validation that I’m good enough and interesting enough … it’s a huge symbol of empowerment and love.” Okay, I like her a lot and wish her the best.
Sean had already handed out 12 roses, and the girls who accept roses at the rose ceremony are Amanda, Lesley M, Kacie, Kristy, Daniella, Taryn, and Lindsay. I wonder if Lindsay was put through for entertainment value or if Sean actually liked her. The women who were sent home were Lauren, Paige, Ashley P., Lacey, Kelly, KeriAnn, and Ashley H. Poor Paige; it doesn’t seem like she has much luck on these Bachelor-related shows!
Previews for the upcoming season reveal that Tierra is the girl who all of the other contestants hate, and Desiree has either a boyfriend or a crazy ex that Sean meets. Tierra also ends up in a neck brace and on a stretcher.
Well, Sean is still kind of boring, but he’s getting more and more likable. He also seems sincere, which is something a disillusioned viewer like me appreciates. What do you all think of the premiere episode? Which ladies are you rooting for? What was your favorite icebreaker? (Mine: probably Tierra’s open heart tattoo, but Desiree’s fountain pennies were cute too.) Let me know in the comments!