The premiere is always kind of strange in all the right ways. The stage has been set right out of the gate. Rachel is being promoted as the darling of the Bachelor conglomerate who has won the hearts of the American people, and honestly, it’s true. This girl has that je ne sais quoi. She’s joyful and kind, but she is also willing to be sassy and sour, not just classy and sweet. These are her words. Respect. The episode opens with Rachel just doing her thing, shooting hoops, playing with Copper the pup, getting hugs from two old white ladies in the park, the usual. Who doesn’t love this girl? I love a lot of things about Big Rach, as Raven calls her, but I really respect that she is a strong, educated, powerhouse. She’s got a solid career. This show isn’t *it* for her. It’s definitely a thing, but it’s not everything. Honestly, her being skeptical as hell about the “process” of falling in love in a controlled environment on live TV is so RELATABLE. Nick did not deserve her, but we, on the other hand, do deserve an amazing bachelorette. So thank you, Nick, thank you, ABC, and thank you, Rachel Lindsay.
Chris Harrison’s voiceover tells us that Rachel is the queen who has it all. She’s got “great friends, a loving family, and a strong career. All she’s missing is someone to share her life with.” Heaven forbid someone this qualified isn’t paired off with someone. It’s the only thing she’s missing, guys! Then she’ll be complete!
It’s tradition that the current Bachelor/Bachelorette has a meeting of the minds to get some trite advice on how to tackle the journey to find love. Last year my girl, Jojo Fletcher, convened with former Bachelorettes, Kaitlyn Bristowe, Desiree Hartsock Siegfried and Ali Fedotowsky, to soak up as much sage wisdom as possible. Jojo was the doe-eyed freshman hanging onto every word from the big girl seniors who have seen some shit. Rachel, on the other hand, brings back her nearest and dearest from her time on Nick’s season. She’s not getting advice from Bachelorettes gone by. And it is exactly this move that I fucking DIE for. It’s the sisterhood. It’s the friendship. What’s even better is that we had no idea this particular group of ladies was even a thing thanks to carefully curated/produced footage. It’s Corrine and Jasmine who were portrayed as rivals, it’s precious Raven and foregettable Astrid, and semi-memorable Whitney, and beloved Kristina. And of course, the dolphin loving, Nicholas Cage fearing, Jersey girl, Alexis. I would have loved to hear what advice Jojo passed on to Rachel. Maybe something about how to deal with haters knocking the big life decision you made in the public eye…(I will say that I have come around to appreciate and accept Jojo and Jordan. I am buying what they are selling on snapchat: they are real and happy together.) BUT instead of having Jojo return to the mansion, Rachel brings back her girls; and this move makes her more human and loveable to me. That shared experience of being a part of this insane show is enough to bond you for life, but Rachel didn’t walk away with just one Bach Bestie. She’s got her girls. She has created a family environment amidst a battlefield of female competition. Raven sums it up and locks it down with my favorite line of the episode: “You pull the best out of us, you brought us together even though we are all so different.” That’s what’s got me hooked, folks.
Rachel acknowledges that people come on the show for different reasons, and of course I love her calling out the games from within. A little breath of reality within reality TV. Rachel just asks that people are open, regardless of their motive, because hey, maybe you’ve found an opportunity that can do both, (ie: snag you a mate for life and springboard your personal brand).
Now for the gents…
Josiah…He is someone that I think could take this home. His background story was maybe the heaviest I’ve heard. His older brother was bullied as a child for being overweight. Josiah came home one day after school, and his brother had hung himself in a tree in their backyard. Seven year old Josiah cut his brother down from that tree. After experiencing such a traumatic loss he turned to older boys in his community to fill that brother gap, but unfortunately he got mixed up with some kids who were up to no good. Josiah ended was arrested for burglary at age 12, but it was this experience that inspired his career path. He is now a prosecuting attorney, and he came across as very genuine. I am eager to see more of this strapping, young man.
Bryan went hard in the paint last night. He is Columbian so he inherently has more sexy swag than most human males. He scored some valuable time with Rachel and they went at it with their mouths in a big way. Seriously those kisses were just BIG. Snacks, even. Bryan is not taking things despacito, but he did something right because Rachel gifted him the first impression rose. She claimed she didn’t want to kiss anyone on the first night, but when all of that papi chulo is coming at you, you just gotta get it girl.
We have an Iggy and a Diggy…Diggy is a fashion guru, he owns 575 pairs of sneakers. I own 575 of nothing. Not even dollars. Or individual grains of rice. Iggy opted out of socks for his grand entrance onto the show.
Of course we had a full range of antics: a firefighter “sweeping Rachel off her feet”, some dude breaking the ice- literally, a marching band, a Steve Urkle to Stefan Urquelle transformation, an ambulance entrance because poor Rachel might be “bored to death.” Alex the undercover nerd rolled up with a vacuum cleaner, referencing some of Rachel’s b roll footage from her intro on Nick’s season. Here are the more remarkable reindeer games:
Jonathan, ie: Tickle Monster. This was terrifying for me. He smiled the entire time he was setting Rachel up to move her hands and arms in front of her like she’s a Disney princess setting a bird free, but then he goes in and tickles her, still smiling. She is like oh shit I’m ticklish and then in the blink of an eye, Jonathan’s face goes from immature, strange delight to a blank, soulless stare as he states: I will see you inside. Did someone check this psycho’s luggage for torture devices?
Demario put those tickets to Vegas in the garbage. No, you’re not about to up and leave to elope with Rachel. No, the show is not going to get cancelled because you’re about to close the deal right now. No, do not offer seats to your fellow contestants for your wedding that is definitely not happening. No, you are not the number one seed pick. Yes, you got too drunk and yes, you’re pissing everybody off.
Lee. Lee. Lee. When we see a guy with a guitar, we feel hope that he might be something closely resembling the charming, silly, down home, Southern, goofball James Taylor. Lee, unfortunately, is the worst. I am convinced he bought a Rosetta stone course on how to sound like a characterized country singer. His singing voice was grating on my ears as he sings: I ain’t Bieber, but I’m a believer tonight. Well he’s right, he’s not Bieber. And that song sucked. Bahhhh. (read: bye).
Fred attended the same elementary school as Rachel. He had the yearbook to prove it. He was in the 3rd grade when Rachel was in the 8th grade. She was his camp counselor. I can’t unlearn that information. But wait would I fuck one of my campers now…
Adam rolled up with his side piece, Adam Jr, i.e. a stuffed mini me puppet. Adam Jr. is from Lyon, France and he got more screen time than some of the actual contestants. I love that Kenny the Vegas wrestler/dad recognized Adam Junior’s dope fade. Pay respect where respect is due.
Blake E. Yup, there were two Blakes for a second. He definitely has the little man/little dick syndrome of Alex from Jojo’s season and he loves the rules, and he knows what is right and what is wrong. He is a self-righteous trainwreck, oh and he’s had some practice in the bedroom, thanks for not asking. Women have commented on the amazingness of his penis, and he works out a lot, ladies, and that boosts testosterone, and in turn his sex drive. Come on, there’s one in every bunch. I just hope Blake doesn’t have his masters in Mental Health Counseling.
And may the Lord have mercy on Lucas. This wahboom thing is some of the most horrific human behavior I’ve seen to date, and I work in the restaurant industry. This guy makes Daniel from Jojo’s season and Bachelor in Paradise look like a functioning adult. Lucas is Jim Carrey from the Mask, or Jim Carrey as Ace Ventura. You tell me what’s worse: his belly rolling in the mirror, his renditions of jazz standards, screaming waboom, or announcing through a megaphone that one testicle is larger than the other…and people wanna shut down Planned Parenthood…smh…Lucas reminds righteous Blake, everyone has a little waboom in them. What if he’s right, guys?!
And then just like that, 8 hours later, the sun comes up, we say bye bye to a few fellas, Milton loses his shit and cries on camera. Maybe you shouldn’t have aggressively purred into Rachel’s ear. On more than one occasion.
But for real, the destinations this season look lit.
Whiskey neat and fly sneaks,