“This is the most important race of my life.”
-Arie Luyendyk, Bachelor and Race Car Driver
And what a race it’s going to be! With only 8 weeks to find the love of his life, it’s basically a reckless, speedy car ride around the Bachelor race track – probably more harrowing than some of the shit this late 30’s salt and pepper bae has seen behind the wheel.
To warm us up, ABC took the liberty of catching everyone up on Arie’s blindsiding heartbreak from Emily Maynard’s season of The Bachelorette. All you need to know from Arie’s debut on the franchise 5 years ago is that:
- He’s Dutch, ie: he is capable of expressing physical affection towards men in a beautiful, fearless way that most American men cannot. He kisses his father and brothers. None of this sup bro back pat shit. This is embracing at it’s finest.
- He definitely comes across as earnest, and it was pretty tough to watch Emily Maynard say goodbye to him. They had a seemingly strong, authentic connection complete with sexy kisses and Arie had no fucking idea that the break-up was coming. It looks like Emily even surprised herself with her decision to cut him loose. The runner-up experience from hell. Poor guy.
- While on Emily Maynard’s season of The Bachelorette, Arie possessed a Peter-like vibe of not loving the fuckery of the douchelords in the house, but pretty much kept to himself and kept it civil with the other dudes. Not a pot stirrer. Respect.
- During one group date with his fellow men on Emily’s season he had the opportunity to reenact scenes from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet where he had the pleasure of playing the nurse, i.e. a female character. This proved to be very stressful for Arie, which pissed me off. Put a lady in a suit, and she’s a powerhouse, put a man in a frock reminiscent of Belle’s provincial life, and he’s got his dick in a twist. Nothing to be afraid of, sweetie. It’s just a dress. Also, his theatrical performance during this group date confirms that Arie is probably definitely distantly related to John Travolta. Hairspray anyone…?
We then have some time to catch up on what has happened to Arie since his post-Bachelor hibernation. He’s dialed back on race car driving, and is now a realtor. Arie is lucky enough to get a visit from his teammate from Emily’s season, Sean Lowe, as well as his wife, Catherine, and their presh kid, Samuel. Sean was named Bachelor immediately following his and Arie’s rejection by Emily Maynard, and he is thriving post Bachelor Franchise. Goregeous wife, kid #1 waddling around, and kid #2 in the oven. Adorable.
Then comes the highlight reel of the wide variety of women Arie has coming his way. Caroline, a single mom from Portland, ME, artfully spreads PB and J over organic whole wheat bread for her child. This seemingly demure 29 year old arrives to the mansion with a whole new vibe…
We see 26 year old Caroline, who also happens to be in real estate, donning a cut-out dress that bares her slim waist while showing a lovely home to a young family. Caroline’s been a realtor for 1 year total and has sold 5 million dollars in real estate. You do the math.
23 year old Maquel is snapping professional photos of a married couple, instructing the groom to gently kiss his bride on the forehead as all three of them huddle under the lace of the bride’s flipped up lengthy veil. #art
We meet Nysha, an orthopedic nurse who lives for blood, guts, and adrenaline.
And then there’s Raven Gates’ homegirl, Tia, from Weiner, AK. In her town of 716 people, residents quickly learn to make their own fun with guns and fishing poles, her words not mine. Of course before leaving Tia’s hometown, we get a glimpse of Raven in her lil boutique, Grey Suede, sending hopeful well wishes to her Arkansista.
And then there’s Kendall Long. She’s collects taxidermy, and she got roped into serenading a stuffed seal whilst strumming a ukulele and performing an original song about preserved animal carcasses. Are you having fun yet?
Bekah from LA is a full time nanny, part time rock climber. She has a pixie cut, and her age is a mystery.
We are introduced to Marikh during her boxing lesson in the park. As she socks her coach’s punching bags, her voiceover explains that she’s not accustomed to pursuing guys. She’s typically the one being pursued. Good for you, girl. We see the restaurant she runs with her mom, and we have just enough time to learn that mom is trying to be a grandma ASAP. Poor Marikh was clearly set up for a terrible, in poor taste comment about Arie being ready for her spice. Horrific.
Then there’s Krystal, an online fitness and wellness coach who just wants to see everyone reach their potential and become the best versions of themselves. She has an ear to ear grin slapped on her face during her entire intro footage. We get a glimpse of her pain as she tells us her brother has been homeless for two years, and he isn’t ready to receive help from his family yet. Because of this Krystal has been inspired to help the homeless. We witness her gift two full brown paper bag lunches to a couple of men in the park.
Before the limo exits kick off, Chris Harrison rolls through and meets Arie on the driveway of the Bachelor mansion. Chris asks the million dollar question that has me on the brink of spontaneous combustion: how is it possible such a strapping, accomplished, gentleman like yourself is not wified the fuck up?! It’s just so crazy?! It doesn’t make sense?! Does. Not. Compute. Arie remains calm and doesn’t clock Chris Harrison for this garbage question that he probably gets asked constantly. What a waste of time. If you don’t know why this is a terrible question, I can’t help you.
Finally it’s time for these 29 women to reveal themselves to Arie. Caroline the realtor is the first out of the limo, and she is dressing for the job she wants: Arie’s wife. She’s rockin’ all white and adorably greets Arie with a “hi handsome” upon getting out of the car. She continues to nervous fast talk at Arie, which I found it very endearing. She’s ten years younger than Arie, but I have my money on this one.
Then arrives momma Chelsea in all black. What a lovely contrast to the previous bride to be. Most of her back is out in her sexy gown, and Arie’s hands are happy lingering on her bare skin as she goes in for a hug. There’s lots of intense eye contact from Caroline, complete with thoughtful pregnant pauses to create a false sense of mystery.
Tia gifts Arie a tiny weiner and remarks that she hopes that he doesn’t already have one. Who’s fucking idea was this? Almost as good as Dean’s intro…
Bri whips a softball at Arie. Fortunately he catches it.
Krystal, the permanently smiling online wellness coach, does a brief meditation exercise with Arie. After some deep breaths, Krystal heads inside to the mansion and we hear Arie admit under his breath that he really needed that. Girl, we are going to need this mental health magic throughout the entire damn season. Hope you’re game.
Jessica later shows up with a gratitude rock. Useless. We’ve already meditated.
None of these entrances really rocked my world, and if we are being honest, it’s just a shitty, highly embarrassing formality. The 16 hour cocktail party is where things really gets juicy.
“Lets just say the hair is down, the boobs are out.”
There’s a lot of hyper curated In-The-Moment interviews where the contestants express their overwhelming concern with the sheer amount of ladies that are rolling up to the mansion. This is a load of produced horse shit. These ladies aren’t stupid. They know they are on the Bachelor, a show that begins with roughly 30 women vying for the same dude. DO NOT set these women up to look like they don’t know what the fuck is up.
Chelsea is instantly everyone’s least favorite when she “steals” Arie away for some 1:1 time first. How dare she! Who fucking cares. She takes this opportunity to share that she sacrificed a lot to be here, but she doesn’t explain what the fuck that really means. Psssst! She’s got kids, Arie! Again, whatever. He can handle it. He was a contestant on Emily Maynard’s season of The Bachelorette, and Emily is a mom; and, prior to “dating” Emily, he lived with his gf who had children.
Then it’s just a montage of Arie interacting with the ladies. He’s car racing in little tyke cars on the driveway with Brittany, he’s eating pizza beside the fire with Caroline, Jenna massages Arie’s feet in a portable pedicure spa device. Overall chaos as the ladies are trying to make a lasting impression.
Of course as the night progresses, Chelsea decides that it’s time to remind Arie that they did in fact have some 1:1 time at the start of this charade hour hours ago. She interrupts Krystal the life coach to get her double dose of Arie. Krystal, still fucking smiling, grins and bears Chelsea’s interruption, but how long is that patience and positivity going to last?
Bekah, the ageless nanny, takes Arie outside to sit in some old, red car that is supposed to be cool and sexy. I’m already tired of all this car shit. This youngin’ poses the powerful question, what are your three favorite things about being alive. Arie got roasted for his answers (excitement, good food, good company), but Jesus Christ, this man is meeting 30 women at once, he is trying to keep everything straight, he’s on camera, and this woman who is probably at least 14 years younger than him is asking him hard hitting life questions right out the gate. Brutal. It’s a good question, but it sounded like she practiced in front of the mirror and like she’s just offering this cool universe life talk shit as a way to be like omg we connected on another level. Don’t try so hard, but also, thank you for being here and your hair is fucking awesome.
And then comes the biggest fucking crock of shit of all time. The first impression rose comes out. Cue the panic. Arie grabs the rose and pulls Chelsea aside. This was so clearly a production set up, and I am so NOT concerned/deeply bored. This whole thing is a cheap shot at creating “drama.” There’s no way she was Arie’s choice. It just wasn’t. MOVING ON!
As the sun rises, it’s time for Arie to say some goodbyes. These ladies were set free from Camp Bachelor: Jessica, Amber, Nysha, Olivia, Lauren J, Brittane J, Brianna, Ali. Since their tearful exit they have organized and created a social media presence as a unit. They are The Rosé Girls. Good for them. Make this whole train wreck work for YOU, ladies.
In the spirit of honoring bravery and the fact that all of these contestants are human women with feelings, here are some tweets from former Bachelorette, Kaitlyn Bristowe.
It’s only the beginning…
Imagine going into debt from packing suitcases of cute outfits, getting in a limo to meet the man of your dreams, havin a few cocktails in a mansion.. To being told nah, I have like 20 other girls to choose from, then hopping on the bus of shame at 8am. You would cry too.
— Kaitlyn Bristowe (@kaitlynbristowe) January 2, 2018
People are always like ugh they barely knew him why is she crying. Ummm you do it too. Just on your couch in the privacy of your own home. These are the brave ones.
— Kaitlyn Bristowe (@kaitlynbristowe) January 2, 2018