Before tonight’s episode even started, rose lovers, Hannah B. had already gone on quite a “journey” — but this one had nothing to do with finding “love.” No, Hannah’s “journey” was more about her character’s narrative arc. On The Bachelor, she went from “bitchy, gossipy former beauty queen hellbent on taking down her rival, Caelynn” to “generally inoffensive blonde woman” to “relatable heartbroken romantic who just wants someone to choose her every damn day.”
Man, I’m exhausted for her! And we haven’t even gotten to her new character traits, which Chris Harrison lists for us during the premiere’s trying-too-hard intro. She’s “a Bachelorette like we’ve never had before”! She’s “sincere”! “She’s “totally honest,” which is somehow different from “sincere”! And she’s ready to “tell it like it is”!
To be fair, that is “totally honest.” The truth-telling continues during the “how we got here” montage, as Hannah awkwardly leans against a rundown wooden structure and declares, “I don’t know what to do with my hands!” Nor does she have any idea how to look natural while strolling dreamily through a wheat field.
Now that she’s been dumped on TV, Hannah says she’s a changed woman. She no longer feels the need to be perfect. “I know who I am to my core,” she says. “I want my time as the Bachelorette, my experience here to feel different because I am different.” Note to producers: Telling us Hannah is “different” 100 times will not, in fact, make it true.
Let’s meet some of Hannah’s potential husbands!
Tyler, 25: This general contractor from Jupiter, Florida, describes himself as “outgoing” and “expressive.” Don’t just take his word for it…
One reassuring thought: Tyler was almost a dance minor at Wake Forest, but then he thought better of it and got a real job.
Peter, 27: He’s a pilot, which gives me unpleasant flashbacks to Jake Pavelka’s season — but Peter does not seem like a sociopath. Yet.
Mike, 31: Holy crap, I can’t get over this guy’s smile.
Dayum! Plus, Mike’s an Air Force vet, he currently has an actual job (portfolio manager), and he worships his great-grandma. Is it too early to say I love him?
Joe, 30: Hey, it’s another regular Joe from Chicago! Unfortunately for this guy, he does not possess the effortless charm or dazzling good looks of his predecessor, Grocery Joe. But this Joe can sell you a box. Any box.
Matt Donald, 26: (Old) Matt Donald has two parents with a farm (e-i-e-i-o), though his occupation is “medical device salesman.” Matt’s parents and brother are deaf, and everyone in the family loves two things: The Bachelor franchise and Alabama’s Crimson Tide.
Connor, 28: This car salesman (excuse me, “district sales manager for one of the biggest automotive brands in the country”) has a bi-racial background (his dad’s white, his mom is Chinese) and a can-do attitude. I’m also wondering if his grandma would cook me dinner because that looks really good.
Luke P., 24: “I like to think I’m a good-looking guy,” drawls Luke, in between clips of him lifting weights and doing push-ups. “When I was in college, a lot of the girls around me thought so, too, and I definitely took advantage of that.” After a while, though, all the meaningless sex left poor Luke feeling empty inside. Then one day, in the shower…
“God was speaking to me,” says Luke. “I realized that I wasn’t the man that I wanted to be.” Now this Import/Export Manager is ready to find a sacred love with someone other than Jesus.
Time to get moving, other nameless men! The sun is about to set, the flagstones are about to be hosed down, and Chris Harrison is about to give Hannah one last good-luck hug. Let the limo exits begin!
Up first is Garrett, a 27-year-old golf pro from Birmingham, Alabama. “I wanna be your hole-in-one,” he tells Hannah, because honestly… what other golf pun is there? Mike with the beautiful smile is next, and he comes armed with the code he lives by, the 5 c’s: Character, Charm, Charisma, Consistency, and Compassion. I don’t think things like “charm” and “charisma” really qualify as values to live by, but hey, did I mention Mike has a great smile?
And here comes Jed the 25-year-old “singer/songwriter” (a.k.a. unemployed dude) from Nashville. He is not wearing socks, and his shoes are a little too shiny for my taste. “I can’t wait to get to know your heart,” he tells Hannah. Blech. Tyler C. the dancing contractor is next, followed by Dylan, a 24-year-old “tech entrepreneur” who is serving some Mr. Rourke realness in that white dinner jacket.
Looks like Connor S. drew the short straw and was tasked with the inevitable “jumping the fence” intro. (Unlike Colton, though, the 24-year-old investment analyst from Dallas likely had a little help from a step-ladder, or one of the Bachelor Interns giving him a boost). This gag is followed quickly by the first virgin joke of the night, courtesy of Devin, a 27-year-old talent manager. (Rest easy, Hannah — Devin is not a virgin, but he is “a virgin to this experience.”) Now all we need is for someone to announce he hates wearing underwear, and the Colton trifecta will be complete.
Please welcome the night’s biggest douche canoe: 24-year-old John Paul Jones. When he’s not cosplaying as Steff from Pretty in Pink, John Paul Jones spends his time telling people that you should call him John Paul Jones.
While John Paul Jones apparently only knows three words (those would be “John,” “Paul” and “Jones”), the next guy — a 30-year-old math teacher named Brian — is so nervous he’s barely able to speak at all. Software engineer Scott, 28, manages to spit out a few pleasantries — “You just have this awesome personality” — while Matteo, 25, tells Hannah that she takes his breath away. Daron, 25, is the first to walk the wrong way around the fountain on his way into Casa Bachelorette, and Tyler G. reveals that he’s been dreaming about Hannah for weeks (totes not creepy). Thomas the 27-year-old pro basketball player is polite and pleasant, while Matthew, 23 (what the heck is a “car bid spotter”? Anyone?) gets a blink-and-you’ll-miss-him hello.
A string of boring intros usually means some stupid s— is about to happen.
“Hannah, this package isn’t complete without you!” bellows The Box King, before strutting inside. Joey, 33, arrives with an infant car seat that holds… a bottle of champagne. Connor J. compliments Hannah in French; Ryan takes the “roll tide” bullet and wobbles up on roller skates; Hunter the pro surfer asks Hannah to “tie the knot” — of his tie, ha ha. Then comes Grant, who talks to Hannah while chewing a mouthful of hot dog (“It’s a sausage party tonight,” he gurgles). Not only that, producers don’t even give him a cute job title, like “Roller Boy” (for Ryan) or “John Paul Jones” (for John Paul Jones). Grant is simply… “Unemployed.”
And we’re not done with the goofy intros yet! Jonathan, 27, arrives with a pizza and asks Hannah for a “pizza my heart” (oy); Kevin, 27, drops a bunch of footballs and then jokes that he “fumbled” his introduction (oy again); and Luke P. the hot Christian climbs out of the roof of the limo growling like a beast (get it? oy to the third power). We then segue into the rest of the guys who met Hannah on After the Finale Rose: Other Luke, 29 (a.k.a. Guy Who Looks Like Nick Viall); Dustin, 30; and of course Cam the White Rapper, who earned the very first rose of the season for some reason I will never understand.
(Old) Matt Donald arrives on a tractor, sporting a straw hat and singing a version of the barnyard nursery rhyme that includes the lyrics, “Here’s a bro, there’s a bro, everyone’s a bro bro.” (Fun fact: Everyone’s a Bro, Bro was the original title of The Bachelorette.) The second pilot of the night is named Chasen (not a name), and he brings Hannah a paper airplane and a corny pun. “Our relationship’s about to take off.” Not to be outdone, Peter arrives in his full pilot’s uniform, and even unpins the gold wings from his chest and gives them to Hannah as a gift. (That paper airplane is looking pretty chintzy about now, huh Chasen? Also, Chasen is not a name. Thank you.)
Once all the limos have arrived, Hannah pauses for a moment of prayer before entering the mansion. “Lord, in your goodness and your love, make me patient,” she whispers to herself. “Give me the words, help me feel worthy, help me feel smart.” Call me a sucker, but I think this will probably wind up being one of the most “honest” and “sincere” moments of the season.
At last, it’s party time. Luke P. grabs Hannah first, which means now’s as good a time as any to discuss his magically delicious tri-color ensemble.
A pink pocket square, purple tie, and blue jacket! All he’s missing are the yellow moons… but who knows, maybe they’re on his socks. Luke P. comes on very strong: He tells Hannah that when he saw her on Colton’s season he said “that could be my wife,” and even though he doesn’t know her “that well” (read: AT ALL), “I’m really, really into you.” Luke, buddy, what would Jesus do in this situation? Answer: He’d tell you to take it down a notch.
The first “activity” of the evening is what Connor J. calls a “Bachelorette party.” I’m pretty sure he’s never been to one, though, because Connor then asks Hannah to strap a tissue box full of ping-pong balls to her waist via some type of fanny-pack situation… need I go on? Long story short, all’s well that ends with a crown.
“I’m clearly out of shape,” pants a breathless Connor J., after shaking all the junk out of his trunk. “Man,” scoffs Hannah. “Tighten up!” That’s right, chump — DO BETTER!
We’ve reached the “Chris just brought out the First Impression Rose” so “things are getting real” portion of the evening, and you know what that means: It’s time for Jed to bust out his guitar!
Ugh. Where’s John Belushi when you need him? Go peddle your poor man’s Jason Mraz act elsewhere, buddy.
If you’re wondering how we’ve gotten this far into the season premiere without the standard, time-wasting “advice from previous contestants” segment, wonder no longer. Suddenly, the camera cuts to Demi and Katie — Hannah’s fellow contestants from Colton’s season of The Bachelor –sitting in a surveillance van in the Casa Bachelorette driveway. It seems Hannah invited her TV friends to “scope out the guys tonight.” But really, Demi is here to propel the night’s biggest drama: “Earlier today, someone reached out to me on social media saying one of the guys here has a girlfriend,” she reports. “I want to do some further investigating to get to the bottom of it.”
One by one, Demi examines and then exonerates the suitors while on the hunt for Girlfriend Guy. She rules out Matt, The Box King, Peter, and then…
Wait, THAT guy? Yes, Demi is certain that Scott the software sales exec from Chicago is the culprit. With the investigation complete, Harrison pulls Hannah from the party and brings her to Demi, who fills the Bachelorette in on all of the sordid details: “I read messages between the girlfriend and her friends, [with] her talking about how they saw each other Monday before he came. He told her they’re going to be together when this is all over, and that they’re going to go on a trip together.”
Survey says: The Bachelorette does NOT love it.
Hannah storms back into the mixer room and lets her displeasure be known. “Hey Scott — we need to talk,” she snaps. “Come on!” Once they’re alone, Hannah demands to know the truth, and Scott — bless his dumb, dumb heart — tries to spin the situation. At first, Scott denies that the Other Woman is his “girlfriend,” but after listening to Hannah harangue him for being shady, he crumbles like a saltine cracker. “Yes, I was dating a girl before I got on the show, up until Monday if you want me to be completely honest, yes,” he admits, sounding more irritated than he has any right to be. “If that bothers you, I’m sorry. But do I think that this is someone who I’m going to marry long term? No, I don’t.”
Oh, it bothers her, buddy. And bringing up Colton — “You were just madly in love with him,” grumbles Scott — is definitely not the way to go. “You are such a jerk!” huffs Hannah. “It’s time for you to head out.” With that, she marches him to the door and waves him away with disgust. The only thing left for her to do is storm back into the mixer room and inform the assembled suitors that if they’re not here for the Right Reasons™, they need to get the eff out, too.
When none of the guys raise their hands, Hannah excuses herself so she can go cry alone by the pool. Though she said she wanted time alone, Luke P. takes it upon himself to “step up” and go comfort Hannah. After all, “ladies” don’t really know what they want, do they? “I am here for you,” Luke P. assures Hannah. “I am here to win your heart.” Eventually, all the remaining guys get their one-on-one time — and Connor S. even gets the second kiss of the night. (The first one went to Cam the White Rapper, in yet another inexplicable move by Hannah.) The third kiss of the night goes to Luke P., who also gets the First Impression Rose.
Tink tink tink! Chris Harrison and his Butter Knife of Bad has arrived. As it turns out, several men didn’t get the chance to talk to Hannah, because the Scott drama somehow took up a full hour. Will those be the dudes who get sent home? Let’s find out. Rose ceremony roll call: Mike, Connor S., Matthew (not to be confused with Matteo or Old Matt Donald), Connor J., Jed, Dustin, Joey, Devin, Peter, Dylan, Matteo (not to be confused with Matthew or Old Matt Donald), Jonathan, Tyler C., Tyler G., Daron, Luke S., Garrett, Grant, Kevin, and John Paul Jones, along with Cam and Luke P., all advance to the next round of TV dating.
And so we must say fare-thee-well to Old Matt Donald, Brian, Chasen (not a name), Hunter, The Box King, Ryan, and Thomas. Are any of them interesting enough to wind up on Paradise? (LOLOLOL just kidding.) Speaking of interesting, how about that “this season on” promo? Naked bungee jumping! Hannah calling a condom a “rubber!” Premature declarations of love! Hannah sobbing in Chris Harrison’s arms! (Fan fiction alert.) F-bombs! An ambulance! And perhaps the single greatest quote ever to be uttered on this show: “I have had sex, and Jesus still loves me.” Testify!
How did Hannah do, rose lovers? Do you like/like to hate any of the guys in particular? And is there anything more annoying than “ABC — Always Be Cam”? Post your thoughts below, and I’ll see you back here next week.
The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.