The Bachelor (2019): Season 23, Episode 1

By: Jenna Zine (Six Pack) –

Hello, Rose Lovers! I hope you have all gathered your loved ones, kissed them goodbye, and bid farewell to anything productive happening on Monday nights because The Bachelor is back and here to take you by the balls with no mercy. That’s right – the 23rd season of the franchise kicked off the other night with a THREE-HOUR premiere. And yet… nothing happened. Let’s read on about the abyss of the limo arrivals, while we ponder the meaning of life. The least dramatic recap begins now!

A Toast

Ah, Colton Underwood – he of square jaw and cornfed earnestness. This blue-eyed, bushy-tailed hunk dominated the majority of Becca Kufrin’s Bachelorette season before she kicked him to the curb, and that (alleged) heartbreak earned him the spot we find him in now – as the lead of The Bachelor, with his pick of a bevy of 20-something social media influencers and Southern beauty queens. (For newbies who need to catch up: 1. It’s not too late – save yourselves! 2. If you do want to sell your soul to ABC, which I highly recommend, you can get caught up on Colton with my “precap” recap here.)

Normally the show kicks off with advice for the new Bachelor from previous contestants (was anyone shocked former Bachelor/born-again virgin Sean Lowe wasn’t tapped to have a chat with Colton?) before Chris Harrison queues up the lady limo arrivals. This time, for reasons unknown (umm… the reason was ad sales), they stretched out the sequin parade by SIXTY MINUTES, instead “treating us” to “live” viewing parties across America. Thusly, that gave producers a chance to also feature: Jason Tartick (who’s blatantly gunning for Harrison’s hosting gig), Blake Horstmann (robbed of the Bachelor spot), JoJo Fletcher (I covet her ponytail), Kaitlyn Bristowe (smarting from her recent breakup with hottie Shawn Booth), Ashley Iaconetti & Jared Haibon (engaged!), and Krystal Nielson & Chris “Goose” Randone (Goose is a piece of toxic garbage).

Why did the format suddenly shift from Colton’s journey to Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve? Other than lining the network’s pockets with revenue from all those extra commercials, the darker reason brings a chill of fear: do they not have enough content that they had to rely on Krystal and Goose marinating in a hot tub for entertainment? This is truly terrifying.

Beer Two

We get a few takeaway interviews and scenes with a few of the women in their respective hometowns. They include:

Cassie: she loves surfing, people, and her job as a speech pathologist! Wholesome doesn’t even begin to describe her. It’s like if a sunflower was embodied in human form.

Hannah B: she’s Miss Alabama 2018! She’s also stilted AF and calls herself “the hot mess express.” What in the what?

Katie: a dancer from L.A. who loves sushi. Way hot and clearly too advanced for Colton.

Heather: another So Cal gal and fellow virgin. Will these two fumble in the dark together?

Onyeka: from Dallas, via Nigeria. Her parents have been married for 35 years, and she’s hoping to have the same luck with Underwood. Hope you own a four-leaf clover farm ‘cuz you’re gonna need all the luck you can get! Odds are slim of Colton actually making it down the aisle with anyone from this show.

Nicole: hailing from Miami. Says her brother is “her world” and that Colton is hotter than Brad Pitt. Depends on the Pitt era you’re speaking of, but I am willing to entertain your argument.

Kirpa: a dental hygienist who “hopes Colton flosses,” and believes it “would be a good experience” to clean his teeth. If this is as hot as it gets, no wonder they needed an extra hour of fake footage.

Demi: offers the best logic over concerns of Colton’s much ballyhooed virginity with a brilliant analogy about cupcakes – how can you know what you like if you’ve only had vanilla? You also need to try chocolate and strawberry! Demi reveals that she’s a confetti cupcake who “hasn’t dated a virgin since she was 12.” Now we’re getting somewhere! She also takes a conveniently-timed call from her mother – who happens to be phoning from federal prison (where she’s doing time for embezzlement). You’re not alone if you’re hoping her mother’s release coincides with hometowns!

Beer Three

Were you thinking the show was going to start now? Ha-ha – you are so funny! No – it’s actually time to catch up with the most popular Bachelor/Bachelorette couples and their kids, because naturally. Those would be:

Jason & Molly Mesnick: with one child between them and a son from Jason’s previous relationship, this family is going the distance, despite their dramatic beginning.

Evan Bass & Carly Waddell: from the grossest jalapeño kiss in history to a darling baby girl. Who would’ve thunk it? (The baby has three brothers from Evan’s previous marriage).

JP Rosenbaum & Ashley Herbert: JP still seems to adore Ashley, which brings joy to my heart. They have two cute kids.

Desiree Hartsock-Siegfried & Chris Siegfried: pass me a shot of espresso, for these two bore me to tears. They have one baby and another one on the way. Woot!

Jade Roper-Tolbert & Tanner Tolbert: Former Playboy model Jade still brings the heat and makes Tanner hotter by association. One gorgeous baby girl has made them a family.

Trista & Ryan Sutter: if you were thinking Trista wasn’t going to muscle her way back on TV, you don’t know this show. Of course, we need a cameo for the couple credited with starting it all. This round of their five seconds of fame includes screen time for their kids. Their daughter chirps, “Our parents met on The Bachelor!” And the son responds, “I thought they met in college. It’s weird.” Dollar bills, meet therapy.

Arie Luyendyck Jr. & Lauren Burnham: Of course, the most recent former Bachelor has got to chime in! He and Lauren (his mute vanilla prize) just wed last weekend and are already preggo with a baby girl. Please tell me her middle name will be “I love that!”

Beer Four

We get yet another viewing party check-in, as well as more words from Chris Harrison who has the nerve to say, “I wish I didn’t have to work tonight so I could hang with my Bachelor family.” This is a man whose job it is to ferry an ever-shrinking bouquet of roses to the lead, pop in every once in a while to state the obvious, as well as travel to various exotic locations to do a rinse and repeat of the above. He is said to earn $343.73 per word and $246.24 per second, or $14,774.28 per minute. Gee, I’m really sorry you didn’t get the night off and instead must succumb to this arduous hosting gig!

Anyhow, it is FINALLY time to start the show. Limos are pulling up, filled to the brim with ballroom-ready women. Here we go:

Demi: first out of the limo with the saucy line, “I haven’t dated a virgin since I was 12, but I’m willing to give it another try.” Hope Colton likes cupcakes!

Tayshia: not much of note yet, but we’ll see!

Heather: has never been kissed and doesn’t obtain a smooch here.

Nicole: speaks in Spanish, telling our Bachelor half her heart is in Havana, but the other half hopes to be with him. Reunite this woman with her atria and ventricles, Colton!

Caelynn: she maybe Miss N. Carolina, but the ultimate title she hopes to win is Mrs! A feminist to the end, this one.

Sydney: tells Colton, “I had to quit my job to come here.” No pressure!

Elyse: a lot of nerves, not a lot of vibe.

Tahzjuan: hopes she’s the “one” for him!

Cassie: shows up with a box of fake butterflies to represent her nerves. He keeps one. Crush sequence, initiate!

Kirpa, Caitlin, Courtney, Katie: one said nothing, one “popped his cherry,” yet another gave him a Georgia peach, and one gal gave him a deck of cards in hopes of snatching his V card. Just do it in the driveway already!

Alex D: showed up in a sloth costume. It was as bizarre, painful, and awkward as it sounds. Double down with the vision I couldn’t shake of Furries masturbating and you have an all-around miserable moment.

Alex B: showed up sick, using cue cards to communicate due to her sore throat. Honey just stay home – I promise you he’s not worth it.

Onyeka, Erika, Hannah B., Angelique: sequins for all!

Tracy: a wardrobe stylist who showed up in a cop car as The Fashion Police. She’s still on my shit list for mentioning Queen Bey and hot dogs in the same sentence.

Devin, Revian, Nina: Revian speaks Mandarin, Nina speaks Croatian, and Devin is from Oregon.

Bri: the one who created a lot of hoopla online when a preview showed her speaking in a fake Australian accent in order to “stand out.” All show, no go. Really not as big of a deal as it was worked up to be.

Laura, Hannah G., Annie: wears a red dress, gives him an empty box to represent his love of free-balling, quizzes him on football.

Jane, Erin: gives him a photo of their dogs photoshopped together, pulls up in a Cinderella carriage.

Catherine: the Florida DJ hands over the thing she loves the most – her 10-year old dog, Lucy – for Colton to take care of. Not at all awkward or inappropriate! (The show also burns more minutes showing Harrison walking the dog. There’s so much airtime to kill that we literally have to watch this abandoned pup try to take a shit).

Beer Five

Did I mention we had to sit through two totally random viewing party couples get engaged? Because that’s a thing that happened. FML.

Now it’s cocktail party time! Demi grabs our Bachelor first and the gals act indignant. This happens every season, but really – how did they think it was going to go down? Demi’s confidence knows no bounds – she talks about how she’s sure Colton has a crush on her, not the other way around. I forgot it was your show, Demi – please proceed!

Erika is next and wastes no time asking Colton why he’s a virgin. He gives the same answer we’ve heard before – football, timing, football, wanting it to be special, football. Afterwards he and Hannah G. engage in some deep breathing exercises. Coincidence?

Miss N. Carolina reveals she got dumped in Thailand. Colton laughs and says he got dumped before Thailand. The beauty queen lands the first kiss!

Chris Harrison, the overworked host, pops in to drop off the First Impression Rose. Shizz just got real, y’all!

Colton gets a dance lesson in the driveway with someone whose name I did not write down, and Elyse takes him fishing. “Fishing” consists of one dead salmon floating in the water and it’s not like they’re going to drain the pool afterwards…

Beer Six

Catherine, the Florida DJ/Camille Grammar doppelgänger (thanks Andrea!) drags him away from various women FOUR different times. It’s obvious she’s been encouraged to play the villain role and leans into it unapologetically. Two things are clear: 1. She’s there for an extended stay, and so is her dog. 2. She’ll obviously be around until the dreaded 2:1 date, where her bags will finally be packed. (Also, Catherine says she’s 26-years old, and if you believe that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you).

Cassie teaches Colton sign language, it’s Katie he kisses, but it’s Hannah G. who nabs the First Impression Rose! What a roller coaster. Not.

We’re briefly forced to watch a Chris Harrison career respective before being allowed to view the Rose Ceremony. Here’s who’s staying:

Caelynn, Katie, Alex B., Hannah B., Onyeka, Caitlin, Annie, Kirpa, Heather, Elyse, Tayshia, Courtney, Cassie, Demi, Nina, Erika, Sydney, Bri, Angelique, Tracy, Nicole, and Catherine, naturally. Also staying: Hannah G. with the first rose.

That means we’re saying goodbye to: Revian, Alex D. (the Sloth – bidding you a slow crawl to obscurity), Devin, Cinderella Erin, Jane, Laura, and Tahzjuan. Take care, ladies!

Verdict

Let’s pray they don’t have to rely on past contestants to flesh out the rest of Colton’s season. If I never see Goose and Krystal again, it will still be too soon. That’s it, for now! Don’t forget to follow me for live-tweets during the broadcast and tune in for episode recaps here at MovieBoozer every Wednesday.

The Bachelor (2019): Season 23, Episode 1 Drinking Game

Take a Drink: for every viewing party.

Take a Drink: for each time Jason Tartick jockeys for Chris Harrison’s job.

Take a Drink: for every pun about virginity.

Do a Shot: for all those cute Bachelor babies, because that seems appropriate!

About Jenna Zine

Jenna Zine is a writer, unashamed Bachelor franchise recapper & live-tweeter (@JennaZine1), drummer, and occasional standup comic. She's probably somewhere complaining about her bangs. Find more at www.jennazine.com

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