Alright kids, it’s time to kick off the most dramatic season of The Bachelor… ever! Will Arie Luyendyk Jr. find true love? Will there be cat fights? How many Laurens are in this season? Most importantly, will I have to look up “Luyendyk” every single time I write a recap, or will this Dutch last name become ingrained in my soul? Let’s find out!
We begin with a close-up Arie’s handsome mug while he muses about love, saying, “This is the most important race of my life.” Get it? It’s funny and deep because he is a semi-retired racecar driver! And I am already crying because the next 3 months of my life are going to be steeped in puns about sleek vehicles. And that’s just the women. Hey oh!
Before we get to an hour + of limo exits, we first must recap who in the hell Arie is, since 99% of Bachelor Nation (card carrying member, right here!) were assuming Peter Kraus was going to be the man we’d be swooning over all season. Instead we’ve got Luyendyk Jr., who competed for Emily Maynard’s heart against Jef Holm (yes, Jef with one “f”) on the 8th season of The Bachelorette. Arie claims that Emily broke his heart – and only now, 5 YEARS after briefly dating on television for a few weeks, is he ready to move on. This is supposed to make Luyendyk Jr. seem sensitive. Personally all I see is a sea of red flags.
A toast to Emily, Arie, and the love that wasn’t meant to be. [Photo Credit]
But you guys, he has recovered from the miasma of love lost and rebounded spectacularly! What a triumph for a handsome white man. And here I was, so worried. We find that while the driving portion of his life has slowed down (insert requisite pun here), he has ramped up his career with a lucrative gig selling luxury real estate in Phoenix, Arizona. Also, we are again prompted to note that Arie is 36 years old and ready for marriage. He is successful and sensitive! The show cannot remind us of this enough!
Sean and Catherine Lowe – who met and subsequently married after Sean chose Catherine as his bride on Lowe’s season of The Bachelor – drop by with their adorable son, Samuel, to taunt Arie about the family life that he does not yet have. Quick, Arie – you are getting old! Procreate with a stranger that ABC has provided for you, posthaste!
Arie, this could all be yours! Sponsored by Dreft! [Photo Credit]
Perennial host Chris Harrison magically appears for his contracted 5 minutes of work to welcome Arie back to the mansion. He gives the scripted pep talk to his new victim before briefly patting Luyendyk Jr. on the shoulder and strolling off. This dude seriously has the best job in all of television.
And now – drum roll please – here are the ladies!
Caroline: first out of the limo. She is also a realtor and they seem immediately smitten with each other. One to watch!
Chelsea: completely awkward. They have about as much chemistry as a flat glass of champagne. But she’s obviously slated to be this season’s villain (more on that later), so she’ll be around for a while.
Kendall: really, really into taxidermy because she “gets to keep it forever,” so… that’s not at all alarming.
Seinne: is gorgeous and offers Arie the first gift of the night – a pair of cufflinks shaped like elephants. Because elephants never forget… and he should not forget to find her later. Smooth!
Tia: is from Weiner, Arkansas (and yes, she is friends with Raven). She gives him a small Oscar Mayer Weiner whistle, saying, “I hope yours is not as tiny as this.” It is a bold move – and an epic fail. (Also, John Mayer and Oscar Mayer have the same last name! Coincidence, or conspiracy?)
Bibiana, Bri, Jenny: meh, eh, huh.
Brittane: says, “You can’t put a bumper sticker on a Ferrari, but what about an Arie?” Then she places a sticker on his butt. You can’t make this stuff up.
Krystal: is a breathy health & fitness coach. She’s seems flighty AF, so that will be fun.
Valerie: yellow dress, purple hair.
Bekah: the youngest of the group, rocking a pixie haircut. She pulls up in a vintage car, claiming she can also appreciate a “classic” man. So she basically calls him old. Bold!
Jenna: no, not me. I have a feeling my husband would not approve of me going on this show. What a cock-blocker! Anyhoo, this Jenna has some seriously Botoxed brows that make her look like a super villain. Stay tuned!
Jessica: gives him a “gratitude rock,” which is something she made up when she grabbed a pebble off the street before hopping in the limo.
Marikh: owns an Indian restaurant with her mother, and says she is ready for a little salt & pepper spice in her life! (Arie is letting his black hair go gray, so that is yet another nutty pun!)
Becca: forces Arie to get down on one knee and propose. There’s nothing a man loves more than that!
Lauren #1, Lauren #2, Lauren #3, & Lauren #4: Yes, there are four Laurens and the producers thought it would be a hoot to put them in the same limo. I concur!
Ashley: comes out with a racing flag and asks, “Are we going to make it to the finish line?” Yawn.
Amber: owns a spray tan company and tells Arie, “I see a lot of dicks. I hope you aren’t one.” He looks alarmed. It’s hilarious.
Ali: makes Arie SMELL HER ARMPIT, all so she can ask him, “Is this the best pit stop you’ve ever had?” Good christ, I hope it was worth it.
Annaliese: shows up in a mask so she can make a play on Luyendyk Jr.’s “Kissing Bandit” nickname. It’s cute and ensures he’ll find her later.
Maquel: Yes, Maquel – not Raquel. She arrives in a racecar – driven by someone else. Surely a metaphor for the rest of their “relationship.”
And there went an hour of my life! Arie finally enters the mansion, they all toast, and then Chelsea kicks it off with the first “swoop,” dragging Luyendyk Jr. outside to “get to know him better.” The girls are incensed! Like, what was supposed to happen? Someone has to talk to him. Regardless, they are all offended and it is quickly established that Chelsea is the one to hate.
Maquel is up next. She and Arie take a silly selfie. Arie needs to practice his faces in the mirror – his “goofy” visage needs some streamlining.
Brittane pulls him out front for a race with mini cars in the driveway. He wins, handily, proving curves are his forte! They kiss – a brief peck – in which Brittane claims his “lips are like clouds.” That’s because you barely touched – that smooch was all air, baby.
Kendall – aka “Taxidermy Chick” – serenades him with a tacky song about a stuffed seal, all while strumming a ukulele. (?!?) And now I’ve gotten a glimpse into what a hip evening hanging out on a brownstone in Brooklyn must be like.
One smart gal feeds Arie pizza, while another shoves a piece of pineapple in his mouth and then says, “Pineapple is my safe word!” With his appetite satiated, Jenna then gives him a foot rub. It’s good to be king!
He finally finds Annaleise and removes her sequined bandit mask. She is cute! They kiss.
But, wait – it’s not all fun and games! (Actually, that’s all it is.) Chris Harrison appears for minute three of his five minutes of contractual obligations to drop off the dreaded First Impression Rose! Though the blueprint of this program has never once varied, the ladies are thrown into a tizzy of shock and despair. They queue up to get face time with the eligible bachelor, in a bid to make sure it is she he will remember out of the 29 ladies there. Good luck to all!
While the line grows to get to Arie, Chelsea learns that Brittane smooched him out in the driveway. This will not stand! Even though she’s “already gone once,” she nabs him for a second round of hang time. They kiss. He says, “Thanks. That’s nice.” Nice? That’s the coldest of showers, raining down on passion that shall never ignite. It doesn’t stop them from kissing again, while angry bachelorettes look on.
Bekah snags Arie next, dragging him out front to sit on the hood of her vintage vehicle. She asks him, “What three things make you excited to be alive?” Arie replies, “Excitement, adrenaline, people, and pizza.” Bekah says, “So excitement makes you… excited?” Well, duh – he’s a racecar driver, not a rocket scientist! (Nor a mathematician. She asks for three things. He gives her four. Though a strong case can be made for lumping excitement and adrenaline together. Me? I’m still stuck on the fact that pizza made the list of things that make life good for him. Are we soulmates?)
The First Impression Rose is glimmering from its quartz rose tray. (Nice touch, Bachelor interns!) Who will get it? Suspense is quelled – the flower goes to Chelsea! (Arie says, “Chelsea leaves me wanting more. She understands she doesn’t have to tell me everything right now.” Translation: “The producers told me I have to keep her because she’s this season’s villain.”)
Now it is time for The Rose Ceremony! In a rare move, the producers allowed it to air in the same episode in which it began. Elan Gale, Bachelor Nation thanks you. The lucky ladies who accept roses are: Becca, Marekh, Kendall, Lauren G., Krystal, Bekah M., Lauren S., Sienne, Caroline, Brittney T., Bibiana, Annaliese, Jenna, Valerie, Jacqueline, Jenny, Lauren B., Ashley, Tia, and Maquel.
And, with tears and trembling lips, here is the first round of eliminations: Amber, Jessica, Ali, Bri, Brittane, Jessica, Lauren J., Nysha, and Olivia.
This season on The Bachelor there will be toasts, tears, trauma, travel, and tits. Arie will muse about feelings while his humble face is caressed in sunlight. Connections will be made… and some will be broken. Will it all end in a proposal? Unless Luyendyk Jr. wants his nuts in a vice, courtesy of The Bachelor mafia, it god damn better. Stay tuned!
The Bachelor (2018): Season 22, Episode 1 Drinking Game
Take a Drink: every time Arie says, “Beautiful,” when he greets the girls.
Take a Drink: every time you see sequins.
Take a Drink: for every limo exit!
Take a Drink: every time one of the gals gets huffy about Chelsea.
Do a Shot: for each Lauren.