Becca Kufrin’s “journey” to find her soulmate on national television with a pre-selected group of strangers culled from the ABC website began Monday! Will the guy in the chicken suit turn out to be the soup for her soul? Will Lincoln continue to woo with his gorgeous grin? Will Grocery Store Joe stick around long enough to squeeze Becca’s melons? And, most importantly, how long will it take for people to stop bringing up former flame Arie Luyendyk Jr. for god’s sake? Let’s find out!
First some Bachelor Nation business – Ashley Iaconetti and Jared Haibon are finally dating! This is not a drill – Jashley is finally a thang. Ardent Bachelor franchise fans know that Ashley I. has been lusting after Jared and his washboard abs for no less than three years, over multiple shows (including a cry fest on Bachelor in Paradise that rivaled a tsunami and had Jared packing his bags for higher/dryer ground). How did Ashley finally make it from friend zone to bone zone? The prevailing theory is that she done wore the dude down. The more generous thought is that he finally realized he’s a restaurant manager, Ashley’s god damn gorgeous, and maybe he should open his eyes. Or something like that.
The cynic in me thinks the timing is suspicious. Announcing their relationship one week before The Bachelorette season premiere certainly is a convenient way to (re)obtain relevance while surfing the publicity machine that’s already in place. But the tiny part of me that isn’t made of stone (jade, please!) thinks, “When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”Or is that just Harry for Sally? Perhaps it was her fling with Canadian James Marsden (Kevin Wendt) from the Bachelor Winter Games that made Jared jealous. Or maybe the fact that she’s finally been “relieved” of her famed virginity convinced Jared it was time to move forward (with his penis).
All I know is that Jared said, “I love you,” on Twitter and there is no stronger sentiment than one sent over fiber wire while waiting for someone to drop their receipt in Starbucks so you can get the code to the bathroom because you really have to pee, but you’ll be damned if you’re going to give one more cent to a corporate monolith who won’t provide a safe space for people to wait to meet friends without getting arrested and Jesus Christ, why does this country have to be such a garbage fire? At any rate, congrats and carry on you crazy kids!
Now on to the real reason for this post – Becca, Becca, and more Becca! The first image we see is of Ms. Kufrin weeping inconsolably, so I guess it can only get better from here? Yes, the show opens with the breakup recap and no one was expecting otherwise. (Arie, never one to shy away from publicity, is all over the internet today claiming that the televised breakup was edited and says it was unfair to him. Let me type that again – Arie says the televised breakup was unfair TO HIM. Here are two things: 1. Bitch, this is not your first rodeo. You’ve been on the show before and know how this game works, so crying about it now is too little, too late. And also this claim is disingenuous because, again, you know how this works. 2. It’s good to see a few minutes out of the spotlight has done nothing to dim your raging sense of entitlement.)
We also see Becca chat with her family, show up at the gym to do the splits (subtle!), drive a red sports car (less subtle!), and chat with Bachelorette alums Kaitlyn Bristowe, JoJo Fletcher, and Rachel Lindsay over mimosas where Rachel hilariously/adorably sages Becca’s vagina to rid her of the ghost of Arie peen. Now we’re getting this party started! The three women make a point of telling Becca they are all with the men they gave First Impression Roses to, so she’d better choose carefully. And here’s where the show spoils one of its own moments – because they’ve gone out of their way to highlight the “first impression rose to fiancé” Bachelorette trend, we can now be sure that whomever Becca hands that rose to will surely not be asking for her hand because the producers are desperate for any surprises they can supply to shake up this delightful but stale formula. And the first impression rose turns out to be rife with horrific drama, so they definitely got their wish. More on that later.
And now it’s time to bring on the guys! After a few standalone interviews with select suitors (Clay, Garrett, Jordan, Lincoln, Joe, Jean Blanc, and Colton all got solo spots), Becca has arrived at the mansion, gotten her blessing from host Chris Harrison, and now awaits her potential matches in a beaded white gown. Let’s meet the men vying for Becca’s heart (and refreshed lady parts):
Colton: First out of the limo! The former pro football player, who now runs a nonprofit organization, brings confetti so they can “get things popping.” He’s cute, it’s cute, and – as we see in the promos – he’s around for a majority of the season, so plan on getting to know him.
Grant: An electrician who greets Becca with, “I’m so sorry for what you went through.” Kind, buy maybe not the greatest strategy to mention the ex. (Though he’ll be far from the last.)
Clay: Current pro football player (a free agent on the New Orleans Saints injured reserve list) who arrives with the cheesy, “You’d be by far my biggest catch.” Looks good on paper – absolutely no presence in real life.
Jean Blanc: The “Colognoisseur” from the intro, who views expensive scents and watches as an extension of himself. I think he’s wearing “Eau de Insecure.” He teaches Becca to say, “Let’s do the damn thing,” in French.
Connor: A fitness coach (I wrote “couch” in my notes, so that’s about where I’m at on gym time right now), who gets down on one knee to propose with, “Let’s do the damn thing.” It’s an hour into the show, and it’s already past time to retire this annoying catchphrase.
Joe: A Chicago-based grocery store owner who has the ladies in a tizzy on Twitter. Awkward, shy, industrious. A fan fave!
John: A software engineer who calls Becca, “comforting.” Those sparks, they are a-flying!
Leo: The stuntman! Arrives with a man bun, only to shake his luscious locks loose, to which Becca replies, “You have hair like my sister.” I am not seeing babies in their future…
Jordan: A male model whose go-to look is “Pensive Gentleman.” He “compliments” Becca on her dress by saying, “I was not expecting this color. I’m already having a great time!” He then shares with the audience that he’s wearing tap shoes because he “wants her to hear the heartbeat of a gentleman.” He’s clearly been brought on for entertainment purposes as this season’s quote machine because no woman would seriously want to bang this man.
Rickey: IT consultant. That’s all I got.
Alex: Handsome. Construction manager. We’ll see…
Nick: An attorney who shows up dressed as a racecar driver (again with the Arie!) who then strips off his costume to reveal a sensible suit. Because he wanted to get less exciting?
Mike: A sports analyst who shows up sporting a man bun, lugging a life-sized cutout of Arie. He claims it’s because Arie should see Becca happy in front of all these men, but it’s a huge disappointment because what he really should’ve done was punch faux Arie in the faux face.
Garrett: We met Garrett in the intro with his bizarre impression of I still don’t know what or who. A hyped up medical sales rep from Reno. (Maybe he’s high on his own supply?) He arrives to greet Becca in a mini-van, resplendent with a child seat, because he wants to be a great dad. Blatant ovary pandering! Much, much more about Garrett and what a pile of shit he is later.
Blake: One of the After The Final Rose (ATFR) suitors who arrived on a horse. This time he arrives on an ox, because that’s how strong his feelings are. Meanwhile his game is weak.
Lincoln: Another ATFR contestant who brings birthday cake and a smile for days. Fingers crossed!
Chase: A cheesy advertising VP who comes ready with the line, “It’s all about the chase.” Pardon me while I locate my barf bag.
Darius: More ATFR peeps. They must’ve been assigned to one limo. He’s a pharmaceutical rep who hopefully we’ll get a chance to know better later on.
Ryan: Yep, he was on ATFR playing the banjo. He must’ve taken some serious heat for that nonsense because tonight he’s downright demure and refuses to pluck the strings…
Christon: A super cute former Harlem Globetrotter!
Wills: A graphic designer and self-proclaimed closet nerd.
Jason: A senior corporate manager who looks exactly like a senior corporate manager. He claims he and his friends always greet each other with fancy handshakes, which he forces Becca to participate in. So far my read on him is “upbeat Patrick Bateman.”
Kamil: The “social media participant” who is a GIANT jerk! He commands Becca to come to him because he believes relationships are all about 50/50. (He must be a delight in bed!) Then he has the nerve to attempt to negotiate a 60/40 meetup, and I am 100 percent sure he needs to GTFO.
Jake: The marketing consultant from Becca’s hometown of Minneapolis that’s already an acquaintance of hers. She seems thrown and confused to see him. This will definitely come into play later.
Trent: A realtor who has the balls to arrive in a hearse, all so he can pop out and say, “When I heard you were the Bachelorette I literally died!” All kinds of no. Also, you did not literally die, because if you had, you would not be speaking.
Christian: A banker who gives Becca an awkward, tentative twirl.
David: Were you wondering which man was relegated to wear the costume this year? Because there’s always one! This season it’s a venture capitalist who dressed up as a chicken and told “Becaw” that he hopes “they have an egg-cellent relationship.” Sigh.
Chris: A sales trainer (?) who knows the way to win Becca’s heart is to win over her Uncle Gary. Then he brings out a 12-person choir, which is truly a treat.
The mansion is now filled with testosterone as the men chatter away about Becca’s killer dress. Stuntman Leo notes, “The stench of competition is in the air, and it’s going to get stinkier as the night goes on.” Let the (deodorant) games begin!
Connor, the fitness coach with the faux proposal, grabs Becca first. Le merde! Jordan is quick to label him a “smooth criminal.” Leo chimes in with, “Connor may have taken her first, but there’s an old real estate proverb that says, ‘You never buy your first house.’” Indeed, no jail time or down payments are required here – just cocktail chatter.
Clay – the flat pancake masquerading as an interesting human – grabs Becca next to make clay figures of each other. Clay for clay. Slap me awake when this segment is over.
John, the software engineer comforted by Becca’s visage, drops the info that he “created the Venmo app.” Silicon Valley chingle chingle! He also mentions that he “believes in commitment and is very competitive.” Um, yes – I am inclined to believe all of this.
Christon, the former Harlem Globetrotter, takes Becca to play basketball where he makes a running dunk by leaping over her head. Then all the guys come outside to partake in the court because men cannot resist an opportunity to play with balls.
Afterwards, she receives an engraved candle, chats with Grocery Store Joe, and bonds with Blake over a serious talk about their exes. Lincoln gives her a bracelet, which is sweet, but then he immediately scares her off with, “Now you’re part of the family.” She gets a massage from a multi-pronged electric vibrator and then the chicken asks her to dance. Garrett is next up to teach her fly fishing by the pool, where the men observe the only thing he’s catching are feelings.
It wouldn’t be a cocktail party without drama and Chris, the sales trainer who brought the choir, wants to be the first one out of the gate. He confides in some of the guys that he knows Chase is “not here for the right reasons;” rather he’s on this season to “revamp his marketing company.” (Insert cry/laughing emoji here!) How does he know this? Because he received a text from Chase’s ex, Danielle, who told him so. He asks advice on what to do… should he tell Becca? Of course the other suitors would love to send this little lamb to the slaughter, so off he goes to pull our bachelorette aside. Chase, aware that his name is being besmirched, wants to head things off at the pass, so he makes a move soon after and confesses to Becca. (He dated Danielle for anywhere from two weeks to a month, depending on his sliding scale of what he defines as a relationship.) Then he calls Chris in so they can all have a chat. This is not the threesome I was hoping for and, no matter what he says, Chase is shady AF.
Meanwhile Jake, Becca’s acquaintance from back home, also gets pulled aside by Becca herself. She confronts him regarding his intentions saying, “I don’t know why you’re here. You never showed any interest in the times we met out with our friends.” Jake does a pathetic back pedal, claiming not to have remembered meeting her (suave!) and that he’s had “a very transformative year.” (Hahahahahaha) Then he accusingly says, “Look, I don’t know what you’re hanging onto, but I am a new Jake.” New Jake, old Jake – no matter which way you turn him, this dude is a dud. Becca cuts him then and there. Have fun back in Minneapolis, liar!
And now it’s time for Becca to hand out the First Impression Rose. Remember earlier when Rachel, JoJo, and Kaitlyn said they all ended up with the recipients of their first roses? And Rachel said this was because women are more intuitive and better at dating? Well… Becca decides it is Garrett, the medical sales rep from Reno who arrived in a mini-van, that she shall bestow the first flower upon, claiming she’s been smitten ever since he pulled up in his dad mobile. No big deal, right?
Well, it’s a really fucking big deal because, in addition to that bizarre and off-putting impression he did in his intro interview, it turns out he’s also racist! (Revealed by an intrepid Instagram account @imwatchingyuuo and followed up by Reality Steve.) We know now that Garrett has liked posts ranging from degrading women, immigrants, and trans people, to making fun of Parkland survivor David Hogg, and more. (His IG account has been deleted, but it’s believed he’s rejoined under a new handle.) So… it’s night one, and Becca has unwittingly made out with a racist, and that is in no small way wildly disturbing. Why does ABC hate this woman so much? First the humiliating breakup, then setting her up for failure with the leading “we’re all with our first rose guys,” to allowing this man on the show when you know and I know that they fucking know! The contestants and their backgrounds are thoroughly researched, so it’s most likely that the producers are trolling for more drama ala Lee Garrett (from Rachel Lindsay’s season. Also that’s weird – Garrett and Garrett). This has GOT TO STOP. Trolling for ratings via racism is not just wrong – it’s disgusting and irresponsible. They cannot keep shrugging their shoulders and expecting viewers to be okay as this plays out on television. I can’t even count the ways in which I feel angry right now.
So motherfucking Garrett stays – for now – because Becca is hot for a man who drives a mini-van that she unfortunately knows nothing else about.
And now it’s time for the Rose Ceremony. The men who get to stay this round are: Lincoln, Blake, Rickey, Jean Blanc, Christon, Clay, Wills, Connor, Jason, John, Brian, Alex, Nick, Trent, Colton, David, Jordan, Leo, Mike, Blake, and Chris R. And the journey ends early for Jake (who was asked to leave mid-cocktail party), Chase (karma, mofo!), Joe (his grocery store is gonna be crawling with chicks), Kamil (good luck with that 60/40!), Darius (we hardly knew ye!), Grant, and Christian.
The producers must secretly seriously dislike Becca – there doesn’t seem to be a gem in this pile so far. Though, in the season preview, someone does promise to “fly to the moon on the wings of a Pegasus,” so there is that! Meanwhile, there are the requisite shots of romance, tears, fights, someone getting hauled away in an ambulance, and a confession of virginity. Is Lincoln actually a liar? Is Jordan just here to further his modeling career? Is Colton taking cues from Tim Tebow? All shall be revealed in the coming weeks – see you soon!
The Bachelorette (2018): Season 14, Episode 1
Take a Drink: every time David makes an egg or chicken pun.
Take a Drink: every time Becca struggles to say something other than, “Let’s do the damn thing.”
Take a Drink: every time Leo fondles his glorious mane.
Take a Drink: every time one of the guys talks about Becca’s dress.
Do a Shot: in honor of Becca. She’s gonna need all the support she can get.
*The show airs Monday evenings and we aim to provide you with the recap by Wednesday morning. You can also follow Jenna Zine for live tweets during the broadcast. We hope you enjoy – we welcome your comments and shares!