Stop reading now if you don’t want spoilers on the season premiere of The Bachelor with Ben Higgins (original air date: Monday, January 4, 2016).
Welcome back rose lovers, you adorable Monday night binge drinkers! I look forward to bringing you recaps of the inevitable emotional roller coaster ride that will be this season of The Bachelor. Let’s dive right in and get reacquainted with our Bachelor Ben, shall we?
Ben is a ‘normal guy’ from small town Indiana who now resides in Denver, Colorado. We are treated to a montage of him shooting baskets behind a barn while the sun sets in the background because, America. We see a photo of a young Ben and his Jim Carrey circa Dumb and Dumber haircut. He must’ve really slayed the ladies in elementary school. He takes us on a driving tour of his hometown and high school, and we find out he played all the sports in high school quite handsomely.
Ben is still terrified of being “unlovable,” which sounds like a fear someone with his face and body fat percentage should never have. I mean come on. I didn’t refer to him as my boyfriend when he was on Kaitlyn’s season for no reason. I don’t declare just any dude I have never met my TV boyfriend. That would be insane. No, Ben is yum city (see below) and a total sweetheart. Thanks to the internets for refreshing my memory: Ben is 26 (though I believe he turned 27 during filming), 6’4 and a software accounts manager. You guys, 6’4 is my favourite height! And totally makes up for his love of fishing. But I digress. Some additional “research” (i.e. creeping his instagram) does nothing to dissuade his crush-worthy status.”I think my friends and family want me to be happy,” Ben announces. Um, yeah I would hope so. They’re your family, not monsters Ben. Ben is ready to date 25(ish) women, fall in love and meet the future Mrs. Higgins (cut to me waving at the TV).
Ben is in LA, wandering the grounds of the mansion and bro-ing down with former Bachelors Chris Soules, Sean Lowe and Jason Mesnick. They basically tell him not to make out with any of the women in front of another woman. I love how in Bachelor land this is, like, a lesson. They also advise Ben that sending women home is THE WORST you guys. Then they all hug it out.
Oh hi host Chris Harrison! Chris reminds us that how Ben won over vaginas across North America when he announced to Kaitlyn that he felt unlovable and so they made him The Bachelor to prove him wrong. Um, to anyone listening I fee like I just can’t be an eccentric millionaire with a never ending supply of brie so FIX ME! Anyone?? No? Fine.
We get to know a few of the ladies who will be vying for Ben’s heart this season. There’s the token weirdo and cutesy pageant-types. There’s also twins (kicky!), a 25-year old single mom of two (divorced, so she probs got married in middle school?), and a “chicken enthusiast” (that’s it, I am getting “brie enthusiast” added to my business cards) with separation anxiety.
Moving on to the limo arrivals. Ben and his mega-watt smile is suited up and after a hug from Chris Harrison he’s ready to meet his harem.
Flight attendant Lauren is the first out of the limo and makes a strong initial impression (I’ve already picked her as one of my front runners). Caila literally jumps into his arms. There’s a Jennifer! A woman named Lace (why?) plants the first (albeit chaste) kiss on our Bachelor. There’s an awkward winker in there and then one lady comes out in a unicorn head. Also we meet a redhead (nickname Red Velvet) with amazing fuchsia lipstick and kooky Mandi who wears a massive hat shaped like a rose and asks Ben to “pollinate it later.” Ben cheekily suggests a group hug with the twins who are less creepy than I had presumed. Because apparently every iteration of The Bachelor needs a cowgirl, this season’s resident boot-wearer comes with a mini horse. There’s a nutritional therapist who calls gluten the devil and has the voice of a talk show host, and another lady arrives in a onesie. Unemployed Rachel comes in on a segway. Speaking of, shouldn’t everyone’s occupation be listed as unemployed? I mean, really. Because I imagine most had to take a loooooong leave from work and should they end up being the last woman standing or even just popular enough to land the standard post-Bachelor/Bachelorette gig of shilling teeth whitening systems on instagram, are they really going back to work any time soon?
As the last of the woman arrive it seems like they are all named Lauren but I checked and there are only 4. There’s also a Tiara which is my least favourite name but seemingly one of Ben’s most favourite ladies.
Ben calls his parents to gush that he has a mighty fine flock of females to choose from and heads inside to get to know them better. My early favourite Lauren #1 hands him a drink straight off the bat (girl, love you), but Ben is quickly pulled away by dentist Mandi (who finally removes her rose hat) who proceeds to perform an actual dental exam on Ben. He passes, but could floss more.
Next Ben chats with news anchor Olivia who obviously caught his eye during limo exits. They talk about their passion for travel and the outdoors and Ben likes how “put-together” she seems. Caila and Ben bond over their “sexy” software sales jobs and the twins try and convince him that this “isn’t weird.”
Lo and behold another limo has arrived and who should exit out of it but Becca and Amber from Chris Soules’ season. There’s a strong possibility that Amber is arriving straight from the set of Bachelor in Paradise! I am actually surprised to see Becca because after pretty much rejecting Chris in his finale (we all know he wanted to pick her but the also lovely Whitney was the ‘safer bet’ right?) I pegged her as someone who was not into the whole reality show love thing. She always seemed uncomfortable with it. Becca’s arrival definitely ruffles some feathers because she’s stunning.
Lace is getting faced and someone keeps handing her wine. She spies on Ben and Becca and has spent most of the night nitpicking the other women. She gets some alone time with Ben and pushes hard for a kiss and Ben is visibly uncomfortable and he is saved (?) by Mandi. I’m going to go with saved. Saved by crazy. From crazy. Lace is off on a rampage but Ben circles back to her shortly and attempts to explain why he wasn’t into touching faces immediately. He emphasizes that he wants to take time to get to know each woman before focusing on the more physical aspects of their relationships. They hug it out. Lace promptly re-enters (stumbles into) the house and brags about how Ben went looking for her so they could chat more.
Chris Harrison then performs the reality show version of a mic drop by placing a single rose on a tray into the lions den (errr… living room) and just.walking.away. First impression rose, I presume?
Lauren #1 is on her game and Ben seems smitten. They have great chemistry and she has that whole first Lauren out of the limo thing working for her. It’s not enough to get her the first impression rose though. That goes to news anchor Olivia who “stood out” to Ben.
Speaking of standing out, Lace is. For all the wrong reasons. No doubt that by this point they probs assigned like 3 camera operators to just follow her around so they can catch her saying that other women have small boobs or are bitches.
It’s rose ceremony time (wow that flew by!) and the theme is awkward laughter, apparently. The first rose goes to Lauren #1 (Lauren B., as Ben clarifies) and Amber gets a rose too. Jennifer is safe and Jubilee too. Samantha makes it to week two along with the twins and Becca (Lace reminds us that Becca is a virgin). Mandi scores a rose (!) and we’re down to the final rose. Somehow Lace gets the final rose (over Tiara? I thought he liked Tiara! Is it because her name is Tiara? It’s not her fault!). Sadly the cutie redhead Laura is sent home (that lipstick!) along with the gluten-hating Breanne.
Before Ben can even give the customary post-rose ceremony speech Lace pulls him away (literally – the camera scrambles to keep up she moves so fast) and complains that he wouldn’t look at her during the rose ceremony and a bunch of other stuff that makes Ben, in his private interview at least, question giving her the rose. You could’ve kept Red Velvet! Ugh. Lace strikes me as a hangover denier. I bet she shows up at breakfast tomorrow all “Ben’s my boyfriend and I was awesome last night.”
Our post-credit shot this week is host Chris Harrison talking to the mini horse who acts like there isn’t a platter of delicious taquitos in front of him. God I love taquitos. I may have a …problem. So much that when I go to Costco I have to instruct my friends to make sure I don’t buy a box no matter how much I try to convince them that the price per taquito is #onfleek.
I’m just now accepting that I won’t see two-time final rose rejectee Nick Viall this season. I’ve gotten so used to his face. Thanks god for his love of posting shirtless selfies to instagram (and his love of sit-ups, evidently).
And that’s it for week one. What are your thoughts? Did Ben make the right choice keeping Lace? Did any of your initial favourites get sent home? Hit me up in the comments.
Thanks for reading. I’ll be back next week!