The Bachelor Recap, Nick Viall Episode 1: Hello, Ladies! Goodbye, Ladies!
The Bachelor is back! Nick Viall, a three-season veteran, led last season of Bachelor in Paradise in DVOA by mixing it up with his rival Josh and demonstrating more humor than any of his fellow contestants. Vegas currently has his odds of ending the season...with a proposal...hang on, this isn't right.
The Bachelor is back! After spending a season of Bachelor in Paradise maneuvering in the shadows to claim the ultimate prize, we watched Nick Viall shock the people of Sayulita by spurning the affections of his would-be suitor, Jennifer. Were the emotions real, or was it all a ploy to maintain his claim to the title of The Bachelor? White ravens have announced the arrival of winter, so his schemes must bear fruit soon if he hopes to...consolidate power...no, no, that's not right either.
The Bachelor is back! Nick Viall has finished runner-up on two seasons of America's favorite polyamorous dating competition, most recently breaking down in tears while ending a brief, spring break-esque relationship in Sayulita, Mexico. It's hard to imagine he's fully recovered from such a traumatic experience in such a short time, but he's nonetheless thrown caution to the wind and put very little on the line to be ABC's 21st Bachelor.
That's more like it!
119 days have passed since the airing of Bachelor in Paradise's Season 3 finale. I'm clearly a little rusty at recapping a show like this, and I'll forgive you for being rusty at watching it. If I recall, Step 1 is to grab a drink, Step 2 is to pull up the Questionably Qualified Drinking Game, and Step 3 is to suspend your disbelief. All set? Here we go!
Introducing The Bachelor
Chris Harrison's voiceover describes Nick as the most controversial Bachelor of all time, which is difficult to believe after Juan Pablo's run. We recap Nick's history on the franchise, including the worst look he's chosen for national television:
Seriously, even this one from what looks like high school is better:
He gets some advice from his younger sister, which is cute, and he says all the right things about seriously looking for love before finishing with the phrase "I'm going to give America a happy ending" and giggling. Knucks, Nick.
Unfortunately, his combination of goofiness and sarcasm won't hold up over the course of a whole season as the Bachelor. He'll probably just end up looking like a jerk, but let's enjoy it while we can!
Sean Lowe, Chris Soules, and Ben Higgins (the last three non-Juan Pablo Bachelors; seriously, he was the worst) give Nick some advice over whiskey. They take a few jabs at each other and advise Nick to be himself before toasting and sending him on his way. Cheers!
Every journey begins with a single step, and for every Bachelor, that step is meeting too many women to possibly remember in a barrage of brief, awkward interactions. Let's see who's here to win the key to Nick's fantasy suite, a consistent string of franchise appearances down the road, and a chance to be briefly engaged before calling it off. That's a big risk for people with occupations like "aspiring dolphin trainer", so you know they're serious! Let's see what we can learn from their solo introductions:
Rachel is an attorney from Dallas, so I'm already impressed
Danielle is a small business owner who dresses in scandalous scrubs in her time off.
Vanessa is a special needs teacher from Montreal who speaks three languages. You're about to be seriously underwhelmed with your competition, Vanessa.
Josephine is a nursing student who likes her cats and talks to sea lions. Everyone knows a Josephine, right?
Raven is from Arkansas, where she owns a fashion boutique. She comes across as exceptionally Southern.
Corrine lives with her family in Miami, which is a bad start. She also refers to herself in the third person and has a nanny. Like, she's cared for by a nanny, I think. She's at the top of the list for the scary-crazy contestant of the season, which means she'll make it at least halfway through the season before she alienates all of the other women and is sunk by their collective hatred.
Alexis, our aspiring dolphin trainer, really likes dolphins. Her family warns her not to talk about dolphins too much.
Danielle is a neonatal nurse, so I don't have any jokes...
Oh, wait! Taking care of a 36-year old, three-time Bachelor franchise contestant? I bet she's never seen a baby this needy! Zing!
Taylor is a mental health counselor who rollerblades(!) with a helmet on(!!), so do with that what you will.
Elizabeth (Liz) is from Las Vegas, and met Nick in early 2016 at Jade and Tanner's wedding, where they did what single wedding guests do: drink a lot of alcohol and spend the night with someone. Knucks to them both.
At the end of the night, Nick asked for her number, but Liz refused because she was worried he was just trying to be nice. I can't speak for all men, but we don't often risk humiliation for the sake of appearing nice. Either she's wildly insecure or she didn't want to give it to him. Or both. But she's here now!
The Bachelor Contestants Arrive
Nick meets Chris Harrison on the driveway of the Bachelor Mansion and reviews his failures until the ladies' limo pulls up. First out is Danielle, who basically seals up a rose with her dress:
Elizabeth charges out of the limo with a strong Texas drawl and Rachel continues the trend of oddly normal introductions before Christen, a wedding videographer, does a small fan dancing routine. She comes across as tipsy, nervous, and overwhelmed by the occasion, in a way that is more weird than cute. Luckily for her, Taylor leads by telling Nick her friends warned her that he's "a piece of s***." We all know how endearing it is to hear someone say their friends hate you!
Kristina, Angela, Lauren, Michelle, Dominique, and Ida Marie follow, behaving like normal human beings. Olivia gives him an eskimo kiss (they touch noses) before Sarah literally runs up to Nick, in a way that is much more cute than weird. She's like the bizarro Christen. One of the Jasmines brings Neil Lane along to display some engagement rings, Hailey makes a joke about not wearing underwear, and Astrid describes her breasts in German. This is all an appetizer for Liz, who doesn't provide her name; Nick definitely recognizes her but wisely avoids names altogether. Chris Harrison leaves him to figure it out on his own, and Nick turns around to face the next limo.
Corinne is first out, and conceals her crazy well. She's a wily one, it seems, but the crazies always crack under the "pressure" of this show. Vanessa speaks French and Danielle gives him a bottle of maple syrup, which she allows/forces him to sample from her finger. She was shaking from anxiety, a crash diet, or both, but I thought it was a good introduction! I guess I'm a big fan of maple syrup, though...
Raven cheers on the Razorbacks (or maybe just pigs in general?) Jaimi says she "has balls" before revealing her nose ring, Briana listens to his heart with a stethoscope, and Susannah gives him a beard massage. I don't have the genes to grow a beard worth massaging, but I'll check with some friends on that move's efficacy. Logan, as Nick is your blondepelganger, what say you?
Josephine arrives with a hot dog in a book...which they eat from both ends simultaneously...yep, we've reached that point.
Brittany pulls on a glove and instructs Nick to turn around and bend over, but the camera cuts away. I wanted to see where that was going! How far did she go with the bit? If no one called it off, would she have conducted an examination right there? I need to know!
No time for questions, because the contestants are straight pouring out of the limousine at this point, nearly all in red dresses. As you can imagine, this sort of homogeneity makes those wearing red very uneasy. I'd probably tell Kat or anyone else in real life to brush it off, because red is a popular color and no one will notice. On this show, though? Competing with 29 other women for one man's attention? Yeah, could be damaging if you don't stand out in other ways. Whitney joins the red dress society, and Lacey follows suit (dress?), but on a camel making a hump joke. Well played, Lacey! Knucks to you!
Alexis ignores her family's advice, leading with an attempted dolphin joke and wearing what I think is a shark suit. They're probably easier to find than dolphin suits, but maybe some modifications were in order. This is a shark, right?
The ladies all say shark. She's our frontrunner for harmless-crazy, especially after issuing some dolphin calls once inside the house.
After a montage of the ladies talking up Nick among themselves, he joins them in the Bachelor Mansion and is greeted by Jasmine G. offering him a glass of whiskey. Knucks to you, Jasmine G.!
It's easy to assume he'll be looking for a drink, and you've either watched enough of him on TV to know what he usually drinks or guessed well. Either way, it's an easy way to make a good impression.
Nick gives a speech, we toast, and it's off to the speed round! Rachel is first for one-on-one time and makes a strong first impression by comfortably conversing about sports, families, and occupations.
As Nick starts to relax in his conversations, Chris Harrison enters with the First Impression Rose to ratchet up the tension. Conversation slows, sideways glances begin darting, and new drinks are poured. Corinne gives Nick a bag of tokens, then circles back to interrupt Vanessa soon after. Not wanting to waste time, Corinne goes right in and secures the first snog of the season. This, of course, sets off a chain of panic in the house as the other contestants debate the merits of kissing too soon or too late; the only thing they agree on is that Corinne is bad.
Nick is repeatedly interrupted as every woman tries to make an impression until Nick pulls a move I've only ever speculated about: he asks Jasmine G. to give him some time to finish a conversation. Unfortunately, she begins crying after gracefully removing herself from the situation. Meanwhile, Alexis the shark wades into the pool and starts making dolphin calls.
Nick bites the bullet and gives it to her straight, explaining that her costume is a shark and not a dolphin. She seems to brush it off, but definitely doesn't go as far as agreeing with him.
Liz gets some one-on-one time, wherein Nick reveals that he remembers her and the whole having sex thing. He also remembers being shot down when he asked for her number. This is not going well for Liz, and before she can turn it around, he's stolen away again.
Taylor doubles down on her friend's criticism of Nick, and Danielle shares his Wisconsin heritage. Nothing to see here, folks.
Nick goes inside to pick up the First Impression Rose and gives it to...Rachel! We'll see if it holds up over the course of the season, but he seems to have gone steak over sizzle on this first rose. Not that Rachel doesn't look great, because of course she does; they all do! Just that she seems to back it up with substance. I think that analogy worked. Anyway, with the First Impression Rose given out, Chris Harrison apparates and spirits Nick away to await his suitors at the Rose Ceremony.
This Week's Winners: Rachel, Vanessa, Danielle L, Christen, Astrid, Corinne, Elizabeth W, Jasmine G (I told you the drink was a good idea!), Raven, Kristina, Danielle M, Sarah, Josephine, Lacey, Taylor, Alexis the shark, Hailey, Whitney, Dominique, Jaimi, Brittany, and Liz.
Sent back to Real Life: Angela, Briana, Ida Marie, Jasmine B, Lauren, Michelle, Olivia, and Susannah.