The Bachelorette Recap - Rachel Lindsay Episode 1: Mannequins, Penguins, and Wahboom
Welcome back, everyone! Some people think three rounds of the best-of-seven format featured by the NBA makes their playoffs feel interminable, but those of us tuning into the Bachelor and the Bachelorette know what true year-round coverage is like. Just 75 days ago we watched Rachel Lindsay, a lawyer from Dallas, get sent home by a seasoned veteran of the franchise. Will she bounce back ready to find love? No one knows for sure, but she'll tell us she's ready, and that's all that matters in the Bachverse. Let's get to the action and find out who will be competing for Rachel's hand in short-lived engagement!
Psst...if you need a little somethin' to get through this show, check out our Drinking Game. It helps, and can even make you feel genuinely sympathetic at times!
The beginning of the episode consists of Rachel's photoshoot to prepare for being the next Bachelorette; this seems like a good time to mention that I've done zero preparation for or research into this year's contestants. Perhaps I'm a little old-fashioned, but I'm confident I can gauge the quality of these individuals based on small samples, which fits the show well. Besides, it's easy - they're usually all substandard. You would think this would render them unfit for an attractive and presumably successful lawyer, but the mysterious machinations of the Bachelorette make people do crazy things. Let's see who, if anyone, comes across as a competent and well-rounded human being!
Looks like we have a winner:
Meet the Men
Kenny is a professional wrestler with a cute daughter. He has a TV-ready physique and he's adept with puns, but he has a kid - the track record for parents on this show isn't great. Even when they're demonstrably more intelligent than my least-favorite parent, Amanda.
The second guy has a sad background including a mother who died of cancer. He also has a dog. Yay dogs!
Alex is from Detroit, and works out wearing a zip-up sweatshirt over his t-shirt. Nope nope nope!
Mohit lives in San Francisco and runs a startup, which means he'll be simultaneously failing on this show and in his business. I have zero experience in startups, but I can positively state I've never read about the stage of the start-up when the CEO takes months off to try reality TV dating. I hope he doesn't have many employees depending on him.
Lucas is a pickup rugby player who loves saying "Wahboom". He's from California, confirming my suspicion that people there grow up more slowly than they do in the real world.
Blake is a personal trainer from California with a pretty bad haircut. He's very confident in his penis and his sexpertise, which brings to mind one of my favorite life rules: if you have to tell me how good you are at something, you probably aren't very good at it. Bye, Blake.
Diggy has 575 pairs of sneakers and a cute puppy. The first trait trumps the second, so he's gonna lose.
Josiah is a prosecutor from somewhere in the U.S. whose brother committed suicide. Damn. Sorry Josiah. He's very serious about the process and seems serious about Rachel, so he's taking a spot as an early front-runner.
Advice from the Ladies: Corinne, Raven, Astrid, Jasmine, Alexis and Kristina
Jasmine doesn't recommend choking, unusual considering the last time we saw her.
I'll try to simplify the advice Rachel receives here, but the extraordinary vocabulary and deep insight makes it difficult. Here goes: "I hope someone goes hard for you." If you think that's disappointing, you should expect less from the romantic advice of relative strangers.
At the Bachelor Mansion
Unsurprisingly, Rachel looks pretty fantastic for the first step of her hopeless attempt at ABC-orchestrated love.
Let's critique some first impressions:
Peter from Madison, WI goes with compliments, smiles, and the two-hand hold. Classic. He's moving on.
Josiah, my appointed front-runner, is 28 years old. Hopefully not too young for Rachel. He makes two legal jokes in 30 seconds; puns are a high-risk play, but I know from personal experience they can be highly effective. We'll see about Rachel's sense of humor.
Brian from Miami speaks Spanish and establishes his Colombian background.
Kenny the wrestler gets a little dance in. He's probably going to make it to next week.
Rob from Houston looks far too silly. He's probably going home soon, if not tonight.
Iggy from Chicago keeps his introduction simple, which doesn't bode well.
Bryce, a firefighter, literally lifts Rachel off her feet. He also arrived in uniform, so I'm confident he'll move on.
Will, also from Miami, leads with an Urkel impression before making a proper introduction.
Diggy pretends there's a dance move called the Diggy. There isn't, and I refuse to listen to any evidence to the contrary.
Kyle from Los Angeles provides a sample of his buns. It's food.
Blake, a former Marine, cites his grandparents' 65 years of marriage. Strong move. Probably making it to week 2.
Brady, a male model from Miami (high concentration this season) hits a block of ice with a sledgehammer to "break the ice" and looks incredibly awkward. I'd say he's doomed, but he'll probably make it one more week.
Dean, the idiot who said "I want to go black and never go back" at last season's After the Final Rose, wore a terrible tie this week. He didn't make any awkward jokes, but I still don't think he's going to do well.
Eric, a personal trainer from Los Angeles, sort of dances with Rachel. Meh.
DeMario re-introduces himself in a pretty sharp suit and bow-tie. He's moving on, but he's also infatuated after two meetings. He won't make it to the end.
Blake introduces himself as a 31-year old aspiring drummer and brings a small marching band along with him.
I knew I didn't like him before, but being an aspiring drummer on the wrong side of 30 makes me even less impressed. I suppose I'm an aspiring millionaire, but I don't walk around introducing myself as such. He might make it to next week because of the band, but I don't see him going any farther.
Fred from Dallas brings a picture of himself in 3rd grade, because, wait for it...Rachel was in 8th grade at the same school. An old school crush from that long ago is either cute or creepy...I'm leaning creepy in Fred's case.
Jonathan introduces himself and sneak-attack tickles Rachel. It's a risky move, but she seems to take it well. I think he'll make it to Week 2.
Lee is a singer-songwriter who I can already tell will be playing his guitar far too frequently. Save us, Bluto!
Alex shows up with a vacuum. It seems kind of dumb, but presenting yourself as a responsible adult might actually be strong differentiation on The Bachelorette.
Milton gets a Polaroid selfie with Rachel, which is a good excuse for me to ask a question I've been pondering for some time: Is it a selfie if it's more than one person? Shouldn't a selfie be limited to yourself? Do you have to call it a selvie or a selvesie once the numbers increase? Help!
Oh shit. Adam showed up with a mannequin. I'm out.
Matt arrives in a penguin costume to match Rachel's badass pajamas from last season. He's wearing a full-body costume, so he's safe tonight.
Grant shows up in an ambulance because he does something medical, Anthony from Chicago keeps it simple, Jamey wears a very nice suit, and Jack Stone inexplicably gets his last name displayed before smiling creepily:
Mohit makes virtually no impression. Maybe his startup will survive after all? Because he'll be sent home soon? Get it?
Jedidiah quotes the bible, and despite Rachel's religious conviction, it doesn't seem to play too well. I think he's going home.
Michael brings a brownie; smart! He doesn't actually give it to Rachel; not smart. Give the woman at least a bite of the baked goods you brought, idiot.
Lucas, the whaboom guy, wears a shirt of himself under a blazer. I really hope he goes home immediately, but somehow I think the producers will convince Rachel to keep him around for ratings. Damnit.
Inside the Mansion
The men trash Nick Viall for bad decision-making and compliment Rachel until she joins them inside. My chosen front-runner, Josiah, takes Rachel aside first and sparks unrest among his competition. Their whining suggests they prepared no more than I did.
Rachel introduces herself to Adam Jr. (the mannequin) for some reason, who they've dubbed over in French. Wait, did I fall asleep Rip Van Winkle-style and wake up for Bachelor in Paradise? These are textbook BiP shenanigans!!
It doesn't seem to be going well for Fred, who Rachel remembers as a misbehaving child.
Brian takes Rachel aside for some more Spanish lessons and earns the season's first snog! Knucks, Brian!
DeMario has no filter and seems entirely comfortable in front of the camera. It's enough to carry him to the halfway mark, but before long Rachel will find it irksome. As the line to spend time with Rachel grows longer, the waiting men have dropped all attempts at discretion.
Mohit has progressed to borrowing drinks without consent, while Wahboom guy continues wahbooming. I'm not going to support his habit by using his name and potentially enhancing his SEO rankings. It's out of principle, definitely not because I forgot his name.
Peter acquits himself admirably while Wahboom shouts at them through the megaphone he brought. Blake E doesn't like his style, but I don't think he has much room to talk. One of the contestants neatly summarizes the challenge wooing Rachel presents:
No sympathy here, buddy. That sounds like the bare minimum for general human interaction.
Kenny, the "Pretty Boy Pitbull" goes into detail about his daughter, and seems like a very nice, thoughtful person as he does. It's nice to think he has a chance, but again...kid(s).
The First Impression Rose goes to Brian, who accepts it gladly and gets a second snog while Mohit flails in the background:
The Rose Ceremony
Moving on: Bryan, Peter, Will, Jack Stone, Jamey, Iggy, Eric, DeMario, Jonathan, Bryce, Alex, Kenny, Dean, Matt, Anthony, Brady, Josiah, Lee, Diggy, Fred, Adam, Blake E, and Wahboom
Thanks for that, ABC. Really, the show would have been fine without him, as it has in all 30+ seasons of the franchise.
Heading home: Rob, Blake K., Grant, Jedidiah, Kyle, Milton, Michael, Mohit, and Rob
That'll do it for the season premiere! Check back in next week for another recap, and don't forget to send recommendations for the Drinking Game or the Recaps to firstname.lastname@example.org. This episode tallied only 24 drinks according to our rules, so we'll have to create a new set for season premieres. I apologize profusely for the oversight. Go ahead, send the shame nun after me.