‘The Bachelor’ Episode 1 Recap: Welcome to the Most Dramatic Season
*Warning: Spoilers ahead*
Following its dreaded nine-month hiatus, The Bachelor is finally back on ABC to give Arie Luyendyk Jr. (you know, the runner-up from Emily Maynard’s season) a shot at love with 29 crazy deserving women.
Season 22, episode one begins with a reintroduction to the heartbreak Luyendyk Jr. suffered on season eight of The Bachelorette. After reliving his (and our) devastation, he explains he’s looking for something different this time around. Now that he is the proud owner of a successful real estate business, he’s finally ready to take a Bachelor leap of faith in the hope of finding a woman worthy of his race car collection.
Before meeting the new contestants, Luyendyk Jr. sits down with season 17 Bachelor Sean Lowe; his wife, Catherine Giudici; and their 1-year-old son, Samuel. After Luyendyk Jr. low-key shows off his dad potential, Lowe pulls through with some heartfelt been-there-before advice and encourages Luyendyk Jr. to treat the girls with respect. (Duh.)
We then cut to Chris Harrison standing outside the infamous Bachelor mansion, because guess what? It’s nearly time to meet the ladies. Harrison intros the “dramatic” forthcoming season by reminding us that Luyendyk Jr. is one of the best kissers to, like, ever grace ABC, and we can’t help but wonder who confirmed this.
At long last, the first limo arrives to kick off the night. Here are the deets of each lady’s arrival...
Caroline (26): She’s a real estate agent (yes, just like Luyendyk Jr.) with a well rehearsed “off the market” joke.
Chelsea (29): A single mom whose nerves get the best of her.
Kendall (26): She’s just as nervous as the man of the hour.
Seinne (27): She gives him an elephant because it’s her favorite animal, oh, and it represents loyalty.
Tia (26): If the accent didn’t give her away, she’s the IRL BFF of a former Arkansas contestant, Raven (Nick Viall’s season). She gives Luyendyk Jr. a wiener souvenir because she’s from Weiner, Arkansas...get it?
Bibiana (30): Guilty of getting lost in his eyes.
Brianna (25): A sports reporter who has yet to overcome her childhood obsession with softball.
Jenny (25): She’s too busy admiring his looks to talk about pretty much anything else.
Brittane (27): She tells a joke about Ferr-Aries and bumper stickers before presenting him with his very own rear accessory. Clever.
Jacqueline (26): She tells him to stand there and look pretty.
Krystal (30): An online health and fitness coach (think ’80s aerobics videos) with a do-gooder twist.
Nysha (30): She’s a nurse who is all about that adrenaline rush. The usual.
Valerie (25): A Tennessee gal with a thing for bright colors.
Bekah (No age provided by ABC): The one who goes there and arrives in a fire-truck-red ’65 Mustang. Casual.
Jenna (28): All she wants is a handsome, strong man in her life, you guys.
Jessica (26): A taxidermy collector (seriously) with a penchant for rocks.
Marikh (27): Just a small-town restaurant owner who is looking for more salt and pepper in her life. *Cue the silver fox*
Olivia (23): She just loved him on Emily’s season.
Becca (27): That girl who forgets to say her name and then makes him get down on one knee. (You know, for practice.)
Lauren S. (31): One of four. A poised girl with an energetic personality.
Lauren J. (33): Two of four. She gave him Mardi Gras beads to remind him which Lauren she is of her hometown.
Lauren B. (25): Three of four. Introductions aside, she has some big shoes to fill with that name.
Lauren G. (26): Four of four. She tells Luyendyk Jr. that he should remember her, despite the four other Laurens on the show this season...
Ashley (25): She’s so confident she’ll make it to the finish line, she gives him a checkered flag to speed up the process.
Brittany (30): She attempts (and fails) to tell Luyendyk Jr. he’s handsome in Dutch. A for effort?
Amber (29): She starts off strong by saying she’s the proud owner of a spray tan company then reminds him of the ample amount of naked men she’s seen because of said job.
Ali (27): Um, she forces him to “smell check” her armpits then delivers a “pit stop” joke. *Ba-dum-tss*
Annaliese (32): Aka the Kissing Bandit. She wears a mysterious masquerade mask that totally hides her identity...sorta.
Maquel (23): Last but definitely not least, she’s a quirky wedding photographer who outshines Bekah’s ’stang arrival by pulling up in a hot-off-the-press racetrack ride.
Phew. It’s officially time for the cocktail party.
As Luyendyk Jr. makes his way inside, Chelsea (shocker!) is the first to steal him away for a one-on-one conversation. But not so fast, Chelsea. Thirty seconds into her chat, Maquel swoops in with the first steal of the season. And so it begins.
From having a therapy session with Jacqueline and eating pizza with Caroline to playing guitar with Kendall and reading letters with Becca, the women pretty much cover all the Bachelor bases when it comes to night one. Still, there are two key plot points to keep in mind.
First, Brittany brings Luyendyk Jr. outside to race mini cars (Luxe Barbie Power Wheels Jeeps) and says the prize is a kiss. She lands the first kiss of the season, and needless to say, the girls aren’t happy about it.
Second, Jenna is totally the Ashley S. (aka onion girl from season 19) of the season. Not only did Luyendyk Jr. receive a deluxe pedicure from her during their convo, but he also said that it was the most ridiculous random conversation he ever had. We love her already.
Suddenly, the first impression rose arrives and panic ensues.
Many of the women still have yet to speak to the man of the hour when Chelsea decides it’s time for her second convo with Luyendyk Jr. Both an amateur and selfish move, Chels.
But perhaps a smart one, because she does, however, land the first make out of the season (sorry, Brittany) and—drumroll, please—the first impression rose.
At the rose ceremony, Luyendyk Jr. hands out roses to everyone but Brittane, Amber, Jessica, Ali, Bri, Nysha and Olivia.
Yep, safe to say we’re already hooked. We’ll be back again next week when season 22, episode two airs on ABC at 8 p.m. Until then...