‘The Bachelor’ Season 23, Episode 1 Recap: Meet Colton Underwood

*Warning: Spoilers ahead*

Welcome back to another dramatic season of The Bachelor. Hot off Bachelor in Paradise, Colton Underwood is stripping down—both physically and emotionally—as he embarks on his journey to find love on national television. (Yep, try explaining that to your grandmother.)

So, will the 26-year-old virgin keep his cool while meeting 30 potential wives? Or will he succumb to the pressure, ultimately becoming the first crier of the season? Here’s what went down in season 23, episode one of The Bachelor.

colton underwood limo arrivals
ABC/Rick Rowell

Meet The Bachelor

The episode begins with a reintroduction to Underwood’s journey to becoming the newest king of roses. (You know, like when he got dumped by Becca Kufrin on The Bachelorette and then pursued Tia on Bachelor in Paradise only to break up with her to become the Bachelor. The usual.)

After showing a series of videos from viewing parties across the country, Harrison finally gives us what we’ve been waiting for: a slow montage of Underwood taking a shower while discussing what he’s looking for in a relationship.

The Bachelor recounts his glory days on the football field and reveals that his failed relationship with Kufrin prepared him for what’s to come. Underwood says he doesn’t want his virginity to get in the way of someone falling in love with him before dropping a lame line about finding “the one.”

At long last, the first limo arrives. From a sloth costume to a fake Australian accent, here’s what you need to know about the contestants’ first interactions with Underwood.

caelynn the bachelor sash colton underwood
ABC/Rick Rowell

Meet The Women

Demi (23): She claims she’s “hot doggin’ for Colton.” (Note: We’re confused, too.)

Tayshia (28): She comes off as really, really genuine.

Heather (22): She is real-life mermaid who has never kissed a boy.

Nicole (25): She woos him with her Spanish speaking abilities.

Caelynn (23): She wears a Miss Carolina sash that transforms into a Mrs. Underwood sash.

Sydney (27): She quit her job to come on the show. Yikes.

cassie the bachelor colton underwood
ABC/Rick Rowell

Elyse (31): She’s the one who says nothing but “I’m nervous.”

Tahzjuan (25): She addresses the elephant in the room: how to pronounce her name.

Cassie (23): She has butterflies (literally).

Kirpa (26): She claims it would be a “great experience to clean Colton’s teeth.”

Caitlin (25): She brings a balloon, pops it and then makes a joke about “popping his cherry.”

Courtney (23): She gives him a sweet Georgia peach. Why not?

sloth the bachelor colton underwood
ABC/Rick Rowell

Katie (26): She’s a dancer who wants to take his “v-card.”

Alex D. (23): She shows up in a sloth costume. (Slow speech included.)

Onyeka (24): Her parents got engaged after two weeks of dating. Go figure.

Erika (25): She’s too busy admiring Underwood to talk about anything else.

Hannah B. (23): She’s Miss Alabama and a frenemy of Caelynn.

Tracy (31): She arrives in a police car, claiming she’s the “fashion police.”

alex b signs the bachelor
ABC/Rick Rowell

Angelique (28): She’s a sophisticated woman with an explosive personality.

Devin (23): She’s a broadcast journalist with a well-rehearsed meet-cute.

Revian (24): She’s bilingual, too.

Nina (30): She speaks Croatian.

Alex B. (29): She brings signs to communicate through her illness.

Bri (24): She fakes an Australian accent. Yep.

catherine dog the bachelor
ABC/Rick Rowell

Laura (26): She’s a Dallas native who wore the same dress as Heather.

Hannah G. (23): She’s an Instagram model who cracks a funny about his favorite underwear (aka commando).

Annie (23): She’s a financial associate who quizzes him on his football knowledge.

Jane (26): She brings a portrait of his dog. Um, what?

Catherine (26): She brings her actual dog.

Erin (28): She pulls a Cinderella and arrives in a carriage.

colton underwood bachelor cheers
ABC/Rick Rowell

Let The Games Begin

Inside the mansion, the room can pretty much be summed up by Nicole’s quote: “I’ve never seen so many sequins in my life.” When Underwood joins the ladies, he dives into a speech about his future wife potentially being in the room (barf). Just then, Demi is the first person to steal Underwood away. Dun dun dun.

The next 20 minutes consist of three main things: intrusive conversations (Erika demanding to know why he’s a virgin), awkward small talk (Underwood coaching Hannah G. through deep breathing) and the ones to watch out for (Caelynn landing the first kiss of the night).

But wait, there’s more. Just when we thought things couldn’t get any more bizarre, a group of women spot Alex D. (sloth girl) hanging from a tree…in full costume. Does she understand the purpose of the show?

Right on cue, Harrison delivers the first impression rose, and all hell breaks loose.

catherine the bachelor colton underwood
ABC/Rick Rowell

Catherine, Catherine, Catherine

One word: Catherine. The girl has clearly never seen The Bachelor, considering she repeatedly steals Underwood away, claiming their conversation isn’t over. Onyeka confronts her and tells her she’s being “desperate,” but nothing really gets resolved.

“Let’s keep it real,” Catherine says before stealing Underwood away again.

colton underwood
ABC/Rick Rowell

The Roses

On the bright side, the Bachelor isn’t buying Catherine’s perseverance and gives the first impression rose to—drumroll, please—Hannah G.

Just then, Harrison tells Underwood that it’s time for the beloved rose ceremony, where he sends home Laura, Alex D., Jane, Devin, Tahzjuan, Erin and Revian.

Here’s to hoping episode two will be two hours instead of three. (Sorry, Harrison). The Bachelor returns next Monday at 8 p.m. on ABC.


Senior Editor

Greta Heggeness is a California-based editor at PureWow and has been writing about entertainment since 2015. She covers everything from awards shows to exclusive celebrity...