Robby, drinking a bottle of wine "Fletcher style." Photo courtesy of ABC.

‘The Bachelorette’ Premiere Recap: What’s Wrong With Being Conf—Er, Hammered?

There are almost as many dramatic surprise twists as there are drinks.

Hello, Bachelor Nation. It’s that time of year again, for another season of The Bachelorette. JoJo is back on the small screen, which means so is our emotional parasocial relationship with her. She’s also back on social media, rapid-fire Instagramming again after an 11 week hiatus. She even alludes to finding love on the show, also known as the “love she’s always dreamt of.” Mysterious~*~*~

Don’t you know somewhere in this world, Lauren Bushnell is trying to act like she’s totally cool with it if Ben wants to watch JoJo’s season? No insecurity about the other woman Ben loved at all.

And speaking of being loved – JoJo has already been dubbed the hottest Bachelorette in the history of the show. So she’s basically female Ben Higgins, without all the, “I’m unlovable” nonsense. No, JoJo knows she’s a catch, and she fully owns it.

Those red-dress-clad “Confident” commercials were no freaking joke.

What's wrong with being cOnFiDeNt? Photo courtesy of Notey.com
What’s wrong with being cOnFiDeNt? Photo courtesy of Notey.com

Her confidence (and new balayage highlights, I might add) is working. The guys are eating out of the palm of her Kendra-Scott-wearing hand, calling her a “true unicorn” who is “not crazy and all hot.” I won’t unpack why that phrase would turn any girl into a misandrist, but the point is the whole premiere was like a two-hour sequel to SNL’s “J*** In My Pants.”

But we’ll get to the men shortly. First, the obligatory visit from past Bachelorettes, Kaitlyn Bristow, Desiree Hartsock, and Ali Fedotowsky. I could write a whole article just on this two minute clip, which is as normal as talking about dating 26 men simultaneously could possibly be. They’re essentially a group of strangers trying to make forced conversation at a bridal shower. They’re just putting on a good face for the bride, or in this case Chris Harrison. Pass the triangle sandwiches and white wine.

JoJo admits she’s ready to get (ludicrously famous, vulnerable on national television, and/or) eNgAgEd. Home girl’s not wearing a low cut romper for nothing.

So let’s get to it.

“BRING ON THE MEN,” –JoJo tonight, me when I need movers, and thirsty girls everywhere.

The first video memoir manoir spotlight is on Grant, a firefighter who saves lives for a living, but more importantly, looks exactly like Vin Diesel if you squint hard enough.

Jordan Rodgers was out of our league before the show even started. You know, the little brother of the NFL Super Bowl champion. That guy. He’s just trying to make a name for “Jordan Rodgers” and not “Aaron’s brother.” So I get it. Living in the shadow of someone else’s dream is hard. (That’s a reference to Ashlee Simpson, to the straight males and baby boomers reading this).

On a Monday, I’m waiting.

Archetype military contestant, Alex, is in the Marine Corps. He claims it’s been years since he’s dated a girl so only time will tell if he’s ready for JoJo or ready to come out of the closet.

Speaking of the closet. James is a self-proclaimed “super bachelor fan” and has kept up with the show for years, assumedly without a girlfriend forcing him to watch it with her. When he’s not leading the male demographic in Bachelor Nation fandom, James is the cheesedick who does shirtless pushups on a rocky mountainside for the camera. At the end of the show, we see outtakes of James nervously talking alone with Chris Harrison. I’m 83% positive James is gay, which makes him kind of a genius for going on The Bachelorette.

Meet Evan, whose job title outstandingly wasn’t created by ABC. As an ex-pastor, Evan found “another way to lift people’s spirits,” by becoming an Erectile Dysfunction Expert. Wow. Insert erection joke here. Even if he can prove to us he’s more than his job title, I don’t think his hair is boy-bandy enough for JoJo or America. Lastly, he just gives me the heebie-jeebies, to put it scientifically.

Ali looks exactly like human-version of Disney’s Aladdin, and that’s how I will unapologetically refer to him as from now on.

Christian was brought on the show to make us all feel bad about ourselves. He is more indefatigable than a couponing mother of three on Black Friday morning. He channels that energy into waking up at 3:30 a.m. daily for the gym. Additionally, as a result of a difficult upbringing, he’s been raising his brothers since his father disowned them. He’s also a successful businessman. So what have you done lately, you lazy piece of garbage?

Wrapping up the manoir spotlights, Luke is a handsome fella from Burnet, TX, so you might be related to him. I’m a little suspicious of how much hair gel a self-proclaimed “country boy” can get away with, but the pearl snap shirt and multiple cows present may be enough to convince the nation of his roots. He leaned against a red barn with his knee up because of course he did.

JoJo arrives to the mansion in Britney Spears’ 2000 VMAs bodysuit, recycled into an evening gown.

Photo courtesy of E Online.
Photo courtesy of E Online.

I’m convinced she contoured her boobs and I can respect that. She and Chris exchange encouraging words before the men arrive. She says she can’t believe she’s back already, which is uproarious, because according to Reality Steve, it’s been mere days since Ben dumped her. I’m ROFL.

Theory interruption: Chris Harrison is in love with JoJo and yearns for his chance to be seen in a different light. He waits patiently for that moment and until then he channels his sweet, delicate heartache toward his next fiction work.

JoJo proceeds to meet the 26 hand-selected potential soul mates brought to you by ABC and sponsors. And can I just pick my tongue back up off the floor to say WOW these guys are decent looking and their ABC bios did them no justice at all.

The first five or so impressions are normal, and by normal, I mean no one came out with a live animal, save the date card, or Vegas costume—just your standard job-related puns and bad jokes.

Derek is a dark-haired, blue-eyed version of Jim from The Office so please obsess over him responsibly.

Jon, the only Asian in a 30 miles radius, steps out in a kilt. Hey Jon, this is The Bachelorette, you don’t need to wear a kilt to stick out on this show. He claims he’s half Chinese, half Scottish “but Scottish below the waist,” so someone please laugh because he worked hard on that line. JoJo said his Kilt decision was “ballsy” and Lord, let’s hope not.

Nick gives no sh*ts and arrives in a Santa costume, and insists on being called “Saint Nick.” Nick deserves a medal for how hard he committed to this costume tonight. He would chant, “Jo Jo Jo,” at all times, no matter the situation, and I’m scared of how hard I laughed at it. JoJo was into him, too (spoiler alert, he gets a rose).

Then there’s Daniel, a Canadian man who has nothing to do with the viral video sensation “Damn Daniel”. But that didn’t stop him from quoting the video every chance he had. JoJo, a woman who could barely keep up with who Ben was in love with the past three months, much less internet memes, had no idea what he was talking about.

Chad arrives, and can I just say, I knew you were trouble when you walked in. It takes JoJo all but three seconds to fall under his bad boy man-spell, because of course.

James Taylor is an ironically named musician with a really cute face. He’s from Katy, TX and has a brother living in Uptown, who you’ve probably made out with at some point.

Side-note, James Taylor looks a lot like Will and there are two other James’s so prayers welcome as I embark on this recapping journey. Expect errors.

Wells brought the A cappella R&B band All For One to follow him and JoJo around, singing all night. It’s exactly like living inside the movie Love and Basketball. Just without love or basketball.

Holding back tears, Chris Harrison tells JoJo it’s time to for the cocktail party.

As you might have expected, the cocktail party was like a mash up of the guys’ puberty years and junior year of college wrapped into one. They could not get a grip and the phrase “excited, but nervous” was the new “amazing.” Where’s Jimmy Kimmel’s swear jar when you need it.

To calm their nerves, the men find peace in liquid courage, which flows from the walls of the mansion like a 16th Century English Palace. By the time Queen JoJo enters, her suitors are about at a “ready-to-endure-Concrete-Cowboy” on the drunk scale (ahem, really drunk). Santa chugging alcohol under his beard is the scene we all deserved. Make America Great Again.

Alex wins the ‘Which Douche Bag Will Steal Her First?’ contest then one-ups himself by asking JoJo to sit on him while doing push ups.

Will busts out a paper origami fortuneteller, the kind we all made in 8th grade. JoJo somehow agrees to kiss him, later saying she “wasn’t ready” for the “awkward” kiss, also like 8th grade. JoJo said verbatim to his face, “Maybe that will get better,” but before Will was able to kill himself that night, JoJo gave him a rose at the ceremony. Phew.

Damn Daniel finally grows tired of discussing the viral video, pokes the Erectile Dysfunction Specialist’s belly button (“Is that a Canadian thing?”), strips down, and jumps into the pool. Whiskey isn’t for everyone.

Nick S. interrupts JoJo’s ITM camera interview. Then Vinny interrupts them. It’s chaotic, it’s confusing, it’s great footage for the smattering of teasers we’ve all seen. #WhatJustHappened #ArmGestures

JoJo tries to act like she’s furious the men are drunk. “If this continues, I’m done. I’m out. They’re out.” Somewhere nearby, Chris tries to remain composed.

Photo courtesy of Giphy.com

It would appear as though the only guys winning cocktail hour are Chad and Ashlee Simpson (Jordan). Which is hilarious, because they could not be more different.

Chad has spent most of his time in an ITM interview talking crap about all the other guys, including Ben Higgins. Very much Cooler Than Thou. More Rugged Than Thou. Manlier Than Thou.

In contrast, Jordan is campaigning to win Homecoming King and is totally supportive of everything happening. “Kilt? Hilarious! Santa Costume? Amazing! A Cappella band? Who can compete with that?!?” – Jordan, summarized.

Chad takes a break from pouting in ITM interviews to act like a completely different person for JoJo. How sweet. Despite all the obvious red flags, she finds him “surprisingly vulnerable” and “mysterious.”

Ashlee Simpson was lucky enough to get alone time with JoJo twice tonight. After experiencing emotional turmoil over not kissing her first, he swooped in on Will and JoJo’s alone time, and earned the best kiss of the night. JoJo was so taken. Ben Higgins who? Ex-boyfriend-who-got-her-flowers-on-the-show-that-one-time who?

It’s rumored that she and Jordan met, and had a fling before the show started. So everything is a sham, life is meaningless, and I’m suing.

All of these men deserve a Nobel Peace Prize for not accidentally glancing at JoJo’s perfectly contoured boobs while talking to her. I’m a straight woman, I think, and they’re just OUT there and I’m just STARING and it’s HARD for EVEN ME to stop.

Commercial break. So excited for Beauty and The Beast I just peed a little.

We’re back. Chris Harrison walks in and yells, “SUP PUSSIES,” drops the first impression rose on the table, and walks out.

Just kidding. That only happened in my dreams.

But he did leave the first impression rose on the table, giving the anxiety-prone a reason to throw back the antis.

The mood dramatically shifts and the guys are really stressed out. Except Santa, who is undeterred in staying in character, chanting “Jo Jo Jo,” like he’s the instrumental band on the Titanic just trying to keep everyone’s spirits up while the boat sinks.

JoJo picks up the rose.

Oh, who will she give it to, I have no idea at all, it’s Jordan, she gives it to Jordan, I’m shocked, can’t believe this is happening.

Finally, it’s time for the rose ceremony, which begs the question: will Damn Daniel be able to stand through it?

Trying to fit as much drama and confusion as possible before the ceremony, ABC brings in season 14 Bachelor and fellow Dallas native, Jake Pavelka.

Super Bachelor Fan James had to explain to the straight guys who Jake was.

Jake cuts in right before JoJo starts passing out roses, but not to join the competition, just to offer friendly advice, which is brief and inconsequential, just like his engagement to Vienna Girardi.

Now what I want from the world are movie cameos of Jake, offering pointless, cordial advice in the middle of sentimental scenes. Make it happen, Judd Apatow.

The ceremony commences and roses are given in the following order (because we all know order matters): Luke, Wells, James Taylor, Grant, Derek, Christian, Chad, Robby, Brandon, James F., Aladdin, Santa, Will, James S., Vinny, Evan, Damn Daniel.

Yes, Damn Daniel was given a rose, and you’re single watching this at home.

I quite seriously might need therapy from the 20-second season preview. It looks like at least one of my predictions came true: Chad’s threatening people’s lives. Also coming up: Everyone falling in love with each other, kisses, red dresses, red roses, and Thailand. Then crying, blood, and screaming, and more crying.

Oh what a time to be alive.

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