Fan of “The Bachelorette”? Maybe not anymore.
On Monday night’s decidedly odd part 1 of the season premiere, the series introduced two Bachelorettes — Kaitlyn Bristowe and Britt Nilson from Chris Soules’ season — and left it up to the 25 competing men to vote on which lucky lady they prefer to stay on.
Didn’t “The Bachelorette” concept begin as a way to turn the tables and give the rejected female contestants on “The Bachelor” a second chance at finding love? Shouldn’t the men be throwing themselves at the woman? Apparently not.
Now in its 11th season, the contestants are deciding who they want to compete for — and the loser is sent home in Tuesday night’s episode. Host Chris Harrison claimed the guys are being allowed to take a vote because there were mixed feelings toward the two hopefuls.
Whatever happened to the men — minus some wildcards casted for comedic relief — being picked for the Bachelorette for their potential compatibility? Since when does the Bachelorette have to be a viable candidate for the contestant? Whatever happened to the show’s girl-power assertion?
It all came tumbling down, just as soon as the first gentleman exited his vehicle and had to make the first decision of the night — which Bachelorette to approach first. A few moments were more uncomfortable than others, such as when a contestant would approach Kaitlyn and share some laughs while disregarding Britt. Both women appeared to be enjoying themselves, for the most part, though they may have been doing an excellent job of internalizing their own discomfort and jealousy.
Kaitlyn told People that the idea seemed unsettling at first.
“It just felt a little awkward to think of having another person there,” she said.
Britt shared a similar reaction.
“We kept looking at each other like, ‘This is so crazy,’ but honestly I feel like the fact that we were friends and could talk about it was really, really nice, and did kind of take down the awkwardness,” the co-Bachelorette said. “It was fun, but yeah, there were awkward moments of course.”
The contestants, however, had no qualms with exhibiting their usual boisterous selves on television.
Industrial welder Joshua from Kuna, Idaho, made a strange analogy using welding and love.
“With the right amount of heat and plenty of friction, two pieces can become one … Sparks are gonna fly, I just know they will … welding is like love,” he said.
He gets a point for effort, at least.
Jared, a restaurant manager hailing from Warwick, Rhode Island, has a wild look in his eyes as he gushes about his other identity — a superhero named Loveman who is tasked with rescuing the Bachelorette from “all the evil men in the world.” See earlier statement about wildcards being cast for comedic relief.
Josh is a law student from Chicago who makes his living as an exotic dancer. Of course, he proved it to the co-Bachelorettes. His future is doubtful.
Tony is the classic example of what not to do with cameras around you. The self-proclaimed “healer” from St. Louis, Missouri, committed an unforgivable sin. He first spoke with Britt, serenading her with his idea of love.
“I believe in love,” he said. “A real kind of love. And I hope that the universe provides.”
She was touched. Mission accomplished. He then walked over to Kaitlyn and reiterated the same speech.
Shawn E., the “amateur sex coach” from Ontario, Canada, came to play. He arrived in a hot tub. As in, the inside of his car was filled with water.
Not to be outdone by a fellow contestant in a hot tub, the next contestant — Chris from Nashville — drove up to the scene in a cupcake car. Yes, this dentist opted to drive up to the house in a candy corn cupcake.
Ryan M., though, became the disaster of the night. From the start, he was obviously intoxicated. The junkyard specialist from Kansas City, Missouri, wasn’t there to impress anyone.
“I apologize for nothing!” he said. “I’m sorry for being awesome!” he said later.
Ryan proved to be a supporter of Kaitlyn, but she wasn’t into him … Especially when he decided to feel her butt.
“I’m all about good fun, but no. I didn’t like that,” she said.
Ryan was shown the door by host Chris Harrison, who called him out for lacking “sincere reasons” for being on the show.
“Is that it?” Ryan said.
Yes, Ryan, that’s it.
Thankfully, one rude guest was forced into an early exit and the women didn’t have to worry about fighting for his approval.
Still, the show’s new direction is best summed up by one of Britt’s final lines: “I feel like I have to go in and, in 20 seconds, prove myself as wife material so that they put a rose in my box.” Last season, she and Kaitlyn stressed over the acknowledgment of one — Chris Soules. This season, the co-Bachelorettes have to worry about snagging a majority of 25. This is not “The Bachelorette” as fans know and love it to be.
Below, viewers share their own complaints on the new season.
Part two of the two-part “Bachelorette” premiere airs Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.