“The Bachelor” is back. And this time, infamous two-time runner-up Nick Viall is trying to find love.
The premiere came loaded with a sea of red dresses, cringe-worthy first impressions and yes – there’s already a villain in the house.
In the first two minutes of the episode, audiences are treated to a scene of Viall in the shower. This is the guy who was the runner-up on Andi Dorfman’s season of “The Bachelorette,” then came halfway through Kaitlyn Bristowe’s season and was stopped by her while getting down on one knee, and then stole Jen Saviano’s heart on last summer’s “Bachelor in Paradise.”
The 30 women are diverse in profession, age, and race; a lack of diversity in “The Bachelor” franchise has led to criticism in the past. As TheWrap reported, although 2014 “Bachelor” Juan Pablo Galavis was Venezuelan-American, there still has not been an African-American or Asian “Bachelor” or “Bachelorette” in 32 seasons of the franchise. And even when non-white contestants are cast, they seldom get very far in the process.
Anyway, this season we meet attorney Rachel, nail salon owner Danielle, dolphin-obsessed Alexis, and mental health counselor Taylor. We also get introduced to Corinne from Miami, who lives with her family but runs a multimillion dollar company, apparently. And then there’s Elizabeth, who met Viall at “Bachelor” alums Jade and Tanner Tolbert’s wedding nine months ago and with whom she apparently slept but hasn’t had contact since.
Cue the awkward first impressions. Christen tells Viall she “feels like I’m meeting a celebrity” while Taylor tells him her friends told her he’s a “complete piece of s—.” Sarah thinks he would appreciate “another runner-up” so she comes running up the infamous driveway, and Jasmine G. brings “Bachelor” ring supplier Neil Lane with her to show Viall which ring she wants at the end of this journey. Weird.
After a beard massage, a “Lady and the Tramp”-style sausage eating party and a nose ring, the girl with the best (or worst) first impression is Lacey, who comes in riding a camel and tells Viall she heard he “likes a good hump.” And Alexis, the dolphin-lover comes in wearing a dolphin outfit. Or at least she thinks it’s a dolphin costume… everyone else thinks – or knows – it was a shark costume.
From the get-go, it’s clear attorney Rachel, wearing a red dress like literally half the contestants this year, is a frontrunner. Seriously, ABC must have sent out a memo asking for girls to wear red dresses. It’s even a running joke throughout most of the episode.
Viall says “Rachel stands out” and gives her the first impression rose. And of course, the premiere reveals the show’s first true villain: Corinne. And it’s because Corinne was the first girl to interrupt another’s one-on-one and got the first kiss. But Viall actually admits he didn’t feel that comfortable and hopes none of the other women in the house saw.
And Elizabeth, the girl whom Viall slept with at the wedding, finally gets her one-on-one time, but it doesn’t quite pan out the way she wanted it to. Viall remembers her and actually asks why she never made an effort to reach out to him. But their time is interrupted by another woman, so their talk doesn’t get much further than that.
In the end, among the women that are sent home are Olivia, Lauren and Briana. Corinne, Alexis and Liz are safe till next week.