On Monday night, fans finally got to watch the premiere of Ben Higgins‘ season of The Bachelor – the hit show’s 20th season – and to absolutely no one’s surprise at all, we can officially crown him the sweetest Bachelor, dare we say, in Bachelor history. (AKA the complete opposite of Juan Pablo.)
Ben, who made it to the final three on Kaitlyn Bristowe‘s season of The Bachelorette, is a 26-year-old software salesman who lives in Denver, Colorado – but he actually grew up in the small-town setting of Warsaw, Indiana.
From there, the adorable montage basically created itself: We got to see the elementary school where he still visits his teachers, the movie theater where he had his first kiss, the high school where he was quarterback of the football team, and of course, we were introduced to his sweet parents, who have been married for 32 years.
Throughout the episode, Ben juggled an evening with 28 women (and sent 7 home!) with more ease and grace than most guys can do one-on-one. Let’s begin.
First Things First: Can We Talk About the Fact That Ben Has a Fear of Being Unlovable?
Ben has a fear of being unlovable and it needs to squashed immediately.
The baby-faced Bachelor, who’s only dated a couple of women in his life (but don’t worry, he still calls them all “incredible”), revealed he’s been rejected before and it “stings” – hence, this fear of being unwanted, unlovable, and even that he isn’t going to be guy the ladies want this season.
Needless to say, once the women started arriving, it became clear they were all rather pleased with the selection. Ben, you got this. Repeat after me: You is kind, you is smart, you is lovable.
Kaitlyn Bristowe Predicted Ben Higgins Would Be the Next Bacehlor on PEOPLE Now!
Meet the Women: a War Veteran, a Chicken Enthusiast, and of Course, the Twins
As always, there was the usual selection of absurd job occupations, such as “chicken enthusiast” and you know, “twin” – but we also got to meet a mathematician, a cowgirl, a dentist, a war veteran and an unemployed girl who rolled in on a hoverboard, to name a few.
The fowl aficionado is a woman named Tiara, and despite her bizarre profession and the fact that she has framed pictures of chickens and one of Ben in her home, she came across as a sweet, normal girl who didn’t even mention the birds throughout the evening.
The twins are Emily and Haley, and they are almost a parody of what you might imagine cute, identical blond twins to act like. They say everything in unison and finish each others sentences and it’s eerie. They also keep mentioning the fact that they’ve never dated the same guy together, like this should come as a surprise?
We also have four Lauren’s, and Ben seemed to be a fan of all of them, especially Lauren B., a flight attendant from southern California.
And last but not least there’s Caila, a software sales rep who kind of really made it sound like she dumped her last boyfriend after watching Ben on the last season of The Bachelorette. (Shoutout to all the guys out there that got dumped by girls across the country pining after Ben. We’re pouring one out for you.)
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After the 26 original women had arrived and the cocktail party had begun, there was, of course, a twist: the addition of Becca and Amber from Chris Soules‘ season of The Bachelor.
Becca, who was the runner-up on Soules’ season, created some major waves as the girls felt understandably threatened, but interestingly she didn’t actually end up being the girl who created the most drama.
We Already Have a Villain and She’s Named After a Fabric
Bachelor nation, meet Lace.
Lace made quite the entrance when she stepped out of the limo, told Ben to close his eyes, and planted a kiss on his lips. She then proceeded to have a few more drinks (read: too many) at the cocktail party, and later on asked him for another kiss about a hot minute into their conversation.
Ben, in classic gentlemanly Ben fashion, hesitated – but before he could explain why, he was whisked away by another girl. To make up for it, he later sought out Lace during the party and took her aside to explain himself. Lace, in her excitement at being singled out, chose to ignore that he was explaining he didn’t want to kiss her just yet and simply took their interaction as a sign that she was a favorite.
She also took a jab at Becca for being a virgin, and though Ben gave her the final rose of the evening she proceeded to made a giant scene over the fact that he didn’t “make eye contact” with her at all during the process. Ladies and gentleman, we have this season’s crazy.
And the First Impression Rose Goes To…
On Monday’s premiere, Ben decided to give the special rose to Olivia, a news anchor from Austin, Texas, who left her job to be on the show.
Though the two didn’t kiss, it was clear Ben was very into her and she’s most probably going to be one to watch this season – especially after the season preview teased she might end up being completely evil. (Shocker.)
Stay tuned. The Bachelor airs Monday (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.