The Bachelorette is back! Now with two Bachelorettes, a male stripper, a man who calls himself a “healer” and, as ever, the accusation that someone isn’t on the reality dating competition for the Right Reasons.
The premiere opened with a voice-over from host Chris Harrison pointing out all the worst traits of Kaitlyn Bristowe and Britt Nilsson, essentially painting them as caricatures: Kaitlyn as a skinny-dipping doofus and Britt as an emotional trainwreck. Rude.
In their separate limos, both Britt and Kaitlyn let out huge sighs as they approached the Bachelorette mansion where they would meet the 25 guys who would decide which one of them will be the Bachelorette for the rest of the show’s 11th season. It was almost poetic.
Each arrival was incredibly awkward as each guy would exit the limo and choose which of the women he’d greet first. During the greeting, the would-be Bachelorette left to wait would compare herself unfavorably, via voice-over, to her competitor. It was tragic. Kaitlyn knows that Britt has a way of drawing people in, and Britt knows that Kaitlyn’s jokey, cool-girl persona always wins her points, etc.
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But let’s meet the guys, shall we? Here are the highlights – or, in some cases, lowlights:
Joshua, 31 (#TeamKaitlyn)
Joshua is an industrial welder who said these actual words: “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.”
Ian, 28 (#TeamKaitlyn)
Ian ran track at Princeton before he was left for dead following a car accident. He was in a coma for a day and a half and was told he’d never run again, but with intense rehab and a strong will he managed to make it so that he can now run every day once again.
Jared, 26 (#TeamKaitlyn)
Jared might have dissociative identity disorder. His other identity is a superhero called “Loveman.” He intends to “rescue the Bachelorette from all the evil men in the world.” Loveman’s powers apparently include an imperviousness to temperature, given that he was filmed walking through the snow in his custom-made Loveman T-shirt.
He met the wearing a different Loveman T-shirt underneath his suit – it was Superman-style, with an L instead of an S.
Also, my initial notes on Jared for this recap read: “Hair v stupid, face v handsome.”
Josh, 27 (#NoIdentifiableTeam)
Josh is a real-life Lifetime movie. As he studies for his bar exam, he works as a stripper. Despite being surrounded by women, he bemoaned, he still can’t seem to find The One.
When he met Britt and Kaitlyn, he decided to strip. Kaitlyn cackled the whole way through, telling the Bachelorette camera that any guy who moves his hips like that is definitely a stripper – and that Britt can have him.
Brady, 33 (#TeamBritt)
Brady is the Ariana Grande of Nashville-based musicians. He played some of his music, and even upon replay I could not catch a single word of the “melodies inside [him],” of the “songs that marry together both pain and joy.”
Tony, 35 (#TeamBritt)
Tony specializes in “flexibility therapy” and says that his job is “healing.” Not to take away from his actual job – which appears to be “glorified masseuse” – but it seems a bit of a stretch to call yourself a healer.
When he met Britt, he told her: “I believe in love. A real kind of love. And I hope that the universe provides.” Britt was blown away by his sincerity … until he walked over to Kaitlyn and said the exact same thing. Ha.
Later, he voted for Britt after he put his hands over each of the ballot boxes and felt that Britt’s box was “pulsating.” (That’s what she said.)
Shawn E., 31 (#NoIdentifiableTeam)
The amateur sex coach from Ontario, Canada, chose to arrive in a hot-tub car. The entire inside of the vehicle was water. All of it. Meaning his suit was drenched up to his armpits. He is Canadian, though, so he has that advantage with Kaitlyn. He also has the most Canadian accent, and this is coming from a Montrealer.
Ryan M., 28 (#TeamKaitlyn)
Ryan M. is as obsessed with Kaitlyn as he is seemingly obsessed with open bars. That’s right, Ryan M. was the resident drunken hot mess.
Some of his exploits included:
• Yelling, “I’m all horned up right now, you don’t even know!” during the cocktail party, following up with, “I apologize for nothing! … I’m sorry for being awesome!”
• Berating Shawn E.’s hot-tub car, which was admittedly a terrible choice but no reason to go up to someone and say, “That car sucks,” and “You suck, dude.” (Later, Shawn E. said that Ryan M. was just “jealous” that he didn’t have the idea to drive up in a hot-tub car, which was pretty funny.)
• Jumping into the pool wearing what appeared to be a pair of swimming briefs and not regular briefs, meaning he must have come prepared?
• Asking JJ, “Why am I not raping you right now?” when confronted about his decision to pop off his shirt and jump into the aforementioned pool.
• Touching Kaitlyn’s butt. (“I’m all about good fun,” said Kaitlyn, “but no. I didn’t like that.”)
• Getting kicked out by Chris Harrison! “You’re clearly not here for either one of these girls or for sincere reasons,” he said, which had Ryan M. deflating like a balloon. “Is that it?” “Yup.” “Okay.” “There’s a car waiting for you.” “All right, sorry about that.” Come back when you’re here for the Right Reasons, Ryan! Or, better yet, never come anywhere near anybody ever again.
Chris, 28 (#NoIdentifiableTeam)
Chris drove up in a cupcake car, which was insane in itself, but I demand to know how this vehicle came about. Did the Bachelorette producers create this little Wacky Races-type ride? Did Chris? What’s worse? If it was ABC, did Chris sketch a blueprint? Or did he just say, “Cupcake car, please,” and they delivered? And why was it Halloween-themed, judging by the candy corn? What is this show?!
Tanner, 28 (#NoIdentifiableTeam)
Tanner gifted Britt with a pack of tissues! Britt thanked him but was a bit exasperated in an interview for the reminder that she “was the crier last season.” (Later, she called him a “d—,” but good-naturedly. He thought it was awkward.)
Kaitlyn also delivered an incredible bit of sass when she asked Britt, “Is that soap or tissues?”
Shawn B., 28 (#TeamKaitlyn)
Ah, Shawn B. Light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. In his Bachelorette cast bio, Shawn B. says that he likes One Direction, which is frankly enough for me, but the fact that he is 6’2″, bears a striking resemblance to Calvin Harris and came equipped with a drawing of Kaitlyn done by his 2-year-old nephew makes him a clear front-runner in this competition. Britt was also enamored with him, but he only had eyes for Kaitlyn. I feel that feel, Britt.
Also Worth Noting …
• Britt, around voting time: “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.” Heh.
• In a conversation with Ben H., who asked about Kaitlyn’s dove tattoo, she revealed that Chris Soules never asked her about it – not once. Rude. “They’re the only bird that remember how to fly home,” she explained.
• At the top of the cocktail party, Kaitlyn introduced herself to all the guys with a joke, which put Britt off: “This is our chance to look into the room to say what we’re looking for – not to do stand-up.” In contrast, Britt said to the room that she’s looking for someone to share her life with – a best friend.
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On Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET, we’ll find out which of the ladies is the next Bachelorette and which lady will be sent packing.