S16E1: Welcome to the premiere of the sixteenth season of The Bachelor! Let me start off by admitting that I’m brand new to the show and have never watched an episode before. HOWEVER, I am a huge fan of adorably sweet guys, beautiful red roses, and full-on girl drama, so something tells me this is the right show (and the right season) for me to hop on board The Bachelor bandwagon.
And how about this year’s bachelor, Ben Flajnik? As most of you know, Ashley Hebert rejected poor Ben’s proposal on the last season finale of The Bachelorette, leaving our favorite wine-maker single and heart broken. But Ashley’s loss is our gain because Ben truly seems to be perfect “Bachelor” material. I mean, here’s a guy who’s been in the same position that these 25 girls are in now, so he can understand how hard it can be and really relate with what they’re all going through. Not to mention he’s sweet, sincere, genuine, and someone you just can’t help but root for. All in all, he’s the real deal and deserves his shot at love…again.
“25 women have flown all the way across the country just to meet you.” – Chris Harrison
Before it came time for Ben to meet the ladies, Chris Harrison took him aside for a little one-on-one time to get a sense of how he’s feeling. So of course they talked about his rejection from Ashley and how that really hurt him, but he also admitted that the whole experience helped him grow as a person and that he’s ready to go out there and find love again. And although I don’t really see this as being the most conventional (or plausible) way to find love, you’ve got to admire the guy’s persistence. But enough about the past – it’s time to focus on Ben’s future, which means introducing him to his 25 potential love matches. And as you would suspect, it was awkward. The hugs, the side kisses, the over-the-top jokes (and poems) – it was all a bit forced, however that’s to be expected at the beginning of these things. But these girls did everything they could to make a lasting first impression. Probably one of the most memorable entrances was made by Sheryl: the grandmother to one of the girls. At first it looked like she, herself, was going to be one of the 25 hopefuls, but thankfully she just ended up introducing her granddaughter to Ben, saying how she loves him and would love for the two of them to end up together. Which was a relief actually because I don’t know if I could’ve handled the age gap on that one.
"When you’re brilliant at putting someone down, you know you have issues.” – Jenna
So what happens when you put a bunch of girls together who are drinking and all looking for love? Trash talk! As the night wore on, the girls began sizing each other up, looking to see who would be the biggest competition. So naturally, they began bad mouthing each other. Some girls thought it was ridiculous that Brittany brought her grandmother along as a way to show Ben how family oriented she is, just like him. It was a bold move, but some girls didn’t think it was appropriate and immediately judged the decision. But the biggest spat of the night belonged to Monica and Jenna, who did not get off to a great start. Jenna voiced that she didn’t think Monica was on the show for the right reasons since she really didn’t seem to be all that into Ben. Of course, this made Monica develop quite an attitude toward Jenna and from there, drama just continued to escalate. Jenna – who made a habit of crying during the majority of the show -- lamented to some of the girls, saying how Monica makes her “feel inferior” and that she can’t understand why Monica doesn’t like her when they’ve only just met (although she doesn’t even like Monica, so I’m not sure why she even wants to be liked by her so much). Monica, on the other hand, just laughed in her face and continued to trash talk Jenna behind (and in front of) her back. Yup, the tension between the two of them was palpable and I don’t see that going away anytime soon, which seems silly since I doubt it will help their odds of getting Ben to fall in love with them (but it sure is fun to watch!). Throughout the whole ordeal, most of the other girls tried to play neutral and acted like they just want everyone to get along, but let’s face it – that’s NEVER going to happen in situations like these. When love is at stake, all bets are off.
“It’s an incredible opportunity. The chance of a lifetime.” – Ben
Then came the first rose ceremony, where eighteen girls were given roses from Ben. The first rose (also known as the first impression rose) was given to Lindzi, who initially rode up to meet Ben, not in a limo like the rest of the girls…but on a horse (I guess a memorable entrance is the way to go in a competition like this). Unsurprisingly, Ben also chose both Monica and Jenna to stay, which means we haven’t seen the last of their ever-growing drama (thank goodness). Additionally, he decided to keep Brittany (the Grandma’s girl) and Courtney (the cocky model), who – according to the promo – will be the next leading source of drama in upcoming episodes. It's looking to be quite the drama-filled season...I hope Ben knows what he’s getting himself into.
So who do you think stands the best chance with Ben so far? Are you Team Jenna or Team Monica? Stay tuned next week to find out who will be the next to cry (hint: it will probably be most of them).