'The Bachelor' Season 19 premiere recap

For The Baltimore Sun

The 19th season of "The Bachelor" begins with an hour-long red carpet event, leading up to the "Live Viewing Party" hosted by Chris Harrison in Hollywood.

Red carpet attendees are contestants from previous seasons. Chris Harrison introduces this season by promising (again) "the most dramatic and romantic season yet" filled with scandal from a "virgin who accepts the fantasy suite card" to a "wholesome woman who gets X-rated" and "two widows looking for another chance at love."

During the red carpet event, we are introduced via reel to this seasons Bachelor, Chris Soules, who is apparently referred to as "Prince Farming." Chris was on the last season of "The Bachelorette" with Andi Dorfman.

The reel is five minutes of Chris doing things that farmers do. We see shots of him walking through crops, driving a tractor, shoveling seeds in a combine, hauling said shovel over his shoulder, carrying a fishing pole to fish in the stream with his fathe r… you get the picture. The reel ends with Chris and his personal trainer who have set up a pseudo CrossFit gym in the barn, using hay barrels and farming equipment to get in shape for the show.

To really emphasize that Chris is a farmer, he tells us that he "doesn’t want to count his chickens before they hatch," which I think means he doesn’t want to get too excited, but I don’t speak in farming metaphors as they relate to "The Bachelor."

While most of the hour-long red carpet special is just Chris Harrison interviewing couples that have met through the show and Nikki, we do get to "meet" a few of this seasons contestants.

First, we meet Britt, a 27-year-old waitress living in Hollywood, who sometimes stands on Hollywood Boulevard (gross) holding a sign that says, “Free Hugs” to brighten peoples’ days. 

Next, we head to D.C. where we’re introduced to Jillian, a 25-year-old national news producer who is doing flips and cartwheels outside of the White House. You know, because she lives in D.C. After she tells us that she hopes she can find a man who loves a strong woman, they zoom in on her at the gym doing pull-ups with a heavy weight and chain strapped between her legs. Get it?

They close her intro with her posing in a romper, a statement necklace and high heels, because not only is she athletic and strong, she also cleans up well.

On to Amanda, who is a ballet teacher from Lake in the Hills, Illinois (seriously). We meet her while she is teaching a ballet class. In the next shot, she tells us, with HUGE eyes, that she lives with her mom because she doesn’t like to pay bills or clean or cook. So, what they’re saying is that she’ll make an exceptional wife.

After big-eyed Amanda, we meet Whitney, who is a fertility nurse but should actually be a princess at Disneyland because that’s what she sounds like when she speaks.

They zoom in on Cinderella (Whitney) in her home, where she asks her pet dog “could Chris be your daddy?” and I can already tell we’re going to have issues with this one.

We head over to Maple Valley, Washington, where 21-year-old Mackenzie sits alone by a flowing stream where she tells us that Chris is “hot, mature and grown up. So, he’s like a man. Which is what I want. It’s perfect.” You kind of have to forgive her for that because she’s only 21.

Now we’re taken inside of an airplane to meet Alissa, 24, because she is a flight attendant. The writers must have had a brainstorm for this one, because we are fed at least 10 witty Bachelor/flight attendant puns during Alissa’s intro. I think my favorite was “love is like flying because when you’re up, you’re up.” Mostly because she says this while she hands out roses to the passengers. Either that or, “I would love to fly off into the sunset with Chris” as the plane heads into the sunset.

 

Finally we meet Kelsey in Austin Texas, and learn that she is one of the two widows Chris Harrison promised us. There isn’t much else to say about her yet, except that she’s adorable.

 

An hour after that red carpet nonsense, Chris Harrison tells us it’s time to start the Bachelor Viewing Party, which is what I thought we were already doing. Zoom into Bachelor Chris driving his motorcycle along the PCH and then Downtown LA, which doesn’t make any sense because they’re not even close to each other, but television. To really hone in on him being ‘out of place’ in LA, they follow his motorcycle ride with a fitting and a photo shoot.

 

Meet the Women of Season 19:

 

If you’ve not watched a season before, the first episode is always the introduction of the contestants. They arrive in limos in groups of five, and are encouraged to do something memorable so the Bachelor/Bachelortette will be intrigued to approach them inside. So, here we go:

 

The first limo arrives, and Britt, the waitress from Hollywood who stands on Hollywood Boulevard giving out free hugs, steps out and pants heavily into Bachelor Chris’ ear while they hug for thirty seconds too long. She gives him a folded piece of paper and makes him promise to come find her later. As she walks away he reads it aloud, and it says, “Free Hug, from Britt” bringing the “Free Hug” on Hollywood Boulevard clip full circle.

 

Next, a pair of strappy plastic yellow stilettos steps out of the limo and Whitney, the fertility nurse who should be a Disneyland princess and tells Bachelor Chris that she’s been watching the show since she was in high school and now I’m grateful I had friends growing up.

 

Kelsey the widow is the third one out of the limo and she doesn’t do anything out of the ordinary, which causes Chris to watch her walk away, take a very loud deep breath and say “WOW” out loud.

 

Megan, a 24-year-old makeup artist from Nashville Tennessee is next, and that sentence is more exciting than her entrance was.

 

Ashley I., a 26-year-old freelance writer, which I think is the Bachelor’s way of saying blogger, from Wayne, New Jersey stumbles out of the limo, as though she is being dropped off at her apartment after a night out in West Hollywood. She’s actually dressed that way, too. I’m pretty sure she’s at least a bottle of vodka deep.

 

Limo number two pulls up and you hear a ton of screeching from inside. Excellent. Here comes the crazy.

 

Trina steps out in a mini dress, looks at Bachelor Chris and yells, “hellllllo Farmer Chris”. Her and Ashley I. are sure to get along.

 

Reegen, a Donated Tissue Specialist gets out of the limo carrying a red cooler and you know something ridiculous is about to go down. After she says she was trying to think of something clever to bring Bachelor Chris, she opens the cooler and inside is a bleeding heart. Seriously. I have so many questions about this. Is that allowed? What is she going to do with it when she gets inside?  

 

After Reegan and her bleeding heart walk away, a pair of cowboy boots, cut off jean shorts and a flannel shirt step out of the limo, and we’re introduced to Tara, a “Sports Fishing Enthusiast” which leaves me completely confused. Is that an actual job? What does it entail? She tells Bachelor Chris she’s not wearing a cocktail dress because she wanted him to get to know the ‘real her’.

 

The cameras follow Tara into the house, and all of the other women immediately begin to judge her because of how she’s dressed. Finally, the show we all know and love is starting. Trina, who is surprisingly even more hammered than she was getting out of the limo, tells us that she would never wear that outfit on a first date, and Tara asks for a Jameson on the rocks. Like a real cowgirl would. While Tara tells us she doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her outfit, she simultaneously goes into the other room to put on a tight, backless, black cocktail dress.

 

Next out of the limo is Amber, the only black woman this season, who brings Bachelor Chris a teddy bear because it’s a comfort for her.

 

After Amber, we meet Nikki a former NFL cheerleader who tells Bachelor Chris she just flew to see him from Peru. While they are talking, we see Tara, who has changed into a tight, backless black cocktail dress, run back to get in the limo. Again. As she approaches Bachelor Chris for the second time from the limo, she tells him she wanted to show him that “you can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl” while revealing a terrible tattoo on her shoulder. I’m sure there will be a tearful story of what this tattoo means later on.

 

After Tara yells “Yee Haw” we hear a whisper from the limo. The limo driver goes to the window to grab an envelope from said whisperer, and delivers it to Bachelor Chris. By reading the note out loud, he tells us it reads, “Chris, turn away from the limo and close your eyes. Hugs and kisses” and I don’t like this chick already. It turns out to be the ballet teacher with the huge eyes, Amanda. While he’s turned around, she hugs him from behind and tells him that she wants to be his secret admirer. Probably a good idea she didn’t let him see her.

 

Jillian, the news reporter from DC who does flips outside of the White House because she lives in DC, is next. She flexes for him, asks him to touch her arm. He says, “it’s pretty hard” and they both giggle. I’m betting now she gets a hometown date.

 

Next, Mackenzie, the 21-year-old with a child steps out of the limo, and I am certain that she is wearing what she wore to her senior prom. Two years ago, because she’s 21.

 

When Mackenzie walks into the mansion, Ashley S. gets out of the limo and looks like she has absolutely no idea where she is. After she hugs Chris she tells him that since she was little she has collected lucky pennies, and when she finds them, she puts them in her shoe. She looks up at him and asks if she can put the lucky penny she found at the airport in his sole, and I’m not sure if there is a metaphor there or not. He says yes, and she bends over to put a penny in his shoe. Weird.

 

With a penny in his shoe, Chris is introduced to Kaitlyn, a dancer with a dancers body who blatantly tells him she doesn’t know much about him except that he’s a farmer and he can “plow the f--- out of her field any day he wants”. He has no idea what to say, and she continues by telling him she wants a man that can make her laugh. To top it all off, she picks a piece of glitter off of his face, and yells, “Who is she?” Like I said, they’re encouraged to make a memorable first impression.

 

Chris Harrison decides he wants some airtime, and when Bachelor Chris says he feels like this is a dream and someone needs to slap him, Chris Harrison does, and I wish this was the beginning of a fistfight, but it isn’t.

 

Much to everyone’s surprise, Chris Harrison tells Bachelor Chris to head into the house, despite there only being 15 women inside. The girls all scream, and wonder repeatedly why there aren’t more women there.

 

Kaityln, the woman who said Bachelor Chris can “plow the fuck out of her field any day he wants” asks the group if they want her to tell a joke because “sometimes when I tell a joke it makes people laugh” and I’m pretty sure that’s the definition of a joke. Bachelor Chris tells her no, and then he gives the “I know what you guys are going through” Bachelor speech we hear every season.

 

But wait, Kaitlyn decides she’s going to tell the joke anyway and asks the room, “Why did the walrus go to the Tupperware party?” … “Because he wanted a tight seal” to which all of the other women act offended by. Personally, I laughed.

 

Now we spend way too much time listening to the women in the house wonder out loud where the other women are, and I’m confused because if I were there, I would want there to be less woman, but what the hell do I know?

 

Bachelor Chris and Britt, who gives out free hugs on Hollywood Boulevard, walk outside where she explains the “Free Hug” card by telling him that because she loves to give hugs, he can feel safe with her. Bachelor Chris says Britt speaks to his heart.

 

We go back to the women talking about where the rest of the contestants are and Chris Harrison brings in the first impression rose. Naturally, all of the women panic.

 

Also, I realize at this moment that Kaitlyn is the new Tierra from Sean Lowe’s season.

 

After Chris Harrison drops off the first impression rose, we are taken to the “Live Viewing Party” where we are introduced to six farmers wives from Bachelor Chris’ home town, all of whom are wearing the same necklace.

 

When the show comes back on, Chris and Whitney, the fertility nurse who should be a Disneyland princess head outside for some one on one time, and she starts the conversation by saying “I make babies for a living” followed by the question “do y’all inseminate pigs?” I hope she’s just nervous.

 

Nikki, the former NFL Cheerleader who just got back from Peru is holding hands with Chris while she tells him that while she was climbing Machu Picchu, she happened to find a heart shaped rock that she wanted Chris to have.

 

We go back to the women talking about where the rest of the contestants are.

 

Bachelor Chris goes searching for his ‘secret admirer’ and when he finds her, big eyes (Amanda) leads him outside. I don’t remember what was talked about because of her big eyes.

 

Chris Harrison comes inside to ‘steal Bachelor Chris’ and we are taken outside to meet the rest of the women, while the women already in the house awkwardly watch from inside.

 

The second round of limo drop-offs happens much faster than the first.

 

Samantha, a fashion designer from LA says she feels blessed and that’s about it.

 

Michelle does nothing memorable, but she is a cake decorator. So there’s that.

 

Meanwhile, inside, Jillian, the news reporter from DC who does flips outside of the White House because she lives in DC, flexes her muscles for the camera again, letting us all know she wants the new women gone.

 

Becca gets out of the limo, and Bachelor Chris is mesmerized by her, as he should be, she’s gorgeous and has great shoes on. I’m going to guess she makes it to hometown dates.

 

Tandra shows up on a motorcycle and gives Bachelor Chris a bear hug. I love her dress, but that’s about all we know about her. Like I said, this second round went quickly.

 

Alissa, the flight attendant we met earlier, tells Bachelor Chris she is a flight attendant and it reminds me of that Sex and the City episode where Miranda lies about being a lawyer because no one wants to date a lawyer. Alissa brought a seat belt, tells Bachelor Chris it’s going to a bumpy ride, and straps the seat belt around his waist. I don’t know how many more flying jokes I can handle and there is still an hour left.

 

Jordan, a student from Canada, brings him a mini bottle of whiskey, in case he was nervous, and they do a shot together. I like her style.

 

Nicole steps out of the limo wearing a pig nose, and tells him she wanted to “ham it up for him”. She looks like Nicole Kidman in that movie about witches.

 

Brittany is next. And she is a WWE Diva-in-training, whatever the hell that is. But that’s not the best part. The best part is that she is wearing almost nothing. When she introduces herself to Bachelor Chris, she opens a sign that she made that reads #SoulesMates (Soules is his last name). I appreciate the hashtag.

 

While they are still watching through the window, white wine in hand, the women in the house go crazy over Brittany’s (almost nonexistent) outfit.

 

While everyone is still trying to get over Brittany, Carly hops out of the limo and sings a song to Bachelor Chris. Because she is a Cruise Ship Singer, obviously. Sometimes the ‘jobs’ of the contestants are the best part of this show. Like now.

 

Kaitlyn, who said Bachelor Chris could “plow the f--- out of her field any day” says she might cry if she sees another limo, and then another limo pulls up and she doesn’t cry. Kaitlyn is a liar.

 

Tracy is a fourth grade teacher, and she reads a note that one of her students wrote to Bachelor Chris, which is just too predictable, but I feel like a farmer and a teacher kind of has to happen.

 

Bo, the plus-sized model is next. That’s really all there is to say about that.

 

Kimberly looks like Chrissy Tiegen.

 

Kara says she’s 25, but I am pretty sure that’s a lie. She’s at least 42, or really enjoyed cigarettes in college.

 

Jade is adorable, from LA and will definitely get a hometown date.

 

And there are your season nineteen contestants.

 

Now, we head back inside.

 

When he walks back into the mansion, Bachelor Chris tells everyone that he’s overwhelmed and they all laugh. Here is where the fun starts. Since they don’t have much time before the first rose ceremony, and they’ve been drinking their spritzers, the women now compete for time with Bachelor Chris.

 

Michelle, the cake designer, tells Chris that she has two kids. She’s 25 and the oldest is 7.

 

Carly is up next for one on one time with Bachelor Chris, and she uses this time to tell him that she was researching Iowa and she learned that it is illegal to be an ice cream truck driver in Iowa. I laughed out loud at this, while Chris tells Carly “I’m not sure, I’ve never asked about that.” Well done, bucko.

 

After Carly, Kaitlyn puts on a pair of Lululemons to teach Bachelor Chris a dance, because she’s a dance instructor, obviously.

 

Now we spend fifteen minutes of women “stealing” Bachelor Chris to talk to him.

 

While Bachelor Chris talks about pork, plus sized model Bo says, “I could definitely get on board with that. I’m a plus sized model so I have to keep my curves.”

 

Like I said, this is where the fun starts. We get to spend a little time with Ashley S. and the camera. Here is what she had to slur. I mean say:

 

“Every person you meet is like an onion. You cut them and then you peel them back and its just layer after layer.” She then picks a flower from the garden and approaches Bachelor Chris who is talking to Brittany, the girl with no dress on, where she says, “I’m sorry but this is how I feel. I feel like I didn’t have my time, so I’m going to give you (Brittany) this rose and can I steal him away?” Brittany argues a bit, and when she and Bachelor Chris stand up, she says, “she didn’t take my rose. Chris, you don’t have to go anywhere. Stay here.” After that scene, they go back to Ashley S. with the camera, where she continues with her thoughts:

 

“That to me is an onion. It’s about to bloom. Seriously, look at this onion. It’s crazy. Take a look at the freakin onion!” Then we see her conversation with Bachelor Chris, where she tells him, “I wrote on my bucket list, this new idea of sunflowers. Like I wanna run through the sunflower fields. I’ve also never ridden horse. So my point is that I wanna go ride a horse through the sunflower fields.”

 

(Back to the camera) “That’s a freakin onion. I swear that’s an onion. Can I pick it? If it’s a pomegranate then God bless it. It is a pomegrante! It is!” Then she yanks it off the tree, whispers, “wow” and says she feels powerful. I think powerful means drunk in this scenario.

 

After that drunken mess, we move onto the one on one with Mackenzie, where she asks Bachelor Chris what alfalfa is, and if it’s organic.

 

A hammered Tara tells us her best friends are Jameson, Johnny Walker and Jack Daniels. You know, because she’s a ‘small town real girl’. She then gets the hiccups, burps a few times, and calls herself a “f---ing trainwreck”.

 

Mackenzie says the first impression rose is like a life jacket because it’s red and the girls argue if life jackets are red or orange.

 

Jade asks Bachelor Chris If they were singing a duet at karaoke, what would the song be? Which basically means she read a book on dating. Bachelor Chris responds with Tim McGraw and Faith Hill and I think I have a crush on him.

 

After that whirlwind, Bachelor Chris is ready to give the first impression rose. As he picks it up, he tells us, “the reason I chose this woman is because she is not only gorgeous, and stunning, but it’s way more than that. The way she makes me feel is why I’m here.” He walks outside to hand Britt, the girl who gives out free hugs on Hollywood Boulevard the first impression rose. When she accepts the rose, they make out and I think that is the fastest a first kiss has ever happened on this show. After an hour of knowing each other, Britt tells us that “among all this chaos, something real is happening.”

 

Onto the Rose Ceremony:

 

The women all line up, and Chris Harrison brings out the roses to tell us what’s about to happen. Drunk Tara is swaying back and forth and can’t stand up straight. She says she’s delirious. She is rubbing her hands together. Yawning. Giggling. Hammered.

 

After handing out several roses, Bachelor Chris steps out of the room to consult with Chris Harrison, because he’s uncertain of what to do about Tara. He liked her, but she’s hammered. Not sure why he needs Chris Harrison’s help, but television.

 

Tara gets a rose and all of the women who haven’t been given a rose yet are upset about it.

 

Eliminated:

 

Nicole, the girl who wore the pig nose

Brittany, The WWe ‘Diva In Training’ who wasn’t wearing much

Bo, the plus sized model

Amanda, big eyes

Kara, The 25 year old who was definitely older than 25

Kimberly the yoga instructor from New York

Reegan, the girl who brought the bloody heart. Again, where did she put that thing?

Michelle, the wedding cake decorator

 

My Hometown Guesses:

 

Becca, because of how he looked at her. And her shoes.

Kaitlyn, because he enjoyed her weird sense of humor.

Kelsie, because she’s adorable.

Britt, because I’m going to bet that she’s the next Bachelorette.

Best Bachelor Chris Line from Episode One: “I wish I was a polygamist right now.”

 

 

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