Since we last left off, Chris Soules proposed to Whitney, the fertility nurse who should have been a Disney princess, at his farm in Arlington, Iowa. After spending the next few months in Los Angeles to compete on "Dancing With The Stars," Twitter has confirmed he is back on the farm, preparing to marry Whitney.
Usually what happens next is that the contestant who made it to the end but finished without a ring becomes the next season's Bachelor or Bachelorette. On Chris' season, Britt, who gave free hugs on Hollywood Boulevard, was sent home rather than proposed to, so we were left to assume she was the next Bachelorette.
However, as ABC and Chris Harrison tend to do, they switched things up and for its 20th season, we are told that there are two Bachelorettes. Not only will Britt be looking for marriage on national television, she will be joined by Kaitlyn, the girl who told Chris Soules he could "plow the f--- out of her field any day" during last season's premiere.
We learn early on that they will compete for the first night, until one is voted off by the 25 suitors.
As is typical, we begin with a long speech from Chris Harrison, followed by dramatic introductions of each contestant. I won't go through all 25 men, but here are a few highlights:
Jared, a restaurant manager from Rhode Island, tells us that if he were going into this thing as a superhero, he would be going in as "Love Man" to rescue the Bachelorette from all of the evil men in the world. We go to his what-appears-to-be-small one-bedroom apartment, to hear him talk to his dog, who is -- wait for it -- wearing a cape.
From Rhode Island we head to a yoga studio, where Tony, a "healer," is downward dogging in front of the camera. He has a smirk on his face, so it's clear even he thinks this introduction is ridiculous. After an exhale and a "namaste," we listen to him talk about finding peace and zen through daily meditation, which is fine.
Then he tells us he is sensitive, while having conversations with plants before kissing them goodbye for the day.
I live in Los Angeles, the home of this stuff, and even I can't believe what I'm seeing.
After pausing for a minute in a pigeon pose, I return to the television to find myself at another gym. Ben Z is a personal trainer still very much living in his high-school-glory football-playing days, doing push-ups in front of the camera. Did they decide this season to give the contestants the option of four different places to film their introductions? He thinks either woman would be a great match for him at this point.
Like I said, just sticking to the highlights for the intros.
MEET THE MEN OF SEASON 20
The first two limos pull up for the night, disgorging Britt and Kaitlyn, this season's contestants. Kaitlyn articulates that she's really nervous because she never saw herself here, and Britt says she's really, really, really excited.
The three reallys actually happened. I'm assuming these feelings will be important later in the show.
Chris Harrison reiterates that this season is going to be different, saying, "the men will have a little bit of power tonight in making this decision." My hopes that this is not a complete failure in feminism feel a little squashed.
After a few more seconds in their "nervous" and "excited" roles, Chris Harrison says, "Let the journey begin." Britt and Kaitlyn stand across the sidewalk from each other, waiting to meet this season's 25 contestants.
As the first limo with the contestants pulls up, the bachelors wonder, "which one do we talk to first?" Then, in true male fashion, each yells out the name of their preferred Bachelorette.
Ben H is the first out of the limo; he walks straight to Kaitlyn, not even glancing at Britt while Britt giggles in "excitement." However, when he does get to Britt, he stutters and then tells the camera, "I lost my words with that smile."
Jonathan, an automotive salesman who looks like the pool boy from "Legally Blonde," steps out, smacks his lips and says, "Mmm, mmm, mmm," because that's really what gets women going. He approaches Britt first and spends what feels like an hour flirting with her before giving Kaitlyn a 30-second greeting.
Chris, an architectural engineer from Chicago, approaches Britt. Finally, we hear Kaitlyn say, "This is awkward watching them all talk to Britt." She's talking over Ben H, a Realtor from Florida, calling Britt a Disney princess as he introduces himself.
Jared, whose jaw line is so distracting I have no idea what his job is, also approaches Britt, shows another superhero T-shirt (yes, he apparently has more than one) and says "Love Man" is his alter-ego.
After Jared flies away, Kupah heads out of the limo and straight to hug Britt. This is the first time we see tears this season, with a shot of Kaitlyn feeling embarrassed about the attention Britt is getting. That may be a record.
Brady, a singer-songwriter from Nashville, steps out and my first impression is that he is way better looking than his photo. I also wonder again if there was a check box of jobs for the contestants this year. He claims, "I feel like this is the seventh grade dance, what do I do?" Then, as he walks to Britt, Kaitlyn proclaims, "We feel that way, too."
I want to feel badly for her, but have you seen her? Or heard her talk? She'll be just fine no matter what happens.
Cory, the first of two contestants named Cory, but his is spelled with no "e," struts the hell out of his stuff as he (finally) walks to Kaitlyn first.
Ian, who looks like the guy who was sleeping with Olivia Pope before she found out he tried to kill Scott Foley, and his magenta shirt are next. They are both shiny with excitement. He whispers to Kaitlyn that he will make sure she is the Bachelorette, and just like they get paid to do, ABC is reeling us back in.
Every few seconds, we head into the mansion to hear the men debate who should be the Bachelorette.
JJ, whose job title has "former" in it so he's probably unemployed, jumps out of the limo, heads over to Kaitlyn and says, "I'm not from Canada, but I know you are, so I brought you a gift." He pulls a puck out of his pocket (no pun intended here) and says, "I would love to puck you." Secretly, I wish someone would use that line on me despite my having no tie to Canada. She responds with "I've been waiting for you all night," and "You pucked me good." Please get married.
Ryan M, a junkyard specialist, loudly steps out of the limo to scream, "Honeys, I'm home" That's great and all, but can we talk about what a junkyard specialist is, please? He tells us he is here because he is "obsessed with Kaitlyn," and all I can think about while watching his antics is the Miz from the "Real World/Road Rules Challenge."
Briefly, we see Bradley hug both women, wearing a red sweatband. You'd think that would be the strangest part. Alas, his job title is "International Auto Shipper" and I'd like to know, again, what that job entails. Apparently, the red sweatband is because he is emulating a tennis player, heading into a love-love match.
Daniel, a fashion designer from Tennessee, dances his way to the women and I'm not totally sure women are his thing.
Josh, who is being credited as both a lawyer and an exotic dancer, appears from the limo to perform a strip tease for them as soft porn music plays in the background. He reveals his tattooed chest and stomach, so women can rub his chiseled abs. My first thought is, "has anyone ever produced a Bachelor- or Bachelorette-storied porn?"
After complaining about not getting any attention after this performance, Kaitlyn lets the world know Britt can have that one.
Now we meet Joe, an insurance agent from Kentucky. As he spits words about Kentucky to Kaitlyn, he hands her a mason jar of moonshine and they both take a drink. Being an alumnus of the University of Kentucky, I find this rather charming, but I also compared his photo to Joe Dirt a week ago, so I should probably be quiet.
Fitness trainer Justin leaves the limo with a bustle of balloons and sucks the helium out of them to impress Kaitlyn. I don't know if this is supposed to be metaphoric or not, but I do wonder what the rest of the guys thought riding with him as he held these balloons.
Tanner is next, and Britt responds to seeing him with "Hi Smiley," which will be his name from now on, as needed.
Shawn B and his fancy socks follow Tanner, and when he looks at each woman, he smirks and asks, "Group hug?" Once the three of them oblige, he walks over to Britt, who has sparkles in her eyes over this guy, and we have our first pick-up hug of the season. They exchange verbiage that essentially means "I want to see you naked." After a few minutes of gushing from Britt, he walks over to tell Kaitlyn she is the reason he is there. Drama unfolding already.
If that wasn't dramatic enough, Kaitlyn responds with, "one sec, one sec" and runs into the mansion to tell the guys that they're "killin' it" before returning to join Britt outside. At this point, it has become very clear that this is a competition.
We are quickly shown a few not-so-memorable introductions; David does nothing worth speaking of, Corey with an e makes a joke about "plowing Kaitlyn's field." The downward dogging healer, Tony, who looks like he has a black eye, poignantly approaches Britt to tell her he believes in real love. And then, no joke, he walks over to Kaitlyn and says exactly the same thing. Verbatim.
Ryan, known (to me) as The Miz, is the contestant that gets too drunk the first night. He is banging on the windows to try and get Britt and Kaitlyn's attention, then lets the other male contestants know he is "all horned up right now." You know, classy adult male stuff.
After Ryan, The Miz, says he would like to take both women "out for a steak dinner and never call them again," I hope he doesn't get to hang around for long.
Shawn E, an amateur sex coach from Canada, pulls up in a vintage car filled with water, and you guys, sometimes the jokes just write themselves. Like now. While Shawn E is trying to introduce himself, The Miz screams "Your car sucks" and "You suck" and "You won't see any of us inside." So, I wasn't kidding about this whole Miz thing.
After Shawn E gets out of his "car pool" (get it, a car filled with water), Chris, a dentist from Nashville, enters wearing a cupcake costume. I promise you, I am not making a second of this up. Also, there must have been one hell of a casting call in Nashville, because this is the fourth suitor from the country-singing city.
Joshua and Ben Z don't get much attention, which means they'll be there for a while.
Chris Harrison comes back out to let Britt and Kaitlyn know that someone is being voted out of the mansion tonight and encourages them to spend some time with each man inside.
As they enter the mansion for the first Cocktail Party, Kaitlyn greets the men with a knock-knock joke. Britt lets them know she is here to find her best friend.
There are now several "private" conversations between each contestant and their suitors. They are all quite boring. Chris Harrison explains the voting situation and we are told that there is a voting room where the contestants can put a rose into the ballot box to vote for their preferred Bachelorette.
We watch a lot of conversations happen, and I'm just ready for the season to start so I can forget about this episode and how everything started. I also don't think I can listen to another person talk about putting a rose in a box.
We are given some more insight to The Miz who, after making a terrible joke, shares that in his glass he has just poured fireball on the rocks. That cocktail "combination" doesn't fare well for him, as he goes on to smack Kaitlyn on the rear end, take his clothes off, stumble through the house and throw roses against the wall.
A bouncer, I mean, a producer comes into the mansion to grab The Miz because Chris Harrison wants to speak with him. Chris decides to send him home, and I hope there is fireball in the white van because he'll need to recover from this one.
Chris Harrison lets the rest of the house know that The Miz was sent home for not only being drunk but being inappropriate with Kaitlyn.
After a few unmemorable conversations, the cocktail party ends with Chris Harrison telling the group that he is going to tally the votes.
The same bouncer that assisted Chris Harrison in sending The Miz home helps him open the voting boxes, while we watch Britt and Kaitlyn stress out about their future love lives. There is some insanely intense dramatic music and then, of course, we are told that we will learn the results tomorrow night. Never a dull moment.
See you guys tomorrow night! Excited for this season.