THE BACHELORETTE - Desiree begins her Cinderella journey.
THE BACHELORETTE - Desiree begins her Cinderella journey. (Rick Rowell / ABC)

Hello rose lovers and welcome to Season 9 of The Bachelorette!  It's been a long 77 days for us 'Bachelor' fans, but I am back and ready to bring you the play-by-play as we follow Desiree on her second chance at love, which is sure to be filled with testosterone-fueled drama!

The "journey for love" starts as Des drives up in a dingy Honda Accord and gazes at her new Malibu beach pad.  Chris Harrison greets her at the Malibu beach house door and takes her for a tour of her new digs.  As they walk from room to room, we are reminded of Des' humiliation as she begged Sean not to let her go last season. Though she was devastated when Sean sent her packing after meeting her family, she now insists that she is fine with being Sean's fourth runner up, because she knows that she is exactly where she is supposed to be.


Des takes us down memory lane and describes growing up poor but happy. She reminds us that she didn't have a lot of money or nice things, but that her parents' love was strong.  Des tells us that her humble childhood included living in an apartment and that Brother Nate had to sleep in the living room. In case you didn't know Des, there are children in the world who don't have food and clean water, but I guess sleeping on the couch is the tragedy that created the Brother Nate that we know and love today. To further play on the rags-to-riches theme, Chris gives Des the keys to an Easter Egg Blue Bentley to replace the Honda Accord, and the nauseating "Fairytale" "Cinderella" and "Prince Charming" references begin.

We are barely four minutes in when Des starts shedding tears about how badly she wants to find love. In an effort to get to know Des, we watch her roller skate dressed like an 80's porn star in shorts and a bikini top. Then we see her draw a few sketches and chase after some seagulls on the beach, all the while describing her ideal man as someone she can give her heart to. She sits down with Chris Harrison, drops a few hundred more Cinderella references and exclaims that she wants a man.  Speaking of men, let's meet our 25 potential soulmates:

Drew is a 27 year old Digital Marketing Analyst from Scottsdale, Az., with a troubled childhood.  His parents divorced when he was 8, his Dad was an alcoholic and his sister is severely mentally handicapped. All this childhood trauma has made him realize he is ready for love, and Desiree is the perfect woman for him to fall in love with. He knows that because he saw her on TV, I guess.  Right out of the limo he is cute and nervous and tells Des that he couldn’t be happier that she was the Bachelorette.

Brooks arrives next and is unremarkable except for his bad attempt at a five o'clock shadow, too much hair gel and a dimple in his chin, which is reminiscent of Tierra’s forehead dent. He is a 28-year-old marketing consultant from Salt Lake City, Utah.

Brad brings a wishbone.  Boring, but what do you expect from an accountant?

Bryden is a 26-year-old Iraq War Veteran from Missoula, Mt.  He had one serious relationship that left him heartbroken, so he joined the Army. Therapy probably would have been less of a commitment and more effective for soothing a broken heart, but who am I to judge?  He has a nice dog.  When he finds out that Des is the next Bachelorette, he does a lame sort of fist-pump thing.

Michael is a Federal Prosecutor from Florida who drags Des over to the fountain to find the penny she threw in last season. Only Michael isn’t smart enough to pretend to find the penny; instead he digs around in the fountain like an idiot, getting wet and almost falling in. Finally, he pulls two pennies out of his pocket and he and Des make a wish.

Kasey is next and is perhaps the most annoying contestant ever.  He is a 29-year-old account executive who works in social media and likes to hashtag EVERYTHING.  No, really.  He hashtags ALL THE TIME. #heneedstoshutthe#^%$up.

Will is a 28-year-old banker from Chicago who is one of the few black guys who does Bikram yoga (by his own admission) and likes to high-five strangers on the street.  He is such a fan of the high-five that he greets Des with one right out of the limo.  During his pre-season interview, upon hearing that Desiree was going to be the next Bachelorette, he yelled out “I love this womaaaaannnn.”  I guess he doesn’t remember how yelling “I love Sean” worked for AshLee last season.

Mikey T plays the family card and tries to get on Brother Nate’s good side by telling Des that he too is an older brother.  He is a good-looking guy, but how many grown men go by the name Mikey?

Jonathan is a 26-year-old lawyer from Hickory, N.C., who offers Des a fantasy suite card and room key. Des says she is not that kind of girl and Jonathan walks off. 

Next out of the limo is Zak W, the 31-year-old Drilling Fluid Engineer from Texas, who is shirtless and likes to stand on the deck of his house in his underwear. He asks Des “will you accept these abs.”  Sheesh.  I will not call him #shirtlesszak, no matter how amazing his abs are.

James professes his loyalty to Des and promises to grow old, gray and fat with her.  Imagine if a woman introduced herself to a man she was set up with and said, “If we get married I look forward to getting fat.” #eyeroll.

Larry is an emergency-room doctor who wants to teach Des to dance, but ends up almost dropping her on her head. Larry may be a doctor, but spinning and dipping a girl who is standing on a cobblestone driveway in heels and an evening gown is not a good idea. He realizes he screwed up and drops an F-bomb on the way in. #epicfail.

Nick R. is a tailor/magician who almost sets Des on fire when he performs a magic trick turning a napkin into a rose. I’m hoping for his next trick he makes himself disappear.

Zack K. arrives in a tux and Converse.

The introductions move on uneventfully until, oh no, Diogo arrives in a full suit of armor that looks less “knight in shining armor” and more “C3PO.”

Chris is a 27-year-old mortgage broker from Seattle who gets down on one knee and asks Des if she would mind if he tied his shoes.

Mike R. is a dental student from Dallas who described himself as a “Renaissance Man” (don’t know why) and arrives wearing his white dental coat, despite the fact that he is a dental STUDENT, not a dentist. Perhaps he was going to give Des a cleaning and a fluoride treatment.  He thinks he looks like McDreamy in the white coat.  I think he looks like McStupid.

Robert is a 30-year-old entrepreneur from Los Angeles whose big move for the night is taking off his tie and throwing it in the bushes. Apparently, he invented those annoying signs on the side of the road that spin around. He has a really long neck and looks like a cross between a giraffe and a velociraptor.

Juan Pablo from Venezuela is next and WOW did it get HOT IN HERE! As the background music changes from classical limo to smokey Carlos Santana, Juan Pablo spends the next 10 minutes trying to teach Des how to pronounce his name. Not so sure why she had such a hard time with this, because next to Michael (or Miguel as they would say in Venezuela), Juan and Pablo are probably the most common names in the world.  He gives her a piece of Venezuelan chocolate and swags off to the mansion.

Brandon arrives on a motorcycle. He is a 26-year-old painting contractor who is a self proclaimed adrenaline junkie who is emotionally damaged because his Dad left when he was 5 years old and his mother is an addict.

Brian is a 29-year-old financial advisor from Baltimore who wore True Religion jeans and a “really soft jacket,” because he wears a suit everyday and wanted to do something different.   Brian’s outfit was better than Micah’s self-designed suit, which made him look like a cross between Raggedy Andy and Dapper Dan.

Nick M. and Dan were relatively unmemorable.

Finally, the last limo of the night pulls up, the door opens and out steps Brody -- the most adorable little boy, dressed in a suit and tie and clutching a daisy. As Brody looks around and tries to figure out where the hell he is, his dad Ben steps out of the limo. Ben is a 28-year-old entrepreneur from Texas who will be remembered as the man who shamelessly exploited his son on national television. Ben introduces Brody to Des before handing him over to Grandma to take him home. Des is completely smitten with Brody (and Ben too, it seems) and as Brody drives off, we hear him say "I wish I could go to the party, that would be so much fun." Sorry Brody, but you are way-too-mature for this party. Trust me. And by the way, Brody, your dad just totally pimped you out to win a reality TV show.

Cocktail party

Now the fun begins!  Chris tells Des that she is free to give out roses throughout the night, and the guys don't waste any time trying to get her attention.  Nick the tailor/magician gets the first one-on-one time with Des by showing the guys how he can make her disappear -- by pulling her outside for a drink. Very clever, Nick. But don't get too comfortable because pretty soon Brandon shows up, and with a wave of his magic paint brush makes Nick disappear. Brandon gives Des his mom's 7-year-sober AA coin and makes her promise to give it back to his mom during their hometown date. I'm not sure if that was sweet or creepy.

Just when we start to wonder who will get the first impression rose, Daddy Pimp Ben shows up for some one-on-one time with Des. He tells Des that he was never married to Brody's mom, but rather they were "two friends who have a kid together." That doesn't bother Des and Ben gets the first rose of the night and a bullseye on his back. Des thinks that Ben is "husband material." I think he is a jerk for pimping-out his kid.

Seeing that Ben used his best asset to get the rose, Zak decides to do the same. He drops his pants and jumps into the pool wearing nothing but his skimpy briefs. As he jumps, Kasey yells "hashtag shrinkage," which is the 29th hashtag joke of the night and isn't funny. Des is unimpressed by Zak's shrinkage (pre- and post-jump) and Zak is left standing cold and alone in the pool. Fortunately, ratings are more important than Des finding true love, so the producers intervene and Zak gets a rose.

While Zak is shirtlessly gloating over his rose, Brayden talks about his dog and the boy he befriended in Iraq. Apparently it's "let's-exploit-the-children" night at the mansion, and Brayden gets a rose. Juan Pablo grabs a soccer ball and turns his one-on-one time into a group date. He is probably the only contestant in "Bachelor" franchise history who is there to make friends.  Juan Pablo doesn't get a first-impression rose, but Drew gets one for being "cute and nervous."

Dr. Larry has spent the night reliving the nightmare of the "dip" and tries to apologize. Too bad for Dr. Larry that he is really, really drunk and in addition to slurring his words of apology, he actually falls asleep mid-sentence. He tries to look like a sexy Clark Kent by seductively taking his glasses off and on, but instead just looks very pathetic.

Just when we thought we had seen enough drunk for one night, Jonathan, the king of the horn-ball creepers, makes his way in for some one-on-one time. He is going to try the fantasy-suite strategy again, but this time he is prepared: he fluffs some pillows, lights some candles and does a few one-legged push ups in anticipation of giving Des a "kiss on the mouth." But instead of running to the fantasy suite, Des rejects Jonathan again and makes a quick getaway.

Does a second rejection stop this guy? No, of course not! Why not? Because his mother thinks he is good looking and his love-tank has not been depleted. Seriously. That's what he said.  Instead of passing out on the couch like a normal drunk guy, Jonathan is even more determined, and pulls Des away for a third attempt to take her to the fantasy suite. After being led down a dark hallway, Des says she is uncomfortable and finally asks him to leave. He is taken away in a white minivan, hopefully to the nearest psychiatric hospital. I fully expect to see Jonathan's picture on a poster at the post office in the next few days under the title "Sexual Predator."

Rose Ceremony

It's finally time for the rose ceremony. So who will join Ben, Zak, Michael, Bryden, Nick M. and Drew for a champagne toast and promises of another week at the mansion? Roses go to Brandon, Zack K., Will, Brooks, Juan Pablo, Brad, Kasey, James, Robert, Brian, Dan, Chris, Jeff and Mikey. Going home are Diogo and his suit of armor, Dr. Larry, Nick the magician and Mike R., the dental student.

I expect this season will bring lots of drama, tears, helicopters and hot tubs!