January 1, 2018
Welcome to the 22nd season of The Bachelor, and my … wait, how many seasons have I been blogging this show?
Certainly long enough to be well familiar with this season’s Bachelor, Arie Luyendyk Jr., whose name I already appear to know how to spell without looking. (Sorry, Grandpa’s birthday! Had to make room for that information somewhere!)
For those of you who missed Arie’s introduction to “Bachelor Nation” — and bless you, sweet summer children, if you did — a little Bachelor lineage. Emily Maynard was the beautiful single mother whose daughter’s race car driving-father died in a plane crash at the ripe old age of 24. Maynard appeared on Brad Wombat’s second turn on The Bachelor where he ultimately chose her, only to unceremoniously dump her when he realized that he didn’t actually want to be the Bachelor despite doing so TWICE. Something about daddy issues. Emily was chosen to be the Bachelorette a year later, where they cast Arie Luyendyk on account of his being a cute race car driver, per her dead baby daddy. St. Emily proceeded to drag him to the final two where she dumped him in favor of a tiny skateboarding Mormon muppet.
If I remember correctly, I called Arie “Ricky Bobby.”
And now we are expected to believe that after being dumped by St. Emily, Arie Bobby was so distraught that he threw himself headlong back into car racing, perhaps in the distant hope that he’d die heroically in a fiery crash, thus ending his Bachelorette-induced heartbreak once and for all.
Or, you know, it was his career, and he had to pay the bills. Then, once he decided he was too old to race cars anymore, Arie Bobby got a real estate license and began selling properties to retirees in Scottsdale.
That, of course, won’t stop the Bachelor producers from shoving a race car helmet in his hand and force him to walk around an empty race track while looking forlornly into space, while his disembodied voice yammers empty platitudes about being incapable of finding the same kind of love he had that time he was on a reality show for two months, and how this Bachelor experience is going to be “the most important race of [his] life.”
And then they trot Dallas Sean, New Age Girl and their baby, Dallas Jr., out to remind us that not every season of The Bachelor is a lie and a sham.
Just the other 20.
After the obligatory photo shoot in which Arie Bobby works his best Le Tigre, our race car driver is taken to the extended stay hotel in which he will be decamped for at least the next couple of weeks. There he stares intently at the retention pond outside and tries to express “sincere hopeful maturity” through his smize.
Chris Harrison then reminds us that Arie is “arguably the best kisser on the show” based on I’m not sure what, personal experience? Is there a Bachelor production assistant whose job it is to kiss all of the contestants and rank them? (Maybe. Probably.)
With that, we begin the obligatory: “You Really Only Need to Remember These Ladies’ Names” segment:
Chelsea, 29, Portland, Maine: Meet this season’s villain. Chelsea is a single mom who is hell-bent on giving her small son a new father, and intends to “crush
any woman’s skull who might get in her way it.” Grendel’s Mother does not seem to intend to use the typical Bachelor single mother playbook: that sweet meek bullshit is not this one’s game, so buckle up.
Caroline, 26, Fort Lauderdale, Florida: Caroline is a real estate agent whose clients ask her deeply inappropriate questions about when she’s going to get knocked up already.
Maquel, 23, American Fork, Utah: Maquel is a wedding photographer who bears a striking resemblance to my cousin-in-law Sarah (except my cousin-in-law is actually much prettier and considerably taller).
Nysha, 30, Anderson, South Carolina: In her introduction, Nysha hurls herself out of a plane to demonstrate that she’s an adrenaline junkie. Which, fine! That’s a normal thing that normal people say sometimes! Nysha then reveals that she is a nurse with an interest in “blood and guts” and says “the more blood the better” which is not just a not normal thing that normal people say, but, when you think about it, a Very Alarming Thing that you definitely do not want to hear your nurse say.
Tia, 26, Weiner, Arkansas: She’s friends with Raven, a.k.a. “SOOEY!” because of course she is because TRUE FACT: there are only 17 people in Arkansas.
Kendall, 26, Santa Clarita, California: Kendall is this season’s kook who collects taxidermy and plays the ukelele. And she’d be a lot more interesting if she didn’t feel like someone playing the part of “the kook” instead of being a grade-A genuine weirdo like Bloomin’ Onion.
You should have been the Bachelorette, Bloomin’ Onion.
Bekah, ??, Los Angeles, California: Bekah is a nanny and a rock climber and has gorgeous enough bone structure to pull off an adorable pixie cut that 95% of the population must STAY AWAY FROM AT ALL COSTS but who cares about all of that, the real question is: How old is she? Answer: Not very, obviously.
Marikh, 27, Salt Lake City, Utah: Marikh is gorgeous and angry and Indian and claims to be a “restaurant owner” in her bio and says things like she’s looking for a man who is “ready for her spice” which makes me, a white woman, not a little uncomfortable because I don’t want to sound racist. SHE’S THE ONE WHO SAID IT, I SWEAR.
Krystal, 30, Missoula, Montana: Hoo boy, this one. All teeth and positivity and yoga poses on the beach and handing out free “treats” to the homeless which I am 99% certain are upcycled quinoa-bean-nut-protein patties and meat-free jerky along with bottles of “raw” water which no one actually wants and yammering about helping people become their “best selves” and I am confident I wouldn’t be able to last five minutes in a room alone with her.
After the commercial break, Arie Bobby arrives at the McMansion to be greeted by Chris Harrison armed with terrible puns about this being a “wild ride.” No.
And then the limos begin to arrive:
Caroline (see above): Upon meeting Arie Bobby, the realtor with the nosy clients makes a terrible dad joke about hoping that they will both “be off the market” soon.
Chelsea (see above): Stepping out of the limo to the Bachelor’s “Villain Theme,” Grendel’s Mother tells Arie Bobby that there’s “a lot to get to know” about her, while affixing a Manson Lamps’ stare on him.
Kendall (see above): Exits the limo to a tinkly ukelele song; says she’s nervous; mentions exactly zero onions.
Seinne, 27, Long Beach, California: Seinne gives Arie Bobby his first gift: a tasteful set of elephant cuff links, urging him to not “forget her” and to find her inside the McMansion. And this is sweet and classy but listen, honey, it is not his job to find you in that house tonight. While you might have always been the prettiest girl in whatever circle you ran in back home, you need to abandon the notion that you are going to be the pursuee in this universe. That’s not how this game works.
Tia (see above): Sooey, Jr. explains that she’s from Weiner, Arkansas, before giving him something that she hopes he doesn’t already have: a “little weiner.” I am already in love.
Bibiana, 30, Miami, Florida: Bibiana is 100% Miami and already imagining what her babies with Arie Bobby would look like.
Brianna, 25, Grants Pass, Oregon: Brianna gets out of the limo and hurls a softball at Arie Bobby’s head which, fortunately, he catches. But I want to know more about her plan which could have gone HORRIBLY wrong. Scenario 1: He misses the ball, looks like a clumsy fool on national television, resents her for the rest of the evening. Scenario 2: The ball hits him square in the mouth, knocking out a tooth or two. Scenario 3: The ball goes through a window at the McMansion. Scenario 4: The ball goes through a window at the McMansion and clocks a fellow contestant in the head, an ambulance is called, charges are filed. Do people just not think these things through? Or is this just something that happened to my brain the moment I became a mother?
Jenny, 26, Northbrook, Illinois: She is a graphic designer and all I have in my notes here is that Arie Bobby says she’s “so gorgeous.” According to her bio, she burbles about wanting to go “skydiving, and cliff-jumping” and compares herself to Lola Bunny because she likes sports and I’m tired just from reading this.
Brittane J., San Diego, California: This sassy thing comes out of the limo armed with a joke about how you don’t put a bumper sticker on a Ferrari, but how about an Arie? She then slaps a “NICE BUTT” sticker on Arie Bobby’s ass, which promptly slips off of his suit. Points for effort.
Jacqueline, 26, Morgantown, West Virginia: Jacqueline doesn’t make much of a first impression right out of the limo: she’s pretty, but who isn’t. However, stick a pin in this one, she’s smarter than any of these women have any business being.
Krystal (see above): Krystal with a K emerges from the limo to the Bachelor “Romance Theme,” and upon meeting Arie Bobby, whispers at him to put his hands on his heart, close his eyes, and take a moment to be grateful for this experience.
Nysha (see above): No blood is spilled, fortunately.
Valerie, 25, Murfreesboro, Tennessee: She is wearing a yellow dress; Arie Bobby insists on twirling her around to check out her ass, I suppose.
Bekah (see above): Our Pixie Manic Dream Girl drives up in a cherry red ’65 Mustang convertible, and “jokes” that even though she’s “young,” she can “appreciate something classic.” Because he’s so very old at 36 and she just got her driver’s license last week. (To be fair, there is a not insignificant possibility that she didn’t have her driver’s license when Arie was on The Bachelorette, so…)
Jenna, 28, Upland, Indiana: This one is just gesturing wildly all over the place and maybe needs to ask someone to adjust her meds.
Jessica, 28, Calgary, Canada: She gives him a “gratitude rock,” otherwise known a pebble she picked up in the parking lot as she was getting into the limo.
Marikh (see above): Our Indian restaurant owner makes a joke about spices but adds that she’s ready for some “salt and pepper.”
Olivia, 23, Geneseo, Illinois: I’m pretty sure I was Men in Blacked-out when she came out of the limo because I have no memory of this woman whatsoever.
Becca K., 27, Prior Lake, Minnesota: Upon leaving the limo, Becca demands that Arie Bobby get down on one knee, places a ring box in his hand and then insists that he repeat to her, “Are you ready to do the damn thing?” This is not nearly as cute as she thinks it is.
Lauren S., 31, Dallas Texas: Her name is Lauren.
Lauren J., 33, New Roads, Louisiana: Her name is Lauren. She presents Arie Bobby a giant set of Mardi Gras beads, asks him to guess where she’s from, and when he says, “New Orleans?” she’s like, “Wrong. I’m from some small Louisiana town you’ve never heard of.” LOOK FOR ASHTON KUTCHER, ARIE, BECAUSE YOU JUST GOT PUNK’D.
Lauren B., 25, Virginia Beach, Virginia: Her name is Lauren. She is from Virginia.
Lauren G., 26, Indianapolis, Indiana: Her name is Lauren. She is from Indiana.
Ashely, 25, West Palm Beach, Florida: She arrives bearing a checkered flag, and Arie Bobby is all, “Wait, let me guess, you want to make it to ‘the finish line?” And she’s like, “Hey, thanks for stepping on my joke. I was going to go with ‘I hope to finish first,’ but sure, whatever you said.”
Brittany T., 30, Columbia, South Carolina: Brittany tells Arie that he’s handsome in his native Dutch, which is admittedly a good trick that doesn’t rely on lame car racing puns.
Amber, 29, Boulder, Colorado: Amber’s opening line is that as the owner of a spray tan business she’s seen a lot of dicks, and she’s hoping he’s not one. Which is one way to go.
Ali, 27, Lawton, Oklahoma: Another way to go is to shove your bare armpit into the face of the man you’ve just been introduced to while insisting he smell it.
But … on further thought, here’s the thing about this approach: Is it gross? Yes. Is it uncouth? Absolutely. But if this is the kind of thing that Arie thinks is funny, or, weirder, even, if this is something that Arie is into, it cuts straight to the chase.
And if introducing yourself armpit first is not something that he finds either funny or sexy (and SPOILER ALERT! it’s not), Pitsy here can go straight home and no one wastes their time. In a way, it’s almost admirable!
Except not that. Not that at all.
Annaliese, 32, San Mateo, California: Annaliese arrives wearing a black mask and carrying a tiny loot bag marked with a kiss, because she’s a “kissing bandit,” like Arie? Hey, it’s dumb, but it makes my nicknaming game a hell of a lot easier.
Maquel (see above): My not-cousin arrives in an Indy race car (driven by someone else because she’s not nearly as cool as Pixie Manic Dream Girl) and steps out like this:
Alright, calm down, you.
Inside the house, the women go through the Sacred First Night Rites:
- Talk about how handsome the Bachelor is
- Notice that there are other women there
- Make note of how beautiful the competition is
- Sneer at the stunts the other women pull at their arrival
- Worry that women keep arriving
- Stress out that there are SO MANY WOMEN
Arie Bobby joins the women to give his customary toast, and before he can finish his drink, Grendel’s Mother grabs his arm and drags him outside for the first conversation while the other women are like, “OH. OKAY. I SEE HOW IT IS WITH HER.”
Alone, Arie admits to Grendel’s Mother that he was intrigued by her entrance, that it was very
ominous mysterious, and she explains that she is VERY SERIOUS about all of this and that she is MAKING SACRIFICES and that SHE WILL NOT BE IGNORED, MICHAEL.
Arie Bobby is then rescued by Cousin Sarah, to Grendel’s Mother’s great irritation. Grendel’s Mother storms back into the McMansion, growling at anyone who will listen that the “loud” girl interrupted her, and everyone is like, “Wait, who? We’ve been here for five minutes so we literally have no idea who you are bitching about?”
One brunette challenges Arie Bobby on why he wasn’t able to make relationships work in the real world, and he’s like, “Buh duhhhhh …”
I like her.
The chick who spoke Dutch to Arie leads him out to the Breakup Driveway where a pair of tiny kids’ electric cars are waiting for them. She explains that they are going to race and that if she wins, he has to kiss her. Except, haha, her car is slower than his so he has to literally push her across the finish line where he does indeed kiss her even though she technically lost.
And then she runs inside and is all, “I KISSED HIM FIRST I KISSED HIM FIRST I KISSED HIM FIRST” while the other women glare and grind their teeth.
As for the other women:
Taxiderpy sings him a dumb song on her ukelele; Indiana Lauren shoves a piece of pineapple in his face while explaining that pineapple is her “safe word:” and Realtor brings him pizza.
That one girl whose meds’ levels are questionable proceeds to strip Arie’s shoes off and give him a pedicure, which he decidedly did not ask for, all the while burbling nonsensically at a confused Arie Bobby about free food and social media and how she’s never been on a plane before, and I can’t handle my own feet being touched by strangers so watching someone else receive a pedicure who definitely does not want one while being yammered at about Instagram IS TOO MUCH AND NOT OK.
As for the Kissing Bandit, she removes her mask to reveal … that she’s yet another blond, utterly indistinguishable from all the other blonds. WOW. SO MYSTERY. MUCH INTRIGUE.
That one woman who made him fake propose to her sits him down and barrages him with questions from her mother including, “what’s taking you so long to propose?” and “when am I going to have grandchildren?” When Arie Bobby laughs about how that was the first time he’d ever been on bended knee, Ring Bearer says, “Hopefully the first and last time.”
Let’s just pause here for a moment and ponder just how long it took for her to figure out the dumb thing she said there. Did it occur to her immediately? Was she cringing as soon as it came out of her mouth, or did it hit her in the head five minutes later? Because I am going to give her the benefit of the doubt here that at some point — maybe not even until she actually watched the episode — but at some point she realized she just hoped that Arie never again get on his knee and propose to anyone, herself included.
And that’s when the first impression rose is dumped on the table and the ladies lose their damn minds. The women start circling Arie like sharks, waiting three, four deep to talk to him, so when that hippie dope Krystal with a K’s important conversation about being a Libra is interrupted by Grendel’s Mother so that she can take a second shot at Arie, the other women are NOT. HAVING. IT.
As for the rest: Some blond shows him a picture she drew of him; and Pebbles informs Arie that her father met him once SO HE HAS TO MARRY HER THAT IS JUST LOVE LAW.
With her time alone with him, Pixie Manic Dream Girl asks Arie Bobby what makes him “excited to be alive.” Pixie Manic Dream Girl’s own answers: “driving in the mountains with the windows down so you can smell the pine,” and “that feeling when you like someone and you’re not sure if they like you back.”
Arie’s answer to what “makes [him] excited to be alive” — and I shit you not — is: “excitement.”
DRIVE AWAY, PIXIE. YOU’RE TOO GOOD FOR THIS NONSENSE. GET IN THAT MUSTANG AND DRIVE AWAY FOREVER.
And you know why I know for certain she’s too good for this nonsense? Because when Arie has the opportunity to hand out the first impression rose, he gives it to Grendel’s Mother.
With that, it’s time to hand out the rest of the roses. LINE UP, LAURENS, WE’VE GOT SOME PRUNING TO DO. (All nicknames subject to change):
Rose #1: Ring Bearer
Rose #2: Miss Masala
Rose #3: Taxiderpy
Rose #4: Indiana Lauren
Rose #5: Krystal with a K
Rose #6: Pixie Manic Dream Girl
Rose #7: Texas Lauren
Rose #8: Elephant
Rose #9: Realtor
Rose #10: Hot Wheels
Rose #11: Manguita
Rose #12: Kissing Bandit
Rose #13: Foot Fetish
Rose #14: Yellow Dress
Rose #15: The Challenger
Rose #16: Some Blond
Rose #17: Virginia Lauren
Rose #18: Flag Girl
Rose #19: Sooey, Jr.
Rose #20: Cousin Sarah
Which means goodbye to Dicks Galore — maybe don’t open a conversation talking about all the penises you deal with on a daily basis? And goodbye, Pitsy. Armpit first is no way to introduce yourself. And goodbye to THINK FAST. Perhaps hurling a ball unexpectedly at someone’s face is not the way to say hello. And goodbye to Bumper Sticker. Turns out men also don’t like to be greeted with a slap on the ass. And goodbye to Pebbles. The fact of the matter is that some stranger has no obligation to marry you just because he shook your dad’s hand this one time. And goodbye to Louisiana Lauren. Maybe next time just tell someone where you’re from instead of trying to trick them into thinking you’re from New Orleans. And goodbye to Nurse Nutso. The blood thing is just weird, lady. And goodbye to Who? No, really, I can’t remember. Who again?
Here are the ladies who were eliminated along with their dumb nicknames:
And here are the women along with their dumb nicknames who are still trapped in this waking nightmare:
The Bachelor airs Mondays on ABC at 7/8 p.m. Send box wine and smell my armpit.