January 3, 2022
Matt James’ season of The Bachelor began on January 4, 2021. It ended on March 15. Katie’s season of The Bachelorette began on June 7, which was a full 11 weeks later. It ended on August 9, and exactly one week later, Bachelor in Paradise returned. It ended on October 5, and Michelle’s season of The Bachelorette began two weeks later. It ended on December 21, and then this season of The Bachelor, Clayton’s season, began two weeks after that.
Of the past 52 weeks of my life, only 15 have been Bachelor-free.
BUT THERE’S NO GETTING OFF THIS RIDE. WE HAVE A FULL 10 WEEKS OF BACHELOR NONSENSE AHEAD OF US AND ALL WE CAN DO IS HOPE AND PRAY THEY DON’T SPRING THREE BACHELORETTES AND FOUR SEASONS OF BACHELOR IN PARADISE ON US LATER IN THE YEAR.
So, this “Clayton” person. Who is he? Why is he The Bachelor? What’s his story?
And the short answer is: we don’t really know; we have no idea; I’m not sure he has one.
The longer answer is: He is a former NFL player who briefly
sat on the sidelines for played with the Seattle Seahawks before giving it all up to follow his real dream: medical sales. He’s from Missouri and has teeth. His parents are very blonde and he talks about them a lot. He was the 8th runner-up on Michelle’s season and was eliminated in the 6th week, so we barely got to know him. Seriously, he said maybe 30 words total? Maybe? There were at least four or five other men the fans became attached to and would have rather been seen as the Bachelor, because they had, you know, personalities and relationships with Michelle. But for reasons literally no one can understand, not only did the producers choose this dopey bemuscled saltine, they announced he would be the Bachelor before Michelle’s season even began, I suppose working on the philosophy that it’s easier to ask forgiveness than permission? I would speculate that the only reason the producers chose Clayton was that he had some incriminating photos of them or some other form of blackmail, but I’m afraid that would make him a lot more interesting than he actually is.
We begin the season with Clayton breaking the news to his mother that he’s the next Bachelor, and she’s as surprised as anyone.
He then drives around his hometown of Eureka, Missouri where strange women “WOOOOOO!!!!” at him …
— Alyssa Zinar (@alyssa_zinar) January 4, 2022
And even he admits that he only had “8 minutes of screen time” on The Bachelorette.
Clayton then heads to Los Angeles where he drives around Malibu and does that photoshoot that referred to him as an “underdog” that infuriated so many people because that’s exactly what the white, beefy former NFL player/tooth model is in this life: an underdog.
— kara💋 (@karamckenzie__) December 1, 2021
ANYWAY. Let’s meet the women that we actually need to pay attention to this season:
Shanae (29, Recruiter, Sycamore, OH): Half of Shanae’s package focuses on how she’s from a very small town; the other half is about how competitive she is. Read: This Season’s Villain, ladies and gentlemen.
Gabby (30, ICU Nurse, Denver, CO): Gabby here was a cheerleader in the NFL for five years before becoming an ICU nurse. Nothing but respect for her service in both fields. All that said, her official Bachelor photo looks NOTHING like the woman who appeared on this episode or any of the photos on her Instagram.
Explain to me how this is the same person:
This is clearly not the same woman. You are not fooling me, ABC.
ALSO: Apparently Gabby is already a part of the Bachelor Universe, having dated TWO (2) former Bachelorette contestants. I guess she has a type (reality tv man-whores).
Rachel (25, Flight Instructor, Clermont, FL): Rachel is a flight instructor and thinks Clayton has “nice teeth.” Well, there certainly are a lot of them.
Daria (24, Law Student, Baldwin, NY): Daria is a third year at Yale Law School, and completely overqualified for this nonsense.
Susie (28, Wedding Videographer, Virginia Beach, VA): Though she’s a wedding videographer, Susie’s package shows her doing jiu-jitsu, while she explains that she lived in Japan and competed in the Miss USA pageant. And that last part is the least surprising thing about her as she is giving off STRONG Hannah B. vibes.
Elizabeth (32, Real Estate Advisor, Highlands Ranch, CO): Elizabeth’s video package is mostly about how she is hard-working and driven and has established herself financially and showing her making fake phone calls to “clients,” but all I can focus on is how she’s wearing heels with cutoffs. Take it on down a notch, Daisy Duke.
Teddi (24, Surgical Unit Nurse, Highland, CA): Teddi is our virgin of the season, though she seems to regret this choice and promises to do the dirty if she’s brought to the fantasy suites. This is news to her mother.
Salley (26, Previously Engaged, Charlottesville, VA): Salley is very excited to be on The Bachelor and Clayton seems like a nice guy, but now that she’s in California to film, she suddenly remembers she was supposed to get married. Today. Like, on this day. She had been engaged and then it didn’t work out, so she thought to herself, “You know what I’m going to do? I’m going to join a nationally broadcast dating competition which, if I am successful, will end in another engagement! That seems like the healthiest choice! Much better than … you know … not doing … that.”
And before we move on, I need more information on this timeline. How long ago did the engagement implode? Did she apply to be on The Bachelor while she was engaged?
At any rate, Salley is now moping around on the California coast, regretting her choices. While the rest of the women are doing their makeup and wriggling into their Spanx, Salley decides she needs to talk to Clayton.
Clayton, this big dumb Golden Retriever, he goes to her hotel room where she introduces herself as one of the 30 women he was supposed to be meeting that night. She then explains that she was supposed to get married yesterday and now she’s having mixed feelings about being on the show. On the one hand, she has just left a life-changing relationship; on the other, Clayton seems really nice in this five-minute span of time that she has with him, even though he hasn’t said anything, and despite that she, like the rest of us, knows absolutely nothing about him. She’s torn!
Clayton excuses himself, grabs a rose (!!?!), and returns to offer it to this woman who HAS NO BUSINESS BEING HERE AND JUST DELIVERED A ONE-HOUR SOLILOQUY EXPLAINING THAT SHE IS NEITHER OVER HER EX NOR EMOTIONALLY AVAILABLE AND THAT SHE WANTS TO GO HOME.
In response, she leaves the room and wanders around the hotel lobby for a while, before returning to Clayton and is like, “thanks, but no thanks.”
And with that, Clayton has been rejected before the season even began.
— allison (@dumpmoreboys) January 4, 2022
After that completely pointless diversion that wasted a full 20 minutes of all of our time, we finally return to the McMansion (after one full season of The Bachelor and ~checks notes~ THREE seasons of The Bachelorette??!?@!), where our new host and Clayton’s 10-year-older twin, Jesse Palmer is waiting to greet him.
Y’all, my husband was legitimately confused. “Are they twins? They’re at least brothers, right?”
— Bach Bro (@BachelorBroseph) December 31, 2021
TEETH AND FACE MUSCLES, ACTIVATE!
And then the limos arrive:
Limo #1 deposits:
Sarah (23, Wealth Management Advisor, New York City, NY): Sarah gives him a “tiger token” because he was at University of Missouri and she went to Clemson and they’re both tigers? OK.
Lyndsey W. (28, Industrial Sales Representative, Houston, TX) (By the way, non-Houstonians, “Industrial Sales Representative” means she sells shit to oil guys.) She says something about being from the South and that he’s tall, so he’s got her “looking North?” No.
Genevieve (26, Bartender, Los Angeles, CA): Genevieve admits to being nervous. That’s it. That’s all that happens.
Ency (26, Sales Manager, Burbank, CA): Her opening gambit is to explain that she’s half-Persian and half-Korean before saying something in Korean about how she hopes to find a friendship with him that develops into love. Because this is literally the only thing she says in the episode, we’re going to turn to her bio, where she talks about loving to dress up in costumes. She shall be known from here on out as “Cosplay.”
Susie (see above): Uses a dime-store hand buzzer on Clayton. There is no reaction.
Limo #2 offers up:
Claire (28, Spray Tanner, Virginia Beach, VA): Threatens Clayton that they’re going to “wing it” tonight. And dear reader, they do. They definitely do.
Serene (26, Teacher, Oklahoma City, OK): Confesses she’s nervous, but looking at him makes her feel better.
Teddi (see above): Teddi comes out, tells Clayton her name, he responds “like teddy bear?” and she answers that she heard he was a big teddy bear, and that she wants to be his teddy bear and OH MY GOD SAY TEDDY BEAR ONE MORE TIME, I DARE YOU.
Tessa (26, Human Resources Specialist, Stamford, CT): Tessa would like Clayton to know that her name is “asset” backward.
Lindsay D. (27, Neonatal Nurse, Jacksonville, FL): Is very excited to be going on this journey with Clayton. She also looks exactly like Camille Grammer. To the point where I wonder if Camille Grammer takes a photo of this young woman with her to the plastic surgeon’s office when it’s time for touch-ups.
Daria (see above): Would like Clayton to know that she’s wearing a rose necklace tonight because her last name is “Rose” and she would like a rose at the end of the night.
At this point, Clayton runs inside the house and is like, “HEY GUYS, I THINK Y’ALL REAL COOL AND SUPER PRETTY AND THIS IS GREAT!” before running back out to the breakup driveway to greet more women.
The women inside the house:
Limo #3 happens:
Kate (32, Real Estate Agent, Lake Hollywood, CA): Presents Clayton tiny bottles of booze and demands that he do a shot with her.
Sierra (26, Recruiting Coordinator, Dallas, TX): Claims she’s his wife in the future and is there to bring him back with her. This would have made more sense to the television audience had they known she had arrived in a Back-to-the-Future-esque DeLorean but for some reason, the editors chose to leave that out and make her look like a lunatic instead.
Melina (27, Personal Trainer, West Hollywood, CA): Bounces up to him on ridiculous moon shoes. NO MA’AM.
Hailey (26, Pediatric Nurse, Orlando, FL): Hands him a pickle jar to open, because there’s no better way to break the ice with someone than to say, “I look forward to you being my menial task servant.”
Jill (26, Architectural Historian, Scituate, RI): This crazy bitch comes out of the limo with an urn, claims it contains the ashes of her ex-boyfriends, and explains that she brought them in case he makes the same mistake.
Gentle Reader: I officially have my favorite.
Marlena (30, Former Olympian, Virginia Beach, VA): Throws a yellow flag out of the limo before telling Clayton she’s penalizing him 15 yeards for “being so fine.”
Jane (33, Social Media Director, Los Angeles, CA): Arrives in a vintage car, and explains that at 33, she’s a “cougar.”
Rachel (see above): An actual older woman, Holly, emerges from the limo claiming that she’s here for the senior Bachelor (remember when that was supposed to be a thing? LOLOLOL, THANKS, COVID!) and that she is clearly in the wrong place.
— tsto (@tsto_loff) January 4, 2022
She then explains that she’s actually there to introduce him to Rachel. Rachel appears, explains that she’s a pilot and that Holly is her “wing woman.” That’s a whole lot of set-up for very little payoff.
Ivana (31, Bar Mitzvah Dancer, Queens, NY): Says nothing to Clayton, and walks inside. I know she thinks that was “mysterious” but in reality, it was just awkward and weird.
Kira (32, Physician, Philadelphia, PA): Dr. Kira here shows up in nothing more than a doctor’s lab coat, some red lingerie, and a stethoscope, and threatens Clayton that she’s going to have to give him a “full-body physical.”
Mara (32, Entrepreneur, Collingswood, NJ): Explains that her name is like “marinara,” which is a “spicy sauce.” And this is interesting for two reasons: 1. Marinara is not particularly spicy unless you have a weak-ass palate and 2. Can we go back to her bio real quick? I seem to remember something …
• Mara loves to Salsa dance.
• Snoring is a deal breaker for Mara.
• Mara doesn’t eat spicy food.
WELL, THAT EXPLAINS A LOT.
Rianna (26, Registered Nurse, Dallas, TX): Arrives wearing a cowboy hat because: Texas. (Rolls eyes in Texan.) She then explains that originally she was going to ride in on a horse, but she decided that he should save a horse and ride a cowgirl. And that would have been a kinda fun line if it wasn’t stolen from a Big & Rich song that was recorded when this woman was in third grade.
Eliza (25, Marketing Manager, Berlin, Germany): Shows up with what I originally thought was a churro that she forces him to eat with her Lady & the Tramp style, but on second viewing, I think it’s a sausage? Which would make more sense considering she’s from Berlin? But it’s still a weird thing to do?
Gabby (see above): Comes with a pillow, explaining as she turns it around to reveal his face printed on it, that she brought it because she really wants to “sit on [his] face.”
Elizabeth (see above): Has a whip, and smacks him on the ass with it.
Hunter (28, Human Resources Specialist, Charlotte, NC): Arrives with a giant albino boa constrictor for some reason.
Samantha (26, Occupational Therapist, San Diego, CA): Is pushed down in the driveway in a bathtub by the crew. She steps out of the tub, offers him a glass of champagne, tells him that she is going inside to change, and we LITERALLY NEVER SEE HER AGAIN. More on that in a moment.
Cassidy (26, Executive Assistant, Los Angeles, CA): Drives in on a toy car.
Shanae (see above): Arrives in a monster truck which she uses to crush Cassidy’s toy car. And that might have been a fun entrance if they hadn’t done essentially the exact same thing with Big Fireman and Little Fireman on Michelle’s season, just three months ago.
And with that, we’ve met the cast. Jesse Palmer asks Clayton if he’s met his wife tonight, and instead of being like, “I mean, how the hell am I supposed to know? I talked to each of them for literally 30 seconds. Hey, remind me, did you marry Jessica Bowlin? Then maybe back off with the pressure, my dude,” Clayton is like “I dunno! Maybe!”
And that’s why he’s the Bachelor and I’m not. (Well, one of the many reasons why.)
Clayton goes inside and presents the traditional opening toast, spilling his drink in the process, which the women find “adorable” and “sweet.”
Low bar, ladies. You all have some low ass bars.
Clayton first speaks with Hannah Brown Jr. When he explains that he’s out of his comfort zone with all of this, she claims to be an “out of comfort zone kinda girl” who needs to be reeled in sometimes, before noting that maybe they’ll balance each other out.
Next, Clayton chats with Elizabeth who pulls out a nearly 100-year-old photograph of her great-grandparents and instructs him to hold on to it. GIRL, I DON’T WANT TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR MY OWN FAMILY HEIRLOOMS, WHAT ON GOD’S GREEN EARTH MAKES YOU THINK THAT THIS STRANGER WANTS TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOURS?
— Laige Pindsey 🌌 (@iironicaa) January 4, 2022
Teddy Bear announces that she is not going to kiss Clayton tonight, and within five minutes of sitting down with Clayton, his tongue is in her mouth. Methinks that virginity isn’t going to last long, sweetheart.
Dr. Kira and her red panties uses her stethoscope to listen to his heart and make out with him while the other women look on, horrified.
German Sausage plays a game with Clayton where she holds up cards with German words and demands that he attempts to say them before she laughingly corrects his pronunciation because a great way to start a relationship is to humiliate the other person publicly. Anyway, one of the cards says in German: “Can we kiss?” and then they do so.
Bouncy Shoes gives Clayton his own pair of bouncy shoes and insists that they bounce together. Snake Charmer demands that Clayton give her two roses: one for her and one for the snake. Toy Car and Clayton drive around in toy cars together until she flips hers.
And then there’s Claire. Claire sets up a whole tailgating experience for Clayton complete with a tent, a game of cornhole, and some chicken wings. At one point, Marinara tries to interrupt, infuriating Claire. Clayton urges Marinara to give them a few more minutes, and she complies — by standing nearby and staring at them until Clayton finally leaves with her.
While Marinara feeds him her “homemade salsa,” and challenges him to figure out the secret ingredient (love) (~barf~), Claire goes inside, and thanks to some combination of humiliation, anger, insecurity, and gin, begins to tell any woman who sits still long enough that Clayton is not her type. He’s too nice for her. Their time together was “a catastrophe.” When another girl came up to talk to him, Claire told him to go, because he “sucks.” She can’t be with America’s Sweetheart, and, in fact, she hated talking to him. She’s over “this bitch” because she’s “too fiery.”
Eventually, Serene snitches to Clayton that Claire is talking shit about him, and he needs to talk to her immediately. To that end, Clayton collects Claire, sits her down, and is like, “I heard you hate me?” And Claire is like, “I mean, I don’t ‘hate’ anyone … but … ”
With that, Clayton walks her out to the breakup driveway and sends her ass home. And now is the moment to remind you that Claire’s the one whose favorite movie is How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.
Clayton returns inside and explains to the other women that he was made aware that someone didn’t want to be there, so he sent her home. Before they move ahead, is there anyone else who wants to go home? Speak now or be prepared to go on upwards of 10 awkward group dates. No one else takes the bait* and Clayton continues visiting with the women.
Clayton chats with Genevieve who insists that she is “absolutely” there for him and that she has not lost faith in the process. Pilot Rachel wants to teach Clayton how to fly, but he’s skeptical.
After chatting with her, Clayton goes inside and collects the First Impression Rose, and Pilot Rachel is pretty sure she’s going to receive it, but instead, he swerves and gives it to Teddy Bear the Virgin.
And with that, the sun is rising and it is time to pass out all these other roses. Line up, dingdongs:
Rose #1: That Snitch Serene
Rose #2: Hannah Brown, Jr.
Rose #3: German Sausage
Rose #4: Pilot Rachel
Rose #5: Cosplay
Rose #6: Tony the Tiger
Rose #7: Tiny Bottles of Booze
Rose #8: Toy Car
Rose #9: Family Heirloom
Rose #10: Dr. Kira
Rose #11: Monster Truck
Rose #12: Back to the Future
Rose #13: Marinara
Rose #14: Penalty Flag
Rose #15: Someone Named Genevive
Rose #16: Bouncy Shoes
Rose #17: Bachelor Groupie
Rose #18: Death Threat
Rose #19: H-Town
Rose #20: Snake Charmer
Rose #21: Asset
Which means we must say goodbye to How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days; Ms. Rose; Pickle Jar; Silent Treatment; Cougar; Camille Grammer, Jr.; Cowgirl; and the Bathtub Chick.
*Funny story about Bathtub Chick: it seems How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days wasn’t the only woman to self-eliminate on the first night. Hmmm … I wonder why they didn’t include this:
— That Bachelor Life (@That_BachLife) January 4, 2022
Clayton and the women who made it through the first cut toast each other and to love and to kindness and to “girl power.”
CUT TO: Several women sobbing hysterically and screaming at one another.
So, yes, it’s going to be another typical season of The Bachelor.
Here are the ladies who were eliminated along with their very not good nicknames:
Here are the women along with their dumb nicknames who are still “dating” Clayton:
The Bachelor airs Mondays on ABC at 7/8 p.m.