Here we are, at the precipice of Season 17. Get your Closed Captioning ready, folks. It’s gonna be a helluva ride. (or not, but more on that later.) Juan Pablo, or JP, as I’ll refer to him, has a lot of shirtless days (and nights!) in store for us. There will be some confusion about language, and pronunciation of the term “bachelor” will be three syllables. Oh, and we also can look forward to crying this season. Lots of crying.
During last night’s “Countdown to Juan Pablo” special, we learned that JP’s daughter was born on February 14, 2009, and when she was born, JP gave up his professional soccer career for his daughter. (Um, what? Why did he have to choose? I believe a quick phone call with David Beckham would’ve clarified it’s not an either/or. Also, how can a “special” the night before something happens qualify as a countdown? I’m not great with math, but one does not a countdown make. But I digress.)
The “special” last night gave a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the show’s casting process, which is exactly what you think it would be. We got to see video submissions from the double jointed, the girl who doesn’t want to watch “Golden Girls” alone for the rest of her life, the girl who can stick her fist in her mouth, and the girl who, in one sentence, encapsulates the reason every woman auditions for the show: “I’m not getting any younger and my eggs aren’t becoming any more fertile.” Preach.
We also got to see Chris Harrison and other Bachelor crew members “surprise” the women at home with the rose “Big Brother” style. Lucy, a “free spirit” from California, was surprised by Chris Harrison in a boutique whilst eating bacon, because that’s what we free spirits do while shopping – eat bacon and paw through clothing with our greasy fingers.
Back to tonight’s premiere: Bachelor Sean shows up to give advice to JP (and to plug his upcoming wedding to Catherine, January 26th, only on ABC!) Sean says to have fun, be in the moment, stay open-minded, and don’t let the women see him making out with other women. Solid advice. Sean also said his betrothed Catherine “wasn’t even on his radar” for the first few weeks. That’s gotta make a girl feel sooooo special.
Personally, I think Juan Pablo should meet Bachelorette Emily for drinks, they’ll ride off into the sunset while Camila and Rikki play Barbies together, and we call it a day. But ABC insists on having a show, so here we go.
Here are some of the single ladies:
Chelsie is a 24-year-old “science educator” from Ohio. Can’t we just say teacher?
Renee is a 32-year-old single mom and real estate agent from Florida who plays chess and rollerblades. She says she’s ready to be vulnerable so that means she should totally be on this show.
Andi is a 26-year-old prosecutor from Georgia, whose introductory video looked like a cheesy porno (in the courtroom speaking with conviction, marching confidently down the hall with case files, putting on her sunglasses and shaking her long, dark hair, etc.)
Amy is a 31-year-old massage therapist who calls herself a “human body artist” and makes scary noises when she gives people a rubdown. None of her previous boyfriends enjoyed her massages (can’t say I blame them after seeing her in action). “I want a man who wants to be rubbed by me!” she exclaims, before fake-feeding JP (a/k/a the camera) with a spoonful of breakfast, airplane-style. Oy.
Nikki is a 26-year-old pediatric nurse from Missouri.
Lauren H. is a 25-year-old mineral coordinator from Oklahoma whose love life is in the toilet. She was engaged recently to a guy who broke up with her over the phone and is clearly not ready to be on the show, as evidenced by her many mini-meltdowns at the cocktail party.
Valerie is a 26-year-old personal trainer from a farm town who says she’s pretty and isn’t afraid to claw out someone’s eyeballs over a man.
Lacy is a 25-year-old nursing home owner from California who opened her first elder care facility at the tender age of 20.
Clare is a 32-year-old hairstylist from California whose dad died from brain cancer. Her father made a DVD for her future husband to watch. Very sweet, but I really hope she leaves the DVD at home.
After a creepy Vaseline Spray & Go commercial (how does it not stain your clothes? Does it spread evenly? So many questions!), it’s Limo time!
The first limo contained a former NBA dancer turned makeup artist whose name I can’t remember, a girl named Christine who made a friendship bracelet for JP’s daughter, and Nurse Nikki who brought a stethoscope so JP could listen to her heart pound. (“Listen to how nervous I am!”)
Then came Lucy, the greasy-fingered “free spirit” from Santa Barbara. To show how much of a free spirit she is, she wore a long, flowing skirt and flowers in her hair and walked around in her bare feet. It’s like she Googled “free spirit” and added bacon.
Danielle is a psychiatric nurse, which should come in handy living with the ladies in the house. She also brought Camila a teddy bear – good move, girl.
Lauren S. rolled a piano up the driveway to play him a song since she loves music. JP loves music. They speak the language of music.
Chelsie, who we discover teaches at a science museum, brought along safety goggles to perform an experiment, chucks the fake beakers, and asks, “instead of doing chemistry, why don’t we just have chemistry?” He doesn’t send her home. Groan.
Elise is a first grade teacher. So is Ashley. She gave him a gold star for coming on TV to pick a wife. Because that is worthy of a gold star.
Clare says she knows Juan Pablo wants more kids so she came out of the limo with a lumpy towel under her dress. Because nothing says “I’m stable” like faking a pregnancy.
If she weren’t so pretty, she’d be off the show before the limo cleared the driveway.
Alli, a 26-year-old nanny from Chicago, dribbled a soccer ball and managed not to make an ass of herself.
Maggie brought him a fishing hook – hopes he’ll be the “big catch” she’s been hoping for. This was her first trip on an airplane, y’all! Wonder if she got her wings!
Kelly, a 27-year-old dog lover from Georgia brought Molly the cocker spaniel, who couldn’t give two shits about the Bachelor. I like that Molly.
Kylie, a 23-year-old redhead interior designer from Rockford, Illinois wore a pink dress that was pretty heinous.
And then there was Sharleen, a 29-year-old opera singer from Canada who lives in Germany and displayed major side-boob.
At the cocktail party, the ladies are salivating over his accent (he could read the phone book!) Ayayayay.
Juan Pablo arrives on the scene with a boom box and they start dancing and taking photos in the photo booth. For a first night cocktail party, things seem pretty stable. Nobody’s trashed or exceptionally catty.
Then it was time for “one-on-one” time with the Bachelor in the courtyard. JP bonded with Renee over the fact that they’re both single parents. Free spirit Lucy draped her bare feet on his lap, which was pretty gross.
The party REALLY got started when Crazy Amy brought her massage oils and a massage table into the courtyard. She rubbed essential oils all over his suit, ruining it, and the moment, because she MOANED and was creepy throughout the massage. No happy ending for anyone.
There were creepy presents, like a puzzle made from a picture of JP and his daughter, with a woman proclaiming that she was the missing piece.
There were really deep exchanges as well. Take this gem from Juan Pablo and Andi.
Andi: “I’m a lawyer.”
JP: “Wow you read a lot.”
Andi: “Not really. I don’t like to read that much. I send people to jail.”
Juan Pablo gave the first impression rose to Sharleen, because he really liked her side-boob dress. She also showed him the least amount of attention of any woman there. He gave her the rose and she was like, “Seriously?” and hesitated for awhile, before calling him sir a lot. I like that she’s honest about how she’s not really feeling much chemistry with Juan Pablo. Could it be that someone may *gasp* not have feelings for someone upon just meeting them?
At the rose ceremony, Juan Pablo gave roses to seventeen women: Sharlene (first impression rose), Clare, Nikki the Nurse, Renee the single mom, Andi the Attorney, Alli, Chantel, Lauren S., Kelly and her dog Molly, Cassandra, Danielle, Chelsie, Kat, Victoria, Christy, Lucy the “free spirit”, Elise, Amy L.
JP sent ten women home, including Lauren H (a total Blakely ringer, who shot him dirty looks as the rose pile dwindled) and “magic fingers” Amy.
The preview for the rest of the season looks pretty standard: bungee jumping, fireworks, kissing on a mountaintop, jumping in a body of water holding hands, making out under a waterfall, ugly crying in a women’s room.
What do you think of this season?