Here is your review/spoilers for the first episode. Ever since Emily’s season, I’ve been able to view the first episode in advance, minus the rose ceremony (ABC doesn’t release that part of the episode bc they don’t want anyone spoiling it). And lets not be mistaken, it’s not like ABC lets me view this because they feel I’m on their side and am someone who’s going to kiss their ass and write glowing reviews about their show. Basically I’m not supposed to have access to the first episode, but I do. So what follows will be everything you’ll see in the first episode when it airs on January 4th. I’m still waiting for word on what the plan is for a show like they did with “After Paradise.” I’m sure it’s going to happen, I just don’t think it’ll be every week. Once I find out, I’ll let you know. This was about as standard of a first episode as you’ll see. Nothing in this episode is the least bit surprising as it follows the same formula as pretty much every first episode they’ve aired in the past: Intro on the lead, intro videos for some of the girls, limo entrances, cocktail party, the end. Wash, rinse, repeat every season. So here’s just a little more in depth look at what you’ll see as opposed to just the spoilers which you can view here. There will be spoilers in this column, so if you don’t want to know, I suggest you stop reading now.
Here’s how the episode breaks down:
-Of course we have Ben introducing himself as the “Bachelor,” and a little about who he is. A lot of focus on being from Warsaw, IN and having small town values. Since basketball is huge in Indiana, they show him shooting baskets against the side of some barn. Jimmy Chitwood he is not.
-Then we see him driving around Warsaw, all while narrating all the places he passes. He drives by his middle school as we see baby pictures and videos of him. Then he drives by the movie theater where he had his first kiss. Although he didn’t give up the girls name, he said she was the most beautiful girl ever – and she dumped him that night. Ben throws around the word “beautiful” like it’s going out of style when he meets the girls, so I guess they shouldn’t feel special when he basically says it to all of them.
-Then the video package focuses on his whole storyline from last season about being “unlovable,” and sometimes when you’re in love you just want to be loved back, and he’s had his heart broken blah blah blah. Might as well have started playing the violin behind him. He sits in his parents backyard talking to them about his future, etc. Same ol’, same ol’. These first episode videos are exactly the same every season, just with different people.
-Also footage of him back in September when he was the Grand Marshal at his high school’s homecoming football game parade. We see him riding in a car waving to people and taking pictures with people in the mini parade. A few of these pictures ended up on Twitter and Instagram that day.
-Oh hey look! Now Ben is driving down PCH in a vintage getting ready to move in to the mansion. We’ve NEVER seen that before. Well, except in the previous 1,134 seasons. When he gets to the mansion, he’s greeted by the only two success stories in the “Bachelor” part of the franchise – Sean and Jason. And even though Jason married someone from the show, he didn’t marry the one he chose. Sean is the only “Bachelor” in 19 seasons to marry the girl he chose at the end. And oh yeah, for whatever reason, Chris Soules joined them too to pass on his advice after being in a 3 month engagement.
-It’s not like these guys had any magical words for him. Ben asked about kissing numerous girls at one time and he had a hard time processing that. Chris chimed in jokingly to “kiss all of them” since that’s what he did, and Sean just told him it’s going to happen, so just let it come naturally. Sean also told him what Sean has said basically every time he’s shown up on one these shows, in that he didn’t start having feelings for Catherine until about half way through, so to keep an open mind about the girls.
-Chris told him he’d find things about every girl that he liked but just to make sure they all had a good time. Jason told him that once he picks someone in the end, just remember, you can always change your mind. I’m kidding. Jason didn’t tell him that. It was basically 3 or 4 minutes of nothing. Exactly what you’d expect.
-Next they showed intro videos for 8 of the girls. Well, 9 if you count the twins who did their video together. Here they were in order of how they appear:
Lauren B.: 25, even though her roots are in Portland, she loves being by the beach. They show her on the beach throwing a football as she says she’s a flight attendant, then show her walking through LAX, then back on the beach drinking wine with her friends. Very basic, but now for I believe the third season in a row, the winner got their intro video on the first episode (Whitney and Nikki were the last two).
Caila: 23, software sales rep that moved to Boston 5 years ago. Her last boyfriend she met on a plane, then they ran into each other 2 weeks later in the city. Said she believes in fate, but after a year, she wondered whether he was the one. She saw Kaitlyn’s season and immediately was attracted to Ben and couldn’t believe she started having butterflies for someone on TV. That’s when she knew she had to end it with her boyfriend. Well, considering Caila went on a trip with this boyfriend in May, and attended a wedding with him in July (at this point, she absolutely would’ve already been in the interview process for this show), sounds like the boyfriend was a little late to the “Oh, I want to break up with you” party. Whatever the case, Caila saw Ben on TV and I guess decided her current relationship sucked, so she ended it. Seems normal.
Jubilee: She’s from Florida, and joined the military at 18 years old. One month later, she was sent to Afghanistan. We couldn’t have one intro video without a ton of clichés. Jubilee, be my guest: “I’m on a mission to win Ben’s heart, there will be a lot of casualties, but all is fair in love and war.” Yes, comparing the “Bachelor” to war is totally appropriate.
Mandi: She’s 28, and not your average girl. She embraces the weird and she loves being weird. Yeah, we get it. Since she’s a dentist, of course her video is of her in her office working on a patient, talking about the show, while his mouth is open. I hope that poor sap in the chair got paid for this stupidity.
Emily & Haley: In case you’ve been under a rock for the last 2 months, there are twins on this season. And their intro video is everything you’d expect an intro video with twins to be. Them talking at the same time, riding a 2 seater bike, and finishing each other’s sentences. With that said, I think I thoroughly enjoy these two and can’t wait to see them on “Paradise.” I think they should cast twins every season now.
Amanda: 25 year old single mom from Orange County, California. She’s an esthetician that works for an organic skin care line. Her video is mostly introducing us to her two daughters – Kinsley who’s 3 ½, and Charlie who’s almost 2. Amanda says she hasn’t dated since her divorce two years ago and she feels she’s ready. We even get Kinsley’s answer “Ben” when Amanda asks her who Prince Charming is.
Tiara: She’s a chicken enthusiast and, well, her whole video is about her chickens. She does everything with them. Even brushes her teeth while her favorite chicken, Sheila, sits on her shoulder. Then we see her looking at 5 framed pictures on a dresser, 4 of them pictures of chickens, with the one in the middle a picture of Ben. She hasn’t been away from her chickens for more than 10 days so this will be hard on her. So they’ll let one girl bring a pony into the cocktail party, but they couldn’t squeeze in any room for Sheila?
Samantha: 26, Florida, recently graduated law school. When she was in middle school, her dad suffered from ALS. So this is the sob story of the intro videos. He died when she was 13 and she said he would be proud of her if he were alive today.
-The limo entrances are up next, but not before Ben asks Chris Harrison for a hug before the ladies show up. You already know about quite a few of the things the girls did during limo entrances in the episode-by-episode spoilers, so I’ll just give you the order of how the girls are shown exiting and save the comments for my recap after the first episode airs. The order that is shown on the show is definitely NOT the order they actually exited. They mix it up every season:
Lauren B. (Yes, they show her intro video first, and she’s first out of the limos)
Emily & Haley
Lauren Barr “LB”
-Once those first 26 had exited, Ben calls his parents from the driveway just to check in. Doesn’t really say much other than things are going well. When he goes in to greet everyone, Lauren Bushnell is the first to hand him a drink. While Ben is giving his speech, Mandi immediately steals him away. This seemed like it was editing to make you think she interrupted it. Maybe she did, but it looked highly edited and she was probably just the first one to take him away.
-Mandi gives him an oral exam as he sits on her lap and she digs into his mouth. She tells him, “If you’re gonna make out, you’ll need to floss.” In the episode 1 photos from the link the other day, there is a picture of Mandi kissing him after this oral exam. It’s never shown in the episode.
-We next see Ben with Olivia who tells him as of a month ago, she was a news anchor but she walked away from her job for this. Probably not the smartest of ideas but she said it was totally worth it, and Ben was definitely impressed by her.
-He’s then talking to Caila who tells him they have something romantic in common: they’re both in software sales. She says she’s in retail software and Ben says he’s in back office processing software, and I just about knocked my head on the end table from how boring all of that sounds.
-He sits down with Emily & Haley briefly and they talk about how the sister thing is some fantasy everyone has built up in their head. I don’t know about that, but ok. Said they’ve never dated the same guy before.
-JoJo is shown next and she plays a game where she has pictures written on flash cards about herself and he has to guess. First one was a picture of horns and something else (I forgot) and he guessed she was from Austin. “No, a little further north.” Ben: “San Antonio?” Yeah, Ben doesn’t know much about Texas. He finally guessed Dallas. Then the next picture was of a house and two arrow signs going in the opposite directions. Ben says she’s a house flipper. Man, what a difficult game this is. I hope she never plays this again the rest of the season.
-Three quick clips of Ben playing football outside with Leah, talking to Jackie by the fireplace, and also talking to Jessica. Nothing of note here.
-Then a shot of in front of the mansion, and a limo is pulling up. Out come Becca and Amber and they are greeted by Chris Harrison. Amber says she’s back because she felt like she never got a chance with Chris, and Becca said she thinks Ben could be the one. “I’ll know more when I actually meet him.” Once they get inside, of course there are women in there who start making comments (in ITM’s of course, not to their face) that think it’s unfair they’re back. Lace was definitely one of them, and Jubilee as well.
-From this point forward, pretty much began the Lace show. Lace was easily the “night 1 drunk girl” as she’s slurring her words, dropping f-bombs, asking for more wine, and basically giving the best sound bites of the night. In an earlier scene, Laura was embarrassed that she and Lauren Bushnell were wearing the same exact dress, but a different color. Lace told her not to worry because Laura looks better in hers because she has bigger boobs.
-Ben is talking to Lauren H. on the couch when Becca walks in to interrupt. Lauren knows who she is, so she gives up her time. Then Amber joins Becca and Ben and they tell him there’s no more surprises. They don’t show much of the conversation, other than Lace spying on it and commenting on how close Ben is sitting to Becca.
-Next we see Lace interrupting Jubilee’s time with Ben because she’s three sheets to the wind at this point and wants more time with him. On Lace’s limo exit, she told Ben to close his eyes, and then she kissed him. Now when she’s with him she says, “Is it awkward if I ask for a better kiss?” Ben basically rejects her and is pulled away by Mandi who then Lace calls “that bitch.” Lace goes inside and tells someone how she was just about to kiss him but Mandi swooped in and took him away, and Lace is basically in tears. Drunk tears.
-Shortly thereafter, Ben comes back into the house looking for Lace and pulls her outside. He calls her beautiful like 500 times (probably to soften the blow for what’s about to come) and tells her that she’s absolutely gorgeous, but he doesn’t want to just focus on the physical, and wants to take time to get to know her and that’s why he rejected her wanting another kiss. Which is ironic since as the season goes on, Ben essentially makes out with everyone. I guess he just didn’t want to dip his feet in the deep end on night one.
-Chris Harrison delivers the first impression rose and, per usual, the conversation then turns to the girls freaking out trying to figure out how to act and who’s gonna get it. This is always a storyline in episode 1, and it’s completely ridiculous since they all know a first impression rose is given out yet they act all surprised and weird about it. Dumb.
-They next show Ben with Lauren Bushnell sitting by a fireplace and she tells him she doesn’t get nervous often but she is now. Then we cut to an ITM of Ben saying that Lauren “takes my breath away from the first moment I see her.” Soooo yeah, everything I heard this season seems to ring true. This thing was over rather early as he always had his eye on Lauren.
-We also get a nice conversation with Ben and Jennifer as she pulls him outside and tells him about the 2 most important things in a relationship to her: 1) morals and values 2) physical attraction. And that she’s crazy attracted to him. And oh yeah, he calls her beautiful like everyone else.
-Ben as we know ends up giving the first impression rose to Olivia as he calls her outside, tells her she looks beautiful of course, then says their conversation meant a lot to him. After watching this first episode, I’m surprised that Olivia never got a 1-on-1. He seemed into her big time on the first night. However, if Ben wanted a 1-on-1 with Olivia, he would’ve gotten one. So I think the producers knew ultimately that Ben wasn’t going to pick her, and she was the one that they decided to have fun with this season by not giving her a 1-on-1 and basically screwing with her the whole season. I think they knew she’d be bothered by not getting one every week and it seems like she was. But hey, that’s what you get when you sign up for this show unfortunately. One giant mind f**k.
-Based on just the first episode alone, Ben seemed most into Lauren Bushnell, Olivia, Jennifer, and Lace. Seemed like he complimented them the most when he was with them, but then again, he told Tiara she looked beautiful three different times during her limo entrance, so maybe he just did that with everyone. There’s obviously plenty of conversations that aren’t shown on the first night, but based on what will be shown, he really seemed in to those four the most.
-The episode that is released to the media cuts off right before the rose ceremony, so we don’t see anything past this point. In case you forgot, the 7 girls eliminated the first night are:
Lauren R. (who is disappointed, comes back inside to talk to Ben, and he still says no)
Same exact thing as it always is, just a different season with different people. As drunk as Lace was, we’ve seen worse on the first night. But I’d say Lace will be the girl that most people will be talking about the next day just because she seemed to get the most camera time once the cocktail party started, along with getting the most ITM’s. And she was slurring her speech quite a bit.
All that’s left this season is for them to release the “This season on…” video which is usually a 4 minute summary of what to expect this season. That’s usually released closer to the premiere, or not until the end of the first episode. It varies from season to season. However, always keep in mind that many clips you see in the “This season on…” video will never even make it into the season. It’s just a way to get people fired up and start asking questions. Sometimes it’ll get people to doubt the spoilers. But inevitably when March 14th rolls around, it’ll be for naught. Just wanted to remind you of that when it does come out.
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