By Michael Slezak
Updated October 03, 2006 at 11:40 PM EDT
The Bachelor: Eric Liebowitz

I sure hope all of you caught last night’s stirring season premiere of The Bachelor: Rome, or as my colleague Katy Caldwell refers to it, Twenty-Seven Girls Freaking Out Over One Guy in Rome. Just in case you didn’t, however, a quick vocabulary check will tell you everything you need to know: 36 mentions of the word ”prince,” 19 uses of the word ”princess,” and 19 references to the word ”fairytale” crammed in to a two-hour telecast.

Now in the interest of full disclosure, I watched a preview tape of the show that didn’t have all the final voice-over work done, but you get the idea. This season’s man in question, Prince Lorenzo Borghese (pictured), has more to offer than hair that’s shaped like a Nike swoosh. He’s a real-life descendant of Italian royalty, and as we all know, there isn’t a woman alive who wouldn’t secretly trade her career, her self-respect, and her morals for a <a href=”
“>meaningless title and a cosmetics-executive husband from New Jersey, right ladies? And while none of this season’s contestants declared their eggs were rotting right there on national television, there were still bountiful portions of painful awkward to go around. With that in mind, here were my three favorite moments from the episode.

(See Mike’s favorite moments after the jump.)

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1. As hotel concierge Andrea (the one who declared, ”Rose or die!I’ve got to have it!”) desperately bursts into a full opera aria in aplay to get five seconds of airtime Lorenzo’s attention, surly Rita, not missing a beat, turns to The Bachelor and asks, ”So, do you live in the city?”

2. Asked by ”Eh?”-spouting Canadian Sarah if he’s everdated a black woman, Lorenzo says no, but only because to this point, he’salways been in long-term relationships. So should we assume he’scomfortable with interracial dating as long as it’s strictly casual?

3. Sweet, big-eyed Rosella wins the Allie G. Award for MostDelusional Bachelorette. ”I consider myself like a Cinderella. Ireally have so much faith that I’m gonna be a princess and this is mydestiny, and that was just a little thing I had to do,” Rosella saysof selling her car so she could purchase a gowns-heavy Bachelorwardrobe. I know the poor kid probably thinks her late father droppedthe ball by not carrying her to round two; here’s hoping some day she’sself-aware enough to realize that by getting her booted in week one,dear departed Dad did her the biggest favor of all.

What do you think of this season’s Bachelor cast? Can youhandle a full season’s worth of soul-crushingly retro Cinderellafantasies? And is anyone else planning a drinking game where you do ashot every time Desiree ends a sentence with ”baby”?

Episode Recaps

The Bachelor

Chris Harrison hosts the romance reality competition series in which a gaggle of women vie for the Bachelor’s heart — and a wedding proposal. Will you accept this rose?

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