By Chris Harrison
May 19, 2009 at 10:03 AM EDT

Well hello, my friends — oh how I’ve missed you. Just look what you people have done to me: This time last year I had never even blogged before and now I Twitter. I Twitter! What has happened to me? I’m so hip next thing you know I’ll be wearing Ed Hardy shirts and riding a motorcycle. (By the way guys, if that’s your thing no offense — women really love that!) The last season was so mentally and emotionally draining I wasn’t really sure I was ready to jump back in the water so quickly with another season. I arrived the first night and found Jillian getting her makeup done. She hopped up with that infectious smile of hers and gave me a big hug. She was a breath of fresh air, and I knew right then we were ready to go again. I’ve done so many interviews where I’ve tried to describe what’s so great about Jillian; the best way to sum it all up is what you see is what you get. She’s the real deal and any of these guys will be lucky to end up with her — and I’m truly hoping that happens.  Notice I said hoping: For the first time in Bachelor/Bachelorette history, the show is premiering while we’re still in production. So if somebody tells you they know how all this ends, you should also ask them for future lottery ticket numbers. 

After the jump: Bilbro, breakdancing, and more roses than ever

addCredit(“Adam Larkey/ABC”)

I’m sure you noticed we are back in the same house. I love shooting at thishouse; not only is it close to where I live, but it looks great on TV.Once again, huge props to the art department and lighting for makingeverything look so fantastic. I wish you all could meet the small armythat works so hard to make this show so good. The first night is alwaysa long one and this one was no different. We did have one littletwist for Jillian: About half way through the night, I brought fivemore guys in. I really didn’t think much of this, that is until I saw everybody’s reaction. I figured it would be fun and Jillianwould be excited — the more the merrier, right?  The original 25 guys got pretty territorial, and Jilli got a bit overwhelmed. Ithink she had just gotten a handle on everything when I threw her thecurve ball.  She ended up handling it like a pro and that’s a goodthing, because she ended up keeping most of the new guys. 

Speaking of,lets talk about the guys and the cocktail party. (Hold on, ’cause herecomes a bunch of random thoughts about the guys and the night.) “On ascale of one to Bilbro… I’m Bilbro.”  Greg, I’m gonna miss you themost of all. Greg was certainly not the one for Jilli, but damn he would havebeen outstanding entertainment.  Brian, “Hot tub Harris”… great line.That’s gonna stick. Kyle, if your gonna roll up on The Bachelorettein a Members Only jacket, you can’t think you have game — you better havemajor game. No rose for Kyle, and we lost our only member. Greg andMike challenge each other to a break off — not since the ’80s has sucha battle been waged. Know this people: The rec center not only wasn’tsaved this time, it burned to the ground. In the end, in my humblebreakin’ opinion, Greg did get served and Mike stomped the yard. (Cansomebody get Kyle’s Members Only jacket for me please?)

Tanner P’s footfetish…  Let me tell you, at this point Jillian didn’t know anythingabout his odd desires.  Don’t worry — this story isn’t over yet!  You canbet your left pinky toe on that. Dave got the first impression rose — what a perfect example of what a great women Jilli is. Dave really fell allover himself trying to speak when he got out of the limo, and I thinkJillian knew his ego had taken a bit of a shot and he was embarrassed.Jillian really gave him a shot in the arm by giving him the firstimpression rose.  Class move, Jilli!  Wondering what you guys think ofWes and his song for Jillian. I know some of the guys were put off,but it worked on Jillian, and isn’t that what really matters most? 

Thefirst rose ceremony was one of the weirdest scenes I’ve ever walkedinto on this show.  It felt like there were 50 guys in that room. Iknow it’s only five more than normal, but it just felt very crowded inthere. We went from 30 down to 20, so obviously the numbersare going to be a little different each week. This, oddlyenough, really changed the show. (We’ll discuss this more in the upcomingweeks.) Let me say this before I go, after nineteen roses I know youwere confused, and thank God I was there to let you know there was onefinal rose left. What would you do without me?  Wait, don’t answerthat! I need the job. It’s good to be back, and I’m glad you’re back with me. It’s a great season and I think you’ll all enjoy the ride.

More Bachelorette on EW:
The Bachelorette
season premiere recap: A (very) few good men