By Chris Harrison
May 24, 2011 at 06:01 AM EDT
  • TV Show

Welcome to a new season of The Bachelorette. It feels like we’ve been gone for a while, and it’s really good to be back. I hope you feel like your Monday night appointment is back. Because of the timing of production, by the time the guys arrived at the house they knew Ashley was our girl. A little irony to start off the season: Ashley moved into the same house Brad stayed in while he was the Bachelor. The previous tenant should start leaving notes for the next person.

That first night I always enjoy sitting down and talking with the Bachelor or Bachelorette. I like to see the state of mind they’re in and get a feel for how they’re doing. It’s also very easy and enjoyable when you get along with the person. Talking to Ashley is very easy, and I felt she had a good attitude heading into this journey. The only thing that really threw me off was her story about being warned about Bentley. As I said on the show, this has never happened before. We’ve never had drama or been tipped off about somebody before the limos even pull up the drive. For me this was a huge red flag, and obviously as you saw on the previews for upcoming episodes it should have been a bigger red flag for Ashley.

After our talk we headed outside on the watered down driveway to meet the guys. I’m going to run down a few of the moments that stood out to me during arrivals. Please let me know what you thought about these as well in the comments section. Jon picked her up and carried her off. Yes, she thought it was cute, but I’m gonna say it’s not a good idea to pick a woman up who’s spent all day putting herself together and is wearing a dress that tight. Mickey pulled a smooth line and went in for the first kiss. He didn’t get the “Heisman” but he definitely got denied. West came out with the broken compass stuck on “west.” You have to admit the odds of a guy named West having a broken compass stuck on west are pretty long, right? Or maybe just a little cheesy? You be the judge. Ames pulled out two tickets to the ballet. I’m going to say that’s a smooth move that worked one hundred percent. Then there was that guy that got out of the limo in a mask… He got out of the limo in a mask. More on Jeff in a bit. Ben also scored major points by bringing out a nice bottle of wine and two glasses — and it was wine that he made on his vineyard. Very nice move! I give this advice every season and now I’m giving it to Frank: Do not spin a girl wearing a full-length gown when you first meet her, and certainly don’t bend down and pick her up by her butt. Leave a little something for the second date. Constantine’s move started out sketchy but in the end, the dental floss ring around the finger scored points and was a good call.

When Bentley arrived and I saw Ashley’s face I leaned over to one of the producers and said, “We’re in trouble.” Her reaction to Bentley reminded me of my kids. When you tell your kids they can’t or shouldn’t have something, what’s the first thing they’re going to do when they see it? Want it even more! Ashley was clearly taken with Bentley at first glance, and the time they spent talking only solidified her feelings and made her feel that the warning she got about him was bogus. She said on night one he was definitely one of the front-runners. As you saw in the previews this is far from over, and it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better. Once everybody was inside the party started especially for Tim. Tim had a huge problem with Jeff and his mask. I have no idea why he hated it so much but it literally drove him to drink. Tim let the experience get the best of him and Ashley had no choice but to pour him in a car and send him home. There was no way he was going to be able to stand during the rose ceremony anyway.

Speaking of Jeff and his mask, I’m very anxious to hear your thoughts. Ashley didn’t love it but after talking to the guy she decided there was enough there to give him a chance. I just kept reminding her, you realize he’s wearing a mask right? Night one is really just a simple appetizer for what’s to come, but I do want to tell you a few behind the scenes things you didn’t get to see that night. Mickey, who is a chef, made Ashley a menu that was a five course-tasting menu on their way to love. Ashley thought it was sweet. Chris M did this wild card trick where he hid a card in his palm and then threw the rest against a wall. It cracked Ashley up and earned him the nickname the “crazy Canadian.” You saw Ben C display the cards outside the window to Ashley getting her to come out for one on one time. What we didn’t have time to show you was that there were actually 14 cards total, and the last one was a drawing of a rose. When Mike walked in the room with a guitar, all the guys moaned thinking we had another “singer” on our hands. It was pretty funny that he ended up tossing the guitar in the pool.

One last note about Tim. The guys really went out of their way to try to get him to slow his roll a bit and chill out. Obviously it didn’t help much. Ryan made a solid first impression and got that rose. I delivered my famous line and Bentley got the final rose of the night. Ashley says she’s going to go through this with no regrets. Wonder if she regrets handing out that final rose?  This is just the tip of the iceberg with Bentley, and just the beginning of a great season ahead. I’m happy to be back and I’m happy you’re back with us as well. Thank you so much for watching. You can always reach me via twitter @chrisbharrison or find out more about the show and watch special features on our official web site. Also, casting is underway for season 16 of The Bachelor. Click here for more details.

More Bachelorette: Check out Ashley’s blog on

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