Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC

When I was told who would be moving into Bachelor Pad this season I had high expectations. Those expectations didn’t come close to the drama and excitement that will unfold over the next six weeks. I remember sitting in the control room that very first night and someone jokingly said, “This is so good we’re going to need a three hour premiere.” We all laughed because in this day and age of ADD, channel-surfing viewers there’s no such thing as a three-hour show. Turns out that little joke became a reality. We had so much to show you this first week it had to be three hours — just think about what we have to show you when things really get good!

Obviously the most anticipated houseguests were Jake, Kasey and Vienna. But before they all arrived there were some other very intriguing characters and stories developing. Justin “Rated R” came out of the limo guns blazing. This is kind of what I expected from Wes last season but he arrived playing the “good ol’ boy” card. Justin had no such intention. He embraced the bad boy tag and owned it. The other slightly awkward arrival was that of Holly and Michael. There are a lot of unresolved feelings between these two. They didn’t really surface this first week but as time goes on and the pressure rises they will be forced to face some very tough issues. The fact that a couple that just broke off their engagement are now partners in a game together and living under one roof is obviously going to lead to something, whether it’s good or bad you’ll have to see.

The anticipation of the arrival of Kasey, Vienna and Jake was palpable. Everybody was making small talk but all anybody was thinking about was that moment when they would all meet up for the first time. Vienna also did a good job of working the room prior to Jake’s arrival, making sure everybody knew just how upsetting this all was for her. I knew this moment was going to be awkward but I had no idea just how awkward it would be. After all the posturing and big talk, what really happened was a lot of passive-aggressive behavior. For crying out loud, they ended up talking about the weather. It was one off the oddest, most awkward moments I’ve ever witnessed on this show, and believe me I’ve seen a few. After thinking about what they would say and do for so long nobody knew what to say or do when the moment actually arrived. And so it was with this incredible awkward dark cloud that Bachelor Pad began.

Last season it took weeks for the real game play to begin. This season it took a few minutes. The moment they started to arrive the houseguests began to plot and scheme. Because there was so much strategy and game play already in the works, the first challenge was huge. I think everybody knew it was going to come down to a battle of wills (not William) between Jake and Kasey. Jake was fighting for his life and Kasey for pride and control of the house. When we tested this challenge before the show, our people stayed up there for about fifteen minutes, so we figured in competition the winner might last twenty at the most. One by one the contestants started to drop, but not Jake and Kasey. These guys were physically hurting. Their legs were turning purple and they were losing feeling in their limbs. I couldn’t believe they were still holding on after thirty minutes and got very close to forty minutes, twice as long as we thought they would possibly go. In the end, Jake prevailed.

I have to give it to Kasey, that guy fought hard. I found it interesting the way Vienna acted after the challenge and how she treated Kasey. Their relationship is under extreme pressure and this will continue to evolve. Jake and Jackie went on a much-deserved date. They both earned a rose but the big twist was they also had a third rose to hand out. What they decided to do with that rose changed this game forever. An innocent act of kindness thought up by Jackie set in motion a chain of events that will affect everything about this season. Jake, thinking he could bury the hatchet and extend an olive branch to Kasey and Vienna, gave the rose and immunity to Vienna. Jake thought he was doing the right thing and felt great about it afterwards. What he didn’t realize is Vienna is not having it. She wants nothing more than to take that rose and stab Jake in the back with it.

Obviously Kasey and Vienna are a formidable team and have a lot of power in the house. Blake realized this and made a last ditch effort to break them up and get rid of Kasey. They almost did it, but Gia — who felt betrayed by Jake — couldn’t pull the trigger, and Kasey and Vienna remain. Alli made a tactical error and couldn’t decide who she was going to align with and was thus left in the middle, which is no place to be. Justin also attempted to play both sides and ended up being the first man to take a walk. Again, this is just week one and there’s already more storylines to follow than we can fit into a three hour episode. The more time these people spend together and the more relationships are formed and tested the more the drama in the house will build. Next week the fallout will continue from this week’s vote and the struggle for power will continue as two main teams emerge.

Before I go, I want to thank Jimmy Kimmel for having me on his show Monday night. Jimmy, who in my opinion conducts a great interview, has constantly been a champion of our show. I always love being on Kimmel because you never know what you’ll be asked or where the interview will go, and I very much appreciate the spontaneity. Thanks for watching this week, and I’ll see you next week in the Pad. For more follow me on Twitter @chrisbharrison and check out our official web site

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Bachelor Pad
Chris Harrison reassembles former rose-contenders for a second chance at reality fame, love, and televised skankiness
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