There’s no question that the first night of every season is one of the most exciting nights of any Bachelor or Bachelorette’s life, but the next day is where the real journey begins. Anyone can make a great first impression if they really put their minds to it, but when you go on a date and have to really let someone see who you are, inside and out, that’s when real relationships begin to form.

I have to admit it feels a little strange to move into a whole new mansion. Little things feel different and while it takes some getting used to, it’s pretty exciting. For me, little things like calling all the guys into the outdoor courtyard was a challenge. You might have noticed I was screaming like a mad man to get the guys to come outside to join me. I didn’t notice until I watched the show back that I had to yell so loud. Guess it wasn’t a good idea to have all the doors closed but it was so hot that day, the house was locked up.

Right from the get-go, there was a lot of tension around the first date card. I think by now everyone knows that going on the first date of the season is a huge deal, though it can also be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, getting to jump right in and develop a connection with Emily is a great advantage. On the other hand, if you start to develop feelings really early, it can make each passing week in the house harder and harder as you watch a woman you have feelings for date other men.

When the first date went to Ryan, you could tell immediately that a lot of the guys were concerned. Ryan has a certain soft-spoken confidence that can be a little intimidating to some guys. Let me tell you, when Emily walked in that day, the guys couldn’t believe how gorgeous she looked. One thing the guys kept saying about Emily is that they were blown away by how she looked in casual clothes. I mentioned last week that things were going to be a little different this time around and I think that was pretty apparent starting with this first date. Emily is a mother first and she wanted to make sure that the guys took that into consideration before going too far. Thankfully, Ryan stepped up and made it into a pretty fun day for the both of them. Other guys, though, may not have taken Emily’s motherhood too seriously and you’ll see a bit of that as the season unfolds.

To be honest with you, I think the Muppets group date was one of the greatest dates we’ve ever done. Personally, I’d like to thank Statler for letting me join him. We heckled and had a blast. It was a childhood dream come true for Emily, Ricki, all the guys, and every single member of our crew. Beyond that, the entire city of Charlotte came out to enjoy the show and raise money for Levine’s Children Hospital (click here to learn more and donate). Before the show I enjoyed going out in the lobby and walking the line and talking with fans. One of the best parts about shooting in Charlotte — other than the BBQ — was getting to meet so many people who support our show.

After an amazing day, though, tensions were high as Kalon again ruffled some feathers. I think we’re seeing a trend here. Is Kalon right to be so singularly minded or should he let the other guys have their fair shots as well? I’ll let you be the judge of that. I think reality really started to set in that night when Jef got the rose. The guys started to see that they really needed to take advantage of that time. You’ll see a lot of guys really step up their game in the coming weeks. On a side note, whoever sent me the tweet that there’s something a little “of” about “Jef,” you got a good laugh.

The last date of the week with Joe was at The Greenbriar. Emily was really excited about this date because this was a place she went a lot as a child. She was so thrilled to share that with Joe, but for some reason, she just didn’t feel a long term connection with him and sent him home at the end of the night. Things don’t always go as planned, so Emily had to watch the fireworks show alone. It was a sad moment, but I think it really showed how seriously Emily is taking everything. If she doesn’t see a future with you, hit the road, Jack. Or in this case, Joe.

Next week, we’ll be back in Charlotte for even more over the top dates. There’s even a very special guest who has always been a huge part of Emily’s life. You’re going to love it. It was definitely one of the highlights of the entire season for her. In the meantime, you can always find me on Twitter @chrisbharrison check out tons of deleted scenes, see more videos of the guys from before the show and check out our Bachelor Nation blog at

PS: The ostrich egg is alive and well. Travis has been taking excellent care of it.

More Bachelorette from EW:

Emily’s Bachelorette blog on

Episode Recaps

The Bachelorette

One single woman searches for her future husband amid a sea of studs in this romantic reality series. Will you accept this rose?

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