Nick's journey to find love begins with 30 women, a camel, and a shark-dolphin.
Credit: ABC/Rick Rowell
4. Season 5 (Jesse Palmer)

Hello again, Bachelor fans! I’d like to officially welcome you all to the season ABC desperately wants to work. And if that weren’t enough pressure on Nick, the four-timer over here, he claims he’s here to prove TO AMERICA that if you don’t give up on love, you’ll eventually find it. (But what will America believe if Nick doesn’t find love?) In these trying times, is Nick our only hope? Excuse me while I go call my therapist.

Step one of ABC’s plan to prove it made the right choice (and that this WILL work for Nick) involves giving us our first shirtless-workout montage of the season — I always knew America’s savior would be ripped — followed by our first black box of the season. Seriously, you know this show is leaning in when they show Nick strip all the way down to get into the shower. And here you thought Ben’s blue boxer briefs were scandalous. (What does it say that I remember the color?)

Nick, recalling what he’s learned from his previous experiences with Bachelor nation, is quick to list his faults: He mumbles, he sucks at eye contact, he pretends to sleep way too much, he’s long-winded, and it took him far too long to find an appropriate haircut. (That last one was me.)

Catching up with Nick in his hometown of Waukesha (because Milwaukee seemed too boring to say?), we check in on the person we really care about: Nick’s precious sister, Bella, who’s now old enough to incorrectly kick a soccer ball and give her older brother some expert advice. According to Bella, Nick needs to pick up his dates in “cool rides,” look them in the eyes, stop mumbling, let out his thoughts, and remember his family loves him. This just in: Dr. Phil has been replaced by Bella, because quite frankly, her “cool rides” advice is better than anything I’ve ever seen on his show.

From his hometown to his photo shoot, Nick prepares for a journey he’s praying doesn’t end with his heart broken…again. (He could’ve ensured it wouldn’t if he’d said yes to that lady at the grocery store, but apparently, he’s picky.) According to Nick, he’s ready to “give America a happy ending.” Now that, my friends, is dedication. You might even say he wants to make America love again.

We’ve now arrived at the portion of the premiere where Nick gets advice from former Bachelors Sean Lowe; who’s a married father of one; Ben Higgins, who’s engaged; and Chris Soules, who refuses not to show up to these gatherings and whose true love is arguably corn. By the time Nick shows up, Sean is ready to get real: “A lot of people don’t like you,” he tells Nick. Nick tries to explain how he won people over on Paradise, but again, Sean is here to remind him, “A lot of people maybe didn’t tune into Paradise.” Take that, ABC!

If Sean’s the bad Bachelor, Ben is the good one — again, Chris is just there for the free beverage. Ben tells Nick to trust himself before he turns to the camera and explains how he really feels. According to Ben, Nick getting down on one knee and proposing to someone is also asking them to forgive him for everything he’s done. Now, I’m not a huge Nick fan, but has he killed someone we don’t know about? Or, in a bigger twist, has Ben secretly been judgmental this whole time?!

Just like that, we’ve made it to night one! Nick is all dressed and ready in his polka-dot tie, so let’s get to the arrivals:

Danielle L, 27. The first woman out of the limo is Danielle, who opened her first nail salon at age 23 and now has three businesses. But as for night one, she’s letting her cleavage do all the talking — and based on Nick’s face, it’s working.
First impression: Great boobs odds.

Elizabeth, 24. When planning for her big day, Elizabeth clearly thought to herself, “Tulle is the way to every man’s heart.” Tack on an accent and about a million mentions of how happy she is that Nick is the Bachelor, and you get the idea.
First impression: Tone it down a bit.

Rachel, 31. An attorney from Texas, Rachel enjoys connection at first sight, spending time with her family, and dancing while vacuuming. And yet, the first thing she says to Nick is she just finished setting up her fantasy teams — we get it, you’re a cool girl — but “the only plays I want to make this season are for your heart.” My response? YOU ARE AN ATTORNEY. YOU ARE SMART. Also, I’m pretty sure I wore that dress as a bridesmaid once.
First impression: She could have a chance if she stops talking like that.

Christen, 25. This wedding videographer has a thing for yellow, and not in a good How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days way. Rather, she decided it’d be a good idea to do some sort of half-assed flamenco dance to get Nick’s attention. And by that, I mean she holds up a fan in front of her face, throws it away, and asks Nick, “How crazy do you think I am right now?” Always a great way to kick off a relationship. After she settles down about meeting a “celebrity,” she wishes Nick “good luck meeting the rest of your girlfriends.”
First impression: She’s already calling herself your girlfriend. Run.

NEXT: Our first limo-free arrival

Taylor, 23. A mental health counselor, Taylor is sure to have her hands full with this show, starting with the person staring back at her in the mirror. Turns out, her idea of a good first impression involves telling Nick all of her friends think he’s a “complete piece of sh-t.” And if you thought there was a “but” to that story, there’s not. She’s just letting him know he sucks.
First impression: Unless you want to meet her friends, I’d say you better let her go.

Kristina, 24. All I know about Kristina is she spells her name like a Kardashian and wants to get to know Nick for who he really is.
First impression: ????

Angela, 26. Well, if Angela loves Nick as much as she loves blush, this relationship could really work. Wait, she just told him to “scoop” her up. I take it back.
First impression: Why is everyone wearing red?

Lauren, 30. Lauren handled this one for me. Here’s how her intro went down:

Lauren: “You and I were blessed with some pretty terrible last names: Viall.”
Nick: “What’s yours?”
Lauren: “Hussy. So basically, together, you and I are a disgusting slut.”

First impression: If that’s not the start of an epic love story, I don’t know what is!

Michelle, 24. Michelle earns points for owning a food truck — food is awesome — but she loses points for this: “I’ve heard your past relationships have been lemons but let’s see if we can make lemonade.”
First impression: This is what Beyoncé thinks of you, Michelle:


Dominique, 25. Yeah, yeah, the fourth time is the charm, we all know.
First impression: Stop saying “excited.” Both of you.

Ida Marie, 23. I always love when people say trust is very important to them, as if that’s a unique quality. But for Ida Marie, it’s so important she decides to do a trust fall, for which she walks exactly one foot away from Nick, making it physically impossible for him not to catch her.
First impression: Cool exercise.

Olivia, 25. Olivia’s from Alaska, so she goes in for the Eskimo kiss. And just in case that’s not enough to make her stand out, she rocks a huge coat, and I’m not going to lie, she looks hot.
First impression: Contender.

Sarah, 26. Our first non-limo entrance comes courtesy of Sarah, who decides to run up the driveway to the mansion. And apparently, in Nick’s mind, jogging 20 feet makes you athletic. Sarah’s pun? She thought Nick would appreciate another “runner-up.” I’ll let Nick take this one: “As far as runner-up jokes, that was pretty good.” AS FAR AS RUNNER-UP JOKES GO. Translation: Your joke sucked. But why is Sarah so hungry? How long had she been running?
First impression: Keep running, sweetheart.

Jasmine G., 29. Not sure what kind of dirt Jasmine has on Neil Lane, but somehow, she got the guy to show up on night one, despite the fact he despises Nick. (I’m looking at you, awkward one-arm hug.) Jasmine, getting something out of the way, picks out her engagement ring, immediately ensuring she won’t be around long.
First impression: She’s a clinger with a love of blackmail because there’s no other way Neil Lane agreed to show up.

P.S. Which woman just called Neil Lane “the ring guy?” He’s never coming back to the show after he sees this.

Hailey, 23. And here we go. As Hailey tells Nick, “Do you know what a girl wearing underwear says? Neither do I.” According to Hailey, Nick is a very sexual man — unlike other men? — and thinks it’s very important to test drive a car before you buy it.
First impression: She might not be here for the right reasons, but she’s definitely here for A reason.

Astrid, 26. Another sexual being, Astrid gets real dirty with Nick but says it all in German, so all he catches is the word “sex.” And thank goodness for that.
First impression: There’s a reason German isn’t a romance language.

Elizabeth, 29. Everyone, meet Liz, the woman Nick slept with nine months ago at Jade and Tanner’s wedding. But when Nick asked for her number the next day, she said no. Now, she’s decided he’s on TV and therefore worthy of her number, so she’s come to see if he even remembers her. Spoiler: He remembers enough to know not to ask her name but not enough to actually remember her name. To be honest, their entire interaction is something I’d rather not watch again.
First impression: If she can explain herself, she’s got a real chance.

NEXT: A Shark-Dolphin Tale

Corinne, 24. Corinne lives a “glamorous” life in Miami, where she lives and works with her family and, as a grown woman, has a nanny who chops up cucumbers for her midday snack and probably still cuts the crust off her sandwiches. So yeah, we have very different definitions of the word “glamorous.” Corinne considers herself a “very serious businesswoman” who runs a multimillion dollar company…with her father.
First impression: NOPE.

Vanessa, 29. Vanessa, who was 28 just a few minutes ago, speaks English, French, and Italian and spends her days as a special needs teacher. Her only downfall is she thinks she gets an engagement ring for each hand? I’m confused. Regardless, she speaks French to Nick, and he’s more than intrigued.
First impression: Nick’s already calling her a “keeper” so let’s hope he can afford two rings!

Danielle M, 30. Another one who ages a year during this episode, Danielle is a neonatal intensive care nurse who seems to love babies. It’s hard to tell because she’s arguably the most monotone person in the entire world. But she brings Nick some maple syrup made by her father and forces him to lick it off her finger, which is incredibly sanitary. She then tells him, “If things get sticky with the other girls, you can come find me.” Um, if things get sticky with someone else, I’m thinking the LAST thing he should do is involve someone else.
First impression: I’m giving this one a real prediction: She makes it to week three. Why? Because that’s how long it will take him to get sick of her lack of inflection.

Raven, 25. Being from Hoxie, Arkansas, Raven’s idea of a good time involves going mudding, shooting guns, and reading her Bible. After all, “family, faith, and football” is all there is in Hoxie, and that’s why she teaches Nick how to call in the hogs and do spirit fingers. Because apparently, that’s what excitement looks like in Arkansas.
First impression: Yeah, I’m never going to Arkansas.

Jaimi, 28. Rocking a short dress, Jaimi decides to show Nick her balls…in the form of a nose ring, because that’s a pleasant surprise? Honestly, the only thing worse than a surprise nose ring is calling them your “balls.”
First impression: No thanks.

Briana, 28. Briana listens to his heart and sort of threatens to rip his shirt off?
First impression: Pass.

Susannah, 26. Susannah brings her A game, which is giving Nick a “beard massage,” which, unfortunately, is exactly what it sounds like.
First impression: Potential beard fetish.

Josephine, 24. If you’re feeling a bit sluggish today, it’s probably because Josephine stole all the energy in the entire world. This nursing student is nonstop, or as she puts it, it takes a “certain kind of guy to handle my energy.” Showing up on night one, she presents Nick with a COLD hot dog that’s been stored in a book because “You’re a wiener in my book.” She then forces Nick to eat a cold hot dog.
First impression: There’s a small chance she just tried to commit a murder-suicide with that weird hot dog, so I’m going to say this one is a no.

Brittany, 26. In the biggest cliffhanger of the evening, Brittany shows up with a latex glove and instructs Nick to turn around and bend over before the camera CUTS AWAY. ARE YOU KIDDING ME, ABC?? I do not trust my imagination with finishing that scenario.
First impression: Odds are it was too much, too fast, but HOW WOULD I KNOW?!

Jasmine B., 25. At this point, everyone’s in red and everyone is freaking out about it.
First impression: She likes red?

Whitney, 25. Another red dress. How exciting.
First impression:

Lacey, 25. Lacey shows up riding a camel — something that doesn’t look easy in a dress — and announces, “I hear you like a good hump, and so do I.” Geez. Nick has sex on national television one time and suddenly he gets nothing but horn dogs.
First impression: She did get Nick to help her off the camel, which was arguably a smart first move, so I’ll give her a chance.

Alexis, 23. Alexis loves costumes, showing her cleavage, and more than anything, dolphins. After all, she’s an aspiring dolphin trainer. And according to her, Nick either loves dolphins or they won’t work out, and that’s why she wore a shark costume to night one! Because she loves dolphins so much she doesn’t know they’re different from sharks! (Speaking of which, her career could take a very deadly turn.) And if that’s not bad enough, she just said, “I dolphinitely can’t wait to talk to you more inside.”
First impression: I’m thinking she should maybe focus on her career.

The worst part of all of this is how many women get in on the shark vs. dolphin debate. Bonus: Alexis shall now be known as “shark lady.”

NEXT: One first impression rose and two kisses

And just like that, all 30 women have arrived and Nick is off to the races with his Tim Riggins-esque “no regrets” approach to this entire process. He starts by chatting about football with Rachel before finding out she’s an attorney with a huge family, and according to him, exactly the type of woman he’s been looking for.

But can she teach him to dance in a square?! Because Christen can! And she’ll call it “ballroom dancing,” too.

It’s not long before Harrison enters with the first impression rose, which causes one woman’s heart to somehow drop into her ass. (Is it just me, or does that rose have some special powers?)

But Corinne’s not worried. She pulls Nick aside and gives him a bag of tokens her nanny undoubtedly packed for her. Each token gets him something and he’s free to cash them in whenever he wants. You know what they say: Playing hard to get is so overrated.

And yet, Corinne still didn’t make things as easy for Nick as she wanted. So just as Nick starts talking to Vanessa, whom he actually has chemistry with, Corinne interrupts so she can assault him with her mouth. That, kids, is what we call nonconsensual. Or in other words: bad.

Word of the kiss spreads quickly, but Astrid isn’t worried. As she says, “Last time I dated someone, I didn’t know he was dating other people; at least this time I know!” Well, alright then.

The first tears of the night come courtesy of Jasmine G., who’s turned down by Nick when he asks for some more time with someone else. “I’ve never been in a situation before like this,” Jasmine says through her tears, to which I say, “No sh-t.”

Elsewhere, the “dolphin-shark” is taking a dip in the pool and proving only Mariah Carey has the range to make proper dolphin calls. Nick catches up with her and tries to let her know she’s a shark — at this point, we’re trying to save her life so she doesn’t try to “train” a great white — but she swears she’s a dolphin. Furthermore, she’s going to be the first “dolphin” to get a rose.

We’ll see about that. First, Nick has to talk to Liz about the fact that they, you know, had sex. Nick has some questions: Why did she refuse to give him her number if she was just going to show up here? Why now? She tries to explain that watching Paradise is what changed her mind, but she really gets nowhere before Nick is pulled away.

After Nick gets a Carrie Bradshaw quote thrown at him and learns Danielle, the monotone mouse, is a nurse who shockingly WORKS IN A HOSPITAL, he picks up the (rather flimsy) first impression rose and gives it to Rachel. Rachel then lands the first fully consensual kiss of the evening, even though it was a horrible first kiss.

With that, Harrison enters and pulls Nick away to make some “tough” decisions. Poor Liz thinks she’s “almost” at Nick’s mercy instead of, you know, being completely at his mercy because he gets to decide if you stay.

After Nick assures all the women they deserve love – in case they weren’t sure — he hands roses to Vanessa, Danielle L’s cleavage, Christen, Astrid, Corinne, Elizabeth W., Jasmine G., Raven, Kristina, Danielle M., Sarah, Josephine, Lacey, Taylor, Shark Lady, Hailey, Whitney, Dominique, Jaimi, Brittany, and finally, Liz.

That means we’re saying goodbye to Olivia, Lauren, Briana, Jasmine B., Michelle, Ida Marie, Angela, and Susannah.

And that’s all she I wrote for the night. I’ll see you all next week. If you need me before then, I’ll be trying to free Corinne’s nanny from whatever horrible contract she has with that family. Wish me luck.

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