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 Phil has been replaced by Bella, because quite frankly, her “cool rides” advice is better than anything I’ve ever seen on his show.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
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