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January 07, 2019 at 11:01 PM EST

And with that, we’re back at Casa Bachelor, where Colton and our dear leader Chris Harrison are chatting about all things “love” in the shade by the pool. “You were a controversial choice,” the host says, and Colton admits to looking at some of the “negative reactions.” (Side note: During our interview, Colton told me he read my “please don’t pick him!” post. Good times.) The Bachelor feels that the backlash came from the “stigma” around his virginity — but honestly, people would have bitched no matter what.

God, another live show interruption? This one offers an update on the Bachelor franchise’s most successful couples. Looks like Trista and Ryan’s kids are working through their issues on TV, as God intended.


And with that, no more mentions of the live TV segments. They were painful enough for us to live through the first time, amirite? (And two proposals? That’s just excessive.) So now, FINALLY, it’s limo time, rose lovers! (Also, gird your loins, Colton — Hannah B. is itching to have some “really cute dimple babies” with you.)

Robot roll call!

Demi’s out first, and we’ve all seen her classy introduction in the promo.


Tayshia, 28: [in droll teacher from Heathers voice] I must say I was impressed that the producers spelled “phlebotomist” properly in Tayshia’s chyron.

Heather is next, and shockingly, Ms. Never Been Kissed does not lead with that info. I guess that’s more of a “second 15 seconds of talking to someone” conversation to have.

Nicole greets Colton in Spanish (“Half of my heart is in Havana, but hopefully the other part is with you”), and then Caeylnn, 23, arrives with her Miss North Carolina sash draped across her body. “I’m here for an even better title,” she tells Colton, before turning her sash around to read, “Miss Underwood.” (Fun fact: When I was watching this play out from the control room, Mike Fleiss saw and yelled to no one in particular, “Shouldn’t that say ‘Mrs. Underwood’?” He’s not wrong.)

Sydney, 27: This brunette from New York quit her job as an NBA dancer to be on the show… but I’m not sure I would have led with that fact.

Elyse, 31: A redhead! A redhead over 30! He won’t have trouble picking her out in this crowd.

Tahzjuan, 25: Awww, she came equipped with a little mnemonic to help Colton pronounce her name: “I hope I’m the Tahz-juan for you!”

Cassie the speech pathologist brings Colton a box of dead — fake! I meant fake! —butterflies to prove how nervous she is. Kirpa’s up next — though it’s a shame we didn’t get to see her “is it wet around here” gag with the hose. Darn ABC and those censors!

The network apparently didn’t have a problem with Caitlin, 25, popping Colton’s “cherry.”


Gross. “I thought that was an apple,” our hapless Bachelor admitted. Nor were they concerned when Atlanta caterer Courtney, 23, invited Colton to taste a “sweet Georgia peach,” or Katie, 26, took the poor guy’s “V-card.”


Side note: Colton has never had a peach? Oh lord, here comes the sloth (a.k.a. Alex D., 23). Her “I heard you take things slow-ly” walk to the Bachelor lasts through one commercial break. It may take Colton just as long to learn how to say Onyeka’s full name – though if it were up to her, he probably wouldn’t do much talking: “Colton is a snack, and I’m ready to eat!”

Erika, 25: Her last name is McNutt, so she brought Colton a bag of nuts! I like the simplicity of it, as does the Bachelor: “Anybody who brings food instantly wins me over.” (Next: The kisses begin)

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Chris Harrison hosts the veteran reality romance series. Will you accept this rose?
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