JoJo kicks off her journey to find love with James Taylor, an angry Canadian, and ... Santa Claus?

By Samantha Highfill
May 24, 2016 at 01:33 PM EDT
Credit: ABC/Rick Rowell

It’s been a little more than two months since Ben’s season of The Bachelor ended, and for those of you looking for a new love story to follow, I’ve got good news: JoJo’s here, and by the end of night one, Santa Claus will be ruined for you. Not what you were expecting? Well, this show never is.

In case you forgot who JoJo was — or for some weird reason, didn’t watch Ben’s season of The Bachelor — the season kicks off with a quick highlight reel of all of JoJo’s worst moments. Remember when she wore a unicorn mask to meet a man? And then there was that CLASSIC moment when ABC tried to kill her with a helicopter. But the real kicker is watching Ben tell her that he loves her and will never blindside her … only to then blindside her by picking someone else.

So now that JoJo is thoroughly depressed, let’s help her find love, shall we?!

The good news is that JoJo is moving forward with her life. She learned from her relationship with Ben, and now she’s ready to get in a bikini and move on. However, I will say that she should stay away from the phrase, “I’m excited for whatever comes my way.” Because based on this show, half of what comes your way should cause you to run the other way.

Pulling up to the mansion, JoJo kicks off the season by asking for advice from the somewhat successful Bachelorettes of the past: Kaitlyn, Desiree, and Ali. Long story short, all of the women encourage JoJo to kiss men on night one. However, as far as regrets go, Kaitlyn has a big one, and his name is Nick. Hot tip for JoJo: Maybe don’t sleep with a guy in the middle of the show?

Ali also warns against lust (I’m still waiting for Roberto to be The Bachelor), and Desiree says to stay away from anyone named Brooks keep an open mind.

But that’s enough sort-of helpful advice! Let’s get to the fellas! After Chris Harrison gives JoJo quite the intro — she’s smart, funny, gorgeous, and successful! Who knew a woman could be so many things?! — JoJo gets ready to meet the first limo.

Jordan, 27. The first guy out of the limo is none other than Aaron Rodgers’ little brother, Jordan. So far, what we know about him is that he played football but was not as good as his brother, he loves skinny jeans, he has better hair than his brother, and you could never tell he’s an athlete from the way he walks. But when he gets out of the limo, JoJo is IMPRESSED. Jordan says something about believing in the process because his parents are in love but honestly, it doesn’t matter. JoJo’s already giving this guy a rose.

First impression: We probably just met our MVP of the night. (Sorry.)

Derek, 29. Everyone, meet Derek. He’s a commercial banker who chose not to wear a tie tonight. But somehow, he manages to compliment JoJo on her “good sense of self,” and work the phrase “what’s really sexy to me” into the conversation, which is either sweet or way too forward.

First impression: Potentially normal, but avoid saying “sexy” for at least the first two minutes of a relationship.

Grant, 28. Grant’s a firefighter who realized at a young age that he liked helping people who were in a bad spot. He thinks that’s probably why he’s a firefighter. Heck, I’d go as far as to say it’s exactly why he’s a firefighter, but what do I know? Once out of the limo, Grant assures JoJo that he won’t fall in love with two girls. He won’t do what Ben did to her.

1) Obviously, there’s literally one woman on this show. 2) WAY TO OPEN OLD WOUNDS, DUDE.

First impression: He means well, but it’s not all there yet.

James F., 34. James F. owns a boxing club, and I’m really hoping his last name is “fighter” strictly for amusement purposes. He says something about coming to the show for a relationship and not a rose, and JoJo seems to buy it.

First impression: Not a TKO. (Not sorry for that one.)

NEXT: An angry Canadian and an angry American walk into a mansion…

Robby, 27. Robby’s job is “former competitive swimmer,” which translates to “currently unemployed.” However, he gets points for bringing a bottle of wine and chugging it like a true Fletcher.

First impression: Potential alcoholic but definite contender.

Alex, 25. Alex is a U.S. Marine who has a twin brother, a pretty thick neck, and lots of arm tattoos. Also, his first interaction with JoJo is hella serious and he seems to only give one-armed hugs?

First impression: I’m suspicious of his refusal to use his left arm.

Will, 26. Oh, Will. You get points for trying, but pretending to drop your index cards and then reading them out of order? You know it’s a bad joke when JoJo legit does not get it. What did Chandler say on Friends? You know it’s a bad joke if you have to explain it? Yeah, what he said.

First impression: Awkward but potentially adorable?

Chad, 28. So Chad is a luxury real estate agent who enjoys standing very close to women he’s just met and trying real hard to create some sort of sexual tension.

First impression: Back up, buddy.

Daniel, 31. Well, his job is CANADIAN. So there’s that. And then there’s the moment he interrupts JoJo mid-sentence to kiss her on the cheek. The real twist: He didn’t even apologize.

First impression: Is this guy actually Canadian?

Ali, 27. With a surgeon and a dentist for siblings, all Ali has to show for his accomplishments are some truly magnificent Sandy Cohen-approved eyebrows. But I have to say, he is adorably awkward when he first sees JoJo. JoJo tries to assure him that she’s SO NORMAL, but all Ali can imagine is their surfer children.

First impression: I’ll give him a chance.

James Taylor, 29. Our first real entrance of the night, James Taylor walks up playing guitar. But before you get too excited, it’s not THE James Taylor. It’s the poor guy who grew up with his name. A fellow Texan, James can’t get over how JoJo is “way more prettier than on TV.” Yeah, first he says that, then he walks the wrong direction into the mansion. (Somewhere, the real James Taylor is humiliated.)

First impression: Flustered … but sweet?

Jonathan, 29. Big entrance number two? Jon shows up in a kilt. As someone who’s half-Chinese and half-Scottish, he assures JoJo that he is “half-Scottish below the waist.” When she doesn’t get the joke, he claims it’s open to interpretation, which by the way, it’s 100 percent not. It only means one thing and we all know what it is. And just in case he didn’t get his point across, he throws in an extra “I’m not wearing any panties.”

First impression: Don’t say “panties.”

Inside the mansion, Daniel the Canadian seems oddly angry that someone would show up in a kilt, and he’s not alone. I hate to break it to these guys, but kilts are a thing. Clearly, no one here watches Outlander.

Saint Nick, 33. When Nick was planning his arrival on the show, you can tell he really thought to himself: “What’s the ultimate sex symbol that would knock JoJo’s socks off?” And when it comes to classic sex symbols, the list goes: Sean Connery, George Clooney, Santa Claus. I mean, in what other costume can you call someone a “good girl” and not have it be creepy?

First impression: No, no, no, no, no.

Inside, Daniel goes from being peeved about the kilt to being straight-up pissed that Santa’s here. Clearly we’ve found our Scrooge.

NEXT: “Hipster” is a job title

Chase, 27. So. many. mustache. puns.

First impression: [Insert mustache pun to stop all mustache puns.]

Jake, 27. Jake is an architect, and that’s literally all we know about him at this point.

First impression: At least he has a real job?

Sal, 28. Oh Sal. OH, Sal. He hands JoJo two blue stress balls and gives her permission, when she’s stressed, to squeeze his balls. (Quick! Someone tell Daniel about this and see how mad he gets!)

First impression: Pass.

Coley, 27. Coley’s another one we don’t see much of. All we get is a cheesy real estate joke and a look at his neck hair.

First impression: It seems like Coley needs to figure out his relationship with his hair before he can truly be open to finding love.

Brandon, 28. He’s a hipster … FOR A LIVING. And here’s a shocking fact: He’s never watched the show! (Yes, because most hipsters love reality TV!)

First impression: Definitely lives in his parent’s basement.

James S., 27. When someone’s job is “Bachelor superfan” and his watch parties consist of literally three people, no good can come of it. Also, did he just practice saying “I do accept this rose”? No one has ever said a full sentence in response to that question, so is he even a fan?!

First impression: Run, JoJo.

A brief break to bring you this soundbite from our favorite angry Canadian: “If I was gay, I’d be in paradise.” So insightful.

Nick S., 26. Do we think he had his suit specifically tailored so that he could do the splits?

First impression: He’s flexible?

Vinny, 28. He’s a barber named Vinny, and he’s been hiding a piece of toast in his jacket this entire time? Do we think it was a snack, but when he didn’t eat it, he decided to use it to his advantage?

First impression: Forgettable.

Peter, 26. Peter shows up with a massive heart and tells JoJo, “I want to be your Man Crush Monday.” Not gonna lie, it made me laugh.

First impression: Creative … but is he secretly obsessed with social media?

Okay, I have a confession: For much of my notes, I refer to Cody as “scruffy angry one” because I forgot his name. But seriously, he and Daniel have some anger issues. And why did Cody think the Bachelorette would consist of the number one guy from every state? Better question: In what world is he the number one guy from ANY state?

NEXT: An erectile dysfunction specialist and a radio DJ

Evan, 33. So, Evan’s story is a classic, to be honest. He was once a pastor, and when he realized that was no longer his calling, he turned to the next logical way to help society: He became an erectile dysfunction specialist. So his priorities shifted, as they do, from religion to erections. But hey, we’ve all been there, right? Now, Evan spends his days “pumping up guys” and “getting them excited.” As he puts it, “It’s a hard business,” to which I say, “Only when you’re successful, Evan.”

First impression: To quote Evan, “Oh my god bless America.”

Wells, 31. Clearly, Wells went to Radio DJ College, because he reminds us all of lesson number one: When you’re a radio DJ, there’s no way you’re going to impress parents, so you have to do everything you can to impress the girl. With that, he brings along All-4-One to serenade JoJo. And she loves it.

First impression: Hey, he knows what works for him.

Christian, 26. I’m not going to lie: Christian confuses me. He works out at 4:30 a.m. every day but is a telecoms communications tech consultant. He’s a good brother but rides a motorcycle.

First impression: Good luck putting this guy in a box!

Luke, 31. Fun fact about Luke: He was feeding cattle BEFORE HE COULD WALK. So there’s a visual for you. If that’s not enough, this war vet from Texas is available to lean on barns at a moment’s notice. And when it comes to meeting JoJo, he gets points for riding a unicorn up to the mansion, but he also loses those same points for making a horse wear a unicorn horn. Wanna know how that horse felt about it? Yeah, Coconut peaced out the first chance he got.

First impression: He has a surprising lack of facial expression, no?

Okay, guys, we’ve made it. Those are the men. And apparently, a few of them got JoJo going! Let’s head inside to see how scruffy, angry Chad is feeling. Yep, he just accidentally talked about JoJo’s boobs. Way to live your best life, Chad.

Once JoJo makes her way inside, we discover our word of the season: Hot. If you drink every time JoJo says hot, well, you’ll end up like Daniel. But we’ll get to that.

The first guy to pull JoJo away from the crowd is Alex, the marine with a twin. And to make him stand out, he decides to do push-ups while JoJo sits on his back. Meanwhile, Chad is unimpressed. As Chad sees it, “you better be able to do push-ups with a girl on you.” Is there a “tough guy” book where this is a rule? Does it go along with “you don’t shave your neck”?

More generally, JoJo is getting a little fed up at how nervous all the guys are. How is she supposed to connect with someone when they’re all so tense? Cue non-Aaron Rodgers…

Sitting with Jordan, JoJo feels her first real connection of the evening. He somehow manages not to mention his brother’s name, but he also wusses out on kissing her even though she couldn’t physically sit any closer to his face.

WANT MORE? Keep up with all the latest from last night’s television by subscribing to our newsletter. Head here for more details.

But after JoJo throws a few punches — I love her for saying, “If anything pops out, let me know” — she does get a kiss! Only, this one is from Will and it is PAINFUL. The poor guy uses a paper fortune teller — or “cootie catcher” if you prefer — to give JoJo a fortune, but here’s where he goes wrong: You should only ever make “You’re about to get kissed” a fortune if you are a really, really good kisser. Instead, Will pecks at JoJo to the point where she literally says, “maybe that will get better.” And for an instant, I’m wishing I were as drunk as Daniel.

Thankfully, Jordan steals JoJo away and gives her the kind of first kiss she deserves! And as far as JoJo’s concerned, the only thing better than that kiss is Jordan’s butt. You know it’s a nice butt when it inspires you to work out: “I gotta start doing squats.”

NEXT: JoJo gives out the first impression rose!

After Chris Harrison brings out the first impression rose, we flash to Wells, who somehow still has All-4-One with him? Did he like rent them for the night? Is he secretly blackmailing them? Are they a hologram? Whatever it is, JoJo’s feeling it.

Not feeling it — or anything — is Chad, who finally gets some one-on-one time with JoJo and uses it so assure her that he’s both “emotionally” and “financially” ready for something. Way to subtly throw that money in there, guy. According to Chad, his great struggle in life is finding a girl that can deal with him that is confident in who she is. But the moment he’s alone with the camera, he claims, “If I wanted her, I’ll have her.” First, let’s not even talk about your tense issues. Instead, let’s talk about how Chad seems to think he’s a “manlier, more rugged version of Ben.” Then he uses the word “supple.”

After Daniel tries to explain his “Damn, JoJo” joke — again, what Chandler said — he decides to poke Evan in the belly button, to which James F. says, “You never poke another man’s belly button.” Again, is there a tough guy book where this is written? And how do I get a copy?

Daniel then proceeds to strip down, flex his body in truly disturbing ways, and jump into the pool. So yeah, Canadians everywhere are apologizing to their friends right now.

Speaking of drunk people, poor JoJo can’t even get through an interview before blue suit guy and the barber both decide there’s room for them on her chair. The best part is the post conversation between the drunk guys when drunk guy #2 asks drunk guy #1, “Do you think that you talked to JoJo for the right reasons?”

But if that didn’t make you uncomfortable, JoJo sitting on Santa’s lap will for sure do the trick. Why this guy didn’t pack a suit to change into after he made his arrival, I have no idea. But I can guarantee he’s regretting it right about now. Did you see the sweat on that brow?

After Santa — I love this sentence already — JoJo gets her country fix from the very sweet James Taylor and then Luke, who bought her cowboy boots. I only have one question: How did he know her size?

But when it comes time for JoJo to give out the first impression rose, she heads back to Jordan. However, as one guy points out, “Olivia got the first impression rose last season, and she got left on an island.” Let’s hope Jordan’s butt fairs better.

With that, it’s time for the rose ceremony. Just kidding! First, Jake Pavelka’s going to show up to freak everyone out. The guys panic at the thought of more competition, and I panic at the thought of having to listen to Jake Pavelka for another season.

Thankfully, Jake’s just an old family friend who wants to give JoJo some advice. “Don’t zero in on anybody,” he says, crying inside as he remembers that time he chose Vienna. Also, “don’t throw your walls up!” Awesome advice, Jake. So happy you flew out here for that. Totally worth it.

So as Jake walks away, JoJo gives roses to: Luke, Wells, James T., Grant, Derek, Christian, Chad — did he just say “I do”? — Chase, Alex, Robby, Brandon, James F., Ali, Saint Nick, Will — who speaks in the third person — James S., Vinny, Evan, and for some reason, Daniel, who is clothed once again.

That means Jon, Jake, Sal, Coley, and Peter are headed home. And for those keeping count, two of the three drunk guys made it to week two.

I guess I’ll see you guys there. If you need me before then, I’ll be scrubbing my brain of all Santa Claus imagery that isn’t from a cartoon or Elf.

Episode Recaps


The Bachelorette

Chris Harrison hosts the romantic reality competition series in which one single woman searches for her future husband amid a sea of studs. Will you accept this rose?

  • TV Show
  • 14
  • 159
  • Mike Fleiss
  • ABC
stream service