The Bachelorette premiere recap: Whaboom Goes the Dynamite
Night one of Rachel Lindsay's journey involves a Tickle Monster and something called "whaboom."
Hi, I’m Sam Highfill. Welcome to another exciting season of The Bachelorette… recaps. I don’t promise they’ll be dramatic, but I do promise they’ll be judgmental. Who’s ready?
The season kicks off with a reintroduction to a woman who needs no reintroduction: Me! Rachel Lindsay! From dancing in the streets to playing some hoops, Rachel’s intro package reminds us of just how grounded she is. Or, as she puts it, “sassy yet classy.” But don’t forget that Rachel has a serious side too, and with it comes a serious brain. (Don’t you just love when women have it all?!) Rachel’s a civil litigation attorney, and to prove it, they record her saying, “Objection!” After all, that’s how Elle Woods got into Harvard.
Rachel admits that she’s had a hard time taking off her lawyer hat and putting on “the love one” — perhaps she should start by not calling it “the love one” — but she’s learned from her experience on Nick’s season of The Bachelor, and this time around, she’s not going to hold her feelings back. And neither are the old broads she just met in this random park. “Now you make the right decision,” some random elderly woman says to her. Another follows up, “And don’t sleep with all of ’em.” And here you all thought Fairy Godmothers were fake.
As we jump back to Chris Harrison, he informs us that “some of America’s most eligible bachelors are on the way to the mansion right now.” And so are some of America’s most eligible trainwrecks, but before we get to them, Rachel needs more advice. (Those old women weren’t helpful enough.)
Rachel sits down with some of the women she met on Nick’s season — Corinne, Jasmine, Whitney, Alexis, Kristina, Raven, and Astrid, a.k.a. the dream team when it comes to advice. (Notice Taylor’s absence — Rachel is all good in the “emotional intelligence” department.)
As for Corinne, she tells Rachel to let her feelings either be like “yep” or “nope” when it comes to men, so thank goodness she showed up tonight. Alexis reminds Rachel not to judge anyone for showing up in a costume. (However, if they show up in one costume and claim it’s something else, feel free to judge a little.) Then there’s Whitney, who warns Rachel about DeMario because Sarah’s friend from college told her that his intentions might not be pure. I don’t know about you guys, but I vote Whitney off the island first. We don’t need someone starting stuff before anyone’s even shown up.
But it’s Raven who comes through with the good (if not painfully obvious) advice, telling Rachel that she needs to let herself fall. She then gets emotional talking about how great Rachel is, which is lovely, but she’s already the Bachelorette, so chill, Raven. Take your emotions to the top of that grain bin if you need.
Finally, it’s time for the men to arrive:
Peter, 30. Direct quote from my notes: “Business owner in a fun jacket.” But attire aside, Peter plays the “you haven’t had the best of luck with Wisconsin guys lately” card, using Nick to further his own game, which I can respect.
First impression: Contender, and not just because he and Rachel have matching gap teeth.
Josiah, 28. Full name Josiah Daniel Graham. Meet Rachel’s enemy in the courtroom: the prosecutor. Or, as Josiah sums it up on a phone call: “He’s a bad guy and we’re going to get him off the streets.” (Yeah, this guy definitely watches every superhero show ever.) But he also has an admirable journey. After his older brother hanged himself when Josiah was young, Josiah turned to the streets. And when he was arrested for burglary at the age of 12, a judge gave him some advice that changed his life. Now, he’s a prosecutor, doing what he can to better the world. And on night one, that involves wearing a sleek blazer and winning Rachel over with legal terms.
First impression: He’s confident… but it’s very close to being cocky. (Also, “see you later alligator” jokes are only funny with children. Just kidding! They’re never funny.)
Bryan, 27. Meet Bryan, a Spanish-speaking chiropractor who makes a very audible “muah” sound when he kisses Rachel’s cheek. But as soon as this Colombian warns Rachel that he’s (good) trouble, she’s hooked.
First impression: I have a hard time believing his definition of getting into “trouble” means finding a long-lasting monogamous relationship.
Kenny, 25. Pretty Boy Pitbull Kenny King is a terribly indecisive professional wrestler (or else he would’ve settled on one name by now). But there’s one thing he does know: He loves his 10-year-old daughter (and puns about “rings”). On night one, he gets points for busting out a dance move, but he loses nearly the same amount by saying, “Hi pretty Rachel.”
First impression: I could go either way on this guy.
Rob, 29. A law student, Rob claims Rachel has “always been my bachelorette first-round draft pick.”
First impression: Always????
(Next: Rachel meets Iggy… and Diggy)
Iggy, 30. Guys, Iggy is genuinely and authentically really excited to be here.
First impression: Do you think this guy’s genuine… or authentic?
Bryce, 30. The first (and only) guy to literally sweep Rachel off her feet, this firefighter ruins the moment by telling Rachel he “never could dream a view this beautiful.” Just one step too far there, buddy.
First impression: Quote from my notes: “Boo.”
Will, 28. Thanks to an uncomfortable Steve Urkel bit, all we know about Will is that he’s a big fan of Family Matters and is willing to humiliate himself for a not-so-great joke. But he gets points for effort (and for nearly face-planting in the name of comedy).
First impression: We’ll let him stay.
Diggy, 31. Not to be confused with Iggy, Diggy is a man from Chicago who has a passion for fashion, owns 575 pairs of sneakers, and whose entire life might be a lie. According to Diggy, he got his nickname when someone told him they liked his “digs,” which he took to mean clothes, but unless I’m wrong, there’s at least a 50 percent chance they were complimenting his home. SO WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSED TO CALL HIM?! And then, to make things worse, he promises to teach Rachel “how to Diggy,” which apparently means “how to adjust a bow tie.”
First impression: Stop trying to make Diggy happen!
Kyle, 26. The forgettable guy who makes the “wanted to show you my buns” joke while holding actual bread. Great.
First impression: At least he didn’t make a joke about cutting the cheese in his basket.
Blake K., 29. A personal trainer and sports nutritionist with an “above-average” libido, Blake doesn’t “want to come across as the guy who talks about my penis, but how many women have told me about the amazingness of my penis?” Yes, sex is important to him, but it’s not the only thing. After all, you have to spend the other 23.5 hours of the day with that same person. Or, in Blake’s case, the other 23 hours and 55 minutes, I’m guessing.
First impression: How is it “finally” great to meet Rachel? Have you known about her for longer than the rest of us? #stalkeralert
Brady, 29. Let’s talk about Brady for a second. This man thought to himself, “I have one chance to make a first impression with this woman, so I have to do something memorable. I’ve got it! I’ll charge her while holding a sledge hammer because she’ll never be able to forget the moment she feared for her life!”
First impression: My vote goes to whichever guy screamed “Thor is here” when Brady entered the house.
Dean, 25. Better known as the guy who made the “I’m ready to go black and I’m never going to go back” joke on After the Final Rose, Dean is here to get the truth: How did Rachel feel about the joke he now obviously regrets? The good news is that she seems okay with it.
First impression: I give him props for recognizing his mistake, though I’ll never fully forgive him for making me sit through such an awkward live-TV moment.
Eric, 29. Another of the men who has already met Rachel, Eric reminds Rachel of his dance moves, which she decides is their “thing.”
First impression: I liked him better the first time.
DeMario, 30. For some reason, DeMario still has the fake plane tickets from ATFR in his pocket while he tells Rachel that he looks forward to “many more first moments” together. He then walks into the house yelling, “The champ is here!”
First impression: He’s no Ali.
Blake E., 31. Rounding out the men Rachel had already met, Blake E. brings his A-game, showing up with an entire marching band as if to hide the fact that his occupation is “aspiring drummer.”
First impression: He redeemed himself from After the Final Rose, but if he utters one more drum pun, I’m out.
While the men inside the house discuss just how hot Rachel is — the kind of woman you can bring home to your parents AND grandparents (as opposed to the women who never meet your grandparents?) — Harrison checks in on Rachel. So far, Blake E. is the biggest standout, but things are only just getting started.
Fred, 27. Fred shows up with a yearbook and a whole lot of baggage! Apparently, when Rachel was in 8th grade, Fred was in 3rd, and furthermore, she used to be his camp counselor. The two haven’t talked in more than 15 years, mostly because Fred was a “very bad kid.”
First impression: I guarantee all Rachel can think is, “Our kids would be terrible.”
Jonathan, 31. This guy’s occupation is “tickle monster” and the first thing he does is tickle Rachel.
First impression: NOPE.
(Next: The man who purred too much)
Lee, 30. Oh good, this one has a guitar. Also, he cannot sing.
First impression: No thanks.
Alex, 28. Much like the “hot gay nerd” on Will & Grace, the “nerdy meathead” is a rare species in this world. They love to code as much as they love to lift! And in Alex’s case, maybe he should stick to coding, considering the way he’s shaking under those way-too-large weights.
First impression: He gets props for knowing Rachel well enough to know that she loves dancing with household appliances, but also, why would you bring an actual vacuum?!
Milton, 31. My exact notes: “Takes Polaroid, purrs at her.”
First impression: He purrs, AND HIS NAME IS MILTON.
Adam, 26. And here we go. For seemingly no reason, this guy brings “Adam Jr.,” a terribly creepy doll. And if you were thinking this guy’s a ventriloquist… he’s not. He just likes dolls?!
First impression: Run.
Matt, 32. The one costume of the night is a penguin suit, and despite the fact that Matt can’t see where he’s walking, he actually manages to spin a line about how penguins mate for life. And you know these two are meant to be when Matt says Rachel “makes me feel pretty dignified.”
First impression: It takes very little to make him feel dignified, which means he could do well on this show.
Grant, 29. There’s a good chance this guy stole an ambulance, but at least it was worth it for his bit, right? Wrong.
First impression: The only thing I’ll remember about Grant is that the ambulance had a headlight out.
Anthony, 26. This guy hits Rachel with 100 percent sincerity and it’s boooooriiiinggg.
First impression: Next, please.
Jamey, 32. Jamey takes the super chill “this dress is ridiculous” approach and follows it with a “what’s up.”
First impression: Your name is spelled funny.
Jack Stone, 31. A fellow Dallas lawyer, Jack Stone thinks enough of himself to have two names. Fun fact: He also loves waving at people by simply opening his hand.
First impression: Nothing worth remembering (unless you find yourself in legal trouble in Dallas, because that name sounds legit).
Mohit, 26. A start-up founder from San Francisco, Mo has been a Bollywood dancer for 20 years.
First impression: Suddenly, I want this season to follow Mo and his family around the Bollywood circuit.
Jedidiah, 25. Jedidiah prefers vests to blazers. He also loves starting Biblical references without finishing them. He tells Rachel, “So when Jacob met Rachel, he wept”… and then he walks inside? So was the end of that sentence, “and when Jedidiah met Rachel, he walked away”???
First impression: This man can’t finish.
Michael, 26. A brownie is never a bad idea (unless the woman doesn’t like chocolate).
First impression: I don’t really have one, which I think we can all agree is one.
Lucas, 30. There are no words to describe Lucas, which perhaps is why he created “Whaboom,” which, if you can believe it, was born out of the word “boom.” Stepping out of the limo with a megaphone, Lucas announces his entrance in excruciating detail: He’s 195 pounds of pure lean muscle mass, one testicle is larger than the other, and also, he’s Rachel’s future husband (in his mind). With a “Whaboom” shirt on, he gives her a glimpse at what a future with him would look like, and it’s mostly scarring. Also, if “shaken adult syndrome” is a thing, this guy definitely has it.
First impression: Whatever is the opposite of whaboom.
As Lucas walks into the house, DeMario declares it: “That’s the crazy one.” And he’s not wrong.
(Next: Rachel’s first rose ceremony)
With that, it’s time for Rachel to make her way into the house, where the men are already good and tipsy and just cannot get over what a catch she is. Rachel tells the guys that all she wants is for them to keep it real before they toast to #noregrets.
The first man to steal Rachel away is Josiah, and the other guys CANNOT BELIEVE THEIR EYES. (Sure, this is crazy, but Whaboom is normal?!)
Josiah immediately goes in on the story of how he became a prosecutor, and seeing as how Rachel is a fan of “full-circle” stories — aren’t we all? — she seems happy enough. But then there’s Dean, who literally brings a sandbox with him so that they can build a sandcastle together because apparently, he loves the beach. Oh, but don’t ask him how to build a sandcastle, because he’s never done it. This just in: He’s also never been to the beach.
While the guy who can’t stop calling Rachel his “first-round draft pick” sits down with her, the Bachelorette producers have their fun with creepy Adam Jr. and his impressive fade, according to Kenny. They’re so into this bit that they even lay AJ in front of the fire, a definite hazard. And now the doll is talking in French. Too far, guys. Too far.
After Rachel escapes from AJ — she’s the only person who hates that doll more than I do — she sits down with Fred. As much as she finds him attractive, she can’t get past him being a third grader she used to discipline for being a bad little boy. In related news, Fred’s hoping she’ll still discipline him for being a bad little boy.
It’s Bryan who saves Rachel from a very awkward memory lane, and after speaking a little more Spanish and forcing Rachel to stand for the duration of their time together — there are literally a million couches at this place — he goes in for the kiss. Is it bold? Yes. Does it seem like he’s trying to eat her face? A little bit. But hey, she enjoys it.
Just then, Harrison enters with the first impression rose and the men LOSE THEIR MINDS. Completely ignoring Josiah’s word choice that he’s “coming hard,” the men snap into survival mode, which brings me, quite obviously, to breaking down the stages of Survival Mode.
1. Mansplaining. Sitting around the mansion, the men begin to explain (to other men, by the way) what that rose means — safety for another week! Rachel likes you! It’s “a big deal.”
2. Posturing/Borat impressions. DeMario and Josiah engage in a classic battle of “dibs” as they both start calling Rachel “my wife.”
3. Overanalyzing. As the men look around at their competition, they do the worst thing possible: They start making comparisons. “She can’t pick the guy in a penguin suit because mine cost $2,000!” “Surely she can’t choose Whaboom!”
4. Interrupting. As poor Rachel tries to get to know these men, they start crowding around her just waiting for that 30-second mark so they can make their move and steal her away from whichever guy she’s currently talking to. Unless their name is Mo. That poor guy is so drunk he doesn’t know what to do. Then there’s Lucas, who somehow still has his megaphone, and he’s louder than ever as he narrates Rachel’s time with another guy. “We’re in trouble,” he says. “This guy’s killing it. He has no fear. The only fear he has is himself.”
5. Acceptance. Just kidding! They’re still losing their minds.
After Lucas sits down with Rachel and reveals that his shirt does get worse is in fact a tank top, Blake E. decides to call the self-proclaimed “big dog” out. Blake asks Lucas why he’s here and why he’s wearing his catchphrase on his shirt, but as Lucas explains, it’s only because everyone has a little “whaboom” in them. You know, in the way that everyone is capable of losing their minds if they shake their brains hard enough.
Once Rachel gets away from the weird purring guy who either thinks that’s sexy or is doing his best Catwoman impression, she gets to talk to Pretty Boy Pitbull Kenny King, who feels like his chances at the first impression rose are pretty good. But they’re not as good as Bryan’s. Rachel not only gives the rose to the sexy Colombian, but he also lands another (very aggressive) kiss. The best part? Mo yelling, “NOOOO, keep your mouth away” in the background.
And we’ve finally made it to the rose ceremony, where Rachel hands out roses to Peter, Will, Jack, Jamey, Iggy, Eric, DeMario, Jonathan, Bryce, Alex, Kenny, Dean, Matt, Anthony, Brady, Josiah, Lee, Diggy, Fred, Adam (but not Adam Jr.), Blake E., and Lucas, who gives us the first “I love you” of the season (which only proves that he can say something other than “whaboom” and still have it be equally as uncomfortable).
That means it’s goodbye for Mo, Rob, Kyle, Blake K., Grant, Jedidiah, Michael, and Milton, better known as the one who purred a lot and is now crying because he won’t get to show off the many outfits he bought for this gig. (And to think: A penguin suit and a Whaboom shirt beat him. If only he’d purred more, maybe.) Although, after watching that freestyle rap at the end of the episode, I don’t think it was just Milton’s purring that got him sent home. Maybe he does have a little whaboom in him after all.
That’s it for week one. I will see you all back here when Rachel’s journey really begins next week. If you need me before then, I’ll be stealing Lucas’ megaphone. You’re welcome.