By Kristen Baldwin
May 28, 2018 at 10:01 PM EDT
Paul Hebert/ABC
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I absolutely will not begin this recap by saying something obnoxious like, “It’s time to do the damn thing, rose lovers!” That would almost be as uncalled for as opening this season of The Bachelorette with a close-up of Becca’s face as she sobs so much over Arie that tears are literally dripping off her nose.

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Of course, it’s all part of Team Bachelorette’s effort to get us up to speed on events that 97.3 percent of people watching are already intimately acquainted with: Arie proposed, changed his mind, and left Becca heartbroken/available for nine more weeks of filming. “This is my time, my turn, my decisions, my choice,” declares Becca. “I want to be a strong woman… to show other women that you just have to push through to get to what you truly want in life.”

And the first thing you’ll see when you push through that door, “ladies,” is a group of former Bachelorettes sitting in your living room just dying to give you some “sage” advice. (Yes, Harrison did really refer to this advice as “sage.”) Though I will admit, Rachel does make some good points: One, it’s important to pick a man who will be a good mate in “real life,” and two, women “do a better job of that.” After all, all these “ladies” are still engaged many (many, many) months later.

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Most Bachelors, meanwhile, pull the plug on their “relationships” after a few weeks. Speaking of terrible men, Rachel insists on lighting some sage to cleanse Casa Bachelor of its bad karma — and yeah, Becca’s hooha could probably use some good juju too.

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With that out of the way, let’s meet the guys!

Clay, 30: This fine-looking hunk of man is apparently in the NFL, though he’s currently on something called the “injured reserve list,” which I guess means he’s free to date on TV? Though big and beefy, Clay also wants us to know he’s a real teddy bear with a soft spot for his family.

Garrett, 29: A goofball from Reno who works an impression of Chris Farley’s “van down by the river” character Matt Foley into his intro video? What’s not to love! (UPDATE: Oh dear, turns out there’s quite a bit to question about Garrett, if his Instagram history is any indication.)

Jordan, 26: Wow, this guy holds down two jobs — he’s a professional model and a full-time jackass! Congrats, Zoolander.

Lincoln, 26: Look, I really wanted to like this guy. He’s handsome, he’s got that sexy Nigerian accent, he’s a mama’s boy. But I then I read something that I have since confirmed independently, and… guys, I’m at a loss here. Look, if you want to know, I will share the link — but BE WARNED: You will NEVER be able to remove this image from your mind’s eye. Still wanna know? Click here, and then come right back. We’ll wait.

Joe, 31: Holy Mary Mother of God, this guy has an actual, honest-to-goodness job. He owns a grocery store in Chicago! Unfortunately, that means he has to say this producer-sanctioned groaner: “I deal in produce, but the one thing I haven’t produced yet is love.”

Jean Blanc, 31: From Florida by way of Port au Prince Haiti, this guy owns over 100 bottles of cologne and calls himself a “colognoisseur.” So… unemployed, I guess?

Colton, 26: Fair, blue eyes, thick neck, nice teeth, stupid name. Used to be a pro football player until an injury cut his career short. Now he runs a charity to help kids with cystic fibrosis, like his little cousin Harper. Okay, now I feel bad about saying he has a stupid name. (Next: The limos arrive)

Welp, that’s it for the A-team. Let’s head to the mansion, where our host and Bachelor Nation overlord is waiting to greet Becca. Let the journey — and the painfully goofy limo exits — begin!

Colton: He brings along two oversized party poppers (the confetti cannon kind, not the drugs) to celebrate Becca’s coronation as the Bachelorette.

Grant, 27: This square-jawed electrician from California wants Becca to know he respects how she handled the Arie debacle.

Clay: “I’ve caught a lot of passes in my day, but if I were to land you, you’d by far be the biggest catch of my life. I will catch you inside.” Oy, one too many football puns, pal.

Jean Blanc: He teaches the Bachelorette how to say “let’s do the damn thing” in French. And my fears that Jean Blanc would suffocate Becca with his bottled stank were for naught. “He smelled sooo good,” she whispers after he leaves.

Connor, 25: A fitness coach from Florida. Um, could someone get Connor the rest of his pant leg, please?

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Joe: Our grocery store clerk couldn’t produce one sentence of coherent conversation with Becca. (See what I did there?)

John, 28: This software engineer from San Francisco knows you can never go wrong with a reference to your grandma and grandpa’s timeless love story. He seems sweet.

Leo, 31: This stuntman’s “let our hair down” gag may have backfired because it had to feel a little emasculating when Becca gushed, “You have hair like my sister!”

Jordan: He spent six hours selecting his outfit.

Rickey, 27: Sorry Jordan, this IT consultant from San Diego also wore grey, and he was way better at lavishing Becca with compliments (like “gorgeous, super-intelligent”) than you were.

Alex, 31: A construction manager? Man, Team Bachelorette really went above and beyond finding some guys who are familiar with real work, didn’t they?

Nick, 27: This attorney from Florida (what’s up with all the Florida guys?) arrives in a full body racing suit, which he promptly yanks off — after tossing a few expletives in Arie’s direction — to reveal a crisp navy business suit underneath.

Mike, 27: Man-bun does Nick one better by bringing a life-sized cardboard standup of Arie out of the limo with him, sort of in an effort to rub the former Bachelor’s face in Becca’s current happiness. But again, this guy has a man-bun, so we can’t expect him to have good judgment elsewhere.

Garrett: He drives up in a minivan because, as he tells Becca, one day he hopes to be a “great dad and an awesome husband.” Garrett’s stocked the minivan with a diaper bag, car seats, and a soccer ball, because that, dear rose lovers, is what marriage and kids looks like. Laugh if you want, but this might be the smartest stupid limo exit ever. Also, Garrett’s tie is on point.

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And now it’s time for a string of men who are making their second first impression on Becca, having already met her during the After the Final Rose special. (Next: Remember these guys?)

Blake, 28: This is the guy who showed up at ATFR with a horse, and guess what? He just showed up at Casa Bachelorette riding… an ox! (Because, you know, his feelings for the Bachelorette are “strong as an ox.”) “It’s like, where is he getting all these animals from?” Becca wonders.

Lincoln: Normally, I’d be super happy with a guy that shows up and presents the Bachelorette with a giant slice of cake. But… Lincoln is forever ruined for me, rose lovers.

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Chase, 27: Chase is the type of d-bag who uses his own name in his cheesy pickup line. “It’s all about the chase, and the chase is what makes the ending that much better!”

Darius, 26: A soft-spoken pharmaceutical sales rep. He seems sweet.

Ryan, 26: For some reason, Ryan chose to wear the same hideous velvet floral suit jacket that he had on at ATFR. At least he left the banjo at home, though.

With that refresher over, let’s move forward with some new meat.

Christon, 31: A polite, extremely good-looking dude with an excellent job description: former Harlem Globetrotter! That beats “former pro football player” any day.

Wills, 29: This graphic designer from LA describes himself as “a bit of a closet nerd,” but Becca’s down with that because she’s long been an out-of-the-closet nerd. Or so she says.

Jason, 29: A banker from Seattle with too much product in his hair.

Kamil, 30: Please meet the much-discussed “social media participant”! Not only is he apparently unemployed, he also mumbles, and he thought it would be ok to wear sparkly black sneakers with his suit. Wow, this guy is the total package… of garbage.

Jake, 29: It turns out this marketing consultant from Minneapolis is an “acquaintance” of the Bachelorette’s — and she doesn’t look that psyched to see him.

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Trent, 28: He arrives in a hearse, all in the service of this bad joke: “Oh my God, Becca! When I heard you were the Bachelorette, I literally died.”

Christian, 28: Dislike! The banker spins Becca around so he can eye her up and down while leering creepily:

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He’s also a member of tonight’s ever-growing “no socks” club. Nope!

David, 25: He’s the dude in the chicken suit. Not a great look, for sure, but at least he’s committed to the gag: “I hope we can build an egg-sellent relationship together,” he tells Becca.

Chris, 30: He couldn’t be bothered to put on a tie, but this “sales trainer” from Florida did bring a gospel choir to serenade Becca. A fair trade-off, I guess? Plus, it’s a smart way to acknowledge Becca’s faith, without having to commit to being religious himself. (Next: Becca heads into the “henhouse.”)

Would you look at that? All the guys have arrived! Time to send Becca into the “henhouse,” to use David the Chicken’s incorrect term. Connor with the high hair and no socks is the first to grab the Bachelorette. He tries to impress her by opening a bottle of champagne with a knife… only to pour some directly into his germy mouth before offering it to her.

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Gross and selfish! The two-fer. Next up is Clay, who invites Becca to play with some colorful clay — which is cute, but I have to imagine she spent the whole time worried she was going to get some on her gorgeous white gown. John the software engineer reveals that he “made the app for Venmo” (though a quick Google search shows that he was a product engineer at the company, not the creator), while Chris the “sale trainer” with no tie regales Becca with the story of his grandparents’ eternal love.

Hold up — it’s time for Christon to bust out some sweet Harlem Globetrotter moves!

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This man is my everything. (Please, Bachelorette gods, do not let him turn out to be an asshat. I beg of you.)

Everything’s going smoothly — Rickey teaches Becca how to dance; Jean Blanc gifts her a scented candle with a clunky-but-sweet poem engraved on the lid; Joe tells the Bachelorette about his past as a watermelon salesman… You know, typical first date stuff. But the first guy to grab Becca’s attention seems to be Blake, who shares the sad story of his last failed relationship. “When I was going through the heartbreak, I kept thinking, ‘If I was able to love the wrong person that much, how much will I be able to love the right person?’” And she LOVES it. Will Blake land the coveted First Impression Rose?

Oh Lord, Lincoln’s talking to Becca, and he brought her another gift.

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Ooof. Moving on, the Bachelorette has a nice conversation with Chicken Guy (“he has such a good energy”), and gets a poolside fishing lesson from Garrett, which fills her with warm and fuzzy thoughts of her late dad. The whole night is just so pleasant and drama free… Sorry, what’s that, Chris? You say Chase’s ex is your friend, and she says Chase is not here for the Right Reasons™? Well, Chase sees your vague accusations, and raises you one awkward confrontation with the Bachelorette!

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When put on the spot in front of Becca and Chase, Chris still can’t deliver much in terms of specifics. “She makes some remarks, saying, ‘This a**hole, his intentions aren’t real. He’s not going on there for the right reasons.’” Of course, Becca still finds the whole thing sketchy: Why would a woman who only dated Chase for a month, as he claims, still “harbor so much resentment” about him years later? Chase is all ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, and just gives her the “I’m here for you” speech. (Next: No, Jake. Just no.)

We’ll have to wait until the rose ceremony to see if Becca bought his story, because right now she’s got another mission: Figuring out why Jake, a dude she’s met many times as an acquaintance but who’s never showed any interest in her, is suddenly hot to make her his wife. Jake insists that he only remembers meeting her once — yeah, that’ll make her feel better! — but our Bachelorette is not letting him bamboozle her. “I’m not 100 percent comfortable with knowing that we’ve met multiple times in the past, and [you] just not really having any interest [before],” says Becca, adding that she doesn’t want to “constantly question” his intentions. “I don’t want to waste your time, and I just don’t know if I see it at the end.”

Rather than responding like a gentleman — something like, “That’s disappointing, but I respect your decision” would work — Jake insists on mansplaining Becca’s own feelings to her. “It sounds like you might be hanging on to a different me, when I was at a different point in my life,” says Jake. “I’ve had a very transformative year. I’m a new Jake.”

Whatever, pal. New, old, recycled, it doesn’t matter — she wants you to go. And finally, he leaves… though I’m still pretty sure he doesn’t understand why.

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Bye, buddy — see you never! (Or week 6 of Paradise, whichever comes first.)

When all the “drama” dies down, it’s back to business. Wills, the “closet nerd,” shows Becca his “expecto patronum” tattoo and assures her he’ll be a guardian for her heart. (Anyone else having a major flashback to Ali’s season, with Mr. “Guard and Protect Your Heart” himself, Kasey?) Colton, meanwhile, takes his one-on-one time to tell the Bachelorette about his non-profit organization. But ultimately the FIR goes to Mr. Minivan himself, Garrett.

Clink clink clink! It’s “that time,” fellas! We’re almost done with our first step in Becca’s “journey.” On to the rose ceremony room! And the first rose goes to… Oh, no.

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Yikes. Moving on: Blake, Rickey, Jean Blanc, Christon, Clay, Wills, Connor, Jason, John, Ryan, Alex, Nick, Trent, Colton, David the Chicken Guy, Jordan, Leo, Mike Man Bun, and Chris the “sales trainer” also get roses. That means we have to say goodbye to Chase, “Social Media Participant” Kamil, Joe, Darius, Christian the creepy banker, and Grant.

Would you like to see any of these guys on Paradise, rose lovers? I wouldn’t mind seeing Joe the Grocer again at the very least. And is it just me, or did that almost look like a legitimate ambulance situation in the “this season on The Bachelorette” super tease? Either way, someone or something keeps pissing Becca off this season — bad news for her, good news for us.

Post your thoughts below, rose lovers. Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to pour some tea.

Episode Recaps

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?
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