Clayton’s Bachelor Premiere is here and it feels like 2019 all over again.
Mondays are back. The Bachelor mansion is back. Thirty-one women fighting over a midwestern former athlete for some godforsaken reason are back. Chris Harrison is…not back but new host Jesse Palmer is basically the same person so we’re counting it. And, wait, is that? Yes, I can confirm the driveway is officially wet.
For better or for worse, classic Bachelor is back.
We love a retro moment. (Or do we?)
Clayton’s Bachelor Premiere Gives the Hard Sell
The Bachelor is all in on Clayton this year. They’ve seen the mean tweets, they’ve seen
my the memes, they know that no one wanted him as The Bachelor, but by god, they’re going to convince us to like him anyway.
They pulled out all of the classic Americana stops to pull on the heartstrings of their classic core audience.
We’re talking shots of the Gateway Arch, Clayton driving an SUV with his arm hanging out of the window, American flags slightly out of focus in the foreground as he poses, and his entire hometown celebrating him under a banner on Main Street. There were even first responders standing in front of a fire truck congratulating him.
He’s running for mayor of sincere Bachelor and if they get their way, he’ll win.
We get it. He’s a kind, sincere,
white all-American good ol’ boy who feels ready for a wife and kids. And it doesn’t hurt that he’s 6’4″ and hot.
The Drama Started Early
Right around the time when they should have been showing b-roll of the cast doing things like work out in matching outfits and pretend to walk their dogs, the show started focusing in on one woman in particular.
It was odd, but Salley is a southern belle who looks like a perfect combination of Emily Maynard and Hannah G. so I was willing to go with it. However, staring off into the ocean and crying on screen is usually reserved for more than 15 minutes into the premiere episode. What the hell is going on?
Oh, it turns out she just got out of a relationship. No, like, she had an entire wedding planned with her fiance and then they broke up because
someone cheated of a “lack of trust” very recently. In fact, her wedding was scheduled for that exact day.
She’s too pretty and this news is too juicy to leave on the cutting room floor so they made her go to Clayton’s hotel room 5 hours before filming was about to start to explain her situation. He was understanding, but also only thinking about how hot she is so he inexplicably offered her a date rose.
She came to your room to dump your ass, dude. Where’s the self-preservation?
Salley took a moment to panic to the producers and to someone over the phone (when did they start letting them have those?) but ultimately she rejected his rose and went home before the show even officially began.
They had this man get brutally rejected hours before his season even started.
Game respects game. That was even harsh for me.
Jesse Palmer Came Prepared
Now that Clayton is sufficiently insecure for our entertainment purposes, it’s time for limo entrances. But first, can we talk about how Jesse Palmer IS Chris Harrison?
I know I’ve been joking about it, but they’re nearly indecipherable.
Everything from his mannerisms to his inflections is straight from the Harrison handbook. If they’re trying to win back some of the audience they lost with pure confusion, the casting was spot on.
Time for Secondhand Embarrassment
Now that Salley is off to find a therapist, there are 30 women remaining and at least half of them pulled some sort of gimmick at their introduction to Clayton.
- Sierra (26, yoga instructor) arrived in the Delorean from Back to the Future and said she’s his wife so they may as well leave the show now.
- Susie (28, Hannan Brown doppelganger) buzzed his hand with one of those handshake shocker things because she “felt the electricity.”
- Kate (32, realtor) suggested that they each “hold one of (her) nips” and then pulled small bottles of alcohol from out of her bra.
- Hailey (26, nurse) said she’s an independent woman but she needs a man for some things…and then she asked him to open a jar of pickles for her.
- Ivana (31, Bar Mitzvah dancer) didn’t speak. As in, she was silent.
- Jill (26, architectural historian) brought an urn that she said was filled with the ashes of her ex-boyfriends.
- Marlena (30, former Olympian) threw a flag penalty at Clayton for “being so fine”
- Jane (33, Social Media Director) drove up in a classic car because it’s “vintage” like her. Excuse me, she’s only 33 years old. I need a moment.
- Rachel (25, flight instructor) was introduced by her “wing woman” who was actually just a random elderly woman in a gown.
- Gabby (30, ICU nurse) brought a pillow with a picture of Clayton on it because she “wants to sit on his face.”
- Kira (32, Physician) wore red lingerie and her white doctor’s coat like a damn cliche that Clayton absolutely fell for.
- Elizabeth (32, Real Estate Advisor) brought a dominatrix whip to spank him with.
- Hunter (28, HR) wore a yellow snake around her neck all night long.
- Cassidy (26, Executive Recruiter) slowly drove up on the driveway on a Powerwheel car.
- Shanae (29, Recruiter) ran over said Powerwheel car with a raised truck.
- Samantha (26, Occupational Therapist) came in a bubble bath. No, two producers in masks literally rolled a bathtub up the hill and she stepped out in her bathing suit.
Is this what it’s like to be single now? When I met my husband I was moving into a new apartment and we ran into each other in the hall.
Clayton is Kissing Everyone
Once the introductions were finally over, Clayton gave a speech, spilled his drink, and then started making out with everyone.
It’s Clayton’s Bachelor premiere and he can do what he wants to and what he wants to do is kiss some girls.
I respect it.
I was trying to keep count but it was quickly becoming a haze of glittery gowns and fake eyelashes. I know Teddi (24, Nurse) got the first romantic kiss of the night. Then somewhere in there sexy Dr. Kira, Eliza the law student, Cassidy with the wrecked Powerwheel, and Rachel the pilot also locked lips with the man.
I’m not an epidemiologist but all I’m saying is that I wouldn’t be surprised if the origin of Omicron is the Bachelor mansion.
One Girl Straight Up Hated Him
The only major drama of the night (other than Salley rejecting his first rose because it was her wedding day) came from Claire (28, Spray Tanner).
Claire spent half a minute with Clayton and was like, “I would eat him and spit him out. I can’t be with America’s sweetheart. I’m too firey.”
But even I think she went a little too far by telling everyone who would listen how much she hated him. Save that energy for Twitter like the rest of us, woman.
Anyway, Serene tattled on her, and then Clayton sent Claire home.
The First Impression Rose Goes To…
If you know anything about The Bachelor, you know you have to pay attention when the music changes. When it gets all cinematic and romantic, you know you’re dealing with a contender.
I noticed the music change for Teddi (first kiss), Genevieve (26, Bartender), and Rachel (pilot).
But the first impression rose went to the woman Clayton had an instant attraction to, Teddi.
You know it’s going to be good when the moment after they met in the driveway he said “I’m going to be way in over my head.”
Oh, and Teddi is a virgin so surely that won’t be a storyline they exploit.
Time to Make Some Cuts
By the time the rose ceremony began the sun was already up. Imagine waking up, getting dressed for your television debut, waiting in limos, meeting a dude you kinda like, drinking half the night in heels, and then waiting on risers to see if he’s going to dump you 12 hours later.
It’s the stuff of nightmares.
Anway, with Salley off mourning her wedding, Claire running for her life, and Teddi holding a rose, only 28 women remain in purgatory.
Clayton handed out 21 more roses to Serene, Susie, Eliza, Rachel, Ency, Sarah, Kate, Cassidy, Elizabeth, Kira, Shanae, Sierra, Mara, Marlena, Genevieve, Malena, Gabby, Jill, Lyndsey W., Hunter, and Tessa.
That means Rianna, Lindsay, Ivana, Daria, Jane, Hailey, and Samantha went home.
Don’t be sad it’s the end, be thankful for the memories of Samantha arriving in a bathtub.
And then watch this season trailer because it’s a mess.
I’ll be back next week with another recap. Who do you have in your top 3 so far? I think there might be a few dark horses this season that will surprise us.
Heidi is currently obsessed with watching people make bad decisions on TV, being a coastal elite, artificially avoiding any sign of aging, reading feminist romance novels, and getting the biggest laugh at her own expense. She has a husband, 3 kids, a dog and anxiety.