The Bachelorette Premiere Was Not the Drama We Were Promised

There are normal premiere episodes of The Bachelorette with the wet driveway, sad backstories, swelling music, and hot guys in aggressively tailored suits drinking too much. Then there is Clare Crawley‘s premiere episode of The Bachelorette with an empty hotel rented out for the season, people getting cotton swabs shoved in their orifices, and hot guys in aggressively tailored suits drinking too much.

Must be 2020.

Love is Contagious

If there’s one thing The Bachelorette wants you to know this season, it’s that they’re taking the health and safety of the cast seriously. You know, the show that routinely has people swap spit like a game of COVID roulette. That’s why they spent so much time showing Clare practicing yoga and burning incense. Science!

Okay, yes, they also quarantined the entire cast in individual rooms while they waited for COVID test results. Of course, it’s still The Bachelorette, so they doled out the results like Maury Povich with his infamous manila envelope. Clare, you are not the superspreader.

Bring on the Men

Someone alert the CDC, the pandemic is over at the La Quinta Resort in Palm Springs where Clare is ready to meet her future ex-boyfriends in a gown made from discarded disco balls. She looked to Chris Harrison for one final pep talk before the limos arrived, but all the man had to say was, “Hey, you showed up. You always do.” What a guy.

For her part, Clare is a gorgeous, outgoing, confident, and flirty 39 year-old bachelorette who looks young enough to get carded at happy hour. Women really can have it all. I’m as cynical as they come, but I fully buy that she is on the show for the right reasons™.

Here’s the thing, I love a ridiculous Bachelorette introduction gimmick as much as the next viewer judging from the comfort of their yoga pants. However, these men were locked in individual hotel rooms for days with nothing to do except not contract a virus and plan out their introduction to Clare. Days.

At this point in 2020, if I had days alone in a hotel room, I’d probably achieve world peace – after I cleared out the mini-bar and cried in the shower.

Instead, they came up with this ish:

  • Jason (Arlington, Virginia Former Pro Football Lineman, 31) stuffed his shirt with a faux pregnant belly à la Clare on Juan Pablo’s season, because he, “wants to carry the weight of the relationship.” Okay, but can we see your abs while you do that?

  • Kenny (Chicago, Illinois Boy Band Manager, 39) wore a t-shirt with Clare’s dog’s faces on it under his suit, which she thoroughly enjoyed petting. Yes, a boy band manager with dogs on his shirt got petted.
  • Tyler C. not that one (Morgantown, West Virginia Lawyer, 27) arrived in a station wagon full of junk to assure Clare that he’s ready to move her and their future children into it. Every woman’s dream.

  • Jay (Fort Lauderdale, Florida Fitness Director, 29) wore a straight jacket the entire night. The ENTIRE night. At least we know the guy can commit.
  • Chasen (San Diego, California IT Executive, 31) arrived in a full suit of armor that he removed like he was, “shredding his armor,” for her. Cute, if you are into really sweaty guys who smell like pennies.

  • Ed (Miami, Florida Health Care Salesman, 36) rolled up to Clare in a giant hamster ball that he then shimmied out of like a giant baby being born in a three-piece suit. Not something I care to see ever again.
  • Zach J. (St. George, Utah Cleaning Service Owner, 37) got down one knee and opened a ring box that held a small plastic butt that vibrated and made farting noises.

Pack it in Clare, these guys are the worst.

Then There Was Dale

The moment the limo door opened and Dale Moss (Brandon, South Dakota Former Pro Football Wide Receiver, 31) walked out, the music switched to his own soundtrack and I knew it was over. If the music hadn’t given it away, then Clare’s face would have, because girlfriend was smitten at first sight. She looked at the cameras after he walked away and said, “I think I just met my husband,” with tears in her eyes.

Game over. Do not pass go. Call the limos back, Clare is done.

Later in the night, Clare emphasized that she is thirty-nine and knows what she wants because she, “reads energy and vibes.” She nodded emphatically at everything Dale said like 13-year-old me reading an interview of JTT and convincing myself that I could totally be vegan too. Her mom has Alzheimer’s, his sister has health issues. Same! Dale is an empath, Clare sometimes cares about other people’s feelings. Same! Clare wants to makeout with Dale, Dale wants to make out with Clare. Same!

He got the first impression rose because – obviously – and Clare’s season of The Bachelorette was pretty much done filming.

Quick Pause for Some Drama

Other than Dale and the essential worker who administered the COVID tests, we don’t really care about anyone on this season yet. So when Tyler C. not that one approached Yosef (Daphne, Alabama Medical Device Salesman, 30) with some rumors he’d heard about Yosef sliding into women’s DMs it seemed rushed. Slow your roll there, big guy. You’re locked in a hotel with 30 men for 6 weeks. You have time.

Yosef has big “call the manager” vibes so he went straight to Clare with the drama. She sat both of the men down and asked them to explain themselves. It was as stupid as it sounds, and only further cemented the theory that you should never let another contestant’s name come out of your mouth on a group date. The only good thing to come from the whole thing was when Yosef called Tyler C. not that one “Mini McConaughey” because of his accent. I’m saving that joke for later.

Rose Ceremony

Basically, nothing else happened at the cocktail party since Clare is already in love with Dale. She did have a few sparks with Blake Moynes because she appreciated him taking a risk and messaging her during the break in filming. But, for the most part, her eyes are on the prize. And that prize is a very tall ex-NFL player/model who would be a dragon if he were an animal.

In the end, 7 men (including Tyler C. not that one) were sent home. But not Dale. Never Dale.

Coming Up This Season on The Bachelorette

So, I know we just spent the past 1,000 words talking about Clare, but everything about the trailer for this season makes it clear that she won’t be The Bachelorette for long. There are spoilers literally everywhere, but all I’ll say here is that it’s gearing up to be the most dramatic season ever.

The Bachelorette airs Tuesdays on ABC. You can catch all of our Bachelor Nation coverage here every Wednesday morning.

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