Zach Shallcross’ season of The Bachelor premiered Monday night with all its usual fanfare.
It feels good to be back.
Zach Shallcross needs good pr
Chris Harrison-lite Jesse Palmer opened the episode by chastising all of us for assuming Zach Shallcross is as interesting as the unseasoned chicken breast he’s undoubtedly been eating in preparation for his shirtless scenes.
Jesse thinks we need to give Zach a chance and get to know him better before casting judgment.
First of all, that’s literally the joy of watching reality television.
Second, “he was a DJ in college,” is not the selling point they think it is.
They knew they needed to act fast to keep our interest so the brought in the big guns from The Bachelor back catalogue: Sean Lowe.
Unfortunately for Zach, Sean Lowe steals every scene he’s ever been in. Plus he’s objectively hotter than Zach despite being nearly 40 years old and the father of three children.
Regardless we got 10 minutes of Sean giving him some advice about marrying his best friend and teaching him how to rub his abs in the shower.
I’ve wasted more time doing less interesting things.
Here come the limos
Sean was barely done giving Zach pointers about his bicep curls (“curls are for the girls” are real words that he spoke aloud) when the introduction packages for the women started up.
A woman popped champagne, a child therapist held up dolls, a horse-girl did something with a horse, you know, the usual.
Then we hopped right into a surprisingly tame line-up of limo introductions for the 30 women Zach will be dating this season.
As always, I avoid spoilers with the same ferocity with which I avoid forehead wrinkles (militantly), but the first hour of this season was giving a very interesting and different vibe than we are used to.
Gone are the days of unicorn costumes and cupcake cars.
I mean sure, one contestant named Mercedes brought a pig on a leash.
Okay, and yes, Christina arrived on a party bus because she was “getting her bachelorette party out of the way.”
But overall it was a calm, genuine, almost sweet set of introductions.
Honestly, based on his gentle demeanor thus far in this episode, I think that might be who Zach is too.
At one point I even wrote the words, “he’s very, very kind” in my notes.
What is happening to me?
Oh wait, I forgot about when a woman named Lehka licked him.
There’s The Bachelor we know and love.
The world’s longest cocktail party
After a quick pep talk from Jesse, Zach entered the mansion to a sea of beauty pageant contestants and nurses doused in body glitter and sequins.
He gave a quick speech about liking “family, football, and frozen pizza” before he was whisked off in a cloud of desperation.
Zach spent the rest of the evening being passed from woman to woman like a game of hot potato where the winner ends up with a verified TikTok account.
I feel like all of these conversations are best summarized by the exchange he has with one woman who asked him, “Who is Zach?” To which he replied, “Zach is just a regular dude who lives in Austin and wants to find his forever person.”
We’re not winning any daytime Emmys with this ish is all I’m saying.
Throughout the night Zach kissed a handful of women but, more importantly, he only looked like he enjoyed kissing Kaity, Greer, and Charity.
Oh, and one woman named Anastasia wore pants. Pants on night one of The Bachelor. Forget Zach, I think I love her.
There’s always one
The only real drama of the night came from 26-year-old Madison from Fargo.
I don’t know if Madison went hard on the champagne or if she was just several thousands of dollars in debt on a wardrobe she wanted the opportunity to wear on tv, but she was hungry for the first impression rose.
When her first conversation with Zach didn’t go the way she hoped, she went in for a second (a big no-no in Bachelor etiquette) only this time she decided to double down by…dancing the griddy.
— Chicks in the Office (@ChicksInTheOff) January 24, 2023
You’d think it couldn’t get worse, but then she held him down for a kiss he did not want to give her before they did another sychronized griddy back to the party.
I don’t think I’ve ever cringed harder watching this show and that includes all of Claire Crawley’s season.
First impression rose wreaks havoc
When Jesse brought out the first impression rose, Zach hadn’t even spoken to more than half of the 30 women. It really didn’t matter though because he was already smitten.
Greer is a 24-year-old medical sales rep from Houston who hopes to settle in Austin where Zach just so happens to live. She’s beautiful and confident and immediately put him at ease.
Zach was clearly taken by Greer, and since The Bachelor loves a theme, it doesn’t hurt that she looks exactly like Sean Lowe’s wife, Catherine.
Greer gladly accepted his first impression rose and then they made out on the couch while all of the other women Zach is dating stared.
Griddy queen Madison immediately freaked out.
Madison was humiliated that her kiss with Zach wasn’t as hot as Greer’s so she quietly found a corner to compose herself.
Lol no she didn’t.
She “disrupted” (her words) yet another one of his conversations and self-eliminated because she didn’t feel wanted by the man she met hours before who is simultaneously dating 29 other women.
A bewildered Zach watched as she sobbed and clomped down the driveway and out of his life to a waiting airport shuttle.
What a missed opportunity to griddy one last time.
Rose Ceremony time
It was fully daylight by the time the Rose Ceremony began and all I want to know is what kind of makeup those women were wearing because they still looked flawless.
Identical and with no variation in size other than xxs and xs but gorgeous nontheless.
With Madison gone, Zach was down to a paltry 29 women.
Greer was already safe with her first impression rose and so was Brianna who received America’s first impression rose way back during the ATFR of Rachel and Gabby’s season.
Thus with 20 remaining roses on the table, 8 women would be joining the griddy queen on the long ride to the airport.
Zach did his thing, the women who were being sent home cried into forced obscurity, and the rest of them toasted to what was undoubtedly the longest night of
my their night.
For better or worse, Zach Shallcross and his future ex-girlfriends will return every Monday and so will my recaps.
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.