Highs and Lows of The Bachelor Season Premiere

The Bachelor began its 19th season on Monday night. Here's a chronicle of the best and worst moments of the first episode.

Bachelor Chris Soules

Bachelor Chris Soules

Family Feud is not a good game show. The questions are stupid and the answers stupider. Plus it’s not fair. In almost every episode, the winner comes down to whichever team wins the final round. But it can be a fun show to watch, because contestants invariably say silly things when trying to come up with answers.

This is how I feel about The Bachelor. It is not a good game show. There’s no real competition. There are so many things wrong with it, but it’s still enjoyable to watch: Contestants will say and do silly things, and you get to go along with them on this journey!

For this season, the show’s nineteenth, I figured I’d tag along. Here’s some backstory to last night’s season premiere: The Bachelor is Chris Soules, an Iowa farmer. (I’ll call him Farmer Chris, in order to avoid confusing him with host Chris Harrison.) In each season premiere, dozens of women pour out of limos to introduce themselves to the bachelor. The show’s elimination round is called the “rose ceremony,” and The Bachelor gives roses to the women he wants to keep.

With that explained, here are the highs and lows of the first episode.

LOW. The season premiere was three hours, which means this recapping experiment is off to an excruciating start. I normally cannot do anything for three hours consecutively—but I will try for you, reader. And things get worse: The first hour was a red carpet premiere with no actual celebrities, just former Bachelor contestants talking about their lives.

HIGH. On that red-carpet premiere Chris Harrison interviewed Nikki, who won the last season of The Bachelor. She’s since split with The Bachelor. Harrison spent a solid five minutes attempting to get Nikki to bash Juan Pablo, the unlikable protagonist of last season. (For example, Juan Pablo slut-shamed a woman he’d had sex with himself the night before. Dude.) Harrison was so single-mindedly focused on getting Nikki to badmouth Juan Pablo it made me think he ought to be interviewing politicians. Here’s hoping for Harrison/Nixon (or he could interview someone who’s alive, I guess).

LOW. In the past, a Bachelor contestant completed this months-long game show by picking his favorite of 25 women. But this season, Farmer Chris got to pick from 30 different contestants. Somehow the addition of five more made the first episode excruciatingly confusing. It was impossible to pick favorites. I expected the parade of limos containing contestants to go on forever. This would be the way the world ends, I thought, with an endless Bachelor premiere.

HIGH. The Bachelor this year gave us a contestant just for Bachelor recappers: Freelance journalist Ashley!

ashley-i

Here’s guessing 97 percent of people recapping The Bachelor are doing so as freelancers. We all have to take sides! I am guessing Ashley was selected as a contestant so all the freelancers watching the show could use her as a foil, but her friends were making animated GIFs of her to retweet on her Twitter account, so I’m squarely #TeamAshley.

LOW. Harrison attempted to argue this season’s Bachelor star was “resonating so well with this country.”

HIGH. Kaitlyn, a dance instructor, exited the limo and immediately told Farmer Chris he could “plow the fuck out of my field any day.” Later, she teaches him to break dance.

LOW. One of the contestants, Bo, was a plus-size model. (Is model the only occupation where your job title is different if you’re heavier? I don’t know of anyone being described as a “plus-size accountant.”) Bo barely got an intro, appeared to only have one line — it was about food — and was eliminated with barely a goodbye. Keep in mind, this episode had a three-hour time slot, and Bo was a contestant who in real life is paid to be attractive.

HIGH. Tara—who showed up in jean shorts and cowboy boots, instead of a cocktail dress—had too much Jack Daniels and got drunk on the season premiere before the rose ceremony. But she got a rose, anyway! She is another favorite of mine, as her occupation is sport fishing enthusiast.

LOW. In addition to Bo, here’s who else was eliminated: Amanda, Brittany, Kara, Kimberly, Michelle, Nicole, Reegan. You now know about as much about them as I do, honestly. There was no drama in who was going to stay on the show because I couldn’t remember who anyone was. (At least Hamilton, New Jersey’s own Alissa was safe.)

The Bachelor last night had more characters than a Game of Thrones episode. It killed off almost as many, too.

HIGH. The show continued to be an enjoyable way to waste a Monday night by simply adding the phrase “on this game show” to every person who pretends this is a real last shot to meet a one true love and not a television program. My favorite this week? Harrison calling the show “the most important journey of Chris’ life” (on this game show). Runner up: Farmer Chris himself saying, “I wish I was a polygamist right now” (on this game show).

Just think, there are still 21 more contestants to eliminate. See you next week!