The Bachelor – Episode 1 recap

We’re back! And The Bachelor is….Ben Z Ben Higgins, the 26 year old Denver-based software salesman. Ben grew up in Warsaw, Poland Indiana.  HE’S FROM THE HEARTLAND AND WANTS A WIFE WITH SMALLTOWN VALUEZ, IN CASE YOU’VE NEVER WATCHED THIS SHOW BEFORE.

Ben insists he’s just your everyday average guy. See look, there he is shooting basketballs at a hoop affixed to a rustic red barn in a pasture. That’s a totally normal thing to do.

Ben drives around his frozen-in-the-’50s town, pointing out the shuttered cinema where something boring happened with a girl, and the one-room school where he still goes back to visit teachers (yea, he’s one of those). Over there is the playground where he used to chase girls–not much has changed! Hey, remember that time they canceled hometown dates on Kaitlyn’s season because she had sex before the fantasy suite? Boy did she miss out!

Ben’s high school bestows him with the honor of Homecoming Grand Marshall , and he’s all, wow never thought I’d be the homecoming king… AGAIN. A lot of people are wearing neon.

Here he is talking to the first contestant– oh wait that’s his mom. Mama Higgins tears up thinking about how she’s been with Papa Higgins for 32 years. All that that time with the same man… sounds awful. Why would she want that for Ben? “She’s gonna be great no matter where you find her” mom chooses her words carefully.  Cuz last time we all checked, this show had a 3% success rate. Her son is more optimistic– “I’ll come back with a smile on my face and a young lady on my arm” he says. Ben’s world is one with only two types of women: young ladies and broads.

Ben arrives at the Bachelor Mansion and shows off his Bachelor makeover, which consists of a Chambray button up and a Fade haircut. Show runners have arranged for him to powwow with Bachelors past: Jason Mesnick– Married with Baby, Sean Lowe– Married, and Chris Soules– Man-Fetus. Ben needs help processing how to kiss different women on the same day. Kissing in front of other women is a No No, Sean warns. Kiss ‘em all, Chris-still-single-Soules enthuses. Jason just wants Ben to show the girls all a good time, even if that means falsely handing out your final rose to the wrong woman–as long as she’s enjoying herself! Sean’s like, don’t rule anyone out too early, I didn’t even meet Catherine till week 6. Jason looks like Chris Kattan.

Getting ready for Night 1, Ben looks like a lil baby puttin’ on his big boy suit. He has a look about him like he already regrets doing this. Chris Harrison says the women have come from all over the world to meet him, and that’s a lieFinally, Chris reminds us of Ben’s insecurity from last season– that he’s unlovable. Let’s meet the women!

By order of limo arrival:

Lauren B., 25, flight attendant, Marina Del Rey, CA

The Stewardess

Lauren’s roots are technically in PDX, but she’s an LAX girl through and through. She offers Ben a pair of wings, like she does with all the 10 year old boys on her flights.


Caila, 23, software sales representative, Hudson, OH

The girl who’s watched WAY too many romcoms

This Boston-based cutie met her last bf on a plane, and when they ran into each other two weeks later, she had watched the film Serendipity and developed unreasonable expectations about romance thought it was fate. Then, she dumped him after Ben’s combined 25 minutes of airtime last season gave her butterflies. Now she’s “ready for Fate Part 2!” and kickstarts her destiny by leaping into Ben’s arms, which will NOT look effortless when she watches it back. Can’t wait for all their thrilling shop-talk! 


Jennifer, 25, small business owner, Fort Lauderdale, FL

The one who can’t wait to appear in Us Weekly

She makes Ben promise to remember her name, noting “Ben & Jen is too cute to forget” (quite the euphemism for Ben Affleck’s multiple failed relationships, but I digress). He does remember it and must like being bossed. Later, Jen stresses that their morals & values gotta mesh while Ben tries not to stare at her ample decolletage.


Jami, 23, bartender, St. Albert, Alberta, Canada

The Bachelorette hopeful

I spy this season’s spitfire Canadian! She no doubt wants to continue the legacy of Jillian and Kaitlyn and be the next Great Northern Bachelorette. Now all she needs is a trademark moment, like Jillian’s hotdog condiment bit or Kaitlyn’s tight seal joke. 


Samantha, 26, attorney, New Smyrna Beach, FL

The one with smoker’s voice

Boxers or legal briefs? the recent law school grad asks Ben. She just passed the bar, so I guess it’s not that hard of a test.  Her dad died of ALS when she was in middle school, making her the season’s first contestant with a sad story to tell Ben during a pool party at the right moment.


Jubilee, 24, war veteran, Fort Lauderdale, FL

The channel-check heard ’round the world

When Jubilee stepped out of the limo, middle americans thought, Who put on Empire?  Wasn’t Rhonda just talking about ALS? Get used to it ‘murica, looks like Jubilee gets quite a bit of face time this season.  Also, serious question:  is the above use of “war” redundant and implied by “veteran”? Or, since she served in Afghanistan that’s diff from, say, the Carter administration?


Amanda, 25, esthetician, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

The mom

She’s only 25, but this divorced mother of 2 has aged herself a decade with preemptive botox treatments. Amanda’s cartoonish/helium voice is a wildcard–as Diablo Cody noted, Whitney Bischoff rode that ish all the way to the barn. Thinking about it now, listening to Bischoff probably just made Soules feel like he was watching Adult Swim.


Lace, 25, real estate agent, Denver, CO

The mean girl

Hear that background music get a little more sinister? See that dark haired woman in the witchy black dress? Guard your loins, we have a villain. I repeat, we have a villain. Not to be out-drama’d by no one, after the rose ceremony Lace pulls Ben aside to complain that he didn’t make enough eye contact with her. I can’t comment on the accuracy of the allegation, but I think we can all agree that withholding eye contact is a serious offense.


Lauren R., 26, math teacher, Houston, TX

Not anonymous

She led with her social media stalking and was ELIMINATED. Lauren, Lauren, Lauren, you amateur. She had something special to show him inside, and now we may never know what it was probably just have to check her twitter.


Shushanna, 27, mathematician, Salt Lake City, UT

The Red Scare

Only spoke russian the entire night. She wore a red dress and Ben thought she looked “like a rose” since he hadn’t met Mandi yet.  But she’s actually just reppin’ her communist motherland. Keep your eye on this one and her leftist agenda.


Leah, 25, event planner, Denver, CO

The one who lifted her dress to hike a football

As a football loving event planner,  Leah literally and figuratively runs in heels. She’s only 25 and already getting tattoos laser removed, according to her q&a. Man, this group may be young, but they’re old at heart.


Joelle “JoJo,” 24, real estate developer, Dallas, TX

The one with the comeback music career 

She wore a unicorn head because finding love on The Bachelor is as improbable as the existence of unicorns! Or maybe just incase Ben is a brony?


Lauren H., 25, kindergarten teacher, Ann Arbor, MI

Never a bride

Lauren H. kept a dead flower bouquet that she caught at a wedding “lee-ast weekend” (gotta love that midwestern flat A) and presented it to Ben as he backed away slowly seemed to actually like it? We have a match!


Laura, 24, account executive, Louisville, KY

The ginger

Laura tells Ben to call her “Red Velvet” and is ELIMINATED. She probably dug her own grave by playing sidekick to Lace the entire night. But guys, redhead life is no joke. Once, while waiting in line to vote–as in, fulfill my duty as a citizen VOTE, like cast my ballot in an election– I was approached by a polling STAFF PERSON and asked if it’s true that redhead drapes match the curtains. Moving right along.


Mandi, 28, dentist, Portland, OR

The “weird” one

Mandi wore a giant red rose headpiece, which, paired with a Calvin Klein-y white dress, looked kind of avant garde and great? Mandi invites Ben to “pollinate” the flower and the inuendo is completely lost on him. The other women decide they hate her for being “weird.” She is a dentist and looks in Ben’s mouth with her tools to check for gingivitis. That was weird, but the women are more perturbed by the rose gimmick. If anyone is weird because of a headpiece I’m gonna have to go with unicorn head. 


Emily and Haley, 22, twins, Las Vegas, NV

The Twins

Turns out your 10 year old self was right: twinhood is a perpetual state of mic-drop. This pair doesn’t need a career–Twins is a lifestyle. They prance around, ride a tandem bike, and roller blade holding hands while wearing matching, sparkly outfits. It’s all very ‘90s MK & Ashley. Ben tries to assess the situation: “See you inside…Do we get to talk together or separately?” i.e.,  is this a 2-for-1 deal? “Both” they chirp in unison. Later, they repurpose their pitch for first timers at the bunny ranch (“it’s not weird for us and we don’t want it to be weird for you”) and assure Ben they like, NEVER date the same guy. But then insist “you can’t not like it.”


Maegan, 30, cowgirl, Weatherford, TX

The one with the mini horse

Cowgirl is like, Twins? I raise you a Mini Horse. Maegan keeps Hughy in the backyard as her barbeque companion, soo guessing that means they hang out A LOT.   Inside, Hughy beelines to Samantha and starts trotting all over her dress because lawyers are awful. Maegan is ELIMINATED because Ben can’t compete with Hughy. Plus, her face is kinda leathery- downside of that cowgirl life.


Breanne, 30, nutritional therapist, Seattle, WA

The gluten nazi

Breanne bounces up happily with a picnic basket brimming with baguettes a la Belle from Beauty & the Beast. But wait, she *doesnt* eat gluten because it’s SATAN.  Then she starts giving the breadsticks curb jobs. Ben still has a minor case of ptsd from the violence against carbs, so it comes as no surprise that she was ELIMINATED. Please–banning bread from the midwestern table? How could he ever have that conversation with mom?


Isabel “Izzy,” 24, graphic designer, Branford, CT

The one wearing jammies

She wore an outer-space themed onesie to ask if Ben is “the onesie” for her…and never changed out of it? ELIMINATED. Also, Josephine “Joey” Potter called and would like her face back. Dawson called too and would like his Peter Pan-syndrome back.


Rachel, 23, unemployed, Little Rock, AR

The young lady of leisure

Rachel arrives riding a hoverboard, which seems like the modern day equivalent of having your own chauffeur.


Jessica, 23, accountant, Boca Raton, FL

The Jewess

Her profession and locale strongly suggest she could belong to a certain ethno-religious group. But according to her bio she has a tattoo and likes country music? Need to address this immediately. At one point Ben takes a stab at her name: “Jessic..?” Because emphasizing the first syllable and trailing off for the rest apparently passes for remembering a woman’s name. ELIMINATED.


Tiara, 26, chicken enthusiast, Redmond, WA

The next “I married a horse”

Tiara is an enthusiast of live chickens and keeps several as pets/friends/life partners? Tiara has framed photos of her chickens and a framed photo of Ben, and stares at them like she’s actually deciding between poultry and a human man. She’s never been apart from her chickadees for longer than 10 days and anticipates serious separation anxiety–for absolutely no reason because she was obviously ELIMINATED.


Lauren “LB,” 23, fashion buyer, Stillwater, OK

The Lauren Conrad wannabe

She eschews a gown and opts for a short cocktail dress, just like LC did for her prom in 2004.


Jackie, 23, gerontologist, San Francisco, CA

The one with a Vistaprint account

She made Ben a Save the Date for the final episode with his and her name scratched off with a prettier girl’s name she met in the limo on it. Ben thought it was smooth, because one man’s desperate is another man’s smooth.


Olivia, 23, news anchor, Austin, TX

Heidi Klum crossed with an alien

Ben gives his first impression rose to the last girl off the limo, which suggests a short attention span. Olivia walked away from a full-time ameezing job cuz Ben is wErTh eT. The best part of her job was going to high schools because she got to relive her heyday by subtly making teenage girls feel bad about themselves give back.


Amber, 30, bartender, Chicago, IL

Third time’s a charm

Yay! Amber baby is back again, marking her third stint in The Bachelor franchise. And even if this recycling of a black girl from season to season means white folks need gradual exposure to warm up to minorities, like the way you would introduce a new kitten to an adult cat…I’LL TAKE IT. Girl looks good.


Becca, 26, chiropractic assistant, San Diego, CA

Human Ambien

Boo! Becca is back. Because she provided such thrilling entertainment her first go around? I won’t fault the girl for not being able to fake it with Chris Soules–only a true master manipulator like Whitney Bischoff could pull that off. But I will fault her for making my eyelids feel heavy every time I saw her face.


The Cocktail Party

So, Ben’s just met dozens of eligible women who are all waiting for him inside. He does what any responsible adult man would do– calls dad from the driveway of the houseparty to let him know the address and landline number of where he is and what time he’ll be home. RIP, Kaitlyn’s season.


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