Now, Adams isn’t getting the usual beginning, where 30 or so men walk out of limos and introduce themselves to her. Instead, she walks into the room of 16 men remaining from Crawley’s season and announces her arrival. “Hi, I’m Tayshia,” she says. “Nice to meet you.” It’s a twist that could be awkward, but she manages it with a huge smile, confidence and grace. Several of the men throughout the episode remark that her energy is refreshing and infectious. Viewers get the sense that she’s really there to have fun, be open and connect with these guys; it’s a welcome change from the all-business, laser-focused approach that Crawley seemed to take.
The men are pleased with the change in lineup. “You are definitely more my speed,” Ivan, a 28-year-old aeronautical engineer from Dallas, tells her, after remarking on how confident and happy she seems to be there. Jordan C., a 26-year-old software account executive from New York, tells Adams he wasn’t sure he was going to stay, but now that she’s here, “it’s a different level of excitement.” Blake Moynes, a 29-year-old wildlife manager from Canada, says things feel “more natural with one interaction with Tayshia versus four with Clare.” So, yeah, the guys are excited.
Still, Adams deserves more than Crawley’s leftovers! And, thankfully, the show agrees. Although she doesn’t get to start with a full batch of 30 single men, another limo arrives, bringing in four new men: Spencer, a 30-year-old real estate agent from San Diego; Montel, a 30-year-old fitness instructor from Boston; Peter, a 32-year-old real estate agent from Massachusetts; and Noah, a 25-year-old nurse from Tulsa. After a few more one-on-one chats with her guys, she tells Spencer: “When you stepped out of the limo, my heart did kind of skip a beat.” He gets the first-impression rose. Adams cancels the first rose ceremony, which would have immediately followed.
But before we get to see Adams go on dates with the men, let’s check in with Crawley, 39, and her fiance, Dale Moss, 32, just to make sure that they’re still together. “Was it love at first sight?,” Chris Harrison asks. “Absolutely,” Crawley says, confirming that no, she and Moss didn’t have any contact before meeting on the show. Crawley talks repeatedly about how Moss “shows up for her” every day and how her feelings for him are like “sunbeams out of my heart,” but neither of them mention what, specifically, they like about each other. When Harrison asks what’s next for them, Crawley exclaims, “Babies!” Now remember, this is a couple that got engaged after two whole weeks of dating! At that slapdash mention of children, Crawley’s fiance looks stunned. Good luck to those two.
Okay, let’s get back to Adams’s journey. She mentions several times that she’s worried that some of the guys might still be hung up on Crawley. There is one, but first let’s have a group date. Adams emerges from a pool, in a sultry “Baywatch”-esque shot, to announce that the guys will be changing into Speedos and having a “splash ball spectacular,” which means they’ll be playing a form of pool basketball.
Remember just a few weeks ago, when Yosef sent himself home because he was so offended by the group date involving strip dodgeball? Too bad he’s not here for splash ball.
Riley and Spencer tussle in the water a bit, and Spencer cuts his lip. There’s a bit of blood, but not call-an-ambulance levels. He’ll be just fine.
The blue team wins, and Eazy gets the group date rose. “He has an infectious energy that you just kind of want to be around,” Adams says of the 29-year-old sports marketing agent from Newport Beach, Calif.
After Adams says good night, Jason, 31, a former pro football player, reveals to the other guys that he still has feelings for Crawley and decides he needs to send himself home. “I can’t just flip a switch and say, ‘Tayshia, here I am,’ ” he says. So he knocks on Adams’s door to tell her this, and although she’s disappointed, she lets him go.
Brendan, a self-described “weirdo in a turtleneck,” gets the first one-on-one with Adams, a horseback ride around the resort, with Harrison awkwardly interrupting to bring them food and drink every few paces. Brendan, a 30-year-old commercial roofer from Massachusetts, keeps saying he wants to kiss Adams, but they’re on horses and Harrison keeps hovering over them. Finally, Brendan leans in for a smooch in the pool afterward.
Over dinner, Adams asks him, “How are you still single?” It’s the second time she has asked this question of her contestants, and we take slight offense at the phrasing. It’s one of those lines that sounds like a compliment, but lands more as a judgment, as though there’s something wrong with being single in your 30s. Brendan explains that he married his high school sweetheart in his early 20s, and eventually they “really fell out of love.” It’s clearly difficult for him to reveal this. He tells Adams: “It was definitely hard for me, knowing that I failed to some respect.” Well, he’s not the only one who married young and is now back on the market! Adams had a similar experience, having married a guy she met in college, whom she’s no longer with.
“I was nervous to tell you!” Adams exclaims. Though once she did, she “felt like I wasn’t alone.”
After dinner, they go outside and kiss as fireworks explode in front of them. Brendan says it was the best date — and day! — of his entire life. Adams says she feels “really connected to him,” as if she could marry him.
“Not yet!” we imagine Harrison hissing from the sidelines. We just can’t handle three Bachelorettes in one season.