As everyone knows, the unstoppable “Bachelor” franchise is most successful when it’s exactly like every other season that came before it. So even the most casual viewer can suss out some of the probable controversies just one episode into the season. Judging by the season premiere on Monday night, in which bachelor Ben Higgins met the many women vying to become his wife, here are five predictions of what you’ll see over the next three months.
1) The “crazy” contestant.
There’s always one contestant who drinks a lot during the opening night and makes a horrifying yet memorable impression. This time around, that prize goes to Lace, a 25-year-old real estate agent from Denver. Shown frequently with a wine glass in hand and spouting off quotes like “I think I am way prettier than everyone,” Lace immediately became the front-runner for “most likely meltdown.”
She scowled through the rose ceremony as Ben ticked off the names of his finalists, though obviously, she was the final name called. With so much potential drama on the line, do you really think Team Bachelor would let her get away? Even after she was chosen to stay another week, she angrily confronted because she thought he didn’t look at her enough during the night. Clearly, Lace’s issues are far from over.
Lace is filling up with wine like she's about to sit down and watch #TGIT shows. #TheBachelor pic.twitter.com/USFMf4UHIS— Good Morning America (@GMA) January 5, 2016
2) The villain.
Remember Courtney Robertson, the woman who gleefully won Ben Flajnik’s heart and then proved she really wasn’t there to make friends? Something tells us 23-year-old Olivia Caridi, the news anchor from Texas who quit her job to come on the show, may take on this role.
First, scenes from upcoming episodes featured the women saying Olivia was a liar, which means that she’s the contestant that the group decides to despise. (And they’re already seething with jealousy that she got the coveted “first impression” rose from Ben.) Second, she’s currently the focus of rumors in the tabloids, which means she’s one to watch.
[‘The Bachelor’ star Ben Flajnik moved on from reality TV. Then his ex wrote a tell-all book about him.]
3) The twin “twist.”
Reality TV producers love to throw twins into the mix. Emily and Haley, 22-year-olds from Las Vegas whose occupations are listed as “twins,” caused quite a frenzy on social media.
In upcoming previews, looks like Ben chooses both the women for one date — we’ll see if the producers milk that for all it’s worth.
4) Ben’s age.
“The Bachelor” franchise tends to focus on age: See the most recent “Bachelor in Paradise,” when contestants over 30 were deemed too old to find a soulmate. This season could have the opposite theme, because at age 26, Ben is one of the two youngest bachelors ever. The remaining contestants are also all in their 20s; the two 30-year-olds, Maegan and Breanne, were sent packing after the finale. The oldest contestants are Mandi, a 28-year-old dentist from Portland, and Amber, a 30-year-old bartender from Illinois. Expect Ben’s age to become a factor — is he too immature to commit to the love of his life?!
5) “Bachelor” alums show up to ruin everything.
Recently, those evil genius “Bachelor” producers have started bringing in contestants who have already been on the show, throwing a wrench into everyone’s plans. On the last “Bachelorette” season, the controversial Nick (booted from Andi Dorfman’s season) made it all the way as Kaitlyn’s runner-up. Now, two “Bachelor” alums (Becca and Amber, both from Chris Soules’s season) showed up and both received roses from Ben. That is already causing some gripes among the women, many of whom feel it’s unfair that Becca and Amber get another shot at publicity and fame — er, love.
[This post has been updated to add that Amber is also one of the oldest contestants.]