The first Monday of a new year means America is being introduced to a new “Bachelor.” Tonight it’s Arie Luyendyk Jr., a 36-year-old race-car driver who was the runner-up on Emily Maynard’s 2012 season of “The Bachelorette.” The last time Luyendyk was on this franchise, he says he was a boy and now he’s a man. (We’ll see about that!)

Back in 2012, life outside “The Bachelor” was different, too. Tinder barely existed. Now, contestants are finding love on dating apps and acknowledge that “if you can find love on Tinder or dating apps, you can find love on here.” 

My colleagues Emily Yahr, Maura Judkis and I are watching together and highlighting everything you need to know from the episode where you can barely tell Lauren B. from Lauren J. from Lauren G. from Lauren S. 

As Harrison says: “The race is on for Arie’s heart.” Start your engines, ladies!

Arie, who?

Chris Harrison calls Luyendyk “arguably the best kisser” ABC has had on the show. Emily points out that it’s very smart of ABC to use Sean Lowe (one of the more respected “Bachelor” alums) to give Arie some credibility. Former Bachelor Nick Viall endorses him, too.

Bad puns:

Caroline: “You’re a Realtor; I’m a Realtor. If we do our job right, maybe we’ll both be off the market.”

Brittane J.: “You’re not supposed to put a bumper sticker on a Ferrari, but what about an Arie?” Puts a NICE BUTT sticker on, well, you know where.

Marikh: “I own a restaurant; I use lots of spices, but I’m ready for some salt and pepper in my life.” (A comment about Arie’s preponderance of gray hair.)

“Was that not the best pit stop of your life?” says the woman who asks Arie to smell her armpits.

Whose introductions were most memorable?

Tia: “Please tell me you don’t already have a little wiener.” Tia gives him a small plastic wiener, which either resembles male genitalia or a hot dog. “I do not have this,” Arie confirms. Tia looks and sounds a lot like Raven, a “Bachelor” runner-up and “Bachelor in Paradise” contestant, who coincidentally is also from Arkansas.

Maquel, a 23-year-old wedding photographer, who walks out of a race car, releases her hair with a sultry shake as if she’s walking out of a Go Daddy commercial.

Kendall, who in her intro reel plays her ukulele to a stuffed seal, says she has “never had a relationship over a year. But with taxidermy, I can keep it forever!” She’s a manic pixie dream girl living in Barbie Bachelor world.

Best gifts from contestants: pizza; cuff links; engagement ring box; huge Mardi Gras beads; plastic wiener; gratitude rock. (Yes, a gratitude rock.)

And the first-impression rose …

Goes to Chelsea! Who steals Arie away twice during the first cocktail party, which means all the other women can’t stand her. “I’m not competitive by nature, but when I see something I want, I go after it,” Chelsea says, convincing no one.

Unanswered questions:

How has Jenna, who massages Arie’s feet, never been on a plane before? Does she own a pedicure shop?

How old is Bekah? And does Amelie know Bekah stole her haircut? (In her intro, Bekah says: “I may be young, but I can appreciate something classic,” and her age is conspicuously absent from the screen.)

Rose ceremony surprises:

Jessica, a television host, gets cut. We’ll never find out why or how Jessica’s dad met Arie — and what he really thought of him.

Predictions for future weeks:

Emily: Chelsea will be the villain, because she got the first-impression rose.

Maura: Maquel, whose intro was already so over the top, will be the other villain.

Lisa: I’m pulling for Kendall and her taxidermed seals.

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