ABC has to do right by Becca Kufrin. This is a woman who has fallen in love on ABC’s “The Bachelor,” then gotten engaged and dumped by a fiance who decided to go back to his ex. Yes, it was just as awful to watch as that sounds.
Even though ABC is here to make addictive television more than it is to broker a successful marriage, it has to do right by her. The network knows viewers do not want to watch the same woman get her heart broken twice.
After gathering with former Bachelorettes Kaitlyn Bristowe, JoJo Fletcher and Rachel Lindsay, all of whom are engaged to men they met on this show, to spread sage and rid the mansion of last season’s bad vibes, Becca greets her 28 suitors with a clear message of what she’s looking for: She’s wearing a $22,000 wedding gown, and it’s a stunner.
While several of the men make their entrances with questionable relationship metaphors — we’re looking at you, Trent, who arrives in a hearse — it is believable that Becca’s husband-to-be is indeed in that room. People magazine has already reported that our Bachelorette ends the season as an engaged woman. (Generally, Bachelorettes have better luck sticking with their final pick than Bachelors do.)
As our Bachelorette says: Bring on the men!
The best moment: Becca sends Jake home
The moment Jake gets out of the limo and introduces himself to Becca, she recognizes him. And not in a good way. They know each other from Minneapolis, and though she doesn’t seem to have negative feelings, she doesn’t have positive ones, either. “We’ve hung out multiple times,” she says, and “he’s never shown any interest in me up until now.”
Someone must not be here for the right reasons.
When Becca confronts Jake — who seems not to remember that they have met several times — he says he has had a “transformational year,” whatever that means, and if they were to meet today in a bar, she would be interested.
Well, they have not met in a bar: They’re re-meeting on television, and she is not having it. “I’m not 100 percent comfortable knowing we’ve met multiple times in the past,” Becca tells him. “I would constantly question your intentions here.”
And so she sends him home before the rose ceremony. Just like that. Girl means business.
The worst moment: Letting Joe go
In the season premiere, so many contestants seem interchangeable. There are 28 of them. Not everyone gets screen time; some of their names are similar. (This season we have a Chris and a Christon.) But we had just one adorkable grocery-store owner who knows how to handle a tomato with care. His name is Joe Amabile, he was endearingly nervous during his intro, and how could you let him go, Becca?! How? Seriously, Bachelor Nation wants to know. Now that he’s been let go from the mansion, plenty of women are eager to meet him. So eager, in fact, that they will carry a watermelon to the stock room, to the farmers market, wherever you need it, really.
The weirdest moment: Chase might be here for the wrong reasons
Night one is a little early for one guy to tattle on another, but when it comes to elevating a kernel of drama into actual drama, the Bachelor(ette) doesn’t disappoint. Chris, the sales trainer from Orlando who rode in with a 12-person church choir, which clearly charmed Becca, has some ammo he wants to fire immediately: Chase might be here for the wrong reasons, Chris tells Becca. Chris heard from a woman who maybe-sorta dated Chase, and she says his intentions are not pure. To which Chase’s main response was: “You know, women …” He smartly chose not to finish that sentence, but the damage, vague as it was, has already been done. “I’m not that guy,” he tells Becca, but she cuts him anyway.
Chris is safe for now, but beware: Things never go well for the tattletale of the house. It’s not a good look.
Other guys to watch:
Garrett Yrigoyen, a 29-year-old medical sales representative from Reno, Nev., gets the first-impression rose after teaching Becca to fly-fish on the mansion pool. Whoever gets the first-impression rose usually goes far, so Garrett could be a front-runner. He could also be a difficult match for Becca. According to a HuffPost report assessing Garrett’s deleted social media posts, he “appears to have a history of liking social media posts that mock trans people, undocumented immigrants, left-wing women and one Parkland high school student.” HuffPo noted — that this could spark tension between him and Becca, who has supported Hillary Clinton and the Women’s March. We’ll be watching to see if political views get discussed at all this season.
Colton Underwood, the 26-year-old former football player, could be used to dating in the spotlight: According to People magazine, his ex-girlfriend is Olympic gold medal gymnast Aly Raisman. “He’s just a very thoughtful person,” Raisman told People of Underwood.