Hello Bachelor Nation, and welcome to Week 2! These early weeks — minus the first episode — are my favorites, because there are enough women around for something to always be happening, but few enough that we can actually learn who these women are!
The season premiere was quite the slog through recent Bachelor Celeb History, and honestly left me worried that this season will end up being the snooziest of fests. The production team seems to agree, using the same clip of Colton in the shower three times in two episodes, and constantly promoting the “will Colton lose his virginity?” twist coming at the end of the season.
It’s like the producers are trying to get ahead of any bad press about how boring the season might be even before it starts, which is probably a bad sign for where things are heading.
Right away, my anxiety is not soothed as we start not with the ladies in the house, but with Colton apparently...vlogging? Weird that they have him revealing the group date up front, but soon we’re back to seeing the ladies in the mansion, and you can tell right away that the nervous laughter when Onyeka says, “I’m gonna start getting competitive with all of you” is very, very real.
Chris Harrison drops the first date card, and it’s -- shocking!-- a group date for
Demi, Bri, Tracey, Elyse, Hannah G, Nicole, Onyeka, and Catherine. The girls arrive at a theater where they’re met by Ron Swanson — I mean, Nick Offerman — and Megan Mullally. They tell the girls that they will be telling stories about their “firsts” in front of a live audience of 200 people.
Nick tells a story about “the first time he plucked a woman’s blossom,” and Tracey is like, “he’s telling a story about gardening!” and, oh my god, these women do not deserve the presence of The First Couple of Comedy. Demi plans to make her mark by telling a story containing the phrase “Hot as F***”, so, like...do you, girl. Nicole’s story gets good comments from Megan, so I’m now rooting for her.
The best couple on TV and Colton’s here, too | © ABC via USA Today
Colton gets to tell his story, and it opens with something about his VIRGINITY. WHAT. Unheard of. His first is the first time he told another Fellow Athlete the truth about his virginity, and the other guy responding, “that’s very cool.” Colton continues to make “I don’t want my Virginity to be my personality” his main personality trait.
Elyse’s story is about how Colton is the first younger man she’s dated, and Bri reacts by responding that she thinks Elyse is “so brave” for admitting she’s older than Colton. I was worried that Colton being 26 would drag out some girls who are arguably too young for this, and so far I’m not getting proven wrong. Demi continues this trend of being very obviously a Youth. Her story is less of a story and more of a stunt where she walks off stage, kisses Colton, and shouts, “and THAT’S the story of how I got the first group date rose!” This, surprisingly, does not go over well with the rest of the group.
After the show, the group goes to cocktail hour and Demi grabs Colton right away. “She’s gotten on the grab twice now! It’s her signature move!” the ladies complain. Demi and Colton share a pretty chaste kiss, and then Demi comes back gloating how she’s gonna get the rose. Tracey looks FURIOUS about it, and says it makes her feel “slightly sick to her stomach,” which feels like a major overreaction, but then again, I’m not in the room. She’s seething and ends up pulling Demi aside, telling her how it was unacceptable that Demi touched the rose on the table. It’s all over pretty quickly, but a very surreal moment — it doesn’t have any of the drama of the Photo Fight from the last season of the Bachelorette, and there’s no sense that anyone else on the date has any thoughts about this interaction.
Some other ladies seem to have great interactions beyond just Demi The Overly Confident. Colton tells Elyse that her story was “so sexy”, and after some talk about how age is just a number, they kiss. Julia reveals to Colton that her brother has Autism, and he shares a passionate kiss in a window with a blonde, who I assume was Hannah G? Elyse ends up getting the rose on the date because Colton says “he can see a future with her,” and Julia cries as a result.
Hannah B gets the first one-on-one date, on her Golden Birthday no less! They head out on their date to seemingly the middle of the desert, where they head out on horseback to a hot tub and daybed, also seemingly in the middle of nowhere. While they ride, the following conversation occurs word-for-word:
Colton: Have you ever seen rock formations like this before?
Hannah: Yeah, I think so! Is this like, Arizona-ish?
(Me: *cringes audibly*)
Colton makes a toast (that’s actually quite nice) and tells Hannah she has to do one, and after a few moments of stalling, the best she can do is, “It’s my birthday, and...uh, yeah, that’s it! Roll Tide!” The whole date is super awkward, and Colton feels like the date hasn’t gone the way he had expected (i.e. not awkward). He questions whether he can give her a rose, unless she opens up more during the rest of the date.
The dinner portion of the night is on the deck of the Queen Mary, which I am legit jealous about. Colton tries to get her to talk by reminding her she doesn’t need to be 100% perfect on this show, and she comes out of her shell by hitting him with the old classic, “Why are you a virgin?” He gives an answer and then she says a bunch of stuff that kind of makes sense and ends it with, “Wow, I’m really telling you everything right now!” which, uh, sure, ok. However, it’s enough for Colton to give her a rose and a kiss, and then the fireworks (literally) go off.
Back at the house, Heather starts talking about how she’s never been kissed, and a date card arrives. Alex D, Erika, Katie, Caelynn, Nina, Sydney, Tayshia, Kirpa, Caitlin, Courtney, Cassie, and Heather are going on the next date, which is at “Camp Bachelor.”
The ladies arrive and they all play games and hang out until a golf cart arrives with Chris Harrison and their “camp counselor” Billy Eichner (!!!!) and the girls break into two teams. The winning team gets to spend the night at camp with Colton, while the losers have to go back to the mansion. Not gonna lie, I love these weird relay challenge dates, and only on the Bachelor is sleeping in a mansion a punishment. The whole thing is mostly unremarkable, except for Billy Eichner’s apparent total confusion on how he wound up in this situation.
“Maybe you’re the first gay bachelor and we don’t even know!” — an actual thing Billy Eichner says during this scene | © ABC via ET Online
The red team wins, so Alex, Katie, Heather, Caelynn, a few other ladies (who I quite frankly can’t tell apart) get to stay. When it’s her one-on-one time, Heather admits to Colton that she’s never kissed anyone, and he seems honestly surprised and says he’s glad she told him. They still don’t kiss, but she gets the group date rose. The yellow team goes back to the house and everyone gets very anxious about the fact that camping is “very intimate.” Hannah B is getting really upset that Caelynn is on the overnight date because of their Pageant Drama Past.
Highlights from the cocktail party include Kirpa’s bangin’ red jumpsuit, Demi making a scene by showing up in a bathrobe and taking Colton to her “Fantasy Closet,” and Sydney’s one-on-one time being interrupted by Onyeka with an airhorn, which she then interrupts by banging a pan with a ladle — followed by a bigger pot when Onyeka won’t leave at first. Lowlights include Tracy and the rest of “Colton’s Cougars” (what the ladies over 27 call themselves) scolding Demi for her gimmicks, while Tracy cries in the interview room.
At the rose ceremony, first rose goes to Tayshia, then Cassie, Caelynn, Courtney, Demi, Nicole, Kirpa (guess I was super wrong about her!), Hannah G, Catherine, Bri, Sydney, Onyeka, Katie, Caitlin, Nina, and finally Tracy. Hannah B, Heather, and Elyse already had roses, which means Angelique, Alex, and Annie, and Erika go home. Guess he’s got a thing against the letter A?
Next week: Colton takes off his shirt! Amusement park makeouts! Pirate fights!
Destined for a Career in Prop Comedy: Onyeka, Sydney
Age Ain’t Nothin’ But A Number...Except When it Isn’t: Demi, Heather, Hannah B.
Most Confused: Billy Eichner, with “I’m sorry, I wanted a guest spot on the Goldbergs and I got this.”