Rachel, who always seemed too smart for this franchise, makes a brave and potentially scary AF move by taking the reins on The Bachelorette. Huzzah!
This is groundbreaking television (which is an awfully good reason to try it), because Rachel is the first black person to be the object of desire on this franchise.
It’s a great move for ABC, the producers of the show, and possibly television in general — but whether or not it’s good for Rachel is another issue altogether.
She’s already had her heart broken in a painfully public way, so that’s no big deal. The risk, then, is that in breaking hearts she comes off as cold, cruel, or worse.
I don’t see Rachel dragging guys into the honeymoon suites as if she can’t wait to enjoy a sampler tray of candy, the way some men (cough) have on The Bachelor. But here’s hoping she emerges from a notoriously unpredictable and sometimes harsh TV show unscathed.
But forget Rachel. It’s time to meet the 31 men who are vying for her love!
Kenny, 35, wrestler and dad: He charms her with dance moves, but I’m not sure they have much in common. Does she really need a guy with a kid?
Jack, 31, lawyer whose mom died of cancer: He has a great story, but… not feeling it.
Alex, 28, a “meathead” who likes to code: He’s interesting, he speaks Russian, and he’s a closet nerd. I like his chances.
Mo, 26, Bollywood dancer and tech genius: His Bollywood dancing aside, he seems dull.
Lucas, 30, whaboom: He lost me at whaboom, honestly. Can he get sent home before he gets out of the car?
Blake E., aspiring drummer/trainer/shallow sex monkey: He awkwardly met Rachel on After the Final Rose, but this time he comes with a complete marching band. It’s pretty impressive, so it may take her a while to realize he’s a cute bag of hair.
Diggy, 31, analyst: He seems a little bit entranced with the mirror, but he also seems like he could be a catch.
Josiah, 28, attorney with a TV movie of a backstory: If there’s a spark, he’s winning this. And… maybe that was a spark? Put your money on this guy for at least final four.
We take a break from the non-stop parade of man meat for Rachel to get some advice from her friends from her season of The Bachelor, who mostly manage not to seethe with jealousy.
“Don’t boot weirdos who show up in costume! Don’t be controlling! DeMario may be a player because we know a friend of a friend who dated him! We’re rooting for you, maybe! Why do you have to be so nice we can’t hate you, Rachel? God!”
The parade of men continues:
Peter, 30, business owner: He made her laugh, so that’s good.
Bryan, 37, chiropractor: He flatters her in Spanish, he’s Columbian, and he’s trouble. She says she likes trouble, so there’s at least some heat here.
Rob, 29, law student: Doesn’t really register, and when he tells the other guys how much he appreciates Rachel’s capacity for “goofy,” he does not inspire, honestly.
Iggy, 30, CEO: Sorry, but no chemistry here.
Bryce, 30, firefighter: He picks her up as if he’s saving her from a burning building OR carrying her over the threshold. Nice move, Bryce. Rachel seems to swoon a little.
Will, 28, sales manager: He appears as Urkel, then does a quick change in the limo. She laughs, but I’m not sure she’s impressed. But he gets major points for creativity!
Kyle, 26, marketing consultant: He actually shows her his buns. They’re baked Jamaican bread, and she looks relieved. I’m not sure he wanted to lead with this innuendo, really.
Blake K., 29, retired Marine: She likes that his grandparents have been married for almost 65 years, but I want to know how old they are.
Brady, 29, male model: He breaks a block of nice with a sledgehammer. She loves it. Ah, that Rachel. Such a dork. Maybe she’d like
Dean, 25, startup recruiter: He’s the guy who wants to go black and never go back. She loved his confidence! She is so kind, really.
Eric, 29, personal trainer: Is Rachel really going to go for a personal trainer? ABC needed to spend more time vetting these guys.
DeMario, 30, executive recruiter: He seems so nervous! The first time he met Rachel at After the Final Rose, he showed her he had tickets so they could elope to Vegas.
Chris Harrison asks Rachel who impressed her. Blake E., of course. She’s not closing the book on DeMario, either.
Fred, 27, executive assistant: He brings his yearbook to prove that they went to school together. She remembers him — and remembers him as a bad kid (and yes, he’s plenty younger, too). Not sure he wanted to lead with this, but okay.
Jonathan, 31, Tickle Monster: He tickles her, but he gives off such strong creepy vibes I can’t with this. I think there needs to be a drinking game at this point. For every guy who has a gimmick, drink. For every guy who has a prop, chug. Go!
Lee, 30, singer: He serenades her and brings a flower. She seems charmed. CHUG!
Alex, 28, information systems guy: He comes in with a vacuum cleaner. CHUG!
Milton, 31, hotel guy: He snaps a selfie Polaroid with Rachel. Okay. That’s kind of cute. Still, CHUG!
Adam, 26, real estate agent: He bring an insanely creepy ventriloquist’s dummy. Yikes. CHUG!
Matt, 32, sales rep: HE COMES DRESSED AS A PENGUIN. This could be drink or chug, depending on your interpretation of costume use.
Grant, 29, physician: He comes in an ambulance. CHUG! This has to be the most gimmicky season of this show ever, and that’s saying something.
Anthony, 26, education software manager: He actually stands out for being sincere and somewhat serious. Good for him!
Jamey, 32, sales guy: He just wants to gush about her dress. Nah.
Jedidiah, 35, ER doctor: He busts out a bible verse, which definitely sets him apart, but I still say DRINK!
Michael, 26, former pro baseball player: He brings a brownie. CHUG!
Forget the drinking game. If anyone really did this, they’d die of liver toxicity.
The Whaboom idiot gets out of the car, and Rachel doesn’t punch him. She should, because he’s wearing his stupid brand on his T-shirt and is very clearly not here to date anyone unless they’re made out of money.
Josiah grabs Rachel for a chat first, but he’s so serious — I hope this gives him an edge, but she has a soft spot for lame jokes. Dean builds a sand castle with Rachel, which is cute. Everyone is completely freaked out by Adam Jr., the ventriloquist’s dummy.
Bryan grabs Rachel and tells her he’s there for something serious — then he kisses her. She clearly, clearly likes it. Bryan and Josiah for the final four!
As the evening wears on, guys get aggressive, Mo gets drunk, and Whaboom acts like an idiot. I will give Blake E. tons of credit for calling Whaboom out on his nonsense, though. Maybe he isn’t a dimwitted sex monkey after all.
Bryan gets the first impression rose. He and Rachel kiss again. Yeah, there’s chemistry here.
Lots of guys don’t get roses, of course, but you know who does? Effing Whaboom. I have lost all faith in Rachel. I just have to hope that the producers forced her to keep this weenie around. She didn’t even keep the guy whose grandparents have been married for 65 years, but Whaboom, no problem. Seriously, Rachel? Seriously?
This would be one of the risks Rachel is taking — looking like a sucker and an idiot in front of America. Good luck, Rachel. You’ll need it.
The Bachelorette airs on ABC Mondays at 9pm.