The Bachelor recap: Family, football, and frozen pizza Zach becomes new kissing bandit

Zach Shallcross
The Bachelor premiere had no shortage of memorable moments as Zach met the 30 women pining for his heart this season. Pic credit: ABC/Craig Sjodin

Although some fans may have been worried that Zach Shallcross would come across as a “boring Bachelor,” last night’s premiere may have just proven them wrong.

The newest season of The Bachelor kicked off last night on ABC, with Zach officially receiving his new nicknames — the “Zachelor” by fans and “Zach the Snack” by the women.

The episode started off with a visit from Sean Lowe, who previously led Season 17 of The Bachelor and is labeled as a true success story in the franchise.

After a quick pep talk, Zach then headed over to the staple Bachelor Mansion and prepared to meet the 30 women who were about to step out of the limos and give their best first impressions.

First out of the limo was 23-year-old Jess, who dazzled in a light pink dress and an unmissable amount of body glitter.

Since it has been historically known that the first contestant to meet the lead typically lasts a while in the show, we can expect Jess to stick around for quite some time.

Zach Shallcross meets the 30 women of his season

As Zach continued to meet the women, he seemed cool and collected with just a touch of his signature awkwardness — which Bachelor Nation felt from him during After the Final Rose, where he met five of the women he went on to re-meet last night.

One of whom was Bailey, whose name Zach memorably botched after meeting her on ATFR.

Bailey hilariously exited the limo with a nametag on to jog Zach’s memory, and in one of the most gasp-worthy moments of the premiere, Zach gave her a kiss before she even entered the mansion.

It was definitely shocking, to say the least.

Zach and Bailey kiss
Zach Shallcross gives a kiss to contestant Bailey as she exits the limo. Pic credit: ABC/Craig Sjodin

The meetings were just as insane as usual, with Zach being forced to drink maple syrup by Gabi, spray contestant Katherine with sunscreen, meet a pig named Henry from pig-farming contestant Mercedes, and get his ear licked by Lekha.

And in true Bachelor fashion, someone had to show up in a vehicle that wasn’t the limo, and Christina took the opportunity by renting out a party bus.

The last person to meet Zach was 24-year-old Brianna, who Bachelor Nation chose for Zach to give his first impression rose to when they met on After the Final Rose last year. Brianna showed up in a stunning red gown (coincidentally made of roses) and held her rose in her hand as Zach seemed excited to see her familiar face.

As Zach headed into the mansion to see his 30 beautiful women, he gave a speech to ensure them that he would be as “open and honest” as possible throughout the entire experience.

“I’m just a dude who loves family, football, and frozen pizzas,” Zach hilariously told the women before saying he was looking for his “forever best friend.”

Zach giving a toast on the premiere of The Bachelor.
Zach gives a speech to his 30 contestants on the premiere of The Bachelor. Pic credit: ABC/Craig Sjodin

Zach Shallcross becomes The Bachelor’s new kissing bandit

As the new lead finally got to sit down and chat with most of the women, it became clear that viewers may not have a “boring” season to watch after all.

Sparks were flying as Zach sat down with Katherine for the first talk, but the second kiss of the night went to contestant Kaity, who labeled Zach as a “great kisser” with soft lips.

Christina brought Zach back into the party bus, where she made him answer her “compatibility questionnaire.” To no surprise, the last question asked if Zach would give her a kiss, and that put him at number three for the evening.

The show then flipped to what appeared to be a Bachelorette party for a few minutes, with some of the women jumping onto the party bus to have a dance party and pour champagne into Zach’s mouth.

Zach then went on to have a meatball eating contest with “gabagool”-loving contestant Cat, change a baby doll’s diaper with Genevie, and get bundled up with the night’s villain, Madison.

Zach also shared a kiss with contestants Greer, Charity, and Jess, who all seem like they may be around for a while this season.

Who won Zach’s next first impression rose?

Next up, it was time for Zach to hand out his first impression rose for the night, which Jesse Palmer brought into the room as one of the women hilariously remarked, “Jesse, go back to ESPN.”

Zach’s rose went to 24-year-old Greer, the medical sales rep from Houston, Texas.

Zach and Greer sharing a kiss
Zach gives his first impression rose to Greer on Night 1. Pic credit: ABC/Craig Sjodin

Of course, the other women were upset to not receive the rose, but nobody took it harder than the first woman to cry this season — Madison.

Madison gets sent home early

Contestant Madison already ruffled some feathers early on in the night when she kept stealing Zach away for chats while he was talking to the other women.

She basically forced Zach to kiss her, which she, Zach, and all of Bachelor Nation were agreeably not feeling.

After shedding an alarming amount of tears, Madison asked Zach if he wanted her there, and Zach chose to send her home before the rose ceremony.

Zach watched Madison walk away (for an uncomfortable amount of time) before Madison remarked, “I cannot believe that I gave up my life for him.”

The line most definitely had viewers scratching their heads.

Who was sent home during last night’s rose ceremony?

The first rose of the rose ceremony was given to Christina, while the last rose was given to Cat — who surely provided some fun moments during the premiere episode.

The contestants who did not receive a rose included Sonia, Holland, Cara, Olivia L., Olivia M., Becca, Viktoria, Vanessa, and ear-licking Lekha.

While the women seemed sad to be eliminated in Week 1, the rose ceremonies will only get tougher from here on out as Zach starts to form real connections with his 20 remaining ladies.

The episode ended with a champagne “cheers,” which notably happened while there was sun beaming through the windows. It was surely a long night for everyone.

The preview for the rest of the season was shown, and although it may not be the most dramatic season in Bachelor history, it sure looks like it’ll be worth watching.

The Bachelor airs on Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.

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