Monsters and Critics columnist Liz Long recaps The Bachelorette, Season 18, Episode 1, with a little help from a glass of pinot (or two) …
Hello my Rose-Lovers! We have officially begun Teacher Michelle’s season of The Bachelorette, and I ask: What grade do you give our premiere episode? C+? A-? I think I’ll settle for a solid B+.
Michelle was dazzling (literally, her face sparkled) … the 30 men gave us ridiculous entrances (we had a guy’s head on a bed of lettuce) … and Kaitlyn and Tayshia gave us probably the funniest moments of the night (pushing each other on a broken bed, just loving life.)
So while it was “solid,” it wasn’t spectacular… YET. I’d say the most spectacular moment of the night was seeing contestant Ryan’s notes he had to prepare him for The Bachelorette. Yes, I have screenshots… and yes I zoomed in on them.
Ryan is the first to leave after the ladies catch him ‘cheating’ for The Bachelorette Bar
I have to start with this guy, friends.
Now I’ve watched probably every episode of The Bachelor and Bachelorette and never have I ever seen notes to this extent to ready oneself for being on the show. Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever seen notes period … but the fact this guy had flowcharts, red circles and highlighting, and lists upon lists was astounding.
You see, prior to Michelle meeting her 30 suitors, our silly little hostesses, Tayshia and Kaitlyn, decided to surprise all the men in their skivvies by raiding their hotel rooms and catching them off guard. Tayshia and Kaitlyn’s homework assignment was simply to see the guys in their raw element and discover little things like who is messy and who is neat.
But what they actually stumbled upon in Ryan’s room was – I kid you not – a red folder with a scribble of a rose on it that looks like it could have been drawn by a 5-year-old.
Inside that red folder were documents upon documents of notes on essentially, “how to ace The Bachelorette.”
Exhibit 1: Study up on teachers and ask these specific questions to appear as if you’re interested in the profession.
Exhibit 2: Write down every single phrase ever said on The Bachelorette to inch oneself closer to the finale (specifically focused, for whatever reason, on Ben Higgins’ season)
But my personal favorite might have been this one:
When Michelle later confronted Ryan about his documents, he explained: “But I’ve only watched two hours of The Bachelorette and these notes all came from my two girlfriends to help me out.” In the same breath: “Well they wrote these charts and I wrote these charts.”
The fact that we even have such elaborate charts is mind-boggling.
Ol’ Lizzie here went ahead and did her own homework and pulled up Ryan’s bio, and this is what it says:
Luckily for us, Michelle didn’t waste any time in listening to her red flag radar and sent Ryan home. Moral of the story: When you try so hard not to be the villain, you actually can become the villain. Teacher Michelle, is that what the class would call irony?
Nothin’ but Nayte
Meanwhile, Nayte is acing his own test as he is “Vulnerable!” … “Open” … and dare I say it? “Authentic!”
Yes, these are the three traits Michelle is looking for in her man. And she’s not going to let us forget because I swear she repeated each one about three times in her toast (still love ya, Michelle).
Nayte was the first guy out of the limo. He’s tall, handsome, and wears what I believe is one dangly cross earring in his left lobe.
He nabbed Michelle’s first impression rose because, though he struggles with … say it with me now … vulnerability, he pushed himself and OPENED up to Michelle that he didn’t quite have the picturesque version of love that Michelle had growing up (i.e., he never saw his parents kiss).
And because he exhibited such amazing vulnerability, Teacher Michelle rewards him with a kiss. A+ Nayte.
The other noteworthy men
Of course, this wouldn’t be The Bachelorette Season 18 if we didn’t have one completely ridiculous limo entrance.
Enter Rick, who Michelle affectionally now calls her “lettuce wrap” because, like Box Boy James, this guy committed to the schtick and stayed underneath the tabled throughout most of the episode.
And was it just me, or was seeing just his head on a platter kind of creepy? His eyes were kind of wild and it was all somewhat of a turn-off.
Not until the rose ceremony did he actually become kind of cute.
Again, just me?
Rick gets a rose, another frontrunner named Jamie does too, and so far, these are the guys who seem to be at the top of Michelle’s class. However, that guy to the right in the photo above is also noteworthy because he is the one this season who comes with a little Michelle history. Joe is from Michelle’s hometown, she apparently slid into his DMs, he kind of ignored her, and now suddenly he is here. Wrong reasons, man? Only time will tell.
The kids who got the F and were sent home night one were Edward, Garrett, JoMarri, Brandon K, Bryan and Jack…
So that about does it, folks. What did you think of the premiere? Based on the supertease, it looks like our frontrunner Nayte will be questioned about a possible acting past (ugh, Greg Grippo flashbacks) and Michelle cries about “not being seen.”
In the meantime, I’m off to go make a salad… I have a sudden hankering for lettuce.
The Bachelorette airs Tuesday nights at 8/7c on ABC.