Monsters and Critics columnist Liz Long recaps The Bachelorette, Season 19, Episode 1 Premiere, with a little help from a glass of pinot (or two) …
Hello, my Rose-Lovers! We embark on a new adventure as our two beloved Bachelorettes, Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia, seek their new gentlemen suitors.
Ahhhhh, Gabby and Rachel.
Just saying those words brings a smile to my face.
Yes, there was great anticipation leading up to this “unprecedented season” — one with not one but two Bachelorette leads!
And many questions, like, “however will they do it?” “Will they date the same men?” “Are they really best friends, ABC, or was that cheese just for your promos?”
But in the end, it is clear. Not only is Gabby and Rachel’s friendship the real deal, but the girls themselves are as well.
Gabby and Rachel are the stars – do we need all these men?
Now, in case you missed the memo — this is the “most men” ABC has bestowed upon any Bachelorette season.
As our girls (particularly Gabby) get excited over this idea, I am only focused on the dynamic of these two.
I love how they hold hands. I love how Gabby seems to bring out Rachel’s confidence more, showing her it’s completely okay to be yourself.
I love how Pilot Rachel is just that – a Pilot – but she has a total feminine side just screaming for a man to swoop in and kiss her.
I love that Gabby can go from making fun of herself, “my hair is fake, my tan is fake, do I have a booger,” knowing when to turn it off and completely embrace her own vulnerability and femininity.
It’s not often when the real deal comes across our screen, and this time, we have two.
And as much as I hope they find a man who is deserving of them, what if they don’t? What if they follow the too-often-seen-pattern in Bachelor Nation of a breakup 3 months after an engagement?
That might be true. BUT ….
What if — just what if ….
If this is not ABC’s running theme of the season, I’m going to make it mine.
Now excuse me – I shall now go search for more crackers and wine to go with that cheese I just laid on thick.
Gabby and Rachel make their own rules for the rose ceremony
You know what I loved about Gabby and Rachel’s first rose ceremony?
It was completely void of any fakeness. (Ah, crikey – here I go again.)
In fact, if we put ourselves in the shoes of the men who went home on Night 1, it might have actually felt brutal.
But our leading ladies have a way of just being downright genuine (“We truly are appreciative of your time in being here”), that you can’t help but still love them even when they are doing the “hard” things, like breaking some hearts.
The three hearts broken on night one, Magician Guy (Roby – pronounced ROH-be) and the twins. (All three seemed to lead with talking about themselves.)
Gabby and Rachel did the “unprecedented” in taking these three guys who they saw absolutely no future with outside first (at the end of the night, aka crack of dawn) and said thank you but no thank you.
In other words, we both got to meet each of you and in the five minutes of talking with you, we felt absolutely no attraction to you, so it’s gonna be a hard pass. (I paraphrase.)
I liked the directness, ladies. But why the naked chest Thor guy wasn’t clumped into this group is beyond me.
Our ladies then deliver the happy news to the rest of the group that they get to stay because it just wouldn’t be right to send them home without having a real conversation with them first.
I liked it. And, of course, the men loved it.
And, for the record, leading up to the rose ceremony, Jesse played a clutch role in grounding the ladies with “it would be wrong to string anyone along” pep talk — in other words, Gabby and Rachel, don’t be afraid to take care of a little business.
First Impression Rose winners
For those interested in the technicals, Rachel’s First Impression Rose went to a guy named Tino.
Now, despite Tino asking the cringy question “do you want me to kiss you” before laying one on her, he was cute in taking Rachel over to the stairs so that she could have a better “stairs experience.”
If you recall, during Clayton’s season, Rachel sprawled herself all over those dirty steps during the Rose Ceremony from Hell.
Gabby’s Rose went to Mario — the guy who was not afraid to make the first move and kiss her already!
Now, I’m not sure if it was Mario himself who made the good first impression or his tongue, because Gabby just kept leaning in for more that I found myself screaming “Gabby stop!” at my TV. (All the while laughing, mind you.)
Our other ‘night one notables’
Now, I’m not going to even attempt to call out each of these gents by name. Instead, I will just mention the “night one notables.
One most likely to cause some trouble in that he has charmed both ladies with his quick wit is Logan (the guy who practically strangled two chicks in his hands all night).
The one who has instantaneous chemistry with jokester Gabby, Ryan (the guy who drew on the whiteboard and called her “Gab” a lot and gave it right back to her, which, she, of course, enjoyed).
One who is here for Rachel and wasn’t afraid to let her know it: Race-car guy Jordan and Southern Gentlemen boy Hayden.
The one relationship that will stand the test of time: Gabby and Rachel. (Despite all that dramatic crying teased in the super trailer.)
Love these two. Aaaaaaand I’m done with the cheese now. Until next week, my Rose-Lovers!
The Bachelorette airs on Monday nights at 8/7c on ABC.