Most of the surprisingly somber first night is spent overanalyzing Brad's Season 11. You'd think Brad had killed DeAnna Pappas and Jenni Croft instead of just honestly admitting he didn't want to marry either of them after only knowing them for a few weeks back in 2007. But he's so, so sorry, y'all. Cue the violins!
We meet Brad's mom, his brothers, his nieces, his nephews, his therapist, his apartment, his pecs, his abs, the giant cross tattoo on his back — they should've released X-rays and his medical records. Rosemaster Chris Harrison even trots out Jenni and DeAnna so they can make Brad squirm just a bit more and announce that they are hopeful, but skeptical, that he can find love. Thanks for stopping by, ladies!
Chances are, anyone watching this premiere has already moved past Season 11, so this therapy session is unnecessary. And, more importantly, boring. It must stop.
But, of course, another Bachelor premiere means another chance to get plastered on love cliches. One shot for every time Chris Harrison calls the season the most... anything. Shocking! Explosive! Awkward! Two shots for every time Brad begs someone to give him a chance. Three shots for every time he thanks God when a woman admits she doesn't know who he is. Four sips for every shirtless shot of Brad — add a twist of lime if that shot is on the beach. Five sips for every time a woman steals Brad away from another woman — then gets upset when someone does it to her.
After meeting each of his 30 ladies for all of 30 seconds, Brad tells Chris that his wife is "absolutely" in this group. (Suddenly, Brad reminds us of Jake Pavelka... ) He's just determined to pick one no matter the fit. At least if he picks the vampire chick they can be together forever!
MEET THE LADIES
Once Brad's soul has been laid on a slab, ABC rolls out the women... and the list happens to start with two women who inspect other people's bodies. Ashley Hebert is a dentist — "mouth artist" — who hits on a statue of Ben Franklin and asks patients if they have love in their lives, while she's tooling around in their mouths. (Why do dentists always do that?) She's cute and we watch her dance. It's a good thing she lasts past the premiere, or this would be very embarrassing for her.
Shawntel Newton has a great line: "In my profession, I meet a lot of guys." Pause. "Unfortunately, they're not alive." Snap! She's a funeral director and talks about Brad being buried with her someday. How lovely!
Ashley Spivey is "a sweet Southern girl living in New York." She is super-duper cute and tells us right away about her dad dying two years ago. Is this our new Tenley Molzahn?
Chantal O'Brien is her dad's right-hand girl. She has a job and house and nice family, but when she comes home it's to her dog and cats. She got divorced a year ago and was with her husband for 10 years, married for five of them. (Her ex is Jason Vena, lead singer of the Seattle alt-rock band Acceptance.)
Michelle Money is a drop-dead gorgeous single mom. She announces right away that she's not there to make some best friends. So we have our Vienna Girardi.
Raichel Goodyear is a "manscaper," which is a term for man's waxing. We're treated to a guy shouting "sonofa!" as she waxes him. Eww.
Madison Garton is "mysterious and adventurous." She's had a thing for vampires for a while. She ran into the leader of "the underground vampire world" (Where? At CVS?) and now wears fangs. What would she do if she ran into the leader of a Justin Bieber fan club? She wanted the Bachelor to be a sexy, dark kinda guy. Bad luck, lady!
Emily Maynard is a sweet event planner at a children's hospital, but she wears just a touch too much makeup. She talks about meeting race car driver Ricky Hendrick when she was 15, and they were engaged when she was 19. They knew they were meant to be together. In October 2004, Ricky had a race, but Emily wasn't feeling well and stayed home. Later that day, she found out 24-year-old Ricky's plane had crashed and all 10 people on the plane had died. "I wished more than anything that I'd been on the plane too," Emily admits. However, the Friday after the crash she learned she was pregnant with Ricky's daughter — the now 5-year-old Rickie — and she couldn't have been happier. "There was a reason I wasn't on the plane that day," she says. Emily is getting a ton of screen time. She is already the star. She's on the verge of the next part of her life.
Ironically, Brad is most afraid of rejection.
• Chantal, the first out of the limo, slaps him. "I'm just the messenger," she says. Brad admits he deserves that and he likes her better already. This masochistic streak will probably play out through the entire season.
• Ashley S. from North Carolina calls Brad a tall drink o' water. He tells her he's been slapped and called "hated." He then calls her his kind of girl, saying, "I love you already."
• Meghan Merritt wears high pink platforms and Brad loves them. He's the only one.
• Marissa May wears a beautiful pink dress that Brad likes. "Please don't hit me," Brad says. Marissa asks if he can handle being with someone whose life completely revolves around sports. "I love you," Brad says. Now he's just overdoing it with the I love yous!
• Melissa Schreiber runs up into his arms. "Catch me!" He just holds her. She hasn't seen his season. "Thank God," he says.
• Jackie Gordon and Brad pinky swear that they won't break each other's hearts. She's adorable and kinda looks like Glee's Lea Michele. She sings to Brad later while very, very drunk.
• Sarah Powell asks him to get down on his knees and repeat after her: "Will you marry me?" Good practice!
• A hand peeks out of the limo and beckons Brad over. He walks to the limo and opens the door. He likes that. It's Britnee and she says she likes a chivalrous man.
• Bostonian Stacey Queripel doesn't know who Brad is. "Thank God," Brad says again. How sad is it that he keeps on relaxing whenever anyone admits they don't know him?
• Jill Ruskowski has a big — and we mean big — smile. She's tall and happy. "I'm ready to get married," she says right off the bat. It doesn't seem to matter who marries her as long as she gets married!
• Lisa Morrisey, from Kansas, is wearing ruby slippers à la Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. Why? She hopes to take Brad home to meet her fam. The sparkle in her slippers can't distract from the fact that she's a touch too tan.
• Rebecca says you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find a prince, so she kisses Brad on the lips. First kiss of the season!
• Whoa! Keltie Colleen is a dancer and hugger, and she gets the special horn music The Bachelor franchise breaks out for "sexy" moments. (Like when Ali Fedotowsky paraded in front of Frank in a bikini in Turkey on The Bachelorette.) She's a Rockette, and she proves it by doing a high kick right out of the limo. Hey, dancing worked for Roberto Martinez...
• Emily looks like Southern Barbie. In fact, that's her official title from now on. Brad thinks she looks so perfect. He keeps calling her "such a beautiful woman."
• Britt Billmaier has long curly blonde hair, like Daryl Hannah in Splash. She's a chef and a food writer. She brought him some sweets in case he gets hungry.
• Michelle saunters over to Brad in a long, very high-cut jungle print dress. Meet the season's va-va-voom girl! "You are exactly who I wanted to see right now," she says. He calls her stunning, she calls Brad "my first pick." This just proves her instability.
Brad makes a speech, introducing himself as the guy who left two women hanging the last time around. He invites his current crop of ladies to walk out, saying he'd understand if they did. How funny would it be if they all took him up on it? Seriously, though, does this guy even like himself? Of course, no one wants to stick their necks out in a group setting; they'd rather just use their alone time to attack him with questions.
Brad sits down with each woman and basically goes through even more "extensive therapy," having the same conversation over and over again. It's a major downer. Especially for Renee, who keeps having Brad "stolen" from her every 30 seconds. He's so whipped by the women that the second someone comes over he lets her steal him. He should just put his foot down and say, "I'm talking to Renee right now, thank you very much, but I'll be with you in one minute." Then again, Renee is kind of annoying, so maybe he was eager to escape her.
Brad sits down with Madison. "Can I ask you a very strange question? Are you wearing fangs?" Madison asks if it bothers or scares him. She's playing coy about whether they're real. He says she's not opening up to him, and he doubts she's taking things seriously. She swears otherwise, but c'mon, Brad, the girl has fangs! She's not taking anything seriously, and you're taking everything very seriously. We honestly don't understand what Brad sees in the fangs. Perhaps ABC sees ratings gold in their utter weirdness?
Michelle is "concerned" about Madison's fangs. In her view, Brad needs a woman, and Michelle assures us that she's a woman... about five times. We get it. Although she appears to be about to jump him during their one-on-one time, she gushes about her daughter.
Ashley S. says she's not going to give him any tough questions about his Season 11 choices. Everyone has stuff they've done wrong in past relationships. Instead, she says she can be his escape if he needs someone to talk to and confide in. He's visibly relieved. Ding ding ding! We have our first impression rose winner! But wait, let's get this straight: He invites the women to ask him about his past, then rewards the woman who doesn't challenge him at all?
Brad talks about how difficult this has been for him. He's like a war veteran. He hands out 19 more roses (since Ashley S. already has one), which means 10 women are going back to their hometowns.
Here's who gets a rose:
7. Ashley H.
9. Lisa M.
12. Sarah P.
Here are the ladies who get the shaft: Rebecca, Lauren, Renee, Sarah L., Lisa P., Cristy, Britnee, Lacey, J, Jill
Get all the deets on Brad's top 20 women here.
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