Credit: Rick Rowell/ABC Television Group © 2013 Disney

Desiree Hartsock put on a great show on Monday, May 27 with the Season 9 Bachelorette premiere. Between the half dozen dismissals, the adorable child appearing out of nowhere, and the dude in a suit of armor, we were captivated. But, um, apparently we were in the minority. According to E!, the episode got ratings as dismal as Nick Roy’s magic tricks.

How low could they go? 5.8 million viewers tuned in to watch Des kick off her love journey during the two-hour episode, capturing a 1.9 rating in the adult demo of 14-49. In case sheer numbers don’t mean anything to you, let’s put it this way: They were the lowest ever for the franchise.

Granted, the ladies who came before Des had some pretty hot dresses to fill, but it’s shocking when you look at the numbers side by side. Last year, Emily Maynard pulled 8.05 million viewers into her blonde tressed magic season. Ashley Hebert beat that in Season 7, with 9.02 million viewers, while Ali Fedotowsky topped them all with 9.08 million viewers tuning in for the Season 6 premiere. Yikes.

So, what’s to blame for the record low numbers? Well, a few things were in play. First, the lion’s share of reality fans were watching The Voice live shows — in fact, nearly twice as many viewers tuned in to the singing competition show (10.9 million). Plus, it was Memorial Day, and not everyone can spend an entire weekend drinking and partying, and still stay up for The Bachelorette. Lastly, Emily, one of the most popular people ever to sashay through the franchise, had the added benefit of a Dancing With The Stars finale leading into her premiere.

Are you surprised that Desiree’s season kicked off with such low numbers? Will you be watching this season?

Source: E!