We’ve all rested up from Juan Pablo’s season of dating horror, which was basically like an 8-week speed dating event at the local community center, and now we’re ready to jump back into the sordid, unfiltered dating pool! Our Bachelorette is one of last season’s many women to jump ship, Andi–the show opens by reminding us that she’s a tough lawyer who loves “putting the bad guys away” and has a tough dad. Blah blah journey, blah blah man of my dreams, blah blah ready to fall in love.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Before we meet Andi, we see our old pal Chris, who comes out to introduce a very sad video clip. Eric, one of the contestants we’re about to see, passed away after filming. And apparently they couldn’t edit him out, because he was a front-runner–so instead, we get a montage of photos of this (really good-looking) guy in spots all over the world, as Chris tells us in voiceover that the season is dedicated to him. So we’re going to watch his whole time on the show? That feels super-creepy to me.

OK, back to Andi. She’s asked her sister to come help her get ready for the first night, and we watch a little girl talk as they giggle about kissing men on national television. This show feels like filler already. She puts on a gold lame wrap dress that doesn’t look like it’s giving her quite enough support, and her sister gives her a pep talk. Quick cut to the guys filing into limos, all looking like this summer’s class of Bear Stearns interns. Andi changes into her other dress option, which fits her much better and has huge crystals all over it. I should have known the tailoring on that other one meant it wasn’t her pick.

Aww, hello, Bachelor house! I know your circular driveway better than my own. (Well, I don’t have a driveway, I live in NYC, but still.) Andi steps out of Air Force Love (that’s the name of the car that contains the Bachelorette) and greets Chris, and we begin!

Brief commercial interlude. The good news: there’s an upcoming network show with John Cho and Karen Gillam. The bad news: it’s called “Selfies.” Not convinced.

We’re back! And it’s time to meet our bachelors. Here’s the first impression rundown:

Marcus, 25, Sports Medicine guy: Andi thinks he’s hot. He didn’t wear a tie (hmmph). He says he’s nervous and she seems charmed.

Chris, 32, farmer: He looks a little stoned, and is courteous, but not sparky. Andi seems OK with him, but not excited.

JJ, 30, “Pantsapreneur”: Wearing a bow tie. Looks like a young Bill Nye, Science Guy. Not going the distance on this show. I suspect/assume he’s only here for self-promotion. Tells Andi he’s exctied to go on this “love quest” with her. Ick.

Marquel, 26, Sponsorship Salesman: Good-looking black man rocking a pink windowpane-checked shirt. Andi admires the outfit and tells him he brought his A-game, but doesn’t linger.

Tasos, 30, Wedding Event Coordinator: Tasos is nervous, practically sprinting to Andi so he can start his prepared shtick. (But not until I point out his not-great fauxhawk and a bad diamond stud in the ear we can see. Blech, Tasos.) He tells Andi he wants to take her to “the Lovers’ Bridge” in Paris, and explains that it’s a place where lovers bring a padlock to lock on the bridge railing and toss the key into the river. (If you are viewers of The Amazing Race, you already know this.) So Tasos brings her over to the Bachelor fountain to reenact the scenario. Cute idea, but took too long to set up. That said, he has made me talk about him longer than anyone else thus far. He leaves, and Andi says, “OK, that was adorable,” but “adorable” ain’t “sexy.”

Next car! and it’s crawling into the driveway, taking so long that plinky-plunky music starts to play. Andi peers over and the camera shows us…feet under the car. Not Flintstones feet, just the feet of someone pretending to push the limo up the hill.

It’s Cody, 28, Personal Trainer. Ha ha ha, good one, Codes. He looks OK, but there is a distinct Macklemore-ish quality to him that I distrust. Also, he has popped the collar on his suit jacket, revealing the felt underlining to us as the camera shoots over his shoulder. That’s it, I’m done with Cody. Andi ribs him gently for being a personal trainer, yet out of breath after “pushing” the car.

Steven, 30, Snowboard Product Developer: Weirdly, while I would roll my eyes at “snowboarder,” I thought “Ooh!” at “snowboard developer.” Sounds more gainfully employed. Steven looks like a waiter, dressed in black tie/black shirt and maybe black vest? He and Andi banter a little but she doesn’t seem that impressed.

Rudie, 31, Attorney: OK, he wins me over right away by standing at the limo and asking Andi, “May I approach the Bachelorette?” She and I both laugh. But he loses me again when he first says, “I’m going to go with a little lawyer humor”–don’t tell us you’re going to do it, just do it, dude! That’s like a guy asking, “May I kiss you?” Blech. And then it’s something called a “voluntary 4th waiver” that lists some of his backstory, whatever. “OK! Rudie the attorney, I like it,” says Andi. I don’t believe she likes it.

Carl, 30, Firefighter: Exercised admirable restraint by not showing up in his yellow slicker and helmet. He brings Andi a little gift, but he’s a mumbler and I can’t really tell what it is. I think it’s a small, paperweight-sized globe…and I hear the word “journey.” That’s enough, move along.

Jason, 35, Urgent Care Physician: He’s a doct-ah, Andi! Grab him! He has kind of a Dutch Boy haircut and a very fuchsia tie. He begins his pitch by saying that as a doctor, he can diagnose someone just by looking at them. Andi plays along, but Dr. Boyfriend has shitty timing, and the comedy tuba starts playing. He backs up in awkward choreographed fashion to say, “I think…I think that you have a fever cuz…you look pretty hot.” Ha, good one, Dr. Boyfriend–if you were seven. Then he’s so awkward that he actually rushes himself off the patio and inside.

Car #3! (This one arrives under its own power.)

Nick V., 33, Software Sales Executive: I think Nick is cute, in an aw-shucks kind of way. No patter, he just tells Andi she’s very beautiful. I feel like he has kind of a Giovanni Ribisi thing going on?

Dylan, 26, Accountant: OK, first of all, no way Dylan is only 26. Second, his slicked-back hair is drifting a leetle too Gordon Gecko for me. He comes up and hugs her, but then backs away–she’s all, “Um, you need your space?” and he says, “Yeah, I’m pretty nervous and have to warm up to you a bit.” “Oh, warm up to me?” But then he basically admits that he’s flailing and can’t remember his lines, so she just coaxes him back to her, gives him another hug and sends him in.

Patrick, 29, Advertising Executive: Uh-oh, he emerges with a soccer ball! I hope this doesn’t send Andi into rage-tinted flashbacks! He kicks the ball to her and she says, “Oh, another soccer player?” but gamely kicks it back to him, whereupon he picks it up and says, “You don’t need this, huh? Let’s get rid of it forever,” and boots it over the wall of the set. He introduces himself and says he plays soccer, but he’s nothing like the last guy. Andi’s polite, but I get a little “stop talking about that asshole, it’s MY show now” vibe from her.

Emil, 33, Helicopter Pilot: He greets Andi warmly and then says, “You want to know my name? It’s Emil,” but he pronounces it unusually. Andi repeats it for clarification and he says, “Right. “Anal” with an M.” Oh, dude, no. Andi looks simultaneously amused and grossed out.

Brett, 29, Hairstylist: Weird mournful clarinet music starts playing as soon as he steps out of the car, and his bowtie and sideburns make him seem (to my eyes) either hipsterish or not-straight. But then he turns back to the limo and extracts a giant, prop living room lamp.  This is your big idea, Brett? He tells Andi that his mom always told him never to greet a lady empty-handed, so “what better than a lamp?” She asks, “Did you take it out of the hotel,” which he acknowledges. I no longer think this guy is gay. He wears a hipster veneer over a core of dudebro, I fear. Off he goes, while Andi frets about returning the lamp to the hotel.

I missed a whole limo! Maybe two! Stupid Tivo switched. Elana, help me fill in the missing guys!


Elana’s Addendum:

Don’t worry, Abby! Help is on the way! There are two more limos filled with “eligible suitors” (and I use that term very, very loosely):

Car #4:

Craig, 29, a.k.a. “Mr. Poppin’ Bottles”: Captain Good Time strides out of the limo proving that tax accountants do have more fun by recklessly corking open a bottle of champagne and spraying it… everywhere, apparently oblivious to THE EXTREMELY DELICATE, CRYSTAL-COVERED DRESS THE BACHELORETTE IS WEARING. Craig, I’m all for YOLO, but this is a respectable, classy establishment, not your frat house’s biweekly kegger–get it together. Andi gamely refers to him as “the party-starter,” but she seems nonplussed, maybe because he reeks too strongly of Juan P.-esque behavior and cheap alcohol.

Ron, 28, Beverage Sales Manager: At least this bro doesn’t try to aim a bottle of liquor at Andi’s face. Ron takes a moment to mention some vague Israeli/Barbados heritage, which could be a ploy to convince her that he’s exotic, Jewish, or a distant relative of Rhianna.

Bradley, 32, Opera Singer: Already hinting at giving Andi a taste of his “talent” as he swaggers inside, I’m like, oh no. Oh please, no, not another one. Opera = not hot (yes, even on Sharleen, who actually was very hot), especially when the guy is dressed like a funeral home director and for some reason is giving off a very strong stalker vibe.

Josh B., 29, Marketing Manager: Seems normal enough, if a little nondescript, but will proceed to both wow and horrify later when (SPOILER ALERT!) he’s not given a rose and goes on a tyrant about how “he’s so f**king embarrassed, he’s going to call his parents tomorrow and be like well, that sucked.” I think that more shameful than not getting a rose is a 29-year-old man admitting on national television that the first thing he’s doing tomorrow is calling his mommy up for a good cry.

Nick, 27, Pro Golfer: +5 for driving up on a golf cart, -7 for presenting himself with a very unfortunate receding hairline. Brett-the-Hairstylist is having palpitations just looking at this “head case” LOL.

Car #5! Car #5! Car #5!

Brian, 27, High School Basketball Coach: I’m not sure exactly what a high school basketball coach is supposed to look like, but this guy looks exactly like what I think a high school basketball coach is supposed to look like. Andi helps Brian fix his tie, which is cute, but I can hear the  FRIEND ZONE ALERT! bells going off already. Expect wonky comedic womp-womp music to come.

Andrew, 30, Social Media Manager: A brief survey of WetPaint revealed that he works at Facebook, which is dope. Not as dope is his opening line, which is that “Andi and Andrew has a nice ring to it.” Erm, I actually think it presents all sort of confusing possibilities–what if sometimes he goes by Andy? What if other times she goes by Andrew?–and am also creeped out by his smile, but don’t tell him I said that because who knows what sort of hijinks he can play on my News Feed, this dude works at FACEBOOK.

Mike, 29, Bartender: It’s Jason from ten minutes ago! It’s a young Danish girl! It’s any one of the Hanson brothers circa 1992! Oh, wait, it’s Mike– the shoulder-length blond hair threw me off. Whoopsies.

Eric, 31, Explorer/Documentary Filmmaker: No, you guys, I refuse to poke fun at a guy that has died since filming the show. This is made even more heartbreaking by the fact that A) He’s hands-down objectively the cutest guy to emerge from the limos so far, B) He also seems like one of the most normal, and C) He gives Andi two tiny woven dolls that he claims a little girl he met while traveling in the Andes (see what he did there? eh?) instructed him to give to his GF. This is torturous. Every single time he comes on-screen my friends and I just sort of make regretful mewling noises in the backs of our throats and take hearty swigs of wine. Nothing like The Bachelorette to remind you of your own mortality.

Josh M., 29, Former Pro Baseball Player: Nothing says aspirational quite like including the word “former” in someone’s career description. Josh is good-looking, but something about him is a bit off–I’m flailing until my friend handily points out that what throws him off-kilter is that his teeth are SO much brighter than the whites of his eyes, which is apparently how white your teeth are supposed to be. I never knew that, but I’m going with it. He comes off a bit cocky, but I did read once that the producers always arrange it so the two contestants they think are most viable exit the limo first and last, so… play ball, Big J!

And there you have it! All the men are nestled safely inside the Luuurve Nest; let the awkward small talk, male posturing, proverbial pissing contests, and heavy drinking begin! We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.


We’re at the cocktail party, and all the guys are feeling each other out while Andi chats with them one on one. She seems to like Nick. Patrick is connecting with Andrew. There’s an opera singer.

Meanwhile, outside there’s some weirdo in a suit, holding flowers, staging a well-dressed sit-in for Andi’s love. It’s Chris Bukowski, who was on Emily’s season of Bachelorette, and also Bachelor Pad. He was so smitten by Andi on the last show that he wants in! Chris Harrison explains the deal to Andi, and she feels that it wouldn’t be fair to the bachelors who all went through the appropriate channels, so she says no dice. Chris promises that he’ll handle it, and then we cut to him “arguing” with Other Chris. Other Chris says he’s been waiting there for seven days, and refuses to leave. I wish they’d have chosen an ex-contestant with a different name, for ease of recapping. It’s this guy:

Chris B

Commercial break: is it weird that the Toyota spokeslady just revealed her pregnancy in one commercial? I don’t feel we know enough about her to be privy to that.

Back at Chez Fake Bachelor Crisis Hotline, Harrison is taking the reins. Chris has to go “because the only thing that happens from here is bad.” At least they let him wait at the craft services table! Security sees him out while Harrison takes the roses. Meanwhile, back in the house, the guys who haven’t had their one-on-one time are beginning to freak out as the clock winds down. Over a quick montage of conversation, Andi tells us how psyched she is by all the bachelors.

We slow it down to hear a little from Chris-the-farmer. Aww, it’s his family farm! In Iowa! Andi says that she loves the outdoors, and then Chris fumbles for small talk, but seems happy.

Andi can’t stop telling us that Marcus is hot-hot-hot. He’s Texan, but a world-traveler. Andi’s intrigued.

Time for the first impression rose! Andi says she thought it would go just to someone she was attracted to, but in fact, she was surprised by her choice…and then she goes and fishes Nick V. out of a pile of CouchBros. Awww, I knew there was a connection there! She loved his genuine quality when she met him, and he glows as she pins the rose on him. “I’m still not clear what she really likes, but whatever it is, I’ll take it,” he tells us. Heh.

At last, it’s time for Andi’s first rose ceremony! She begins by thanking all the men for coming to the show and putting themselves out there. Assorted guys tell us they don’t want to go home yet. Lamp Dude says that he never got a chance to talk to Andi, and he’s worried. (Maybe don’t steal hotel furniture to impress a girl next time.) I spot a Brian-the-basketball-coach and Mike-the-bartender who must have been in the limos I missed (as I suppose the late Eric was, as I haven’t seen him either). Who will it be?

OK, a lot of these waiting dudes are developing a touch of the crazy eye–except Patrick, who already looks like a full-on serial killer.

First up: JJ (the “pantstrapreneur”). Really? Eric is next, followed by Marquel, Craig, Tasos, Josh M., Brian, Bradley (the opera singer, I think), Marcus, Andrew (who looks like Joshua Jackson), Vaughn (I think? Another Lost Limo guy), Carl, Farmer Chris, Dylan, Brett (seriously? looks like I’m not the only one stunned by that, judging by the other contestants’ faces), Patrick (as in Bateman, seriously), Cody (ugh, not Macklemore!). Now there’s just one rose left and a lot of sweaty, anxious guys left. The final rose-ee is…Nick S. (short balding guy–didn’t see that coming). The doctor looks pissed.

So goodbye to the Snowboard Engineer, to the bartender, to Rudie the attorney (he had crazy eyes for sure), who gets our first speech. He’s chill about it, though a bit sad to go so soon. Jason the doctor is out! He wonders, “Is there something I could have done differently?” I think a new hairstyle is a place to start, Dr. Dutch Boy. Josh B. seems the most upset, and is already a little teary. But he’s mostly just embarrassed. He says a friend put him up to it, and it sucks to go home so soon. Wow, what woman wouldn’t want to be with someone who handles adversity in such a mature manner?

Enough of that–we’re on to the next round, and looking forward to some great dates! Here’s to finding love. In the highlights of what’s to come, we get a hint of Venice, Marseilles, a beach, a steam train, a castle, “I love Brussels,” an intimate dinner with Macklemore (ick), sledding with someone, and kissing, kissing, kissing. Wow, some serious making out, in fact. And then fighting, arguing, bro-fights, spying, brawling, day-glo lighting, and Andi weeping because someone (wait for it) isn’t there for the right reasons. So, just like every other season.

I’m so glad to be going on this journey with you all! See you next week!