I just finished watching an episode of The Bachelorette and tweeting some tweets while drinking wine and laughing and for 2 hours, it almost felt as if we aren't living through a global pandemic!! Life felt somewhat normal! It wasn't a show filmed via Zoom!! There was not a mask in sight! I am truly FLOATING right now!
Obviously, the current global pandemic was mentioned throughout the show and we watched these sweet guys quarantine solo in Palm Springs for 14 damn days, get Covid tested, and while away the boredom, but after that, it felt like any old Bachelorette season and I'm so glad.
Speaking of "old," I am bracing myself for a season of ageism because Clare Crawley, the brave smoke show who will date 30+ men at one time while living in a Palm Springs bungalow (MY DREAM) is 39, so this is what Bachelor Nation meanies might call a "geriatric season." I, for one, am THRILLED to have a grown woman in the driver's seat: she has been around the block with this franchise (Juan Pablo's season, 2 season of Bachelor In Paradise), has a fantastic career as a colorist, has gobs of friends and interests, and truly wants love and marriage soon. YES!
Clare moves to Pam Springs, has a few Covid tests and isolation time, and before we know it, she is all dressed up and chatting with Chris Harrison in a candle-filled room just before the 1st night. WE ARE BACK, BABY!
Real quick: I LOVED Clare's look. Gunmetal is one of my favorite dress colors and the reflective, textured beads at the top which faded down to a filmy bottom with a slit up the side--it was dreamy.
I loved this conversation: they spoke candidly about who she was when she dated infamous Bachelor cad Juan Pablo, how she has grown, the hardships she has faced and her ability to stay hopeful through it all. She reveals that when she joined the cast of The Bachelor that first go-round, she had just left an abusive relationship. Chris asks if Clare has anything to say to that young girl getting out of the limo to meet Juan Pablo all those years ago and she says, "I'm proud of you for trying again." I LOVE THIS. I suspect this overarching theme will be beaten like a dead horse this season, but for now I really love the spirit of finding PRIDE in taking some licks, having some disappointments, and showing up anyway. It reminded me of 2003 when I lived in Chicago and worked as a paralegal at a law firm where my attorney would scream swears at me throughout the day. I was broke, young, depressed, and literally AFRAID of this attorney. I'd cry in the bathroom at work at least 1x/day but every day, I showed up. My parents were so proud of me--they knew that I was going through an awful situation and the job was such an abusive place, but that I showed up. In retrospect, this is a story about workplace abuse and I HAD to show up b/c I was broke as HELL which is a sad state of events, BUT THE POINT IS: there's power in showing up. Clare's "showing up" is like previous Bachelorette Rachel's "keeping it 100." I love pithy, motivational phrases!
Let's get down to the dudes and the DRAMZ!
We had immediate drama between Tyler C. (dude who rolled up in a station wagon saying he wants to fill up the station wagon with kids which is sweet, I guess, but felt a little Try-Hard for my taste) and Yosef (who mentioned that he has a daughter and it has given him a better perspective on/more tenderness for women which is a RED FLAG that stupid, bad guys always think is smart thing to say). Tyler should have held his tongue about this situation until later in the season. And what even WAS the thing he was talking about? Yosef reached out to a girl Tyler knows and sent a video that was friendly but a cheesedick move b/c it seemed like a mass text video? And this video was sent recently, so it seems like Yosef isn't "here for the right reasons" (copyright Bachelor Nation)? Either way, in a situation like this, the 'ole "whoever smelt it, dealt it" rule usually applies which is that whoever introduces the tension/drama (Tyler) is somehow blamed for it and sent home. And so it went! Let this be a lesson to you would-be Bach contestants at home!!
Clare has some HOTTIES in the mix, and strangely, 2 different guys named Blake M. which feels like a joke written by a statistician. Truly, what are the chances? In the mix, she has quite a few former pro football players (ummm hi), some SUPER chic, tailored suits, and we saw SO many bare ankles! I was LOVING these lewks!
The entrances were the usual mix of straightforward dudes coming out of limos like a damn clown car of hotties, plus some fun ones: Eazy jumped through a "Your Future Husband" sign which was so cute and hilarious and I adore him already; Jay a Fitness Instructor wore a straighjacket to show that he's "crazy about Clare (woof) and KEPT IT ON THE ENITRE NIGHT LIKE A COMPLETE... well... crazy person. Props to you for staying SO on-brand, Jay! Bennett (who mentioned that he's a Harvard grad within his first 30 seconds on-screen) rolled up in a Rolls Royce wearing a long, white scarf with a suit that is popular with old timey titans of industry.
Before I tally off who be remaining in the Bachelor Bubble and who was sent home to quarantine for another however-many months then move to Nashville, TN, as every Bach reject is required to do, let's talk about timing.
From articles I have read online, it seems as if they started filming the show in SOME way before they had to halt production because of Covid. Had Clare met a bunch of the guys? Had they already done first-night arrivals at the old Bachelor mansion? But wait, wasn't the old Bachelor mansion burned in the California wildfires!?!? I cannot keep up with the twists and turns!
But here is my theory: they had started filming and maybe even gotten through a few days worth, then had to halt. I suspect that Clare had really connected with Dale and Blake Moynes already, based on her interaction with them this go-round. They halted for a while but then came up with the Palm Springs, 2-weeks-isolation plan and not every guy who had started could make it back to California. SO, rather than attempt to cobble together a Frankenstein version of a season or a cast, they asked anyone from Cast #1 to just launch into the Palm Springs filming as if it was THE FIRST TIME!! Just act as if you have never met Clare, start fresh, and THIS is the season. Is my theory insane? I just feel like with a few of the guys tonight, there was a familiarity already. Blake messaged her on FB during quarantine (even though it was against the rules) and I just wonder, would he have done that if he didn't know her AT ALL yet? Also her conversation with Dale felt VERY familiar. Dale seemed to be asking about Clare's mother but he already knew about her, ya know? Anyway--that is my theory but I don't think that ABC or Bachelor producers would want to reveal THAT much of a "behind-the-curtain" breakdown, ya know? So everyone just acts like they are meeting for the first time!
OK so who was given a rose and who spent 2 weeks in a Palm Springs motel room for no reason? The 1st impression rose was given to Dale (SEE MY THEORY ABOVE) and then the flowers were doled out as follows:
-Blake Moynes: The guy who messaged her illegally and who I'm convinced was part of Ghost Season Never To Be Discussed. Dude has an Amish looking beard thing going on, but that's not awful?
-Eazy: I LOVE this guy. His pink, 3-piece suit was a bold and sexy choice, his body is fantastic, and he seems extremely real, self-effacing, cool. I hope he goes far.
-Ben: Forgettable white guy who was 1st out of the limo and they took a breath together. Fine, I guess.
-Riley: I don't recall much about him except a grey suit.
-Zach J: Or as I call him "butt thing in a box." When he first met Clare, he got down on one knee and held up a ring box that, upon opening, reveals a tiny ceramic butt and fart noises. Dude, grow up. I know that you think this is funny and memorable and I guess it IS memorable, but it's just too crass for my taste. I could get on board with a ceramic butt in a ring box (don't ask), but the fart noise is just GROSS. She seems to like 'ole Butt Thing In a Box, though!
-Tyler S: My notes say "nerdy looking white dude."
-Joe: Bowtie-wearing origami maker who seems very fun and silly and sweet. Thumbs up.
-Jason: Dude who explained his accent as though he was from some far-off, exotic land and not LONG ISLAND. Has Clare seriously never met a guy from Long Island? Could be. He's energetic and fun, though, so I give him credit.
-Demar: A handsome, warm guy who ONLY had their straight-outta-the-limo interaction so I'm impressed he's still here! Dude makes a great first impression!
-Jason: Dude in a striped tie who arrived via giant bubble ball. I wish I were kidding.
-Jordan C: glasses, no drama.
-Blake Menard: The 2nd Blake M. of the show and I can't believe both Blakes are like, "sure--I guess on this trash TV show I will go by MY FULL NAME. Want my Soc Security to post in the lower 3rd, too?" Ha! Guy was in a black shirt, black tie, and was SHOWING CHEST like woa.
-Ken: Boy Band Manager who has TALL hair and, well, looks like a Boy Band Manager. If I were him, I'd say that I'm just a "Band Manager" so people might mistakenly think I'm cool.
-Brandon: Roof Contractor from Mass who won't be around long, but I'm pulling for him because he's a Masshole and so am I.
-Garit: Red, 3 piece suit sweetheart. He brought a drawing of Clare made by his niece and won my heart. I hope he goes far!
-Ed: Guido-style dude who is husky and sweaty and if Selena Circa 2006 were The Bachelorette, this guy would have won on night 1. I KNOW! My taste has matured and so have I!
-Bennett: I hate to hate someone solely because he's a Wealth Manager who went to Harvard, but it just comes so naturally! On Twitter last night, my old high school pal Jimbo (a Harvard alum) informed me that in the world of finance/being rich, apparently Wealth Managers are a JOKE, which made me laugh. I doubt Bennett will be around too long.
-Zach C: Light grey suit, sweet guy. Sometimes my notes are useless.
-Jay: Straightjacket guy!! I wish she had sent him home because watching a guy cry during his exit interview in a straightjacket is just AMAZING TELEVISION! Check him out serving creepy lewks:
-Brandon: conventionally attractive guy with a strong jawline, nice suit. Hot Boring.
-Ivan: cutie who made a wonderful first impression by quoting his mother.
-Yosef: Ugh. So I guess we have found the Parian of the season, or at least the house shit-stirrer. I can't wait to hear more about how he respects women now that he financially supports one!
So who went home?
-Jeremy: banker from DC who seemed VERY earnest and sweet.
-Page: guy with strange facial hair and SO MANY TATTOOS which I can dig but combined with his frame and facial hair, it felt very Carnival Worker.
-Tyler: dude who introduced the drama with Yosef. Sorry, man. "When you point out drama in someone else, you have 3 fingers pointing back at YOU and saying that YOU are drama" as the old saying goes.
-AJ: Software salesman who wore a red suit and made Clare twirl as soon as he met her, then gripped her hands so hard that she writhed in pain. He gave me REAL Mystery (the Pick Up Artist) vibes. He said that his friends joke that he makes a bad first impression and WOW his friends are right!
-Chasen: walked up in a suit of armor and a layer of sweat. It's Palm Springs, man! This place is HOT!
-Jordan M: What a loss! This dude rocked a perfectly-tailored, blue suit and was showing ankles for DAYS! He seemed really lovely and I'm disappointed he didn't go farther.
A few others may have gotten the boot (the dude who brought her cute sandals? Maybe a few other Insurance Brokers from UT or FL?) but it's hard to keep track. And I'm out of practice with these recaps, pussycats!
This looks like it will be a drama-filled season and not a standard-length season, either. We shall see. I'm just excited to feel a bit normal for 2 hours on Tuesday (or Monday?) nights. What are your thoughts, dear readers?