2017 wasn’t a good year for anyone.
Not for me. Not for America. And most importantly not Bachelornation. It was a year of highs (Peter Krause) and lows (Bachelor in Paradise. All of it.) Nick had his fourth, and most importantly, last, chance at love, and Rachel let down all of America by picking a former Chippendales dancer in hopes of populating her instagram feed with hair supplements and Fab Fit Fun boxes.
But, fortunately for those of us who still believe that you can find love in primetime (and therapy on Marriage Boot Camp once ABC stops footing the bill) the folks at The Bachelor decided to start out the New Year on a fresh foot. And by fresh, I mean a weathered, old shearling boot that you threw into your closet five years ago when you discovered Sorels, and hoped to never see again.
Let’s call this boot Arie.
While half of Bachelornation remembers Arie for the wall-kissing, diary keeping race car driver from Emily’s season, the rest of the Bachelor audience doesn’t remember him because he is from the prehistoric Bachelor era before skinny tea and Snapchat were even a thing. Arie, it seems, has been doing a lot of nothing since having his heart broken by Emily. He’s not racing as much as he’d like. He hasn’t found love. And he’s doing his best to try and convince everyone that he’s now a successful real estate broker who, apparently, specializes in properties that look exactly like the Bachelor mansion. In fact, it seems the only things he’s good at is making racing puns and telling women named Lauren apart. (A skill that, surprisingly, proved handy that first night.)
Before Arie embarks on this journey, ABC trots in the obligatory Sean Lowe segment to remind everyone that the Bachelor has had one successful married couple in this millennium. (Don’t @me Des/Chris fans.) And his advice is sage: Marry a woman who will color match her wardrobe to your skin tone.
Before Arie meets the 29 women who didn’t quit when they learned that Peter Krause wasn’t the Bachelor, the viewers are introduced to a few of this years contestants. The first is Chelsea, a single mom who likes off-the-shoulder tops, pronounces it the Bach-Uh-Lor, and doesn’t care about your kid’s peanut allergies, which is basically momspeak for “Not here to make friends.”
Caroline is really good at her job, you guys. In less than a year, she sold more than $5 million in houses, but because she looks good in a cut out dress, she was better suited for The Bachelor and not Million Dollar Listing: Fort Lauderdale.
Picture it: Salt Lake City, Utah, 1996. The Coopers are expecting any day now and Ma and Pa can decide on a name. Ma is partial to Marissa, whereas Dad has always loved the name Raquel. What’s a Brangelina-loving family supposed to do, but spit the difference and portmanteau that shit. Ladies and Gentleman of the Bachelor, I give you Maquel.
THAT IS NOT EVEN A NAME.
Okay, in quick succession there is Mischa who enjoys jumping out of moving airplanes even before appearing on the Bachelor, Kendall who likes dead animals and ukulele covers, and Tia who lives in little Wiener and shops at Raven’s crappy little boutique by choice. Bekah, age mystery, is adventurous as proven by her lack of hair extensions.
And then Krystal happens. I am just going to put this out there right now. I don’t care how nice she is. I don’t care how kind and compassionate she is. I don’t care about any of it. Krystal is the kind of person whose email is written in Comic Sans. I am probably going to get blocked by Krystal on social media and it’s going to happen sooner rather than later. Because Krystal is what would happen if an inspirational instagram account took human form, and I am not about to giver her a follow.
So, like, real talk: you probably already watched this show and you know what happens. Over the next hour, the women get out of the limos wearing dresses they wore for their local
beauty pageant scholarship competition. They drown their embarrassment from asking Arie about his tiny wiener or sniffing their arm pits in wine spritzers and vodka sodas, while saying a silent prayer that none of the women they are competing with is as pretty as Emily. And once they’re finally tipsy enough to announce that they’re not usually bitches, they begin interrupting one another.
Single mom, peanut butter villain Chelsea sets the wheels in motion as the first to pull Arie away, making her an early villain and an excellent source of drama for this season. Chelsea coos, “I’m not a rude person,” foreshadowing that she is, in fact, a very rude person. She spends the remainder of the evening badmouthing to other women, in particular the one who had the audacity to show up in a race car and interrupt her time with Arie.
Arie takes a selfie with Maquel, is therapized (her word) by the girl from New York, wins s drag race in a Barbie car, and confirms that ABC is taking this no-drug policy super seriously by taking away social media manager, and free ice cream lover Jessica’s much needed Adderal. There is pizza. There is a ukulele. There’s an unmasking. And through it all, Krystal never stops smiling. It’s like she got the “Mouthguard Challenge Game” as a gift, and just never took it out.
Not even when her time with Arie is interrupted by Chelsea.
Chelsea scores the first tongue kiss of the season and the first impression rose. I’m predicting a Krystal/Chelseas two-on-one date. At the rose ceremony, Arie sends home a gaggle of Laurens, the TV host who talks about her dead father and the one girl who still thinks tanning beds are okay.
The episode ends with a montage of the upcoming season, which includes a lot of kissing, crying and Arie aging eight years in a matter of six weeks. And if there’s one thing I’m sure of – not doubt thanks to all the terrible racing puns on last night’s episode – it’s that before Arie crosses the finish line, a lot of people are going to crash and burn.
And if anyone enjoys a good, fiery car crash, it’s me.
Click on any of the images to shop the looks from this weeks Bachelor