It’s Janu-Arie, folks! For a brief moment in time we thought we wouldn’t make our return, but you knew us better than that. It has been a hard year without Bachelor reviews, but we are back and ready to recap. Arie Jr. has returned after five unsuccessful years as a regular citizen and is now the new Bachelor. After we got over our initial disappointment that Peter wasn’t the chosen one, we realized we still had a lot of catching up to do before the premiere.
When the announcement first came that Arie was the new Bachelor, hardcore Bachelor fans may have caught on. However, for the younger audience, “Who?” was a more accurate reaction. Luckily, as dedicated Bachelor connoisseurs, we did some digging as to who the mystical Arie is.
Arie was one of the 25 men competing to win Bachelorette Emily Maynard’s heart in Season 8 five years ago. We were around age 12 during this time and weren’t yet initiated into Bachelor Nation. Obviously Arie didn’t get the girl, coming in at the painful position of runner-up. Arie followed in the footsteps of his father, also named Arie, initially spending his time focusing on a race car driving career, but since losing the Bachelorette has decided to live a more normal life as a real estate agent.
The producers decided to take the time to draw out the breakup scene between Arie and Emily, which we felt was a little unnecessary. “I am confused,” Arie says in the infamous limo after the nasty breakup between him and Emily. “I feel stupid. I feel naive.” Well, apparently the natural reaction after five unsuccessful years is to return to the show that broke his heart in the first place. Hey, you gotta hand it to him for having faith.
The episode proceeded with some good old getting to know you time with Bachelor Arie. Classic dramatic shots of him looking out into the distance–on a sand dune, from a mountain–ensued. Season 17 Bachelor Sean Lowe made us all believe in love again when he showed up with his wife Catherine and THEIR CHILD to give some advice to Arie. Pretty sure that had all of us cryin’ in the club. Personally, we think it’s really cute that ABC has Sean make an appearance every season just to show that they were successful once.
Once we’ve established the backstory of Arie’s humiliation five years ago, which probably made him feel great going into a new season, we finally arrive at the moment we’ve all been waiting for: meeting the women.
Chris Harrison, ever the gracious host for the past 21 seasons, makes sure to remind Arie that in the past five years since being on The Bachelorette, he hasn’t been able to find love! Not once! Super inspiring as he’s about to meet 29 new women.
First out of the limo is Caroline, a fellow real estate agent living in Florida. Given that she’s first to be introduced, we’re expecting her make it at least to the final four. She makes an “off the market” joke due to their shared realtor background that is, while sweet, completely unoriginal. Arie forces a laugh. Great start so far.
The other women quickly follow, making a few notable impressions: Kendall is passionate about taxidermy, Becca K. makes Arie close his eyes and directs him to kneel down and propose to her, and Maquel arrives in a race car. Bekah M. rolls up in a red Mustang, but she looks so young we’re not convinced she even has her license. There is also a mysterious blank spot where her age is supposed to be whenever her name shows up. But that’s none of our business.
Asking us to remember the names of 29 women is a tall order. It is especially challenging this year because there are not one, not two, not three, but four Laurens! We’re not gonna have the names straight until at least week 4.
Once all the girls have arrived, they begin chatting. As always, they miss out on an opportunity to get to know each other and instead use the time to talk about how attractive Arie is and gossip about other women they don’t even know yet.
Very quickly, Chelsea establishes herself as the resident mean girl, slippery snake and Olivia 2.0. We’re hoping Arie will see the similarities and follow Ben’s cue by leaving her on an island.
Once Arie comes inside to make a toast, Chelsea interrupts him mid-sentence to steal him for a chat. They seem to have a good conversation. Chelsea, in classic villain fashion, manages to hide her mean spirit and seem like quite a catch when the Bachelor is around.
The cocktail party is on the more unusual side–Jenna gives Arie a free foot massage, which is nice. Brittany T. leads Arie outside, where two little kids’ cars are waiting, and races him for a kiss. She pretty much loses, but he kisses her anyway.
Bekah asks the only marginally interesting question of the night, which is “What are three things that make you excited to be alive?”
“Excitement,” Arie says lamely. “Excitement makes you excited to be alive?” Bekah deadpans, with underlying sarcasm. Arie proceeds to add “adrenaline” and “pizza,” so a question with a lot of potential went downhill as predicted.
Later on in the night, when time is running out and the girls are getting panicked, Chelsea steals Arie for a chat. Yes folks, you read that correctly, she goes in for a SECOND conversation when a lot of the girls haven’t even had their first. Experienced Bachelor fans know that for the other women witnessing the conversation, this means aggressive comments to Arie behind Chelsea’s back for the remainder of the season. During the conversation, Chelsea shoots her shot. Just as she stole time with Arie from the other girls, she steals a kiss.
Jessica the Canadian tells Arie that her dad met him before he passed away, so she believes that he has his blessing to marry her. Interesting way to lead.
Pretty expectedly, Chelsea the villain gets the first impression rose. You know who else got the first impression rose on her season? Olivia. The producers always know how to stir up drama. Pretty sure Arie didn’t have much of a choice in that decision.
The night ended with eight lovely ladies heading to the limos in tears. Surprisingly, Kendall, the taxidermy collector, was not included in this group. This further proves hiding your true self can only help when beginning a relationship.
The most notable eliminations were Jessica, Amber, and Lauren J. A little cold of Arie to eliminate Jessica after her impassioned speech about her dad, but heartbreak abounds.
Amber was the most shocked at her eviction from the mansion. Bachelor fans shouldn’t be too worried about her though because fortunately she owns a tanning salon in Colorado.
The only good thing that comes out of Lauren J. being eliminated is that Bachelor Nation doesn’t have to worry about remembering four Laurens now, only three.
That about wraps it up for the premiere recap of this new season. We’ll see you next week for episode 2!
Andrea, Amy and Josie