It seems that it’s been decades since trash TV disguised as a sweeping fairytale graced our screens. Luckily for us, not even a global pandemic can stop the guilty pleasure show we all know and love from giving us drama, romance (fake or not), and laughs.
I Can See Clarely Now is a new IW column where I, a shamefully unembarrassed fan of The Bachelorette, give you a complete rundown of what happened so that you can take a quick break from your studies, turn off your mind from the pandemic once in a while, and competitively compete in your fantasy league. Yes, Bach Brackets are a thing. Glasses of rosé at the ready, let’s talk about the season premiere of The Bachelorette.
For anyone completely new to the Bachelor-verse, this season’s Bachelorette is Clare Crawley. Clare has a long history of the show, failing to find her true soulmate during Juan Pablo’s (okay man’s) season of the Bachelor, two seasons of Bachelor in Paradise, and one season of Bachelor Winter Games. We’ll come back to that last one later.
The announcement of Clare being the season’s lead was a controversial one in the fandom. Some fans were disappointed not to see a lead from a more recent season of the show. On the other side, fans welcomed an older, more mature lead who may finally end all the unnecessary drama. Peter’s season of The Bachelor is a very Clare (see what I did there) example of the mess that too much drama can create. The fact that Clare is the oldest Bachelorette in franchise history is a point brought up very often in the show. According to the edit this season, age (39) is not just a number but is your core personality trait.
The show opened up talking about all the safety precautions they made to ensure that all the contestants would be healthy during their journeys on The Bachelorette. They did the whole thing, COVID tests, self-isolation for two weeks, and a very strict social bubble. I understand the need for this. The pandemic changed a lot and the producers want to show the audience that they are doing everything in their power to keep everyone safe. My only problem was that they spent far too long talking about it. Thirty minutes in. Show me the limo entrances already!
Then Chris did his usual interview with the lead. They talked about all of Clare’s struggles up to this point: her past relationship with Juan Pablo and a lack of success finding love in Paradise. Do you know what no one mentioned? Clare’s engagement to Benoit on Bachelor Winter Games! How is Clare’s relationship with Juan can’t-express-any-other-emotion-other-than-okay Pablo that was seven years ago more relevant than her actual engagement?
Now to the limo entrances. I’ll spare you the details of every single limo entrance and present you with some of my highlights.
For the cringiest limo entrance, it has to go to Jay. Jay showed up in a strait-jacket. His punchline? I’ve been crazy waiting to come to meet you. I have several problems with this. First, so basic. Second, that’s not very culturally sensitive these days. This is cable, people. Third, it’s so restricting. He never even took off the jacket. He sat there all night with it. Why?
Here are some honourary mentions for cringe.
Jason paid homage to Clare’s cringy limo entrance on Juan Pablo’s season by showing up with a baby belly.
Kenny showed up in a cute dog shirt. The dogs were actually photos of Clare’s beloved pets. This entrance would have been mediocre had it not been for Clare’s cringy “let me feel my dogs” moment when she stroked his abs. Uncomfortable!
For the sweetest entrance, let’s award that to Ben. Deep breaths is such a simple but sentimental gesture, especially on a show like this. I may be overhyping Ben here, but I’ve heard rumours that he’s going to play a big role later in the season.
Battle of the cars was brought to you by knock-off Tyler C., a nickname given to differentiate him from the original Tyler C. from Hannah B.’s season, and Bennett. Knock-off Tyler C. came in a stuffed station wagon. The purpose of this vehicle was to show his commitment to starting a family. That’s reasonable. Unfortunately, that was completely overshadowed by Bennett who showed up in a fancy Rolls-Royce and dressed in a fancy suit with a scarf. His demeanour and suave reminded me of a James Bond crossed with a eight-year-old whose been spoon-fed their entire life.
The most awkward entrance was poor AJ, who has so nervous, I thought he was going to squeeze Clare’s hands right off.
My favourite limo entrance was Joe. He came with a stethoscope and said he was here to save Clare’s love life. Memorable? Check. Punny? Check. Relevant to himself? He’s an anesthesiologist. Check. Relevant to Clare? Check. Bonus: he had a prop.
Other highlights included Eazy in Bachelor Nation’s favourite suit colour: salmon. Chasen came in a full suit of armour. Ed was in a bubble. Yosef brought moon pies. Zac J. brought a farting engagement ring? Honestly, it was wild.
After the entrances, the cocktail party raged on. As per usual, The Bachelorette had to deal with a contestant not being there for the right reasons. Knock-off Tyler C., alleged that Yosef had been sliding into dms on Instagram. Ultimately, Clare sided with Yosef, believing that he was wrongfully accused, and sent knock-off Tyler C. home. An unfortunate consequence of this drama, Clare didn’t get to talk to everyone. Typically, I wouldn’t be bummed out by something like this. I live for the drama. But, the whole “he’s here for the wrong reasons” is overdone.
Blake M. (not Blake Monar), from Hamilton, Ontario, made a lasting impression with Clare, securing himself a smooch and the first rose. Clare commended him for reaching out to her before the show to support her when her mother fell and hurt herself. This is a direct violation of the rules. Clare appreciated this risk but why wasn’t Blake M. disqualified? I don’t like this Pandora’s box of allowing contestants to do that. Then again, we had Dale.
Unsurprisingly, Dale got the first impression rose. I haven’t mentioned Dale yet. He had a standard entrance. He’s attractive and sweet. He seemed to vibe with Clare. That is all I’ll say to keep this column spoiler-free. If you want to know, take five minutes to look at The Bachelorette on Twitter. You’ll figure it out.
I’ll leave you with one important tidbit. Clare kissed three men on her first night: Blake M., Dale, and Ben. This has been confirmed in previews and interviews. Curiously, the producers edited out Clare’s kiss with Ben. I wonder why? I’ll leave you to stew on that.
Here’s where I get all my tea: