SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched the Season 17 premiere of “The Bachelorette.”
It’s Katie Thurston’s chance to find love.
Despite her striking first impression with Matt James on “The Bachelor,” when she introduced herself alongside her trusty vibrator, Katie’s time on the ABC franchise was cut short. Now, the self-described “silly, sex-positive girl” from Washington is back, though, leading the 17th season of “The Bachelorette.”
Former Bachelorettes Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams were tasked with helping Katie on her journey. After controversy sidelined regular host Chris Harrison, the two ladies joined the cast to emcee the season from New Mexico. The three bonded over their “sisterhood” of leading the franchise, and Kaitlyn and Tayshia offered their seasoned advice before the men arrived: “Don’t rule anyone out,” they cautioned.
The 30 men that arrived in the June 7 premiere episode used gimmicks and puns to stand out. Tre Cooper showed up in a truck with a ball pit in the pickup; Andrew Spencer showed up in an old car, using a fake accent; Brandon Torres showed up on a moped; Jeff Caravello arrived with a grungy RV that he drove from New Jersey, and James Bonsall showed up in a box so he could be “present.”
Several of the romantic hopefuls paid homage to Katie’s own entrance into “The Bachelor” world by using sexual puns: Cody Menk brought a blow-up doll, Justin Glaze referenced stroking and Kyle Howard gave her a pair of his underwear.
However, math teacher Connor Brennan was identified as a standout. He arrived at the hotel in a full body catsuit that she found “pur-fect.” He was an early kiss in the episode, smearing his cat whisker face paint all over Katie’s face. However, he was not the first kiss of the episode: that honor went to Justin. Meanwhile, Greg Grippo received the first impression rose.
“I appreciate you opening up – I know you’re nervous,” she told Greg. “But I do feel like there’s something there, and once we can get past those nerves, I think there’s a great guy under there… I hope this gives you some validation.”
In a not-so eventful season premiere, seven men exited the season early: Austin Tinsley, Brandon, Gabriel Everett, Jeff, Landon Goesling, Marcus Lathan and Marty Hargrove. Let’s hope things heat up next week!
“The Bachelorette” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.