Ah, “The Bachelorette” has returned.
Despite not finding love on “The Bachelor,” or “Bachelor in Paradise,” or “Bachelor in Paradise” again, or “The Bachelor Winter Games,” leading lady Clare Crawley is sure that this time around she’ll end up with a ring on her finger in Season 16. (She’s different now! She’s been to therapy!)
Living in a “COVID-free” La Quinta resort in La Quinta, California, the oldest Bachelorette in televised history, 39, spent her first episode smiling as though she lived in a pre-Corona utopia, despite the fact that she filmed the rest of the show in July, while cases around the country surged. She must hug all of those men though, this is serious business.
The most shocking part of the night was when Chris Harrison said it would be “a dramatic season” but also not “the most dramatic season ever.” I’m deeply suspicious. What does he know that we don’t?
Here’s how Clare’s journey began.
After months of being stuck indoors with family members and roommates, America got to see 31 hot guys complain about being alone in a luxurious hotel room for two weeks. What resiliency! At least we know they’re doing all-the-way-up-the-brain Coronavirus tests. Thank you producers for giving us that torturous shot.
Meeting the men
There were some genuinely sweet meetings, like when Clare met Dale Moss (who it’s rumored she leaves the show early with, after falling in love). “I knew it. I definitely feel like I just met my husband, I’m shaking,” she said to herself after they shared a hug. “Every other guy I felt confident with, but with Dale… I felt everything that I haven’t felt ever.” Sure.
More importantly, the producers clearly forced these men into the following introductory shticks:
- Jason, a former pro football lineman, wore a fake pregnant belly to “prove that he’s willing to hold the weight of the relationship and the labor of love.” (Yes, it was a reference to one of her past seasons. No, I don’t care.)
- Tyler, a lawyer, rolled out in a station wagon “Clark Griswald-style” packed with “his entire life” to date Clare.
- Harvard alumnus Bennett “drove” a Rolls Royce all the way from New York City.
- Anesthesiologist Joe wore a stethoscope to heal her love life.
- Eazy, another former pro athlete, jumped out of a sign that said “your future husband.”
- Jay wore a straitjacket because he “went a little crazy” while waiting to meet Clare.
- Chasen donned a full suit of armor and had no pun to explain why. A wasted opportunity.
- Demar wore a parachute because he “fell for Clare already.”
- Ed wore a bubble, because …. gestures widely to the contagious air.
The cocktail party
The coronavirus and Clare’s ailing mother cast a dark shadow over meet and greets. Her two dogs stole the show. Please give us more dog content, ABC.
The Oscar goes to Tyler C., who caused the first “here for the right reasons” fight of the season. “Coming into this, I was in a weird position to learn some stuff about Yosef,” he told some other suitors. “A lot of being reckless on Instagram and flirting with girls where I’m from who know me.”
Playing the “looking out for Clare” card, Tyler confronted Yosef about the allegations, who then tattled to Clare. She sat them both down for a scolding and quickly dismissed herself to chat with other men.
Yosef reportedly stirs the pot in the coming episodes, so stay tuned.
The first kiss
Clare smooched Blake Moynes, who she claimed was the “only man who reached out to her” during a pre-production period, despite it being against the rules. (This contradicts reports that she had been in contact with Dale before filming, which is why she fell for him so fast.)
The first impression rose
No surprise, she pinned the corsage on Dale. The two connected further over their shared “feelings” and “energy.” He also nabbed the second kiss of the night. Talk about a #vibecheck.
The rose ceremony
The cast was whittled down as Clare sent several men home — who quarantined for weeks to meet her — including Tyler C., Mike, Joe, Chris and Page.
Ever the fan of edging, the promos are getting closer and closer to revealing that Clare is replaced by Tayshia. I give her two more episodes.
Next week will be the dodgeball date, as it’s literally the only date that’s been shown so far. Yosef will show us all that Tyler C. was right to doubt him, and Dale and Clare will fall fast in love.