A new season of “The Bachelor” kicked off Monday with Ben Higgins meeting the 28 women who hope to be his wife. Previews promised viewers shock and awe, particularly with the arrival of former season hopefuls Becca Tilley and Amber James, but per usual, it was a tipsy bachelorette in a black dress who received all the camera crew’s attention.
Viewers were on edge waiting for the returning bachelorettes to make an appearance, and no surprise, producers had the pair show up after Ben had gone into the house for maximum dramatic effect. The women were less than pleased and felt Becca, in particular, had an advantage. Adding two more women to the mix may make things more stressful, but why it’s still such a surprise when former bachelors and bachelorettes get another shot on the show, we just don’t understand. At this point in the franchise, when things are beginning to become stale, it’s amazing the entire cast isn’t recycled every season to ensure nonstop over-the-top emotions.
However, if we were in the house, we would be worried about Becca too. There is something about her that is catching Ben’s eye and could be a great match for Ben. Unfortunately, the pair faded into the background in the premiere, so it is hard to tell how long either of the women will remain in the running.
The star of the season 20 premiere was, no doubt, 25-year-old Lace. Perhaps she thought their matching ages and locations meant they were made for one another. Perhaps there were glances and words spoken that viewers didn’t see but Lace took as a connection with her one true love. Or perhaps she just cannot be appropriately social after more than two glasses of champagne. No matter the reason for Lace’s drunken, jealous behavior, viewers ate it up. And Ben’s decision to extend a rose to her at the rose ceremony left viewers confused but excited to see how ridiculous her behavior will be next week.
Lace was on the prowl from the minute she stepped out of the limo, and she waited only about 30 seconds before she went in for the kiss. When the pair had a chance to chat later in the night, Ben seemed to be telling Lace she was coming on too strong, but all she heard was that he was asking for her. The two couldn’t have been more out of sync, so it wasn’t surprising when Lace pulled Ben aside to tell him off for not looking at her even once during the rose ceremony, so she claims. Her fight with him seemed more like the fight of a couple who had been together five years, rather than 5 minutes, with her telling him she’ll happily leave if he doesn’t want her there. It’s amazing he’ll keep her after the conversation — and we know he does after seeing the season preview. But her time on the show will most likely be limited, as Ben was probably having nightmares after only one night around her.
Surprisingly, Lace was the only crazy viewers saw in the first episode. Tears and jealousy are on their way, though, including from Ben, who appears to have had a tough time at several rose ceremonies. Only time will tell if Ben finds his one true love, but hopes are high and fingers are crossed that Mr. I’m Unlovable finally finds lasting love.
Highlights from episode 1:
Is Olivia the one for Ben? Probably not. While news anchor Olivia received Ben’s first impression rose, we didn’t see a lot of spark between the two. And the season preview makes us question what the bachelorette might be hiding.
Is Amanda the next bachelorette? If Ben doesn’t choose Amanda, America should. The 25-year-old mother of two girls caught our attention immediately as a perfect bachelorette. Reminiscent of Emily Maynard, Amanda seems sweet, down to Earth and like she’s looking for a real connection, not just five minutes of fame.
Did Caila really dump her boyfriend for Ben? We’re not really sure. Caila’s intro included a story about her dumping her last boyfriend after seeing Ben step out of the limo on the previous season of “The Bachelorette.” We imagine the timing is just a coincidence — at least, we hope it’s just a coincidence, for Ben’s sake.
How long will the twins last? Just long enough for a two-on-one date that sends one — maybe both — packing. Awkward family fun at its finest.
What is a chicken enthusiast? No idea. However, chicken enthusiast Tiara might not be as out of it as her intro led us to believe. Once she was away from her furry friends, she seemed sweet and appeared to hit it off with Ben. But we still need to know: What is her actual job?