Finally, ABC and The Bachelor have picked someone who represents all of us. Someone from the heartland. Someone humble, hard-working, and down-to-earth who will be less about the “look at me” of being on TV and more into the “I want to fall in love” stuff. And I’m happy. Despite the sizzle reel that aired at the end of Monday’s three hour premiere (three hour? Are you kidding? Why not four? And why not a separate cable channel on my cable system that extends the show even longer?) But as I was saying, despite what appears like a ridiculous amount of crying that will happen as the season unfolds, I think we’re all pretty happy.

Deep down, I know, ABC and The Bachelor experience will change Chris forever and, quite possibly, turn him evil. Poor guy.

I’m talking about Chris Soules. He’ll change. The Bachelor evil already took Chris Harrison to the dark side a few years ago. He got divorced and now just sleeps with all the Bachelor rejects and former Bachelorette contestants.

Welcome back to the season and the recaps. For the new readers, the spunkybean recaps are a celebration. A celebration of love, romance, passion, and the timeless love of one man and a dozen (or 30, but who’s counting) women. Not that pornographic “group” thing, but the normal kind. The type of love we all experience while navigating a dozen relationships simultaneously. The Bachelor is a modern love story, a story of our generation, and we’re here to tell it. Yes, 100 years ago, we had young love writing notes on slates. 50 years ago it was letters to service men over seas. 30 years ago it was phone calls. Nowadays, its all texting, social media, and Tinder. And it sucks. That’s why The Bachelor is a breath of fresh air.

Also, for the new readers, I keep it clean (as possible). I have nieces who read this. I blame their parents. I know. It’s shameful.

We all know Chris Soules, the folksy farmer from Iowa, who wasn’t quite good enough last season on The Bachelorette, but ooooh did America (and I) fall in love with him. We were able to look past the fact that when he talks, his teeth stay motionless and his mouth doesn’t move much, and that he seems like a guy practicing ventriloquism, and we fell in love with him. We were not at all enamored by the fact he may or may not be a millionaire currently running his family’s massive farm. Nope. That doesn’t matter around here. It just doesn’t. And we can all ignore that he lives in Iowa. Trust me, of the 30 girls who showed up in the premiere, I’ll guess only about 5 of them might actually move to a small town (population 400) in Iowa. But that comes with the territory, I guess, and most girls are there hoping to launch a TV career or be the next Bachelorette.

Like Chris, we’re not going to “count our chickens before they hatch” and let’s just see what happens. Did you catch that? We might be “harvesting” a season full of farming puns! Yee haw!

OK. I need to focus. There was so much in this three hour premiere, I don’t know where to begin. Should we talk about the pointlessness of the “red carpet” and how it was, actually, slightly more skeevy than the red carpet at the AVNs (Adult Video News) Awards each year in Vegas? Seriously, at least the the nominees and attendees at the AVNs have some skills. Unlike our Bachelor/Bachelorette Red Carpet which is mostly comprised of aging cast offs who were either (a) not picked during their season, (b) never asked to be the Bachelor or Bachelorette, and (c) are simply aging. And the worst part was that crazy Polish kid from Chicago, Chris something, who tried to crash the party last season – mostly to get himself on TV and extend his 15 minutes of fame – and showed up on Bachelor in Paradise and was immediately a laughing stock and hurt his foot and revealed himself to be a total pig. Did you see him? Of all the idiots, he was most aware of the camera and walked into view multiple times just to be on TV.

Let’s talk the cocktail party that opens every season. We need to help Chris pick his future soul mate. 30 girls, and not the customary 25, arrived on opening night, but not without some madness thrown into the mix by ABC. Unlike most years where it’s just steady stream of limos and girls arriving, ABC only rolled up the first 3 limos (out of the 6 total that would arrive) and for three hours, Chris only had a 1 to 15 ratio to contend with. And these early girls should’ve realized they had a huuuuge advantage with so much time available to them to talk with and get to know Chris. These first limos seemed to be stocked with the “normal” girls. And among them was my pre-drunk favorite, Tara.

Tara started off with a bang, exiting the limo in Daisy Dukes and cowboy attire, and then sneaking around and coming out again in a cocktail dress. Sadly for her, and almost to her demise, she thinks when you wear a cocktail dress, it means you need to drink a ton of cocktails. She was breathing heavy and stumbling at the rose ceremony and luckily she made such a great first impression, so she still got a rose. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

First, we met Britt, who I was convinced was going to be a Victoria Secret model wanna-be, and I didn’t expect her to be cool and the type of girls that stands on the street giving out “free hugs” just because she loves people. She’s very nice looking. She seems like a very nice person. She didn’t talk crazy in her asides, and Chris couldn’t have been more flustered and taken by her. It was actually kinda sweet. Awwwwwe. He’s got a crush. And Britt has a first impression rose.

Also in the first set of limos was Heart-in-a-Cooler Girl (aka Reegan) and Crazy-Big-Eye Ballerina (aka Amanda) who both pulled stunts so outrageous, it worked against them. Really, Big Eye? You thought sneaking out and not letting Chris see you and then avoiding him was the right move? And nobody’s ever told you that your eyes are huge and, yes, they are your eyes but, no, you don’t have to accentuate them with dark mascara which makes you almost look like a cartoon character. Tone those down in the future. It’s OK to be crazy, but try not to look it. Big, psycho-looking eyes isn’t a good look.

Two surprises (meaning, I’m surprised they eventually received roses) was the Canadian with the Sideways Mouth (aka Kaitlyn) who said, “you can plow the F’ out of my fields any day” and the 21-Year-Old With-Two-Kids and Bad-Hair (aka MacKenzie). Cussing-Canadian made me laugh. The easy pun would’ve been “you can plow my fields, any day.” No ABC bleeping required. But because she added “the F” …whoa. This chick is wild, enough to intrigue Chris. But I can’t figure out why Chris kept Frizzy-Hair-Two-Kids. Maybe he’s unaware of those facts, but that’s going to be a sticking point with him. He’ll never say it, but I can promise you, she might be an amazing person and mother, but he’s not about to pick a girl that young who has kids.

I think my favorite is the Widow-Teacher (aka Kelsey) as I suspected she’d be, but that was even before I knew her sad story. I’m glad Chris liked her right away and is keeping her around. Which leads me to a problem…

We know that one of the final three who go with Chris to the fantasy suite near the end of the show is going to be a virgin. So …who’s the virgin? If ABC told us that a virgin is among the finalists, they won’t reveal that, like, all season, and it’s going to really bother me. Why? Because I’m shallow and don’t have much depth in my soul. So now I’m going to spend each week trying to see who’s sorta socially awkward or stand-off ish.

Who is it! I guess …we shall see.

There’s so much to talk about, but I think we’ll wrap it up because many of these girls, despite a memorable moment or two in the premier, or going to fade into the background and obscurity. If they’re destined for awesome future dates and moments, great, we’ll cover them them.

Among those dismissed were Big-Eyes Girl, Heart-in-Cooler Girl, and High-School-Soccer-Coach. And one or two others, but their not worth talking about.

Who did Chris keep? Foul Mouth Canadian, 21-Year-Old-Frizzy Hair, all the long-haired brunettes (I’m guessing he knows he likes one or two of them, but couldn’t remember which was which, so he just kept them all and assumes he’ll figure it out). He kept Tracy (mother other #1 and the best looking girl on the show), Drunk Cow Girl, Fertility-Chick-with-High-Pitched-Voice (aka Whitney), and the “Is that an onion?” Girl (aka Ashley S.).

I loved the Council of Iowans who were flown in and part of the audience and feel like they should have a blog or contribute weekly in some way. If people from Iowa can pick Presidential Candidates and Presidents, certainly they could help Chris pick a wife. They looked so midwest and normal. Especially compared to the venereal disease ridden Bachelor and Bachelorette cast-offs and alums across the aisle looking all too skinny and desperate for just 5 more minutes of fame. Really, Michelle Money …with your single moment of screen time, you just had to say you heard Britt (who got the first impression rose) doesn’t take showers.


Whoa. So that was quite a night. The season looks amazing as usual, with an incredible amount of crying. Probably someone falls off a bike and breaks their arm, but I like to imagine we’re going to get real, amazing drama.

Thanks for giving me the extra day to sort it all out, thanks for reading, and welcome back to The Bachelor and spunkybean. See you next week.

Follow me on Twitter at @donkowalewski.

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