Welcome “Bachelorette’’ fans! Andi Dorfman, attorney-at-law and heroic survivor of the epic car crash that was Juan Pablo’s season, is back at the mansion and hoping for a second shot at love! JP’s loss is our gain.
The episode begins with Chris Harrison presenting a brief and tasteful tribute to contestant Eric Hill, who died in a paragliding accident shortly before the season aired. ABC is dedicating the season to him.
And now, on to happier news.
We are introduced to Andi’s life in Atlanta. Well, former life. Andi packs up her office, law books and framed degree included. Yes, someone else is going to have to put the bad guys away for a while, because Andi is busy with a new gig. Goodbye lawyer life, hello life as “The Bachelorette.’’ “It’s my time to fall in love!’’ she crows.
Host Chris Harrison, looking dapper as always, moves Andi into her new digs. With his blessing and her family’s, Andi is ready to face the men. She and her heavily-sculpted eyebrows are looking fab in a slinky dress covered in shiny bits of various sizes. She’s pumped, the men are pumped. So let the games begin!
Our 25 bachelors begin piling out of the limos in a blur of checked shirts and carefully engineered facial hair. A few manage to make a memorable impression, for better or worse.
– Marcus is the first to meet Andi and tells her he has “a lot to give and offer.’’ Andi agrees: “He is hottttttt,’’ she repeats about eight times over the course of the episode.
– Wedding event coordinator Tasos asks Andi to attach a “love lock’’ on the gate with him and throw the key in the fountain, a Parisian symbol of unbreakable love. (Not pictured: Chris Harrison going after that thing with a pair of bolt cutters. No vandalism on official ABC property, son.)
– Doctor/surfer-looking dude Jason bombs irreparably with the following joke: “I think that you have a fever. . . . because you look pretty hot.’’ Points awarded for managing to reiterate that you’re a doctor, points subtracted for being generally awful.
– Local Boston boy Dylan (shout-out!) is so nervous he forgets what he planned to say. And it’s pretty adorable.
– For some unfathomable reason, Emil teaches Andi the pronunciation of his name by describing it as “anal,’’ but with an “m.’’ This will prove to be Emil’s first and last contribution to the show.
– Hairstylist Brett comes bearing a lamp because his mother said he should always bring something. Anything apparently. It’s stolen from his hotel room and law-enforcing Andi seems genuinely concerned.
– Blonde, shaggy-haired Mike looks strangely familiar . . . Perhaps Jason went back around for a second shot after his doctor joke fail.
– The late Eric Hill presents Andi with a pair of dolls that a little Peruvian girl gave him for his girlfriend. Eric is handsome and has the sweetest demeanor. It’s pretty heartbreaking.
– Josh M. is a former professional baseball player. Note that former professional baseball player is not actually a profession. Kind of like being a former lawyer…
With the final man safely inside the mansion, the cocktail party is ready to begin. The operative word is ‘cocktail’ because you know the booze be flowin’.
Andi is working the room like a pro. She nails the big group speech, the small group conversation, and the intimate one-on-one while wearing a contestant’s blazer. After some obligatory, “Hi, how are you? Are you nervous? No way–me too!’’ exchanges with half a dozen men, she settles down for some quality time with Josh M. Apparently, Josh was made in a special laboratory by Chris Harrison just for our Bachelorette. In Andi’s own words, “Josh M. is my type. Nailed it. Pegged it. Damn.’’
Next, she visits with Marquel who has brought a box of cookies to share. Andi is genuinely enjoying chowing down on the giant selection of baked goods and we love her even more for it. With most of the cookies consumed, Marquel moves on to an object lesson. “Look to the cookie,’’ he says, “Look to the black and white cookie.’’ (Note: For the readers, Marquel is black, Andi is white). Funny, handsome man who comes bearing cookies. And… we’re in love.
Chris Harrison returns, bearing the infamous first impression rose! After an appropriate amount of suspense, it eventually goes to Nick V., who charms Andi with a sweet description of being a father figure to ten siblings. He’s appropriately gracious. It’s a sharp contrast to Sharleen’s amazing reaction to the Juan Pablo first impression rose: “Seriously? . . . Sure. . . . Thank you, sir.’’
Uh oh, there’s a problem outside. A security guard (genuine, according to the close-up on his badge) has found an interloper. It’s “Bachelorette’’ Emily Maynard’s cast-off and “Bachelor Pad 3’’ playa-playa Chris Bukowski trying for a third bite at the apple as Andi’s 26th man. Says the security guard deadpan: “He brought flowers.’’ Chris B. claims he has been hanging around the mansion for 7 full days, hoping for a chance to meet Andi (i.e. be on TV again).
Thankfully, Andi is having none of it and Chris B. is sent packing. He’s probably headed straight back to the tent he’s pitched outside of ABC’s reality TV casting headquarters. Occupy The Bachelorette, Population: 1.
Meanwhile back at the cocktail party, Pat and Andrew haven’t chatted much with our Bachelorette, but they have struck up a bromance forged in Formula One racing. Cross them off the list of contestants who will inevitably tell the camera they’re “not here to make friends.’’ They exchange fist pounds followed by matching friendship bracelets.
Andi circulates, ultimately coming to rest on a cozy loveseat with Hot Marcus. We learn he has European roots and “Texas values,’’ whatever those might be. When she manages to escape his mesmerizing eyes, Andi, who is apparently into life-long learning, is psyched to get a golf lesson from golf pro Brian, a serenade from opera singer Bradley, and a French language tutorial from Tasos. She also meets adorable small town Iowa farmer Chris and receives some handmade pants from bow-tie wearing J.J. (who is shamelessly plugging his “Pantsapreneur’’ business).
But all good things must come to an end. Chris Harrison reappears and with a well-practiced clink of his champagne glass, announces that it’s time for the rose ceremony. After some brief soul searching, Andi efficiently distributes roses and hugs to J.J., Eric, Marquel, Craig, Tasos, Josh M., Brian, Bradley, Marcus, Andrew, Ron, Carl, Chris, Dylan, Brett, Patrick, Cody, and Nick S.
We say goodbye to 6 men. Emil, Rudie, Jason, Josh B., Mike, and Steven, we hardly knew you. Everyone leaves gracefully except Josh B. who has to call his parents tomorrow and deliver the bad news: “It sucked.’’ As for who remains, here’s who we think ended up on top this week:
The Post-Show Power Rankings:
1. Andi. Sparkly, poised, and pretty darn nice. Girl, you killin’ it. Keep up the good work.
2. Josh M. You heard the lady: if she had to pick a type, Josh is it. Combine that with athletic ability and a shared Southern heritage, and we see big potential.
3. Marcus. It’s hard to argue with hot. You can try, but you might end up with nothing more compelling than “uhh…duhh… what were we talking about?’’
4. Nick V. Scored the coveted first impression rose, which worked for eventual winner Roberto Martinez of Ali Fedotowsky’s season. But Andi basically admitted she wasn’t “straight up attracted’’ to him. Hopefully, Nick V. has a Superman thing going on under that Clark Kent exterior.
5. Marquel. We fell pretty hard for his adorable box of cookies. Also, according to his ABC profile his typical Saturday night “consists of Netflix, cookies, and a glass of wine.’’ Now, that’s our kind of date.
6. The ABC security guard. Way to take down ultra d-bag Chris B. and manage to nab a bouquet of rose for your wife. We hope to see you back for future episodes. From the season preview, it looks like you might be needed…
And with that, Andi and her bachelors are off and running! Next Monday, “The Bachelorette’’ is back at its regular time, 8 p.m. EST.