‘The Bachelor’ Episode 1 Recap: Bachelor’s Back, Alright!

–ABC

Welcome back “Bachelor’’ fans! After many months of waiting, which included enduring a pretty mediocre season of “The Bachelorette’’, it’s finally time to find farmer a wifey.

Meet Chris

In case you missed his reality TV debut last May, our new bachelor Chris Soules is the beefy farmer who placed third on Andi Dorfman’s Bachelorette season.

We get to learn more about Chris’s life in Iowa as we pan through a montage of him walking among his cows, fishing with his dad, and plowing his backyard (or rather, his family’s massive 6,000-acre farm).

But the one thing Chris can’t find in Iowa is love. “It’s a little lonely out here,’’ he says, wandering the empty streets of his 400-person town before sitting down with the local senior citizens to discuss crop prices. It seems that Chris and his perfect genes and gobs of money are in danger of dying alone. His stint on the Bachelor isn’t just a fun adventure: it’s an imperative for the human race!

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To give this mission its best chance of success, fellow Bachelorette contestant and personal trainer Cody arrives to make Chris that much beefier for his season. We get our first obligatory scene of Chris showering, and yes Cody, you’ve earned your keep.

Now mentally and physically prepared for the adventure, Chris jumps on his motorcycle and is off to L.A. to find the one.

Meet the Ladies: Part I

All dressed up in a suit jacket that barely contains his pecs, Chris stands in wait at the doors of the Bachelor mansion and boy is he excited to meet some ladies.

As glossy women begin to spill out of the limos, it’s hard for Chris (and us) to keep track of all of them, but here are a few of the stand-outs:

Britt loves hugs. In fact, she loves them so much that she’s happy to stand on the streets of L.A. in a crop top and hand them out to strangers for free. It’s only fitting then that she and Chris share the longest, breathiest hug in Bachelor history. And there’s plenty more where that came from. She presents him with a “Free Hug from Britt’’ card and tells him to come cash it in later.

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Whitney seems to have inhaled a helium balloon in the limousine, which only enhances her perky Disney-like attributes. She’s also a fertility nurse, which means she spends all day helping people make babies, but she’s doesn’t have any babies of her own. Upon seeing Chris, Whitney’s ovaries audibly skip a beat.

Reegan is a cadaver tissue salesman who has brought an extra-special present for our Bachelor: a human heart in a nifty little biohazard cooler. Don’t worry, it’s a joke—not an actual bloody organ. “That’s awesome,’’ Chris says politely, proving he is both an excellent sport and a liar.

Tara, the “sports fishing enthusiast,’’ wants Chris to know she’s a guy’s girl—she foregoes the standard evening gown for flannel and cut-off shorts. Sacrilege! Luckily Tara’s commitment to “being herself’’ extends no further than the mansion living room. After getting a glimpse of her sparkly, cleavage-baring competition, Tara demands a second bite at the apple. She hustles herself back into a limo for a second exit, this time in a little black cocktail dress.

Amanda is a ballet instructor who lives at home with her mom. She has the biggest, most terrifying eyes you’ve ever seen. When they widen, we hear, “I would like to kill Chris and wear his head as a hat.’’

Kaitlyn is fun and likes tiny bodycon dresses. She also has a potty mouth and a dirty sense of humor. She announces to a dumbfounded Chris, “You can plow the [bleep] out of my field any day.’’ Wow.

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After 15 girls have arrived, Chris Harrison escorts Farmer Chris inside to the cocktail party. It’s a bit awkward at first, but Katilyn’s happy to break the ice with the following joke: “Why did the walrus go to the Tupperware party? Because he wanted to find a tight seal.’’ Double wow. Kaitlyn=winner.

Meet the Ladies: Part II

Chris is already like a kid in a candy shop. He’s so happy to be here and his good mood is infectious. Still, the party seems a little lonely. No worries: there are 15 additional women waiting in the driveway, bringing the pool to a healthy 30. This news does not sit well with our first round of bachelorettes. Jillian announces fearfully that “the Others’’ have arrived on the island. Her compatriots peer out the window in terror as limos keep pulling up. How long are they gonna keep coming???

The second set of limos is stacked with the gimmicky B team, each girl more desperate than the last to be noticed and remembered. Flight attendant Alissa brings a seatbelt because it’s going to be “a bumpy night.’’ Nicole wants to “ham’’ it up with Chris so she puts on a pig nose. Tandra rides up on a motorcycle. Cruise singer Carly brings a portable karaoke machine and serenades our poor Bachelor as she approaches. Memorable may not always be the key objective when it comes to first impressions.

Cocktail Party Time

Now inside with all 30 of his ladies, Chris is clearly overwhelmed by both the beauty and the sheer number of his group. He looks adorably clueless and clearly has no idea how he’s going to get to know all of these women. Luckily he doesn’t have to decide because the women are going to dictate his schedule for him. Survival instinct kicks in and the battle for Chris’s time begins in earnest. “Can I steal him for a minute?’’ is the ladies’ interruption of choice (read: move now or I will cut you, biatch).

Meanwhile a couple of the girls have been passing the time in the bottom of a highball glass. Says Jillian bluntly to Tara, “You smell like whiskey.’’ That’s fine by Tara: she tells the camera upfront that her best friends are “Jameson, Jack Daniels, and Johnny Walker.’’ Tara is a national treasure. The other girls are just jealous. Please hang on to this one, Chris.

As the cocktail party winds down, Chris awards the first impression rose to Britt with whom he shared not only several exceptional hugs but also a pretty flawless first date conversation. In return, she upgrades his hugs to some serious kissing. This relationship is progressing at lightning speed, even in Bachelor terms. Chris and Britt are in love, guys. Everyone else pack up and go home.

The First Cut (Is the Shallowest)

After an epically long cocktail party (it’s actually light outside at this point), it’s time to get this group down to a digestible size so Chris can start learning names. Roses are handed out to: Kaitlyn, Jade, Samantha, Ashley I., Tandra, Nikki, Kelsey, Megan, Alissa, Amber, Juelia, Becca, Trina…

While the roster is being read, everyone is distracted by the fact that Tara is still visibly drunk. She’s shifting from foot to foot, stage whispering, leaning on the other girls for support, and seemingly doing everything in her power just to keep her head from rolling off her neck. Halfway through the rose ceremony, Chris can’t handle it and abruptly rushes out to seek advice from Daddy (Chris Harrison).

Perhaps because he really likes her, perhaps because he knows it’s too late to memorize another name, Chris ultimately decides to give Drunky McDrunkerson a rose. Yay! Rounding out the roster for the next episode are Mackenzie, Tracy, Jordan, Jillian, Whitney, Carly, and Ashley S.

And that’s that! The rejected ladies all make dignified exits and quietly go back to their real lives. Oh wait, just kidding—someone named Kimberly has snuck back in to beg for a second chance. Will Chris let her stay? We’ll have to wait until next week to find out.

As for whom we think will be sticking around for a while…

Week 1 Power Rankings:

1. Britt scores the all-important first impression rose and Chris can’t get enough of her hugs. What’s he going to do when she puts something better on the table? The force is strong in this one.

2. Kaitlyn is a wittle bit crazy, but she knows how to breakdance (sort of) and could be the spice our timid and mild-mannered farmer needs.

3. Kelsey is the only contestant who didn’t follow the producer memo on mandatory hair extensions and we love her for it. She’s also recently widowed and managed to tell her heartbreaking story with dignity and bravery. We have a feeling she’ll add some much-needed class to this season.

4. Jade: Though we didn’t learn much about Jade tonight, she did get the coveted last-girl-out-of-the-limo spot (i.e. jaw-dropping hottie). It also turns out she grew up in Nebraska and Chris went all googly at her “small-time girl gets lost in the big city’’ tale.

5. Whitney, the Disney Princess, has already impressed Chris with her shiny smile and knowledge of how babies are made. Perhaps she’s struck just the right balance between sexual and maternal?

God Bachelor, we’ve missed you. Hope we’re not the only ones who can’t wait for next Monday, when the party is back at 8 p.m. EST.

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