From a pig to a party bus, toasting champagne and chugging maple syrup, these 30 ladies certainly know how to make a … memorable first impression!
A new season of “The Bachelor” kicked off Monday night, and new leading man Zach Shallcross is not messing around. By the end of the first night, he’d already slashed the bevy of beauties by a third!
We were also more than a little surprised that a single cocktail party proved to be way too much for one contestant, who went through the complete emotional spectrum in a three- to five-hour span. And she’s not even the one who already started getting jealous.
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Okay, she kind of did — but that’s only because she was feeling all the feels in rapid succession. We do have to applaud Zach in how he handled this woman. There was a lot of uncertainty as to whether he would be an effective Bachelor.
He’s perhaps not as exciting or unpredictable as some past Bachelors, but does the show really want another season of making headlines for all the wrong reason? Wouldn’t it be something to have a season with someone earnestly and sincerely seeking love, and just maybe finding it?
If we’re not mistaken, that was kind of the point of this show when it was created in the heyday of pre-social media the world. Yes, you can already tell some of the women are here to boost their social media profiles and maybe parlay this into D-level celebreality status, but at least Zach seems to be sincere in his search for love.
Or at least as much as you can be when you agree to do it on television and get paid for it.
Nevertheless, we applauded that he proved to be a man of is word. At the jump, he told the women that he wanted them to be open and honest with their feelings, and he would reciprocate. That’s just what he did with Madison.
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She was erratic all night long, and the producers clearly were having fun with basically an entire segment devoted to her confessionals professing her desire to kiss him. When they did get their first one-on-one time, Zach made no physical contact whatsoever.
This wasn’t because he was choosing to be this way from the jump. He kissed Bailey (“on the daily”) right out of the limo, and had already kissed some other woman. Madison was in full awkwardly forward mode and it was definitely leaving him feeling a little unsure.
She crashed another woman’s one-on-one and just about forced her tongue down his throat, after teaching him a dance. But neither of them were feeling that. So while Zach kind of sat back like WTF, Madison started to completely fall apart because it wasn’t magical.
Meanwhile, other women he’d kissed were gushing about what a great kisser he was and how soft his lips were. It could be that it wasn’t him, it was her. Or at the very least it was them — as in there was no chemistry between them.
By the time the Rose Ceremony was looming, Madison was in full meltdown spiral. She actually crashed Jesse Palmer’s pep talk with Zach before the Ceremony to confront Zach. At this point, the aggressive awkwardness was leaning toward awkward desperate and even a little pathetic.
She knew the kiss was trash. He knew the kiss was trash. So he took out the trash. Okay, he was much nicer about it than that, but he did give her the boot just before the Rose Ceremony. It was but a hint of the eliminations to come.
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Best & Worst First Impressions
The first half of the first episode of any “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette” premiere is the getting to know you, the limo entrances, the how-weird-is-this-going-to-get-and-how-many-times-are-we-going-to-cringe period of the night.
Clever First Impression: Victoria J told Zach she loved his voice and asked him to read something for her. “That dress looks amazing on you,” he read, to which she responded coyly, “I was really hoping you’d say that.” We love a good setup!
Callbacks First Impressions: While Zach met five women on the “After the Final Rose” special for “The Bachelorettes” season, we have to give props to Cat for bringing back “the gabagool,” and Brooklyn for sharing a fun fact: “I spew profanities on live television when I get nervous.”
Perky First Impression: Zach got a surprise pick-me-up from Greer, who impressed him by telling him she’d brought him some coffee all the way from New York (and it was still hot). Should we tell him it wasn’t really brewed in New York?
Naughty First Impression: Kaity got the biggest laugh from Zach in her first impression by staring straight at his package and telling him, “A fun fact you should know about me is that I’m also from Austin, Texas. And judging from what I can see right now, I can confirm that everything is bigger in Texas.”
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Even Naughtier First Impression: We’re still a little surprised at how raunchy this franchise is willing to get considering they still censor out bikinis that ride a little too high up the back. Holland came out with a callback to Zach’s season with Rachel, telling him, “Last season you had a date in Holland. I think the reason why things didn’t work out is just because you were in the wrong Holland.” Ahem. We will refrain from additional comment.
Now It’s Just Gross First Impression: Lekha asked Zach to bend over — he is tall, after all. But then she licked him on the ear (we think) and declared, “i liked it so now it’s mine.” Ew. No.
Backfired First Impression: Gabi was set to introduce a bit of her home state to Zach and touch his sweet tooth when she told him, “It’s my Vermont right to force you to drink this maple syrup.” It was, unfortunately, his Texas right to grimace like she’d fed him motor oil.
Cringefest First Impression: No, Kimberly. They do not call you Kimmy G. And you should never rap, see. Seriously. Stop.
Over-the-Top First Impression: Christina Mandrell (producers used her last name in her chryon) rolled up in a genuine party dress. She joked that things went so well during their “ATFR” meeting, she was just coming back from her bachelorette party because she decided to get that out of the way.
Christina proved our best sound bytes in confessionals so far, probably our most dynamic facial expressions, and she definitely brought the party. When she had Zach in the bus later, Madison — yes, that Madison — rallied the other women to come crash the party and they were definitely having a good time … for a little while.
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Night One Standouts
We already covered Madison ad nauseum and Zach already took care of it, so we’re done. Yes, she was definitely the most memorable contestant of the night, but it’s the kind of memory you wake up the next morning hoping you’ll forget.
There were plenty of good first impressions made on Night One, both from our point of view and from Zach’s. After kissing Bailey right out of the limo, he had plenty more kisses to share as the night progressed.
Kaity got one, as did Christina on the bus before Madison brought in the rest of the girls to crash the party. Greer earned one just before being honest about sharing that connection with Zach of having strong role models in love. Her parents and both sets of grandparents are still together and in love. Talk about rare!
His kiss with Greer must have been trying to last as long as her grandparents’ relationships, because it eventually got the attention of seemingly every other woman there, and they were not about it. Yes, it’s the process, but it doesn’t make it any easier to see.
Another one who touched his heart, and got some smoochy time for it, was Charity, who opened up about her work as a child and family therapist. That touched Zach because his mother works with severely mentally disabled kids.
Charity was one of the women who stood out for us, because we appreciated her sincere awkwardness. You could tell that she’s not polished even in how she walked awkwardly on camera in her intro package. She’s one we believe is here for the “right reasons,” such as it is.
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Considering Zach’s own awkwardness, we think he’ll be drawn to those people who stand out for being unpolished, expressing themselves in raw ways. That’s why he appeared actually charmed that Brooklyn spewed profanities on “ATFR,” because it was real.
Katherine was another who seemed to connect with Zach about weirdness. She seemed to tiptoe around the topic, as if almost afraid to ask him if he was ever weird because she wasn’t sure she could hold her freak flag in. We’re speculating here, but she did seem relieved when he told her he hopes she’s weird.
“The last thing I want is, like, stuck-up or, like, very professional or formal,” he told her. That’s bad news for the polished social media influencers or wannabe influencers, because that’s trying to be their whole thing. Zach seems to appreciate the humanity in mess — except in the case of Madison. Sometimes it’s too much mess.
Greer came across really sweet and genuine in her interactions with Zach, as well. We also kind of loved the thought of little Greer putting together a PowerPoint presentation to explain why they should move to Austin. That anecdote speaks a lot to her drive and character.
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It also spoke a lot to Zach’s heart, as she scored his personal First Impression Rose of the night, joining Brianna as one of only two women who didn’t have to worry about anything going into the Rose Ceremony.
Before Kaity started compliment Zach’s “bigger,” she came across as a little aw shucks and overwhelmed by the whole experience, which was very sweet. It felt genuine when she said he was “so handsome.”
That sincerity, the flattery and the fact they’re both from Austin suggests he’s definitely going to give her at least a chance in the House — and maybe a little more leeway than some of the others. Those connections they share from the same home are definitely real.
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One Down, Nine to Go
For the first time in more than a decade, a Bachelor Nation lead has slashed the opening number of contestants so dramatically that everyone will get to join on Group Dates starting in Week 1. After Madison’s elimination, Zach slashed nine more women!
Viktoria E trying for four traditional Austrian cheek kisses, which Zach said felt a little long, wasn’t long for the show. Vanessa was tossing beads like she was marching in a parade to represent her Louisiana heritage, but she’s going to have to keep on marching.
Olivia M brought two pennies in hopes it would bring them good luck. Instead, it cost two Olivias their spot on this show, as Olivia L also didn’t survive this Night One cut.
In fact, Zach eliminated the possibility of any women with the same name still being around. After his “ATFR” debacle with names, we can’t blame him for simplifying it as much as possible for himself.
Lekha licked his hear, but he clearly wasn’t into it. And he wasn’t into — we can’t even finish it. But he also eliminated Holland, who made that raunchy joke about his trip to Holland last “Bachelorette” season.
The other three women eliminated were Becca, Cara and Sonia. Becca and Cara didn’t really find a way to stand out, while Sonia’s big claim to fame is that she wore the same dress as Christina, only in a different color.
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- “I wouldn’t have picked her from the beginning. I wouldn’t have said, ‘Yep, she’s the one.’ I didn’t necessarily see her as my wife until midway through I was like, ‘Holy cow, I continually find myself thinking about Catherine in ways I don’t think about the other women.’ That’s kind of exciting. Maybe she didn’t fit my type in the beginning, but maybe the girl out there for you isn’t necessarily your type.” –Sean Lowe (talking about Catherine Giudici)
- “It felt really nice being there in that moment. And I hope Zach thinks I’m cute because I think he’s cute.” –Davia (after meeting Zach)
- “Not a care in the world.” –Cat (when Brianna walks in with her rose)
- “You’ve got 30 incredible women in there. And they’re all talking about you. You okay with that?” –Jesse (to Zach)
- “No.” –Zach
- “I don’t know how I’m gonna compete with all this. I mean, I will get jealous pretty quickly.” –Kaity
- “What can I say, she’s got great taste. In men and dresses.” –Christina (wearing same dress as Sonia “in different colors”)
- “I hope you’re weird. I’m not looking– The last thing I want is like, stuck-up, or like very professional or formal.” –Katherine
- “It’s getting me excited– or it’s getting excited. That sounds weird when I say, ‘It’s getting me excited.’ There’s something there between Katherine and I that’s very exciting” –Zach
- “Sitting beside you, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.” –Kaity (before they kiss)
- “I love the third person.” –Brianna
- “And I’m speaking in third person, I just realized that.” –Zach
- “I wanted to live there growing up. I made a PowerPoint for my parents.” –Greer (about moving to Austin)
- “I want to kiss Zach.” –Madison
- “I’m on Cloud 9 after talking to Zach. He is everything and more.” –Madison
- “Why is he touching her? He didn’t touch me.” –Madison (crashing date)
- “I did kiss him. I wish it was more. The kiss was subpar. It was a peck.” –Madison (after Griddy)
- “Madison, I think she’s very sweet, but I don’t know if I was feeling that kiss. It didn’t feel right. The kiss sat wrong with me. I’m feeling overwhelmed with my conversation with Madison.” –Zach
- “I want to be wanted. It’s so embarrassing. It’s f—ing embarrassing.” –Madison
- “I wanted to get his First Impression Rose. I’m so heartbroken.” –Madison
- “I don’t know what he wants and I don’t want to sit through a Rose Ceremony.” –Madison
- “Can I disrupt you guys for a moment.” –Madison (interrupting Zach and Jesse)
- “Like I said, I never want to lie and I always want to be open and truthful. My heart wasn’t feeling it. I never want to force that and I never want to put you through something that’s not real because I know what it feels like to be led on and I don’t want that for you. I’m sorry, I just don’t see a future with us. I still think you’re awesome.” –Zach (to Madison)
- “I cannot believe that I gave up my life for him. I know what I deserve and it’s not that. And I know for a fact he does not know what he’s missing out on. What was wrong? What did I do wrong?” –Madison
- “I lived this experience with Rachel and I didn’t get that honesty and clarity that I needed. I’m going about this different.” –Zach
- “If I don’t get a Rose, I’m burning this house down.” –Cat (before getting final rose)
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First Impression Chatter
- “I am beautiful. I am confident. I am strong.” –women in first limo (daily affirmations)
- “My name is Jessica. You can call me Jess. How are you feeling? What’s going on in your head?” –Jess
- “A lot. Very nervous but excited to be here.” –Zach
- “Yeah, I have a lot of emotions going on. I’m very nervous. I’m shaking very badly, as you can tell. But I’m excited to get to know you and chat with you inside.” –Jess
- “Wow, great start. She’s very pretty. That’s how I felt. I was nervous, too.” –Zach
- “So I wanted you to know that I missed my flight to get here, my suitcase broke, my dress even ripped, but nothing’s going to stop me from coming. I am excited to be here and excited to talk to you inside.” –Ariel
- “So nice to finally meet you, how are you feeling? I’m a little nervous, I’m not gonna lie, but I feel a little bit better now that I’m finally here. My name is Charity and that also means love. And I figure what better place to find love than here at the ‘Bachelor’ mansion. I could not be more excited that it’s you at ‘The Bachelor.'” –Charity
- “My name’s Davia and I thought we’d get the party started off with a bang. So you wanna pop the champagne? I thought we’d do a little toast. To the start of something new and possibly finding love.” –Davia
- “I am from Vermont, so I brought you a little bit of home. It’s my Vermont right to force you to drink this maple syrup, so here you are. Drink your maple syrup … I didn’t like that face.” –Gabi
- “No.” –Zach
- “I live in New York and I brought this coffee all the way here because we have a long night ahead of us so you’re gonna need that energy. So have a sip. Be careful, it might be piping hot like you.” –Greer
- “It’s still hot from New York? How does that work? How do you do that? That’s very impressive.” –Zach
- “I’m from Vienna, Austria. And in Austria, what we normally do, we usually give two kisses. So I was wondering if we can switch up our tradition and give four kisses?” –Viktoria E
- “You are looking mighty fine. And in North Dakota, we say, ‘Uff da, he’s looking mighty fine!'” –Madison
- “I’m originally from Houston, but I now live in Atlanta, Georgia. I’m so excited to meet you.” –Aly
- “I’m really glad it’s you standing here, because otherwise, I probably wouldn’t be here.” –Anastasia
- “I see you looking at the mansion. It’s kind of scary and big in person.” –Zach
- “Not to me, no. I’m from New York, you know this! New York! The gabagool, am I right?” –Cat
- “I know we met at ‘After the Final Rose.’ A fun fact about me you probably already know: I spew profanities on live television when I get nervous. So sorry about that, it’s my bad.” –Brooklyn
- “I came on the live finale. I really wanted you to remember my name. So I brought this and I hope that it helps remember who I am.” –Bailey (wearing a name tag)
- “I will remember and I feel so bad about that.” –Zach
- “Do you?” –Bailey (Zach kisses her)
- “Oh wow. You are so handsome. A fun fact you should know about me is that I’m also from Austin, Texas. And judging from what I can see right now, I can confirm that everything is bigger in Texas.” –Kaity (looking you know where)
- “You’re so much taller in person. You look amazing. Are you nervous? Terrified. You know, I have literally already blacked out, but– My name is Genevie, I literally don’t think I told you, but–” –Genevie
- “You know what? I forgot my name on my limo entrance, so you’re fine. I’ll remember.” –Zach
- “So I am a nurse and I specialize in dermatology. And I was just wondering, would you want to SPF me?” –Katherine
- “SPF you?” –Zach
- “Sunscreen silly. You know, the moon is a little intense tonight, the rays are a little aggressive.” –Katherine
- “She is stunning” –Zach
- “I’m obviously from Louisiana.” –Vanessa (Mardi Gras entrance throwing beads to trumpet)
- “Hello. My name is Kimberly / Some call me Kimmy G / And yes, I’m your new wifey-to-be.” –Kimberly
- “As I was packing, I actually found two pennies heads up. HOpefully, it’ll bring us good luck.” –Olivia M
- “I find your voice incredibly attractive and I was hoping that you could read this out loud for me” –Victoria J
- “That dress looks amazing on you.” –Zach
- “I was really hoping you’d say that.” –Victoria J
- “Look at you, 6’4″, tall, burly man.” –Kylee (through bullhorn)
- “Can I ask you a favor? Can you bend down for a second? I licked it so now it’s mine.” –Lekha (licking his ear(?!))
- “My name is Holland. Last season you had a date in Holland. I think the reason why things didn’t work out is just because you were in the wrong Holland.” –Holland
- “That went great. Sorry to my mom, sorry to my father, but I don’t know how I could one-up that one.” –Holland
- “Nice to meet you. This is Henry. I am from Iowa, I grew up on a farm and I actually showed pigs growing up. That’s why we have him with us.” –Mercedes (with Henry the pig)
- “So good to see you again, hello. You look amazing, hi. I’m actually just coming from my bachelorette party. I thought it went so well last time I’d go ahead and get that out of the way.” –Christina (pulling up in a black tour bus)
- “Honestly, when I heard you were the Bachelor, I was just excited. And I can’t wait to share this adventure with you and just have an amazing time.” –Becca
- “I’ve actually been on, like, let’s say 30 first dates or something like that, and I’m really hoping that you’re my last first date.” –Cara
- “You’re cute.” –Olivia L
- “I am? You’re cute.” –Zach
- “I think I recognize you?” –Zach (to Brianna)
- “You do? Do you remember my name, by chance?” –Brianna
- “How could I forget, Brianna. How could I forget. Good to see you. You look beautiful.” –Zach
- “You look so handsome.” –Brianna
- “How does that rose feel in your hand?” –Zach
- “Honestly, it does feel amazing to get America’s First Impression Rose. But I want you to know, I’m not here for the roses. I’m here for your heart.” –Brianna
With only 20 women remaining, Zach’s journey continues on “The Bachelor,” Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
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