The Bachelor 2020 Recap: Season 24 Premiere Live Blog

Welcome back to another soul-deadening season of The Bachelor. This year, Peter Weber, known as Pilot Pete—not to be confused with Mayor Pete, who’s only interested in women who are qualified to be Vice President—returns to find love after being rejected by Hannah Brown. She went on to dump her chosen lothario, then won Dancing with the Stars, and will likely next be seen shilling cosmetics on some infomercial buried deep in the three-figure channel line-up.

No fewer than 30 young things will be vying to become the 28-year-old Californian bachelor’s co-pilot. By Season 35, they’ll have to bring them all over in a U-Haul. Surgeon General’s Warning: Jokes about engaging auto-pilot, landing strips, and baggage weight limits will be relentless in this space. Fans of the franchise will also understand countless references to windmills, and not as a green power source.

As you’d expect after two dozen seasons of manufactured drama more predictable than Kellyanne Conway’s tweets, three of the ladies in the line-up are flight attendants, as if Peter doesn’t meet those on an hourly basis. How about an airline executive, or even a Cinnabon manager? But one of the attendants is named Eunice, so points to the show for avoiding yet another in an endless series of Briannas, Jasmines, and Samanthas.

There’s also a contestant who “would rather be buried alive than be trapped in a room filled with frogs” (I believe a 1970’s TV movie addressed this common phobia); someone who claims her biggest fear is “chicken served on the bone” (KFC handled this one); and a woman whose job title is “professional clothier,” which I’m pretty sure means she rings up your items at Old Navy. As usual, all the cast members rival the Bloomsbury Group for colorful lives.

More on our gaggle of goofy gals later. In a desperate attempt to create fresh material for viewers, this season launches with a scene from Peter’s final Rose Ceremony. Reports are that Chris Harrison will reveal some information that apparently no one has been able to spoil. Maybe even Reality Steve was too busy worrying about war in the Middle East or whether it’s foolhardy to see Cats without heavy medication.

The first thing to consider as the ladies exit the limos is how often something aside from the seat trays will be in an upright position. It’s a three-hour episode, so it’s good Peter’s a young man.

And off we go! We open with Chris talking soberly to Peter in a desert-ish setting, probably not Iraq, presumably when he’s supposed to have proposed. Chris explains that there’s “something” they “all” just “found out.” Maybe this part was redacted in the script. The pilot broods and seethes for a moment as we wonder which of the final three women is a) secretly dating someone else; b) publicly racist; or c) found Jesus and wants to marry one of the Duggars.

But before we can learn the truth, they switch to a shirtless Pete hosing down his plane, possibly parked outside a windmill, and clips of various women being upset with Peter and each other. There’s a virgin this season, too! That’s now as reliable a plot point as five-inch heels.

We next watch Peter takes off in a small plane. Destination: His happy future, as long as he avoids the Bermuda Triangle. He recalls how Hannah left him with a broken heart and three days’ worth of itchy stubble. His mom discusses with him how she regretted these nationally televised events. But she counsels her son in Spanish to trust again, or perhaps tells him that the pen of his aunt is on the table (I took French). Then he and his family dance while making dinner. The Webers seem fun.

Peter pledges to give this love thing his all. Last time he only gave it his some. He dons a tux in preparation to greet the girls for the first time.

We meet Alexa, who waxes vaginas for a living. There’s a job robots can never take. Hannah Ann is a model with teeth as big as any Osmond’s and a family who look like they adopted her. Tammy is some kind of work-out maniac as well as a real estate agent. She can lift a house. Nurse Victoria P. has the world’s longest hair extensions and a backstory of loss and loneliness that apparently can only be soothed by dating a stranger on TV. Kelley is an attorney with the cleanest desk I’ve ever seen. Maybe she only sues people part-time.

Madison plays basketball with her dad, who is her role model for a husband. Maybe he met her mom after they were both cast on the same show. In a smooth career transition, Maurissa s a former pageant girl who became a patient care coordinator for a plastic surgeon. No one is ever an archaeologist or romance philologist looking for love in all the wrong broadcasts.

Note to ABC: Perhaps an ad for a documentary about Jeffrey Epstein isn’t quite appropriate here.

For Peter’s part, he hopes his goes down as the most beautiful love story ever, before even Romeo and Juliet, Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester, or at least Popeye and Olive Oyl. He assures Chris he is ready for this second bite at the spray-tanned apple.

The limos begin to drive up. First out is the bosomy Alayah. Her grandma wrote Peter a letter, probably filled with dire warnings about not touching her granddaughter with his filthy mitts. Next is someone from Alabama. There’s always someone from Alabama. Following her is Hannah Ann, who hopes she can wipe out Peter’s painful memories of the previous Hannah by emphasizing the Ann part of her name.

Sarah giggles too much. Lauren, all in sparkling lace, is scared of this whole debacle, but was advised to go for it anyway. E-harmony must not have paid off. Next is Victoria P., who likes to do happy dances. Peter has no problem with this as long as next time she does it naked. Maurissa wants a pinky promise. Maybe that’s where Elizabeth Warren got the idea.

Now comes Eunice, one of the flight attendants, who arrives with angel wings strapped to her back. Jade is another flight attendant. Did they cast this at LAX? Going for the starkest phallic imagery, Madison is wearing a large paper airplane. None of them was clever enough to bring Peter a bagful of tiny liquor bottles. Tammy, however, gives him a barf bag. She’s thinking ahead.

The inane plane references continue as a baggage cart is rolled in, apparently with a very small woman zipped inside one of the bags. What if they grabbed the wrong suitcase at the airport, and this person thinks she’s appearing on Survivor? Peter has to come over and extricate Kiarra.

Inside the mansion, the gals are soaking up the booze and commenting cattily as they view new arrivals out the window.

Next to arrive is LExi, in a jazzy little sports car because sometimes Peter travels on the ground. After her comes Deandra, dressed as a windmill. I hear that can give you cancer. Payton, Jasmine, and Kylie pass through unremarkably, followed by Katrina, who makes a pussy joke about her hairless cat. Lord Byron is cringing from his grave.

Jenna appears next, leading what she calls an emotional support cow. Peter hugs the cow with more ardor than any of the previous women. Savannah brings a blindfold to tie over Peter’s face, because the way things feel is the most important to her and because her favorite movie is Bird Box. Alexa and Avonlea greet Peter after that, followed by Natasha. The cubic meters of breast flesh have increased exponentially.

Finally, amid much dramatic music, Hannah Brown exits the limo. As she heads into Peter’s embrace, indignant screams fill the air. Is this harpy here to get a second grab at the brass ring? Why isn’t she home practicing for her appearance on The Masked Singer?

Peter seems undaunted by this development. He knows those four times in the windmill would stick with anyone. Hannah returns a pair of wings he gave her (aren’t those free on airlines?), then tells him she only wishes him luck, and also that she needed the few grand they paid for this spot.

Bidding Hannah what we can only hope is a final farewell, Peter enters the mansion to assure the ladies he believes he can find love again. So did Larry King. They toast to the possibilities, despite his wearing cufflinks in the shape of little airplanes.

Sitting with Alayah, he reads her grandma’s letter, which seems like a very dreary way to spend a first date. Nevertheless, she gazes ardently into his eyes and he gazes back at her cleavage. Meanwhile, Maurissa is hyped to get this thing going. Her boobs are equally eager to escape from her neckline.

Chris arrives to drop off the First Impression Rose, during which he utters his second sentence of the entire three-hour broadcast. Ka-ching, he’s bought himself a weekend in Barbados.

Peter is charmed with all the women here tonight, even the ones whose names he can’t recall. One girl gives him a painting that looks like it was done in a Paint & Sip class after finishing the second bottle. But the Bob Ross-inspired work compels him to make out with her. During her shift, another girl handcuffs Peter and finds a condom when she frisks him. Tasteless, thy name is The Bachelor. Mykenna tries to interrupt a convo and is denied. Oh, wait, now they’re smooching. This is like Lucy and Ethel working the candy wrapping assembly line.

Peter has his work cut out for him. How does he match lip-locks with each lady? Is there some kind of color-coded tab system? Hannah Ann got to sit with him three times, which annoys the others. A mild confrontation ensues, but Hannah Ann is unmoved. She’s already massaged his uvula with her tongue, so she’s ahead of the game.

Victoria F. fears she won’t get time with Peter–but when she finally gets her chance, she blathers incoherently, which is something when the bar for eloquence is already so low. She can’t even meet Peter’s gaze. Later, she weeps at her abject failure at being a lightweight who gets ahead largely on her looks. How can Peter decide if he wants her for his wife if all she can manage is mumbling with a halting vocal fry? She’s better suited to marry a member of a South Korean boy band.

Peter is pleased to see Kelley, whom he was looking forward to talking with. They met once before by chance, and both have two E’s in their names. Despite several moments spent enthralled by their mutual presence in some other location, Peter gives Hannah Ann the First Impression Rose. Perhaps it’s because it’s his second impression of Kelley. He looks forward to getting to know Hannah Ann’s heart, and later her buttocks. They smooch as the other girls sneer.

Tension reigns as the group prepares for the first Rose Ceremony. No one wants to go home after the first episode, except the guy who cleans up the mansion. At the ceremony, thirty pairs of colored contact lenses gaze at Peter as he expresses his hope for the future with one, or possibly two, of them.

Victoria P. gets the first rose, followed by Madison and Kelley. Next come Lexi, Savannah, and Lauren, then Tammy, Alayah, and Jasmine. Sidney gets also gets a rose, along with Natasha and Mykenna. This is like watching a high school graduation. Now it’s Deandra, Sarah, and Alexa, then Kelsey, who was having an anxiety attack, and Payton. Kiarra, Courtney, and Shiann follow them.

The final rose remains to be dispensed, followed by another hour and a half of some damn thing. ABC just couldn’t come up with a decent movie of the week, could they. Dramatic music swells, and then Peter gives the rose to Victoria F.

The abandoned pairs of plumped lips grimace. Maurissa thought there was something there with Peter, which might have been true if 29 other girls weren’t also present and wearing plunging necklines.

Peter gives a toast to the rest of the season, apparently because he only read halfway through the script. They better not have harmed any emotional support cows in the making of this show.

Next day, Peter is at an airport experiencing some kind of sexual release as he watches the climate being destroyed above his head. He fondles a small plane before climbing inside and taking off. The metaphors are too easy. Meanwhile, the girls discuss with Chris about Peter possibly becoming one of their fiances for a few months.

The group date card arrives. After the names are read, Peter’s plane approaches and dips a wing in acknowledgement. The group daters then arrive to greet him at the airport. Two butch lady pilots are introduced. They will evaluate whether any of these mindless chicks could learn to fly, or even just find their assigned seat on a 747. The lesson includes solving a simple equation, knowing how many feet are in a mile, and mastering aviation terminology, like cockpit, thrust, and the cause of the bulge in Peter’s jumpsuit.

Then they get strapped into a gyro-type of contraption that spins you around in different directions until all the booze you sopped up last night violently escapes your intestinal tract. Victoria P. is terrified of doing this, as it recalls a bad experience she had as a girl riding the teacups at Disneyland. She wasn’t even hungover that time. But she prevails, even if she has to rush to the bathroom immediately after. Peter reveals his gentle, compassionate side by bringing her a bottle of water and saying nice things. Everyone admires him as a selfless humanitarian.

The group heads out to the air field next. It’s like Top Gun with no one but Kelly McGillis in the cast. They will compete in an obstacle course to win a sunset plane ride with Peter. They spin in desk chairs, run to retrieve life vests from under plane seats, slide down an inflatable escape ramp, try to maneuver despite giant wind fans blasting at them, and find assigned suitcases before changing into uniforms in a PortaPotty. I experience flashbacks of seventh-grade gym class. Then they ride bikes along a pre-set course that features a little windmill, as if planes ever fly that close to them. I’m already more tired of this meme than the one with the pointing ladies and the cat.

Kelley wins, but only after shamelessly cheating. She and Peter take off into the twilight as the other girls gripe. Peter points out locations and macks on Kelley, which seems unsafe when you’re flying several thousand feet in the air. It’s as romantic as a moonlit cruise on the Seine when the boat is sinking.

Miffed at Kelley’s cheating, the other girls confront her when she returns from her prize flight with Peter. She’s a lawyer, but, much like the White House counsel, she claims she didn’t know the rules were so strict.

Peter comes by for the cocktail party. Inane conversation and serial smooching commences among the mini-dress-clad women with their three tiny gold chains in an open neckline. Meanwhile, at the mansion, another date card arrives. The first one-on-one goes to Madison. Savannah cries that she isn’t getting enough time. She should try sexting Peter.

Kelley wants more time with Peter, too, the greedy beeyotch, so she marches in to interrupt him with Shiann. And it must follow, as the night the day, that the other girls complain to each other about the situation. Meanwhile, Peter paws Kelley on a bar top after they discuss having met here before, as if they were Stanley and Livingstone relating their encounter while on expedition in darkest Africa.

Peter returns to the group to award the rose, which goes to Kelley and her extraneous E. Hannah Ann has four N’s and two A’s, though, so she may have this thing in the bag.

Next day, Madison readies herself for her one-on-one date by squeezing into a skin-tight pink dress and clipping on earrings that look like petrified jellyfish. They drive up to his parents’ house, where a group of friends and relatives is gathered in the back yard. His parents are about to renew their vows. Where’s their next date, the hospital waiting room during his mom’s hysterectomy?

Oddly, Peter is officiating at this event. Are pilots like ship captains with the authority to marry people? Effectively meaning that anyone who holds a steering wheel for a living can do it.

Mr. and Mrs. Weber read vows they have written themselves with only a little help from The Bachelor‘s writing staff. Peter loves how much his parents love each other. They are his inspiration. Madison is pleased and honored to be present, and also to catch the bouquet. Too bad she didn’t know to bring a gift.

That night, Peter enthuses how great their date was, most of which was spent with a bunch of strangers. Madison says she’s always wanted to marry someone like her dad, and Peter meets the bill. Now she has to wait while 27 other women decide if Peter is also like their dads. “Let’s just be in the present,” Peter advises, getting the line right after the fourth take. She receives the rose.

Off they go to hear something called Tenille Arts perform. As the couple dances awkwardly, Peter is overcome with joy. Tenille Arts seems unimpressed. The rest of the wedding vows guests bust in and caper around as if they enjoy listening to Tenille Arts.

Back at the mansion, the other girls moon over having a date with Peter, only without his parents or a camera crew there. The next group date is announced.

Uh, oh, previews suggest that Peter invites a tearful Hannah Brown to join the cast this season, and possibly get rejected in reverse. Who dreams up these silly machinations? Is the focus group Hannah’s enemies?

Next day, the group daters don jeggings and tiny tops to find Hannah waiting for them in a theater. She relates the explicit tale of her and Peter’s robust sexual gymnastics in the windmill. It isn’t at all weird and uncomfortable. She assigns all the girls to tell a story about their own sexual activity in front of an audience that will probably include their first-grade teachers to make it even more appalling. I guess this is when we’ll identify the virgin.

All the girls are worried about Hannah’s presence. What’s her gambit? Peter goes to talk with her. She’s crying, mascara running like the painting in that episode of The Twilight Zone where the earth is hurtling toward the sun, so either it’s genuine sadness or she has terrible cramps. Peter says that when she arrived at the mansion, he hoped she was joining the other bachelorettes. Revenge would be sweet.

But Hannah is conflicted, seemingly regretting her choice to send Peter home in favor of Jed or Tyler. Who came in fourth after Peter? Maybe he’s actually the right choice. She questions her decision a lot, she tells Peter, although she has no regret about going on Dancing with the Stars. Peter is confused. Maybe they should try the windmill again to  see how it goes.

“What would you say if I asked you to come be part of the house?” he asks tentatively. “Oh, my gosh,” Hannah moans, as if he’s asked her to be strapped into the spinny thing at the airfield. They discuss her rejection of him. She accuses him of not reaching out to her after she dumped Jed, since he said he was hurt when he saw her with Tyler on the After the Final Rose special. So it’s his fault she’s an indecisive idiot?

Peter wants to kiss her, but he knows it didn’t work out the first time, and here all these other babes after his bod now. It’s a dilemma rivaling those seen in virtually every other season. We will surely learn next week that this was a momentary diversion for ratings, not the triumphant love story of a Titanic or Captain Scarlett, both of which also had a exciting disasters and  interesting historical recreations, although no emotional support cows.






About E.M. Rosenberg 240 Articles
Favorite 40-volume series issued by Time-Life Music: Sounds of the Seventies. Favorite backsplash material: Subway tile. Favorite screen legend I pretend wasn’t gay: Cary Grant. Favorite issue you should not even get me started about: Venal, bloodsucking insurance industry. Favorite character from the comic strip “Nancy”: Sluggo, or maybe Rollo. Favorite Little Debbie snack: Nutty Bars. Favorite Monkee: Mike.