The Bachelorette – Season 11 Premiere, Part 1- Live Blog

History will be made tonight when The Bachelorette will, for the first time, feature two ladies vying to win the hand of her one true love, or maybe the other one’s true love. Britt Nilsson and Kaitlyn Bristowe, who both failed to capture Chris Soules’ hay-smothered heart on the most recent Bachelor, share the spotlight tonight for this fresh new take on the franchise, which formerly debased only one woman per season.

If this modern-day tale of Solomon’s fiancees appalls you, don’t give up on the show just yet. It’s still tacky and offensive, to be sure, but only one woman will still be bacheloretting after Tuesday’s episode of the two-night premiere. This new dramatic device, probably cooked up after a producer caught a late-night showing of My Favorite Wife, leaves it to the 25 lusty, underachieving men to decide who should stick around for the rest of the season.

Usually resolving with the bachelorette awarding roses to her favorites, tonight’s premiere will instead feature the guys voting for the pair of breasts that attracts them most. Anyone with common sense or a degree in abnormal psych would pick Kaitlyn, but you never know with men and their libidos, amirite? It’s truly anyone’s game.

Let’s review who the constituency: Ben H., Ben Z., Bradley, Brady, Chris (ha!), Clint, Corey, Cory (uh, don’t they need last-name initials, too? We don’t hear the “e”), Daniel, David, Ian, Jared, JJ, Joe, Jonathan, Josh A., Josh S., Joshua (hee), Justin, Kupah (never had one of those before), Ryan B., Ryan M., Shawn B, Shawn E., Tanner, and Tony.

Tanner. Please.

One is the requisite black guy, Kupah is of East Indian or Middle Eastern heritage, and several of the men are Goofy-Americans. Among the occupations held by our cast bachelors are “healer,” “junkyard specialist,” automotive spokesman,” and “amateur sex coach,” which I thought was every single guy’s job. This is a slate of accomplishment such as you would find only on Fortune 500 boards of directors. I would recommend concentrating on the dentist, but he looks gay to me.

Chris Harrison opens the show, describing the gals as two very different women seeking the honor of being this year’s Bachelorette on the controversial, historic two-night premiere. Almost none of those words are accurate, except “tw0-night.”

“Change is never easy,” Chris lectures us about the new format. How did it come about? People were so divided about which woman should star that they did market research and decided to have them both. And now, a review of the ladies. Kaitlyn is sexy, funny, and sometimes inappropriate, while Britt is sincere, emotional, and very loving. Also sometimes a real bitch. They both fell in love with Chris, who rebuffed them like the jerk he is.

Kaitlyn shocked the other girls with her humor, while Britt shocked them with her intensity. Britt shed tears, while Kaitlyn shed her clothes. Kaitlyn has her original nose, while Britt appears to have purchased her whole face. They certainly are different. But they both want to find love on TV and increase their Q scores again.

Kaitlyn chafes at the competition aspect, as it seems wrong. Dating 25 men at once seems just fine, though. Britt worries that she won’t win the guys’ interest. Both resent the loss of several weeks’ paychecks if she goes home first. We see rumblings of all the guys’ uncertainty,  confusion, and veneers. To whom will they award their roses? It’s so exciting! For the florist.

As Kaitlyn and Britt  approach in the limo, nervous and thrilled, we are introduced to some of the men. First Jonathan, from Detroit, who has a young son named Skye who has the standard non-existent mother. Jonathan probably just wants to leave all that snow, but he likes Britt.

Joe, from small-town Kentucky, has a dog that appears to have dined on a few too many possum. He wants to find someone to share his life in the sticks, preferably Kaitlyn. His cirumstances could pose another Arlingtongate.

Josh is from Chicago. He just graduated from law school, but before he takes the bar, he’s making a living as a stripper. So much for the law career.

Brady, from Nashville, is a singer who probably failed his audition for The Voice. He likes Britt, who indeed would be a great inspiration for country songs.

Another rustic type is Joshua, a welder from Idaho. He likes Kaitlyn, who doesn’t like Idaho, so watch out, pal.

Ian is a former athlete. He tells the sad story of having been terribly injured after being hit by a car, but with hope, grit, and spirit, coming back strong to run again. If he can cook, he can be on Chopped.

Jared knows what he wants, which is chemistry. Sadly, he also wants terrible facial hair. He manages a restaurant, so he’s not exactly Mr. Moneybags.

Tony, first seen yanking someone’s leg, is a mop-topped cartoon character who refers to himself as a spiritual gangster, “heals” people, and talks to his plants. Britt is perfect for him.

Ben is a personal trainer from California. He misses his dead mom, with whom he wants to share his barbell-lifting and push-ups. He likes both bachelorettes, probably because he wants a replacement mommy and any woman will do.

After that amuse bouche of bachelors, Chris welcomes back the women, all done up in their gowns. Britt’s is strapless white with gold, Kaitlyn’s is sequin-covered midnight blue. Kaitlyn’s nerves are frayed; she doesn’t know how to act. So if she were the only bachelorette, there’s etiquette for that? Britt thinks the new twist is cool, probably because she plans to exploit the situation and emotionally manipulate people. But they both stand ready as the men’s limos near.

First is Ben H. He looks like a skinny Peter Brady with five o’clock shadow. He is stunned by Britt’s beauty, or at least is fooled by her Botox.

Jonathan is underdressed. He hugs Britt, oozing all over her like ganache on a petit four. She buys it. Next is Clint, who looks like a a stumpy Jon Voight. Kaitlyn is embarrassed that she has to witness these guys flirting away with Britt while she stands nearby. You’d almost think that was the whole point of this exercise.

Jared arrives next, looking demonic. He opens his shirt to reveal what he calls a Loveman t-shirt. Throw him under the next limo. Kupah greets the girls after that, and gets completely overlooked by the editors. Surprise. Inside, the dazzled men who inhaled Britt’s fragrance are suggesting that she got an unfair edit on The Bachelor. And we trust men to run the CIA.

Now arrives Brady. On principle alone, Britt and Brady cannot be allowed to exist as a couple. Kaitlyn trembles and fidgets. Corey passes through next, telling Britt her eyes stand out. He should see her when she’s off her meds. Now here’s Ian, being sweetly attentive to Kaitlyn. Maybe they can just run off together, the show be damned.

JJ appears and gives Kaitlyn a joke gift, earning points from her. Ryan, then Bradley–with a tennis headband–then Daniel horse around and make the ladies laugh. Next is the stripper, who is actually stripping, and drags Kaitlyn’s hand down his bare muscled chest. Not awkward at all. The rube from Kentucky follows, bringing moonshine and stereotypes.

Justin presents balloons to Kaitlyn. Britt is aware that she is getting overlooked in these gift offerings. Tanner brought her one, though–a package of tissues because she cried so much last season. Tanner lacks personality. Shawn B. wears dopey red buckled shoes. Britt likes him immediately, but he tells Kaitlyn that she’s the reason he’s there–and everything happens for a reason, especially casting choices.

Kaitlyn now feels much better, and rushes away suddenly to dart into the house. She hails the guys and lets them know they’re killing it, while Britt declares that she feels things must be done the right way, the way where you meet your husband on a TV show instead of in church or your book discussion group.

Another limo arrives, spewing out men like clowns from a tiny car. There’s David and Corey and Tony, who hopes the universe provides. He needs a barber to provide a better haircut. Inside, the guys assess the women in a not at all disturbing conversation about which one they like better. Meanwhile, Ryan is getting drunk. There’s always one. There must be a special ad for that role.

Now Shawn E. arrives in a hot-tub car, soaking wet. Following him is Chris, riding inside a giant cupcake.  These guys are regular Rudolph Valentinos. Finally it’s Ben Z., who just walks up  like a normal person. The girls probably dislike that. And that’s it.

Chris approaches. He sternly reminds the girls that these men will cruelly reject one of them tonight, so they had better work hard and quickly to earn these lotharios’ admiration, or all their hopes and dreams for love will be dashed upon yon craggy rocks as doomed ships in a tempest-tossed sea. Chris is such fun.

The guys continue to review their preferences, like a bunch of stockbrokers assessing emerging stock options. Then the ladies arrive in the room, and they roar their approval. Kaitlyn makes a garrulous joke, while wet blanket Britt speaks of looking for someone sincere, a best friend to spend her life with.  The guys seem to recognize that Kaitlyn is nervous, and admire that Britt is being open with her emotions. Sure they do.

Thus begins the meeting and mingling, laughing and trading compliments, revelations of deepest desires and wildest expectations.

“Do you choose the one that you like the most, or the one that likes you the most?” posits a dumbass to his companions as they all wait their turn.

Then Chris arrives. “There are two bachelorettes–but that’s about to change,” he announces ominously. The men must now go into the voting room, and cast a rose-ballot for whichever woman they prefer. Alright already with the endless branding, ABC; they could use paper ballots for this, and not waste flowers. The men fall silent, except for Tony, who is firmly in Britt’s camp. “The energy was pulsating,” he states in describing their meeting. He’s kind of scary.

The men and the bachelorettes try to influence final decisions all around. Everyone is tense and uncomfortable, especially Britt and Kaitlyn. It’s worse than waiting to be picked for volleyball in junior high.

The small-town guy from Kentucky explains that this situation is not in his comfort zone. Usually they just marry their cousins down there. Jonathan is voting for Britt. He did not make “that connection” with Kaitlyn, meaning her cleavage isn’t showing like Britt’s is. Ian is still solidly with Kaitlyn, though. Britt is intent on being present with each man as she talks with him. The Peter Brady guy asks Kaitlyn about her bird tattoo, which she explains represents her will to always fly home to her beloved family no matter where she travels. Britt’s tattoo just represents flying into a rage. Meanwhile, JJ rates Britt a 15 out of a 10 in looks.

Ryan, the drunk, continues to play the role well. Shawn E. must confront him for insulting his hot-tub car. “Who are you?” Ryan replies belligerently. To be fair, it really is confusing with so many Shawns. Everyone feels tense as they stare each other down. Ryan is so drunk he’ll probably cast his voting rose into the wastebasket. He looms over Britt and asks to speak to her outside. JJ wants none of it, for Britt could potentially be his wife. I suppose if she was just some random lady, he’d let a loud, sloppy drunk manhandle her. Then Jonathan arrives to save the day. Ryan goes after Kaitlyn next, pawing at her as she talks to someone else.

Thus is introduced the first utterance of, “He’s not here for the right reasons.” Ryan strips and goes into the pool in his tiny underpants. JJ asks him why he is here and gets sassed. Finally, a crew member summons him to meet with Chris Harrison, which he does dressed. Chris says it’s best that he go home, and points to an unmarked white van to carry him away, possibly to be fitted for cement galoshes. The other guys watch from a window with approval.

But Ryan didn’t vote–he just savagely threw his rose in the general direction of the boxes. What if the vote is 12-12? It could happen even in an unrigged democratic election process like this. Stay tuned for Tuesday night. Chris goes to tell  everyone he sent Ryan home, not only for being drunk, but for grabbing Kaitlyn’s ass and reducing the show’s liquor budget by a third.

Tanner talks with Britt to make sure she’s as boring as he thought. Chris tells Kaitlyn she’s very confident, and he admires that. She tells him he has cold hands. Kupah votes for Kaitlyn, too, maybe because Kupah and Kaitlyn sounds like an ABC sitcom.

Meanwhile, Kaitlyn really goes for Shawn E. He shows her a picture his nephew drew for her. Now she is determined to be the Bachelorette because these guys are so not like Chris from last season. Britt also is determined to win the vote after she connects with Brady before a roaring fire.

Chris Harrison announces that all the votes are in, and he will return soon with the results. Everyone gasps. The ladies feel hopelessly nervous and anxious. A People magazine cover hangs in the balance. Everyone paces and grimaces as they wait.

As dark, somber music plays, we see Chris opening the rose ballot boxes and lifting out the flowers to count. Britt ruminates about her future, wondering whether love will come to her tonight or will she have to go back to the Craigslists personals. Meanwhile, Kaitlyn has never felt more pressure. She is bummed to think she might not see these guys again, with or without an audience.

His counting labors concluded, Chris heads resolutely back to the group. He strides past the poolside, his heels clicking sharply on the expensive Mexican tile as moonlight glimmers on the chlorinated water.

To be continued. . . Naturally. See you tomorrow night!

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.