A new season of The Bachelor has begun. Let's get you up to speed on the ladies.
It's a new year and America has a new Bachelor: Ben Higgins. Monday night saw the season premiere of this unflappable series, and here are the top 10 things you simply MUST know about that virgin episode.
1. Ben has small-town values.
And if you don't believe that, he shoots baskets on the side of a barn at sunset. The Bachelor producers are laying it on thick this season and Ben is a perfect pick: handsome, chiseled, and earnest.
2. There were tears within the first ten minutes.
And they were from Ben's mother! Ben's parents have been married for 32 years and they're clearly a strong force in their son's life. During the whirlwind montage that subtly shouts "here's why you're going to love this guy," Ben visited his parents' lakeside home and his mom kicked off the waterworks for the season. No doubt that's just the tip of the tear iceberg this year.
3. Ben isn't too proud to ask for advice.
Yes, even from failures. Before his harem arrived, Ben had a sit down with former bachelors Chris Soules, Sean Lowe, and Jason Mesnick. Sean Lowe played his cards right and ended up married to contestant Catherine, Jason flip-flopped in his final choice but ultimately got the girl and now has a child with her, and Chris's engagement ended soon after it began.
4. He wants to "find someone who is excited about the idea of being alive and being in love."
Fear not, sweet Ben. It's easy to be excited about the idea of being alive and being in love when you're ridiculously good looking and being flown around the world on ABC's dime. You'll get your wish!
5. Every contestant was a complete knock-out.
What's hot in evening wear right now? Backless dresses, side hair, and balayage (a term and phenomenon that I thought used to be ombre). The limousine arrivals were like a parade of these three things, and while every girl was a knockout (even the cowgirl who rolled up with a mini pony) I suspect that the uniformity made it hard for Ben to remember the ladies' names.
6. A try-hard girl failed to get a rose.
In a moment of delicious irony, the girl who dressed as a first impression rose failed to score the first impression rose. Mandi, the Portland, Oregon dentist who "embraces the weird," rolled up with a giant flower headpiece. But the actual first impression rose went to Olivia, a newscaster. The girl is such a newscaster that I expected her to shout, "Back to you, Ben!" as she entered the mansion.
7. Watch for this recurring theme: Ben gets interrupted.
In just Monday night's episode, Ben was interrupted repeatedly: during his welcoming remarks (by overeager Mandi), in his explanation of the first impression rose to Olivia, and in his final moments with the ladies before the rose ceremony (by Chris Harrison). I'm hoping that Ben can eventually get a word in edgewise.
8. This season has a resident villain and her name is Lace.
Lace is a pretty brunette (named after the fabric, or half of the Stevie Nicks/Don Henley duet), and she went from zero to crazy in a matter of hours. I'm sure that Ben will be forced to keep her around for the drama, but she doesn't seem like a real contender.
9. A handful of ladies were sent packing on night one.
That group included the baby pony girl, the gluten-free girl, the chicken enthusiast, the redhead, and two forgettable brunettes. Goodbye, sweet ladies. It's like we never knew ye (because, really, we didn't).
10. The position of "house heel" will eventually go from Lace to Olivia, it seems.
As often happens, Ben created a monster with that first impression rose. And based on the previews, Olivia will not be winning Miss Congeniality among her housemates.
Looks like we're in for another exciting season of ugly cries, boundary issues, and drunken insults. I can't wait!
Watch the first episode here, on ABC.