It’s time for The Bachelorette, dammit! And when The Bachelorette ends in about three months, Bachelor in Paradise immediately starts, so our Monday evenings will be blessed with hilarious and wonderful reality dating shows for the next, half a year or so. After months in the wasteland, we have found our oasis.
Our Bachelorette this season is JoJo, who you may remember from The Bachelor, where she was misled by enormous dullard Ben Higgins. Ben told her he loved her, which is a thing you aren’t supposed to/aren’t allowed to do on these types of shows, and then also told eventual winner Lauren he loved her, and then he went back to his room and ate plain oatmeal and stared at a blank television screen and said “oh whoops” and realized he was only allowed to propose to one pretty lady. That pretty lady wasn’t JoJo. This remains the best scenario: JoJo gets her own TV show and gets to appear on Jimmy Kimmel while Lauren has to be in a relationship with a sentient piece of unbuttered white toast.
This season of The Bachelorette will be a better show than last season of The Bachelor, for two main reasons. For one, JoJo is an actual interesting human. She has a personality, whereas Ben was a cardboard cutout that learned how to grow stubble. We learned last year about her crazy, wealthy, and crazy wealthy family and its upwardly mobile relationship with reality TV. There’s good source material here.
And on The Bachelorette, men act like idiots, which makes for spectacular television The Bachelorette brings us 25 dudes, many of whom have A-type personalities, placed in a subservient role to a woman. (They do not like this.) Then they are asked to share that place with 24 other dudes. (They really do not like this.) Some handle this situation INCREDIBLY POORLY. On the first night, all 25 of these men are paraded before us, and at least one of them is guaranteed to lose it.
Monday night, that person was Daniel, whose life teetered out of control in front of our eyes.
Our first introduction to Daniel is when he makes a reference to the “Damn, Daniel” meme, which JoJo does not get. OK, off to a bad start. Then he makes a joke about how he’s not going to take all his clothes off. Then he looks around at the guys in the room and says that “if I were gay, I’d be in paradise.” Then he tries to explain his earlier meme reference to JoJo, because if you tell a bad joke, you gotta double down on it. Then he begins poking a fellow contestant in the bellybutton:
And then, after specifying that he wouldn’t take his clothes off, he takes his clothes off.
There is perhaps no Bachelor tradition more time-honored than the Super Drunk Person On The First Night. It makes sense that this happens: Every contestant is nervous, and the booze is free. But normally it’s somewhat endearing. Daniel, on the other hand, comes off like a psychopath.
Other Parade of Dudes classics include: The guy who takes his gimmick a bit too far:
John shows up in a kilt and explains that his penis is not an Asian penis. Wow, a joke that combines race AND sex?????!?!?! Call off the show, JoJo, you found your winner right here!
The problem is he made a joke about how big his penis is while wearing clothing that may have exposed his penis:
Therein lies the problem with the old “talk about how you have a big penis” trick. If it’s true, great, but it’s weird that you talked about it. If it’s not, you have a small penis AND you’re a liar. In other news, John was eliminated.
Sal also has a penis joke:
Sal also gets eliminated.
And then we have Nick, who chose to dress as Santa Claus:
And he stayed in costume the whole time, even as everybody else rocked their classiest clothes.
Honestly, I kinda like the move. Is Nick interesting or nice? Who knows? He basically just talked about cookies and laughed like Santa Claus.Is Nick handsome? Who knows? We only saw his face for like a quarter second. Dress up as Santa Claus, and your character flaws will remain hidden under a big, bushy beard.
The Cranberry Quotient
The Cranberry Quotient is our method of ranking forced positive reactions to cameos by semi-celebrities, named after Kaitlyn’s claim that the Cranberries were her favorite band.
On this episode: ALL-4-ONE
Normally we wait at least an episode for gratuitous celebrity cameos. But Wells decided to bring 1990s R&B group All-4-One to serenade JoJo as he got out of the limo and then again for their first interaction.
All-4-One’s biggest hit, “I Swear,” came out in 1995. Our protagonist, JoJo, was 4 years old. But she claims she LOVES THIS SONG:
Y’all ever wonder how this works logistically? Did Wells go out and contact All-4-One on his own? Do ABC’s producers stand in front of all the contestants and say “so … remember that song ‘I Swear’ from 1995? Which one of you wants to walk in with that group?” Do they call up Boyz II Men first just to check if they’re available? Does a producer play JoJo “I Swear” before the show is filmed so she can pretend she knows the song? How long does All-4-One hang out on the set for? Did All-4-One ask if they can play one of their deeper cuts before being told they had to play the only song of theirs anybody remembers? If JoJo is romantically impressed somebody singing to her romantically, why isn’t she romantically interested in the actual singers instead of the talentless guy who brought other people to sing for him? Are the members of All-4-One allowed to pursue JoJo if she falls in love with them? What exactly are Boyz II Men doing that’s so important that they can’t be on The Bachelorette? (Update: I have been informed by Brandon on Twitter that Boyz II Men has already been on The Bachelorette. I guess they didn’t want to double up.)
Cranberry Quotient: 6.7 out of 10
The Bachelorette power rankings, Week 1
(Remember, these aren’t power rankings of who will win, but rather power rankings of who will actually win by getting invited onto further Bachelor-related TV shows and therefore continue living in a semi-vacation with free booze and appear on TV often enough to get enough Instagram followers that you can make side money hawking beauty products.)
I’m getting the sense Jordan Rodgers, the younger brother of Aaron Rodgers who played QB for Vanderbilt, is going to be a pretty key part of this season of The Bachelorette. Which is good news for me, the person who writes about The Bachelorette for a sports site.
You can look at Jordan Rodgers’ football career in a few ways. You can see him as a guy who went unrecruited out of high school but still managed to be one of the best quarterbacks in an SEC school’s history and even get paid a little bit to be on NFL practice squads. Or you can see him as a guy with the same genetic material as all-everything QB Aaron Rodgers who never played in an NFL game and ended up on a reality dating show instead of dating a famous Hollywood celebrity.
It seems the show’s producers are going to try to portray him in both ways.
Oh, man, I am gonna hate this Evil Will Forte-lookin’ dude.
JoJo began last season with a joke about Ben being her unicorn, so Luke began this season with a joke about JoJo being his unicorn. “Thanks! I liked that joke better when I made it!”
4. James Taylor
The Bachelor does not generally list contestants’ last names. We can have up to 17 Laurens, but you will never find out their last names.
However, they had to point out that this poor dude is a singer-songwriter named “James Taylor.” Buddy, that name is distinctly taken. The good news is you’re allowed to change your name to become a famous singer. Ask Robert Zimmerman and Reginald Dwight. Maybe you think you’ll become more famous because you have the same name as somebody, and, well, no. That’s not how that works.
Chad is a luxury real estate agent. What a shot at all the pathetic Bachelor contestants listed as regular real estate agents. Does the apartment you’re selling come with six live-in butlers and a tiger enclosure? Then you’re not on Chad’s extremely luxurious level. Chad has never sold a home that does not have a gold-plated bidet. The guest house at Chad’s houses are nicer than your actual houses. There are literally millions of mansions in the Tulsa, Okla., metropolitan area, and Chad sells them all. Go sell hovels to plebeians, punk-ass regular real estate agents.
Alex is in the Marines. I don’t want to question a man serving my country while I watch reality TV, but, well, um, how can you be in the Marines and on a TV show that takes like three months to film? Do they have reality TV leave?
Christian tells us about growing up in a family where his own blood relatives didn’t respect him because of his race. He explains this disconcerting scenario by saying he “grew up biracial.” Does that mean he’s no longer biracial? Did he lose a race with age?
Wells resorted to having an acapella band use their talent instead of showing any meaningful talent of his own. “Yeah, I’m pretty good at basketball. Here, let the Harlem Globetrotters show you.”
I don’t have any jokes about the firefighter guy.
10. James S.
The Bachelor has a history of playing with the word “occupation.” Last year’s season of The Bachelorette had a (quickly eliminated) contestant listed as an “amateur sex coach.” JoJo’s season of The Bachelor featured two twins whose listed occupation was “twin” and a (quickly eliminated) contestant listed as a “chicken enthusiast.” None of these, you may notice, are occupations.
Well, James is listed as a “Bachelor Superfan.” It’s not quite clear what qualifies him for this title: Most everybody on the show is extremely familiar with The Bachelor and The Bachelorette to the point where past contestants making appearances are quickly recognized by everybody. (Like when ex-Bachelor Jake Pavelka walks in, and everybody instantly goes “oh, it’s Jake Pavelka.”) But they show James watching The Bachelor with his family and participating in a Bachelor fantasy league.
What is clear is that every scene where James’ superfandom is brought up — from his faux-awkward interaction with Chris Harrison to his Bachelor watch party — is obviously scripted. Even for a “reality” show based around a dating process that doesn’t resemble anything that happens in actual reality, having a contestant play a gimmick character seems a bit much. Is James himself really so boring we needed to invent an alternate storyline rather than just telling us he’s a banker or whatever?
Brandon’s occupation is listed as “hipster.” I got a question for y’all. I just lived in Williamsburg for two years. I have lived amongst the hipsters, and I have seen their ways.
So what do you think of when you see the word “hipster?” Is it just a catch-all term for self-important young people? Is it specifically the young person who lives in formerly poor areas in big cities and says “locally sourced” a lot? Is it something you can identify as, or something other people decide you are?
Is a hipster just a dude with bad facial hair? Because Brandon just seems like a dude with bad facial hair. Remember, this is a guy who went to an audition for The Bachelorette, made a video of himself and agreed to spend several months filming a TV show for ABC. Unless he looks into the camera and says “actually, I’m appearing on The Bachelorette ironically,” I don’t think this guy is getting any higher than a 4.2 on the hipster scale.
The Bachelor often reminds us that people will do nearly anything for an instant of television fame. So here’s to you, Guy At An Erectile Dysfunction Treatment Facility Who Got His Face Blurred Out So He Won’t Be Revealed As An Erectile Dysfunction Patient On TV. You put your integrity above your innate human desire to be on TV, and ensured that the only people who know about your failing penis are the people unfortunate enough to see it up close and personal.
Ali talks about the pressure his parents put on him to succeed, and how his siblings became successful doctors and lawyers or whatever. Ali is a bartender who likes surfing. Ali’s parents hate him. Ali’s parents hate him so much.
14. James F.
On The Bachelor, there were too many Laurens. This year, too many Jameses.
Vinny from Jersey Shore has typecast all persons named Vinny for me. They’re all that Vinny. Add the fact that this Vinny considers himself a DJ (“DJ Vinsane”) and yeah that’s all we need to know about Vinny.
The season premiere of The Bachelorette is a reminder that every pickup line and/or pickup gimmick in world history has been objectively horrible:
Throw in the fact that JoJo called Will’s kiss “awkward” and we’re off to a great start.
17. Nick B.
I remember nothing about Nick B. (UPDATE: Justin F. reminded me in the comments that of course, Nick B. was Santa. His camouflage worked TOO well.)
remember what I just said about pickup lines
Derek tells JoJo that he’s a nerd, but he isn’t smart. That translates to “I’m pretty uninteresting.” “Yeah, I’m a big foodie! Except I can’t cook. And I don’t like going to restaurants. I’ll eat whatever’s in your fridge, is what I’m saying.”
This dude tried to bond with JoJo over her job as a real estate developer. Pal, JoJo is 25. So she’s been out of college about what, three years? And she spent one of those years on a reality TV show. Anyway, Coley didn’t have any common ground with her, and now he’s gone.
21, 22, 23, 24, 25: Jake, Jonathan, Nick S., Peter, and Sal
Dead freakin’ last place: Daniel
As a person who is often excessively drunk when I shouldn’t be, I generally respect the person who fills that role on The Bachelor. But not for this dude. Congratulations, Daniel. You have nice muscles and everybody hates you