(LOS ANGELES) — Every rose has its thorn, and last season on The Bachelor, Ari Luyendyk Jr. pricked Becca Kufrin by breaking her heart on national television. But, the 27-year-old publicist has been given a second chance at love on the new season of The Bachelorette, which premiered Monday night.
Becca is looking for redemption in the 28 men who are vying for her affection. But, there’s one man who seems to still be lingering in the background: Ari.
“It wasn’t too long ago that I was completely blindsided by Ari,” she said in the beginning of the episode. “My biggest fear is that it’s going to happen again. I’m going to fall for somebody, and they’re going to not feel the same.”
Before meeting the men, Becca chatted with three former bachelorettes — Kaitlyn Bristowe, JoJo Fletcher, and Rachel Lindsay — who all went through the experience. But, Rachel candidly expressed everyone’s feelings best about Ari when she said, “Please don’t edit this out. F*** him.”
Attempting to move on from her bitter past, Becca waited outside the mansion as her suitors climbed out of the limos armed with funny bits, cringe-worthy puns, and killer smiles.
The first suitor to arrive was Colton, a former pro football player. He attempted to impress her by popping confetti to show his fun side. “We started this off with a bang, and I’m looking forward to getting to know you inside,” he joked.
Other memorable first impressions included Mike, a sports analyst, who brought a cardboard cut out of Ari. Blake arrived not by limo but on the back of an ox. Trent raised the stakes when he arrived in a hearse, saying, “When I heard you were the bachelorette, I literally died. But then you brought me back to life.” Garrett, a medical sales rep, drove in with a mini van filled with car seats, soccer balls and diaper bags — all signs that he is ready to commit.
David, a venture capitalist, made her laugh when he arrived dressed in a chicken costume. But, Chris, a sales trainer, brought real entertainment when an entire choir stepped out of the limo with him.
Others called on upon her backstory, saying, “Let’s do the damn thing” — a catchphrase Becca uttered a number of times during her season on The Bachelor.
There were also a couple surprises during the introductions. First, Jake, an acquaintance that she knew from back home in Minnesota arrived at the mansion and had her taken aback.
Kamil — who describes himself as a social media participant — also surprised Becca by demanding her to walk towards him instead of him approaching her. “It’s important for us to meet halfway,” he explained, but she seemed a bit put off.
Once she met all of the potential suitors, the competition began to heat up as all the men vied for a brief one-on-one. Some more successful than others.
Christon, a Harlem Globetrotter, taught Becca some basketballs moves — including jumping completely over her head for a slam dunk. Clay attempted to create a statue of Becca out of, well, clay. And, Garrett continued to impress Becca with his fishing skills.
She especially enjoyed her time with Blake, a sales rep, who was saying all the right things in terms of her breakup with Ari.
“We just get each other and we don’t even know each other. Blake makes me feel very hopeful. He has made such an impression on me,” she said.
But, the first impression rose actually went to Garrett.
“Since he pulled up in the minivan, I was smitten by him,” she laughed. “I loved it all. He’s so easy to talk to and so sweet.”
It wouldn’t be The Bachelorette without some drama, though. Most of the tension came from male model Jordan, who is as pompous as he is overly confident. For instance, he went into great detail as to why he is the best dressed man in the house.
Chris stirred up more tension when he revealed that someone else in the house may not have the best intentions. Chris said that Chase’s ex-girlfriend texted him that Chase is not on the show for the right reasons. When they both approached Becca with the information, it created an uncomfortable moment and uncertainty about Chase’s fate in the competition.
“It’s hard to gauge because I don’t know the whole story. There’s a lot of things that just seem weird to me that don’t add up at this point,” she said to Chase.
Already putting an uneasy feeling on the night, Becca felt she had to approach the elephant in the room: the man she knows from her hometown, Jake. When she asked to speak with him, she explained that they have met on several occasions but nothing had ever happened; no one made any moves. She sent him home immediately.
Finally, it came time for the rose ceremony where Becca eliminated six more men. After the drama with Chase, he was sent packing, along with Kamil, Joe, Grant, Darius, and Christian.
The remaining men are:
Garrett, 29, a medical sales representative from Reno, Nevada
Lincoln, 26, an account sales executive from Los Angeles, California
Blake, 28, a sales representative from Bailey, Colorado
Rickey, 27, an IT consultant from San Diego, California
Jean Blanc, 31, a colognoisseur from Pensacola, Florida
Christon, 31, a former Harlem Globetrotter from Los Angeles, California
Clay, 30, a professional football player from Chicago, Illinois
Wills, 29, a graphic designer from Los Angeles, California
Connor, 25, a fitness coach from St. Petersburg, Florida
Jason, 29, a senior corporate banker from Seattle, Washington
John, 28, a software engineer from San Francisco, California
Ryan, 26, a banjoist from Manhattan Beach, California
Alex, 31, a construction manager from Atlanta, Georgia
Nick, 27, an attorney from Orlando, Florida
Trent, 28, a realtor from Naples, Florida
Colton, 26, a former professional football player from Denver, Colorado
David, 25, a venture capitalist from Denver, Colorado
Jordan, 26, a male model from Crystal River, Florida
Leo, 31, a stuntman from Studio City, California
Mike, 27, a sports analyst from Cincinnati, Ohio
Chris R, 30, a sales trainer from Orlando, Florida
The Bachelorette returns Monday at 8 p.m. on ABC.
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