Bachelor recap: Keep calm and wear more rhinestones

The Bachelor recap season is finally here! Can you believe we’ve been doing this for twenty seasons? It seems like just yesterday I was sending out an email to a few friends asking them if they had watched this weird dating show on ABC. Little did we know that it would grow into something which produces so much alcohol induced and sleep deprived drama. Looking away is an impossible task. We’ve watched this so long that he mechanics of episode 1 are seared into our brains.

I smile at the “aw shucks” attitude of the wee babe Ben Higgins (a.k.a Peter Brady) whose heart was crushed by a tartlet who broke up with him after he stole his first kiss at the Warsaw, Indiana multiplex. I roll my eyes during the Parade of Suitors, laughing at the ones who adopted the “don’t lose your sparkle” mantra to their wardrobe selection. I take a breath when Our Host Chris Harrison makes his first appearance on the freshly sprayed driveway wearing, a perfectly tailored pin-striped suit smelling of fine silk, crisp hundred dollar bills and adventure.

I openly wince and secretly applaud at the crazy b-roll footage which celebrates a romantic journey to find love, knowing that this season is going to be the most dramatic of them all.

The following information you are about to read is of personal opinion. However, if you or someone you liked on Instagram happen to personally know, sort of know, is friends with the Plexus peddler who is obsessed with Chip and Joanna Gaines like me and looks exactly like one of the contestants on the show…none of this is personal and I’m sure they are all lovely people.

Ben is killing it when it comes to Warsaw fame. He’s the Grand Marshall of the homecoming parade for goodness sakes! While waving from the back of a yellow convertible, he reminds us that he’s looking for someone who has small-town values, but can be a fancy city girl in Denver too. He wants a marriage like his own parents who have been together for more than thirty years. Squinting at mom and dad from the comfort of their backyard (could the ABC Intern fetch this dude a pair of sunglasses please?), Ben’s mom tears up as she shares the tale of meeting her stone-cold-fox of a husband so many moons ago. Ben wants this. Ben needs this. Ben will get this.

Ben will also star in a cheesy McDonalds commercial with former contestants of yore. I’ll have one McBachelor, please.

Ben kisses his parents good-bye, walks beyond the scenic red barn where he played basketball earlier in a cloud of Hoosier memories and leans back against a gnarled tree to reflect on his pending journey. Woodland creatures begin to gather around. He’s like the hot male version of Snow White. Someday his princess will come. Get ready Los Angeles!

The producers welcome Ben into his new digs and immediately ruin the moment by forcing him to be mentored by “three of America’s favorite Bachelors.” At first, my heart tightened, hopeful that Roberto and Ames would walk around the corner. What I got instead was Sean Lowe, Chris Soules and Jason Mesnick. I think we are using the term “favorite” in the loosest sense of the word.

The Farmer dives in with some locker room advice: Kiss them all and kiss them often. Ben weighs the advice, knowing that the chach sitting in front of him is nowhere near engaged. Sean, clad in trendy red and black buffalo check, advises Ben to compartmentalize all the relationships. Ben knows that Sean and Catherine are about to have a baby, so this bit of information might be worth remembering. Ben looks to Jason, wondering why someone brought their dad to this little pow wow. Jason smiles like a dork, happy that an old-schooler on the franchise payroll thinks he’s just as cool as these other two jokers, even though his season was almost a decade ago.

The time comes for Ben to slide into his best suit. He adjusts his “HOPE” bracelet, receives a hearty clap on the back from Harrison and turns to meet his future wife as she stumbles out of a stretch limo. Let’s meet the girls!

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Why you remember her: Amanda needs to lower her octave just a smidgen because she speaks like a little girl. It’s probably because she has two little girls at home who think Ben is Prince Charming. Amanda is a tiny little blonde pocket person who purchased her LBD in the unmentionable section at Macy’s. If Ben can handle the adorable little people in her life, she may get pretty far.
Status: Rose

Chicago, IL
Why you remember her: Amber is the new Michelle Money. She just won’t go away. I think Amber is in love with love. I also think Becca had to gently remind Ben what Amber’s name was because he was too busy helping the citizens of Pasadena build the ABC Bachelor franchise Rose Parade float instead of watching Amber flaunt her assets on Bachelor in Paradise. She gets the token “Thank you, former old lady alumni, for taking the time to crash my party” rose from Ben.
Status: Rose

Chiropractic Assistant
San Diego, CA
Why you remember her: Let’s call a spade a spade: Becca and Ben would be great together. At least the Becca who barely made it out alive from The Farmer’s season would be great with All-American Ben. She’s stretching her fifteen minutes of fame to the limit and might be above the hoi polloi of the cocktail party with their sequined gowns and twinning all over the place. Her hole-punched short black dress screams California chic. Something tells me Becca has advanced passed a small-town Saturday night boasting deep-fried county fair foods and wine in Mason jars. Let the record show: She will go far, but I do not believe she’ll take it all the way.
Status: Rose

Nutritional therapist
Seattle, WA
Why you remember her: Breanne thinks gluten is of the devil and should be destroyed. With that battle cry, she takes perfectly good bread and encourages a corn-fed, wheat-raised Indiana man to destroy several baguettes on the decorative bricks of the driveway fountain. Epic fail. Plus, she’s so old.
Status: No rose

Software Sales Representative
Hudson, OH
Why you remember her: Bless her sweet baby heart. Caila met her former boyfriend on a plane, then ran into him on the streets of Chicago weeks later and KNEW it was fate. Of course, he broke up with her and now she’s ready for Fate 2.0. That sounds exactly like something someone right out of college would say. Upon exiting the limo, she runs toward Ben to execute an abbreviated version of the Jump & Straddle (trademark pending). Her Disco Barbie dress inhibits her from properly wrapping her legs around his waist, so she just hangs around his neck, sort of sideways, until he realizes that he’s supposed to scoop her up knight in shining armor style. Thank goodness she’s still doing Pilates. Otherwise her early 20’s abs would never have been able to hang in that awkward position for so long. Bonus: She’s a software salesman and SO IS HE! Let’s hashtag this business. #Fate2.0
Status: Rose

Las Vegas, NV
Why you remember them: Technically, you remember them as a collective one. There’s no way you could tell them apart unless you did some word association game in your head correlating the one with the side braid as Twin #1. But why would you do that when they present themselves as a unit? They totally finish each other’s sentences and like roller blade like the Doublemint Twins and like have never dated the same person (#goals) and like say everything in like unison. TWINNING IS WINNING! All group dates and simultaneous side glances aside, they are competing as individuals — not a package deal.
Status: Rose(s)

Graphic Designer
Branford, CT
Why you remember her: Izzy thought it would be a fun, quirky idea to wear a onesie to the cocktail party. She was wrong. She told Ben that she had to find if he was the onesie for her. She was not the onesie. Another onesie bites the dust. Insert your own onesie joke or pun HERE. Bless her.
Status: No rose

San Francisco, CA
Why you remember her: Jackie gave Ben an envelope with a “Save the Date” card of their pending nuptials. This sufficiently freaked him out. There is a sliver lining though. As a gerontologist, she can conduct a quick study on the 30-something-year-old losers in the rejection SUV on the way back to the airport for her master’s thesis.
Status: No Rose
UPDATE: I’ve been told that Jackie DID get a rose, but I wanted to leave the silver lining zinger because it made me laugh. Thanks for those who keep me honest!

St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
Why you remember her: She’s a Canadian version of a younger Amber. She also knows Kaitlyn who told her all sorts of details aboot Ben. Apparently he has a very…big…heart. Ben should have been grossed out by this comment, but he wasn’t. He likes 2009 Amber in the form of 2016 Jami and is willing to give her another shot at not being a hoser.
Status: Rose

Small Business Owner
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Why you remember her: Jennifer is an odd duck. She is a small business owner, which makes me think she sells Mary Kay. She tells Ben that the way to remember her name is by thinking Ben and Jen and then she smiles as if she came up with that all by herself. Next week she’ll probably address herself as Bennifer, forcing Lace to cut off Jen’s hair in her sleep. Yo, Jennifer. Maybe you were a toddler when Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez dated or Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner were married, but Ben & Jen has been a thing for a looooong time. Let’s find a new catch phrase. Jen later tells Ben that she has two requirements for dating: His morals must be in line with hers and there has to be a physical attraction. I’m not sure which side of the fence she lands in the morals category, but I can report that her boobs were putting on quite the show.
Status: Rose

Boca Raton, FL
Why you remember her: You probably don’t.
Status: No Rose

Joelle “JoJo”
Real Estate Developer
Dallas, TX
Why you remember her: JoJo had the unfortunate task of wearing a rubber unicorn mask on her head as her wacky limo exit bit. She apologizes for the lame attempt to be memorable. Ben got the point in the end and quickly forgave her for that moment of insanity when she played a modified version of Head’s Up in their alone time. She’s a house flipper from Dallas. And I like her. Magical unicorns and all.
Status: Rose

War Veteran
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Why you remember her: Jubilee wore a very tight, white dress with a deep, plunging neckline. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times — why do these girls choose to wear something that looks like they are prepping for heart surgery? Jubilee is very confident with all that she has going on in the body department, yet she is completely intimidated by the sudden appearance of Becca and Amber. She does NOT think it’s fair that former contestants get to come and play with Ben. Anyone who watched the season b-roll at the end of the show can plainly see that Jubilee is going to stick around for a few dramatic weeks. Ten bucks says they go to a shooting range and she wins some one-on-one time with Ben.
Status: Rose

Real Estate Agent
Denver, CO
Why you remember her: Lace wears a black lace dress. It’s exactly something a sexy widow may wear to her 20-years-older deceased husband’s wake at the country club. She calls dibs on this season’s Mean Girl character and begins her night of torment by exiting the limo, sauntering up to Ben, asking him to close his eyes and then kissing him. She brags about getting the first bachelor smooch as she drinks anything within leaning distance. Her bio says that she’s a real estate agent, but she could definitely do well for herself as a ventriloquist thanks to consistent conversations with her teeth together. She steals Ben away from Jubilee for another quick makeout sesh, but before she can pry her tongue between her lock jawed teeth, Weirdo Mandi steals Ben away. This makes Lace mad. She asks the ABC Intern to bring her some arsenic but he’s distracted by Ben wandering in looking for Lace. He thanks her for the tonsil hockey offer and wants to make sure she didn’t feel rejected. What a gentleman! She assures him that the only way for her to feel rejected is if he never looks her in the eye during the rose ceremony. If that happens, he will rue the day!
Status: Rose

Account Executive
Louisville, KY
Why you remember her: Laura is the darling redhead in the beautiful navy dress. You were a little confused when she told Ben that all her friends call her Red Velvet. At first you assumed these friends were her fellow dancers down at Foxy Ladies, but after watching her nearly hurl over the gorgeous women pretending to bond over “Did your seamstress add glitter to your bodice? Or did it come that way?” you knew that Red Velvet was the result of a trio of junior high best friends who visited the Sprinkles cupcake bakery every weekend after Mathletes. Laura’s other friends were Salty Caramel and Raspberry Beret. I imagine my moniker would have been Plain Vanilla. Hang in there Red Velvet. There’s a Chocolate Thunder out there for you somewhere!
Status: No Rose

Lauren “LB”
Fashion Buyer
Stillwater, OK
Why you remember her: LB is a micro person who wore a hot pink micro dress. She appears normal and nice. She is a dark horse.
Status: Rose

Lauren B.
Flight Attendant
Marina Del Rey, CA
Why you remember her: Lauren B. was the first one out of the limo. She chose a tasteful lavender bridesmaid dress instead of something you may see in the evening gown competition of the Miss Texas pageant. She’s a flight attendant, so she gave Ben wings upon her introduction. She threw in a solid pun (“I hope you’re ready to take off on this journey”) and then politely informed him that he didn’t have to wear the wings. Later, Ben said that Lauren B. took his breath away. I like this girl.
Status: Rose

Lauren H.
Kindergarten Teacher
Ann Arbor, MI
Why you remember her: Lauren H. threw dead flowers at Ben as her icebreaker, but it’s not as random as it sounds. She was at a wedding the weekend before and caught the bouquet. I would say it’s fate, but Caila already has that word trending on Twitter. Later, when Becca rolls into the cocktail party, completely shocking our bachelor, Lauren was gracious enough to excuse herself, even though she was in the middle of an enchanting story, I’m sure. I kept thinking to myself, “This is a girl who I would trust with my children, if I had children.” You can take the girl out of the kindergarten classroom, but you can’t take the kindergarten classrom out of the girl. She’s sweet. She’ll be cut for sure.
Status: Rose

Lauren R.
Math Teacher
Houston, TX
Why you remember her: She was the stalker who wore a dress that looked like a blood clot. One Lauren down…three remain.
Status: No Rose

Event Planner
Denver, Colorado
Why you remember her: You may not remember her face, but you certainly remember her nether regions. It’s so fun to put on a fancy, sparkly dress, grab the ole pigskin, run out in front of the bachelor and bend over. Leah hiked up her dress so far before she snapped the ball to Ben that I’m actually surprised he caught the darn thing. I may have stood up during this one chanting over and over and over again, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”
Status: Rose

Weatherford, TX
Why you remember her: You don’t. You remember her Li’l Sebastian lookalike Huey. Who, by the way, has his own Twitter account thankyouverymuch.

Portland, OR
Why you remember her: Mandi is the resident weirdo. One would think that she would work in a Starbucks or vinyl record store, but this chick is a dentist. A real one with a tiny mirror and metal hook and stuff. She wore a huge paper hat that looked like a rose as her “remember me” bit. She told him he could pollinate it later. I hid my head in my sweatshirt. She kept the monstrosity on all night until she shoved it on Huey’s head so she could give Ben a quick dental check-up before his next shot of whiskey. I…nearly…died. The girls don’t know what to do with her. They decide to embrace the weird and throw shade in the general direction of Lace.
Status: Rose

News Anchor
Austin, TX
Why you remember her: First of all, Olivia looks nothing like her roster picture. Second, she was delightful, complimenting Ben on his height and dimples. She told him she walked away from her news anchor job, where she was instrumental in helping the young girls of the community be all they can be, for a chance to find love. She gets the first impression rose, which she admits she deserves before labeling herself “humble.” Interesting. Olivia is a wolf in sheep’s clothing for sure.
Status: First Impression Rose

Little Rock, AR
Why you remember her: Even though she wore K-Swiss tennis shoes on the hoverboard she got for Christmas from her parents, you were nervous the entire time that she was going to fall off or the thing was going to blow up under her feet.
Status: Rose

New Smyrna Beach, FL
Why you remember her: In an emotional intro package, we learned that Sam’s father died years ago. So very sad, but she’s ready to find love. Instead, she finds out on the way to meet Ben that she passed the bar. This should put Sam in a great mood. Unfortunately, she is the normal girl who won’t be able to shake the reality of 19 other women dating the guy she’s falling in love with. She’ll crack under the pressure and he’ll let her go.
Status: Rose

Salt Lake City, UT
Why you remember her: She spoke Russian the entire time. I have no idea if she knows any English. I guarantee you that if presented with an opportunity to have a “shot-off” with Lace, Shushanna would drink the Widow Maker under the table. I’d watch that show all day long. Unless it’s already a mini-series on Lifetime. Hold while I check my DVR.
Status: Rose

Chicken Enthusiast
Redmond, WA
Why you remember her: Sweet Tiara motorboated her chicken before leaving the coop to find love. It was unfortunate on every level. I’m not sure this is what Ben is looking for in the future Mrs. Higgins.
Status: No Rose

Well? What did y’all think? I believe we have the makings of a great season, don’t you? Ben is going to be kind, generous and wise in all of his decisions. I think the producers have surrounded him with a sufficient amount of crazy. My current picks are JoJo, LB, Lauren B. and Becca. Who is in your top four?

Remember, this is a spoiler-free site, so please don’t post any links or rumors in the comment section.

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Here’s to a great season of writing the bachelor recap! PETER BRADY FOREVER!

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