Listen To Your Heart Recap: Long Live John Mayer

I’m so glad ABC decided to squeeze out another spin-off from The Bachelor franchise. Otherwise we wouldn’t have any reason to watch total strangers hand out roses with a hope that their journey would end in a contractually-obligated love agreement. 

Seriously, people. Bachelor Summer Games is canceled. Bachelor in Paradise is a question mark. And who knows what’s happening with Clare Crawley’s season.

Kudos to the show runners who were forward-thinking enough to anticipate that the viewing audience needed a place for all the budding musical artists of the world to congregate. It’s just a happy coincidence that it was slated to air at a time when tigers are king and love is blind. 


How does the show work? I’m glad you asked. Our Host Chris Harrison doesn’t explain things in great detail at the top of the show. He masterfully recites several cheesy lines, explaining that “love is at the center of everything we do.” 

Then he tangents off into left field and sings the praises of the 2018 smash hit A Star is Born, claiming the entire cast and crew fell in love with the magical film. Wha a performance!

I’m curious. Is Our Host conjuring the face of Barbara Streisand or Gaga when he voices that sentiment? Kris Kristofferson or Bradley Cooper? One can’t be sure. 

I myself envision the mesmerizing eyes of one Mr. Bradley Cooper. Yes, he’s singing about being in the sha-ha-sha-la-la-la-low, but instead of the rumpled, untidy, greasy-haired version of Jackson Maine, my Bradley has more of a Will Tippin vibe. I wish you could be inside my imagination right now. It’s glorious.

Moving on.

Apart from trying to become a literal version of A Star is Born, Hare explains that these twenty individuals are looking to find a person who has a shared passion for music. Love is their number one goal and if they happen to snag a record deal in the process, so be it.

You know I love you Harrison, but I call BALDERDASH. 

Apart from one darling infant named Jamie and perhaps a wandering troubadour named Sheridan, these jokers are one-hundred-percent on this show to be discovered. They have trolled Hannah Brown’s heartbreaker Jed Wyatt on Instagram and secretly long for his 312,000 followers and a dog food jingle of their own. 

I know what you’re thinking and I, too, thought the same thing as I watched all of the mini-introduction packages from our stars waiting to be born. Once again, how does this show work? 

Cut to a shot of former Bachelor franchise “stars” gathered together on elevated risers in a concert venue of some sort. Hello JoJo and Fake Aaron Rodgers! Oh look, there’s Jason and Kaitlyn! And I see Rachel and Bryan. What next? Is Demi is going to roll up in here and tell the singers that they are a little pitchy?

Then we see quick snippets of Jason Mraz and Jewel. Using context clues, I pieced together that the judges panel consists of half Bachelor couples and half artists who used to have actual music playing on what the old folks call a radio. I presume all of the franchise success stories will judge the “heat” of the couple and the artists will judge the musicality. 

Let the record show that I’m still not sure. I’ve decided not to pull too hard at that string because I actually enjoyed myself last night. I have favorites. I have theories. And I have a show to watch on Mondays. 

Finally Harrison gives us a tiny peek behind the big red velvet curtain. He welcomes our ragtag bunch of minstrels and challenges them to own this experiment as ABC discovers the next James Taylor/Carlie Simon or Beyoncé/Jay-Z powerhouses. How me manages not to laugh after uttering that sentence is a testament to Chris Harrison’s professionalism.

Hare provides a quick 4-1-1 on what the scene in the coming weeks will entail. Date cards will arrive and the recipient will get to choose someone to join him or her on a super cool outing that will somehow involve music. There will be a rose ceremony. And since there are twelve guys and eight ladies currently gathered together in the spirit of romance, four male artists will be heading home before they even get a chance to belt out a single note.

This makes some of the guys very, very nervous. but it doesn’t stop them from exploring the mansion’s sleeping arrangements. Bunk beds for everyone!

Speaking of the mansion, what is up with these new digs? Where’s our beloved original germ-infested mansion and its freshly sprayed driveway? Why have we adopted its fabulous older brother as the anchor for this love fest? Are the acoustics better here? Did this one come with a baby grand? Is it located further up the Hollywood hills, therefore protecting innocent surrounding home owners from enjoying spontaneous outbursts of “Cry Me a River” from Justin Timberlake wannabes? 

Inquiring minds want to know, but for now, raise the curtain! It’s show time!  Here’s to finding love and FabFitFun deal! 

Ryan, Jamie, Trevor

Right off the bat, twenty-one-year-old Jamie finds herself in a love triangle. Ugh! Like she didn’t want this and she’s like soooooooo confuuuuuuused. How will she like ever choose between like the handsome guy and the hot guy? Decisions are the worst.

She meets Ryan first and is captivated by his beauty. He’s the love child of Shawn Mendes and John Mayer. He even has that “tired eyes” look about him which accentuate his casually styled hair and berry lips. Jamie is ON IT. She ignores all the other random dudes and chatty ladies, insisting that Ryan Mayer share a “really good memory” from his childhood.

Ryan Mayer tells her about the time he almost died having a seizure when he was a child. 

They agree that the experience made him a better man. And as a celebration of the new lease on life he was given twenty years ago, Jamie and Ryan Mayer make out on the couch fifteen minutes into the show. 


All is well until Trevor walks into the mans and twelve female heads swivel in his direction, including Jamie. She’s drawn like a moth to a flame. Or a singer/songwriter to the Bluebird Cafe. They bond over the fact that she just moved to Nashville to further her career. He thinks she’s gorgeous. She thinks he’s charming. 

No one asks what Ryan Mayer thinks because he’s currently inside with a handful of other houseguests participating in a good old-fashioned sing-along while he plays the piano. His music choice? “Stand By Me” with a solo from a guy named Gabe.

Meanwhile, Trevor does some harmonizing of his own with Jamie in the hot tub. Since they’ve known each other for twenty minutes, this makes total sense. Things get steamy and all of my hopes and dreams for Ryan Mayer slowly dash before my eyes. 

Luckily, Ryan Mayer gets the date card and is quick to invite Jamie to accompany him to Capitol Records. The couple appropriately geeks out at this opportunity, but it’s Ryan Mayer who nearly keels over due to the fact that he has heard of all the musicians in the room. With every hand shake, Ryan’s smile widens. He’s in awe. 

And what will we be singing today? Why “Gravity” by John Mayer of course. Ryan thanks his lucky stars. It’s one of his favorite songs. Jamie pretends it’s one of her favorites too, but it’s evident that girl is on the struggle bus when she and Ryan work out the arrangement. 

Ever the gentleman, and unmistakable musician, Ryan Mayer changes the keys for her so she can really get into the song in her own way. She thinks this is the sweetest thing ever. 

Once in the recording studio, Ryan Mayer steps up to the microphone and croons out the opening lyrics with soul that rivals his fake father. Jamie looks like she’s going to puke, which is an understandable response. The guy can sing. 

Ryan gives Jam the nod and she comes in hot and heavy. A little too heavy, in my opinion. She completely overpowers the moment and I get embarrassed for her. I can’t say right now if she can sing or not. All I can say is that she went full Kelly Clarkson at a time when we needed more Alicia Keys. 

Mel, Matt, Rudi

Right off the bat, I place Matt in the “OH NO YOU DIDN’T” column of my mental scoresheet. The guy didn’t know Chris Harrison’s name and laughs at the camera as he tries to piece together Chris Harelston or Chad Harris. 

How dare you, sir. Have some respect. This is Our Host Chris Harrison who has been walking these hallowed halls (or the halls down the way) since you were barely driving. Do your homework, jack wagon. 

Naturally this image is difficult for me to scrub from my brain. But it helps that he and Rudi strike up a friendship almost immediately. She thinks he has the best arms in the house. He thinks she smells wonderful. I’ll allow it.

Rudi has firmly planted her flag in Matt’s beard. So much so that they scoot upstairs to change into swimwear so they can christen the hot tub. Too bad they didn’t know that Trevor and Jamie already did that. Rudi slithers into the water and Matt is all, “OH YEAH!” 

He tries to be cool by asking Rudi if she thinks the only way you can judge a person is by kissing them. She agrees, but then doesn’t let him kiss her because it’s “too soon.” He’s confused. She’s irritated that she got her hair wet. Bummers all around. 

The next day, Matt gets a date card. According to Rudi, Matt asks her if she’d like to go. Rudi is all for it and is hella confused when Matt asks purple-haired Mel to accompany him on his musical outing. I guess when Matt asked Rudi if she would like to go, it was more of a polling process since he didn’t add “with me” to that question.

Rudi is M-A-D. She can’t believe Matt would do this to her. Matt appears a little peeved, too. His date wasn’t what he was anticipating. The good news is that he and Mel get to teleport back to 2005 to enjoy a backyard concert with Plain White T’s. The bad news is that they didn’t sing “Hey There Delilah.” 

Rudi is so distraught by the turn of events that she take to her journal to write a song about it. A guy named Chris begins to tickle the ivories and we watch as she ballads through her insecurity fueled by her raging emotions. 

Actual bonafide song lyric: “All I can do is smile – cause at least a loved you for a while.”

Josh, Julia, Sheridan

Julia is a blond bombshell of a woman in a tight red dress who also caused quite the waves upon her entrance. Several dudes bark up that particular tree, but it’s Sheridan who gets the first real one-on-one time. He learns that Julia used to have cystic fibrosis and has since opened a non-profit that promotes musical therapy in hospitals. Sheridan is smitten. 

As Fabio’s hair blows delicately in the wind, Julia mentions that he is not the type of guy she usually goes after. Then Brandon comes up and steals her away, followed by a bald man named Josh. 

Sherbio plays his guitar to help his cloudy mood. How will a girl like Julia ever love him when she has Brandon the Marine or Josh the Jacked vying for her attention? 

Sherbs does the only thing he knows to do. He writes Julia a song to show her how much she means to him. It’s all about Julia being an unexpected surprise and how he never saw this coming. Ten bucks says Sherbio already had this song in his back pocket, but whatever. Julia LOVES it and rewards Sherbs by making out with him and his luscious locks. 

Actual bonafide lyrics: “I know we’re moving fast and I hope this will last.”

Savannah and Brandon

Savannah loves yoga and wants you to know that her confidence is often intimidating. Also, she’s not looking for a pretty face. If she wanted that, she’d go back to her modeling agency. Something tells me that Savannah is going to dip into “season villain” territory. 

Brandon often swears, keeping the ABC censor department on their toes. He’s a military guy. That’s about all we know. We never see these two get cozy, even though Savannah was eager to hand her rose to Brandon.

Mel and Gabe

As you know, Mel went on a date with Matt and there were zero sparks. She offers her rose to Gabe and he accepts. This excites me because my boy Gabe is from Houston and is extremely good looking. I approve. 

Bekah and Danny

We know nothing about either of these strangers, other than what we can read on their bios. The end.

Bri and Chris

These two loved each other from the minute they entered the mansion. Chris is the one who sits down at the piano most of the time, which means he’s either the life of the party or he’s a theater kid who will be devastated when it’s time to leave all of his new friends he made at Camp Bachelor. 

Cheyenne and Matt

This is a surprise pairing, no? After Mel hands her rose to Gabe, Matt is convinced he’s going home since he botched it with Rudi. The fact that he didn’t take her on the 2005 date has come back to haunt him. She rips him a new one at the rose ceremony cocktail party, then ends up tell all the girls that Matt is a major jack wagon. 

Cheyenne, who might as well be a ghost, hands her rose to Matt because she thinks he deserves a shot at love. Does this mean they are supposed to couple up now? I’m not sure. But Matt is still in the game, which means Rudi has another week of brooding. 

Julia and Sheridan

One thing you should know about the rose ceremony is that once a rose is handed out, the couples leave the rose ceremony area into an adjacent room. We are supposed to feel the tension of “who did they pick?” as more and more couples join the room. 

When Julia hands her rose to Sheridan and they meander hand-in-hand next door, a few ladies gasp. One utters, “She listened to her heart.” I touch my nose. Well done, ABC. 

Jamie and Trevor

That’s right, Jamie chooses Trevor as her partner. I mean her lover! Or is it both? I’m not sure, but it was somewhat dramatic. Trevor assumes Jamie is going to pick Ryan, so he lays it all out on the line. He takes her (and his guitar) upstairs so he can serenade her with his favorite song: “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room.”

SNAP! Trev is using Ryan Mayer’s fake dad’s music to get the girl! That’s bold. 

Trevor really emphasizes the “can’t seem to hold you like I want to” lyrics and Jamie melts into his arms. 

I have a theory. Trevor can kiss better than Ryan. Ryan is a better musician than Trevor. Both are hot. As a young baby fawn, Jamie is leaning into the love portion of this musical dating reality show. We’ll see if this pays off in the end. 

But what about poor Ryan Mayer? He’s so talented! And has such pink lips! What’s he going to do?

Ruti and Ryan

Ruti to the rescue. She gives her rose to the pretty boy and he is safe another week. Phew! 

Michael Todd, Jack, Josh, Russell

Here’s what we know about Jack and Russell: Nothing.

Here’s what we know about Josh: He liked Julia, but didn’t get her rose.

Here’s what we know about Michael Todd: MAJOR CHACH!

Michael Todd waltzed into the mansion singing his original song “Hot Touch.” No thank you. Then he hit someone up with his best beat box. Hard pass. Then he told Savannah that he liked her lips and proceeded to hint in nine different ways that he wanted to experience said lips. Disgusting.

Bri got out of talking to Michael Todd by saying, “I kind of think I have to use the restroom.”

I’m not going to miss him one bit.

What did you think of the show? Do you have a favorite? Are you excited to see more contestants come into the mansion? Sound off in the comments!

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Susan Matthews
Susan Matthews
3 months ago

Why did I think this show about older people finding a date? I swear I saw that in a promo somewhere. It looks interesting so I will hang around for a bit.

3 months ago
Reply to  Susan Matthews

I’m not sure how I feel about the show— but right now it’s a good distraction and we get to see CH every week! I wonder if they are bringing new contestants in – previews looked like they did.

3 months ago

My thought exactly.

3 months ago

Sheridan = Yum!
And Michael Todd = glad his fake a$$ is gone!

3 months ago

Julia still has CF as there is no cure so it will be interesting if it becomes part of the season since it effects the lungs primarily. Will you being doing the podcast for all the episodes?

3 months ago

I’m going to miss the Chach …. he was such a train wreck but it was fun to see his attempts at connecting. Cringe worthy for sure.

I’m really going to enjoy this new twist on the show…. drama, music and roses.

Bring it on!

3 months ago

They show that they all live at the same mansion…so this should be interesting. Why are all of these guys wearing winter coats and scarves to the rose ceremony?? I understand it is windy as hell outside, but you can’t take your coat off while you are inside? Maybe this is just a musician thing that I don’t understand

3 months ago

My favorite part was them checking out the bunk beds… I would not have expressed the same level of excitement for youth hostel -style living!

Savannah reminds me so much of the actress Becki Newton (from Ugly Betty and How I Met Your Mother).

3 months ago

My favorite part of episode 1 was when Rudi broke out and sang “All I can do is smile – cause at least I loved you for a while.” I loved it so much that I tried to find the song to buy , but couldn’t find it. She can really sing and gave me chills.

3 months ago

I am so happy you are recapping this show! I didn’t think you were going to. It’s probably way too much to hope for the podcast with SGIA, but I’m sure we would all love it!

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