Photo: Courtesy of ABC
After five months of finger-tapping anticipation, The Bachelor is finally back, and this time, it's even more caliente than ever before. Thanks to his washboard abs, charming personality, sweet soccer skills, washboard abs, ability to look fantastic in a suit, and his washboard abs, jilted suitor Juan Pablo Galavis from Desiree Hartsock's season of The Bachelorette is here, sincere, and ready to find a wife and mother to his daughter!
But first, those abs. Thanks to a programming genius over at ABC, this season kicked off with a three-hour premiere split into two nights. On night one, we got to see many women practicing their Spanish (Juan Pablo hails from Venezuela and confessed that he perfected his English skills before taping started) and host Chris Harrison surprising others with the news that they'd get a chance at a happily ever after with the first-ever Latino bachelor.
We also witnessed Juan Pablo and his gigantic family having a blast over dinner, drinks, and a pool at his uncle's house in Miami. Maybe it was the drinks or maybe it was their close-knit relationships, but we can already say that whomever Juan Pablo gives the final rose to will have a blast at family functions.
Anyway, the real fun started on Monday night's two-hour portion of the premiere. We got to hear how the self-proclaimed "El Bachelor Latino" found his lifelong passion for soccer—he played pro, so he's pretty legit—and obviously, more about his daughter, Camila. We reached for tissue number one as he told the story of her Valentine's Day birth, which led to her full name: Camila Valentina. Juan Pablo is smitten with his adorable (and lookalike) daughter, and the feeling seems mutual. We've seen several other single-parent Bachelors and Bachelorettes, and their "journeys" are consistently the most emotional and serious. No surprise there, though, but we are curious to see how many single mothers will be vying for the 32-year-old Juan Pablo's heart.
After a chat with former Bachelor Sean Lowe, which we mostly missed due to staring back and forth at their beautiful faces like a tennis match, we got to finally meet some of the women that will get to jump into the "Juan Pablo fever that reached epidemic proportions" feet first. Seeing as these intros nearly always include most of the final four contestants, we paid special attention to these nine ladies, all of whom blush at their amor's sexiness.
There was Chelsie, a lovely blonde from Columbus, Ohio, who peeked through sunflowers and announced that, "Every girl in America wants to hug him, and I'm sure I will get at least that." Renee jumped through waves at the beach in her hometown of Sarasota, Florida, to prove that even real estate agent moms of eight-year-old boys can have fun. Andi, an assistant district attorney from Atlanta, argued in a "trial" that still looked like fun and made us want to hire her.
Then there was Amy J., a massage therapist from Florida who scared America when she described herself as an "Artist when it comes to the human body," before the hammering the nail in the coffin: "I want a man who wants to be rubbed by me." Amy J., please stick around for awhile for some more uncomfortable sound bites.
Nikki, a delightful pediatric nurse from Kansas City, can raise our children, as far as we're concerned. Her intro, which showed her caring for a toddler with Down's Syndrome, brought out tissue two. We grabbed tissue three when Lauren H., a mineral coordinator from Oklahoma, shared a heartbreaking story about a former fiancé who broke up with her over a phone call.
We then met Valerie, a cute Southern California girl, Lacy, a 25-year-old that owns her own elderly care facility in California (we're seriously impressed), and Clare, a hairdresser from Sacramento who made us use tissue four as she told the story of how, before her father died of brain cancer, he made a DVD for her future husband to watch.
With the intros over, Juan Pablo got to meet his 25—scratch that, 27 bachelorettes! Chris Harrison explained that interest was so high, they had to add to the roster. As the ever-sensitive Juan Pablo expressed concern about hurting people, scream-filled limos began to pull up to the Bachelor mansion.
To avoid describing all of the awkward first conversations Juan Pablo had with his eager new friends, we'll stick to the highlights.
Though Cassandra, a 21-year-old former NBA dancer could barely form words in front of him, police support specialist Christine brought him a bracelet with "Camila" written on its beads. Major props to Christine. After our pediatric nurse Nikki brought out her stethoscope, Juan Pablo bit his hand in excitement. So did we!
Juan Pablo himself said he liked the first limo, but the second brought him Brazilian bombshell Victoria, Lucy, a self-described "free spirit" (yes, that was her job description), who went barefoot, and then a girl who needed no limo: Lauren S., a music composer who rolled up attached to a piano before walking into the mansion without telling Juan Pablo her name. Slow clap for Lauren S.
Photo: Courtesy of ABC
The next batch were all winners in the first impression department: Clare pretended she was pregnant, Alli kicked a soccer ball, and Amy J. continued to scare us (direct quote: "I'm here for you, because it's you.")
After this auspicious group, Kelly, whose job really and truly is "dog lover," went for subtlety by arriving with a dog, Lacy gave him pills from cupid's pharmacy, and Andi actually seemed to make a good impression on him.
"How am I going to do this, huh?!" Juan Pablo said as he recovered from his barrage of conversation. He entered the mansion and the night got off to a spirited start. He and his admirers goofed off in a photo booth, had a dance party, and got down to brass tacks during his first one-on-ones. Slowly but surely, women got to sneak away with Juan Pablo for some good, old-fashioned chatting.
Photo: Courtesy of ABC
"Do we have to talk, can we just stare?" Renee asked. Yet they had so much in common, that the quote was surprisingly cute.
Barefoot Lucy declared, "Tonight is not the night to be a wallflower" before sitting down with Juan Pablo. His impression of her? "Lucy a little crazy."
Dear, sweet Amy J. used her alone time to massage him right away. "I wanted to pour my oils all over him," she said dreamily. Though he kindly told her, "You have great hands," he confessed to the camera that the massage was pretty awkward. No kidding.
As Chris Harrison effectively dropped the mike by bringing out first impression rose, some of the women's true colors came out. The ones who hadn't yet had their one on one time said they felt like they had no chance. But no one was more despondent than Lauren H., the poor girl who'd been dumped by her fiancé over the phone. "Tonight my most vulnerable I've ever felt in my life," she confessed in between tears.
Unfortunately for Lauren H., opera singer Sharleen got the first impression rose. Her tasteful dress proved that a little skin goes a long way, and her quiet confidence impressed our fair Bachelor. "She's a keeper," he announced. She expressed some concern because the show sometimes forces a love connection, but luckily, she re-considered this notion. "I'm not going to lie, I'm incredibly flattered and what matters to me is that I feel something."
After this came the real rose ceremony! So far, we have good feelings about several of his chosen ones, including Nikki, Renee, Chelsie, Sharleen, and Andi. Lucy and Clare are slightly wildcard choices, but we're excited to see how those budding romances go.
As for the most awkward moment of the night (of which there were many to choose from), it has to be the moment when Juan Pablo called out Kat for a rose and both she and a confused Kylie stepped forward. He clarified his choice, but Kylie asked if he could take both of them. The answer? No. Uncomfortable grimaces filled the room.
The other roses went to Alli, Chantel, Lauren S., Kelly, Cassandra, Danielle, Kat, Victoria, Christy, Elise, and Amy L. That means Amy J., Kylie, Lauren H., Christine, Ashley, Valerie, Lacy, Maggie, and Alexis went home.
We got our final thoughts from gone-too-on massage therapist Amy J. before the show ended. "From the moment this journey started I thought he was the one. You know, sometimes someone doesn't feel you the way you feel them."
The moral of this episode: There are going to be a lot of tears this season. We can't wait to see what causes them next!