Last night’s season premiere of The Bachelorette was historic, in that ABC has saddled our girl JoJo Fletcher with what is possibly the worst group of men ever featured on this show.
The episode began, as these premieres always do, with ABC’s harem of former bachelorettes giving the current bachelorette advice about how to date 28 men with rage disorders at once. Ali, Kaitlyn and Desiree commiserated with each other about how difficult it is to hurt people’s feelings, and Desiree and Ali warned JoJo to not mistake lust for love. Ali, Kaitlyn and Desiree were all operating under the assumption that JoJo, like them, will have some normal, attractive men to choose from. This is unfortunately, as predicted, not at all the case.
Beyond the fact that they were all absurdly drunk, the contestants were extremely nervous and sweaty and horribly unappealing; “I just wish these guys would relax,” JoJo sighed at one point. My friend pointed out that they all looked like Lego men—shiny, extremely coiffed, and almost entirely (with the exception of six men of color, three of whom were sent home) indistinguishable.
There was a man called Saint Nick (job title: “Father Christmas”) who came in a Santa suit and beard and did not remove any of it throughout the night, except during a one-on-one with JoJo, during which he took off his beard and she quickly put it back on him. “Jo Jo Jo Jo!” he kept yelling, instead of “Ho.” There was a Marine with an absolutely gigantic neck, and a “Bachelor superfan” named James S. who appears to have botoxed his entire face.
There was Brandon—job title: “hipster”—who informed JoJo that “I didn’t watch the last season at all. I have no idea, I have nothing, I know nothing about you.” There was a man of Scottish and Chinese descent who showed up in a kilt, and informed JoJo that he is “Scottish below the waist”; another, Sal, brought a pair of blue balls, and gave JoJo “permission to squeeze my balls” anytime she got stressed. Chad, who JoJo liked, described himself in an interview as “a manlier, more rugged version of Ben,” who dumped JoJo last season.
“He’s a good guy, but he’s just a softie. He’s just a soft, supple, smooth, friendly guy,” Chad said quietly, staring into the camera.
There was also an “erectile dysfunction expert” named Evan (the theme of this episode was apparently “dicks”; Evan, as a side note, also has an exceptionally weird bio) who declared that the “energy is weird” (this was correct) and got upset when a wasted Canadian—more on him in a bit—poked him in the belly button. “For some reason Daniel thought he could just poke my belly button. I don’t know why,” Evan said.
“You never poke another man’s belly button,” James F. agreed.
Now, again, the reason that there was a belly button controversy in the first place is that everyone was unbelievably hammered.
“She’s a lucky girl,” Daniel slurred at one point, “Because there’s a lot of good-looking guys that are nice. If I was gay I’d be in paradise.” Hm!
Daniel, who downed “one fireball, two tequilas, two vodkas,” and probably some other stuff he didn’t remember, took off all his clothes and jumped in the pool, at one point strutting up to JoJo in nothing but a pair of tiny black underpants, cueing many a “Damn, Daniel” joke. Two other men, blackout drunk, wandered into the room where JoJo was conducting private on-camera interviews in search of one-on-one time.
“I’m so tired, that just exhausted me,” JoJo told producers after the encounter.
At one point, to ramp up the excitement, producers brought Jake Pavelka—Jake Pavelka—on as a surprise guest right before the rose ceremony. At first it seemed as though the incredibly creepy and demonstrably awful former Bachelor was there to court JoJo, which was a horrible prospect; instead, he was just there to freak everyone out and give JoJo a weird pep talk.
“Jake is a close family friend, he’s almost kind of like a brother to me,” JoJo explained in an interview, a look of genuine fear on her face. “I have no clue why he would be here right now.”
“I want love for you, and I want you to find love here,” Jake finally said, after completing his task of creating momentary drama. Okay!
Since this crop was so bad, there were a few very clear frontrunners: former NFL player Jordan Rodgers (his brother Aaron Rodgers is quarterback for the Green Bay Packers), who got the first impression rose and the first makeout of the season. Wells, a radio DJ, also got some major points for bringing out All 4 One to sing an a capella version of “I Swear”; JoJo also seemed to like Luke, for some reason, a war veteran with a very pointy face who came in on a horse wearing a unicorn horn. James Taylor, a singer-songwriter (I don’t know, you guys), seems sweet.
But in general, I am frankly outraged on JoJo’s behalf that she is being forced to spend six weeks with these meatballs. What a nightmare.
Image via screenshot/ABC.