The Bachelorette 14.1 Recap: First Impressions

Hello fellow Bach Nation. We’re back and I couldn’t be happier. This will be my second season of writing recaps for The Bachelor franchise. Last season the thesis of this project was to examine the currents underneath the splashes of each episode and write the takes that weren’t being written. I plan on continuing that this season. Also, you all know I love numbers, so I’ll still be taking my statistical analysis to the recaps. Prepare to get dunked on again, Danica.

Like last season, I’ll be splitting up the recap into two parts: commentary about the episode and scoring for our brackets.

Commentary

“Please don’t edit this out, because fuck him.” Rachel Lindsay is still the straightest shooter of all time. I didn’t realize how much I deeply missed her until she showed up and also, dear God, she is so much better than the other ladies there. We never deserved her. Also, fuck Bryan still.

How many viewers thought their own fire alarms were going off when they set the mansion’s alarm off during the saging process? I certainly did.

Jo Jo made an excellent statistical point! All three of the former bachelorettes ended up getting engaged to the man they gave the first impression rose to! Overall, 20% (5/25) of the contestants who received the first impression rose went on to win. She also mentioned that they all kissed their fiancés on the first night. Who knew ABC would take up the anti-slut-shaming movement? I certainly didn’t.

Alright, the following will just be a series of hot takes about a few of the first impressions.

Jean Blanc saying that Haiti isn’t a shithole country was excellent.

Trent committed to the hearse and goddamn I respect that.

Colton’s character arc of being a fuckboi football player to starting a charity is hot.

Leo is Jon Hamm with long hair. Prove me wrong. He looks like him, he sounds like him, he has his quick wit, they’re the same person.

Christon the Harlem Globetrotter jumping over the moon for her was the perfect amount of corny. Sign me up.

David the chicken/venture capitalist being hot and charming was maybe the best reveal of the night. Look, the first night is always a bloodbath. A full third (it was a fourth this year) of contestants are sent home on the first night, but the people who dress up in a costume are NEVER sent home. If you’ve got a good personality but don’t know if you’re hot enough to secure a path out of Night One, then throw on a costume and you’ve got ten more one-on-one minutes with the bachelor(ette) to pitch yourself the next week.

Wills sold me on his patronus tattoo. It’s not just Harry Potter, it’s also “I await a guardian,” which is SO cool. I eat up that multi-layered name game like potato chips when I’m drunk.

Garrett, Garrett, Garrett. I don’t know what to do about you. This is going to be my one deep dive of the week, so bear with me. I’ve done my best not to show my hand on what I think about too many bachelors, so that you don’t take my bracket ideas, but I will here. I gave Garrett a 1/5 on his bio. If you grew up in the Central Valley, CA, you might as well be from the South. Not only that, but he went from the Central Valley to RENO?! Reno one of the worst cities in the fucking country and, believe me, I’ve spent a good deal of time there. Garrett’s bio segment before first impressions was deeply unsettling, as he just seemed to emanate Reno. But back to his online bio, he said that whenever he’s not outdoors he is perfecting his CHRIS FARLEY IMPRESSION. I do not want anyone in my house to ever, EVER impersonate Chris Farley. I’m happy to watch him on my screen once every year and a half, but I do not need someone screaming at other guests in a football stance in the middle of the living room of my small, New York apartment.

But his first impression… his first impression was amazing. Sure it was just product placement for Chrysler, but if someone drove up to me in a minivan saying, “Hey, look at how wholesome our life could be together with our whole family climbing into this minivan to go to the park or out on a road trip,” I would say, “Yes, please, marry me right now, you incredible human being.”

And now we get to his time during the extended cocktail party where he takes her out to the pool to teach her how to fly-fish. This whole bit I go back and forth on. 1) That’s very cute, him teaching her how to fly-fish. 2) But fly-fishing has, for a long time, been a very gendered activity where husbands will go in order to “escape” from their wife. That shit is problematic. 3) But he’s teaching her to do it WITH him and breaking down the gendered aspect of that activity and bringing her into his world while doing it. 4) And it reminded her of being with her family and the outdoorsiness of Minnesota. His performance on the first night was truly outstanding from beginning to end and he deserved that first impression rose.

During this first episode, I thought back to Rachel’s season and thought about who was the closest man to the Whaboom guy. The only person who came to mind was The Reno Guy. Well, The Reno Guy got the first impression rose, so I guess that’s out the window.

Lastly, my worst fears about Garrett were, in fact, realized. If you look through this Twitter thread, there is evidence that he went around liking a litany of alt-right propaganda and conspiracy theories including a post about David Hogg being a crisis actor, transphobic posts, and anti-immigrant posts. It’s really a trip and, sadly, unsurprising.

Lastly, lastly, Garrett, Colton, and Alex all look the same in the season promo and I can’t figure out which of them is going anywhere. They’re going to fuck up my bracket so much.

To end the commentary section this week, I just want to say that Joe the Chicago grocer deserved better. That is the least hot take I have as just about everyone on Earth agrees with me, but that doesn’t mean I am going to be any less upset about it. He was the only contestant I gave five out of five points to on their bio. The. Only. One. And you know what? He was even cuter on air. Sure he totally blew his first impression, but he should have gotten a second chance. He should have worn a costume. If he had worn a costume he would have won the competition.

Scoring

And now for one of my favorite segments: Jenny Threw Her Win Away. Jenny threw her win away in the first week of competition. I think Jenny is very good at this Bachelor bracket thing. She clearly understands the show inside and out. And I no longer have the “orientational advantage” I had with Arie last time around. But Jenny didn’t finish filling out her First Rose Ceremony elimination list and walked away with fewer than half the points everyone else did. I am sincerely looking forward to her losing by seven points in the final week.

Everyone else got exactly 16 out of their 20 picks correct. So basically everyone who took the time to make their Week 1 selections will be starting on an equal playing field. That’s nice.

Roses without thorns,

Douglas