I must admit that I was impressed by the length Katie Thurston’s 30 men went to in order to get her attention. Every season of The Bachelorette and The Bachelor, we watch contestants use humor, cleverness and shock value in order to stick out from the always attractive crowd. This year’s season premiere of The Bachelorette was no different. Except this time, the guys’ creativity actually pays off.
The episode kicks off with your usual corny montage of Katie going about her totally normal life that consists of being on reality TV, while her voiceover plays in the background. We learn that she believes in the process! She’s ready for a family! And she’s never been truly, deeply in love. a.k.a. she’s the perfect choice for a lead because she’s a true believer and has just the right amount of naivete about what actually makes a lasting relationship. Good thing she has guides to assist her in the process in the form of former Bachelorettes Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe. Chris Harrison bowed out from hosting this season due to the racism controversy revolving around Matt James’ past contestant Rachael Kirckconnell.
Katie quickly assumes position as she waits for the stretch limousines full of suitors to arrive. Tayshia and Kaitlyn, obviously, watch from the window as they comment on the men. First out of the limo is real estate broker Thomas who delivers a pretty boring line: “I can’t wait to understand more of what makes you you.” Yawn. After, we meet a slew of other eligible bachelors, who have normal-ish entrances until we arrive at Tre, a 26-year-old software engineer who pops out of a ball pit in the back of a pickup truck. “I’m here to have a ball with you,” he tells Katie.
The gimmicks don’t end there: We meet 26-year-old pro football player Andrew S., who arrives in an antique car and puts on his best fake British accent for Katie, before eventually confessing that he’s from Chicago. Next is Brandon, a 26-year-old auto parts manager who arrives on a moped. Then we meet former baseball player Conor C., 28, who shows Katie his first baseball glove before delivering a punny joke about catching feelings.
We’re later introduced to technical recruiter Kyle, 26, who rips off his underwear (yes, I’m being serious) in front of Katie in hopes of being “brief.” Then 34-year-old software strategist Hunter shows off a fish, telling Katie, “I’m hoping you agree, I’m kind of a catch.” I wish I was done, but I’m just getting started. New Jersey Jeff is a 31-year-old man who decides to drive up in an RV, alleging to have driven to New Mexico from Jersey (doubtful). Spoiler alert: He gets sent home.
And then we have perhaps the most clever man of the night who arrives in a box. He’s an actual gift and hiding in a present. In case you couldn’t guess, 30-year-old James is a salesman. “I wanted to make sure I was present for you tonight,” he says. “But there is a catch: If you want to open your gift, you have to come find me inside.” You have to be really attractive to pull that off and he is. Big Bradley Cooper energy with that one.
There are more props and acts, but one man sticks out from the crowd. Meet Connor B. He’s a 29-year-old math teacher from Nashville, who’s also a musician. He shows up in a cat costume. Katie says, “It’s so mice to finally meet you,” and when he walks off camera, she adds, “I think I’m in love.” Turns out the outfit worked because she’s a self-described cat lady.
That’s a lot to digest for one night. Katie got lucky with a batch of handsome and creative men. Even the cheesy gimmicks were kind of endearing. Katie seems to enjoy herself as she kisses some men and gushes about being attractive to the quieter types. Ultimately, she gives her first impression rose to Greg, who is already a fan-favorite due to his love of family, shy charm and perfect face.
“I do feel that there’s something there,” Katie tells a nervous Greg. “And once we can get passed those nerves, I think there’s a great guy under there.” He replies, “I really truly feel like there’s a connection between us.”
She proceeds to give roses to Tre, Michael A., Thomas, Garrett, Connor B., Andrew S., James, Justin, Quartney, Karl, Mike P., John, Kyle, Andrew M., Josh, Conor C., Brendan, David, Aaron, Christian, Hunter, and Cody.
Katie remains hopeful that she’ll find love by the end of the episode and judging by her contestants, so am I.
The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.
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Read More: Hollywood News