Jan. 6, 2016

Happily Ever Bachelor: Ben There, Done That

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The rankings and the roseless for week one of The Bachelor.

The Bachelor franchise kicked off its twentieth season Monday, this time featuring Ben Higgins as America’s sweetheart. It is my fifth season writing about this piece of highbrow culture in some way, shape or form. Do I consider myself an expert on love now? Yes. Yes, I do.

Like an old, married couple, I feel as if I have developed a certain familiarity with the show. I know what will happen when someone gets too drunk on night one, I know precisely how much sweat will accumulate on the bachelor’s face by the time the last lady leaves the limo, and I know the Bachelor will certainly appear shirtless by the end of the first ‘sode. (By my count, Ben took his top off at roughly 7:21 CST.) Despite all of this, I am still hooked.

Anyway, let’ s get over our fear of being unlovable and dive into the first women rankings of 2016!

This year, the rankings are simply based off of what ladies I want to stay on the show. This could be for a variety of reasons: craziness potential, attractiveness, connection with Ben, ability to narrate the story (I need to be entertained), or how many of them there are. Basically, I want you around if you are good television.

The Rankings:

#1: Lace, 25, Real Estate Agent, Hater

Why She’s Here: High, high craziness potential, attractiveness. She was the star of episode one. It’s that simple. If you do not believe me, then here is a list of things she said or did:

-Kissed Ben the moment they met.

-Begged production for another glass of wine while holding a full glass of wine.

-Threw shade at everyone who walked through the mansion doors.

-“Do my boobs look ok?”

-“Becca and Amber already had their chance!” She then spied on Becca and Ben and broke down their interaction beat-by-beat. She feared that their connection was too strong.

-Tried to kiss Ben again. He said no.

-“I’m gonna make a fucking fit if I don’t get a rose.”

-Threw a fucking fit after she received a rose. She did this because Ben “didn’t make enough eye contact” with her during the rose ceremony. Someone referred to her as “fifty shades of crazy.”

All in all, it was just a great rookie performance and I hope we see more of her.

Prediction: She goes home roseless, teary-eyed and angry next week. Don’t be surprised if she has a career as brilliant and as short as Adam Royer’s from Real World.

 

#2: Emily and Haley, 22, Twins

Why They’re Here: How many of them there are, the potential for a two-on-one loser- goes-home double-death date, general twin shenanigans.

The last time this franchise broke out the twins for a season, they decided to play them as one rose. As much as I would have liked them to get to a fantasy suite date, this was far too gimmicky and completely impractical. This year, each twin counts as a full person! Wow! Two roses for two people! Boy, I’m excited.

Prediction: One twin goes out in a two-on-one for the ages, and then the other gets the boot the following week.

 

#3: Lauren B., 25, Flight Attendant

Why She’s Here: Her potential for a long-term connection with Ben.

Lauren did not do anything that blew me away in the first episode, but she was the first out of the limo, the first person that received their own, little 45-second backstory video (only 8 of the 27 women had one), and she was given the first rose at the rose ceremony. Analytically, those all seem like good signs. She also seemed fairly capable of drunken flirting and Ben said she was “a great start” when he first saw her. Expect Lauren to make a deep run.

Prediction: Makes it to the final four and ends up heartbroken!

 

#4: Kayla Caila, 24, Software Sales

Why She’s Here: Her potential for a long-term connection with Ben, they work in similar businesses.

She received the second backstory video, was the second off of the limo and grabbed the third rose at the ceremony. She seems bubbly and broke out a cheesy pick-up line. She jumped into his arms and said, “Thanks for catching me, mind if we catch up inside?” Not terrible! Though, “catching up” implies they have already had some type of dialogue. Still, she’ll be around for a while.

Prediction: Second place.

 

#5: Olivia, 23, News Anchor

Why She’s Here: Attractiveness, received first impression rose.

She was the last out of the limo, but she received the first impression rose. I do not know if this is just indicative of Ben’s lack of long-term memory or the producers having a sense of Olivia’s chances and placing her at the end, knowing he would go for her. Who knows?

Prediction: I cannot get a firm grasp on her. I kind of want to say that she is the next Bachelorette. Let’s go with that. She’s the next Bachelorette.

 

T-#6: Becca, Amber – retreads

Why They’re Here: Experience, veteran tenacity, celibacy.

Becca is such a power player in this game that her mere presence scares the hell out of her opponents. She can hold a drink in the corner and idly chat away while other women fidget in fear. Honestly, Becca weirds me out, but to each their own.

Amber is now a three-time Bachelor franchise veteran. She made a deep run in Chris’s season and was a viable romantic partner in the most recent Bachelor in Paradise. She is attractive, likable and has the potential to make a run. After watching the trailer, however, I feel as if she will get knocked out fairly early.

Prediction: Becca sleepwalks into the top five. Amber gets the boot in a couple weeks.

 

#8: Jubilee, 24, War Veteran

Why She’s Here: Attractiveness, I like her name.

I’m guessing that Jubilee is the first-ever war veteran to appear on the show and she probably knows it. I’m basing a lot of this ranking off of the fact that she made multiple appearances in the season trailer and had the third extended-backstory tape. Plus, I like her name.

Prediction: Top six with a real shot at the hometown dates.

 

#9: Shushanna, 27

Why She’s Here: MYSTERY, attractiveness, possibly Mormon

As I type this, I feel as if I may have under-ranked Shushanna because she was easily the most interesting thing that happened on the episode. I mean, SHE TALKED IN RUSSIAN THE ENTIRE TIME. They never explained if it was a joke or if she knows English or what. My guess is that she is Russian born, but her player card says she is from Utah. So this leaves me with a few questions:

-Is she some mail-order Russian bride who wasn’t down for the whole polygamy thing and wanted to forge her own path?

-Conversely, is she some mail-order Russian bride who is super down for the polygamy thing and is infiltrating the Bachelor Mansion in hopes of seducing and recruiting more sister-wives for her husband?

-Was she born in a completely closed-off community not far from Salt Lake City that spoke exclusively Russian and only watched The Bachelor?

-Is she a production plant?

I do not think any of these can be ruled out and this makes her the biggest enigma the franchise has seen since… well, since Ashley S. last season. I’m all in!

Prediction: She seduces and recruits Becca, Lace and two others to Utah and sister-wifedom.

 

T-#10: The Rest.

Why They’re Here: I feel as if I just do not know enough about them. Most of them were named Lauren I’m pretty sure, there was one who literally dressed a first impression rose and one played football the whole episode. That’s all I got.

Prediction: One makes a run, one does something crazy and we all have a great time watching! There is good chance that Marti the dentist will floss someone’s teeth, too.

The Roseless:

Seven women went home without so much as a petal. Here they are – in no certain order:

Lauren R., 26, Math Teacher

What Went Wrong: Lauren went in with a big play at the beginning and refused to introduce herself. Ben asked her for her name no less than three times, but Lauren R. ignored every request. Initially, I thought this was a genius move. It guarantees a second chat and, eventually, an official introduction. However, her downfall was likely the fact that every girl was named Lauren at the party. And her nose probably didn’t help either.

 

Laura, 24, Account Executive

What Went Wrong: I’m not sure with this one. Generally, the singular redhead from each season gets an episode or two, but Ben was not down for “Red Velvet.” Actually, that was probably it. That’s a weird name.

 

Maegen, 30, Cowgirl

What Went Wrong: Maybe her age or maybe the fact she brought a pony – or, I guess it was a “tiny horse” – with her to the mansion. Is there a difference between the two animals or is “tiny horse” the politically correct way of saying “pony?” Is “pony” a slur? Am I bigot for saying pony for all these years? Man, I sure hope not. Ben was clearly going through all of these problems, didn’t want to face his demons and was forced to give Maegen the axe. I can’t blame him.

 

Isabel, 24, Graphic Designer

What Went Wrong: She wore a onesie to the ceremony and introduced herself by saying, “Had to find out if you were the onesie for me.” So, yeah. My guess is that’s it.

 

Breanne, 30, Nutritional Therapist

What Went Wrong: Based her entire persona around her hatred for gluten. She brought a huge basket of bread and proceeded to enlist Ben’s help in destroying its contents. This is not the behavior of a sane human being.

 

Jessica, 23, Accountant

What Went Wrong: I don’t know what went wrong here! She seemed normal to me. Maybe she was too normal? The fact that Jessica is gone and Mandi received a second week seems like a case of production intervention to me.

 

Tiara, 27, Chicken Enthusiast

What Went Wrong: She followed the same path as former bachelorette occupations such as “dog lover” and “free spirit” in the goofy job game. Tiara seemed like a legitimate chicken enthusiast and I actually enjoy seeing these little gimmicks every year. Ben does not.

 

So, what have we learned about Ben in week one? Well, he got rid of every single girl older than him besides Mandi and I accused the production of making that decision for him. Besides that, he seems fairly competent. He handled the weird pick-up lines and the drunken interruptions about as well as he could have handled them.

Now, how will he handle week two? I cannot wait to find out.


Nick Dorman (@nickdorman) is a clean cut young professional.