I never thought we would see the day when Arie Luyendyk Jr.’s season of The Bachelor started. But somehow, tonight was the night.
Let’s go back for a brief second and talk about the confusion his selection initially brought to fans everywhere. ABC shocked all of Bachelor Nation by picking him as the Bachelor for season 22 over fan-favorites Peter Kraus and Eric Bigger from Rachel Lindsay’s season of The Bachelorette. Headlines included USA Today’s “New Bachelor Arie Luyendyk Jr. enrages, confuses Twitter,” E! Online’s “Was Arie Luyendyk Jr. the Wrong Choice for ‘The Bachelor’?” and BuzzFeed’s “The new ‘Bachelor’ was just revealed and people are seriously confused.”
I was a strong member of Bachelor Nation when Arie came in second place on Emily Maynard’s season of The Bachelorette. He was my favorite, along with fellow Bachelor Sean Lowe, during that season and I was devastated when she picked Jef Holm over him. Who gives up the guy whose nickname is the kissing bandit? However, I, like everyone else, was confused by this pick seeing as we are five years removed from him gracing our television screens. He was never on Bachelor Pad or Bachelor in Paradise so the move just seemed totally out of left field. But my favorite Bachelor guru, Ashley Iaconetti, put it best in her Cosmo article the day the announcement was made:
I’ll admit it: at first I was like, WTF are the producers thinking picking Arie over this lineup? But once the choice sank in, I’ve begun thinking it’s just what the franchise needed. No offense to my friends who have been part of the past two seasons (because you guys are the good ones!), but I’ve been hearing so many complaints from Bachelor Nation over the past six months — and especially over the past month while Paradise has aired — that they feel disconnected from the cast. At a charity event for Restore Dignity last night in Santa Monica, many fans told me they craved more substance from the show. My theory is that many of the people cast in the past year have been more interested in living a life of fame and luxury thanks to social media popularity than to fall in love. They don’t get as emotionally invested in the romance of it all because that’s not what they signed up for. Back in Arie’s day you got your 15 minutes of fame during the season, but without Paradise and an Insta following, the attention died down quickly.
I’m hopeful, like Ashley, that Arie’s season will bring the Bachelor franchise back to it’s glory days. But only time will tell. Now, with all that being said, let’s move on to tonight’s premiere. As always, here were 30 thoughts I had in real time as I was watching the first episode of Arie’s season.
1. Arie’s hair greyed a lot in five years, and not in a good way. It almost seems like they sprayed it with grey color.
2. Watching clips of Emily and Arie for the first time in years just reminds me just how much I wanted her to pick Arie in the end. That break up on the bench was BRUTAL, y’all; I don’t want to relive this.
3. Sean, Catherine and Samuel — still technically the only successful relationship/family to come out of The Bachelor. And I’m still obsessed with them.
4. Onto the select introduction videos! Caroline — girl, we need to talk. Who wears a dress like that to sell a house? Please tell me this is just for filming purposes and you don’t actually wear that in front of clients normally. And really, you got to throw in how much money you’ve made in real estate? This is whole introduction is stupid.
5. Maquel is 23 years old. I repeat: 23 years old. THAT’S PRACTICALLY MY AGE. This is what I was afraid of.
6. “The more blood, the better for me.” Okay Nysha — I like you.
7. Weiner, Arkansas? You’ve got to be kidding me, right? I think they seriously must have heard that name and went there to find someone; Also she’s friends with Raven… BECAUSE OF COURSE SHE IS
8. KENDALL COLLECTS TAXODERMY? This is weirder than Kirk’s hometown date from Ali Fedotowsky’s season.
9. I don’t know how I feel about Krystal’s backstory. Part of me sympathizes with her, but part of me feels like this is fake and she’s actually going to be a big phony. I think I’m currently leaning toward the latter, but I’m eager to be proved wrong.
10. I HATE THE CHEESY OFF THE MARKET LINE FROM CAROLINE. She would have to do a lot to win me over at this point.
11. Seinne gave Arie elephant cufflinks because of what elephants represent — loyalty, good luck and her favorite animal. Classy, thoughtful, smart gift. I approve.
12. Tia…. Little Weiner…. I can’t even. WHY?
13. The bumper sticker on the butt entrance from Brittane was so clever and original. I loved it
14. The entrances keep coming, but I don’t see a lot of age-appropriate women… *le sigh*
15. KRYSTAL GETS ROMANTIC MUSIC BEHIND HER ENTRANCE. SHE’S GOING FAR IN THIS COMPETITION. Side note: her dress is great.
16. “The hair is down and the boobs are out.” Chelsea, I love you and your one-liners.
17. Bekah admits to camera that she doesn’t know a lot about Arie. Is that a good strategy or just plain stupid? Time will tell…
18. Jessica also seems to get slightly romantic music behind her. Take note people.
19. Jessica’s gratitude rock might be the best, most normal gift ever given during entrances. I’m a fan.
20. SO MANY LAURENS. Like is this a running joke amongst producers now? Is casting multiple Laurens part of their contracts?
21, “Four Laurens walk into a room… and none of them get chosen.” Chelsea is winning it with the jokes.
22. ALI JUST HAD ARIE SMELL HER ARM PITS. WHAT THE FUCKERY? Who are these women?
23. Arie has 29 women. Now I know the number of contestants is usually somewhere between 25 and 30. But 29 is still an insane amount of people to try and meet in one night.
24. Okay now Chelsea is just being a little rude.
25. “If you can find love on dating apps, then you can find love here.” I fully agree.
26. Not only did Brittany T. get the FIRST KISS, she kissed and told. Dumb mistake on her part.
27. Thank god Analiese, the kissing bandit, removed her mask MUCH SOONER than the Mask from Ashley Hebert’s season. She also got good romantic music played under her 1-on-1 time.
28. OF COURSE CHELSEA WENT IN FOR THE KISS. Because of course she did.
29. Jenny’s drawing of Arie is really fucking good.
30. Chelsea got the first impression rose. She’s going to be this season’s Corinne. Love her or hate her.
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 pm EST.