The 23rd season of The Bachelor kicked off Monday night with 30 women vying for the heart of Colton Underwood. After the first episode, only TK women remain – but did Colton make the right decisions? We’ll be recapping each episode and ranking all the contestants weekly on FTW.
Hannah G. brought Colton a gift box containing his “favorite brand of underwear,” only to reveal that the box was empty. (Colton revealed that he’s not a fan of underwear during the last season of Bachelor In Paradise).
In their first private meeting, Hannah asked whether it was more nerve-wracking to be The Bachelor or to be an NFL player, which is a great question.
Colton collected his first impression rose and took Hannah away for another 1-on-1, and told her that she reminded him of home.
“It’s so enjoyable to be around you.”
This could be a love-at-first-sight situation. After giving her the rose, the pair shared quite a few kisses.
After one episode and way too many cuts to viewing parties in Utah and Michigan, Hannah G. is the clear favorite to go all the way.
In a video package, Katie says that her parents have been married for 30 years, and she’s looking for a similar relationship. She pulled off a magic trick in her first interaction with Colton, asking him to pick a card from a deck. She took it from him to reveal a big “V” stamped on the card. It’s all downhill from here with the virginity jokes.
Colton and Katie had an engaging conversation about work-life balance in their first 1-on-1, and Colton stopped her mid-sentence to share a kiss.
Caelynn showed up wearing a Miss North Carolina sash, and flipped it around to reveal that the other side read “Miss Underwood.” Twitter was not having it.
Caelynn and Colton had a solid first conversation, which was sealed with the first kiss of the season.
Miss North Carolina also revealed that she’s actually from Virginia and only recently moved South, which sparked some reaction from Bachelor Nation.
Alex B. put on a Michael Jordan flu game performance in Week 1. She was suffering from an illness and could barely talk, but made a great impression with Love Actually style cards. After Colton gave her a hug, he muttered to himself that he wished he could talk to her.
Later in the episode, Colton gave her a warm drink, and she told him about her work as a dog rescuer.
Cassie, a speech pathologist from California, had arguably the best limo entrance. After telling Colton she has “so many butterflies,” she opened a box to reveal a bunch of fake butterflies. After she walked away, Colton picked one up and put it in his jacket, which seems like a good sign.
Later in the show, Cassie taught Colton a few words in sign language, including “kiss.”
Hannah, Miss Alabama USA 2018, had a hilarious interaction with Colton in her first 1-on-1. She asked Colton where he thinks she’s from, and he blurted out “not Arkansas?!”
(Tia, Colton’s ex-girlfriend from Bachelor In Paradise, is from Arkansas)
Hannah believes that she and Colton would have “really cute dimple babies,” which is probably accurate.
There could be some serious pageant drama on the horizon between Hannah B. and Caelynn, who finished as the first-runner up in Miss USA 2018.
Sydney revealed that she had to choose between quitting her job and coming on the show, so she’s clearly here for the right reasons.
Perhaps because the stakes are so high for her, personally, Sydney planned an excellent first night. She surprised Colton with a string quartet an taught him a few dance moves. They didn’t kiss, but it was still a solid effort all around.
While a number of other women were awkwardly addressing Colton’s virginity during their limo exit, Tayshia’s first message was that she believes Colton has a “really big heart” and cares about kids. Well played, Tayshia.
Later in the show, she surprised Colton with a carnival-like “Tayshia Land” outside the mansion, and received a piggyback ride.
Elyse, who is from Alaska, turned the pool into a fishing pond and shared a fun moment with Colton in their first 1-on-1. It was revealed at the end of the show that she later goes on a romantic helicopter date, so it seems like Elyse is sticking around for a while.
Kirpa, a dental hygienist, delievered two of the best lines of the night:.
- “I really hope that Colton flosses.”
- “It would be a good experience to clean Colton’s teeth.”
Onyeka’s family received a video profile at the start of the show, and she noted that she’s “a lot to handle.” She quickly proved to be one of the more high-energy and confrontational cast members. Onyeka crashed Catherine’s meeting with Colton while wearing a snorkel, announcing that she was here to save him from “drowning in some [expletives].”
Later in the episode, Onyeka took it upon herself to call out Catherine for repeatedly stealing Colton away.
Demi is a “country girl” who lives in Texas with her parents, and it was revealed in a video package that Demi’s mother is in federal prison due to embezzlement. In her first meeting with Colton, she told him that she hasn’t “dated a virgin since I was 12, but I’m excited to give it another shot.” Colton responded with an understandable “oh boy.”
The season preview seemed to portray Demi as one of the main characters of the show – for good or bad – later on. I don’t expect her to seriously contend, but I do expect her to be involved in a ton of Catherine and Tracy-related drama.
Tracy arrived in a cop car with blaring sirens as a representative of the “fashion police,” and gave Colton a pair of handcuffs. He… might be into that?
Later in the show, Tracy barged into Catherine’s initial meeting with Colton (which may have unleashed a monster).
To her credit, Tracy planned a fun activity for her first 1-on-1. She and Colton were just about to draw on a pair of white cloth shoes when Catherine returned to steal Colton back.
In the season preview that aired at the end of the episode, Demi torched Tracy, saying in a confessional that Tracy “could be 400 years old and still not be ready for marriage.”
THE MYSTERY DIVISION
There’s only so much air-time to highlight 30 different women, especially when ABC decides to waste around an hour interviewing fans. Here are the women we didn’t see much of who managed to make it to Week 2.
Colton quizzed Annie on football, asking her how many points a touchdown is worth. She aced it.
Bri faked an Australian accent in her first meeting with Colton – but she notably didn’t lie about where she’s from. When Colton noticed her talking like an Aussie, Bri carefully responded that “the accent is Australian.”
Courtney brought Colton a Georgia peach, which was very considerate. Fruits are an important part of a balanced diet.
Upon meeting Colton, Angelique told him she was leaving “a little glitter behind so you’ll remember me.” It worked?
Heather, the youngest member of the cast at 22, is also a virgin and has never been kissed.
Heather didn’t get any alone time with Colton, but still managed to snag a rose. The fact that Heather got a video package leads me to believe she could be going far in the competition.
Nicole got a video package at the beginning of the show detailing her close bond with her family.
Nina greeted Colton in Croatian, and wowed him by revealing that she speaks three languages. A quiet night, otherwise.
Laura’s elimination was the biggest shock of the night, especially after Colton remembered her name (presumably hours after he first met her). That’s more than we can say for Erika.
Erika made a strong first impression by bringing Colton a gigantic bag of nuts, but squandered it later on in the episode. In a private moment with Colton, her first question was about Colton’s decision to remain a virgin.
Did you not watch The Bachelorette, Erika?
Caitlin decided that the best first impression she could make is with a virginity joke.
We’ll see how that plays out. Later in the episode, her conversation with Colton was interrupted by Catherine – but she made it through to Week 2.
THE GONE AND MOSTLY FORGOTTEN DIVISION
Not everyone can have a perfect first meeting or a romantic private moment in the premiere episode – especially when Catherine’s around. Here are the five women eliminated on Night 1 who simply never got a chance.
Erin made a phenomenal entrance as Cinderella, but was anonymous for the rest of the episode. Whoever put a pumpkin outside the mansion for Erin to walk past as she exited deserves a raise.
Any chance Tahzjuan had of forming a connection with Colton was ruined when Catherine swooped in to steal him away. Better luck next time, Tahzjuan.
Jane brought Colton a framed photoshopped picture of her dog playing with… Colton’s dog. That’s kind of weird!
Revian spoke some Mandarin in her intro, so she at least earned you some Bachelor Fantasy points if you happened to pick her.
Catherine arrived to the mansion with an incredibly bold strategy. In an attempt to see if Colton is “worth it,” Catherine plans to leave her dog, Lucy, in Colton’s care for the entirety of the show. Is this even allowed!? If a single mom was a part of the cast, could she make Colton babysit for a month?
Chris Harrison graciously took over dog-sitting duties for the night, but it remains to be seen if Colton is going to take Catherine’s dog everywhere he goes.
Every season needs a villain, and it didn’t take long for Catherine to establish her identity as Public Enemy No. 1 among the other women in the mansion. After referring to the other women in the house as “beautiful statues,” Catherine had her first 1-on-1 conversation cut short by Tracy. Catherine agreed to let Colton go, but quickly changed her mind and immediately stole him back.
A few other women noticed Catherine walking away with Colton again, and resentment quickly spread. A few moments later, Catherine charged into a private moment between Colton and Caitlin, requesting him for a third time.
(Colton, it should be noted, probably should have just told her no! The burden is really on Colton to make sure each woman gets a fair shot, and if he’s not willing to direct traffic, chaos will clearly ensue.)
Onyeka confronted Catherine about her behavior and made it clear that the other women were tired of her tactics, but Catherine seemed to believe her actions were justified, as Colton is her “priority.” According to Catherine, “if you don’t have haters, you’re not doing something right.”
A few minutes after her conversation with Onyeka, Catherine crashed another 1-on-1 between Colton and Tahzjuan.
I’m not terribly convinced that Colton is actually interested in Catherine, and this may be a situation where producers won’t let Colton kick her off the show for ratings reasons.
Alex D, a self proclaimed sloth, surprised Colton with what might be the most polarizing limo entrance in series history. Alex dressed in a full sloth costume, walked at a glacial pace over to Colton and talked incredibly slowly in an attempt to imitate a sloth – but refused to ever break character. When Alex exited the limo, it was a funny stunt – but when ABC decided to fit a commercial break in between Alex’s steps, it quickly became painful to watch.
For whatever reason Alex kept her full costume on nearly the entire night once inside the Bachelor mansion. While all the other women were getting to know one another, Alex was…. hanging from a tree.
Alex finally got some 1-on-1 time with Colton later in the episode, and he helped her take off the sloth head to reveal herself.
Alex seems to have developed a bit of a fan following on Twitter, so we could be looking at another Grocery Store Joe situation. Could the sloth return to Paradise?