January 3rd, 2012
11:08 AM ET
Last night's season premiere of "The Bachelor" began by going back to the last season of "The Bachelorette," when Ashley Hebert rejected Ben Flajnik's proposal.
Given the track record of winning couples on these shows, perhaps Ben's defeat was for the best.
And despite the setback, Ben has bounced back. He's driving cars, wearing sleeveless shirts and riding heavy machinery. He's a real man's man, and he knows what he's looking for in a woman. He's ready to be "The Bachelor," but is America ready to go through this again?
Chris Harrison welcomes us from the manor, and he looks a little sad. Hard to blame him - "You Deserve It" didn't do well in the ratings, and no one could answer a question about him on "Jeopardy!" last week.
He's also still upset over Ashley rejecting Ben, calling it one of the most "raw moments" in "Bachelorette" history. I think it's time for Chris to move on from this, and he does, introducing us to some of the 25 women competing for Ben's attention.
First up is Lindzi, who likes horses and weird spelling. Next there's Amber T., a Nebraska nurse who enjoys target shooting and eating a part of the cow I'd rather not discuss - this is a family-friendly blog.
And then there's Courtney, a Santa Monica model who looks like she finished third in a Katie Holmes look-a-like contest.
We also get to know Lyndsie, a diplomat's daughter from England who's all about odd spelling as well. She and Lindzi should get along just fine. A New Yorker named Jenna tells us that she blogs about love and relationships. That and 25 cents can get you a cup of coffee on the World Wide Web. Plus there's Nicki, a dental hygienist who appears to enjoy sitting on cattle for fun.
Chris and Ben get together for the pre-opening party chat. Chris notes that some "special women" will be at the party, including an epidemiologist and a game hunter. Ben doesn't appear to know what the former means, then asks if "game hunter" refers to someone who shoots wild animals. If Chris said the woman liked to shoot Scrabble tiles for fun, that would have been the 10th funniest moment in "Bachelor" history.
Ben's first conversations with the ladies were typical "Bachelor" - somewhat unpredictable, a little uncomfortable and mildly nauseating. Jenna the blogger had quite the awkward opening chat with Ben, similar to meeting someone at your 20th high school reunion, but having no clue who you're talking to.
Emily the epidemiology student thankfully explains to Ben what her career of choice means - we could have spent the whole show watching Ben trying to determine the word's origin. A Canadian woman named Amber B. tells Ben her nickname is the "Baconator." When you're named after something on the Wendy's menu, chances are you are in trouble on this show.
Holly from Kentucky came to the manor wearing what appeared to be the world's biggest hat, while Brittney had her 72-year-old grandmother do the introductions for her. Grandma even stayed for part of the cocktail party before leaving.
British Lyndsie recited a poem for Ben, while the other Lindzi arrived on a horse. Thankfully, she did not bring the horse into the manor. We also had Anna, a woman from Michigan who opted to just walk past Ben and not say a word to him. If "The Bachelor" were the 2011 NFL season, Anna represents the Indianapolis Colts.
The cocktail party had your usual wackiness – a country line dancing exhibition broke out, while Emily the epidemiologist delivered the worst rap since Duran Duran covered Public Enemy's "911 is a Joke." Another woman, Dianna, opts to blindfold Ben and ask him to guess the candies she's feeding him.
Meanwhile, the first feud in the house got under way, as Jenna the blogger went at it with Blakeley the "VIP" cocktail waitress and Monica the dental consultant over, well, something.
All I know is plenty of booze was imbibed, references were made to feminine products and Jenna ended up in a random room to cry her eyes out. Honestly, all I got out of those exchanges was that Monica and Blakeley would make great "Bachelor Pad" contestants if that show comes back this summer.
Lindzi the equestrian got the "First Impression" rose, presumably because her horse didn't leave a surprise on the driveway. She moves on to next week, along with Courtney the model, whiny Jenna and Emily the rapper.
Given the boot were silent Anna, British Lyndsie (costing us a chance at the other women competing in a Lyndsie/Lindzi spelling bee), both Ambers and three others.
The show concluded with a look at what to expect this season.
What did you think of last night's "Bachelor" premiere? Leave a comment below, or submit an iReport, as Kathi Cordsen did.
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