Dubbed “the bachelorette that the whole country is talking about” by host Chris Harrison, Rachel handled the pressure like a pro seamlessly moving from the After the Rose special to her ABC promo photo shoot to moving into her very own bachelorette pad, where she was joined by her loyal pup Copper.
“I’m just going to be myself. I do think that’s going to be different. I’m sweet, I’m also sour. I’m sassy yet classy,” the 31-year-old attorney described her approach to finding love before announcing, “This finger is ready,” while holding up her ring finger.
However, it wasn’t until we got our first look at the 31 guys vying for her heart that the fun really started.
Viewers were introduced to the male version of last season’s favorite Corinne combined with a dash of Chad in the form of Blake E., a personal trainer with a libido that is “scientifically proven” to be higher than average. He also made sure to let everyone know about the “amazingness of his penis” clearly inspired by Corinne’s “platinum vagine” tagline.
Then there was Alex, who despite appearances wants you to know he’s not a meathead, but a Rubik’s cube playing “nerd” followed by Diggy, with his 575 pairs of sneakers, and Josiah, whose backstory brought on the waterworks as he opened up about the suicide of his older brother and his troubled childhood.
Before Rachel actually met the guys, however, she got advice from some of her former competitors and possible future bridesmaids — Whitney, Astrid, Raven, Jasmine, Katrina, and of course Corinne — and DeMario’s intentions were instantly questioned by Whitney.
But Rachel needs more than gossip to sway her opinion of the Vegas-loving contestant who previously suggested they elope on the After the Rose special, and she took the advice “with a grain of salt.”
There was Bryce, the 30-year-old firefighter who literally swept Rachel off her feet, Fred, who brought a yearbook to remind Rachel they went to the same summer camp, and Bryan, a Spanish-speaking chiropractor who clearly won the night (more on that later).
Other standouts included Peter and his gap-toothed smile, Lee and his guitar, and Brady, who broke the ice by literally sledgehammering a block of ice.
Unfortunately for Rachel, not all the introductions went smoothly. From a freaky dummy named AJ that creeped out everyone in the house (Adam) to an awkward Steve Urkel impression (Will) to this year’s answer to dolphin girl courtesy of a penguin suit (Matthew), most of the guys definitely missed the mark.
However, no one was prepared for the force that was Lucas, or as he likes to call it, “Whaboom,” which he kept screaming throughout the night and no one could escape thanks to his handy megaphone.
Finally making her way into the mansion, Rachel was instantly surrounded on all sides by the most diverse cast in Bachelorette history, but she was not complaining. The first impression rose was obviously on everyone’s mind, and Rachel made it very clear what it would take to win her heart.
“I’m looking for that uncommon factor,” she said. “I’m looking for somebody who makes me feel something that none pf the other guys do.”
With eyes on the prize, the guys went above and beyond to prove themselves to Rachel (sandcastles and chocolate, just to name a few tricks), but nothing compared to Bryan’s sweet Spanish sayings and he walked away with the first impression rose and the first (and second) kisses of the night.
With one rose down, Rachel had 22 more to go — and unfortunately, some favorites including Bollywood dancing Mo, who had a little bit too much to drink, Blake K., and a distraught Milton did not survive the rose ceremony and were sent home in the early hours of the morning.
However, Lucas lives to Whaboom another day — and that’s all Bachelor Nation can ask for.