Honestly, there's a part of me that wants to dilly-dally before actually diving into the episode recap, because I feel like that would accurately reflect what ABC put audiences through in tonight's three-hour premiere of The Bachelor. (opens in new tab) Like, I love that multiple people thought, "You know what's great? Watching other people watch television!" ABC's watch-party-hopping across the United States throughout the episode felt like a soccer mom trying to boost a child who's bad at playing soccer. Bachelor Nation was, uh...less than thrilled (opens in new tab) at the choice for Bachelor this time around, and the production team is doing everything they can to get people to stop tweeting at them about Blake or Jason. You don't want Colton? We're gonna make you beg for him, seems to be the message.
But you know what? Neither of Blake nor Jason had what Colton has: virginity! Did you know Colton was a virgin? Honestly, my mother, who refers to Channing Tatum as Chanum Tating, knows Colton Underwood Is A Virgin. But really, spoiler alert: Colton Underwood has never had sex. I kind of resent the fact that this man (who was an NFL player, who runs a charity, who has a very cute dog) has been boiled down to his sexual activity (or lack thereof). Then again, I don't think this show is known for casting leads for their personalities, right?
And, see? They've even got me talking about his virginity, and that's not cool! At this point, I have an almost visceral reaction to the word "virgin," we are not far enough removed from the holiday season to be talking about virginity this much. Even The Virgin Mary is like "ENOUGH with the virgin talk, we get it!" But honestly, I'm not even skimming the surface with all of the virginity references. Here are some of the most squirm-inducing, awkward, and straight-up WTF references from the premiere, ranked by their cringiness.
One of the Hannahs Enters Virgin Territory
Hannah B., or Hannah Alabama, cousin of Hannah Montana, is one of two Hannahs this season, and she calls herself the "hot mess express." She's the first to mention the status of Colton's sexual conquests in her opening interview, and it feels rather shoehorned in there, like a producer asked her how she felt about him being a virgin because they couldn't come up with anything else to say. They're also definitely preparing us for Caelynn vs. Hannah Alabama, Battle of The Pageant Queens, this season.
Cringe Rank: Not too cringy, like realizing both your shirt and pants are on inside out and backwards before going into a huge meeting.
Colton Isn't The Only Virgin
Heather, whose career chyron reads "Never Been Kissed," has been relegated to Second Virgin in this season of Der Bachelor. Heather has met Colton before for a few seconds, and that was enough to know that she wants him to be her first kiss. Just get it over and done with in the back of a school bus after a forensics tournament (opens in new tab) when you're in the seventh grade in a game of Truth or Dare, Heather.
Cringe Rank: Pre-pubescent flirting.
Demi, who I already can sense will be this season's Corinne (as in, the girl who's there to play for the cameras and go viral) makes a mention to Colton's...quickly googles "virginity synonyms"...CHASTITY by comparing it to various flavors of cupcakes. I'm not a fan of talking about sex in cutesy euphemistic terms, so I do not need to think about Colton's favorite cake flavor. I am here for more Funfetti representation on our screens, however, because Funfetti just tastes better than normal cake.
Cringe Rank: The first time you hear a recording of yourself.
Colton Refers to HIMSELF as The First Virgin Bachelor
Colton, you are not a cocktail. You can't just go around giving yourself nicknames. Stop it. Only we're allowed to call you the virgin bachelor.
Cringe Rank: Parents dancing to Usher's "Yeah."
Chris Harrison and Colton Discuss Colton's Virginity
Chris Harrison bringing up Colton's virginity went over like a balloon full of bricks. Talking about your sex life with Chris Harrison is like talking about your sex life with grandparents. There is nothing more I love from this show than when they force Chris Harrison to have these long, heartfelt conversations about the Bachelor's emotional state as if he hasn't just emerged from the Austin Powers Cryogenic Freezer the production team keeps him in when the show isn't filming. Chris Harrison with the dog is the most emotion we've seen out of him in the 150 years this show has been on the air.
Cringe Rank: Ramona Singer (opens in new tab) walking down the runway.
"I Haven't Dated a Virgin Since I Was 12, but I'm Ready to Give It Another shot."
A line delivered by Demi, straight out of the limo. Wut?
Cringe Rank: Reading aloud in science class and saying "orgasm" when you mean "organism"
Caitlin's Cherry Balloon
First off, this may be the first time I've ever agreed with Colton, but that balloon looked like an apple, not a cherry. What kind of cherry has a green leaf?! Second, this is a cute, yet weird way to introduce yourself: "I popped your cherry, now we don't need to talk about it." I mean, I want to talk about it even less than you do, but you're only adding to the conversation, Caitlin. But can we talk about how Caitlin is also possibly Sasha Pieterse secretly cast on this show? Caitlin/Sasha, you were so good on Dancing with the Stars!
Cringe Rank: Reading the Wikipedia page for Pretty Little Liars and trying to make sense of it
"Sweet Georgia Peach"
This is just a sad, missed opportunity for a Call Me By Your Name reference. I'm sure that would be prime for This Week In Timothée Chalamet (opens in new tab).
Cringe Rank: Watching Call Me By Your Name with your parents.
"I took your V-Card"
Katie looks like she's going to do a full-on magic card trick and then ruins it with a virginity reference. Girl, you can do MAGIC. Can you make all of this live watch party stuff disappear instead?
Cringe Rank: Watching all these live-viewing parties.
Erika, Coming Through With the Inappropriate Questions
Erika, who came in with a bag of nuts, immediately starts asking the girls if there's something wrong with Colton because he's a virgin, and it's so weird and intrusive and unnecessary. She's literally asking "Why is he a virgin? Why?" and then as soon as they sit down, after she reminds him of her name, she asks him why he's a virgin. I mean, girl, at least let him get a breath in, first. Give him time to process your name before you start badgering him about what's wrong with him to make him make the life choices he has.
Cringe Rank: Ashlee Simpson on SNL.
"He Kisses Very Well for a Virgin!"
Well, Caelynn, we know his mouth isn't a virgin. Just other parts of his body. Come on.
Cringe Rank: The time a guy broke up with me in a text with a typo.
And, in Slightly Less Cringy News...
The First Impression Rose went to Hannah G, who is known as The Other Hannah until I can come up with a better nickname.
Who Got Roses Tonight: Alex B, Angelique, Annie, Bri, Caelynn, Caitlin / Sasha Pieterse, Cassie, Catherine, Courtney, Demi, Elyse, Inappropriate Erika, Hannah B, Heather, Katie, Kirpa, Nicole, Nina, Onyeka, Sydney, Tayshia, and Tracy.
That means Revian, Erin, Tahzjuan, Devin, Alex D, Laura, and Jane went off to the big limo exit in the sky. Bye girls, we barely knew you, and I'm sad we're likely only to see one of you on Peabody Award-deserving series Bachelor In Paradise, and that is Alex D The Sloth, who is so iconic she deserves her own children's animated series. I'm already hoping she'll be the Grocery Store Joe of The Bachelor, because I would love to see that fast talking Bawston accent on Dancing with the Stars.
Other moments, unranked:
This Season: Hot dates! Adventures! Girls are falling in love! Boys are falling in love! Everyone wants to bang Colton, but he wants to be in love first! Tracey causes some Drama Llama, and so do some other girls. And then... the moment we've been waiting for all along: COLTON JUMPING OVER A FENCE IN A FIT OF EMOTIONAL TURMOIL. I can't wait to get to the bottom of that, and I can't wait to experience this journey with you this season.
Amanda Mitchell is a writer and podcaster with bylines at Marie Claire, OprahMag, Allure, Byrdie, Stylecaster, Bon Appetit, and more. Her work exists at the apex of beauty, pop culture, and absurdity. A human Funfetti cake, she watches too much television, and her favorite season is awards season. You can read more of her work at amandaelizabethmitchell.com or follow her on Instagram and Twitter @lochnessmanda.
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