Our fearless leader.
Happy new Bachelor everybody! My resolution: write weekly recaps this season. As any aficionado of the series knows, each season, nay, each episode, is filled with "first blanks in Bachelor history" and this year I intend to track them all. Let's start with our brand spanking new bachelor.
Ben Flajnik is the first bachelor in the show's history to have a silent J in his name. He's also the first to have Josh Groban hair and a brief rumored romance with Jennifer Love Hewitt. He's the first winemaker since the season with the other winemaker and the first non-six-pack-boasting, non-football-throwing bachelor since season with Bachelor Bob. And he's definitely the first ever Bachelor to describe his ceremonial dumping by Ashley Herbert last season as not so much heartbreaking but "embarrassing".
Other important firsts from last night:
Points for creativity?
Correct me if I'm wrong Bachelor Historians, but this is the first time we've had someone spell the name 'Lindsay' with a 'z' and an 'i'.
The meet-and-greet segment, where a clown car of women emerge from a limo and tap-dance for their man, was filled with firsts. For the first time ever, a contestant arrived on a horse. Another charmed with the first ever epidemiology joke. Another still, just walked right past Ben only slightly acknowledging him as if she was making her way to the bathroom of a crowded bar. We also had our first grandma on crutches. Thanks to Ben's cougar-magnet hair, we all assumed the older woman was here for the right reasons, but in fact she had just arrived to introduce her much younger granddaughter. Note to parallel self on imaginary season where I'm a contestant: that's clever way to guilt trip it past round one.
In general this was the most awkward meet-and-greet in Bachelor history. Don't get me wrong, I find Ben's nerdiness refreshing and not not magnectic. But it became abundantly clear why nerdy guys don't usually get cast in the role of 'Bachelor'. There were a lot of awkward pauses and uncomfortable silences that reminded the viewer how incredibly strange this kind of chance encounter would be, particularly before it's scored with romantic music. Ben may also be the first bachelor to openly talk to himself.
Men take note: this blonde on the left is the new Mystery.
As the night went on, we also witnessed our very first love connection... between two contestants. The on the left blond has some serious game when it comes to wooing women. "Like you're my experience and if you're the only thing I get out of this, I have lived and I have lived great."
Now for the non-firsts:
This was not the first time Maroon Five was called to duty to provide a soundtrack to a bachelor or bachelorette's contemplative montage.
We also saw a lot of repeat professions. Being a dental hygienist or a fashion sales rep puts you on a firm career track to appear on the show. Speaking of that fashion sales rep, she revealed last night she quit her job to be on the show. Another non-first.
She's still got another two verses. Hang in there, buddy.
This is not the first and certainly not the last awkward expression we'll see on a bachelor's face when a contestant tries to woo with a hand-written rap.
Meet Jenna, the girl I'm afraid I'd be if I were on this show.
We also met another Bachelor series staple last night: the woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown. This particular woman is named Jenna. She's a New York-based dating blogger that's a lot like Carrie Bradshaw minus even the slightest smidgeon of a sense of humor. There's always one woman that makes you think "do I do that?" and Jenna is this season's unfortunate victim. She over-analyzes everything so much she actually has a blog called The Over-Analyzer. She always looks like she's swallowing back vomit-burps when she talks to Ben and spent a little too much time in the bathroom weeping while her mic was on. Then again this might have been stock footage from past seasons with other women who aren't psychologically prepared to be on a competitive dating show. But really, who is?
Our fearless leader.