Welcome to The Bachelor 6. This season, some things are changed, but mostly the show contains the familiar elements we love and hate about The Bachelor. After watching the premiere, I think I’m going to enjoy this season much more than the last Bachelor with Jesse Palmer. But, it’s early yet, and I’m sure that at some point, I will be as irritated and frustrated as in seasons past—that’s half of the fun of the guilty pleasure that is The Bachelor.

My intention is to give you a fairly detailed recap of each episode, in case you missed it, or you want to go back and remember what happened. But, like every season of The Bachelor, there is a lot of repetition, and I’m not going to try to include every single thing that happened or was said. You’re going to get to hear my opinions, too, whether you want to, or not. But, I’m also going to try to give you enough detail for you to form your own opinions, and decide whether you agree with me or whether your think I’m full of it. The premiere was two hours, and there’s a lot of ground to cover, and things to discuss for the first time, so this recap will be longer than those in the following weeks. On to the show....


The opening sequence shows shots of the two bachelors, and the familiar voice of the host, Chris Harrison....“Once upon a time, there were two charming bachelors, searching for the woman of their dreams.”...We hear the first words of the bachelors, Jay Overbye and Byron Velvick.... Jays says he’s absolutely ready to get married....Byron wants unconditional love.

Two long limos pull up in front of the Bachelor mansion and two men get out...Chris: That’s right. This time, not just one, but two bachelors will be introduced to 25 beautiful bachelorettes....As Chris is talking, we get our first look at the bachelorettes, who are all in bikinis by the pool, and we immediately realize that one theme for this season will be bods and boobs....In preview scenes of Chris introducing the two bachelors, the women scream with excitement....One woman exclaims: I was utterly shocked!...Another woman: They are complete opposites...We see Byron say: I’m a professional bass fisherman...Jay says: I owned a business while I was in Chicago...Back to Chris: Tonight, for the first time ever, the power is in the women’s hands. They will decide which bachelor stays and which bachelor goes in the first of tonight’s two rose ceremonies. Then, later tonight, the competition heats up when the women realize that it’s the bachelor’s turn to hand out the roses at tonight’s second rose ceremony....And, for the first of many, many times in tonight’s show Chris says, “25 women. 15 roses. Who will he choose? Who will he send home?”

We cut to a long shot of the mansion, then back to Chris standing in front of the mansion, waxing nostalgic about memorable moments of seasons past....Chris: Hello, I’m Chris Harrison. Over the years, we’ve seen a little bit of everything on the Bachelor.....Chris reminds us that we’ve seen very happy couples, and very public breakups.....Chris: And, of course, who can forget Trista and Ryan’s wedding?.....(Damn you, Chris, we’ve finally managed to put that “pink on steroids” extravaganza out of our heads. Why did you have to remind us?)...Chris: The Bachelor is a show that has the potential to give two people the most wonderful thing in life: A marriage filled with love and romance. So, with that in mind, we’ve made some very important changes this time around. At the end of the series, on the final night, our bachelor will propose marriage, or walk away alone.

Chris walks into the mansion and tells us that they sifted through thousands of would-be bachelors in search of the perfect husband, and narrowed it down to two men in search of the perfect wife....Chris: That’s right. I said two men. The 25 ladies have no idea, but tonight they will be choosing the next bachelor. The women are truly empowered here. They’ll be handing out roses and they decide which of the men stays, and who goes in the first of tonight’s rose ceremonies.

This seems like a good moment to stop for a moment, and talk about Chris and the Bachelor mansion. First, Chris hasn’t changed at all. He comes across as a basically nice guy, but kinda nerdy, definitely a nonthreatening contrast to the bachelor star of the show. Another important thing also hasn’t changed. Chris manages to deliver all his repetitive, Bachelor-speak lines in a totally serious, deadpan way. How the guy manages to say this stuff without cracking up (or throwing up) is beyond me. Maybe Chris does crack up a lot, but as I said in the preview recap, if Chris has any personality, the producers have managed to edit out every last bit of it. Chris and Julie Chen obviously attended the same school for reality show hosts.

The other thing about Chris’ delivery is that he manages to treat every “revelation” as seriously as if he had just brokered a Mideast peace agreement, and clearly expects the viewers to do the same. So, for example, a little later in the show, when he tells the ladies that a big change this season will be that all 25 ladies will move into the mansion together for a few days before the first rose ceremony, we’re supposed to feel that this is a twist that will not only change the course of The Bachelor, but perhaps history, as well....Ahhhh, the Bachelor is back.

The mansion itself appears to be a new one. The camera angles suggest that it is out in the semi-desert regions of Southern California, all by itself, with nothing nearby. And it includes a large, circular driveway, with a fountain that appears to have been modeled after fountains in Las Vegas (although much smaller). The fountain is trying to be classy, but somehow ends up with a tacky edge. (If you have been to Las Vegas, you’ll know what I mean.)

The “important changes” mentioned by Chris are our first hint (and unfortunately, the first of many, many repetitions) that the focus this season will be on marriage. Obviously, the producers took to heart the negative public reaction to earlier bachelors Bob and Jesse, who seemed as if they were mostly on the show to make out with as many women as possible, rather than to meet “the woman of their dreams.

Back to Chris: Okay, it’s time to meet the two bachelors...The two bachelors get out of the limos and we get our first good look at Jay and Byron....Jay is tall and lean, with a look I can best describe as “buttoned up.”....Jay is wearing a forest green, long-sleeved polo sweater, and dark pants. As we saw in the preview pictures, his hair is cut short, with greying temples....And, I’m sorry, but, this guy still looks much older than 40 to me. (Actually both bachelors look older than 40.) Jay looks (and acts) like a 50-year old. A very nice, polished, polite 50-year old. But, still, ten years older than his chronological age. (Note: I am also over 40, so this is not the opinion of a young woman in her early 20’s, who might view these guys as “old.”)

I know that many women watching the show were very attracted to Jay, and he is a good-looking guy. But, I was surprised that he is a New Yorker because his clothes lacked that certain polish—he definitely needs a stylish wife, or Will from Big Brother, to give him some dressing tips. Right now, he looks like one of his older sisters picked out his clothes. Not bad, but lacking that certain something.

Byron gets out of his limo, and although he, too, looks over 40, he has a much more casual look, and a certain panache that says that this isn’t the Gorton’s fisherman....Byron is wearing a white, cotton, buttoned shirt, and dark pants...As we saw from his pictures, Byron has blonde hair that curls past his ears, not to mention a great smile and dimples...Round 1 for first impression goes to Byron.

Chris introduces the two bachelors, who have not met before, and he shows them the mansion “...where the 25 beautiful women will be living.” (I guess Chris is afraid that, if he doesn’t keep reminding them, the guys will forget, and think that there are only 23 women, all of them ugly.)....The guys size each other up....Byron talking about Jay: Grey hair, shorter, a tighter city look. I realized the competition was about to begin. This guy was not going to take my wife away from me....Jay about Byron: I was impressed. He’s an imposing, confident guy. There is no doubt the stakes are high here. But, if I had to bet, I’d never bet against myself.

Chris has taken the guys to the proverbial “decision room” (although Chris doesn’t call it that)...Chris shows the men the pictures of “the 25 beautiful women who are on their way to meet the man of their dreams”...Chris: Let me show you a little bit about your competition...The men sit on chairs, and Chris puts a tape in the VCR.

The first video is about Byron...It shows him on a boat fishing....B says that his office is every beautiful lake and river in the country and it’s a beautiful place to work....He was born and raised in Southern California....B loved growing up near the beach, and his best memories of his dad are fishing with him...B’s parents divorced when he was ten, and it was tough because he had to become the man of the house....After college, he considered law school, but his heart was in fishing....B talks about the fishing competitions he has won, including twice winning the U.S. open....The tape shows B’s friend Mike...Mike says that B is an outdoorsman, independent, but also has a big heart and treats women well...Mike could see B finding love on the show.....The tape shows shots of B playing pool, and playing with and kissing his dog....B says he was previously married, but it was the wrong girl at the wrong time...His wife chose the night life over home life and the marriage ended in divorce...B says that when he comes in from the water he misses having a wife and kids...He wants unconditional love, a union of two souls.

The second video is about Jay....He ran a computer company in Chicago for nine years and then sold the business and moved back to New York...He is in a new phase of his career, real estate...Jay was born in Ridgewood, NJ, one of seven kids....Jay has a twin sister...(At this point my heart stopped. Noooo! Please! No more twin twists!)...He went to prep school in New England....Jay lost his dad at age 25, in part, because his dad didn’t take good care of himself...So he decided to take care of himself to live a long and healthy life...They show Mike, Jay’s brother, and scenes of Jay playing with multiple nieces and nephews....Jay’s mother is interviewed and says she has been looking forward and waiting for Jay to get married....Jay says he needs to be careful who he brings home...Marriage is a serious business...The next woman he brings home to his family is the one he’s going to marry.

Chris invites the men to look at the pictures of the 25 women who will be deciding their fate. He tells the men that they will each need to convince the women that they should be the next bachelor...Chris: Take a good look, because one of them could be your future wife. The women are on their way, they have no idea that there will be two bachelors, or that you will be watching them....Byron: I realized that the only thing between me and 25 beautiful women who have the same intentions I do is Jay...Jay: Seeing Byron’s story, I really got a sense of what my competition is about. I’m duking it out with this guy.


Several limos pull up to the mansion, and the bachelorettes get out....One bachelorette is carrying a small dog...Chris arrives and is enthusiastically greeted by the women....(For some reason, the women on the Bachelor frequently act as if they are at cheerleader camp, and will be given enthusiasm points. This was more believable among last season’s group of “sorority” and “pageant-girl” contestants. Among women in their late 20’s to late 30’s it seems a little strange. I wonder how many takes it took for the producers to get the proper cheerleader effect.)...Chris says to the women, “I’m sure you’re all wondering how your journey will begin.”....He goes on to tell them that all 25 will be moving into the mansion together before ever seeing a rose ceremony, something never seen before on the Bachelor...Chris tells the women to settle in and then party by the pool, and have a great day...Chris: Ladies, the mansion is yours.

We see the women come into the mansion with squeals of excitement about the amenities, as they find their beds and start to unpack...As they get ready, we are introduced to the 25 new bachelorettes....If we hadn’t realized before that bods and boobs will be an important theme this season, it’s obvious now. In our first introduction to all the women, we see them in bikinis and sometimes underwear, getting ready for the pool party...At this point, the show shows us short clips of each of the women. I confess that even after watching the tape multiple times, I still have a hard time telling the women apart. And, since I know that 10 of the 25 women will be gone after tonight’s show, I probably won’t try to learn all their names until Episode 2...Still, here are some short quotes and some initial impressions as the women are introduced.

Chereese is a bodacious brunette. She says that guys can find her intimidating, but wants the bachelor to know she can be tender, too. For her, the perfect ending would be the man getting down on one knee and proposing.

Cynthia is a buxom blonde. She describes herself as ready to settle down and a “ripe fruit ready to be picked by the right guy.”

Amanda is a brunette with long straight hair who tells us that she hasn’t found the right guy on her own.

Carolyn has short brunette hair, and tells us she is 36 and grew up with Southern values, but thinks she has had more life experiences than some of the younger women.

Amy is a short-haired blonde who lives in San Diego, which she describes as a “dating cesspool” because no one is looking for commitment. She says she is a country girl who escaped and hasn’t looked back. Note: We’re going to see Amy several more times in the course of the show tonight. And, she is one of the few women who is smaller-chested than average (although, like all the others, she is still very pretty with a great body).

Wende has curly red hair and a vivacious personality. She describes herself as a wild-*ssed woman from Texas and describes herself as one of the most jealous women you will ever meet. Although Wende is not large-chested, the men who are watching her on the TV screen in the pool house are immediately impressed by her.

Lisa is another buxom blonde who describes herself as a huge romantic who falls hard. If the chemistry is right, she knows within three minutes.

Kristie is a chesty brunette bar owner who says that she has a feminine side, but she also enjoys getting dirty and watching football.

Andrea is a well-endowed blonde who says she gets a little teary when she thinks of love, and describes herself as a softie. She has already picked out the eight yards of silk for her wedding dress...Run bachelors, run! Note that we will also see quite a bit of Andrea before the show is over tonight and our first impression only gets worse.

Nicole is a busty blonde who says that, as an headhunter, she steals people from their positions and hopes that that skill will help her on The Bachelor.

Kerry is a brunette who says that, as a traveling nurse she is like a gypsy. She is waiting for the perfect person to “tie her down and keep her in one spot.”

Jayne is a beautiful, blue-eyed brunette who says she has a hard time meeting guys because she is on the shy side....When the men see Jayne, Byron says that he likes her the best of those he has seen so far, and I have to agree. At 37 she is one of the older women on the show, but beats most of them in beauty and class. We will also see more of Jayne later.

Krysta is a blonde with medium length hair. She says she wants a guy who can handle her. She wants a guy who will take her to fine restaurants and not order the cheapest bottle of wine. We have already had glimpses of Krysta in the background, and she clearly is destined to be the woman on the show that all the women are going to hate. We’ll see and hear from Krysta a lot (too much) tonight.

Leina is of Samoan descent and says she very much wants children, four to be exact. She feels under a lot of pressure from her mother, who wants grandchildren yesterday.

Tanya, a blonde, says that dates have gotten more scarce as she’s gotten older and that sometimes her dating life is so quiet she hears crickets chirping.

Elizabeth is a brunette who says she needs a man who is confident and can be her strength. She says she is a strong woman, and a strong woman can’t have anything less than a strong man.

Alma, a brunette, says that she has had terrible luck with men and is ready to get married. She wonders if god wasn’t saving her for this experience.

Kristin is a buxom blonde who is first shown in her underwear as she gets ready. She says that she has a career, a house, and two puppies, and so marriage is the next step.

Jennifer, a blonde, is either a relative of Dolly Parton or shares her plastic surgeon. Despite the fact that she is all bust, she says that she thinks her most notable feature is her lips, and hopes the bachelor will get a chance to find that out.

Abby is a brunette whose most noticeable feature is her complete lack of bust. She is an acrobat, but she doesn’t usually tell men that, because then they make improper suggestions.

Natalie is a brunette who has reminded several of us of Diane on Big Brother 5. She says that she is a romantic who misses being in love.

Melinda, buxom redhead, says that she has never had to fight for love before, but, if it came down to it, she would “step it up.” She goes on, “So watch out, girls!”

Susie is a brunette who says she has not put a lot of focus on boyfriends in her life, but is ready for “the one.”

Ashley is a vivacious blonde who says he has been married before and it was great experience, but it didn’t work out, and is ready to love again. Ashley reminds me a lot of Jen Shefft (who became the temporary fiancée of Andrew Firestone on a earlier Bachelor, and is slated to be the next Bachelorette).

Kelly is a blonde and the proud “mommy” of a cute, four-month-old French bulldog puppy named Lola, who she couldn’t leave behind. Kelly says the bachelor has to like dogs. We see several shots of Lola playing by the pool. Lola is my favorite bachelorette so far.

Whew, that’s our 25. Overall, I like this group. There is more to most of them than their cup size. Probably because they are older and more settled in careers, they are more interesting and intelligent than the very young blondes on the last Bachelor. But, in the voiceovers just before commercials, The Bachelor has already started to warn us that this group of bachelorettes will also be more competitive, and this group of women may not get along as well together as the younger crowd in the last Bachelor.

Back in the poolhouse, the bachelors are quite impressed by the women...Byron says he is looking forward to courting the women and getting engaged to one of them. He says they are an amazing group of women....Jay says that more than one of the women caught his eye and hopes that one of the women will be his wife.

After coming back from a commercial, we find the women frolicking at the pool...If we hadn’t figured out already that Krysta is destined to be this season’s uber-b*tch, we know for sure now when she lightly kicks Lola as she walks by, and says she doesn’t like dogs...Krysta tells the camera that she thinks Kelly was nuts to bring her dog and thinks that the bachelor will think Kelly is nuts, too....Uh, Krysta, I think you may be wrong there. Just wait...But, for my money, anyone who doesn’t like Lola is the one who’s nuts. I’m much more a cat person than a dog person and I’ve already fallen in love with Lola.


Chris breaks up the party by coming out of the pool house and gathering the women...Chris has changed to a short sleeved blue shirt, but still looks uptight and geeky...Chris breaks the earthshaking news to the women that tonight there will be no gowns and no limos...They will meet the bachelor right now...Cynthia is dismayed by this because she says she is all sweaty and looks like a grease-monger. Frankly, these gals all look darn good in their bikinis and have nothing to worry about in the looks department.

First Chris brings out Jay... Poor Jay, he looks like he was dressed by the same person who dressed Chris. He is wearing a short sleeved black polo shirt with only the top button unbuttoned and a pair of geeky shorts that go down to his knees....Thank god, at least he isn’t wearing socks with his sandals...However, Jay is a good looking guy, and with his short hairstyle, he is never going to look bad, even when modeling fashion don’ts....The women greet Jay with enthusiasm...Lisa says she’s pleased, and thinks Jay looks a little like Richard Gere....BTW, I’m eternally grateful to the producers for continuing to give us each woman’s name as she speaks. With the exception of Wende, the vivacious redhead, Krysta the blonde witch, and of course, Lola, I still have no clue who is speaking.

Then Chris, in the deadpan delivery he has perfected to an art, delivers the announcement that he has someone else that he wants the ladies to meet, and Byron comes out of the pool house...Okay, this is more like it. You wouldn’t expect it of a fisherman, but Byron has style....He is wearing a loose green cotton shirt with several buttons unbuttoned and baggy cargo shorts....Now, this is how my 40-year old friends dress. Byron looks like a guy ready for a pool party, not like Jay, who seems like a serious father supervising his teenage daughter at the pool...Overall, Byron is greeted with more excitement than Jay....Cynthia’s first impression is similar to mine. She describes Byron as “hot, very hot.”

Chris then tells the women that there are two bachelors now, but not for long. He announces that the women will be handing out roses to pick which bachelor stays in “our very first, ladies choice rose ceremony.” (The first? Isn’t that the premise of The Bachelorette?)...The women greet this news with the time-honored Bachelor cheerleader-camp screams...The women like the idea of choosing....Tanya likes the fact that the girls get to do something other than wait...Krysta likes the power and says “...let them (the men) impress us.”...Chris also breaks the news that the bachelors have been watching and listening to the women all day from the poolhouse...More screams...Chris reminds both the men and the women that they have their work cut out for them, and sets the men lose in the crowd...The men seem overwhelmed at first, but are clearly enjoying the attention.

There is now a long segment showing the bachelors meeting and talking to various women...I’m not going to include all the comments here, because many of them are repetitive. But, I’ll give you some representative samples...Jay and Byron repeat to the women the reasons they are on the show...Jay says he decided to come on The Bachelor because he is ready to get married...Byron says that he nothing happens in his life by chance, there is a reason he is here...When Jay is asked what his hobbies are, he has to think a little, then says he is passionate about international travel and has to travel abroad at least once a year...Jay also says that it’s important that he and the woman he picks have compatible lifestyles, because he lives and works in a city.

Among the women’s comments, Kelly says that this is going to be “really, really hard,” the men are “complete opposites.” Kelly thinks that Byron has an amazing, sexy quality, while Jay is a solid, city guy.

We also see good-natured, but competitive remarks by both men about the other bachelor....Byron says he likes cities, but likes to go in and then get out. He feels Jay is not as much into the country and won’t get out of the city as much...Byron also thinks he may have a leg up on Jay because he is more real and that the girls will more likely go for someone like him...Jay is determined to make a good impression because he didn’t come all this way to go home.

The women are divided in their opinions of Jay and Byron and several say it will be difficult to choose...Melinda calls Jay her perfect dream man...Once again we see Krysta, this time getting irritated because Jay talks to Kelly (of Lola fame) instead of talking to her....As we go to commercial, the voiceover warns that one of the bachelors may make a mistake that could cost him the vote.

When we return, the bachelors and the women are still talking by the pool...Byron explains that that he loved being married, but when you’re young, you marry for potential, not for who you really are. He says no one should be married at a young age and thinks it should be illegal to get married before age 28 to 30 because you don’t really know who you are yet.....Note: Is this the big mistake?...Meanwhile, Jay says he that he has been in love, but has not met the love of his life.

The women remain divided in their opinions of the men...Tanya is leaning towards Jay....Amy criticizes Byron’s remarks about age and wonders if he has a bias against younger women.

Krysta gets Jay alone and asks him how he feels about having another guy there. Krysta: Don’t you want to kick his *ss and win all the roses....Jay is very diplomatic...Jay: Yes, I’m competitive. But, it’s a lifestyle choice. We’re totally different. You have to ask yourself which lifestyle you like...Krysta tells the camera that she is leaning toward Jay because she doesn’t know how much money a fisherman makes. She says she’s high maintenance and requires a lot of nice things...She goes on to tell Jay that she will rally the troops for him.

Elsewhere, Byron and Wende seem to be getting along well...Byron tells Wende that you have to worry about a guy who is 40 and has never been married. He’s not sure it’s healthy not to have had that commitment and unconditional love....Wende asks Byron why he got a divorce if he loved his wife unconditionally....Byron replies that you can’t love someone when you can’t find her for three days...Wende likes Byron and thinks they were able to connect.

The subject of kids comes up later...Jay says he’d like to have kids within a year and a half of being married....Cynthia, who has been talking to Jay, says she is torn. Her mind says Jay, her heart says Byron....Byron talks about wanting to still be in love with his wife even when they are both 70....Byron wants kids if the woman who is his soulmate wants kids. But, he wouldn’t want to lose the woman of his life just because she didn’t want kids...When asked if he would marry a woman who didn’t want kids, B says “Yes, in a heartbeat.”...Jay, on the other hand, tells a group of women a little later that he doesn’t think he could marry a woman who didn’t want children.

Finally, Chris comes in to break up the party, but reminds everyone once again that tonight is the first ever ladies’ choice rose ceremony....This is a good point to step back and compare the two bachelors now that we’ve seen more of them.

Author/columnist Anna Quindlen once wrote a theory about men that I’ve always liked. She said that some men are “husbands” and some men are “boyfriends.” She herself married the “boyfriend” and did not regret her choice...This is a perfect way to describe the two bachelors....Both are intelligent, good-looking, and well-spoken....Jay is the “husband.” He is successful, and steady, and will make a loyal husband and father....Jay reminds me a lot of Matthew from the last Bachelorette. He is very buttoned up, and doesn’t express a lot of emotion, but still is a nice guy, easy to talk to...Byron is the “boyfriend.” He has far more charisma than Jay, and is much more relaxed and loose, with a “younger” lifestyle....Marrying the “boyfriend” can be chancy in your 20’s, because you don’t know yet what he’s going to be like when he “grows up.” But, at age 40, you have a much better idea of how the “boyfriend” has turned out....My personal choice, as my comments have suggested so far, is Byron. My choice is based on physical attraction and charisma alone, not because I could honestly see myself married to Byron. Jay leads a lifestyle closer to mine, but I don’t feel the same chemistry, and I personally need someone looser and more outgoing.....So, that’s what I think. What will the women decide?..So far, the producers have kept things pretty even to keep us in suspense.

When we come back from commercials, the women are busily getting ready for the evening’s festivities....Krysta is busily campaigning for Jay....Several of the women say they are having a hard time deciding....Jay and Byron are in separate limos, driving back to the mansion from their hotel...Jay says he could meet the love of his life or be sent home tonight...Byron says that it will depend on what the women are looking for. It has to happen, it has to start tonight...Side note here. I wish the producers of The Bachelor could be more subtle in their coaching of the bachelors. Each bachelor repeats the same pat phrases over and over, and they’re often the same Bachelor phrases we’ve heard season after season, although with more emphasis this season on marriage. At some point I may have to resort to saying “The bachelor said platitudes A and B.”...Okay back to the mansion.


The women are standing on the outside steps of the mansion dressed in cocktail dresses waiting for the men...It’s probably just me, but I think a lot of them looked better when they were in their bikinis with less makeup and a more natural look...Still, overall, they clean up well....The bachelors clean up well, too, although poor Jay seems to have brought out the black suit, white shirt, and dark tie that he uses for funerals and meetings at the old IBM...Byron is wearing a dark brown suit, with a blue shirt, and a yellow tie.

Chris solemnly addresses the women...There is a tray in front of them with white and yellow long-stemmed roses, yellow for Jay, white for Byron...When Chris calls their name, they are to place one of the two colored roses in the box...The man with the most roses wins....Chris allows the men to address the ladies one last time...Jay: Ladies, I’m here to find the love of my life with one of you and hope that you can see the possibility that I could be the love of our life. Keep in mind that I would be honored to be your bachelor...Byron: Ladies, you look beautiful. I’m looking for the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with. I want to thank you for considering me as your bachelor and I hope to stay with you after tonight.

Then, Chris asks the men to turn their backs to the women...He reminds the women that the bachelors will not be able to count or see who votes for them, so to feel free follow their hearts....We see each woman solemnly walk up and put her rose in the box, although we don’t get to see what color rose most of them choose...Then we go to a commercial.

When we come back, Chris says, “Ladies you’ve cast your votes. Gentlemen turn around. Remember, the first man to 13 (roses) becomes the next bachelor....Chris takes the roses out of the box one by one, giving us a count as he goes along, with suspenseful music in the background...Jay is stoic, Byron is biting his lip...At first Jay is getting more roses, but Byron starts to take the lead....When Byron has 12 roses to Jay’s 7 roses, Chris says, “Byron, that’s 12 white roses.” (In case any of us can’t count.)... “One more white rose and you’ll be the next bachelor. If I pull a yellow rose, rose, we will continue.”....Chris pulls out a white rose and announces Byron as the next bachelor...Chris to Jay: The ladies have made their decision. Thanks for being here...Jay immediately walks back through the house alone, with sad music playing in the background...He gets into the limo and his yellow rose boutonniere immediately wilts and falls off. (Ah, the symbolism.)

Jay is very stoic...He says that he’s not accustomed to losing...Jay: I have a lot of emotions. (Said in a completely unemotional voice)...Jay: Looking at Byron, you couldn’t help but see the differences in lifestyles. I guess they weren’t into my personality. There is consolation in knowing that there were women that were very interested in me. I’m out of the picture. I feel sad. I struggle with it.

Back with the women, B tells them that he is thrilled to be the bachelor and is ready to search for the woman of his dreams.....B: The greatest part of this whole thing is knowing that in front of me is the woman I’ll spend the rest of my life with....The women cheer...But, as we move to commercial, we are warned that the dynamics in the bachelor house are about to change.

When we come back, we see Byron at his hotel in LA. He says that last night was like a dream, but the day will be difficult with the first rose ceremony...He hopes to make sound decisions because you don’t get a second chance...We are treated to scenes of Byron in the pool and working out....Yum. This bachelor is going to be a treat to watch.

Back in the house, the women are asking each other who voted for whom.. Jayne says that she voted for Byron...But some of the women who voted for Jay are afraid that Byron is going to hold it against them...They are afraid that women who voted for Byron will tell him which women voted for Jay... “The claws are going to come out today.”...Krysta is busy trashing the other women...She wonders how old Kristie is, because she looks 45, and Krysta can’t imagine a guy being attracted to Kristie. Krysta asks someone if Kristie is a man or a woman.... (BTW—Kristie is all of 32 compared to Krysta’s 28. Personally, I think Krysta doesn’t like having a woman around with a similar name to hers.)

We cut back to Byron in a towel getting ready....Hot. He has some chest hair and an excellent body, not to mention dimples when he smiles....Byron repeats Bachelor platitudes A and B...He needs to make hard decisions and trust his own intuition. The greatest part is that right in front of him is the woman that he’ll most likely spend the rest of his life with...(Apparently the producers think that we forget this if it isn’t repeated every 5 minutes or so during the show.)

Back at the house, the women are nervous as they get ready.....They are dressed in beautiful, formal gowns...Krysta assures us that she feels she can stand up to the competition tonight because she is younger, hipper, and better dressed. She doesn’t see any problem with getting a rose tonight...Sheesh, it’s only the first episode, and I’m already tired of Krysta. Unfortunately, I have a strong suspicion that the producers will make Byron give Krysta a rose tonight, even if he doesn’t want to. Give me Lola the puppy, please!

When we return from yet another commercial, we see more scenes of the girls getting ready, along with yet more Krysta....Krysta: There are no friends in the bachelorette house. It’s all about who can better somebody else. All’s fair in love and war....At this point, I’ve decided that Krysta has accidentally wandered into the wrong reality show. What about love and romance? Krysta just wants to win, whether Byron is the right guy or not.

Byron arrives at the house in his limo...For some reason, he borrowed Jay’s outfit from last night, but on Byron, a black suit, white shirt, and dark tie looks classy and hip...I guess you’ve either got it or you don’t....Byron walks into the house, and the ladies give him their best cheerleader camp welcome...B leads the ladies in a toast....B assures the women that if they voted for Jay, they are not automatically out tonight. That would be egotistical and immature on his part...B to the camera: I’m pretty sure this is going to end in everything I ever wanted.

But, we continue to get hints that everything isn’t rosy in the bachelorette house....Andrea (the woman who has already picked out the material for her wedding dress) says that when Byron spoke tonight, he spoke with conviction, and something pierced her heart. She hasn’t felt that way in a long time...Hmmm....Amy sings Byron’s praises, saying that he’s her type, outgoing and vivacious.

Since it’s been a few minutes since we’ve been treated to Krysta, we see her take B away from a group of women for a little alone time...She tells the camera that she is going to do whatever it takes...Krysta to Byron: I’ll be honest. I’m very glad we’re going to take this journey together. And that's very sincere...(Remember, this is the woman who was campaigning for Jay yesterday)....Krysta tells us that her one purpose is to get this guy....B tells the camera: Krysta is a firecracker. She’s got something. I don’t know that’s it’s physical. Some kind of connection. I’m flattered by her aggressiveness, but it’s a little overwhelming.

Leina gives Byron a shell lei in honor of her Polynesian culture....Byron says that Jayne has caught his eye, but she’s a little quiet and reserved, so he takes her aside...She tells B that she is on the shy side...B tells her he likes talking to her and not to be shy.....BTW—Jayne’s shyness and reserve is charming and attractive, not awkward. She comes across as very classy....Jayne clearly likes Byron.

As the evening goes on, B is having the time of his life, but is also finding it overwhelming....Wende tells B that everyone has gotten all decked up for him and says he’s gotta like that...B compares it to a giant high school prom date, but we’re older....As B talks to a group of women, Andrea is standing in the doorway, quietly watching B in the distance....Andrea tells the camera that she feels a lot of emotion when B is interacting with the other ladies. She says it doesn’t take much for her to cry and the tears begin. She says B represents everything she’s been wanting in a husband....Andrea goes on to tell Amy that she feels “taken” already....Amy says in an interview that she wonders about Andrea’s strong emotions. “...With 25 chicks around, how is she (Andrea) feeling it enough to cry?”...The voiceover leading to the commercial warns us that coming up is tears, trash talk, and the party has just begun.

Back in the mansion, B tells us that it’s going to be a difficult night to make decisions and he needs to talk to a few more women...Some of the women bemoan the fact that they have had no alone time with Byron....Andrea is still lurking in the corner watching Byron with a concerned look on her face, waiting for her moment. At one point, Andrea’s eye twitches in a very scary way. (We know that the producers couldn’t have scripted that.)

Away from Byron, Amy and Krysta go head to head...Krysta wants to trash talk and Amy calls her on it...Amy to the camera: As the day wore on, I was getting more and more p*ssed at Krysta. I don’t want to be around her...Amy and a couple of the other women say they are trying to take Krysta down a couple of notches... Krysta says she doesn’t care what people think and knows she can be a b*tch...In a later interview Krysta says: These are people I bonded with at the beginning, so when they turned on me I couldn’t believe it was happening....Krysta then goes on to say, “When people cross me, I can become a total b*tch.”...Soon after, Krysta and the same women sit down with Byron.... Krysta tells Byron that all the girls are great because they get her and she gets them...But, in a later interview Krysta says “If these girls think they can play the game of persuasion and manipulation better than me, just watch out.”...At this point, I’m yelling to the Bachelor producers, “Okay, I get it. Krysta is the b*tch of the season. Enough Krysta already.”...But as longtime Bachelor fans know, the producers of this show do not believe in subtlety.

Andrea finally gets her moment with Byron...She is cold, so he gives her his jacket....Andrea has a strawberry cut in half. She tells Byron that the strawberry is like a heart. “You (Byron) came in, and my heart started doing this. Opening.” Then they feed each other the strawberry halves....We never get to see B’s reaction to this scene, because it appears that he is whisked away soon after by another woman....B walks Tanya down to the pool and asks her why a beautiful, elegant woman with a great job doesn’t have a boyfriend...Tanya says she hasn’t found anyone interesting enough, who was on the same page at the same time.

And, lest we forget the theme of this season, the producers give us another Byron voiceover “The magical part of tonight is that my soulmate is on these premises right now and I’ve already interacted with her in one way or another. I’m trying to keep those moments in my mind so I can remember them forever.”....On that note, Chris shows up, clinks his glass as he does at the start of every rose ceremony, and asks the ladies to go outside...Andrea tells the camera: I hope he’s giving me a rose because I truly believe he’s the man I’m going to marry...B reminds us once again that tonight is not going to be an easy elimination.


Back on the mansion steps, the women are lined up and the mood is serious...Chris somberly tells the women: There are 15 roses here. Each one represents a woman that Byron would like to know better. Seven of you did not extend a rose to B last night. If tonight, you or anyone else don’t feel that you can possibly marry Byron, then you can, and should, decide to decline that rose....B makes a last speech: I want you to know that this is my life that we’re making a decision about, and I want each of you that I give a rose to to consider it an investment in our future...He reiterates Chris’s comment that if any of the women have reservations, he asks the women to express them, and give another lady that chance to spend their life with him.

Byron begins to hand out the roses, with the maximum suspense...The women look alternately worried and sad, but are elated if they get a rose....As is traditional on the Bachelor, after Byron hands out 14 roses, Chris steps up, and says, “Ladies, Byron, this is the final rose tonight.” (No Chris, we couldn’t see that there was only one rose left.)...B: I don’t want it to be the final rose...But he goes on.

Here is the list of the 15 women who received roses, in the order their names were called. To help remind us of who they are, I’ve repeated their age and occupation from the initial list of 25 (using the information provided on the ABC Web site).

Cheresse—Age 31, Director of marketing, advertising, PR
Wende—Age 28, Model/real estate agent
Tanya—Age 31, Teacher
Leina—Age 28, Advertising
Kelly—Age 34, Model/actress (Yay, Lola is still in!)
Jayne—Age 37, Dog groomer/makeup artist (who looks gorgeous, by the way)
Natalie—Age 34, Writer (The Diane lookalike)
Elizabeth—Age 29, Pharmaceutical sales
Krysta—Age 28, Corporate financial analyst (Yup, we saw this coming.)
Amanda—Age 27, Cosmetic buyer
Kristie—Age 32, Bar/restaurant owner
Susie—Age 32, Insurance broker
Cynthia—Age 37, Charity foundation director
Ashley—Age 31, Teacher
Andrea—Age 33, Dental hygienist (Run Byron, run!)

As with all the Bachelor seasons, you never really know how much Byron was pressured (or told) to give roses to certain women to further the story line. So, Krysta the b*tch, and Andrea, the bachelorette most likely to become a stalker, remain. So do most of the women of African-American and Asian descent. The Bachelor always keeps the ethnic candidates through the first round, lest they be perceived as tokens. But, based on his Web site and other Internet information, it appears that Byron has dated women of ethnic descent in the past, so those choices may have been his preference.

There’s not a lot to say about the women Byron didn’t pick, because the producers gave them so little air time that we hardly got to see them. But, notably, Amy (Krysta’s nemesis) was not picked, probably because of her lack of chest development. Abby was probably not picked for the same reason, although I liked her, and she lives near Byron in Las Vegas, so might have been a good geographic choice for him. To give Byron credit, he didn’t pick the women based on boobs alone. Jennifer, the woman who is either is the victim of a plastic surgeon gone wild or badly needs breast reduction surgery, was not picked.

Chris says to the women without roses, “Ladies, I’m sorry. If you did not receive a rose tonight, say your good-byes, please gather up your things. It’s time to leave the mansion.”

The women without roses hug the others, then walk back into the mansion...Amy is shown crying: “I said I was not going to be the girl who cried”....Lisa felt she was misunderstood, and thinks that some of the women who got roses are the right fit for him (Byron) at all.

Back on the steps, B says to the remaining 15 women, “Now come the dates and we can get out of this house and actually see what’s around here.”....B tells us (surprise, surprise) that he had no idea it was going to be so tough. But he thinks he has chosen the best 15 he can possibly imagine being with....B: I feel I’m one step closer to finding the woman of my dreams...Romantic guitar music plays in the background...B and the women toast on the steps.


Last comes the part of the show that the true addicts have been waiting for “This season on the bachelor....” Every screencap of these previews will be analyzed as the season goes on, to try to figure out how far each bachelorette makes it, and who Byron eventually chooses...I’m not even going to begin to do that now. But here are a few highlights.

We see the bachelorettes’ surprise when they discover that Byron is going to move into the mansion with his beloved dog Sabrina. (I hope Sabrina and Lola get along.)...We see B playing and having fun with the women...One date looks like they are on a small airplane...One date is a “mystery date” where Byron goes out with two women who are not in the house (it’s not clear exactly how this will work). Chris: There are going to be some upset women in the house, because these women (who are not in the house) are hot.

We also see previews of tensions among the women and pressures for Byron...B: I hope there’s a light at the end of this tunnel, because it’s a very dark tunnel right now...There is also the portent of something bad happening...Someone has vanished and the girls and B go out in the night looking for her....There has been some speculation that it is the dog that’s missing, not one of the women, but if it is, it’s Lola, not Sabrina (Byron’s dog), because Sabrina is shown in one of the shots. (However, on The Bachelor, take nothing for granted, the producers freely combine future clips to mislead us.)....Byron: This is the worst case scenario I can possibly imagine.

After a comment from Byron that it is difficult and there is a price to pay for finding the woman of your dreams, we see Byron kissing lots of women, everywhere...on the beach, in bed...fireworks. (Good news–Unlike our man Drew on Big Brother, Byron looks like he can really kiss. This is going to be fun to watch.)...We also see Byron holding an engagement ring, and saying, “I’m having a hard time imagining presenting that ring to her”...Will Byron find the woman of his dreams and will he propose? And, if he does, will the woman of his dreams say yes?

It’s all ahead of us, and I think it’s going to be fun, (although we will certainly be irritated and frustrated at times)...I hope you’ll continue to join me on our “journey” together each week on The Bachelor.