Welcome to The Bachelorette 3, one of my favorite “guilty pleasures.” As I did for the last season of The Bachelor, each week I’ll be posting a recap of The Bachelorette, along with my comments.

My recap each week will be pretty detailed, so that if you miss the show, or get called away by a telephone call, you can read the recap and know that you didn’t miss anything significant. You’ll also hear my comments on the show, but I’ll give you enough of a straight summary that you can make your own decisions about whether you agree with my comments, or whether you think I’m full of it. Because the premiere was two hours, this week’s recap is unusually long. Recaps of the regular hourly shows will be much shorter.

I think that this season of The Bachelorette could be very interesting. (I sure hope so, since I’ve committed to writing a recap every week!) I like the new venue of New York. And, so far, I like Jen Schefft, although, at this point, she is just a little too “Stepford Wives” perfect to be believed. However, we know from previous seasons that Jen’s flaws will become clear sooner or later, which, to me at least, will make Jen more interesting to watch.

Overall, I thought the premiere of The Bachelorette 3 seemed a little less scripted and more spontaneous than last season on The Bachelor. Last season, the producers seemed to do everything possible to edit any spontaneity or real human interactions out of the show. If that was their goal, it succeeded, because last season’s ratings of The Bachelor were dismally low. But, despite the producers’ best efforts, they couldn’t completely edit out all the real emotions. And, as Bachelor/Bachelorette addicts know, half of the fun of watching the show is trying to figure out what is really going on in the various relationships, versus what the producers want us to believe. Unfortunately, although The Bachelorette 3 seems a little improved from last season, it still has more than its share of stilted dialogue, repetition, and artificially simple storylines.

In the end, reason I enjoy The Bachelor/Bachelorette, despite its flaws, is that the prize isn’t a million dollars—it’s love. And, unlike The Bachelor, The Bachelorette has a good track record—Trista from Bachelorette 1 married the man she choose on the show, and Ian and Meredith from Bachelorette 2 are still engaged, and plan to get married this year. So, we’re starting the season optimistic that we may get to watch a real love story despite the artificial setting.

You’ll hear more from me as the weeks go on. But, since the premiere was two hours, there is a lot to recap, so I’ve saved many of my comments for later episodes. Let’s move on to the show....


The show begins with a panorama of New York City...And, surprise, they’re playing big band music instead of the tired Bachelor/Bachelorette theme music...Did we tune into the right show?...No fear. There’s perennial Bachelor/Bachelorette host Chris Harrison standing on a New York street looking cold, and wearing a black suit, white shirt, and black tie that look like something he picked up awhile back so he’d have something to wear to Aunt Edna’s funeral...And, in case we’re afraid that the change in venue to New York means that The Bachelor producers also hired better writers, we’re instantly comforted by the fact that Chris’ line are not only as stilted as in past seasons, but at some points they are exactly the same lines as earlier seasons.

Here is a flavor....Chris: “We're here in America's most exciting and romantic city. In just a few minutes, one very special woman will meet 25 incredible bachelors from all around the country. These men are coming here tonight for more than just the promise of finding true love. They're here for the woman herself--Jen Schefft, arguably the most beloved woman ever to appear on our show”...”America first fell in love with Jen on The Bachelor, featuring multimillionaire Andrew Firestone. Firestone proposed marriage, and for several months, it seemed as if the couple would follow in Trista and Ryan's footsteps (from Bachelorette 1) and walk down the aisle. But when Andrew and Jen broke up, single men from all across the country wanted their chance to romance this beautiful girl next door. Now 25 lucky guys will have a shot to win her heart. But before we meet them, let's take a closer look at our newest bachelorette. She's beautiful. She's sexy. She's Jen Schefft, one of America's favorite bachelorettes.”

Now, in case we didn’t understand that very complex and intellectually challenging introduction above, Chris proceeds to tell us the virtually the same thing again, this time with some footage from the earlier Bachelor season....We do get some quotes from Jen about why she and Andrew broke up...Jen: As time went on for Andrew and I, we were never settled. We were never at home, and I think that became really difficult for both of us because I wasn't happy. The breakup between Andrew and I was completely mutual. We just realized that we wanted completely different things out of life...And Jen also talks about why she decided to come back to be the bachelorette...Jen: I can understand why people are skeptical, but to them I say, ‘I've been through this experience. I see that it can work. Meredith (from Bachelorette 2) and Trista (from Bachelorette 1) are both happily with the person that they chose. Why can't that happen for me?’

Chris goes on: There's a lot more to Jen Schefft than we saw on The Bachelor. And, her journey began in Cleveland, Ohio.....(Arrrghhh!! The word “journey” is back! Last season on The Bachelor, it seemed that the producers had finally retired the constant use of the word “journey” to describe the experience of show. And, unfortunately this is only the first of several times the word “journey” is used tonight. Sigh.)...We see footage of Jen’s parents’ large, attractive house in Mentor, Ohio, near Cleveland...Jen describes her childhood as a “normal” Midwestern upbringing....(Uh Jen, I’m not sure that a white, upper middle class, two-parent family was even the “norm” 30 years ago–“idealized” might be the better description.)...Jen sits down with her parents at their kitchen table to look at Jen’s baby pictures...We hear that Jen was a very good baby but also very independent...We go on to see pictures of Jen as a cheerleader in high school, including several years of very bad hair. Nice to see that even Jen committed some fashion “don’ts”...Jen’s father Dave says that Jen always had boys around, and that some of the other girls probably weren’t thrilled with Jen because they called her a “boy magnet.”.....After getting a degree in marketing from Ohio University, Jen moved to Chicago, where “she had always dreamed of living,” and we see some great shots of the city. (As a longtime Chicago resident, it’s not that I’m biased or anything.)...Jen has been working as an events coordinator for the American Cancer Society... Chris: Now, Jen is ready to take a second chance on love...Chris: Jen is definitely America's Sweetheart, and soon, she'll meet the 25 men who are hoping to win her heart.

Only 10 minutes into the show, we get our first round of commercials. For those of us who were hoping that The Bachelorette producers would finally ditch the repetitious lead-ins to commercial breaks—no such luck...”Coming up next, Jen takes her first look at the men competing to win her heart.”...”For the first time ever, the bachelorette helps cast 25 eligible bachelors.”...”Then Jen answers some personal questions about her breakup with Andrew.”...”Then later at the rose ceremony, the pressure's too much for one of the bachelors to handle. Find out what happens when The Bachelor continues.”...Don’t worry, I’m not going to repeat all the introductions to the commercials. You’ve heard one. You get the idea.

Jen Helps to Choose the Bachelors

Unlike past bachelors and bachelorettes, Jen had input into choosing the 25 bachelors, and she says that that was one of the reasons she decided to do The Bachelorette....Jen describes the recruiting process for the bachelors...Jen: After I was announced as the bachelorette, things sort of went crazy. I did a number of talk shows, radio shows, magazine interviews, just to let people know that I was involved in the casting of the show....We see Jen being interviewed for TV and radio, and meeting potential bachelors at casting events...Jen: Going to the casting events, it was really overwhelming. There's 200 guys there, and they're all looking at you....Jen: After going to the casting events, I went out to LA And started going through audition tape after audition tape so we could start narrowing down the men to 25....Note: I found it very interesting to see some of the casting process. Actually, a lot of it looked pretty tedious...Jen goes on, “When I sat down with the producers, I was completely comfortable in telling them exactly what I was looking for, and I know that these are people that they know me, I know them, and they're not gonna hold back.”

We also got a glimpse of the producers of the show—finally a chance to see the people I skewered during the last season of The Bachelor. They were young (as I expected), and included a lot of women (which I didn’t expect.)...We see Jen sitting in a sitting room with the producers, watching live interviews of potential bachelors through a one-way glass, feeding questions to the producers during the interview....Jen describes the process, “They (the bachelors) had no idea that I was listening in, which sometimes was a good thing and sometimes was a bad thing.”...We see snippets of several interviews, including one where the potential bachelor says that he wants to be on the show, “Just to be famous a little bit. And if it's 15 minutes, fine, whatever. I mean, yeah, sincerely, it's a very shallow, selfish reason.”...Another guy seems to think he’s auditioning for “Stupid Human Tricks” on David Letterman by showing off all the strange things he can do with his tongue...When asked whether he’d consider moving to Chicago, one candidate answers that he thinks Chicago is “just miserable”...We get our first glimpse of Chris from Kentucky, who we will see a lot of on the show tonight. When asked what his community is like, Chris replies, “We do got a new post office. It's pretty slick. I mean, it's state-of-the-art d*mn post office, man.”...The last interview is with Ben, who becomes one of my favorite of the 25 bachelors. He’s a professional ski instructor in Aspen. When told that Jen doesn’t ski, Ben gives a great smile, and replies, “Most of the people I work with haven't skied before.”....Yum. I could reconsider my dislike of skiing if Ben was my instructor, and Jen seems equally impressed.

After this spontaneous and fun segment, we return to robo-Chris, still in his black suit....Chris: Tonight the journey begins again. We've chosen our bachelorette and selected the 25 eligible bachelors who are all hoping to win her heart. See what happens when she meets them face-to-face for the first time. We'll be right back.

Last-Minute Advice to Jen From Her Friends

Back in Chicago, Jen’s best friends Abby and Michelle, meet her at a restaurant to give her some last-minute advice...At first I thought there were three Jens, because Abby and Michelle also have straight blonde mid-length hair. However, after a longer look, the three don’t look at all alike, but I still find the “lookalike friend” thing a little creepy in women past high school...The three women sit down to drool, uh look, at pictures of the 25 bachelors...Abby tells Jen, “This could be the start of your wedding album--minus the other 24....As Jen packs for New York, she asks her friends, “If you could put somebody on paper for me, who would it be?”...Michelle: Tall, athletic. They have to be able to understand sports, or else they will not be able to live in your family, with your brother and your dad...Michelle asks Jen, “What are you looking for?”...Jen: I want someone who can “get me.” You know me. I can be a girl. I can freak out....Michelle (laughing): Slightly on the high-maintenance end?...Jen laughingly protests: I'm not high-maintenance. I’m....just emotional. I need someone who can deal with that....Abby and Michelle look at each other knowingly “We know, Jen.”...Abby: Would you say the word would be "solid"?...Michelle: You need, like, an even-keel type of guy....Hmm, interesting. Since I only watched the last couple of episodes of the earlier Bachelor, I don’t know much about what Jen is like. Emotional? High-maintenance?...I’m glad to hear about the human side of Jen.

As Jen packs, Michelle and Abby give Jen more advice...Michelle: Careful with the sex...Abby: In the city...Jen says adamantly: We’re not talking about sex....Michelle enthuses about New York...Michelle: Different from Chicago, but yet, still a big city. There's gonna be so much to do. Central Park. Romantic trips on the carriage rides...Abby says, “Eiffel Tower.”...Huh? Does she mean the Empire State Building?....The three crack up...Michelle reminds Abby that Jen is going to New York, not Paris....Jen says how much she’s going to miss Abby and Michelle, but she is thrilled to be going to New York where she could potentially meet her future husband....Hmm, I wonder how many million times we’re going to hear that phrase before the season is over.

Jen Arrives in New York

Next we see the Manhattan skyline...Jen tells us, “New York is one of the most romantic cities in the world. There's so much energy. It's where everything happens, and I get to be right in the heart of it all. It's the perfect city to fall in love.”...Jen arrives at her apartment, which is absolutely enormous, but strangely bare. It’s as if the show budgeted for sufficient furniture for a small apartment, then somehow found themselves with an enormous, loft-like space. It’s about as warm and inviting as an aerobics studio. ...One feature is a large patio on the second floor with a hot tub, but personally I’d be a little inhibited from getting romantic there, because you can see onto the patio from windows of other apartments....However, if Jen wants privacy, her bedroom has an enormous bed with black (satin?) sheets.

The first item on Jen’s agenda is a shopping spree....We are treated to a cutesy montage of Jen trying on silly hats with big band music playing in the background....And, lest we’ve forgotten the theme of the show in the past five minutes, we hear Jen saying, “As I was trying on all these clothes, I started to realize this is real. I’m trying on clothes for 25 men, one of whom could be my husband.”....Jen gets all excited when she tries on some of the very high-heeled, pointy toed shoes so popular on “Sex and the City,” as if somehow we’re supposed to believe she’s never seen, much less worn, shoes like this before. The segment was reminiscent of the old Mary Tyler Moore show, with the Midwestern girl coming to the dazzling big city....Uh hello. Chicago isn’t exactly Podunk. We do have Manolo Blahnik shoes, not to mention electricity, indoor plumbing, and some mighty tall buildings... Continuing the Mary Tyler Moore-like theme, Jen goes on, “I hope I find love in New York, and if I do, this time, it's going to last.”....Yup Jen. <singing> “You’re gonna make it after all.”....Chris (still in his black suit) once again chimes in to restate the obvious, “We all hope our bachelorette will find true love. And what better place to do it than right here in the Big Apple.”

The Producers Actually Let Chris Talk

Jen is about to meet the bachelors, and Chris is waiting outside (looking kind of cold) as Jen’s limo pulls up to the house where the bachelors will be living this season....Jen is wearing a long, shiny gold dress, and looks very nice...Chris tells Jen that the men are on their way...He then ushers Jen inside, and they sit on a couch surrounded by candles.

Chris Harrison may not have convinced the producers to let him wearing flattering clothes (or even to be allowed to change out of his funeral suit), but his agent must have done some negotiating, because Chris now interviews Jen. (On previous shows, Chris was only allowed to do interviews during the “Women Tell All” and “After the Final Rose” shows)....Unfortunately, Chris’ agent forgot to negotiate for Chris to be allowed to ask some unique questions, so we’re going to fast forward over the interview....The only new information we get is that Jen has talked to Andrew since she was chosen as the bachelorette....Jen: Obviously, it's not going to be easy for him (Andrew) to watch this, but he wishes me well. He has given me his blessing and hopes that it will work for me.

Chris then pulls a surprise on Jen and tells her that Abby and Michelle have been flown to New York, and will be at the cocktail party with the bachelors tonight, disguised as waiters.....Jen is very excited and happy to hear this...Chris: They’re gonna be your spies. They will be your eyes and ears. They will see stuff, they will hear stuff you don't.....Chris also reminds Jen that she is going to have to pretend she doesn’t know Michelle and Abby.

Jen Meets the First 15 Bachelors

Chris and Jen walk to the front door, so that Jen can meet the bachelors one-by-one as they walk up the stairs....Note: The main floor of the house, containing the living room and kitchen is actually on the second floor, so there is no grand hallway or entrance steps as there were in the LA mansion. The men walk up a regular flight of stairs, with each of the risers lit up to try to make them look a little special (or maybe just to prevent lawsuits if less-than-sober bachelor trips).

One disappointing thing for me was that, on first look, none of the men were “movie star hot.” I’m not saying the men were bad looking. However, after seeing their photos on the ABC Web site prior to the show, I was expecting more drooling on my part on seeing them in person...But, then, I had to remind myself that I’m not really a “love at first sight” kind of gal. With a few exceptions, I usually only find myself physically attracted to a man after I’ve had a chance to talk to him for awhile. So, take my initial lack of wild enthusiasm with a grain of salt....And, to give the men credit, by the end of tonight’s show, I found a number of them very attractive.

After seeing the first few men, they all start to blur in my mind. Virtually all of them are clean shaven, with short dark hair, and the few of that stand out don't necessarily do so for positive reasons. Most of the men exchange only a brief hello with Jen, and most of their voiceover interviews tend to sound alike after awhile, so my comments on each of them will be very brief, unless something (good or bad) made the bachelor stand out.

--Ryan, 28, Teacher, Manhattan Beach, CA...Ryan says he would like to have a relationship like his parents had, and that he shows his emotions easily.

--Eric, Age 37, Firefighter, San Diego, CA....One of Eric’s comments to Jen is that his mom thinks he and Jen would make a great couple. Uh oh. Bad sign. At age 37, I worry about a guy whose first comment is what his mother thinks.

--Chris, Age 27, Hair Stylist, Campton, KY...We saw a little of Chris’ initial interviews earlier, and I’ll have a lot more to say about him later. For now, what we see is a guy with long stringy hair, and a strong southern accent. His comments in his voiceover are unique, to put it kindly. “Oh, I like to party and have a good time and drink some beers. My dad owns a liquor store. If her dad owns a racehorse, that horse better be able to run, just like I better be able to drink.” His first comments to Jen are, “How you doing, sugar baby? You're just looking like pure eye candy tonight.” Jen shows that she is a nice polite person by limiting herself to various neutral replies, and by not rolling her eyes after Chris walks away (or if she does roll her eyes, we don’t see it on camera).

--Jason, 29, Motivational Speaker, Fort Worth, TX...Jason tells us in his voiceover that his faith has had an important impact on his values. Hey says, “Up to this point in my life, I haven't had sex, and that's a virtue for me. The body's not a carnival ride. It's a gift.” The subject of virginity doesn’t come up in the brief hellos between Jason and Jen.

--Ryan, 34, Attorney, New York...Ryan is the only bachelor who is not Caucasian. (He’s African-American.) This tokenism seems like a step backward on the part of the Bachelor producers. After all, on the last Bachelor, there were several bachelorettes from different ethnic groups, and Mary, the woman Byron chose, is of Cuban descent.

--John Paul, 25, Entrepreneur, Oklahoma City...Does anyone else wonder about a guy who calls himself by two first names—particularly when his name is the same as the pope? John Paul tells us in his voiceover that, as young as he is, he is successful. But, he hopes he has a chance to show Jen that he is not all about money.

--Stu, 27, Attorney, New York...We saw Stu earlier in the interviews talking about how he has a crush on Jen. He goes even further in his voiceover as he walks up the stairs...”I'd say I’ve got a crush on Jen. I watched her on The Bachelor, I've spent every minute thinking about her.”...Uh oh, huge red flag

--Matt, 32, Firefighter, New York...Matt says in his voiceover, “Part of my job is running into burning buildings. This experience almost feels like running into a burning building, but it's a burning building that I want to run into, and hopefully when I do, I come out the other end with Jen over my shoulder.”

--Keith, 28, Welder, Encinitas, CA...Keith says in his voiceover, “Jen's a city girl from Chicago. I'm, like, a surfing bum from San Diego. If things go right and I get her on a surfboard, I'll doubt she'll ever want to go home.”

--Andy, 29, Ski Coach, Steamboat Springs, CO...In his voiceover, Andy tells us that, so far in his life, he has gotten everything he ever wanted, including making it to the Olympics in the sport of ski racing. But, now he needs a lady to fall in love with.

--Michael, 31, Teacher, Monroe, MI...Michael hopes that Jen is not looking for a rich guy, because he’s not that guy, he’s an English teacher...Michael is carrying a purple box, and tells Jen that he has a present to give her later.

--Kevin, 26, Consultant, New York...Kevin says in his voiceover that, when Jen was on the Bachelor, his friends and coworkers told him that she was his type and they would be instantly attracted to each other. He is a huge believer in fate and destiny and feels he’s meeting Jen for a reason.

--David, 30, Marketing Consultant, Chicago...David is all tall brunette like all the other bachelors so far, but his look is kinda strange and creepy. He’s not ugly per se, but he looks a lot like the actor David Schwimmer, if David Schwimmer had been worked on by Michael Jackson’s plastic surgeon. It’s hard to describe the artificial look of David’s face, but, for one thing, he looks like he’s wearing black eyeliner. Maybe that’s how his eyes naturally look, but the effect is odd.

--Chris 33, Sports Marketing, Cleveland...Chris says he’s one a lot of cool things like running with the bulls and climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, but he’s done most of it on his own and it’s time to share his life with When he meets Jen, Chris tells her that he shares her hometown of Cleveland, OH.

--Fabrice, 28, Real Estate Investor, Paris, France...When I first heard the name of this bachelor, I was all set to make fun of a guy with a fake-sounding name that reminded me of a product you spray on your clothes to get out the sweat smells from your T-shirts. But, Fabrice is actually from France, so his name is probably real. Still, he may be trying a little too hard. One of his comments to Jen on meeting her is, “I hope I get to show you that the French lover thing is not just a cliché.”

After the first 15 bachelors, Chris comes out to ask Jen what she thinks so far. Jen says they were great, then Chris reminds her that she is not done yet, and there are 10 more bachelors on the way.

Jen Meets the Remaining 10 Bachelors

For the most part, the last 10 bachelors aren’t that different from the first 15. It’s a good thing that Jen had an album with pictures and names before the show, because I don’t know how she is going to tell them apart.

--Mark, 30, Commercial Finance, Carlsbad, CA...Mark describes himself as sensitive to other people’s need, and hopes to win Jen’s heart by being caring, compassionate, and attentive.

--Josh, 28, Pro Marathoner, Murietta, CA...Josh tells us that he is a virgin and it is probably the hardest thing he has ever had to do, but considers it his greatest accomplishment. Okay.

--Eric, 35, Magazine Editor, New York...Eric doesn’t say much of interest to Jen when he first meets her, but he’ll regret some things he says later during the cocktail party following the introductions.

--Wendell, 32, Entrepreneur, Chicago...Wendell says in his voiceover that he could offer a woman “a really great life from a financial standpoint,” but considers who he is the best part about him.

--Andrew, 37, Bartender, New York...Andrew was one of the few guys I found immediately attractive, due to my weakness for long hair on guys, not to mention his gorgeous eyes. Andrew tells the camera he loves the energy of the New York nightlife, and would love to show it to Jen.

--Ben, 26, Ski Instructor, Aspen, CO...We saw Ben earlier in the pre-show interviews, and I liked him then. Ben says in his voiceover that he has a fantastic family, with older brothers who taught him that when it comes to women, it’s quality, not quantity. I like Ben even better after his introduction to Jen, and she seems to think so, too, since she gives him an extra-long look as he walks away.

--Collin, 27, Sports Agent, Austin, TX...Collin says that the sports business is very masculine, and cutthroat, but at the same time he can be extremely sensitive and caring. He thinks that the combination will separate him from the other guys.

--A.W., 27, Mortgage Consultant, Newport Beach, CA....I always wonder about people who use initials as their formal first name. A.W.’s real name must be really bad. A.W. has an engaging “little-boy” look, but his eyes are kind of googly, and make me wonder if he needs to have his thyroid checked. A.W. puts me off in his initial voiceover when he says, “The best-case scenario is Jen and I actually have a huge connection and I end up falling in love with this chick (ouch!) and live happily ever after.”

--Matt, 33, Attorney, Manhattan Beach, CA...Matt gets right to the point when he says, “I have a very difficult time dating girls who are just dumb.” I happen to agree with him, but his remark did come across as a little blunt.

--Jerry, 29, Art Gallery Director, Los Angeles...Jerry says that as an artist, he is always in search of inspiration, and he hopes that Jen is that inspiration. Jerry is a good-looking guy, and Jen thinks so, too, because she exhales deeply, and goes “Whoo” in admiration as he walks up the stairs.

After the last bachelor goes up the stairs, Chris comes out from wherever he’s been hiding, and reminds Jen (in case she’s forgotten why she’s here), that now she will go upstairs to meet the guys informally at a cocktail party, followed by the tough part, sending 10 of the guys home at the end of the evening.

The Cocktail Party

Upstairs, the cocktail party is in full swing....Michelle reminds us in a voiceover that she and Abby are at the party disguised as waiters...Jen comes upstairs to find 25 guys looking at her and tells the camera that she found it intimidating but fun...We see lots of small snippets of conversations between the men, mostly talking about their first impressions of Jen...Chris from Kentucky is getting himself noticed, acting like such a hick that he would make Jethro Bodine from The Beverly Hillbillies seem as suave as Clark Gable. Normally I would be offended by the way the other men make fun of Chris. However, it seemed to me that Chris was exaggerating his hillbilly persona as a way to get attention. And, his act isn’t endearing, it’s obnoxious, and gets more so as the night goes on.

We also see the bachelors talking to Abby and Michelle, and Abby tells us how bad she feels about having to lie to the men about who she is....Stu freaks out a couple of the guys (and Michelle) when he raves about how much he liked Jen when she was on The Bachelor....Michelle tells the camera that she is concerned that Jen could get a little creeped out by Stu because he is so into her.

During the cocktail party, we see two different sides of Jerry (the artist from LA)...In a one-on-one conversation with Jen, he seems quite humble, asking her if he made an idiot of himself when they were introduced. And, a little later, when Jerry admits to Jen that he feels like he is there for a reason, he seems embarrassed to be saying it, but Jen seems smitten...However, after their conversation, despite a few protests from Jen, Jerry picks her up and carries her down the stairs. I’m not sure, but it seemed to me that Jen may have been more embarrassed than impressed by this gesture. And, several of the other men aren’t impressed....Mark (the commercial finance guy from LA) doesn’t think that a woman would want to be carried down the stairs by a guy they had just met. And, Fabrice calls the Jerry a “big fake” and calls the gesture “cheesy.”...Even though Jerry was very self-effacing with Jen, later, when one of the men (Kevin?) asks Jerry about his first impression of Jen. Jerry replies testily, “Don’t find out about her through us. Go find out about her through her.” Then a few moments later Jerry says somewhat aggressively to the same man, “You are here for a reason, go pursue that reason.” The other bachelor replies sarcastically, “That’s great advice, Jerry. I appreciate that.”

In the kitchen, Abby and Michelle are listening to conversations, and talking to the bachelors...Eric from New York makes a big faux pas when he asks Michelle if she’d like to go out for sushi after her shift...Abby (who overheard the conversation) says she’s not sure if Eric is there “for the right reasons.” Yup, Abby, I agree....Meanwhile, Chris from Kentucky is continuing to show that he might not be able to hold his liquor as well as he bragged earlier. Jen once again shows how polite she is when she sweetly giggles when Chris tells her, “You’ve got the purtiest smile I’ve ever seen. You just keep on grinnin’ and it keeps getting wider and wider.”...But, despite Chris’ increasingly obnoxious behavior, I have to say that, like him, I also rolled my eyes when Jason said to Jen, “I just want to tell you what’s in my heart. You’re gorgeous outwardly, but I’m way more interested in your heart. I totally believe that there is one person that’s made for you on this earth. Once I meet that woman I’m going to spend the rest of my life fighting for her.”...Oh puhleese....Unfortunately, Jen seems to like Jason’s comments, although it may have been that anything would have seemed attractive in contrast to Chris’ drunk hillbilly act....After Jason’s speech, Chris tries to top it by saying to Jen, “I’m real competitive. I don’t lose, I play to win.”....Jen politely replies, “I’ll keep that in mind,” without her voice showing the least sarcasm. This woman is good. My patience with Chris would have broken long before this.

Back in the kitchen, Stu tells Michelle, ”I know we've just met tonight, but I already do feel a connection with Jen. I watched the whole season with her and Andrew religiously, and she's exactly the type of girl that I'm looking for”....Then later, Stu tells Jen, “Knowing you before I came here--knowing of you--you’re the type of girl that I look for. That's what made me want to come and get to know you better.”....Jen says to the camera, “With Stu, I know right off the bat that he's here for me and here for the right reasons. Those are the things that initially I thought might scare me off, but it was sort of nice to have someone sit there and say how happy they were to be there because of me”....Stu tells the camera that he’ll be crushed if he doesn’t get a rose

Michael (the teacher from Michigan) asks Jen if he can get a little time alone with her. He tells Jen that his father graduated from Mount Union in 1966. His father was in the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity and was Jen’s dad’s “big brother.”...Jen says, “No way!...So Michael says he brought Jen a present in case she started getting lonely. The present is a teddy bear wearing a vest saying “Mount Union.” Jen exclaims, “My dad will love it.”...Michael tells Jen that on a scale of 10 of how much he wants a rose, he’s a 17 or 18...Later, the other guys tease Michael about the teddy bear in what seems to me to be a kidding way...But, Michael tells the camera, “I knew that those guys would razz me big-time when I gave her the gift, and that's fine. The cliché word is haters, and there are haters in this crowd. I'm not here for the 24 other guys in the room. I'm here for one person, and that's Jen.”

Michelle and Abby Sneak off to Dish on the Bachelors

Michelle and Abby say they have been dying to talk to each other all night, and they finally get a chance to sneak off....They talk about how there are so many good guys among the 25, and they’re so in love with Jen already....Michelle has mixed feelings about Stu. On one hand she says he’s a great guy, but she hopes Stu doesn’t freak out Jen because he’s so into her. It may be a little creepy....They think Michael (the teacher from Michigan) would be perfect for Jen...As for Fabrice, the women don’t feel as positive about him as they feel about some of the other guys. They think Fabrice is really attractive in person, but that he’s a little self-absorbed. They’re not sure whether Fabrice is really here for Jen or for something else.

Back in the kitchen, Michelle and Abby talk with Keith. Michelle says she thinks Keith is a really interesting guy, and there’s a lot more to him. She says she hopes Jen gets a chance to meet Keith and spend more time with him.

Later, all 25 bachelors are in the living room, and Ben brings in a tray with 25 plastic glasses....Ben stands in front of the group and proposes a toast.

To lying, cheating, stealing, and drinking.
If you’re gonna lie, lie for a friend,
If you’re gonna cheat, cheat death,.
If you’re going to steal, steal a heart,
And, if you’re going to drink, drink with me.

The men all clink their glasses and cheer, but not everyone is impressed by Ben’s toast....John Paul tells the camera,” Ben made a great toast, but it's not about male bonding. It has nothing to do with other people. It's about Jen and I and us working out.”

While the toast is going on, Jen uses this opportunity to try to get a little time with Michelle and Abby for their reactions....Jen asks them, “Who's on the top of your mind right now?...Michelle says, “Jerry—hot. Smitten by you....They ask Jen what she thinks of Jerry. Is she in love?...Jen answers that it’s a little too soon...The women say that’s good, because there have already been some “L” words being dropped, mainly by Stu. Jen asks them if that’s too much or weird....Michelle thinks Jen needs to get to know Stu a little more...Jen then asks if they have any bad news...Michelle and Abby think Chris is hammered....They also mention that Eric from New York asked Michelle out when she got off work...Jen gives Michelle and Abby a big hug, and thanks them for being able to see things she wouldn’t have seen. She says she wouldn’t have felt as comfortable going into the rose ceremony without them.

After Jen rejoins the men, Ryan from California asked to have some time to talk alone with Jen. He tells Jen that he teaches middle school. He says, “I know with you being on this before and the whole thing with Andrew, I'm in a whole different stratosphere”....Jen reassures Ryan that she was brought up with a Midwestern upbringing, that she doesn’t come up to Andrew Firestone’s level....Jen goes on to tell the camera that both her mom and brother are teachers....I liked Ryan a lot in this conversation.

Back in the kitchen, Stu is asking Abby and Michelle questions about how well they know Jen. Michelle tells the camera, ”Everywhere I seem to go tonight, it seems that Stu is either next to me or quickly by my side and is overly polite and nice.” Michelle worries that Stu is onto Abby and Michelle’s cover...Next John Paul takes Jen upstairs. He tells her that he has an investment company in Oklahoma City that specializes in real estate and oil and gas...Jen asks JP how old he is, and he replies that he is 25...Jen asks him if he is ready to get married at 25...JP replies that he is ready to find that person in his life. He says the goal of why he pushes his business so hard is because he wants to take care of his family young, and make sure they do fun things while they’re young, and have kids young....Jen: I love that you're 25 and you're thinking about that....JP goes on to say that divorce is such an option today and he doesn’t believe in that. That once he gets married, that’s it....After the interview, JP says he really has a feeling about Jen and really thinks it could go somewhere. He says that if he were a betting man, he’d bet that he got a rose tonight.

Back on the main floor, Chris (the host, not the hillbilly) arrives and taps a glass to signal the end of the evening.

The First-Impression Rose

Chris: Guys, I hate to break up the party. Jen, if you would come join me. Before we go, I do have something to say. There will be 15 roses handed out here tonight. The first one is right here. We call this the first-impression rose. It goes to the guy who made the best first impression tonight—but not in Jen’s eyes. She had a couple of spies here tonight watching and listening to everything that happened....The men nervously laugh as Chris calls Michelle and Abby to the front...Gentlemen, I'd like to introduce you to Abby and Michelle, two of Jen's best friends from back in Chicago. They'll be the ones who decide who gets this all-important first rose....Ryan from New York tells the camera, “I think all of us immediately started thinking, "Oh, my god. What were we just saying about five minutes ago?”...Chris goes on, “Ladies, I hate to put you on the spot like this, but I need a decision. Which of these guys made the best first impression, in your opinion?”...And, then, of course, we go to commercials.

When we come back, Chris repeats his earlier question to Michelle and Abby, and Michelle replies, “Abby and I thought about this a lot this evening, and our decision is...Keith”...Keith tells the camera that he was pretty amazed that he was picked, because he’d been so frustrated at not having a chance to talk to Jen one-on-one during the evening...Several of the men congratulate Keith, but Stu tells the camera that he deserved to get the first impression rose because he treated Michelle and Abby just like he treated Jen....Chris tells Jen, Michelle, and Abby that he is sure they have a few more things they want to talk about, so he sends them off.

Then Chris says to the men: Fellas, that was just the first rose. Jen will be back here in just a little bit....After Chris leaves, Kentucky Chris tells the camera that he thinks Jen is going to be hating her friends later on (for picking Keith), and that that was a [Bleep] rose.

As Jen talks alone with Michelle and Abby, she tells them she was surprised they picked Keith since she didn’t talk to him all night...Michelle explains that Keith is great and was disappointed that he didn’t get a chance to talk to Jen...Jen tells the camera, “Keith wasn't someone who really jumped out at me, but my friends seem to really like him. So I'm really curious to see what they saw in him.”

While they’re waiting for Jen to come back, Jerry and Eric from New York are talking. Jerry says, ”That means we have to be nice to everybody?”....Eric: Well, you try to do that, anyway....Jerry: I'm just kidding. (Note: Why do I get the feeling that Jerry wasn’t completely kidding?)...As the two try to remember what they said all evening, Eric admits that he was flirting with one of Jen’s friends...Eric: No girl wants that, right? At that point, I was just like, ‘Oh, man, I'm [Bleep] dead. Totally dead.’

Downstairs, Jen is getting a final pep talk from Michelle and Abby, and they say (surprise, surprise), “Go with your heart.”...But, they assure Jen that even though she didn’t get to talk to all the men, she met them all, and her husband is out there...Jen tells the camera how thrilled she was that Abby and Michelle were there to help....Jen: I am on the other side this time, and I'm scared and I'm nervous. I don't know if I'm going to make the right choice. I knew it would be hard, but I had no idea it would be this hard. I have 14 roses to hand out tonight, and I feel really, really sad that I have to hurt some people's feelings.

The Rose Ceremony

We come back from commercials to see the men lined up in two lines at one end of the room. The setting is much more informal than the rose ceremonies at the previous Bachelor mansion.... Chris and Jen walk up...Chris reminds the men that if Jen is not someone they would consider marrying, they can, and should, decline the rose....Chris tells Jen to begin when she’s ready...Jen: Hi, everyone. I'm not gonna stand up here and make a long speech, but I just do really want to say thank you all so much for being here. I know how much you've sacrificed, and I know exactly how you're feeling. But it's definitely just as hard, if not harder, to be standing where I am...While suspenseful music plays, Jen begins to hand out the roses:

--Ryan from California
--Matt from New York
--Ryan from New York

During the ceremony, David has been looking increasingly woozy, and at this point he faints and falls on the floor. The men help pick him up and Jen goes over. David is plainly embarrassed...In a voiceover, Jen says, “David just passed out. And it was really scary, and I was really worried about him. And I know exactly how it feels to be standing there. It's a long night. I felt many times as if was going to pass out.” David hadn’t appeared to be drinking a lot during the evening—in fact, it’s amazing that it wasn’t Chris from Kentucky who collapsed. We’ve heard from previous shows that the first rose ceremony can last until 2:00 or 3:00 a.m., and the men end up standing for hours under hot lights. On Bachelorette 2, one of the bachelors chosen by Meredith had fallen asleep on his feet, and needed to be woken up when his name was called.

After this break, Jen continues to give out roses.

--John Paul

It wouldn’t be a rose ceremony if Chris didn’t remind the bachelors that this was the final rose tonight, despite the fact that it is obvious to everyone that there is only one rose remaining.


Chris: Gentlemen, I'm sorry. If you did not receive a rose, say goodbye.

In an interview, Kentucky Chris seems resigned to not getting a rose. He says, “It kind of winds up like an old AC/DC song—‘Shot down in flames.’ I've been shot down in flames before, and it ain't killed me yet. I guess I'm gonna go back home and keep looking for that long-lost lover.”...You do that, Chris....Eric from NY at first seems to be denying the likely reason he was cut, saying, “I didn't get a rose because, I guess, Jen didn't want to give me one.”. But then, he says, “When I found out that two of the waitresses were Jen's friends, of course, you run back through your mind, about what you said. I was doing what I do, which is talking to people, flirting with people, whatever. And, you know, I can see how that could be taken the wrong way”

As the 10 men sent home walk down the stairs out the front door, Jen shares a toast to the remaining 15 bachelors, “Here's to a new adventure.”

I thought that, overall, Jen made good choices. But, I suspect that several of her choices. particularly Stu, were heavily influenced by the producers. Previews of future shows depict Stu as a potential stalker, always a favorite storyline for the Bachelor/Bachelorette producers. About the only guy that I was surprised that Jen didn’t pick was “the third Chris” the sports marketer from Cleveland. But, for all we know, Jen might have picked him if her friends hadn’t given the first rose to Keith.

I also found it interesting that Jen gave roses to both of the “virgins” (Jason and Josh). It doesn’t appear that they mentioned their virgin status at the cocktail party, but I would have expected that Jen would have learned this during the screening process since neither of the men seemed reticent to discuss it. We haven’t seen previously that Jen holds strong religious beliefs, and the fact that Jen lived with Andrew Firestone in San Francisco when they were engaged suggests that she doesn’t share the same values. However, again, I suspect the decision to keep Jason and Josh could have been heavily influenced by the producers as another source of drama in the house. And, indeed we see in the previews that the subject of virginity becomes a source of controversy among the men, particularly Fabrice, who is quoted as saying he can’t imagine going six weeks without sex.

Among the 15 remaining bachelors, my favorites so far are Ben (the ski instructor) and Ryan (the teacher from California). But, it’s still early in the season, and in past seasons, my early favorites haven’t always made it to the final three or four. Keeps me humble.

Coming Up on This Season of The Bachelorette

The screencaps of this last part of the premiere show will be endlessly analyzed in the coming weeks by Bachelorette addicts, trying to figure out which men make it to the finals. I’m not going to try to do that in this recap, because, frankly, I’m still having trouble telling the men apart. The preview segment contained a lot of very short “teaser” segments—I’ll describe some of the most interesting.

We see several group dates, particularly a visit to the New York Knicks....There are also some glimpses of one-on-one dates, and several bachelors saying they have strong feelings for Jen...We see one of the “virgins” discussing with Jen that he is saving himself for marriage...This group of bachelors seems to be particularly aggressive and competitive (maybe picking up the New York atmosphere versus the more laid-back style of the mansions in LA used in previous shows)....Both Fabrice and Stu seem to generate controversy among the other men...One bachelor is quoted as saying that “French people suck.”...And concerns about Stu’s obsession with Jen are not only expressed by the other bachelors, but also by Jen.

At one point we see one of the bachelors running down a street, and a later scene of police cars pulled up in front of the men’s house....This is followed by a scene of Fabrice standing in front of the group and saying that there is something he’d like to say.

By the way, before we get too excited about the whole police incident, we need to remember that the Bachelor/Bachelorette producers are well known for creating false drama. For example, on the last season of the Bachelor, the bachelorettes went running out into the night to hunt for June, who had “disappeared.” In fact, Jane was in Byron’s cottage with Byron. (And, since cameras were Byron and Jane the two of them the whole time, the show’s producers obviously knew exactly where the “missing” bachelorette was located.)

We finally see a break in Jen’s “Stepford Wife” persona as she is faced with making the final decisions on the show. Again, this is no surprise, because emotional meltdowns at the last minute are standard fare for both bachelors and bachelorettes on the show. In fact, as we know, the format of the show is set up to maximize emotional tension and hurt feelings.

Last, we see lots of scenes of Jen kissing various men in romantic venues, ranging from a beach to a lighthouse to a hot tub. I’m sure that Bachelorette addicts are already studying the kissing photos to try to determine the identities of the lucky men.

As the credits run, we first see some last scenes of Kentucky Chris...He is asked what made him going into hair styling, and he said he did it because he flunked out of aviation school. When asked if he is good at it, he replies that he has been doing it seven years and has had no complaints yet....I’m very glad that the producers didn’t make Jen keep Chris from Kentucky.

Then, we are actually given a glimpse of Chris Harrison being funny. (Usually the producers don’t let us see the human Chris until the final show.)...In spot-on imitation of Kentucky Chris, Chris the host comes up to Jen in the doorway, and gushes to her in a strong southern accent, “Seriously... when they put chicken in the bucket and they fry it and they pull it out--right when they pull it out, that's how hot you are, okay? Have you ever felt a tin roof in Arkansas in July? 'Cause that's how hot you are, okay? Seriously. You're cooler than a free bucket of beer.”

Well, that’s the premiere. I’ll see you again next week!

The 15 Remaining Bachelors and The 10 Sent Home
Just as a reminder, here is a list of the 15 remaining bachelors, as well as the 10 sent home. (The bio information is from the ABC Web site.)

The bachelors remaining are:

--A.W., 27, Mortgage Consultant, Newport Beach, CA
--Ben, 26, Ski Instructor, Aspen, CO
--Fabrice, 28, Real Estate Investor, Paris, France
--Jason, 29, Motivational Speaker, Fort Worth, TX
--Jerry, 29, Art Gallery Director, Los Angeles
--John Paul, 25, Entrepreneur, Oklahoma City
--Josh, 28, Pro Marathoner, Murietta, CA
--Keith, 28, Welder, Las Encinitas, CA
--Mark, 30, Commercial Finance, Carlsbad, CA
--Matt, 32, Firefighter, New York
--Michael, 31, Teacher, Monroe, MI
--Ryan, 28, Teacher, Manhattan Beach, CA
--Ryan, 34, Attorney, New York
--Stu, 27, Attorney, New York.
--Wendell, 32, Entrepreneur, Chicago

The 10 bachelors sent home:

--Andrew, 37, Bartender, New York.
--Andy, 29, Ski Coach, Steamboat Springs, CO
--Chris, 27, Hair Stylist, Campton, Kentucky
--Chris, 33, Sports Marketing, Cleveland
--Collin, 27, Sports Agent, Austin, TX
--David, 30, Marketing Consultant, Chicago
--Eric, 37, Firefighter, San Diego, CA
--Eric, 35, Magazine Editor, New York
--Kevin, 26, Consultant, New York
--Matt, 33, Attorney, Manhattan Beach, CA