Kaitlyn Bristowe’s Bachelorette Premiere Blog: ‘Going Home Was Not an Option’

20 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘The Bachelorette’ season premiere recap: double trouble.

Kaitlyn Bristowe charmed her way into the hearts of the Bachelor Nation – and nearly the Bachelor himself, Chris Soules, on season 19 of The Bachelor.When the big twist for season 11 of “The Bachelorette” was revealed — that the male contestants would have to choose between two potential Bachelorettes, Kaitlyn Bristowe and Britt Nilsson – people were not exactly thrilled with the decision.

Clint Arlis, the bachelor who grew up in Batavia, certainly made a first impression on possible “The Bachelorette” Kaitlyn Bristowe on Monday’s premiere of the ABC show. “I didn’t know there would be two bachelorettes,” he told her while holding a frame he said he built himself. “I only drew one person I thought was going to be on the show. I hope this doesn’t offend you.” “I’m so excited,” Kaitlyn responded, before erupting into laughter as he unveiled a drawing of the show’s host Chris Harrison holding the show’s signature rose astride a triceratops. After spending the next few months in Los Angeles to compete on “Dancing With The Stars,” Twitter has confirmed he is back on the farm, preparing to marry Whitney.

Well … if you would have told this edgy little gal a year ago that I would be writing a blog for PEOPLE as one of two Bachelorettes duking it out against each other for love, I would have done my fat man laugh. Yet, as Bachelor Nation’s benevolent dictator Chris Harrison explained, this season would be different — on the first night, the men would have the power to decide which of the two women would proceed as Bachelorette. Usually what happens next is that the contestant who made it to the end but finished without a ring becomes the next season’s Bachelor or Bachelorette. As our own Tracy Clark-Flory wrote at the time, summing up the mood: “What viewers saw was an enraging power imbalance in the wake of a season that, even more so than average, revolved around women fighting over a man …That power imbalance [in which the men have all the power] has always been there, right under the surface, but with this move ‘The Bachelor’ made it un-ignorable, even to the most blissfully ignorant or in denial.” But since I clearly have a taste for masochism, I decided to tune in for the big showdown, and hoo boy am I glad that I did. On Chris’ season, Britt, who gave free hugs on Hollywood Boulevard, was sent home rather than proposed to, so we were left to assume she was the next Bachelorette.

But since this season has too much drama for one episode, we don’t find out who the guys chose until Tuesday night, after they vote by “putting the roses in the girls’ boxes,” which sounds sexual, but is not. Not only will Britt be looking for marriage on national television, she will be joined by Kaitlyn, the girl who told Chris Soules he could “plow the f— out of her field any day” during last season’s premiere.

A bucket of roses to you and the whole “Bachelorette” team for managing to turn an already-sexist franchise into something somehow even more disheartening than the 11 seasons that came before it (Outkast was right: Roses really smell like poo-oo). There was also some drama when one contestant, Ryan, “a junkyard specialist” from Kansas City, Mo., was asked to leave the show after he drank too much, grabbed Bristowe’s rear, and argued with several of his fellow contestants. I won’t go through all 25 men, but here are a few highlights: Jared, a restaurant manager from Rhode Island, tells us that if he were going into this thing as a superhero, he would be going in as “Love Man” to rescue the Bachelorette from all of the evil men in the world. If we had any doubt who the “twist” served to benefit, Harrison summed things up for us pretty nicely, explaining that “Since the feelings [about who should be Bachelorette] were so strongly split, it seemed unfair to make that decision for the men.” Yeah, that would be unfair!

He’s on #TeamKaitlyn and he’s not afraid to show it, calling her “smart and beautiful and funny and very charismatic.” (We agree!) Also, he has a pretty intense back story: He was a Princeton track star who got in a car accident and was “left for dead.” After some intense physical therapy and training, he proved doctors wrong and learned to run again. For example: Usually, the Bachelor and Bachelorette get long, detailed introductions where we get to know our protagonist for the season (remember how many shots of rolling Iowa cornfields we had to endure last season?). There is the Canadian dancer Kaitlyn, who is “funny, sexy and sometimes completely inappropriate” (cut to a shot of her stripping off her bikini bottoms) verses the California model Britt, who is “sincere, emotional, and very loving” (cut to a shot of her crying). There are only two kinds of women in Bachelor/ette Nation — or so the show implies — and its up to the men to choose which they’d rather bed and wed.

After a few more seconds in their “nervous” and “excited” roles, Chris Harrison says, “Let the journey begin.” Britt and Kaitlyn stand across the sidewalk from each other, waiting to meet this season’s 25 contestants. As the first limo with the contestants pulls up, the bachelors wonder, “which one do we talk to first?” Then, in true male fashion, each yells out the name of their preferred Bachelorette. Ben H is the first out of the limo; he walks straight to Kaitlyn, not even glancing at Britt while Britt giggles in “excitement.” However, when he does get to Britt, he stutters and then tells the camera, “I lost my words with that smile.” Jonathan, an automotive salesman who looks like the pool boy from “Legally Blonde,” steps out, smacks his lips and says, “Mmm, mmm, mmm,” because that’s really what gets women going. The whole notion of the show’s true romance quest is artificial, but the twist makes it ever more so, as the women become even more like pawns to be played in a complex strategy game.

Finally, we hear Kaitlyn say, “This is awkward watching them all talk to Britt.” She’s talking over Ben H, a Realtor from Florida, calling Britt a Disney princess as he introduces himself. Jared, whose jaw line is so distracting I have no idea what his job is, also approaches Britt, shows another superhero T-shirt (yes, he apparently has more than one) and says “Love Man” is his alter-ego. That doesn’t sit well with me,” before qualifying that she is “so grateful and I appreciate that I’m even here.” Even smiley Britt found the process was getting to her — after all, they both went through the embarrassing spectacle of televised rejection just a few months ago — confessing that “it’s so weird to be playing the waiting game again and wanting validation again.” Thankfully Chris Harrison was on hand with friendly reminders of their second-class status, in case they forgot.

As he put it, “Obviously, you two are here hopeful for love But the men will have a little bit of power tonight and a little bit of say in what’s going to happen.” The evening culminated with the men putting their ballots (roses, naturally) in locked wooden voting boxes labeled with the girls’ names, before the episode ended, of course, on a cliffhanger. He claims, “I feel like this is the seventh grade dance, what do I do?” Then, as he walks to Britt, Kaitlyn proclaims, “We feel that way, too.” Cory, the first of two contestants named Cory, but his is spelled with no “e,” struts the hell out of his stuff as he (finally) walks to Kaitlyn first.

As Britt says: “I almost feel like I have to go and in 30 seconds prove myself as wife material… It’s bizarre.” I forgot to mention that there was a little drama in the house, courtesy of a contestant named Ryan M. who proceeded to get blackout drunk, harass the other contestants (which included spouting the bizarre line “Why am I not raping you right now?”) and then slap Kaitlyn on the ass. Chris Harrison quickly booted him out, chastising him for being “here for the wrong reasons.” Yet while Ryan may be “The Bachelorette’s” foul id, openly saying and doing the rape culture-y things that make us squirm, his behavior is less an outlier than a logical extension of a world where men pick a team and compete to win their trophy. He tells us he is here because he is “obsessed with Kaitlyn,” and all I can think about while watching his antics is the Miz from the “Real World/Road Rules Challenge.” Briefly, we see Bradley hug both women, wearing a red sweatband. Josh, who is being credited as both a lawyer and an exotic dancer, appears from the limo to perform a strip tease for them as soft porn music plays in the background.

Being an alumnus of the University of Kentucky, I find this rather charming, but I also compared his photo to Joe Dirt a week ago, so I should probably be quiet. I don’t know if this is supposed to be metaphoric or not, but I do wonder what the rest of the guys thought riding with him as he held these balloons. Shawn B and his fancy socks follow Tanner, and when he looks at each woman, he smirks and asks, “Group hug?” Once the three of them oblige, he walks over to Britt, who has sparkles in her eyes over this guy, and we have our first pick-up hug of the season. If that wasn’t dramatic enough, Kaitlyn responds with, “one sec, one sec” and runs into the mansion to tell the guys that they’re “killin’ it” before returning to join Britt outside.

He is banging on the windows to try and get Britt and Kaitlyn’s attention, then lets the other male contestants know he is “all horned up right now.” You know, classy adult male stuff. After Ryan, The Miz, says he would like to take both women “out for a steak dinner and never call them again,” I hope he doesn’t get to hang around for long. While Shawn E is trying to introduce himself, The Miz screams “Your car sucks” and “You suck” and “You won’t see any of us inside.” So, I wasn’t kidding about this whole Miz thing.

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