Episode 1

Welcome back and Happy New Year, dear Pretty Pandas readers!

Just some housekeeping notes…

  1. I’ve been getting enough fashion requests for my The Morning After videos (if you’re new, The Morning Afters are videos I do in conjunction with my Flare recaps), I’ve just started ID’ing them no matter what (unless I’m in sweats or something!). You’ll be able to find them over at Shop Hub.

  2. With the fashion worn on the show, if you have requests, please use this form or email me with the word “request” somewhere, anywhere! As much as I love tweets and Instagram DMs, I can’t keep track of them when ID’ing fashion.

  3. I can’t emphasize this enough: Comment, comment, comment! There’s a reason I’m still doing these after 4.5 years: YOU. If it weren’t for your guys’ interest, dedication, engagement, and care, I simply wouldn’t be doing these anymore. I like to think we’ve built a little family here and legitimately look forward to what you have to say. I love the discussion, even if you don’t share my opinions. My only request is, as always, to be respectful of myself and one another. In other words: don’t be a dick.

  4. Finally, a friendly reminder that this site is and has always been a spoiler-free zone.


And now, let's recap...


Man. With all the live viewing parties, there was a ton of build up to this season. As for the ladies’ intro videos, they were on the standard side. However, there was one .GIF-worthy moment: I had a giggle at how the editing department deemed the ideal spot to place a voiceover of Katie discussing her parents’ relationship was during a close-up of her bootie shake…


Next up was the big profile on Colton. I truly LOL’ed when, in the context of Colton having his share of naysayers, Chris Harrison asked him about the public’s perception of his virginity, only to interrupt his answer with a pan-faced…


Speaking of Colton’s naysayers, anyone else notice how Colton was THE. MOST. OBVIOUS. choice for Bachelor, yet Chris Harrison described him as some ultra controversial choice? Meanwhile, last year, the casting choice of Arie as Bachelor came out of left field—I would argue he was far more controversial a choice—yet that was all treated like the most natural thing in the world. Go figure.


I’ll keep with my tradition of sharing my first-impression notes from the limo exits. These are the women who stood out to me right away…

Demi, 23, interior designer: FIRST EXIT ALERT - “I have not dated a virgin since I was 12 but I’m excited to give it another shot” = Pretty bold. As she walks into the mansion Colton says, “I’m in trouble” - FRONTRUNNER.

Tayshia, 28, phlebotomist: beautiful, oozes kindness.

Caelynn, 23, Miss North Carolina: as I said over at Flare, I kind of wish she’d downplayed the Miss North Carolina thing, but then again we’ve had pageant sashes before while she’s got legit qualifications to back it up. Very poised.

Sydney, 27, NBA dancer: “I quit my job to be here” = “you can’t send me home Night One”, but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do. Also, half Asian alert! Yay! (It always blows my mind how few Asians there are on this show.)

Elyse, 31, makeup artist - she is stunning in a classic movie star way.

Cassie, 23, speech pathologist - everything about her screams finalist to me. Frontrunner music, full exit, AND he put one of her butterflies in his pocket! A cute moment stood out to me here. When filming, when you’re all in the limo together (about 5 of you), a producer specifically instructs you ignore the limo driver. Yet, you can see Cassie forget to do this and turn to politely thank him, realize she’s not supposed to, waver, and then recover…


I thought this little blip was adorable and it made me like her even more.

Kirpa, 26, dental hygienist: LOVE that she wore her hair up. I think she’s the ONLY girl to have all her hair up!!! BRAVA GIRL.

Katie, 26, medical sales rep: Anyone else think she looks like Stacey Dash circa Clueless???

Alex, 23, sloth - I don’t care what anyone says, I was grinning through this whole thing - she really committed to it even when she started to laugh. This began the first of a series of hilarious Colton moments. He has a tendency to state what’s in front of him like a little kid being quizzed…


It IS a sloth! A gold star for you, Colton! 🌟

Hannah B, 23, Miss Alabama: frontrunner music - I like how she didn’t make her limo exit ABOUT being Miss Alabama. I also like that, when discussing Caelynn, she was candidly shrugged, “She beat me, it’s cool”. She looks like a young Katie Couric.

Alex B, 28, dog rescuer: CANADA!! She’s sick and uses signs à la Love Actually - music is funny, not frontrunner-y. She seems VERY chill and I like her.

Bri, 24, model: Aussie accent is both bold and funny - I laughed at how matter-of-factly she says, “you’ve gotta do what you can to stand out”. She is BEAUTIFUL.

Hannah G, 23, content creator: lots of frontrunner cues here. As she walks away Colton calls her gorgeous. She gives me young Farrah Fawcett vibes but Andy didn’t agree with me.

Catherine, 26, DJ: brings dog - this is a good move, giving him her dog

Erin, 28, “Cinderella” (ugh): Nothing against Erin personally, and I’m sure it wasn’t her idea, but can we let the “I’m looking for my prince charming” angle crawl into a hole and die already? K THX.

Erin’s grand entrance prompted another one of Colton’s little-kid-being-quizzed moments…


YES, Colton! Cinderella! 🌟

Meanwhile, as the ladies looked on, Erika won a permanent place in my heart with…



There were plenty of standard Night One getting-to-know-you chats, but one stood out to me and I had to capture and dissect it. While I like Caelynn, this is simply not something I agree with…


In my opinion, one’s readiness for marriage and kids has everything to do with nurture—where and how you were raised, what you desire for your own adulthood based on those things—and isn’t something life experience accelerates. If anything, traveling, seeing other cultures, and generally experiencing a lot makes you realize how small your world is and how little you know. I firmly believe the more you see, the less (you realize) you know. I guess what I’m saying is, they’re separate categories. Readiness for marriage and kids is on a different plane than life experience. Ticking off boxes in the latter does not result in the former. Unless, say, there were things you’ve always known you wanted to do before settling down and starting a family, but that’s just a sequence of events.

Luckily for Caelynn, Colton couldn’t be more on the same page, responding with this doozy…


Oh boy. Nothing says know-it-all millenial like this sentence. I don’t get young people constantly asserting to be further along than they are—let your quiet confidence, behavior, and actions support your maturity, not defensive-sounding words. I understand Colton’s being critiqued a lot for his age, but he’s the same age that Ben Higgins was as Bachelor and you didn’t hear Ben dropping disillusioned quotes like this. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Show, don’t tell. You don’t have to prove how ready you are; just BE READY.

And look, I’m a millenial. (Albeit an elder millenial!) But again, the more you see in this world, the older you get, and the more you experience (unless it’s the same experiences over and over again), the more you realize how much you have to learn. Realizing you don’t know it all is a huge part of maturing, in my opinion. With the above .GIF, the words are saying one thing but the sentence is telling me the opposite.

Sydney arranges a string quartet-accompanied dance lesson, and we get another of Colton’s little-kid-being-quizzed moments…


GOOD, Colton! A square! 🌟

(In all seriousness, though, I do find these adorable.)

There was a time when, if a woman wore a head-to-costume, she was painted and seen as batshit cray. Compare that to not only this supportive commentary being had, but also shown

*sniff* We’ve come so far.

*sniff* We’ve come so far.

Obviously the lightning rod of the evening was meant to be Catherine. But seriously, was anyone surprised when Colton called her name last at the Rose Ceremony? I would have been flabbergasted if he hadn’t. Essentially, being controversial secured her spot on the show, not the other way around.

I couldn’t not point out Catherine’s determined on-ness when spotting cameras and remembering they’re watching her…


… again at the Rose Ceremony, pre-rose, when IT’S OKAY to not smile…


I can’t help but be reminded of Krystal’s similar on-ness during last season’s premiere…

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… but at least Krystal resisted succumbing to becoming a villain until later in the season!

The hands-down best thing about the entire premiere was the unexpected but VERY funny tribute to Chris Harrison. I know I’ve mentioned over the years that I think Chris Harrison is next level funny; he’s a fine host who has his moments but when the cameras stop rolling it’s like stand-up calibre hilarity. My favorite of the many snippets shown was his on-point reference to the always over-the-top decor on this show…


Erin is one of the ladies sent home but her exit left me wondering about the pumpkin left in her wake…


I can’t help but laugh thinking about the thought put into this. Like at what point did the Powers That Be know Erin was going home? When it became clear that she would be, did a handler run out and buy a pumpkin in the middle of the night? Or, knowing she’d be using the Cinderella carriage, had they anticipated all scenarios and bought a pumpkin to have on hand, just in case? Would they have found a way to incorporate the pumpkin had she stayed? Did SHE bring the pumpkin to make turning-into-a-pumpkin references?? WHAT IS THAT PUMPKIN’S STORY.

Finally, there were several Pick-ups throughout the evening, but I swear they were harder to spot than usual. It’s as though producers are more on top of the ladies wearing the same jewelry and hair style, not only letting them throw on their dress (as they did in my day). There was one particular Pick-up room that caught my eye and I wonder how far into the season we’ll be seeing it again…

Hair and makeup.

Hair and makeup.

Necklaces and bracelets.

Necklaces and bracelets.

Hair and earrings.

Hair and earrings.

I could not for the life of me find a Night One ITM of Tayshia’s but note the lack of necklace in the Pick-up.

I could not for the life of me find a Night One ITM of Tayshia’s but note the lack of necklace in the Pick-up.

That’s it for the premiere! Let me know your observations in the comments below.
As always, my frontrunners based on Night One can be found over at Flare.



Below are most of the Night One pieces you guys requested!


Kaitlyn’s GRLFRND “Hill” overalls (in “Double Dare”, or Black) sell HERE. They also come in light denim, or “Alive Again” (talk about weird color names), HERE. Since they’re pricey, I found a look-for-less HERE, and in my search I found THIS jumpsuit that I love and am seriously considering for myself.


Jojo’s Maje “Joly” checked overalls skirt sells (on sale!) HERE and HERE. Maje also has an older model of this skirt that sells HERE.


Jade’s “Nutracker” sweater is by Vici Collection but I’m afraid it’s sold out (HERE).


Bri’s Baublebar “Piñata” tassel earrings (in Mint) are a bit older but they’re still available HERE, plus Baublebar has a newer model (the “Granita”) selling HERE.


Bri’s Lovers + Friends “Chloe” sequin dress sells HERE and her House of Harlow 1960 x Revolve “Mira” jacket sells HERE.

Best Dressed

On the whole I thought the Night One fashion was solid. There wasn’t as much variety as usual—on the whole it was a bit sequin-heavy—but there were several dresses I liked.

I have a few Honorable Mentions. First up is Erika with her embellished gown…


Yeah, yeah, I love backless things. So sue me. This is definitely more bedazzle-y than what I usually go for but it stopped on the right side of the too-far line. This dress actually reminds me of a dress you’d see on Night One of The Bachelorette. I dig it when the ladies BRING IT on Night One and Erika clearly did just that. I love the high neck, the subtle side boob (I was also a Night One side boob-er), and then the POW of that open back. She gets bonus points for wearing her hair to the side to let the back shine. A perfect score would be if her hair looked a bit more polished rather than undone, but she still looked fantastic. Erika’s Rene Atelier “Rome” gown sells HERE.

While she did stir up Night One controversy, I personally liked what Catherine wore while doing it…


It’s maybe not quite formal enough for Night One (I could see this being worn to any Cocktail Party or Rose Ceremony), but there are a lot of details here that I dig. I love how balanced this is—you’ve heard me say before that when you show skin somewhere, cover it elsewhere. This dress is short and tight, so the complete covered-up-ness of the neck, shoulders, and arms adds impact to how leggy the look is. I like the slits in the sleeves; they lighten it up and add movement, and even the little mock slit in the skirt adds interest. The material looks structured and substantial, different than what you’d expect in your typical mini dress. A perfect score would have been if Catherine had pulled her hair back; with the structured high neck and shoulders, I think a slick ponytail would have been a bolder, more powerful choice, but overall I still thought this was a cool, unique dress and overall a ballsy Night One choice. Catherine’s Michael Costello x Revolve “Mr. Gibson” dress is surprisingly affordable. The red is sadly sold out (HERE) but is still available in equally-striking ivory, HERE. It also comes in a fabulous sequined nude color, HERE.

Next up is Demi with her two-piece yellow dress…


To be honest I’m not sure if I’d love this as much if it had been on anyone else, but for some reason it really suited Demi. We know already Demi’s got spunk and stands out, so had she been in one of the many sequined dresses of the evening, I don’t know if it would’ve made sense. This felt fresh, young, a bit Summer-y (remember this was filmed back in September), and above all, different. You could argue it’s a bit casual for Night One (as with Catherine’s mini dress, I feel like I could see this at any Rose Ceremony) but she looked radiant so all is forgiven. Demi’s Sherri Hill two-piece dress (from the 2019 Boho collection) also comes in several other colors and sells HERE.

Second runner up is Hannah G with her bronze gown…


The magic of this dress is the color. IMO, bronze is the new nude. Throughout the episode people kept calling Hannah G’s dress “gold” but I KNOW BRONZE WHEN I SEE IT, DAMMIT. Bronze (versus, say, your typical white-ish gold) and has a rich, liquid-y effect that really translates well on a formal dress. Obviously I’m a sucker for a good backless number, too. Once again, my only critique is I wish she’d worn her hair at least partially up to highlight the open back and to match the formality of the dress; her hair is beautiful but looks like she’d wear it that way on any given day. (Something tells me the hair thing will yet again be a recurring theme in the fashion department this season!) Overall, though, she looked gorgeous. Hannah G’s A&N Luxe Label “Yassmine” gown (in BRONZE :) is more affordable than you’d think for a sequined gown and sells HERE.

Runner up is Sydney with her unique black gown…


It is NOT easy to stand out in a black gown. Trust me, as a classical singer, we often avoid wearing black in concerts because the point IS to stand out. Sydney’s dress piqued my interest immediately and the more I saw of it, the better it got. (The reverse of what usually happens for me.) The asymmetric details, the transparent straps, the dramatic silhouette... It fit her like a glove (seriously, look how much better it looks on her than the model!) and was a total “wow” for me. Bonus points for the hair side sweep. Sydney’s Stello “Diana” gown, in Black, sells HERE. Since that price tag isn’t for the faint of heart I looked for some looks-for-less but the closest thing I could find is a cocktail-length option, HERE.

And finally… drumroll… my Best Dressed is none other than Tayshia with her one shoulder silk dress…


This dress stood out for its understatedness in a sea of sequins. It’s sumptuous, timeless, elegant, and looked simply divine on Tayshia. The color on her skin tone is crazy gorgeous and it fit and draped her body beautifully. Pulling off satin silk like this is NOT easy, so she gets bonus for somehow making it look effortless. As for her hair, it’s short enough that the fairly informal ‘do doesn’t offend me. Tayshia got it at her friend’s bridal boutique, Styled by TC, as it turns out this is a bridesmaid dress! Tayshia’s Jenny Yoo “Lena” dress (in Latte) sells HERE… never thought I’d be linking out a bridesmaid dress on Amazon but here we are.

Worst Dressed

My Worst Dressed is Tahzjuan with her dark teal number…


I want so badly for the embellishments to collectively drop off this dress and leave behind a simple, pretty, dark teal keyhole dress. Because, actually, the dress FITS her really nicely, and the color is beautiful. But alas, those beads, pearls, and crystals are assaulting this dress in all the wrong ways, leaving behind an unfortunate Fembot boob situation. Or are they Princess Leia buns? Or maybe googly eyes? The more I stare the less I can tell. This dress was made for a “My eyes are up here” meme. I’m sorry to say this dress was a miss for me. Sorry Tahzjuan!

Until next week, fellow pandas!