Episode 1

Welcome back, dear Pretty Panda readers!

I know I normally give a disclaimer here about how busy I am (snore) and how I'll do my best to get these out in a timely manner. I feel like that's a given at this point and I just want to thank you all for your ongoing patience. 

Also, just a reminder that if you have fashion requests, the best place to send those is in an email to me! As for show discussion and show-related questions, the best place to share your thoughts is in the Comments section below. I just ask that everyone remain respectful of one another. :)

Finally, please respect that this blog is a SPOILER-FREE ZONE.



“Ask anyone I know. I’m one of the most romantic f---ing people there is."

Jake, who spends a lot of time transforming himself, I'm sure





As so many premieres before it, this one kicks off with a visit from the Bachelorettes of seasons past. Only the successful (aka happily engaged) ones, though, because God knows if you don't remain with one of 25 or so men a team of producers didn't even cast for you, you're a failure. 

You've heard me go on about Girl Chats (or Man Chats) for years, so it's always validating when someone (especially Becca!) actually references them by name...


There was a very cute segment of the women getting their sage on. I laughed out loud when Becca confirmed that her ring finger was indeed in need of "a lot of saging" (no matter how times I type that word it looks like a typo)...


We saw several intro videos for the men, but one that left me scratching my head was Jordan's. I honestly cannot tell whether Jordan is dead serious (and insanely not self-aware) when he says things like the following, or if he's just got fantastic comedic (and acting) skills...


Andy felt there's no way someone like this actually exists and that Jordan is hamming up his character for TV. I think Andy could be giving him a bit too much credit. I polled the ladies at Monday's viewing party (thrown by Flare x Maltesers — see our post-episode Q&A on The Morning After, over at Flare!) about this and about 90% of them sided with me. (Let me know what do you guys think!)

At any rate, regardless and in retrospect, Jordan will claim he was playing a role for the cameras and that he was in on this joke. 

As Becca heads to the mansion we're shown the first of many Pick-ups done in a foreign room with some sort of a decorative plate. First note how ITMs from Night One look...

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Now note the different room (a pretty foreign-looking room) and how her earrings are gone. The wonders of speaking in the present tense...




As is now my tradition, I'll point out my Limo Exit standouts...

Colton, 26: Coveted first limo exit! He certainly looks the part of a Bachelorette first limo exit-er. I can see this guy lasting a loooong time this season. Actually, I can see this guying lasting a loooong time in this franchise.

Grant, 27: Certainly doesn't look like any electrician I've ever met. He's a tiny bit awkward but in an endearing way. 

Clay, 30: It’s always cute to me when someone clearly has a line prepared but delivers it mechanically, revealing how nervous they are. Clay later does this too with his clay activity. (Becca already had his name down pat but he still went with, "I thought we'd play with clay to help you remember my name.") Clay is an adorable teddy bear.

Connor, 25: I was wondering when we'd get our first trainer/fitness coach. He looks like a mix of about 4-5 former guys from this show and currently that's all I can see.

Joe, 31: Million dollar smile. An instant favorite of mine from the intro videos. His limo exit solidifies this. I laughed when he messed up what he'd planned and then swore on his way into the mansion. His very self-aware Bachelor trope commentary about being ready to marry her RIGHT NOW is hilarious...


Though I think he looks a bit like Caila's boyfriend, Nick...

... his personality reminds me a little bit of Andy. (Him going home Night One was my biggest upset of the night!)

Leo, 31: Stuntman. When he reached up to his hair I thought he was going to take down the man bun and it would turn out to be a hair piece. I was deeply wrong about this.

Jordan, 26: I still can't tell whether he's joking or not! It’s really all about him all the time

I wasn’t expecting that color [of dress]”
I wanted her to hear the tapping of my shoes.”
“Hopefully the fashion does make me unique”
“This is what I’m all about, you know, fashion and making yourself UNIQUE.”

Nick, 27: As unromantic as the following sounds...


... it really does sum up that limo exit experience. I've mentioned this before but I really feel like I blacked out. It is surreal and strangely difficult. It doesn't surprise me at all that people forget what they'd planned to say or mess up.

While the men continue to arrive, we get some of Leo's funny commentary, but note the shot of him observing the conversation between Rickey and Nick. Not only was this not taken from this moment, but Leo is actually outdoors and not in that room at all...


Mike, 27: Sports analyst. COMING OUT WITH A CARDBOARD ARIE. I get the gist, I guess (“he has to see her happy with other dudes”) but my GOD this is a terrible idea. I thought he was going to punch it or something, some sort of climactic, faux-chivalrous interaction with Cardboard Arie. But nothing. Disaster.

Garrett, 29: The minivan is a cute idea. Major frontrunner music. I LOVE that his voiceover about having met her is not about her looks or generic statements about her being the total package or the girl next door. Rather, he describes her with words far more flattering: “She’s witty and has quick rapport.”

As men continue to arrive, we're shown a montage of discussion about how beautiful Becca is and what a catch she is. My favorite moment was the two grey-suited men marveling just as much at the sparkles on her dress as they did at Becca herself...


Blake, 28: One of the first 5 guys at the finale. Followed “My feelings for you are as strong as an ox” with an immediate “That’s the last cheesy line.” There's something about him that speaks to me and that I really like. As I said over at Flare, he seems to have that rare combo of sincere self-deprecation while still having self-confidence. I could end up being wrong about this but I don't think I am. My other favorite (other than Joe).

Christon, 31: This man is HANDSOME. Wow.

Christian, 28: Banker who spins her to “get a look at her”. Curious to know if you ladies agree with me, but to me, a man spinning a woman he doesn't know to "get a look at her" is more creepy than romantic.

David, 25: A venture capitalist in a chicken costume. I like how when he meets the other men and says, “See, how could I compete with you guys?!” I think he’ll stick around for a little while (as the costumed often do now).

Chris, 30: Frontrunner music with full exit/convo shown. Mentions Uncle Gary. Gospel choir. I don't feel major frontrunner vibes from him, but his Night One music/airtime combo suggests it's possible. 



Becca greets her 25 men to give a welcome speech, but in case you've forgotten about Becca's heartbreak from the graphic reminders about an hour earlier in this same episode, editing generously sticks cardboard Arie in there for good measure...


During Christon's 1-on-1 time-turned-basketball tutorial, we get a FANTASTIC (seriously, possibly the best we've ever seen!) shot of the wall of cameras/camerapeople/producers on the other side of that 4th wall. I know this couldn't have been lost on any of you, but I had to capture this for posterity nonetheless...


The words Becca used for Blake were pretty strong (#frontrunneralert), but they're made even stronger by the fact that they were taken from a Pick-up. Now this Pick-up could have been filmed as soon as a day later, but I strongly suspect it's much later given the foreign background and the fact that Becca no longer has her Night One earrings (but rather some other dangly green earrings)...


... suggesting this Pick-up was likely done when traveling had already begun and the fine jewelry was left behind. In other words, you don't imagine her saying these words later on about a guy she's since decided she's not into.

The saga with Chris and Chase takes place. In short, Chris got a text message from an ex of Chase's (though he claimed they just dated casually and she wasn't an ex) claiming Chase was an unsavory character who was most definitely on this show for the #wrongreasons. Now, I feel a bit in torn on this situation as I totally think Becca made the right call in sending Chase home (let's be honest: if she felt it with him, she'd have kept him). It's just that, if it weren't for Chris coming in to play protector to a woman he doesn't know yet (and who is plenty capable of handling herself), Chase might've at least had the experience of being on this show for a few episodes. Who knows how far he'd have made it (maybe she'd have sent him home Night One anyway), but I personally didn't think this was really Chris' place to get this involved, this early on. Being this gallant really only makes sense when you actually know the woman you're being all gallant for.

Anyway, Chase attempts to nip the whole thing in the bud by blurting everything out to Becca himself, having Chris even JOIN them to describe all the terrible things this "ex" had said about him. My hands-down favorite moment was Chase's slightly panicked Direct-Look-Into-Camera in this most awkward of moments...


I loved Becca's polite laughter at being asked if he could hold her hands. The body language here says it all: she's not interested, and I don't think she ever was.

A bigger red flag than Chase, however, is Jake. Becca pulls him aside to ask what the hell he's doing there given they've met in Minnesota several times and there never seemed to be any interest then. How convenient that his interest is suddenly sparked as she's the lead of her own season. Jake quickly proves to be not nearly as suave as I think he thinks he is...


Ah, the old awkwardly-poke-a-woman-in-the-arm move. What a panty-dropper.

The above clip reminds me of those ridiculous "pokes" on Facebook. WHO DOES THIS?! 

Knowing he's on the verge of being sent home, Jake suggests that if they both walked into a bar tomorrow, both single, there'd be hope for them. There's something about the way this guy speaks that's so patronizing (I don't actually think he realizes it), especially given the inaccuracy of everything he's saying. After all, THEY HAD MET SEVERAL TIMES. (His not remembering some of those meetings is a negative, not an excuse.) If there were an ounce of chemistry here, it'd have happened by now.

Becca's subtle smirk and response shows her BS-meter is in excellent working order...


Finally, Becca bestows the First Impression Rose on none other than Garrett, and her accompanying ITM reminds us why she's such a great choice for lead...


One of my favorite things about Becca's turn as Bachelorette is her ongoing relatability factor. Hearing the lead call on her own comment about being smitten so early as "weird to say" is refreshing. She is perfectly aware of Bachelor stereotypes, and so her awareness when she says things like the above just make her endearingly relatable.


As always my immediate takeaways and final 4 predictions can be found over at Flare!




Sara asked about Becca's baby blue leather jacket from her appearance on Ellen...


Becca's IRO Ashville leather jacket (in Bleached Blue) sells HERE. There is an excellent look-for-less selling HERE.

A few of you asked about Kaitlyn's polka dot ensemble...


Kaitlyn's top is by Free People and I couldn't find it anywhere online, but there's an identical option (and look-for-less) selling HERE. Her Dolce & Gabbana pants are sold out (HERE) but there's a good alternative (and look-for-less!) HERE. Her Stuart Weitzman "SquareNudist" sandals sell HERE. There's a decent look-for-less HERE.

Becca's Looks

In the season's promos, Becca wore a sequin one-shoulder gown...


This is such a WOW dress. It brings the glitz without looking like something we've seen on another Bachelorette before. Becca's Tom Ford gown sells HERE, and though it's on sale, it's still a hefty $3600. (I obviously had to sleuth for some decent looks-for-less, available HERE and HERE.) Becca's rose gold Massimo Matteo "Unicorn" heels are shockingly affordable and sell (also in yellow gold) HERE.

Becca was seen in several B-roll shots wearing an embroidered leather jacket...


I'm not sure I would wear this jacket in real life but I think it's a perfect choice for the season given Becca is a queen of leather jackets and this one has that Bachelor theme while maintaining a bit of edge. Becca's LaMarque embroidered leather jacket sells HERE. (There are looks-for-less HERE, HERE, and HERE.) Her tee is pretty much the perfect white v-neck; it's the Madewell Whisper Cotton tee and sells HERE.

For her Girl Chat with Kaitlyn, Jojo, and Rachel, she wore a fantastic feminine ensemble...


Again, Queen of Leather Jackets. This is the same jacket as the powder blue one worn on Ellen (above). I LOVE this flowy, feminine dress and how the jacket gives it edge without being too hard. (I actually have a cream IRO leather jacket that I rarely wear and this is inspiring me to dust it off and pair it with something girly.) Becca's LoveShackFancy "Popover" dress (in Ocean) sells HERE. Her IRO "Ashville" leather jacket (in Pink Sand) sells HERE (and in other colors HERE), and there's a great look-for-MUCH-less option HERE. Her diamond rectangle earrings are by fine jewelry line The Woods (the Bachelorette treatment has officially begun!) and sell HERE

Finally, Becca was a vision in her Night One gown...


I mean, she looked simply stunning in this. The open back delighted me and I love that, while it's white, it somehow doesn't look bridal (and it's from a BRIDAL COLLECTION. WHAT.) My only (only!) two beefs with this entire look are: 1/ I wish she's worn her hair at least partially back to better highlight the neckline (she showed on Arie's season that she isn't afraid to wear her hair back so I have high hopes in the updo department for the season in general). 2/ It is a TAD too similar to Rachel's Night One dress. This is totally an unreasonable gripe, especially given how beautiful she looked, but I still would've liked to see a bit more of a departure from just one season ago. Becca's dress is by Randi Rahm (OF COURSE) and is from their 2017 Winter Bridal collection. The best alternative (and look-for-less) I could find sells HERE. In my search I also found two lovely mini dress looks-for-less, HERE and HERE.


Best Dressed

Jean Blanc was the clear winner for Best Dressed in my eyes...


The metallic shimmer of his jacket just amps up the whole look, I LOVE the dark grey, and he looks polished and sophisticated. Total top to bottom win.

Worst Dressed

Honestly there was no ensemble that stood out to me as terrible. While I wasn't a fan of some of the more effortful looks (often involving velvet, which I normally like), I still respect and reward effort. No one looked like a rumpled mess, so no Night One Worst Dressed!


Until next week, fellow pandas!