Welcome back, dear readers!
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And now, let us dissect…
“My heart is literally exploding.”
—Luke P, after one night of knowing Hannah. I don’t know how I’m going to handle an entire season of him.
Despite the fact that Hannah was a bit of a surprising choice for Bachelorette (given she wasn’t Top 4 last season), we’re shown within the first 3 minutes of the premiere why she might’ve been a great choice…
What I find interesting about the above is that we were SHOWN it. There are probably countless takes of every past Bachelorette self-consciously breaking character while filming some B-roll. But Hannah’s are shown. Not only does it make her infinitely more endearing to declare, “I don’t know what I’m doing” while shooting cheesy B-rolls, but it also taps at the 4th wall, reminding us she was dressed, styled, brought to a wheat field, and told to serenely wander through it. I really believe Hannah is a new kind of lead in this sense—she breaks that 4th wall CONSTANTLY, and since the show itself has proven increasingly game to show such breakage, it’s a match made in peek-behind-the-curtain heaven.
Among the Intro videos, we’re graced with Luke P recounting finding God… in the shower. And because this is a serious anecdote in need of serious visuals…
So, if I weren’t skeptical of everything out of Luke P’s mouth, I might say this shower scene cheapens what may have been a life altering moment in this guy’s life. If.
Before meeting a single suitor, and on a show where unnatural situations have become universally accepted as normal, Hannah once again proves why she may bring interesting change around here…
I’ll keep with my tradition of singling out my notable Limo Exits...
Garrett, 27: First limo exit = one to watch. Handsome, seems a bit aware of it but that’s alright, I guess. I like his “bogies” vs “hole in one” line.
Mike, 31: I liked his intro video but this limo exit isn’t great…
—“How are you?”
—“I like that.”
—“You smell good.”
Mike then launches into his 5 Cs, which are well and good and I do appreciate the thought put into these. However, this first interaction to me feels strained and unnatural. However, their 1-on-1 time later (and his airtime in general) redeems him—enough for me to deem him Top 4 over at Flare.
I also have to point out Hannah’s hilarious reply to Mike telling her she’s pretty…
What I love about the above is the subtle reference (even if unintentionally) to what a giant game of dating musical chairs this is. Like, of course every guy is going to find her pretty—not only because she was cast at least partially for her looks, but further because, well… does he have a choice in finding her pretty?? Even if he found someone else on Colton’s season more attractive, he’s going to pursue Hannah while he’s on this show. He is there to date her first and foremost. Attraction, chemistry, type, pheromones… those are secondary.
Jed, 25: I got a giggle out of Jed sharing his inspiring MO on the importance of “shining”, yet delivering it with a downright morose, I’m-here-against-my-will expression…
Something about “the importance of shining inside AND outside” makes me laugh. Because it’s not enough to only shine on the inside, you’d BETTER SHINE OUTSIDE, TOO.
Tyler, 26: He’s a tad too casual and familiar for a first-time meeting but I think it could be nerves. In fact, I’m certain it’s nerves because this is like a different person than the dancing contractor in his intro video. I’m intrigued by him and look forward to seeing more of his personality come through.
Connor S, 24: The guy who jumped the fence. Someone had to claim this stunt.
Devin, 27: The virgin joke. No.
My Hannah lovefest continues as it’s already becoming apparent that when she’s not into someone, she can’t fake it. Don’t be fooled by her professional pageant smile—she is NOT into Daron. I laughed out loud when she cut off his niceties with a dismissive “Byeeee!”…
Tyler G, 27: Amazing eyes. “You are QUITE LITERALLY the girl of my dreams” — this is a cute line. This (the fact that he’s been dreaming about her) speaks to how laser focused on the lead you can become before you’ve even met them. Three days in a hotel room and talking about her ad nauseam with producers will do that.
Joe, 30: The man who jumps out of a box: “You check all my boxes”. I don’t care what anyone says, I love this guy. I see him sticking around until Week 4 or so for entertainment value alone*.
*I actually wrote that ↑… man, was I wrong!
Grant, 30: Condiment puns while eating a hot dog. I like how relaxed he is. Cute. Interesting how his occupation is “Unemployed” when they easily could have put “Hot Dog Lover”… I guess production either loves or hates him, depending on how you look at this.
Luke P, 24: Roars from the top of the limo. Pretty bold but I give him credit for going there. This guy was born a Bachelorette frontrunner. This is not necessarily a compliment.
Luke S, 29: Quiet but classy. His lack of Night One airtime keeps him from my Top 4 but Luke S nonetheless gives me potential dark horse vibes. Side note: I can’t get over how much he looks like Luke Pell.
Cam, 30: Back with a new rap and it’s good, I guess…? I like this guy the same way I like Evan Bass, in that he’s a bit off the beaten path for this show. Unfortunately, I’m already growing weary of his Cool Guy persona. (Evan never had such affect!) I just want him to drop the schtick and be his regular self. As I said on The Morning After, Cam seems incapable of not speaking in catchphrases, and between that and the rapping, everything about him feels calculated and rehearsed at this point.
I had to make a .GIF of how he holds the camera’s gaze (first Direct Look Into Camera™ of the season!) after dropping his (painfully prepared) Willy Wonka line. Isn’t it amazing how a mere 5 second clip can tell you so much about a person and why they’re on this show…
Matt Donald, 26: Terrible singer but cute exit (with the tractor). I love how he later talks about how studly all the men are—it says so much about a man when he can admit other men are good looking. He is adorable and I can see him going far*.
*It’s a crime he went home! Bring back Matt Donald!
Chasen, 27: Upbeat romantic music, paper airplane, full exit shown. His limo exit would suggest frontrunner potential*…
*… but he ends up going home. Not wearing his pilot uniform was a bad move, evidently.
Peter, 27: Gives her his pilot wings. Last out of the limos + full exit shown = definite frontrunner. He looks a teensy bit like Nick Viall.
Heading into the evening, we catch a rare glimpse of our lead mid-prayer. My misgivings about how this feels like a bit of an invasion of Hannah’s privacy aside, I found this to be an interesting glimpse into her mindset…
No one is more aware of Hannah’s “flaws” (her tendency to get tongue-tied, how that could cause people to question her intelligence, the fact that many people didn’t think she was a “worthy” Bachelorette choice) than Hannah herself. I’m not a religious person and tend to cast side-eye at prayers that sound like a bunch of requests for God. But, given this sounds more like a personal pep talk than a gift list for Santa, I genuinely liked and appreciated this moment. It goes a long way in showing us how humble and self-aware she is.
Luke P is assigned drink duty, and after Hannah delivers an (exceptional) speech to her roomful of men, he whisks Hannah away first. Here we get yet another Hannah-ism as she mumbles…
I’ve got to say, I dig Hannah’s constant state of “I don’t know what I’m doing”. I like how she doesn’t suddenly seem like a completely different, glossier person than she was as a contestant (well, she does seem a bit more confident and better-spoken but that’s a good thing). She seems every bit as out of place as she did as a contestant and it’s refreshing.
Chris Harrison comes around with the First Impression Rose. Let’s unpack this. First, take stock how many guys are in the room. It’s not like they were just hanging out in this telltale U-shape; they were rounded up to witness the FIR arriving. So right off the bat, the guys have already been waiting. Second, note the seating arrangement in the room and where Brian (first arrow) and Luke S (second arrow) are…
Now, with the FIR on the table, it’s all about how the tone has shifted, how the rose’s presence causes a lot of anxiety and unease among the men. But note Brian’s head shake—it’s made to seem like a direct reaction to Chris Harrison dropping off the rose, but Brian’s now in different area of the room. (In other words, this head shake is from somewhere else and could have been as reaction to ANYTHING.) Next, note how Luke is now sitting on a sofa, and how he and Matt Donald are made to seem anxious about the rose. But if you view their reactions through a different lens, bearing in mind they’ve been made to remain in the area and to endlessly discuss that rose, it’s clear their body language is just one of boredom and even irritation. Their expressions have nothing to do with apprehension over their odds of receiving that rose…
I’ve mentioned before how there is no more challenging aspect to being a contestant on this show than the waiting. Because there is a LOT of it. Clips of you waiting (and impatiently) can and will be used to paint you as jealous, anxious, angry. There will be many examples of this in the season to come, I’m sure.
While Jed serenades Hannah, we get a voiceover of Hannah declaring to have a crush on him. But give this little sentence another listen…
“Jed” is obviously frankenbitten to the tail end of this sentence. Which means a) Hannah was saying she had a crush on someone else, and b) this could be done for LITERALLY ANYONE. I’m not saying Hannah doesn’t like Jed, but I am saying we’re being fed that she does.
This premiere’s major plot point revolves around Scott, singled out and crucified for having a girl waiting for him back home. So, I’m going to be real: at least half of all contestants have some sort of side piece. This is simply the truth. Of course, it’s another thing altogether to come on a dating TV show while dating someone from back home exclusively (which unto itself shows a lack of understanding of the word), but the truth is very few people on this show are completely unattached in any way whatsoever. So, leading into the Scott crucifixion, I actually had the teensiest bit of sympathy for the guy, given how many other men there surely have a lady or two on their rosters back at home.
However, my fleeting sympathy for Scott came to an abrupt halt when Hannah confronted him. What ensued was pretty much a To NOT Do list. Based on how he approaches this, it’s clear Scott thinks he’s smoother and more clever than he is. It’s also clear that he did not have his ducks in a row going onto this show, which, given how many guys have been outed for having girlfriends on this show before, is just sloppy…
Then, in a moment of “complete honesty”, he admits to having dated someone (yes, “until Monday”), but brushes it off as not a big deal because HE’S JUST NOT THAT INTO HER. (Two wrongs, dude!) He then he utters the worst sentence in the history of the world: “I’m sorry if that bothers you.” (Vomit.)
Things get especially rough when Scott, in a spectacularly manipulative turn, claims he could make the same complaint about Hannah having just dated Colton. Now, I kinda sorta get where he’s coming from, from the perspective of him being one of the many men that she’s dating. I’ve always believed contestants would have to be a bit nuts to put all their eggs in the basket of finding love on this show. But this doofus chooses the wrong logic—it’s obvious the valid argument here isn’t Colton, who broke up with Hannah (the past), but rather the other guys there (the present)! 🤦🏻♀️ Oy. The only thing worse than a manipulative liar is a dumb manipulative liar.
Lest you think I’m being too harsh: I am always very conscious of analyzing using only what we’re shown and to not assume anyone is a certain way based on how they behave in this strange environment, nor based on what limited (or strategic) edits we’re shown. That said, Scott had only been there for one night—not nearly long enough to start unraveling. Further, this is a scenario in which 1) he is not in a position of power (versus Hannah, who is), and 2) there are tons of cameras on him and he knows this is being filmed for national television. This should be him on his best behavior. Which begs the question: how would this man speak to a woman if he did wield a stitch of power, or if he were in the privacy of regular day-to-day life? It’s a concerning thought. Based on what we were shown, this guy seems incapable of accepting either responsibility or defeat, which to me is the worst combo of personality flaws. I hope his “girlfriend” reads these recaps. Girl, if you’re reading this, leave his ass!
After sending Scott packing, Hannah is understandably distraught. While most of the guys respect her space, good ol’ Luke P decides it’s HE who will “take the initiative” and comfort her. I mean, fine, take that opportunity. I’m not knocking him for doing this since it ends up working out for him. However, I couldn’t help but be irked by how spectacularly he failed at his only task (a task he volunteered for): to comfort Hannah. Hannah was upset that, on the first night, a man she’d just met had already deceived her. This was a moment meant for reassurance, to say there are great guys there, to say she’s in good hands or has got good instincts, to encourage her to trust her gut. But nooooooooo. Luke P doesn’t make it about her—of course not! Rather, he just takes this opportunity to make himself look better…
A small part of me died when Hannah ended up giving him the First Impression Rose. I have to admit they have excellent chemistry (their kiss was easily the best of the night) but COME ON. Just LOOK at this used car salesman of a guy…
Again, this is NIGHT ONE. I’m getting over-the-top, actor-y Robby Hayes vibes here and predict Luke P will be that guy who declares he’s in love with Hannah on his first date with her.
PS—For those of you who have been reading my recaps since the beginning: don’t Luke P’s eyebrows give you Josh Murray “Too Serious” vibes??
Finally, I found the following moment funny so had to include it. Note how the seas are required to part for Hannah and Luke P, forcing poor Tyler G, Mike, and Matthew to practically sit on one another to accommodate them…
I’m quite certain the left ITM is from before the evening begins, while the right is from inside the mansion.
Meanwhile, observe the Pick-up below (namely her hair, and I’m 99.9% sure her earrings are gone), as well as the Pick-up used during her reunion with Demi and Katie…
Note the room, the hair, even the lighting… it’s obvious this is the same Pick-up session and they just had her throw that floral robe over her gown!
That’s it for Night One! As always, The Morning After and my frontrunners based on this episode can be found over at Flare!
Jillian’s Aritzia Le Fou Wilfred Alegre dress (in Cornflower/Birch) is sadly sold out (HERE).
This look isn’t anything crazy but it’s perfect for hometown B-rolls. I may or may not have ended up going down a pastel sweater rabbit hole when assembling this look. Hannah’s Paige Transcend Hoxton Ultra Skinny Jeans (in “Mona”) sell HERE. Her Rails Lani sweater sells HERE and there are looks-for-less selling HERE and HERE. Her Club Monaco Jowenna leather sneakers sell HERE, and there’s a look-for-less option selling HERE.
I liked this dress but didn’t love it. I would have preferred this with bolder styling choices but realize it was only used for some B-roll so I won’t nitpick. Hannah’s FiveSeventyFive Fil Coupé Silk Wrap dress sells HERE. There’s a look-for-less selling HERE, and in my search I found a different silhouette in a similar print by the same brand (super on sale!), HERE.
Run of the mill (but cute!) beach cover-up. Nothing to say here! Hannah’s Surf Gypsy Palm Leaf print kimono sells HERE.
You’ve heard me say it before: I’ve had it with Bachelorettes in sequins on Night One. I think it’s possible to shine sans sequins (inside AND out!). Of course, Hannah looked lovely, but to me this dress just looked like a variation on a theme we see year after year. A tiny slit detail isn’t enough of a change for me.
Hannah’s gown is unsurprisingly by Bachelorette go-to designer Randi Rahm. It’s the Celeste gown from the 2019 Spring Evolution collection and would set you back a modest $12.5K. Her earrings are from the Dena Kemp Dynamic Hues collection. Her Stuart Weitzman Nudist Song suede sandals sell (super on sale!) HERE.
Considering Night One is usually the time to pull out all the stops, I was fairly underwhelmed by the men’s sartorial choices. There was one look that stood out to me, however…
My Best Dressed is… Jed! This was such a nice ensemble that Hannah even commented on it when meeting him. There are a lot of great choices here: Dark navy velvet, a simple bowtie, patterned dark grey trousers, and a bit of a pop with cognac leather shoes. There’s a clear effort being made, a bit of a risk being taken, but overall nothing is in poor taste or going remotely too far. This looks like something we might have seen on Peter from Rachel’s season. Jed is my guy to watch for fashion based on this sophisticated look.
I hate to lay so much criticism on one contestant in the same recap but sadly this look cannot go unpunished…
The bright blue of this suit could have worked with more understated accessories, but cartoonish purple paisley and purple/pink plaid do not qualify as understated. Honestly, I’m not sure anything could work with that tie. I already find Luke P’s concerned expressions over the top but it sums things up nicely here.
Until next week, fellow pandas!