Spoiler alert: The Coast will be recapping episodes of The Bachelorette every week this season. If you missed our introduction to this series, click here. Please stop reading if you don’t want to know what happened in the episode.
Last night The Bachelorette premiered its 18th season, which follows 30-year-old Michelle Young’s search for true love. It was fun! It was dramatic! It was hard to tell many of the men apart! In short, it was everything we could have hoped for from the first episode. Let’s dive in!
The episode opens with a montage about Michelle’s life. We learn that she’s from Woodberry, Minnesota. We see her interact with her parents, who’ve been together for over 30 years and are very cute. She tells us she’s striving for a love like theirs. We’re also reminded that she's an elementary school teacher and former basketball player—two facts the show will not let us forget. The rest of the episode is chalk-full of euphemisms about how “class is in session” and everyone’s getting “back on the court.” Nice!
Michelle is excited! She’s optimistic! She hopes she’s meeting the love of her life tonight! We find ourselves at the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa in California, where we finally meet some of the guys. We see lots of home videos of them with their moms, in which they talk about themselves and how badly they want to find love. We get our first glimpses of Chris G., who says he’s from “Halifax, Nova Scotia, on the east coast of Canada.” I am reminded of how little Americans know about Canadian geography.
We learn that Chris G. is a “speaker with a non-profit.” There are lots of shots of him staring longingly into the Atlantic at Peggys Cove, which is fun. (Watch for the black rocks, buddy!) People on #TheBachelorette Twitter are going wild, comparing him to a “Walmart Chris Evans” (which… OK, fine).
Our hosts for this season, former Bachelorettes Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams, decide to visit a few of the men’s rooms. (Apparently, you can tell a lot about a person by the state of their hotel room.) They start with Chris G., who is a perfect angel with a very tidy room. He’s charming and nervous! The hosts love him! Tayshia says “I’m really excited and optimistic for Michelle to meet Chris.” Us too, Tayshia!
The first 20 minutes of the show pass by smoothly, which means it’s due time for some drama. Tayshia and Kaitlyn stop by to visit Ryan, a contestant whose personality revolves around riding a tractor shirtless on his family farm. In his room, they find a bright red folder labelled “Bachlorette” (yes, spelled like that), full of typed notes on how to win the show. The folder contains gems like Past Bachelors to Emulate, How to Get the Most Screen Time and How Not to Become the Show Villain, which is a great way to become the show villain. It’s truly cartoon villain-level behaviour. It’s too good to be real. The hosts are concerned, and we move on.
OK! IT’S STARTING! Men are spilling out of limos to introduce themselves to Michelle, gimmicks and all. One man, a “yoga guru” named LT, is not wearing any pants. Michelle is, somehow, into that. Peter, a “Pizzapreneur” and Noted Italian, comes in YELLING for no reason. He says he changes lives “one slice at a time.” I decide he is my enemy. A firefighter named Daniel rides in on a toy firetruck, which is cute. Immediately afterwards, another firefighter rides in on a real-life firetruck, sirens and all, which upstages Daniel tremendously. It’s very funny.
Chris G. is a perfect angel with a very tidy room. He’s charming and nervous! The hosts love him! Tayshia says “I’m really excited and optimistic for Michelle to meet Chris.” Us too, Tayshia!
There are other men with other gimmicks. Chris G. recites a slam poem about how Michelle is a rose in a field of daisies or something, which is…nice? Kinda awkward? We only see a few seconds of it.
A man named Joe shows up. Michelle recognizes him because they're both from Minnesota and they used to flirt on Instagram until Joe ghosted her. And now he has the audacity to show up here??? Get a grip, Joe! Michelle is into him, though a little reluctant about it. She’s worried he’ll break her heart.
We move onto the cocktail party, where everyone is fighting for one-on-one time with our Bachelorette. Ryan (folder guy!) whisks her away, and they’re really hitting it off. He knows exactly what to say and how to act (because of the folder!!). Michelle is smitten. Kaitlyn and Tayshia show up to share the bad news (he has a weird, calculated folder! Run, Michelle!). Michelle confronts Ryan and demands to see the folder. He pretends he did not write it. It was all his friend’s wife, OK? He’s barely ever even seen the show? OK, maybe he wrote some of the notes, but not all! Please, Michelle!
He gets sent home on the spot.
Michelle spends time with Nayte, the other Canadian contestant, who's from Winnipeg but now lives in Austin. He opens up about growing up with divorced parents, and Michelle is struck by his vulnerability. Nayte gets the first-impression Rose. Congrats!
Onto the rose ceremony! A lot of the boys are upset they didn't get one-on-one time with Michelle, but it's too late for that now. She gives out roses to a bunch of people, including Chris G. (yay!) and, after much deliberation, also gives a rose to Ghosting Joe. (The two had a heartfelt conversation, during which he explained he stopped answering her messages because he was overwhelmed by the violence happening in Minneapolis following George Floyd’s death. Michelle says she wishes he’d said something anyways—as another biracial person in the area, she would have understood. Ultimately, she agrees to give him another shot.)
Bryan Witzmann, Brandon Kieffer, Edward Naranjo, Garrett Aida, Jack Russell (woof!) and JoMarri Gable get sent home.
Will Chris G. get more screentime? Will Nayte triumph as the ultimate Canadian contestant? Will the men start turning against each other and stirring the pot? Tune in next week to find out! (Though that last one is a sure thing.)