Premierewatch: 'The Bachelor' rings in the new year with Jason Mesnick
Welcome to the lucky 13th season of The Bachelor, the show that makes me feel great about my life choices. Sure, I may have gained a couple pounds over the holidays, and sure, I may have stayed up really late last night watching old episodes of Jon & Kate Plus 8, but at least I'm not blabbering about vision boards on national television.
Our Bachelor this season is Jason Mesnick, a single dad who was brutally rejected by DeAnna on The Bachelorette, who was in love with someone else. Okay, he's pretty cute. He's from Seattle, land of flying dead fish, and has a three-year-old son (Ty) whom he's brought with him. Because god knows there's no environment more nurturing than one full of slutty drunks. Soak it all in, Ty.
Slutty drunk roll call!
Jillian - Strike one: She's Canadian. (Just kidding, friends to the North!) Strike two: One of the restaurants she's designed has ornately framed paintings on the ceiling. Ugh. Strike three: I hate the "I work hard and play hard" cliché. Is that still considered original in Canada?
Stacia - Stacia is a single mom (with a great haircut), and her son is ADORABLE. He looks like a younger version of the kid who plays Parker on Bones. That said, how weird is it to say she gave up on dating as a single mom until hearing that Jason was the Bachelor? There are no single dads out there NOT on reality TV shows?
Dominique - She's from small-town Pennsylvania and looking to expand her dating pool. I'm going to reserve (negative) judgment...she actually seems kind of quirky funny. In an intentional way. And Jason clearly thinks she's super cute.
Melissa - Melissa is from Dallas, is a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, and somewhat resembles DeAnna. Slam dunk? Or touchdown in her case, I guess. Although how did she let Jason actually bring up Dallas football without mentioning that she was a cheerleader? Whoops.
Nikki - Okay, they actually make this poor woman wear her beauty queen sash and tiara while dusting a coffee table and then tapping it with her wand. (Do beauty queens normally have wands?)
Renee - Oh my...she makes "vision boards," aka "desperate lady collages." Maybe instead of pasting words cut out from magazines on poster board in the hopes of magically getting what she wants, Renee should work on preventing me from coming to LA and kidnapping her adorable little pug mix.
Jackie - A divorced, depressed wedding coordinator. The clip of her demonstrating how to toss the bouquet was especially tragic.
Stephanie - If you took all the makeup I've ever worn in my life combined, it would add up to approximately half the makeup Stephanie wears on a day-to-day basis. But she's a widowed mom, so I probably shouldn't be making fun of her. It's just a LOT of makeup, y'all. Otherwise I wouldn't risk going to hell to mention it.
Lauren - She's cute, she's bubbly, she'll do well. And it's her birthday! And her choice of slinky, low-cut leopard print just screams, "let me be your son's new mom."
Shelby - Blonde and adorable (Cameron Diaz-esque, even), with what may or may not be a better than tolerable personality. I...hate...her?
Erica - Okay, what could this possibly mean? "When there's cattiness, I will stop at nothing to get involved." So...to intervene? Or to participate? Is she actually saying that she'll let nothing stand between her and being catty? (Note to Liz: It's The Bachelor. Of course she is.)
Naomi - I want a t-shirt that reads: "I handle b*tches with a slap." Wait, even better: I want "She handled b*tches with a slap" to be my epitaph. Naomi cleverly spends her time with Jason tugging up her strapless dress, thus drawing the eye to her rack.
Molly - Wow, already pulling out the "Girls are just jealous of my confidence" line? Give them a chance to hate you first! She and Jason are both golfers, apparently. Um...I guess you find those little connections where you can?
Shannon - She's a dental hygienist, and comes out in a pair of hillbilly teeth, cracking Jason up. Wow, that REALLY wouldn't work if she weren't so pretty.
Megan - "Whoops! Did I just let slip that I'm a single mom? I totally didn't mean to mention that in my first sentence talking to you, Jason! Waaait, you're a single dad?!?! NO WAY!!! OMG what a coincidence! We should, like, spend the rest of our lives together or something!"
Kari - She keeps a death grip on Jason's hands until he kicks her inside....but I do like the "Kari from Kansas" intro. Alliteration will get you EVERYWHERE. (Everywhere = Into Jason's pants. Maybe!)
Sharon - Oh my. Sharon employs the seldom-seen "force him to salsa awkwardly and he'll never forget you!" strategy.
Natalie - I looove her dress. And the blue of the fabric really complements the orange of her skin. Blue and orange were my school colors, you guys! So I guess I have to pick her as an early favorite.
Lisa - Yeah, I got nothing here. Cute dress, cute girl. Idaho. Yup.
Treasure - You know, when you have to go out of your way to assure people that your name isn't a "stage name" (which is clearly a euphamism for "stripper name" in this case), you should consider going by your middle name. Unless it's "Box".
Raquel - She's Brazilian and she's got a shoe collection that rivals Imelda Marcos's. She'll go far.
Nicole - Wait, she wore an orange dress because it's Jason's son's favorite color? That creeps me out, for reasons I can't explain. No, wait...I can explain them: You're trying to get Jason to fall in love with you tonight, not his son, you freak!
Emily - She's from Seattle, and loves the Seahawks. Which Google informs me is a football team. Good for Emily.
Julie - This girl is super cute. And she's a teacher! I'm guessing she'll stick around. Single guys with kids like teachers, right?
Ann - She's a flight attendant, and apparently Jason loves to travel. Well-played, Ann.
And now, we've reached the "awkward mingling" stage of the premiere. Keep drinking, ladies!
Shannon: If you have to go out of your way to explain that you're not a stalker, that's a cue that you should probably reference Jason's Myspace page and personal life a little less. Erica busts in and interrupts right off the bat, stealing some one-on-one time for herself. Dominique dashes out as soon as Jason gives Erica the heave-ho. And promptly wastes her time by explaining that she sells toe implants rather than talking about what she does in her free time, like he asked. SHE LITERALLY DISCUSSES BUNIONS AND HAMMER TOES. Oh, Dominique. I had such high hopes.
Sharon interrupts to tell Jason that she quit her job as a Spanish teacher to be on the show. Okay, either you're trying to guilt him into keeping you, or you actually think that's something to be proud of. Either way: UGH. Kari reads Jason a poem she wrote about the show and herself while Nicole is sitting there. Sample: "Have you ever heard of love at first sight/When your heart is pumping that very first night?" AWKWARD.
Jillian, in the meantime, cooks up a batch of hot dogs to test some crazy theory about toppings and personalities. She's hoping Jason's a mustard guy, and in fact he is. Score? I guess my ideal guy would've been all, "Why are you wasting all this meat just to test a stupid theory? Get me a tofu dog!" Sorry, Jason...it wasn't meant to be.
Nikki is all about becoming a mom, and makes that clear to Jason. And I honestly don't know how he manages to focus on what she's saying rather than on her breasts, which are staging an escape attempt from the minimum-security prison that is her dress. Before any nipples get past the perimeter, Jason leaves to talk with Renee, barely hiding a grimace when she gets all new agey with her vision board talk. Raquel and Molly take turns stealing Jason from each other, and I start to check the clock. Two hours, ABC? Really?
HA, Jason's talking to Lauren, the birthday girl, and he says he's got something for her. Instead of the First Impression Rose like she's expecting, it's a little birthday cake. I was kind of hoping she'd throw it at him, but instead she handles the situation gracefully. Where are the crazy drunk girls?!
Nikki and her boobs are the actual recipients of the First Impression Rose, which makes sense. She loves kids and has experience with them, but there's no concern about any kids of hers and how they'd get along with Ty. Also, did I mention her boobs?
In a totally awesome twist, the women are given the chance to vote someone out. After much whispering about who's ready to be a mom, who's ready to be a wife, and who gives off bad vibes, the women wind up giving Jackie (drunk) and Erica (catty) some votes.
But, the majority of votes by far go to Megan, who has a small son of her own and a clear bond with Jason, and thus is a major threat. Nicely done, ladies. But surprise twist! She's actually leaving tonight with a rose. OH, THE IRONY. She accepts the rose with all the grace of Ty's future stepmom, calling the girls what I assume is the c-word, since it was bleeped and fuzzed out.
Time for the first Rose Ceremony! I love that the flashbacks are in even softer focus than the rest of the show, to the point of being oddly fuzzy. Aside from Nikki and Megan, the rose recipients are: Lauren, Kari, Naomi, Natalie, Molly, Raquel, Stephanie, Melissa, Julie, Shannon, Lisa, Sharon, and Erica. Oh, Dominique. I hope you learned a valuable lesson about discussing bunions on the first date. (Same goes to you, Renee and your vision boards.) Looks like it's going to be an interesting season, though!
Got any early favorites? Disappointed in any early exits? Horrified/excited that DeAnna's apparently coming back?