SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched the May 28 season premiere of “The Bachelorette.”
Yes, she may have the worst slogan to date, but Kufrin returns to the Bachelor Mansion this season to find her happily ever after just months after she was proposed to by Arie Luyendyk Jr. In “unedited” footage aired live during the March finale, Luyendyk subsequently ended their engagement after having a change of heart and going after runner up Lauren Burnham, leaving Kufrin in tears. Now Kufrin, a 28-year-old publicist from Minnesota, is leading Season 14 of “The Bachelorette.”
In Monday’s premiere, the show dove into her life after heartbreak and her decision to continue to search for love on TV, along with getting some advice from former “Bachelorette” stars ahead of her journey. Kaitlyn Bristowe, JoJo Fletcher and Rachel Lindsay joined Kufrin to share horror stories, sage the mansion and trash Luyendyk, with last season’s Bachelorette joking, “Please don’t edit this out: F— him.”
And then it was onto the intro packages to check out this year’s group of men. Among the highlights (or lowlights?) were two football-player-with-a-soft-side types Clay and Colton; colognoisseur Jean Blanc, who declared he’s “going to blow her nose away”; grocery store owner Joe; and Jordan, a model who described his look as “pensive gentleman” and said his “power is in the brows.” Yikes.
Onto the limos. This year’s classic entrances included plenty of over-the-top theatrics, including a fake proposal, a cardboard cutout of Luyendyk, an arrival via family-friendly minivan, a choir, and one suitor who Kufrin declared “has way better hair than I do.”
Blake, who first appeared as one of the selected men on “After the Final Rose” with a horse, returned this time with an ox, and another competitor jumped out of the back of a hearse with the line, “When I found out you were the Bachelorette, I literally died.” David, though, took the cake when he showed up in a chicken suit, cawing “Becca” and saying “I’m not here to ruffle feathers.” Oy!
As the show has continuously been criticized for its lack of diversity, this season also includes a more inclusive group of suitors than the audience has often seen, with seven out of 28 of this year’s contestant pool being men of color.
After the arrivals, Kufrin said she was “so hopeful with this group,” and kicked off the conversations and even more insanity inside the mansion, starting when Christon, a former Harlem Globetrotter, dunked a basketball over the Bachelorette into a hoop on the driveway. Dancing, fishing lessons in the pool, and massages were also on the schedule for the first night.
Male model Jordan provided plenty of commentary throughout the night on the men’s fashion choices, and some early drama started stewing between Chris and Chase, when Chris accused Chase of coming onto the show for the wrong reasons. Kufrin also confronted Jake, an acquaintance from Minnesota she previously knew through friends, about his intentions and sent him home because “honestly I don’t think he’s here for me.” Becca isn’t here to play games!
The coveted first impression rose went to Garrett, a 29-year-old medical sales rep, the suitor who showed up in a minivan, and who Kufrin said “made me laugh and made me feel so comfortable.” In the first rose ceremony of the season, she sent home Kamil, Joe, Darius, Grant, Chase and Christian — the latter being the two who caused very unnecessary, premature drama earlier in the episode. This brought the contestant pool down to 21.
In the first episode, Kufrin set herself up a non-nonsense Bachelorette who is taking her journey to find love seriously, while at the same time bringing a more casual and fun vibe to the lead role. Blake, Colton, and of course Garrett seem like early frontrunners for the final rose, but there are sure to be plenty of surprises to come.
“The Bachelorette” airs on Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.