Film & TV

Guilty Pleasure Recap: The Bachelorette, Season 11, Episode 1

Pre-show
Yes, my guilty pleasure has returned! But I’m not the only one totally absorbed with the angst, tears, romantic travel destinations and, ultimately, the choice. Meredith Vieira has confessed to the addiction, so has Howard Stern. So here we are, ready for another season of drama.

This time around, the promos have titillated us with the prospect of two bachelorettes, Kaitlyn Bristowe and Britt Nilsson. And we thought Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao was the battle of the century. They didn’t come close to what promised to be some real competition in The Bachelorette Season 11 premiere. One could only hope the hype was all it was cracked up to be.

Or, I dread to think, has the show jumped the shark? Could ratings be so down that they needed to add what some critics have referred to as a chauvinistic twist? After all, two bachelors have never been placed in the position of vying for the coveted role as “The Bachelor.” We can be sure, when the dust settles, one of the ladies—who already lost Chris Soules in Season 19 of The Bachelor—will be sent home heartbroken for the second time. Is all this stress really worth trying to find a husband? Surely there is an easier means to that end.

Spoiler Alert: The odds-on favorite is Kaitlyn.

At any rate, get those Bachelorette parties revved up, sit back with your favorite glass of wine and let the games begin.

The Show
Two limos meander down a highway and turn onto the winding road leading to the bachelor mansion. Each limo door opens. Out of one, steps Britt, blonde wrapped in white chiffon. Out of the other, steps Kaitlyn, brunette, shimmering in black sequins. Both look stunning and nervous.

Host Chris Harrison greets the women, they take their places and the limos carrying 25 hopeful men begin their procession. One attractive man after another emerges from the limos, but something seems amiss to this spectator. Under each smiling bachelor is a flash of their careers, if you can call it that in way too many cases. Junkyard specialist—you actually have to be a specialist to deal in junk? Former Investment Manager—so what are you doing now? Are you out of work? Law student/exotic dancer—now there’s a combo for you! Entrepreneur—isn’t that a fancy word for “I don’t have a real job?” Spiritual healer—what is that anyway? It appears as if The Bachelorette producers are really digging in deep for this assortment of hopefuls. Does this mean that all the good guys with great jobs have already been taken?

One guy, Chris, shows up driving a cupcake. ‘Nuff said. (See the video below)

Awkward! As each guy gets out of the limo, he heads for the bachelorette he is interested in, then greets the other girl as an afterthought, just to be polite. How uncomfortable for both girls!

Whose first night will be her last? So far it’s impossible to count the pro Kaitlyns and pro Britts. But a red herring seems to be in play. Many of the guys seem to gravitate toward Britt, but it could be a ruse to throw off the viewers. After all, our spoiler alert names Kaitlyn as the new Bachelorette.

Soon all the men and the two women are at a cocktail party.

The expected drama begins—Ryan gets soused, slaps Kaitlyn on the butt and is confronted by a knight in shining armor. Ryan is then escorted to Chris Harrison who sends the loser on his way. Good! That sends a clear message to all the guys that these two women are there to find a husband, not deal with some drunken slob.

I know one woman is destined to leave by the end of the evening but please, Bachelorette producers, why not keep both women and divide the men according to their preference? Then dates could occur simultaneously, making for a different and interesting season?

Unfortunately, that isn’t the plan. Will someone listen to me—it’s really a good idea. Instead, our hearts will break for the girl sent home and for all the disappointed guys who were looking forward to getting to know her. That will also make things awkward for the remaining bachelorette. Why bother to keep the guys around who didn’t vote for you?

Pressure—roses are distributed to the men who are then asked to choose one of the girls and place their rose in the box with that girl’s picture perched above it. Kaitlyn and Britt are totally stressed during this process.

Here he comes, Chris Harrison like the Grim Reaper, holding the ballot results instead of a scythe.

Wait a minute! What? A flash on the screen… “To Be Continued”

Cliffhanger!

We’re not going to find out who the bachelorette for this season will be tonight.

Oh, you cagey Bachelorette producers!

Stay tuned for the big decision—to be announced on ABC tonight, in Night 2 of The Bachelorette Season Premiere, Tuesday, May 19 at 8 p.m.—and recapped right here tomorrow.

Barbara Anne Kirshner is the author of Madison Weatherbee-The Different Dachshund. She is a regular contributor to DansPapers.com.

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