Wowee wow wow. As if we didn’t have to suffer enough with the new live segment format with the finales, ABC decided to curse us all with live segment premieres as well.

“Ali, just stop watching the show.”

I can’t, dear reader, for you see: The Bachelor franchise is irremovable hex placed upon those of us who watch; we are unable to defy our one true leader, Our Lord and Savior Chris Harrison, his winning smile, and his sharp suits.

Let’s dive into this three-hour hell, shall we?

The First Hour

I will not lie to you. I missed the first 40 minutes of this premiere. But by the time I tuned in, they still had not yet arrived at the Bachelor mansion, nor had Colton even been on air. So what were they doing? I’m glad you asked.

A bunch of Bachelor alums were spread out across the country at viewing parties interviewing people we don’t know about utter nonsense we don’t care about. Queen JoJo, Kaitlyn Bristowe, My Husband Blake™️, My Husband Blake’s Friend Jason™️, and more hosted viewing parties via satellite from OLASCH’s headquarters in LA where The Gooses held court in a rooftop hot tub and insufferable-turned-tolerable Nick Viall spent a good portion of the evening on the Bachelor’s Insta story asking people who their favorite Bachelor was and listening to everyone choose anyone (even Arie) that wasn’t him.

There was some married woman who loved and got to meet Ben Higgins, a lot of “fun” “banter,” and more proposals than on my Facebook feed the day after Christmas.

It was a mess. And I hated it.

A Brief Interlude

*Steps up onto soapbox.*

Before we really delve into this ep, I’d like to take a moment real quick here and say that there were a lot of times throughout the night that I was incredibly uncomfortable with how hard a time everyone was giving Colton about being a virgin. Kaitlyn Bristowe made some weird, not-well-delivered joke about how dolphins are the only creatures who don’t have sex for pleasure (besides Colton! LOLOLOLOL); OLASCH made some comment about questioning his manhood because he was a virgin; and it was one of the only things that the girls could focus on coming into the mansion. I’m all about sex positivity and openness in partnerships regarding discussing your sex life, but the fact that Colton’s virginity was a negative trait of his that deserved to be teased relentlessly for three hours of national television was abysmal, ABC.

Quite frankly, it was off-putting. It read that virginity was inarguably wrong—and that’s really none of America’s business. If Colton was afraid to talk about sex, if he was not living a sex-positive life in which he felt comfortable asking questions or exploring what sexuality meant to him, then let’s help that boy out! But he’s not. That’s not the case at all. He’s just making a decision based on his own life experience, beliefs, values, and sense of self—and everyone shamed him for it excessively, arguably even to the point of bullying.

And I’m not here for it.

*Steps down off of soapbox.*

Welcome Home

Finally, after what feels like a never-ending eternity of nonsense, the parade of women show up from which Colton may choose his future wife! It is… truly embarrassing. I’m going to glaze over most of this because it’s, overall, pretty uninteresting.

Demi’s hometown reveals her mom is in federal prison so I guess she has to make it that far so that we can delve into all that, right?

Cassie shows up with a box of butterflies and she opens the box and none of them fly out and I am cheering because I think this is another Asia O’Hara moment. Unfortunately, these butterflies are fake, it is not that moment, and I am—for not the first or last time this season—incredibly disappointed.

Alex D. came dressed as a sloth, which lead to an insufferably painful bit where she talked and walked so slow for like half the cocktail party. But girl committed to the bit and I respect that hard. She got sent home at the end of the night, which is an injustice, because she wore a sloth costume for hours—but also justified because she’s a Patriots fan.

There are three women that overwhelm Colton by speaking foreign languages—one of which is Nicole, who says “half of my heart is in Havana,” then is like lol no I’m from Miami—and there’s poor Erin who showed up in a Cinderella carriage and walked around with one shoe all night, only to be sent home night one, and have a beautifully artistic shot of a pumpkin left behind as she left. There are two Miss USA contestants, a woman who has never been kissed (Drew Barrymore style), and a bunch of women who think they’re totally weird but are, in fact, not really. I mean, Kendall was weird. Remember Kendall?! And she bagged Grocery Joe. KENDALL (and that grocery pun) 4 EVER.

My girl Catherine shows up last. She struts in with her 10-year-old Pomeranian Lucy and hands her off to Colton to take care of for the rest of the season. This leads to a couple of brief moments of OLASCH chilling with this dog while Colton tries to find an Instagram wife, and I realize that this is what The Bachelor should actually be. Give me the spin-off. We can call it O-LASCH Lucy! (Like I Love Lucy, get it? It’s a hard joke to convey over the internet but I am sticking to it.)

Can I Steal You For a Second (And a Third and a Fourth)?

Catherine is perfection. She’s a beacon of hope. She brought her dog to the Bachelor. If you recall, I knew I was going to love Catherine. I knew in my gut Catherine wouldn’t let me down.

Catherine, in all her glory, knows she’s better than everyone else during the cocktail party. She goes after what she wants—and that’s another conversation with Colton. The other women’s feelings be damned! Catherine needs to CHAT.

The cocktail party is where my dear friends, The Bachelor Editors, show off their stuff. Everyone is so boring, but thanks to editing perfection we get things like the Sloth in the tree and a dead fish in the pool, but in beautiful short little bits I don’t have to care about. Then we can spend a lot of time where it really matters: Catherine.

When Catherine decides it’s time to talk to Colton she gets “like only 30 seconds” before Tracy comes waltzing in and steals him away. Catherine knows what Taylor Swift knows in “I Did Something Bad”: In this world, you gotta get before you get got. She steals him back and the other women are appalled. How dare she? Instead of taking the time that is rightfully theirs by being assertive themselves, they send Ambassador Onyeka in to right Catherine’s wrongs. She puts on a snorkel (Did she bring that and I missed it earlier?) and blows a whistle (Unclear.) and yells—and I quote, “I HEARD YOU WERE DROWNING IN SOME BITCHES, SO I CAME TO SAVE YOU.” I… this. Just this forever and ever.

After Catherine steals Colton back again, Oneyka decides the only way to appeal to her is through civil conversation (since I guess she’s never seen this show). Oneyka gently explains to Catherine why this is disrespectful to the other women and she should play fair; and Catherine definitely agrees!: Everyone should respect each other and she will definitely continue to interrupt. And she does. And I love her. After the Rachel/Peter break-up, Nick Viall’s fourth attempt at love, Blake’s emotional crises, and Arie in general, I deserve Catherine.

Roses, Roses, Roses

Hannah G., or as both one of the other women and I said almost simultaneously “Gold Dress Hannah,” gets the first impression rose, and she’s fine so that’s fine.

It should be noted here that all Colton said before handing out roses was “You all look so beautiful.” No “nice meeting you” speech, no talk of how the journey is just beginning, nothing. I…. OK. Whatever, I guess. Here’s who gets the coveted remaining roses:

Caelynn: Miss Carolina

Katie: Not memorable

Alex B.: Love Actually poster boards

Hannah B.: Miss Alabama Lost to Miss Carolina in the 2018 Miss USA pageant

Onyeka: Drowning in bitches

Caitlin: The Other Canadian Caitlin™️

Annie: Not memorable

Kirpa: Not memorable

Heather: Drew Barrymore

Elyse: Not memorable

Tayshia: Rode him like a horse

Courtney: Shockingly normal, right?

Cassie: Probably a frontrunner, right?

Demi: Prison Mom

Nina: Not memorable

Erika: McNut

Sydney: Dancer

Bri: Fake accent

Angelique: Not memorable

Tracy: I think she’s horrible, right?

Nicole: Havana Miami, oooh na na

Catherine: A DAMN HERO

The rest of the ladies must exit stage left, and when they do they are in the bright sunshine of a new day. Then, my other dear friends, The Bachelor Producers, bring all the ladies with roses outside to laugh and cheer behind them as they exit. It’s art. Devin—who I predicted is too good for this show—a 23-year-old journalist, cries in the foreground about how she will now be alone forever as they clink glasses and flip their hair in the background.

Fin.

A Tribute to OLASCH

Truly the best part of the night. I am not ashamed to admit that this hit me in the FEELS. I’ve been at this for so long, OLASCH is basically my dad. Look at the video they made for my dad!

Looking Ahead

I am LIVING for the previews for this season, where everyone cries and Colton jumps over a fence and disappears into the desert. That’s a 2019 MOOD.

I really could’ve done more than a bag of nuts,

A

Photos: ABC