Photo Credit: ABC
What a nice guy Ben Flajnik is! Producers of The Bachelor (Monday, 8 p.m. ET, on ABC) sure got themselves a mild-mannered heartthrob when they chose Flajnik -- the California winery owner whose marriage proposal Bachelorette Ashley Hebert rejected last summer -- to helm this latest season.
Hiring an even-tempered cool cat is a risky move for a show whose ratings rise and fall on the amount of drama it can expunge from romantic conflicts. But as the show's first episode has confirmed, conflict can be manufactured in other ways. You can always get it from the wacky women you toss in the guy's path, for instance.
So when the women pull up in those premiere-episode limos, Flajnik is met with a cast of crazies meant to throw him off his game. He even told People that at that exact moment, he began to think, "What did I just get myself into?"
There's the gray-haired granny, whose opening gambit is: "I watched your show all last season, and I fell madly in love with you." (Just as he's raising his eyebrows in surprised distress, she goes on to introduce him to her beautiful, young granddaughter, Brittney.) "Sheryl the grandma was also a highlight of my night," said Flajnik to People. "I am very close with my grandma and found it very endearing that Brittany would bring hers along."
Then there's the bizarrely germophobic Emily, who lathers him with Purell before granting him the first kiss of the evening. (He goes along gamely.) And, of course, there's the lovely lady, Lindzi, who rides in on a horse. In case he doesn't get the hint, she tells him that the horse's name is First Impression Rose. The accommodating Flajnik goes along here, too, and indeed grants Lindzi that prize.
There's a woman, Monica, whose sexuality may be ambiguous. (She appears to be cozying up to a fellow contestant, Blakely.) And there's the emotional wreck, Jenna, who can't quite deal with this situation.
And rumor has it that this season's force to be reckoned with is Courtney Robertson -- a fashion model who used to date Jesse Metcalfe. (He played Gaby's teen gardener boyfriend on Desperate Housewives.) Robertson can be seen with Flajnik in the promo, as the two of them flash their bare bottoms while running into the ocean. She seems to be the Vienna Girardi of season 16, and naturally hated by all the other women.
Flajnik may be drama-challenged. But make no mistake: His season will have plenty of it.
Missed Week 1's rose ceremony? Watch here and see who Bachelor Ben chose to keep and who he let go: