Photo Credit: ABC
On Monday night, The Bachelorette returned with 27-year-old Desiree Hartsock starring as the leading lady -- and as usual, the premiere episode was full of cringingly awkward moments. The first show is like the early episodes American Idol, when contestants amaze us with their inability to carry a tune. Only on The Bachelorette, they astound us with their utter inability to simply introduce themselves with dignity.
A guy in head-to-toe armor, like Sir Lancelot? Really? Must these guys do magic tricks and offer wishbones and recite cheesy poetry? Does the first show have to feature a guy who actually thinks the Bachelorette wants to go straight to the Fantasy Suite with him? Yes, yes, and wow, even yes to that last one. Weird moments are part of the formula. The shining knight probably got his armor from the producers.
But also per usual, the 25 men included hunks and nice guys and actual, potential marriage material for Desiree. The Katie Holmes-look-alike bridal planner from Colorado seemed delighted to be the center of all this male attention. (Fans of The Bachelor remember her as the pretty brunette who was ceremoniously dropped by Sean Lowe after the hometown dates.) "It is definitely fun to be the belle of the ball," she said.
And who will the belle choose? It's only just begun, but even the first episode can offer hints. Here are four potential Future Mr. Hartsocks:
Zak Waddell, Mico, Tex.
This chiseled suitor got out of the limo shirtless. "I know you had a lot invested in Sean, and I know he had great abs," he told Desiree. "So I have to ask you... Will you accept these abs?" What a cornball! And yet…Desiree did seem impressed. Later, he embarrassed himself by stripping down to his skivvies and jumping in the pool -- to no effect. (Another guy immediately whisked Des away, leaving him alone in the pool.) But the failed stunt made this drilling fluid engineer appear vulnerable. And remember Lindsay Yenter, the contestant who embarrassed herself in the season premiere of Sean's Bachelor season? Her own corny move -- getting out of the limo wearing a wedding dress -- didn't hurt her. She ended up making it all the way to the finals. Later in the night, Des found Zak and gave him a rose. "You actually get one for jumping in," she said. So the humiliation was worth it!
Ben Scott, Dallas, Tex.
He had a gimmick, too, which was bringing along his adorable son, Brody. But the kid did kill it, offering Des a flower, and then asking his dad whether he did everything right. “I connected with him,” Des later said about this entrepreneur (which, let's be honest, is a pseudonym for unemployed actor). “He just seems like such a sweet guy, and I really saw that we have a lot in common [like camping and road trips]. He’s husband material!” Ben got the first rose. "Could it be because my son is the most gorgeous kid in the world?" he asked. "Possibly, but that's okay."
Brooks Forester, Salt Lake City, Utah
This long-haired cutie took pains to convey that he was there for Desiree specifically. "When I watched this show, I was like, 'If there was anyone I would get along with, it would be Desiree,'" he said. "So when I heard that it was you, I was like, 'All right!'" Rare among these anxious-to-please men, Brooks didn’t come across as too pushy or overly confident.
Drew Kenney, Scottsdale, Ariz.
"You're so cute, cause you're so nervous!" Des told this baby-faced digital marketing analyst -- but not before teasing him for looking at her chest. "Now I'm really nervous!" he said. But those butterflies got him a rose, so…worth it!
The promo for the season ahead features lots of fighting and crying. (What a shocker!) But rumor has it, Desiree did find man among these eager guys. Stay tuned!