Photo Credit: ABC/RICK ROWELL
They sang. They danced. They attempted acrobatic tricks. They doled out lipstick kisses and footballs and hearts of lace. The gaggle of women who emerged from shiny, black limos on Monday night, primed to win the heart of Texan heartthrob, Sean Lowe, gave it all they had.
In the opening episode of The Bachelor, season 17, it was evident that producers have finally begun to have a little fun with the process. Sean has been sold as (and genuinely appears to be) an all-American, nice guy who loves God and family. So amid the usual parade of lovelies, there were an undeniable handful of bold, brash women to throw him off balance.
Chief among the crazies was Ashley P., the carousing fan of 50 Shades of Grey, who arrived wielding a tie (whose sex purposes seemed to be lost on Sean). Lindsay Yenter showed up already in a wedding gown (but managed to score the first kiss!); and former Bachelor contestant, Kacie Boguskie (from Ben Flajnik's season), surprised Ben by inserting herself in the group as his 26th "mystery contestant."
Ever-flowing booze is a Bachelor trademark, to be sure, but during the season 17 premiere it was openly discussed, and even highlighted when Ashley P. got "50 Shades of Drunk" (Sean's words). Taryn Daniels, the peroxide-blonde fitness director, was obviously drunk-weeping all night. Insistent Bride Lindsay admitted she wished she was more sober, and then begged Sean to "gimmee a kiss." Sean quipped that he might have to use his rape whistle. Ha!
In the midst of it all, Sean…well, he rocked. One of the best Bachelors ever, frankly. We already knew that, but he further proved that point when he messed with the format and started handing out roses willy-nilly, starting with one to a woman who'd just gotten out of the limo ten seconds earlier. In a sweet moment, slowly drawn out by producers, he smiled down at Tierra LiCausi, excused himself, then asked host Chris Harrison if he could "break the rules" and give her a rose. Harrison asked if he was sure -- They just met! How rash! -- and the brave Sean said he was. (He liked her "energy.") When he returned with the rose, Tierra beamed and graciously thanked him. (Based on promos to come, that's the last time she acted gracious, but oh, well. The moment was still great.)
All in all, it was a very entertaining start to what promises to be a fun season. Sure, the producers probably instigated most of the comedy, whether lending Lindsay the wedding dress, or coaching the 50 Shades vixen to shake her booty. But their best move was hiring Sean, a guy infinitely more likable than their last three eligible guys (Ben, Brad Womack and Jake Pavelka). And some of the ladies -- specifically quirky wedding stylist Desiree Hartsock, cutie-pie online designer Catherine Giudici and comely personal organizer AshLee Frazier -- appear to be well adjusted and ready for love!
Who will Sean pick? Here's a good guess: It won't be someone who inspires him to bring along his rape whistle.
Did you miss the first episode? Click here to watch it!