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January 29, 2024

Joey Graziadei goes on his first dates as 'The Bachelor' in latest episode

The Montgomery County-native tennis instructor attends two group dates and a one-on-one in the second episode, which features the exit of a contestant from Philadelphia

TV The Bachelor
joey graziadei daisy kent bachelor date John Fleenor/Disney

During the latest episode of 'The Bachelor,' Montgomery County's Joey Graziadei chose Daisy Kent for his first one-on-one date of the season.

Montgomery County's Joey Graziadei continued his journey as "The Bachelor" on Monday night, taking some of this season's eligible bachelorettes on dates for the first time.

The second episode of Season 28 featured two large group dates, a one-on-one date and a drama-filled cocktail party. Graziadei, a 28-year-old tennis instructor from Collegeville, also parted ways with one of the contestants from Philadelphia.

RELATED: Here's what happened during the season premiere of 'The Bachelor,' starring Collegeville's Joey Graziadei

The episode began with Graziadei giving a tennis lesson to host Jesse Palmer, who in turn gave Graziadei some advice on navigating the week ahead with the 22 remaining women.

"This is why you're the Bachelor; being a good communicator," Palmer told Graziadei. "Just be authentic and be yourself, and I know you're gonna be that. If you navigate this as well as you teach tennis, you're gonna find your person."

Here are some highlights from this week's episode of the ABC dating show:

(Spoilers ahead)

'Here come the brides...'

The first date of the season is a group date featuring nine contestants. The date card inviting the women reads "Here come the brides," and the ladies chosen for the date are ushered into a dressing room where they pick out bridal dresses to wear for the day's festivities.

It turns out Graziadei, who says he is "serious about finding my fiancé and future wife," has invited the group to a faux wedding reception where he is the groom and the nine women are his "brides." The event features the usual wedding reception fare — dancing, cake, Champagne toasts and speeches — with each woman attempting to stand out to earn the coveted "first dance" with Graziadei.

A game of musical chairs  which would determine who got to sit next to Graziadei at the wedding's "sweetheart table"  almost goes haywire when contestant Evalin Clark dives over the table to try to secure a seat, nearly knocking over Philadelphia's Lauren Hollinger.

bachelor joey graziadei evalin group dateJohn Fleenor/Disney

During a game of musical chairs on the group date, contestant Evalin Clark leaped over the table in hopes of scoring a seat next to 'The Bachelor' lead Joey Graziadei. She nearly knocked over another contestant, Philadelphia's Lauren Hollinger (right).

Despite Clark's feat of athleticism, Rachel Nance is who Graziadei chooses for the first dance. A special guest — Grammy-winning singer Michael Bolton — croons "When a Man Loves a Woman" as the pair dance and share a kiss.

Many of the contestants take the goofy activities of the group date in stride, envisioning what it would actually be like to take Graziadei as their husband. But one contestant isn't feeling the celebratory vibes. Hollinger, a 28-year-old registered nurse who is on the show with her younger sister, Allison, feels sorrowful emotions brought on by the date's theme. That's because the Hollinger sisters' father passed away months before "The Bachelor" began filming.

"That's who walks you down the aisle," Lauren said of her father. "It's like, what am I gonna do? Walk around alone? And then just being in a wedding dress and putting it on, and, like, him not being able to see me — I don't know, it just brought up a lot of emotions and it just kind of put me in a weird vibe today."

Later, once the ladies change out of their bridal wear, they have the chance to continue their conversations with Graziadei during an after-party. Some of the contestants who make impressions on Graziadei include Maria Georgas, who surprises him by changing into a risqué, lacy black outfit, and Jess Edwards, who opens up about experiencing infidelity in a previous relationship and receives the group date rose from Graziadei.

One-on-one time with Daisy

For his first one-on-one date of the season, Graziadei chooses Daisy Kent, a 25-year-old nonprofit owner from Minnesota who captured his attention during night one. The pair take a scenic helicopter ride to a musical festival, where they're invited onstage to dance (and smooch) along to the musician Bahamas' set.

The date's day portion is lighthearted for the pair, and Graziadei tells the cameras that there's "something there that feels right" between them. But Kent expresses apprehension about opening up to Graziadei about more serious topics.

During the date's evening portion, Kent tells Graziadei about some of her ongoing health struggles. She began having "stroke-like seizures" when she was about 11 and began losing her hearing when she was 17. She used to feel sick often, she told Graziadei.

Kent was diagnosed with Lyme disease and underwent a monthlong treatment at a facility in Germany. She says she began feeling better but that her hearing continued to get worse. She then received a cochlear implant, which allows her to hear and communicate, and left her former job to focus on running a nonprofit that helps people with hearing loss. 

Graziadei gives Kent a rose at the end of the date, feeling more connected with her after learning more about her background.

"When Daisy started the conversation tonight, it took me by surprise initially," Graziadei told the cameras. "But it takes a special type of person to be able to go through all these challenges in life and find a way to turn them into a positive. And she has done that in full force... After this first date tonight, I could see Daisy being someone I end up with at the end of all of this."

Protecting hearts

The final date of the episode is a group date hosted by former "Bachelor" contestants Jubilee Sharpe and Demi Burnett, during which the contestants are split into teams for a paint battle. Specifically, they play a spin-off of "capture the flag," in which they need to protect a giant heart from being stolen by members of the other team.

The pink team and blue team are tied after the first two rounds, but the blue team pulls out the win in the final round. While the contestants initially think all members of the winning team will get the chance to have special time with Graziadei, he chooses only one member of the team, Edwina Dorbor, for a one-on-one hangout. 

During their date, Dorbor, a 25-year-old entrepreneur from Atlanta, tells Graziadei about the pressures she felt growing up as the oldest girl in her Liberian immigrant family. Graziadei appreciates Dorbor being vulnerable and gives her a rose.

joey graziadei bachelor capture the flag group dateJohn Fleenor/Disney

On the second group date of the episode, the ladies have to protect their hearts, literally, during a unique game of 'capture the flag' involving paint.

Drama at the cocktail party

Leading up to the rose ceremony, the ladies don their finest dresses to make final impressions on Graziadei. During the party, drama brews between contestants after Sydney Gordon tells Madina Alam that Georgas was talking about her behind her back. The ladies squash the drama, for now, but teasers for next week reveal that the battle is far from over.

Along with the she-said-she-said drama, Lauren Hollinger is still feeling unsettled after her tough week. She says she's planning a surprise (involving a cake) for Graziadei to make up for her bad mood during the wedding-themed group date. But as the cocktail party wears on and more time passes without getting a chance to talk to Graziadei, she reaches her wit's end.

"So, I'm gonna go home," she tells Graziadei when they finally get the chance to chat, becoming emotional as she cites her increasingly bad mood.

"I wish I could say or do something," Graziadei replies. "But I can tell that you've gotten to a point where you're over it, which is OK. And I'm sorry if I did anything... I'm sorry that a lot of this has been tough on you. That's never my intention through this. But, yeah, maybe this setting wasn't the best way for us to really get to know each other."

The cake Lauren ordered to share with Graziadei ironically arrives at that moment, adding to the awkwardness of the breakup. She tries a bite before lamenting that it's not the red velvet flavor she wanted, and — in a move that has become increasingly common in the franchise — throws the cake onto the ground.

Lauren also joked that she may see Graziadei later in the season if he travels to Philly for hometown dates, alluding to the fact that her sister, Allison, is continuing the journey.

Allison — who was on the second group date and connected with Graziadei during the cocktail party — expresses sadness at her sister's exit. But the 26-year-old realtor from Philly decides she wants to focus on growing her relationship with Graziadei

Who went home?

Along with Lauren's self-elimination, three other women were sent home at the rose ceremony: Erika Cardenas, Marlena Haddad and Taylor Wiens. That leaves Graziadei with 18 eligible bachelorettes heading into the third episode, with only one Philly contestant left standing.

"The Bachelor" airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC. According to a teaser for next week's episode, Delco's Susan Noles may make an appearance alongside some of her fellow contestants from "The Golden Bachelor." Check out a trailer for the rest of the season below:

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