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January 07, 2019

'The Bachelor' returns with a three-hour nationwide event

Recap: Season 23, Ep. 1

Entertainment Reality Television
The Bachelor Colton Underwood Source/ABC

Fans of "The Bachelor" finally got to see Colton Underwood jump the fence during Monday night episode.

Starting today, Eddie Ravert, co-host of the wildly popular "The Bachelor" podcast "Rose Buds: The Most Dramatic Podcast Ever" will break down each episode of Colton Underwood's reality television search for romance right after the Monday telecast. 

Ravert will offer his humorous take on each episode while giving readers an inside look at how the episode was put together. Here's the first recap:

Episode 1: “Colton searches for his rose among thorns”

In the hills of Los Angeles, sexually charged women fought for a former football player’s attention. In the name of love, these dedicated women vying for Colton’s heart will do anything to receive the weekly-coveted rose. These ladies are members of an elite squad known as Bachelor Nation. These are their stories (Law & Order “dun, dun”).

Currently in its 23rd season, "The Bachelor" is dipping into the past, bringing back 26-year-old ex-NFL football player Colton Underwood, known as “The Virgin Bachelor” because, well he is a virgin, after he was brutally rejected twice last year on "The Bachelorette" and on the "Bachelor in Paradise" television shows.

The first-ever, three-hour "The Bachelor" season premiere married the old with the new. America met the 30 fresh-out-of-college hopeless romantics competing to win over Colton, while Bachelor Nation fan-favorites hosted live watch parties. 

The Bachelor meets with contestantsSource/ABC

Colton Underwood, this season's “The Bachelor,” meets with contestants vying for his attention.

From the oompa loompa-looking Kaitlyn Bristowe and JoJo Fletcher in Dallas to our favorite bro-mance Jason Tartick and Blake Horstmann crashing a Bachelor house party in Michigan, ABC hosted live watch parties around the country. Featuring two real fan engagements (one in Utah and one in Michigan) the parties appear to be the new future of "The Bachelor/ The Bachelorette" season premieres.

This year we received eight lovely intro video packages where "The Bachelor" crew profiles the contestant in their natural habitat prior to the show. Cassie, one of the three million 23-year-olds this season, is a speech pathologist from Huntington Beach, California. After giving off serious Kelly Slater vibes, she warmed our hearts by teaching Colton sign language, and ultimately catapulted herself into an early front-runner position.

Heather has apparently never been kissed, and I don’t know if you heard or not but Colton is a virgin, so expect that storyline to play out. If I were a betting man, I would say the 22-year-old from California will receive her first kiss on national TV (and it might be even more painstaking than when Wells refused to kiss JoJo).

We met two Miss America contestants in Hannah B. (Miss Alabama) and Caelynn (Miss North Carolina). Hannah from ‘Bama is primed to be Raven and Tia 2.0 with her authentic southern accent, while Caelynn is touting the Miss North Carolina crown but hailing from Virginia (riddle me that). Regardless of her state of origin, Caelynn secured the first kiss from our Bachelor.

And what would night one be without meeting our villains: Demi and Catherine.

Demi, who called her mom in jail for embezzlement, came right at Colton’s virginity by proclaiming you have to taste all different cupcake flavors to know what you like, and that she is the confetti cake (because you know, confetti taste so good). Catherine used Colton as her personal pet sitter by literally giving Colton her dog straight out of the limo, and then proceeded to “steal him for a sec” a record-breaking four-times in night one! This then led to our first contestant confrontation of the year between Catherine and Onyeka – let the drama begin!

Colton and all the contestantsSource/ABC

Colton Underwood and all the contestants looking to be the one in “The Bachelor.”

With an overall weak year for limo entrances – they are typically known to be quite entertaining as contestants ride in on everything from camels to race cars – this year’s certainly lacked the pizzazz we all yearn for. Leading the pack was Canadian Caitlin, who brought a red balloon and popped it proclaiming to “pop Colton’s cherry,” to Erin showing up in Cinderella’s carriage, but then sent home night one (ouch, even Cinderella got her Prince Charming).

After an absolutely beautiful, and much overdue, Chris Harrison tribute introduced by his adorable mother, we finally had our first rose ceremony of the year (see below for some “inside info.”) Surviving night one was Caelynn, Katie, Alex B., Hannah B., Onyeka, Canadian Caitlin, Annie, Kirpa, Heather, Elyse, Tayshia, Courtney, Cassie, Demi, Nina, Erika, Sydney, Bri (of the fake Australian accent), Angelique, Tracy, Hannah G., Nicole and Catherine.

One of the best parts of any "The Bachelor" season is the extended preview into the season, and this one looks like it will not disappoint. From stunning shoot locations, to Colton mysteriously jumping over a 10-foot fence, to Chris Harrison chasing after him in the middle of the night, our Monday nights will surely entertain. We’ll see you next week!


Two big “insider” takeaways from episode 1:

• The Bachelor mansion is in the area of the devastating California forest fires a few months ago (after filming in the mansion had wrapped for this season). The majority of the house was not damaged, but a side of the building was destroyed. This building was used as a production room for the crew during filming. A real-life family lives in "The Bachelor" mansion year-round, but was not injured in the fires.

• Night one typically takes anywhere from 12-13 hours to film. That’s why when we meet the girls out of the limo, it is nighttime, but when they are doing exit interviews after the rose ceremony, there is daylight.

Eddie Ravert is the host of the iTunes Top 75 Bachelor Nation podcast "Rose Buds: The Most Dramatic Podcast Ever," where he and Lynn, his sister and co-host, interview past and present contestants.

You can catch their weekly podcast episodes on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. And be sure to follow @RoseBudsPodcast on Instagram for behind the scenes look into each episode. You can follow Eddie on Twitter @eddie_rage.