There was a lot of champagne. Plenty of spit swapped. A number of roses. And, yes some serious tears shed.
Indeed, folks: The Bachelor is back!
On Monday night, 26-year old tech executive Zach Shallcross stepped into the role previously inhabited by other handsome and boring white guys, telling the camera early on:
“I’m not here to mess around.”
Let’s get right to the arrivals, shall we for Shallcross?
There was Ariel, who told The Bachelor: “I missed my flight to get here, my suitcase broke, my dress even ripped, but nothing’s going to stop me from coming.”
There was Gabi, who asked Zach to sample some maple syrup from her native Vermont. (Zach referred to it as “mapley.”)
There was Greer, who, offered Zach something to drink, as well: a cup of coffee so he had energy for the long night ahead. (“Be careful, it might be piping hot just like you,” she quipped to Zach.)
There was also Bailey, who Zach previously met on The Bachelorette After the Final Rose special… whose name he forgot … and who, therefore, was honored with the first kiss of the season.
“It felt right,” Shallcross said in a confessional. “There was a little bit of a spark there and I want her to know that I felt that spark.”
At the subsequent cocktail party, Zach told his 30 aspiring wives:
“I’m just a dude who loves family, football and frozen pizzas. But really, who is someone that’s looking for his forever best friend.
“And for me, I grew up with two loving parents that have been married for over 30 years and they love each other more and more every day. And that’s something I strive for.”
After asking for honesty from his suitors, Zach went ahead and kissed Kaity, Greer, Jess, Charity and Christina, while dancing with most of the women on a party bus.
Shallcross also got to first base with Madison, but she said the romantic moment was “subpar,” while Zach agreed.
“I don’t know if I was feeling that kiss,” Zach admitted in an on-camera interview. “It didn’t feel right.”
In the end, Greer snagged the First Impression Rose.
“It was one of like the easiest conversations I’ve had,” he told her. “I really enjoyed it and I can’t wait to get to know you more.”
Madison, meanwhile, was torn apart to NOT receive this rose (despite the whole “subpar” kissing classification) and interrupted Zach’s chat with another woman to ask where he stood with her.
“My heart wasn’t feeling it,” Shallcross admitted.
“I never want to force that and I don’t want to put you through something that’s not real because I know what it feels like to be led on and I don’t want that for you. I’m sorry, I don’t see a future for us.”
And, just like that, Madison left the show.
“I cannot believe that I gave up my life for him,” Madison cried as she left.
Zach stood by his decision, though.
“She’s not my person,” he told the cameras. “I’m not doing any favors by keeping her around.”
Back inside, Zach told the group what happened and then proceeded to give roses to women he wanted to sleep with at some point.
Christina, Charity, Bailey, Jess, Genevie, Davia, Aly, Brooklyn, Kaity, Anastasia, Kylee, Gabi, Katherine, Mercedes, Ariel, Victoria J., Kimberly and Cat all earned roses.
“I really can’t wait to continue this journey with you,” Zach said to the remaining ladies. “I truly do feel like my best friends in this room.”
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