“The Bachelor” season 16 premiere was a reality TV premiere for the history books. It was one of the few premieres that really lacked content that had anything to do with the bachelor getting to know his bachelorettes. There were your typical premiere moments after Ben Flajnik met the 25 women vying for his affection – tears, dirty looks, nasty side comments – but then there were some WTF moments that we never thought we’d see – a bachelorette’s grandmother, a horse, a little girl-on-girl love and a bachelorette questioning Ben’s ability to understand what she was going through.
Viewers should remember Ben from the previous season of “The Bachelorette.” Ben was one of Ashley Hebert’s final two bachelors, but when he dropped to one knee and proposed, a tearful Ashley had to tell him he wasn’t the one for her. But despite how painful and heartbreaking that was for Ben, the wine maker told viewers he has had time to reflect since that fateful day and feels he is a more complete version of himself, adding that he is ready to find a woman with which to share his new-found happiness.
The first cocktail party
The first cocktail party of season 16 actually featured very little of Ben getting to know the women. Instead the cocktail party footage focused on Jenna, Monica and Blakeley – all of whom received roses but probably won’t be around for too much longer. Yes there was Emily, who rapped about fighting off disease and heartbreak, which impressed Ben, and Dianna, who blindfolded Ben and had him guess types of candy, which probably confused Ben, but it was hard to ignore the fireworks between Monica and Jenna and Monica and Blakeley.
It all started when Jenna began verbally attacking Monica (although Jenna claims it was the other way around) because Monica wasn’t willing to say she was 100 percent into Ben; she just met the guy, so that shouldn’t be a huge deal, but it’s also understandable that Jenna, who was already feeling something for Ben, would get so upset and protective. The conversation was calm but not nice and made Jenna seem a little stalkerish. But then things took a weird turn with Monica, who was seem cuddled up to Blakeley, obviously after several cocktails, telling her, “You are my life forever;” it was bizarre, to say the least. And then Rachel stepped in to play peace maker, but both women were too drunk to think rationally, so Monica came off as a b*tch and Jenna came off as unnecessarily feeling hated. At some point Ben noticed Jenna was crying, but she denied it and then went on to question whether Ben really understood what she and the other women were going through that night; she must’ve missed his entire season! It shows how nice of a guy Ben truly is that he would overlook her tears and her questions and give her a rose, but I’m not sure how long Jenna will be able to take the environment; I mean, she was in the bathroom in tears way too early.
It wouldn’t be a “Bachelor” or “Bachelorette” premiere without some outstanding entrances – outstandingly great and outstandingly horrible; this season’s premiere was no exception.
Best: Lindzi, who arrived on her horse – a first for any “Bachelor” or “Bachelorette” season; Ben loved the entrance and the girl, going as far to say, “They saved the best for last.”
Worst: Shira, who started off by saying she knew everything there is to know about wine, but when Ben asked her a simple question, she said she was just kidding; Ben looked unimpressed and confused by her joke – as did all viewers.
Most original: It has to be the elderly woman on crutches, Sheryl. Sheryl is 72 and claims she is madly in love with Ben after watching him on the last season of “The Bachelorette.” I know what you’re thinking – “Bachelor” casting must hate Ben and not care about his happiness; but no worries casting hasn’t screwed him over – entirely. The bachelorette actually meeting Ben was Brittney, a beautiful medical sales rep, who decided to bring her grandmother to show how important family is to her. Ben loved it, but the other women were less than thrilled.
Worst line: “The verdict is in, and you are guilty – of being sexy.” –Erika, a law student whose line probably sounded better in her head
Most shocking: The woman who walked past Ben without saying a single word – rude!
Are you serious?: Samantha, who decided to walk in wearing her Miss Pacific Palisades sash
Really?: Amber Bacon asking if Ben would like “a taste of the bacon”
Most awkward: Jenna and Ben had an incredibly awkward – and long – silence, and then she completely screwed up quoting him from last season. It was nothing less than painful – and even more painful to watch her scrutinize herself over it to the other bachelorettes in the house.
Ben offered his First Impression Rose to Lindzi, the 27-year-old business development manager who arrived on her horse, Levi. She was also the bachelorette who Ben considered was producers “saving the best for last.” Honestly, if I had to pick a bachelorette for Ben after only one night, I would pick Lindzi; she seems down to Earth and on Ben’s level, and she was able to stay out of the drama on the first night, which can be a difficult task. Brad chose her for the first rose because he enjoyed their conversations and loved that she made him laugh. Of course as any “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette” fan knows, the true crazy hides in the closet on the first night, so Lindzi could be a terrible choice – but I hope that’s not the case!
At the rose ceremony, Ben offered 17 additional bachelorettes roses to stay in the house for another week. Roses went to: Blakeley, Brittney, Casey, Courtney, Elyse, Emily, Erika, Jaclyn, Jamie, Jenna, Jennifer, Kacie, Monica, Nicki, Rachel, Samantha and Shawn.