Monday January 5 marked the beginning of the 24th season of ABC’s The Bachelor™. With former Bachelorette™ contestant Peter Weber as the leading man, all viewers were told to “expect turbulence” (the first of countless pilot punchlines throughout the season). While slightly skeptical of Peter’s ability to dominate the silver screen for an entire season (I had been hoping for Tyler C. or Mike to be in his place), I went in with an open-mind, excited for the return of cat-fights, wacky dates, and of course, Chris Harrison.
Within the first five minutes of the episode, I realized that I had forgotten just how likeable Peter is as a person. As a viewer, you just find yourself rooting for him to find happiness, something that I have not always seen throughout Bachelor™ history (looking at you Juan Pablo Galavis and Arie Luyendyk). However, he seemed a little bit more camera shy than former Bachelors, such as fan-favorites Ben Higgins and Nick Viall, and that he was trying a little bit “too hard”. But, due to his general likability and apparent authenticity, I still was hopeful about this episode as well as the entirety of the season.
As girls began to arrive, the show delivered on its trademark absurdity, with some contestants opting out of a limo arrival for suitcases, model airplanes, and antique cars. While these were all notable mentions, my personal favorite introduction was Jenna who brought with her a cow named Ashley P., whose job was listed as a vegetarian.
Speaking of jobs, there is an irregular amount of flight attendants this season. So, sorry pageant queens and personal trainers, it looks like you have been outnumbered for once.
Also outnumbered for one of the first times in Bachelor history: the number of Laurens on a season. With only one contestant bearing the franchise’s most frequented name, the two Victorias of this season leave her in the minority.
But, all of these demographic observations were quickly forgotten when a familiar face stepped out of the limo. Wearing a gorgeous gown (seriously, who is her stylist?), outstepped America’s sweetheart Hannah Brown. I think the look of confusion on Peter’s face here mirrored the faces of those at home, everyone wondering why she’s back and what she wants out of this interaction. What at first raised eyebrows quickly turned into a thoughtful and sincere conversation, with Hannah returning the wings that Peter gifted to her when they met a year ago. While it was a sweet interaction, ending with Hannah wishing him luck finding his lifelong co-pilot, I have doubts it’s the last we will see of Alabama Hannah, her presence looming over all other girls in the house for the remainder of the episode.
Yet, with Hannah physically gone, the cocktail party could begin and true personalities could finally reveal themselves.
Immediately, Hannah Ann made herself known as a top contender, ready to interrupt, again and again. But, even though I think she will be around for a while, chances I refer to her as anything but “the one that looks like the girl from Starstruck” is slim to none.
Other girls that stood out were Kelley, Victoria P, and Madison. From first appearances, it seems likely that these girls could be in the running to make it to hometowns and possibly even receive the final rose.
My personal choice for who should be given the coveted rose is Kelley, but she is not my prediction for the winner of Peter’s season, however. That title goes to Hannah Ann. While she is not my favorite of the contestants, she reminds me the most of Hannah Brown, something that I think Peter will truly like in her.
Overall, the first episode definitely did not disappoint. I found myself truly leaning in to my favorite guilty pleasure and feeling tempted to change my Instagram bio to “cats and rats” and have my own jumbo paper airplane to use to interrupt conversations.
I’m excited to see what more Peter’s season will have in store and am more than ready for the unavoidable drama.
What Freeman students thought:
Grace Herring (11th): “It was good, I liked it. It was funny. I liked the one who was a nurse, I forget what her name was.”
Audrey Jones (9th): “I thought it was annoying that Hannah B came back and she already got two chances.”
Emma Hennesey (11th): “I don’t think Hannah B will come back to the house to stay.” Emma agrees with Maggie that Peter is “nice.”