Ben Higgins, last season's The Bachelorette contestant who had his heart broken by Kaitlyn Bristowe, commenced on his journey for another chance at love Monday night, as 28 women stepped out of a limo to meet him and try to win his heart for at least the night in order to remain longer, and hopefully become his future wife.
The episode opens up, of course, with some background on Ben. Ben Higgins, 26, is a small town boy from Warsaw, Indiana. He is portrayed as a down-to-earth kind of guy. He's a software salesman who is into athletics and loves his parents. He chats with previous contestants of The Bachelor, Sean Lowe (Season 17), Jason Mesnick (Season 13), and Chris Soules (Season 19). They give him tips to help him deal with all that he has to face as the one who will make the decisions.
One by one, except the twins, the girls step out of the limos to greet their potential future spouse. The women all want to make a lasting first impression on Ben, and some were pretty memorable. JoJo Fletcher makes her impression on Ben with a unicorn head. Lace surprises him by telling him to close his eyes, and she lays the first kiss on him for the season. Maegan wants to show off her Texas style by bringing her real, live little pony, Huey, to the mansion. Leah wanted to share her love of football with Ben and hiked up her dress so she could hike the ball to him. Turns out that they both love the Denver Broncos (both live in Denver), so they could have something going on there. Another of the girls, Jackie, gave Ben a "save the date" card. The date on the card was March 14th (the day of the finale). The hashtag on the card read "ToHigginsAndToHold."
Ben makes a call home to his parents to check in, which we haven't seen before in previous seasons. Perhaps they are trying to portray further Ben as a "Momma's Boy." The getting to know you sessions start, and a little awkwardly at that, with Mandi(28), a dentist, sitting on his lap while giving him an examination of his teeth, and telling him that he needs to floss if he wants to make out. They are not shown kissing, although they apparently do so after she gives him his "exam."
Later, two other women show up in a limo, greeted by Chris Harrison. They are former contestants Becca Tilley and Amber James, who were both on Chris Soules' season. Amber wants another chance because she was denied a chance with Chris Soules' early on in the season. Becca just thinks that Ben could be the one. "I'll know more when I actually meet him," she says. Of course, women start talking about how unfair it is that they get to come back and try again.
More women try and get their time to spend with Ben, more jealousy, and it seems that Lace might be the drama factor. She tries to get Ben to give her a better kiss. He makes an excuse that he doesn't want to focus on the physical part right now. Lace is obviously drunk throughout the night- her speech slurred, releasing many reasons for the censored beeps to go off, asking for more wine, and generally making a fool of herself.
Chris Harrison gives Ben the first impression rose to hand out, and it goes to Olivia. Ben mentioned in The Bachelor Live episode after the show that he looked for how conversations flowed when choosing his girls, and he tells Olivia that their conversation meant a lot to him.
The end of the night comes, and the rest of the roses go to Lauren B., LB, Caila, Amber, Jami, Jennifer, Jubilee, Amanda, JoJO, Leah, Rachel, Sam, Jackie, Haley, Emily, Shushanna, Lauren H., Becca, and Mandi, and after a suspenseful commercial break, the final rose for the night given to Lace.
Lace's antics for the night do not end, though, and her drama shines through. She complains privately to Ben that he didn't look at her enough during the rose ceremony. She also threatened Mandi that she would punch her- angry that Mandy interrupted her conversation with Ben.
For the next three weeks, we will be treated to a live aftershow with Chris Harrison. Which will be holding place for the show Castle. In this week's episode, Abigail Breslin made a guest appearance via a live feed. She is a fan of the show. Her question to Ben was why he kept calling the girls "young women." Ben responded that he was trying to mix it up a little instead of using the same words over and over, and it didn't come out right.
Another fan who called in asked him if the twins scared him. He answered that they did not. He and Chris discussed how they told them apart. Part way through the season, one of the twins broke her thumb, so the easy way to tell them apart was that one wore a cast.
Some clips for "This Week in Bachelor History" were shown. Brad Womack was slapped by Chantal O'Brien in his 2010 season. "That's from every woman in America!" she said- referring to his jilting of the two women at the end of his 2007 season. Also shown was Bachelor Jessie Palmer, who said the wrong name during his 1st Rose Ceremony, and had to take it back, but offered the girl a chance to stay anyway. Juan Pablo caused confusion on his 1st night because of his accent, and a girl who misheard and thought he called her name.
They had polls during the show, where viewers could vote on various things. The most memorable moment from the limo introductions went to the live horse with 37%. When asked if Ben should have taken Lace's rose back, an overwhelming 96% voted that he should have. Maybe the 4% was her family and friends.
Chris Harrison also announced some engagements. Nikki Ferrell is engaged- not to Juan Pablo, who she was engaged to at the end of their season. Whitney Bischoff from Chris Soules' season is also engaged. Shawn and Kaitlyn from last season's The Bachelorette were on. They said that Shawn and Ben were still good friends. Chris asked them when we would hear about a wedding. Kaitlyn joked that it would be April 1st. No, they don't have a date set yet. They don't want to rush things.
Stay tuned for next week to see what other drama can happen with Bachelor Ben and his remaining ladies, as they will do two group dates and an individual date in the upcoming episode. The second episode will air Monday, January 11th on ABC. The Bachelor Season 20 full episode 1 video can be watched online here.