January 02, 2012 08:11 PM by Candace Young
Tonight, the man Ashley Hebert rejected on The Bachelorette begins a new search for love on ABC’s The Bachelor. Ben Flajnik openly admits he had his heart broken, but says he has no regrets. He moved back to San Fransisco, focused on his winery, reconnected with friends, and finally decided he was ready to start again as The Bachelor. Keep reading for the highlights of the season premiere…
Chris Harrison opens the show talking about the raw, emotional moment when Ashley turned down Ben’s proposal on The Bachelorette, before showing a montage of the 25 women who will compete on Ben’s season of The Bachelor on ABC.
Ben Flajnik is ready to meet his ladies. He tells Chris Harrison he’s nervous. They go inside to chat. They rehash Ashley Hebert’s rejection, which Ben admits was humiliating and difficult to watch after the fact. He adds that he doesn’t regret the experience, however, as it enabled him to open up.
The first limo pulls up to The Bachelor mansion. A slightly nervous Rachel introduces herself. She’s followed by Erica, who tells Ben he’s sexy. Next up is Amber Bacon, who says her friends call her The Baconator, adding that she’s Canadian. Elise follows Amber – she asks Ben to find her tonight. Jenna emerges from the limo next – she’s nervous, and it’s a bit of an awkward exchange. She feels like she messed up and wishes she’d just said ‘hi’.
Next to meet Ben is Courtney, a model who says she has a big crush on him from his time on The Bachelorette. Emily is out next – she’s the epidemiologist who gives him his first kiss of the night. She’s followed by Samantha, a pageant girl. Casey is up next – she hugs Ben and says she’ll see him inside. Amber, the game hunter who is a fan of eating cow balls, is the next to meet The Bachelor. She heads inside, but comes back to tell him that in case he doesn’t believe in love at first sight – here’s his second chance! Holly emerges from the limo sporting a huge hat.
Jamie follows – she’s nervous. Ben murmurs that he’s loving the brunettes. She’s followed by Shira, who pretends to know about wine, but then is forced to admit she doesn’t, and a bachelorette who makes sure Ben knows she’s the only southerner on the show.
An elderly lady emerges from the limo and shocks Ben. She plays him for a moment, before introducing her granddaughter, Brittney. Ben says he loves grandmas. Brittany and her grandma go inside, where some of the other girls act catty. Ben has now met 15 women.
The next limo arrives at The Bachelor mansion. Ben meets Nicki who is very genuine. Dianna is next – she forgets what she was going to say and dissolves into giggles. She is followed by Jennifer who spouts some interesting numbers. Lyndsie the hilarious bachelorette with an English accent seems to puzzle Ben with her poem. The next girl walks right past him and goes on inside – Ben calls it a bold move and is intrigued. The next ladies out are Monica, Jaclyn, Shawn, and Kacie from Tennessee. Lindzi comes in on a horse, openly admitting she wants the First Impression Rose, and introduces her horse, Levi. Once inside, she becomes the object of some of the girls’ disdain.
Ben heads inside with Chris Harrison’s reminder to give the First Impression Rose to the girl he wants to stick around tonight. Ben talks to the girls about how nerve-wracking it all is, and toasts to getting to know all of them. The girls think he’s cute and sexy.
Outside, Ben talks one-on-one with Rachel first, followed by Nicki from Texas, who he thinks is nicely bubbly. Lindzi the horse girl chats with Ben next. He then moves to talk to Brittney and her grandma, Sheryl, who gives her blessing. Ben walks ‘grandma’ to the car, and she goes.
Chris Harrison pops in to remind Ben about the First Impression Rose – he’s stressed. Ben goes outside to kick a soccer ball around with Shawn, and then checks out Elyse’s tattoo. Ben does some dancing with the group and then Dianna wants to blindfold him. She feeds him candy and he has to guess what it is. Amber the game hunter sits and watches, unimpressed.
Next up, Emily tries to show off her rapping skills to Ben. He likes her attitude. Courtney takes Ben aside to remind him once again that she’s a model. She tells the camera that she doesn’t have to worry about the other girls – she’s better than them. Meanwhile, the first rivalry is developing between Monica and Jenna. Jenna walks away, and Monica appears to cuddle up to Blakely, telling her how beautiful and amazing she is…soon they’re holding hands.
Jamie is having one-on-one time with Ben. She tells him there is conflict already. Jenna sounds off to Rachel about Monica not liking her, and not being there for the right reasons. Rachel attempts to mediate, which is a disaster. Monica and Jenna have an awkward conversation where Jenna suggest maybe they can share a tampon sometime. Monica says she’s gross. Jenna cries that Monica hates her out of nowhere. Ben checks in, and Jenna tries to cover up that she’s upset. She messes up her conversation with him again and returns to crying.
Ben takes the First Impression Rose and walks away from the cocktail party. He ‘steals’ Lindzi, the girl who rode in on her horse and takes her outside. He gives her the rose not because of the horse, but because of the conversations they had.
Chris Harrison tells Ben it’s time to prepare for the first Rose Ceremony. In the washroom, Jenna is still crying! Perhaps someone had too much wine.
The Rose Ceremony
The other girls realize that Jenna is missing as they gather to wait for Ben. She finally appears, hoping that Ben will give her a chance. Chris tells them that this is the first of many stressful nights. He wishes them the best and introduces Ben.
Ben says they look stunning and thanks them for being there. Lindzi is safe. He offers roses to Jamie, Rachel, Blakely, Emily, Kacie, Casey, Brittney, Erika, Shawn, Nicki, Jennifer, Elyse, Samantha, Courtney, Jaclyn, Monica, and Jenna. The other bewildered girls say goodbye and leave.
We’re tickled that Ben kept the two girls who were into each other, and the crying girl – drama ahead! Unfortunately, he sent home Amber, the game hunter who wanted him to eat cow balls – now that could have been interesting!
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Photo Courtesy of ABC