‘The Bachelor’ Season 21 Premiere Recap: Nick Viall Meets His Ladies — and Kisses Two!

Get your brackets ready because it’s time for a certain Bachelor Nation recurring character to find requited love! Nick Viall, the 36-year-old we first met on The Bachelorette season 10, made his debut as the Bachelor on the Monday, January 2, episode. 

Watch all the highlights above, and read Us Weekly's by-the-minute recap of The Bachelor's season 21 premiere to find out who Nick kissed and who he sent home. (Be sure to start at the bottom to get it in chronological order.)

10:00 p.m. ET: And here’s what we have to look forward to this season:

— Jaimi telling Nick about her ex-girlfriend

— Nick becoming the sixth Backstreet Boy

— Sexual aggression

— Liz telling Christen, the virgin, that she and Nick have had sex

— Nick getting slapped hard

— Corinne and her “platinum vagine” showing up at Nick’s room, solely with the intention of having sex with him

— Nick contemplating whether this whole thing was a mistake

— A definite proposal at the end

9:50 p.m. ET: Here are the women he kept, in order: Vanessa, Danielle L., Christen, Astrid, Corinne, Elizabeth, Jasmine G., Raven, Kristina, Danielle M., Sarah, Josephine, Lacey, Taylor, Alexis, Hailey, Whitney, Dominique, Jaimi, Brittany and Liz.

In less happy news, Olivia, Angela, Lauren, Briana, Ida Marie, Jasmine B., Michelle and Susannah all went home as the sun came up. Well, ladies, there’s always Bachelor in Paradise.

9:47 p.m. ET: All 30 women filed into the rose ceremony. Alexis was still in her shark costume, already making her a winner in our book. Meanwhile, Nick, following first-night tradition, told Chris Harrison that he was “not looking forward to this part.”

9:44 p.m. ET: Nick announced that it was decision time and stepped out to mull over which of his 30 women will be staying in the mansion that night.

9:38 p.m. ET: Nick told Rachel he was taken by her “aura” and that it seemed obvious that he should give the very first rose to her. She accepted, and they kissed, making Rachel the second woman he kissed on his first night.

9:34 p.m. ET: Even though tender music played while Nick was having a lovely conversation with Danielle M., making us think they were falling in love on the spot, Nick picked another woman as the recipient for the first impression rose. And that woman was … Rachel!

9:28 p.m. ET: At long last, Nick went up to Liz. She was pleasantly surprised that he remembered her, and Nick was unpleasantly surprised that she thought he’d forget someone he’d had sex with. (It should be noted that Nick never stated that he was intimate with Liz; she did. Andi would be proud.) Liz insisted she wasn’t there because he’s “the Bachelor,” but Nick hit back with skepticism about her being there for the “right reasons,” which is the biggest burn you can give someone inside the Bachelor mansion. (Speaking of which, click here to read our exclusive interview with the man whose family lives in the mansion!)

It got even worse when Liz told Nick she had a preconceived notion about who he was, and that changed when she saw him on Bachelor in Paradise, which Nick recalled took place after they met in real life. Nick could not get away from the conversation quickly enough after another woman interrupted them. Yikes.

9:24 p.m. ET: While all the women were judging Corinne’s fast-and-loose lifestyle, Liz was like, “I kissed him nine months ago,” and dropped the mic.

Nick was trying to have some meaningful conversations while the women were starting to fight for his time. Jasmine G. was the first to shed tears when Nick couldn’t seem to find a spare moment for her. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the woman who is the first to cry over our "fourth time’s a charm" Bachelor is a dancer for a pro basketball team. Nick’s stock has never been higher.

After much debate among the women, Nick told Alexis that she is, in fact, in a shark costume. She didn’t believe him, which Nick considered “a concern.” Alexis regretted her outfit choice and asked to take it off. Nick said absolutely not and jokingly–not jokingly threatened to send her home if she changed.

9:16 p.m. ET: Now that the pressure was on, Corinne interrupted a very tender moment between Vanessa and Nick, with Corinne telling the camera that she wants Nick. Like, now. She kissed him in view of all the other women, marking his first smooch of the season.

9:05 p.m. ET: With the introductions out of the way, Nick addressed all 30 of the women inside. He still looked a little shell-shocked and stumbled over his words, but all the women thought that was, like, totally cute.

After some mingling, a collective hush came over the room as Chris brought out the first impression rose. “My heart is in my ass now,” Taylor described, which is a sentiment we don’t quite understand but truly appreciate.

9:00 p.m. ET: Jasmine B., 25, a flight attendant in Tacoma, Washington, stepped out in the 100th red dress of the night and caused mass panic among the other ladies in red.

Whitney, 25, a Pilates instructor in Chanhassen, Minnesota, also wore red. You have to be kidding!

Lacey, 25, a digital marketing manager in Manhattan, rode in on a camel and made a joke about humping. Every woman in the house raged with jealousy.

Alexis stepped out of the limo in a shark costume and called it "embarrassing." More embarrassing is that she thought it was a dolphin costume. But, hey, at least she wasn’t in a red dress.

8:57 p.m. ET: Jaimi, 28, a chef from New Orleans, told Nick he has balls and so does she. Much to Nick’s relief, hers were in the form of a nose ring.

Briana, 28, a surgical unit nurse from Salt Lake City, checked Nick’s heartbeat.

Susannah, 26, an account manager from San Diego, gave Nick his first-ever beard massage.

Josephine told Nick that even though he’s had unsuccessful relationships in the past, he’s a wiener in her book; then she opened a book with an uncooked hot dog inside. She asked, “Do you wanna, like, Lady and the Tramp it?” They did, and the world cringed in response.

Brittany, 26, a travel nurse in Santa Monica, tried to give Nick a rectal exam. They thankfully cut the camera before we could see whether she went through with it.

8:54 p.m. ET: And it's confirmed: Nick did recognize Liz. He coyly told Chris Harrison, “I think I met her before at Jade and Tanner’s wedding…” Chris pretended to be shocked, but we all know he is omnipotent. Nick seemed weirded out that Liz didn’t say anything about it.

Corinne arrived, and Nick seemed relieved that the night didn’t turn into a parade of his past dalliances.

Vanessa became the second woman to introduce herself to Nick in a different language, this time French. Nick didn’t understand, but was so impressed that he called her a “keeper.” That’s basically one rose down.

Danielle M. gave Nick a bottle of homemade syrup and they got in their first fight over who makes better French toast.

Next Raven, in all her country glory, taught Nick how to call the hogs.

8:47 p.m. ET: Dominique, 25, a restaurant server in Los Angeles, bonded with Nick over their mutual excitement.

Ida Marie, 23, a sales manager from Harlingen, Texas, got the full up-and-down glance from a seriously tongue-tied Nick.

Olivia, 25, an apparel sales rep from Anchorage, slayed in a fur coat and gave Nick an "Eskimo kiss."

Sarah, 26, a grade school teacher from Newport Beach, California, ran up to the mansion in sneakers and a gown, claiming to also be a “runner-up.” Nick liked the joke, and we liked that Sarah said, “Oh, my God, there’s food!” as she walked inside.

Next was Jasmine G., 29, a pro basketball dancer from San Francisco, with jeweler Neil Lane as her plus one. Neil brought her choices of engagement rings, which was either admirable or uncomfortable — we can’t decide.

Hailey, 23, a photographer from Vancouver, told Nick she doesn’t wear underwear.

Astrid, 26, a plastic surgery office manager from Tampa, Florida, asked Nick in German whether he saw her breasts and told him they were real. He liked it, but didn’t understand it.

Then there was Liz. Nick froze when he saw her, definitely recognizing her. Even though he didn’t ask her name or introduce himself, Liz still thought Nick didn’t remember her and was oddly upbeat about the “mystery” of it all.

8:40 p.m. ET: Finally, we’re at the Bachelor mansion. Nick got out of his limo, huge smile on his face, and told Chris Harrison that he hopes the women come in with a clean slate and open mind. Meanwhile, the women in their limo on the way to the mansion discussed the opinions they already had of Nick.

Danielle L. got out first. Nick did a little move to show he’s loose, but instead looked incredibly nervous and awkward. He definitely checked her out and called her “beautiful” as she walked away.

Next came Elizabeth, 24, a marketing manager from Dallas, in a white dress, which was definitely not subtly hinting at anything in particular.

Rachel followed and told Nick she set up her fantasy teams before coming, but we don't really care unless she was referring to her Bachelor Fantasy League.

Christen, 25, a wedding videographer from Tulsa and our faith-based virgin (as we learned on The Bachelor: Countdown to Nick), stepped out of the limo dancing behind a foldable fan that matched her yellow dress. She asked Nick how crazy he thinks she is, and he said not at all. Then she told him she felt like she was meeting a celebrity, she’d been watching him on TV and he was taller than she thought. Perhaps Nick spoke to soon?

Taylor came next and told Nick her girlfriends all think he’s a piece of
s–t, which is a great start to a relationship.

Kristina, 24, a dental hygienist from Lexington, Kentucky, seemed like a breath of fresh normal after Taylor.

Next came Angela, 26, a model from Greenville, South Carolina, who was the first to insist that she wouldn’t be competing on The Bachelor if the Bachelor hadn’t been Nick.

Lauren, 30, a law school grad from Naples, Florida, made a great joke about their last names combining to mean a “disgusting slut.” If that isn’t a divine sign that they’re meant to be, we don’t know what is.

Michelle, 24, a food truck owner in Los Angeles, wanted to make lemonade from Nick’s lemons.

8:31 p.m. ET: Time to meet some ladies! Chris Harrison described them as “interesting,” which never sounds promising. In order of intro packages:

Rachel, 31, an attorney from Dallas, demonstrated her ability to separate work from play by dancing with her vacuum.

Danielle L., 27, a small business owner in Los Angeles, opened her first nail salon at the age of 23 and now owns three.

Vanessa, 28, a special education teacher in Montreal, speaks three languages — English, French and Italian — and makes the best lasagna, according to her mom.

Josephine, 24, a registered nurse from Santa Cruz, California, admitted that “it does take a certain kind of guy to handle my energy,” which is a decent indication that Josephine will be the eccentric one this season.

Raven, 25, a boutique owner from Hoxie, Arkansas (population: 2,780), was more than a little bit country as she rode an ATV in cutoff jorts.

Corinne, 24, a multimillion-dollar business owner in Miami, lives with her family, works with her family, still has a nanny and described herself as a “serious businesswoman.” It all seemed to add up.

Alexis, 23, an aspiring dolphin trainer from Secaucus, New Jersey, had a thick Jersey accent, and we can only hope a Jersey feistiness to match. Probably not, though, since she admitted to wearing a casual sumo suit to go to CVS.

Danielle M., 31, a neonatal intensive-care nurse in Nashville, subtly showed off that she’s mother-of-Nick’s-kids material as she checked a sweet baby’s heartbeat.

Taylor, 23, a mental health counselor from Seattle, already analyzed Nick based on his previous seasons, so we’re eager to see where this goes.

Liz, 29, a doula in Las Vegas, is the one we’ve all heard about. Liz was Jade Roper’s maid of honor as she married Tanner Tolbert, which is where Liz met Nick, and talked to him, and danced with him, and had a lot of alcohol with him, and … she pleaded the fifth. She declined to give Nick her phone number that night, instead opting to surprise him when she stepped out of the limo. Nothing could go wrong here.

8:19 p.m. ET: After promising to give America a happy ending, which we will definitely hold him to, Nick met up with his Bachelor Brethren Sean Lowe, Chris Soules and Ben Higgins.

Sean told Nick that people didn’t like him, but that Paradise was his “redemption tour.” Chris cracked jokes and giggled. Ben begged Nick to be himself, especially compared to the not-himself character he was on Andi’s season. They all toasted to the fourth time being a charm, you know, since the third time was long gone.

8:10 p.m. ET: Nick’s first interview featured him calling himself "the Bachelor" over and over again. That is what it looks like when someone is living his dream, and it’s very endearing. Also endearing was seeing Nick strip down and take a shower.

Then Nick listed the flaws he’s noticed after watching himself on TV, a horrifying thing to have to do. Since we can’t resist, here are Nick’s flaws, according to him:

1. He mumbles.

2. He doesn’t make great eye contact.

3. He leans on his hand instead of sitting like a normal person.

4. He’s longwinded.

5. “And that’s just basic stuff — like, I’m not even talking about love at this point.”

Nick’s adorable little sister Bella (who looked much older than she did two years ago when she asked Andi hard-hitting questions during their hometown date) confirmed Nick’s flaws and gave him advice before he headed to the Bachelor mansion, because who doesn’t need dating advice from their kid sis?

8 p.m. ET: Get your brackets ready because it’s time for a certain Bachelor Nation recurring character to find requited love! Nick Viall, the 36-year-old we first met on The Bachelorette season 10, makes his debut as The Bachelor on the Monday, January 2, episode. Join Us Weekly for our live updates of the ABC show as the episode unfolds.

For anyone tuning in for the first time, here’s what you missed:

We first met our reigning Bachelor when he was vying for Andi Dorfman’s affections. He fell in love, “made love” and ultimately was the last suitor Andi sent home before getting engaged to Nick’s nemesis, Josh Murray. (Andi and Josh’s engagement ended eight months after the proposal.)

Heartbroken and heart-mended, the following Bachelorette, Kaitlyn Bristowe, caught Nick’s eye, and he showed up four weeks into her journey, causing a slight rift among the other men vying for her heart. For the second time, our Bachelor watched his Bachelorette get engaged from the runner-up viewpoint, this time to Shawn Booth. (Kaitlyn and Shawn are still happily engaged.)

Tired of being second-best, Nick joined season 3 of Bachelor in Paradise, where there was no such thing as a second-place finish. Unfortunately for him, his nemesis Josh was also in Paradise, and their clash was our Bachelor’s most memorable interaction on the show, although his budding relationship with Jen Saviano was a close second.

Nick’s connection with Jen fizzled out after Paradise, leaving our Bachelor single and ready to mingle with his 30 new girlfriends.

Be sure to refresh this post throughout the episode for by-the-minute updates! The Bachelor airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET. 

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