Let The Bachelorette bloodbath began! Chris Harrison kicked off the latest season of the ABC reality hit with a (rather flimsy) explanation for why the powers that be decided to make two hopeful women jockey to become the star of the latest season.
In a nutshell, the host extraordinaire claimed that the potential suitors this year were divided between whether they could see themselves falling in love with Chris Soules castoffs Kaitlyn Bristowe, 29, or Britt Nilsson, 28, so the show opted to let the men make the final call. Why they couldn't just find 25 single men who wanted to date whichever woman had already been selected is still a mystery.
Once Harrison had established that it was completely logical to force two women to compete for the coveted position, the show shifted gears to inform viewers about the significant differences between the two potential Bachelorettes.
Kaitlyn vs. Britt
Britt bubbled with enthusiasm as she strutted around Los Angeles and went on a (totally not at all staged!) jog. She took a moment to address those who might not be on board with her based on how she came off during last season of The Bachelor by insisting her motives were and are pure. "I was falling in love and I want love more than anything," she mused. "I totally think it can happen this way."
For her part, Kaitlyn seemed more scared than enthusiastic. "This is a terrifying thing for me," she admitted as she pranced around in a teensy bikini on the beach (no workout for her, though). A quick chat with her mom seemed to calm her nerves, however, so even though she still seemed nervous, she also seemed ready for whatever awaited her.
After recapping what each woman was like, focus shifted to their suitors. The group this season is full of variety and includes a songwriter, a New Age "healer," a personal trainer, a southern gentleman, a welder, an auto industry exec, and, yes, a stripper (though, to be fair, he did just complete law school and is currently studying for the bar). Also included in some of their profiles was which woman had initially caught each guy's attention. The songwriter, auto industry exec, and stripper all like Britt. The Southern gentleman and welder prefer Kaitlyn. The healer kept that information to himself, and the personal trainer could see himself pursuing both.
First Meeting Between the Men… and the Two Women
Chris broke the ice between Kaitlyn and Britt by acknowledging that the situation was a little awkward. Thank you, Captain Obvious. "It's been a little bit rough for me," Kaitlyn revealed before Britt jumped in to say that she was "really excited." It's also probably worth noting that Britt wore what looked an awful lot like a wedding dress for this first night and kept mentioning how much she was hoping to meet her husband here. In other words, she was clearly in it to win it.
At first it seemed that Britt's confidence was well placed, as guy after guy piled out of the limo and beelined right for her. As the night wore on, however, the tides shifted a bit. More guys went for Kaitlyn first. A few brought Kaitlyn gifts (balloons and a very unsanitary looking container of homemade moonshine, but still). And one dude Britt was clearly really into told Kaitlyn point-blank that she was the reason he was here. Ouch.
Perhaps fueled by her upswing, about 75 percent of the way through these meetings, Kaitlyn left Britt standing outside alone and bolted inside the mansion to tell the guys they were "killing it." Needless to say, Britt was none too pleased with Kaitlyn's power play and said she felt her competitor was "cheating." Britt reiterated that she, unlike Kaitlyn, felt it was important to play by the rules. (We didn't get that impression last season on The Bachelor, but hey, people change.) Whether Kaitlyn's bold move paid off, however, remains to be seen.
First Man Sent Home
Once inside, the women got to work canoodling with as many men as possible, hoping to make enough connections to earn the right to stay. One potential suitor named Ryan, however, seemed far more interested in the free booze than Kaitlyn or Britt. Within a short time he managed to heckle another guy for arriving in a cupcake car (which he may have deserved, but still), grab Kaitlyn's butt, and get sent home by Harrison. This means that whichever lucky lady moves on to become the bona fide Bachelorette will only have 24 men vying for her affection.
Voting Room Opens
Near the end of the episode, Harrison said the "voting room" was open and told the men that whenever they felt ready, they should go drop a rose in the box with the name of the woman they would like to see become the Bachelorette. Even though everyone involved knew exactly what they were getting into, somehow Harrison's announcement came as a shock. While a few of the men reveled in their temporary power (which was just charming), the women were ready for this tap dance to be over and kicked their campaigns into high gear.
Of course, though, this awkwardness isn't over until it's over… which is why you have to tune in Tuesday, May 19 at 8 p.m. ET to find out which woman will be looking for love during season 11.
Tell Us: Do you think Britt or Kaitlyn should be the Bachelorette? Which guys did you like the best?
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