‘The Bachelorette’ Season 12 Premiere Recap: JoJo Fletcher Meets Her Guys — and Gets Her First Kiss!


Gather the nearest available rose and frolic gleefully in its petals, because the time has come to boldly go where we go literally every single year: the romantic love shack that is Bachelor Mansion. Season 12 of The Bachelorette follows Ben Higgins‘ runner-up, JoJo Fletcher, who seems absolutely thrilled to be dating two dozen men — one of whom is a self-described “hipster.” (Because apparently that’s a job now!)

The Monday, May 23, premiere of JoJo’s season was the gift that keeps on giving, and we’re more than willing to bet that she’s going to walk away with a) a giant ring on her finger, b) a marriage proposal, and c) several restraining orders. 

Catching Up With JoJo Fletcher

Last time we saw JoJo, she was being rejected by Ben, who dropped the L-word, only to crush her spirit. It was, to put it nicely, the hottest mess ever. (You know, other than the time Ben’s entire squad of girlfriends got attacked by swimming pigs.)

Anyway, JoJo had zero effs to give about Ben during her premiere, and seemed ready to move on. “I’m so ready for love,” she mused in between wandering the beach in a bikini and starring woefully at random plants. “I hope that on that final day, there’s someone that I love more than anyone, down on one knee proposing to me … Bring on the men!”

Puckering Up With Ali, Desiree and Kaitlyn

Former Bachelorettes Ali Fedotowsky, Desiree Hartsock and Kaitlyn Bristowe showed up to give JoJo advice on dating a herd of hunks, and they had some wise things to say about kissing on night one. “Why wouldn’t you?” Kaitlyn said. “You’re trying to find a husband, [and] you’re not gonna kiss somebody?”

JoJo Fletcher
JoJo Fletcher ABC/Craig Sjodin

Meet JoJo’s Band of Boyfriends

While all of JoJo’s boyfriends are special flowers that yearn to bloom all over this recap, there were a few bros who deserve extra attention. Here’s who we have our eye on:

Evan: So, Evan is a former pastor and current erectile dysfunction specialist who uttered the sentence, “A lot of what I do is pumping up my guys and getting them excited. It’s a hard business.” That is all.

Luke: This Texas cattle rancher was this close to winning JoJo’s First Impression Rose, and we can see why. Not only did he ride in on a unicorn named Coconut (praying for you, friend), he said the following immortal musing: “Before I could walk, I was feeding cattle out the back of a pickup truck.”

Jonathan: Poor Jonathan showed up wearing a kilt, and then decided this was a good way to hit on JoJo: “I’m half Chinese. I’m half Scottish. But luckily for me, I’m half Scottish below the waist.” Wow, how not-at-all creepy and totally romantic!

Brandon: We’d like to issue a special welcome to Brandon, mostly because of how confused he is. Literally, this is what he said to JoJo upon meeting her: “I have no idea … I have nothing … I know nothing about you. Whatsoever.”

Saint Nick: Um, Nick came dressed up as Santa and was somehow not eliminated. JoJo even sat on his lap and flirted with him! It was horrifying, Christmas is ruined, our childhood memories have been sullied, etc.

James S.: For some mysterious reason, the Bachelorette producers let a fanboy onto the show. As in, James S. literally spends his time talking to a picture of Chris Harrison. It’s like, get in line, friend.

Daniel: Daniel is a favorite contestant of the season, no question, only because he attempted to make a “damn, Daniel” joke and completely failed due to JoJo not using the internet. TFW you’re trying to explain a teenager’s viral videos and everyone is like *crickets*.

Chad: JoJo was blown away by Chad’s sexiness, but watch out: This guy was giving off major evil villain vibes during his on-camera interviews. He even said, “If I wanted her, I’ll have her,” regarding JoJo, which is just a huge nope. 

JoJo Fletcher
JoJo Fletcher ABC/Rick Rowell

Jake Pavelka Crashes the Party

Jake Pavelka, a man who loves the spotlight, felt the need to make an appearance at JoJo’s inaugural Rose Ceremony — but fear not, he wasn’t there to find love. He simply wanted to offer JoJo (a close family pal) some friendly good luck wishes. “For a long time, I have always wanted to … I guess what I am trying to say is, I want love,” Jake said as JoJo panic-smiled at him. “For you. And I want you to find love here. And I believe it’s in that room.” Cool, thanks for the update, Jake!

Damn, Daniel, Back at It Again with the Epic Fails

Yikes. Poor Daniel got drunk on a combination of fireballs and tequilas and decided to a) poke Evan’s belly button, b) yell, “let’s get naked!” and c) hurl himself into the pool via the artful method of “belly flop.” It was NAGL.

The good news is a bunch of other men got drunk, too — including Vinny, who sidled up to JoJo and was all, “I will never let you beg for my love on the bathroom floor.” Modern day Shakespeare alert!

JoJo Fletcher
JoJo Fletcher ABC/Rick Rowell

The First Impression Rose

Despite her pool of guys being completely drunk and inept, JoJo made a major connection with Jordan Rodgers, who you might know as Aaron Rodgers‘ little brother. The former NFL player snagged the Bachelorette’s First Impression Rose, and they even kissed. “I’m really excited about you, and I feel very comfortable with you,” JoJo told her chosen one. “So I feel like tonight, this belongs to you.” (P.S. JoJo also had this to say about Jordan: “His butt. His butt.” )

JoJo Fletcher and Chad
JoJo Fletcher and Chad ABC/Rick Rowell

The Rose Ceremony Eliminations

Bye forever! JoJo bid a fond farewell to Jake, Jonathan, Sal, Peter, Coley, and Nick S. How Daniel managed to stay in the game is a mystery to us all.

Tell Us: Do you think JoJo made the right call with her First Impression Rose?

The Bachelorette airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.

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