When Sean Lowe declared that he wanted to one day live in a "house full of love and laughter" in the opening monologue of The Bachelor, he probably wasn't referring to the sprawling mansion where he first meets the 26 women who will vie for his love — and a rose.
On Monday night's premiere episode, a bevy of beauties clamored out of limos to greet the beaming Texan hunk, but not all were able to make it through the first night without a few tears, some choice catty comments and even one or two drunken booty shakes in Sean's general direction.
But before he can dive head-first into this "crazy journey" of his, the Dallas insurance agent needs a little advice from the one man who can empathize with him in his plight to find a wife in front of millions of TV viewers: Arie Luyendyk, the other scorned finalist from Emily Maynard's season of The Bachelorette.
After cracking open a few beers and reminiscing about the time they both fell in love with the same woman, the gentlemen settle down to the more important matters of the day: How to deliver the all-important "Will you accept this rose" question, how to break up with someone gently, and how to kiss a woman properly.
"Not that you need a lot of help," Arie quips about the last point.
"Obviously," Sean shoots right back.
And the man really doesn't. Even before the nerve-wracking first cocktail party, the women are already head-over-heels in love with Sean and his all-American charm.
"I want to have a family because I'm very family-oriented," 24-year-old leasing consultant Tierra declares in her video testimonial before giving a flirty wink to the camera. "Hey future hubby."
The bubbly Las Vegas gal ends up getting the first rose of the night — just two sentences and a hug into her introduction to Sean outside the Bachelor mansion. In a random turn of events, the bachelor opts to leave Tierra hanging for a few minutes, dash off to retrieve a rose from a startled Chris Harrison, and stammer out a quick explanation while handing her the coveted prize.
"I like your energy," he manages to get out before moving on to the next leggy beauty.
Though some of the other women come up with memorable gimmicks — fellow Texan Robyn, 24, attempts to backflip her way over to Sean; bridal stylist Desiree, 26, brings pennies to toss into the fountain; and substitute teacher Lindsay, 24, emerges from the limo in a full wedding dress — none of them receive a rose right off the bat.
The only gal who looks like she might come close is Kacie B., one of the finalists on Ben Flajnik's season, who pulls up in her own separate limo last to surprise Sean.
And surprised he is, and clearly pleased. The poised southern gentleman looks positively delighted to see Kacie, whom he’d met prior to the show. The other women, however, aren't quite so excited.
In the words of Seattle graphic designer Catherine, 26, there is some serious "mean mugging" going on.
As the cocktail party begins, so does the drama. And in the end, Kacie B. turns out to be the least of the girls’ worries.
Sean continues the routine he began earlier in the night, handing out roses on a whim to women he feels a connection with and sending everyone else into a tizzy.
The women give each other side-eyes as they maneuver throughout the house, trying to carve out some time with Sean.
Perhaps the most heartfelt moment of the night, however, comes when advertising executive Sarah opens up to Sean about her condition: She was born with one arm.
"I'm very open to talking about it and I don't want to be perceived as disabled," she says. "I might be a little bit different, unique, but at the end of the day I have the same heart and I just don't want you to feel uncomfortable, and I just want to clear the air."
Lowe, ever the gentleman, waits patiently until she finishes before reassuring her that the news doesn’t faze him one bit.
"No, I don't feel uncomfortable at all," he says, "But I really appreciate you saying that."
Hairstylist Ashley P. decides to go the opposite route and calm her anxiety with a drink — or two or three — and winds up bumping and grinding in the air and dancing with no one in particular to get Sean's attention. It probably doesn't help her case that she reveals to Sean that she's already told her mother that he's the one she’s going to marry.
"I brought my rape whistle just in case," the bachelor chuckles nervously as Ashley whips out a tie from her bra, to be used for Fifty Shades of Grey-esque bondage.
At least Ashley's not the only one throwing herself sloppily at Sean. Lindsay in the wedding dress isn’t too far behind on the drunkenness scale, and the giggly substitute teacher manages to convince Sean to dance with her while she tries to pull him in for a kiss.
"Oh, are you more traditional?" she slurs as he backs away awkwardly.
"Maybe a little bit more than you are," he responds diplomatically before guiding her back into the house.
But despite her disastrous attempt to make a move on the bachelor, Lindsay is still awarded a rose at the ceremony that night. Drunken Ashley, unfortunately, is not.
"Sean, this is what you're missing out on," she laughs as she cavorts around the driveway of the mansion after exiting the show.
Also out for the first night are journalist Lauren, Bachelor Pad alum Paige, cruise performer Kelly, sultry fashion model Ashley H. and cosmetics consultant Jackie.
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