Welcome to Benuary, a magical month wherein Prince Eric look-alike Ben Higgins finds his one true love on The Bachelor, otherwise known as that show you've been addicted to for literally decades. This season follows Kaitlyn Bristowe's reject as he casually dates 28 women at once, one of whom is a self-described "chicken enthusiast." We're slightly worried about some of Ben's prospects, but hopefully he'll pop the question to one lucky girl while Chris Harrison lurks in the background.
The January 4 premiere of The Bachelor didn't disappoint, with Ben meeting his herd of girlfriends, giving out the First Impression Rose and staring poetically off into the distance while contemplating his washboard abs. Keep reading to find out who he made a connection with, and who was rejected faster than you can say, "I do."
Meet Ben Higgins
Bachelor Nation got to know and love Ben during The Bachelorette, but so much has changed since Kaitlyn broke his heart. First of all, he's perfected the art of getting dressed while cameras linger on his areolae. Second of all, he's finally opening up about his backstory! Turns out the Warsaw, Indiana, native loves basketball, was the quarterback of his high school football team and had his first kiss in a movie theater, only to get immediately rejected. Ahem, try not to read into it.
When it comes to finding a bride, Ben wants a small-town girl: "I wanna find the woman that I can say, 'I love you,' and she can say, 'I love you back,' and I know that it's true, and it's real," Ben dreamily mused to cameras.
Keeping Up With Sean Lowe (and Some Other Dudes)
Former Bachelors Chris Soules, Jason Mesnick and Sean Lowe showed up at Bachelor Mansion to chat with Ben about how to keep #MaxChill while dating two dozen women at once. "Easiest way to piss off a group of girls is to kiss one of them in front of the rest of them," Sean said, while Chris helpfully added "kiss 'em all." Thanks for those valuable tips, guys!
Meet Ben's Sister Wives
While all of Ben's girlfriends are A+, a few are more "unique" than others. Here are some highlights:
Caila Quinn: Caila is a sales rep who ended her relationship when she fell for Ben on TV. So yeah, you might say she's dedicated.
Jubilee Sharpe: This war veteran is a total boss who shoots guns in her free time. More importantly, she said the iconic sentence: "I'm on a mission to win Ben's heart, and there will probably be some casualties." Slow claps.
Mandi Kremer: So, Mandi emerged from her limo with a giant rose on her head and proceeded to say, "Maybe if things go well tonight, you can pollinate it later." But wait, it gets even more traumatizing. Mandi forced Ben to undergo a dental exam in the middle of cocktail hour. Help.
Tiara Soleim: All you really need to know about Tiara is that she chills out with chickens all day, specifically one fluffy bird named Sheila who she described as her "one true love." Anyone want to place bets on whether Tiara was sent home this week?
JoJo Fletcher: JoJo may have caught Ben's eye, despite the fact that she showed up wearing a unicorn mask. "It's not frightening," he said, sounding totally frightened. "It's, like, normal."
Surprise, It's Becca and Amber (and They're Bringing Drama)
You probably remember Becca Tilley and Amber James from Chris Soules' season of The Bachelor, and now they're giving televised love another shot. Lest you forget (not that Chris Harrison would let you), Becca's saving her virginity for the right guy, which might just be Ben. "There just seems to be something about him that clicked with me," she said.
Ben seemed pretty thrilled by Becca and Amber's arrival, but their fellow contestants were not happy. "I think it's unfair that Becca's here," Lace Morris slurred. "We all know Becca has a one-up on everyone." She later added, "Who wants a f–king virgin?"
Lace Loses It
Unfortunately, Lace decided the best way to Ben's heart was to drunkenly proposition him for a second kiss (she planted one on him right out of the limo). Not only was she rejected, her convo with Ben was interrupted by Mandi — or as Lace called her, "That Bitch." Obviously, the night ended with Lace threatening to punch Mandi, as well as a highly awkward confrontation with Ben where she accused him of "not looking her in the eye." Fortunately, no one ended up in the hospital, but give it time, people. Give it time.
The First Impression Rose
While Lauren Bushnell succeeded in her mission to "land Ben's heart," Ben gave the First Impression Rose to news anchor Olivia Caridi. "Coming here, taking that risk, leaving a job, stepping into the situation is incredible," he said while she swooned. "You stood out to me tonight."
Rose Ceremony Eliminations
Give an *N Sync style bye-bye-bye to Breanne Rice, Tiara "I Heart Chickens" Soleim, Meagan Miller, Lauren Russell, Isabel Goodkind, Laura Esselman and Jessica Moser. We'll never forget you. Maybe.
The Bachelor airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. EST.
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