'The Bachelor' premiere recap: Nick Viall eliminates 8 bachelorettes, gets surprised by woman from his past
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 01/03/2017
The Bachelor season starring Nick Viall kicked off with some memorable first impressions and the elimination of a whopping eight bachelorettes during Monday night's Season 11 premiere on ABC.
At the first Rose Ceremony of the season, the following women were denied roses from Nick and therefore ousted from the running for his heart: Lauren Hussey, a 30-year-old law school graduate from Naples, FL; Michelle Ramkissoon, a 24-year-old food truck owner from Los Angeles, CA; and Olivia Burnette, a 25-year-old apparel sales representative from Nashville, TN.
The Bachelor broadcast began with Nick telling the cameras that becoming the Bachelor star was a shock to the world but also to himself. The 36-year-old former software salesman from Wisconsin admitted he's definitely not perfect, like when it comes to his mumbling problem or maintaining eye contact with a woman.
Nick's biggest fear going into this season was having his heart broken again after being dumped onThe Bachelorette twice and failing to find love on the Summer 2016 edition of Bachelor in Paradise. Nick knew that being the Bachelor didn't make his heart safe.
Nick's family was very excited about him potentially finding "the one." His little sister Bella even gave him some advice, telling the Bachelor to let out his thoughts, be open and pick the girls up in cool rides.
"I really hope I don't [mess] it up. I could not be more grateful... I'm not going to stop until I find that one person I could spend the rest of my life with," Nick told the cameras.
"I'd definitely prefer not to be the first Bachelor rejected at the end of all of this, but I have to be willing to have my heart broken again in order to find love. I'm never going to give up. I don't care how many times I have to try. I'm going to give America a happy ending."
AtThe Bachelor mansion in Los Angeles, Nick then sat down with former Bachelors Ben Higgins, Chris Soules and Sean Lowe. Both Sean and Ben are still in happy relationships with the women they had selected at the end of their journeys on the show.
Sean told Nick that he had a redemptive story on Paradise because he was more mellow and humble. The guys agreed Nick had transformed from a villain to someone people can relate to.
Nick was nervous about Night 1 despite his prior experiences on the franchise. He feared the process wouldn't work, but Ben advised him to simply be himself and not change for anything or anyone.
Intro packages then played of several bachelorettes to give viewers a taste of what their lives are like at home. Rachel Lindsay, a 31-year-old attorney from Dallas, TX, was shown working on a case and then going home to vacuum while blasting music and dancing. Rachel believes a connection can be felt at first sight, but not love. She wants a big family and thinks Nick is adorable.
Danielle "Lo" Lombard, a 27-year-old small business owner from Los Angeles, CA, currently owns three businesses after initially opening and running a nail salon. She said her next challenge is to settle down and build a relationship.
Vanessa Grimaldi, a 29-year-old special education teacher from Montreal, Quebec, Canada, learned English and French in school but grew up speaking Italian in her family. She finds her job very rewarding and said she was put on earth to be a teacher and a mom. Vanessa liked how honest and genuine Nick seemed to be.
Josephine Tutman, a 24-year-old unemployed nurse from Santa Cruz, CA, loves taking care of people but admitted she's lonely at home with her cat. Josephine hoped Nick would appreciate and understand her energy and wacky sense of humor.
Raven Gates, a 25-year-old fashion boutique owner from Hoxie, AR, enjoys "mudding" and shooting guns. She explained that her family in Arkansas is all about faith, family and football. She also owns a clothing boutique.
Corinne Olympios, a 24-year-old business owner from Miami, FL, lives and works with her family. She has a nanny named Raquel and runs her father's multi-million dollar business. Corinne prides herself on doing and saying what she wants and feels, regardless of what others think, just like Nick.
Alexis Waters, a 23-year-old aspiring dolphin trainer from Secaucus, NJ, is a goofball who's obsessed with dolphins. She loves to have fun and needs a man who will appreciate her "weirdness."
Danielle M. said she was meant to be a nurse, and then Taylor Nolan, a 23-year-old mental health counselor from Seattle, WA, revealed she has her Master's Degree. Taylor's mother is white and her biological father is black, so she's always had a tough time finding a solid group of girlfriends. She wants to love and be loved.
And then there was Elizabeth "Liz" Sandoz, a 29-year-old doula from Las Vegas, NV, who met Nick at Jade Roper and Tanner Tolbert's wedding for which she had served as the maid of honor. Liz revealed the pair drank a lot of alcohol that night and all-but confessed to having sex with the Bachelor.
Liz said Nick asked for her phone number after the party but she declined to give it to him, thinking Nick was only trying to be polite and didn't really have interest in pursuing a relationship with her. Liz wondered if Nick would remember her right off the bat.
Before the bachelorettes arrived at the mansion, Nick told host Chris Harrison he hoped the women would give him a clean slate and enter the process with an open mind since some of them may have misconceptions about him.
The limos then began arriving one by one. Nick immediately thought Danielle L. was beautiful and said, "Wow," while checking out her black, low-cut dress. Taylor said her friends didn't want her to go on the show because they think Nick is a "complete piece of sh-t." After an awkward pause, Taylor insisted she didn't agree with her friends, but Nick appeared perplexed and slightly turned off.
Olivia gave Nick an Eskimo kiss, and then Sarah Vendal, a 26-year-old grade school teacher from Newport Beach, CA, "ran up" to the Bachelor in sneakers to make a joke about him being a "runner-up" twice.
Jasmine Goode, a 29-year-old pro basketball dancer from San Francisco, CA, brought the show's famous jeweler Neil Lane with her to show Nick the engagement ring she'd want at the end of this.
Hailey Merkt, a 23-year-old photographer from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, cracked a joke about not wearing underwear, and then Astrid Loch, a 26-year-old plastic surgery office manager from Tampa, FL, spoke to Nick in German.
When Liz stepped out of the limo, Nick talked to her as if they had never met before. Liz believed Nick didn't remember her, which she didn't mind since there was a little mystery between them. After Liz walked away, Nick's facial expression said it all -- that he remembered her.
Nick told Chris that he met Liz at Jade and Tanner's wedding. While he noticed Liz right away, Nick explained he was waiting for her to say something but she didn't. Just in case he was wrong about her identity, he didn't want to be the one to broach the topic.
Corinne then arrived and gave Nick a "hug token" to use later. Nick said, "She's cute," as she walked away.
Vanessa then stepped out of the limo and spoke to Nick in French.
"I'm very happy to be here with you," Vanessa said, as Nick looked her up and down and said, "Wow." Vanessa asked the Bachelor to find her later at the cocktail party in order to learn the translation of what she had said. As she walked away from Nick, he muttered, "Yeah, that's a keeper."
Danielle Maltby, a 31-year-old neonatal nurse from Nashville, TN, gave Nick maple syrup her father had made, and the Bachelor licked it right off her finger. Raven then taught Nick how the people cheer "Pig Suey" in Arkansas.
Jaimi King, a 28-year-old chef from New Orleans, LA, showed off her nose piercing, and then Briana listened to Nick's heart with a stethoscope. Susannah gave Nick a beard massage, and then Josephine made the Bachelor share a hotdog with her "Lady and the Tramp" style.
So many girls wore red dresses, so the bachelorettes who didn't happened to stand out more. The most outrageous entrances of the night belonged to Alexis -- who arrived in a shark costume she claimed was a dolphin -- and Lacey Mark, a 25-year-old digital marketing manager from Manhattan, NY, who rode in on a camel since she and Nick both "love a good hump."
During the cocktail party, Liz said in a confessional that she had an advantage because she had already felt chemistry with Nick in the past.
Nick addressed the entire group inside the mansion before breaking off into separate conversations. He told the women that rather than running from his past, he's using his experiences to guide him toward his future.
Nick also pointed out that he's looking for a bachelorette with a strong personality, someone who feels empowered. Nick asked the ladies to make the experience feel normal as possible although they'd be dating in an abnormal environment.
Nick was immediately drawn to Rachel's presence. He said the attorney is smart and beautiful, and the pair bonded over coming from large families. Nick could see himself with Rachel and said she's the type of woman he's been looking for.
After Christen Whitney, a 25-year-old wedding videographer from Tulsa, OK, taught Nick how to waltz, Corinne gave the Bachelor a large bag of tokens to be used at his disposal. Corinne thought Nick was dreamy and hoped to snag a kiss later on.
Nick then sat down with Vanessa, who revealed a friend had submitted an application on her behalf for the show. Vanessa, however, wanted the Bachelor to be Nick all along, so she said the stars aligned.
"I honestly feel the chemistry. It's undeniable," Vanessa told the cameras.
Vanessa wanted Nick to kiss her, but Corinne interrupted their conversation and ultimately went in for the first kiss. Nick called Corinne "a firecracker" and said her kiss was a bold move. Nick didn't feel entirely comfortable about the brief makeout session this early on and hoped none of the other girls saw it.
Jasmine G. noted it was rude of Corinne to steal Nick away when many girls received little to no time with him so far. When she tried to pull Nick away, he refused, saying another girl had asked him to speak first. Jasmine got emotional and felt very anxious about not getting enough time with him before the Rose Ceremony.
Meanwhile, Alexis went into the pool in her "dolphin" costume. She explained to Nick that she loves the Miami Dolphins and just dolphins in general. Nick argued her costume was a shark, but she whole-heartedly disagreed. Nick was a little concerned the bachelorette didn't seem to know the difference between a shark and a dolphin.
Liz then told the cameras she liked how Nick didn't remember they had sex. When Liz talked to Nick, she insisted she didn't go on the show just because he's the Bachelor, but he was skeptical since the bachelorette never tried to contact him since meeting nine months prior.
Nick told Liz that he had been "intrigued" by her and wanted her phone number yet she shot him down. Nick respected Liz's alleged "let's just leave it" but figured she wanted nothing to do with him going forward from Jade and Tanner's wedding. Nick also knew it would've been easy for Liz to get his number from Jade.
Liz explained that she had stereotyped Nick initially but discovered his true colors on Bachelor in Paradise. Nick was surprised to hear that, despite meeting him in person, it took watching him on TV months later to determine he was a good, genuine guy. Liz didn't know where she stood after this conversation.
After Nick bonded with Danielle M. over their Wisconsin roots, Nick stole Rachel away in order to give her the coveted First Impression Rose. Vanessa was shocked and disappointed in Nick's decision considering the chemistry she had felt with him.
Nick told Rachel that she stood out to him and he had been taken by her aura and presence. Nick found it easy and fun to talk to her, so he said giving her the rose was an obvious choice. Rachel was thrilled to accept the rose and snagged a couple quick, sweet kisses on the lips afterward.
Before the Rose Ceremony commenced, Nick explained to all of his bachelorettes that they were just as intriguing as they were beautiful and he felt like the luckiest guy in the world.
While Corinne and Kristina Schulman, a 24-year-old dental hygienist from Lexington, KY, were freaking out about the pressure and stress that comes with a Rose Ceremony, Nick confessed to Chris that he was disappointed in his conversation with Liz and he had questions about her intentions and motives.
Nick then handed out roses in the following order: Vanessa, Danielle "Lo," Christen, Astrid, Corinne, Elizabeth Whitelaw, a 24-year-old marketing manager from Dallas, TX; Jasmine G; Raven; Kristina; Danielle M,; Sarah; Josephine; Lacey; Taylor; and Alexis -- whom Nick said had brought a smile to his face all night.
Nick also gave a rose to Hailey; Whitney Fransway, a 25-year-old Pilates instructor from Chanhassen, MN; Dominique Alexis, a 25-year-old restaurant server from Los Angeles, CA; Jaimi; Brittany Farrar, a 26-year-old travel nurse from Santa Monica, CA; and finally Liz.
"At the end of this, I don't want to be the runner-up or something cute like that," Corinne said in a confessional, before Liz expressed how she liked having a secret with Nick about their past.