Age of Love kicked off with Mark Philippoussis, a 31-year-old Australian professional tennis player, meeting the seven 40-something year-old "Cougars" women that will serve as half of his group of 13 suitors during last night's premiere episode of the new NBC reality dating series.

However before Age of Love's bachelor or the Cougars even became aware of the six women in their 20s who were cast as the "Kittens," Mark was forced to eliminate one of the older women and decided upon Jodie Fisher, a 46-year-old vice president for a commercial real estate company from Dallas, TX who has been married once before and has an 8-year-old son.

"I have to go home tonight, but that's okay... That's okay.  I have my sweet little boy to see." said Jodie upon learning she was the first bachelorette sent packing.  "I hope I've helped show that a woman in her 40s is sexy and interesting and powerful.  Whoever the right person for me is, he's out there."

Although Age of Love's premiere episode began with Mark meeting the Cougars, he was unaware they were all between the ages of  38- and 48-years-old until he was introduced to them.  As they all started to reveal their ages to him, Mark -- who had previously been engaged to Alexis Barbara, a 20-year-old Miami, FL model that he began dating when she was still an 18-year-old high school student -- began wondering what was going on.

"I'm starting to think this is kinda weird," Mark, who made it clear that he had been expecting 20-something bachelorettes, later told the cameras about his reaction to meeting the first few Cougars. 

When Jennifer, a 48-year-old executive assistant for the owner of the Los Angeles Lakers from Carson, CA who has been married twice before, asked Mark to guess her age, a scared Mark guessed "37" before  Jennifer corrected him with her actual age. 

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After completing his introductions with all the Cougars, Mark begin to mingle with the older women.

"This could be good for me," explained Mark after the initial night with the Cougars.  "The girls I've dated in the past have been younger, it hasn't worked out.  The age thing... it's a number.  It's out of my mind.  There are seven beautiful women who I'm looking to get to know more, and see if someone clicks."

The next morning, the Cougars learned they'd be going on their first date with Mark, however not all of them would get that opportunity prior to that night's first elimination.  In his "bachelor's suite," Mark expressed the importance of finding a women who can keep up with him.  He then chose Jayanna, a 38-year-old mortgage loan officer from Newport, CA who has been married once before; Lynn, a 40-year-old makeup artist from Nashville, TN; and Maria, a 42-year-old photographer from Playa Del Rey, CA who has been married once before, as the three Cougars who would accompany him on the first date.

Mark explained he picked Jayanna because "she's beautiful but has a great personality;" he selected Maria because "she has beautiful eyes, a beautiful smile;" and he chose Lynn because he hadn't had any one-on-one time with her during the first night.  For their date together, Mark took the three ladies repelling down the side of a building.  Mark was most impressed with Jayanna, who had to overcome her fears before scaling down the side of the building successfully.

Meanwhile, while the rest of the Cougars relaxed back at their hi-rise apartment as the threesome enjoyed their date with Mark, the Kittens were on their way.  Although Mark and the Cougars were still unaware of the Kittens, Age of Love's producers had already told the younger women what they'd be getting into.
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"I am not worried about the women in their 40s.  They're going to have a run for their money," boasted Lauren, a 27-year-old lighting consultant from Greenwich, CT.

After his group date with the three Cougars ended and the women had returned to their apartment, Mark was faced with the difficult decision of choosing one of the seven to eliminate.  He was sure in his decision to keep Jennifer, Maria and Kellie, a 40-year-old legal secretary from Los Angeles, CA, in the competition, as the three of them weren't even invited poolside for the elimination proceedings.  That left his decision between Jayanna; Lynn; Jodie and Angela, a 40-year-old property manager from Lakeside, MI who has been married twice before and has a 21-year-old son.

"It's going to be a difficult decision," said Mark, explaining he would base his choice on who he could see himself with.  "This has been a first for me... the last couple of days have been overwhelming, especially when I realized I would be dating older women.  That's another first for me... [They] made me feel so comfortable and relaxed the age situation went completely out of my mind."

Mark asked Angela why she seemed so quiet and shy during the first night, and she explained it was because she "tends to be a big personality" and was afraid of overwhelming him.  After explaining he's a "big goof" and wants to see more of her personality, Mark revealed Angela was safe.  He then turned his attention to Lynn, and after learning the heart necklace she wears around her neck serves as a pick-me-up instead of a sign of affection from another man, she was also invited to stay.  Mark then addressed Jodie.

"Last night we had a chance to have a one-on-one.  I just want to tell you how great our conversation was," said Mark.  "We spoke about your son.  You made me feel very relaxed, which is very important.  But I feel like I can speak to you more as a friend then as someone I see having something further down the line.  So I'm sorry, I just don't think it will work out."

"Augh," replied Jodie when she got the news.  "Can you give me a hug?"  Mark then told Jayanna he never considered sending her home, and said he was blown away when she overcame her fears earlier during their date.

"I don't even care that they're in their 40s anymore," said Mark, apparently thinking his night was over.  "It's about me getting to know someone regardless of their age and seeing if things click."

However just when Mark thought he could breath a sigh of relief, Age of Love host Mark Consuelos pulled back a curtain and introduced the bachelor to the six Kittens:  Adelaide, a 26-year-old editor for Esquire magazine from Manhattan Beach, CA; Amanda, a 25-year-old financial planner's assistant from Nashville, TN; Lauren, a 27-year-old lighting consultant from Greenwich, CT; Mary, a 24-year-old hemodialysis technician from Albuquerque, NM; Megan, a 21-year-old Loyola University student from Chicago, IL; and Tessa, a 23-year-old executive assistant from Peoria, AZ.

"Oh my God," was all Mark could muster.

Age of Love's second episode -- in which the Cougars will meet the Kittens for the first time -- will air Monday, July 25 at 9PM ET/PT on NBC.