'The Bachelor: London Calling' star Matt Grant narrows suitors to 15
By Christopher Rocchio, 03/18/2008
The 25 women attempting to woo Matt Grant got their first chance during The Bachelor: London Calling's premiere broadcast -- and when it was over, the 27-year-old international banker sent 10 packing in his journey to find true love via the ABC reality dating series' twelfth installment.
"It's been difficult tonight," said Matt after he booted 10 bachelorettes. "I was sorry to say goodbye to 10 girls, but I do honestly believe the 15 I picked are the right 15. I feel privileged to be in the position I'm in. I feel like the luckiest guy. I really do."
The 10 bachelorettes Matt ousted at the onset of The Bachelor: London Calling were Alyssa, a 24-year-old biology student from Boise, ID; Amanda P., a 26-year-old law student from Las Vegas, NV; Denise, a 30-year-old former Bush aide from Washington, D.C.; Devon, a 24-year-old makeup artist from Austin, TX; Lesley, a 23-year-old youth minister from Tampa, FL; Michele, a 33-year-old interior designer from Laguna Niguel, CA; Rebecca, a 30-year-old attorney from Alamo, CA; Stacey, a 26-year-old graduate student from Chicago, IL; Tamara, a 23-year-old cocktail waitress from Beverly Hills, CA; and Tiffany, a 33-year-old real estate marketing representative from San Francisco, CA.
"This sucks to be the rejected on the first night," opined Devon.
"I have no clue why he chose the girls he chose," added Rebecca. "I have high expectations, and I'll find someone someday."
The Bachelor: London Calling's premiere began with the 25 suitors arriving at Matt's Malibu "bachelor pad" for a cocktail party. All of the ladies exited their respective limousines one at a time and were surprised to learn the object of their affection was The Bachelor'sfirst ever international star.
Highlights included Amanda R., a 27-year-old account executive from Niceville, FL, and Robin, a 22-year-old advertising coordinator from Holland, MI, both saying they had previously called England home; Chelsea, a 24-year-old pharmaceutical sales representative from Durango, CO, gushing about her "special skill" at arm wrestling; Erin H., a 25-year-old event planner from Seattle, WA, wearing a "placeholder" for an engagement ring; Marshana, a 27-year-old fashion designer from Brooklyn, NY; showing-off her handmade outfit; and Amanda P. presenting Matt a Sin City souvenir.
"I am without doubt nervous. I'm serious about falling in love and I'm really hopeful -- really excited -- but really hoping I find the one," Matt told The Bachelor host Chris Harrison.
Before Matt entered the cocktail party and tried to spend a little one-on-one time with each girl, Chris explained that prior to The Bachelor: London Calling's first Rose Ceremony, Matt would have to give one of his suitors the "first impression rose," which would make her safe from elimination at the ceremony.
Matt entered the party and each of the bachelorettes took a different approach in attempting to make him remember her for the first Rose Ceremony.
Chelsea put her money where he mouth was and arm wrestled Matt, a match he eventually won after letting her think she had the upper hand because he's "trying to be an English gentleman."
Denise discussed her life in politics and how she started in the Bush administration by working for Karl Rove. Growing bored with the conversation, Carri, a 25-year-old church marketing representative from Oklahoma City, OK, bit a tin can in half to "lighten things up a bit."
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"It was such a contrast to the conversation that was occurring at that point. It just cracked me up," said Matt. "The timing was sublime."
Rebecca did an interesting dance; Ashlee, a 22-year-old singer/songwriter from Jacksonville Beach, FL, performed a song on the guitar that she wrote for Matt; and Michelle, a 28-year-old administrative assistant from Syracuse, NY, played the clarinet.
However it was Stacey who stole the show -- and not in a good way -- as several of the other bachelorettes commented Stacey had imbibed a bit too much alcohol as she began to spout profanities.
"You've always got that one token nutbag amongst the group," said Erin S., a 33-year-old hot dog vendor from Venice, CA, about Stacey. Erin H. agreed and called Stacey "absolutely out of control" while Marshana was more direct in her assessment, referring to Stacey as a "bitch."
"If she gets in my way, there will be words," said Marshana.
During a conversation Matt was having with Erin H., Stacey sat next to The Bachelor star and began to slowly rub his knee and play footsy with him.
"It was just like, 'Oh my God! What do I do?'" wondered Matt.
After some slurred words from Stacey about her job, Matt and Erin H. discussed what they would do if they were to travel to London together.
"You guys are really boring me, I'm not going to lie," commented Stacey.
Mercifully, Erin S. stole Matt from the situation and took him to another part of the cocktail party, where they sat and conversed. Stacey walked up and attempted to slip something into Matt's pocket. When he told her he didn't have any pockets, she slipped it into the waistline of his pants and walked away
Matt apologized to Erin S. and pulled out the gift from Stacey -- her underwear.
"Stacey kind of freaked me out," he said. "That is not cool, alright? In any kind of way. I don't give a s**t what country you're from, but that is not cool."
Erin S. reiterated the story to the other bachelorettes, who wondered where Stacey was. The answer -- not surprisingly -- was that she had found one of the bachelor pad's spare bedrooms and passed out.
With the night/early morning winding down, Matt said he felt an "instant kind of attraction" with Shayne, a 22-year-old actress from Malibu, CA, who discussed her famous American acting family that includes her dad -- former Are You Hot? judge Lorenzo Lamas.
"I like Matt and I want to get to know Matt," said Shayne.
Matt also said he felt a "connection" with Robin as the two discussed their London connection and love for traveling. However Matt decided to present his first impression rose to Amanda R., who had a case of the hiccups earlier in the evening. Matt said Amanda R. was "down to earth" and she "shown like a diamond" during the little time he got to talk with her.
"I'm so shocked I got the first impression rose," gushed Amanda R.. "He's so attractive and I haven't felt that with somebody in so long -- I don't even know if I ever have -- and so for him to maybe feel the same way is just incredible. The fact that I didn't hiccup is definitely a good sign. Maybe he's my cure?"
Matt and the bachelorettes then gathered for The Bachelor: London Calling's first Rose Ceremony.
"I just want to say what a brilliant time I've had so far this evening. It's just been amazing for me," said Matt. "I really feel privileged to have met every single one of you... This is the bit I've been dreading."
The 15 women who received roses and remained in the running for Matt's heart were Amanda R.; Chelsea; Shayne; Michelle; Marshana; Ashlee; Noelle, a 26-year-old photographer from Loveland, CO; Erin S.; Amy, a 22-year-old nanny from Stockton, CA; Carri; Kristine, a 32-year-old personal trainer from Charlotte, NC; Robin; Kelly, a 24-year-old medical sales representative from San Diego, CA; Holly, a 25-year-old children's author from Suffield, OH; and Erin H..
"I don't want to be with him any ways because he can't handle me," commented Stacey. "I'm the whole package, and he has no idea what he could have had."
The Bachelor: London Calling's next episode will air in its regular Mondays at 10PM ET/PT time period beginning March 24 on ABC.