The Bachelor broadcast began with Clayton's 22 remaining bachelorettes moving into The Bachelor mansion in Los Angeles, CA, and then The Bachelor host Jesse Palmer introducing himself to the women and revealing how he's now a happily-married man and he'd like for Clayton to find the love of his life as well.
Jesse also dropped off the first date card and the following women's names were on it: Cassidy, a 26-year-old executive assistant from Los Angeles, CA; Teddi Wright, a 24-year-old surgical unit nurse from Highland, CA; Ency Abedin, a 26-year-old sales manager from Burbank, CA; Melina Nasab, a 27-year-old personal trainer from West Hollywood, CA; and Gabby Windey, a 30-year-old ICU nurse from Denver, CO.
Clayton also invited Kira Mengistu, a 32-year-old physician from Philadelphia, PA; Mara Agreat, a 32-year-old entrepreneur from Collingswood, NJ; Sierra Jackson, a 26-year-old yoga instructor from Dallas, TX; Genevieve Parisi, a 26-year-old bartender from Los Angeles, CA; and Serene Russell, a 26-year-old elementary school teacher from Oklahoma City, OH.
The date card read, "This is what dreams are made of," and the bachelorettes ultimately arrived to a Beverly Hills mansion for the date.
Cassidy noted how this "beautiful and luxurious" space was totally her vibe and she couldn't wait to seemingly be pampered or hang out with the rich and famous, but then the group walked into a bunch of screaming children running around in the backyard.
Mara said she was in her element with the kids and couldn't wait to see Clayton interact with them, and then actress and mother of three, Hilary Duff, introduced herself to the women. Cassidy appeared to be Hilary's biggest fan.
Hilary told the group they'd be throwing a birthday party for a young girl, Maya, and Gabby looked forward to showing Clayton her personality and how she loves children. Cassidy, on the other hand, had her eye on the prize.
While the bachelorettes decorated cakes and dressed up like clowns, Cassidy sat on the sidelines and sipped her wine. And instead of helping Gabby build a giant dollhouse, she pulled Clayton aside for a chat by the pool.
"I'm not here to build a dollhouse. I'm here to build a relationship. F-ck that dollhouse," Cassidy joked.
Cassidy kissed Clayton and assured him that she wouldn't be going anywhere voluntarily, and Gabby was upset, saying there's a time and a place for stealing one-on-one time with the Bachelor and it was pretty clear Cassidy was going to have an aggressive strategy going forward.
While the women were active with the kids, playing with them and blowing up balloons, Cassidy sat with several children for a tea party and admitted, "I spend as little time around you small people as possible."
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Cassidy also spent time talking to Hilary, who could tell Cassidy's behavior wasn't going to win her any friends. And then suddenly, Cassidy presented Maya with the cake Genevieve had decorated -- only to accidentally drop it on the ground!
Genevieve complained that Cassidy had been "disrespectful" all day and the date just turned into a Cassidy and Clayton one-on-one. Cassidy even snagged Clayton away again for another kiss after all the festivities.
"As of this day, I think Cassidy might be a frontrunner!" Cassidy bragged.
During the afterparty, Serene revealed that she never went to school to be a teacher but she just dove into the career because she wanted to do something meaningful with her life.
Serene talked about building meaningful relationships with the children she teaches, and their sweet conversation resulted in a "perfect" and "natural" kiss, according to the bachelorette. Serene hoped to receive the group-date rose, but Cassidy felt pretty confident the rose would be going to her.
Kira called Cassidy out at the afterparty, saying how she didn't contribute anything to the group date, and then Cassidy pointed out how none of them had been paid to do a task and so she essentially didn't owe anybody -- even the kids -- anything.
Genevieve then had her time to complain about the cake, and Mara said, "We appreciate the fact that you are so ambitious and so aggressive... but it's the way you go about. I don't love it."
"I'm simply not going to apologize for not hanging enough streamers," Cassidy griped, adding, "The criticism I didn't pull my weight at a birthday party is a little silly."
Cassidy didn't think she had done anything wrong since she was just focused on her connection with Clayton.
"I go for what I want. They are threatened by me and they should be... Game on, b-tches!" Cassidy said.
Clayton advanced his connection with Teddi, and Clayton realized how Sierra is so bubbly and sweet. Gabby also told Clayton that she's a big kid at heart, and he really liked her as well.
Genevieve and Clayton then decorated a new cake together to make up for what had been lost earlier in the day.
Meanwhile, a date card arrived for Susie, a 28-year-old wedding videographer from Virginia Beach, VA, and she was excited to learn she'd be accompanying Clayton on the first one-on-one date of the season. She hoped he would see more than just the "fun" side of her.
And back on Clayton's group date, Mara and Kira discussed how Cassidy seemed to be playing a game and were just moving the little pieces around. Cassidy told Clayton that she didn't appear on the show to make Gabby happy, and Clayton applauded Cassidy's decision to "make every effort" to be with him and progress their romance.
"I believe our connection is out of this world, and I have a hard time believing anyone else has even scratched the surface of that same level of connection. Dude, it feels like we're together already and it's crazy! So the rose is mine," Cassidy said.
Much to the other women's dismay, Clayton opted to give Cassidy the group-date rose. He thanked Cassidy for opening up to him and said it had meant a lot to her, and Cassidy told the cameras that the rose smelled like "victory."
Mara broke down into tears, lamenting about how she felt she was back in college surrounded by so much drama.
The next day, Cassidy bonded with Shanae, a 29-year-old recruiter from Sycamore, OH, and then Susie embarked on her solo date with Clayton, which was going to challenge the couple to take their relationship "to new heights."
Susie and Clayton took a romantic helicopter ride over The Bachelor mansion, and Clayton shared how he enjoys cooking with a girlfriend and drinking wine. Susie also shared how she loves to dance, and Clayton bragged, "I've got some moves. I got a little wiggle."
Clayton said he was definitely feeling Susie because she came across down to earth, genuine and humble, and Susie told the Bachelor how she was voted "Class Clown" in high school. The pair wasn't sure they'd ever be able to top this date.
The couple then popped some champagne and sat in a hot tub on a yacht, and Clayton suggested Susie had surpassed his expectations and he liked her adventurous side and confidence.
"I am seeing who you are, and I really do like what I see," Clayton told Susie, before telling the cameras that they were in the process of developing something "very special."
Clayton could tell he had chemistry with Susie, and then the couple just off the boat and into the water at sunset.
That night, the couple talked over a romantic dinner. Susie revealed how her parents had been married for 35 years and they're best friends, and Clayton said family is so important.
Susie's family dynamic, however, had changed when her father became ill the previous year. Susie's father experienced organ failure but was able to return home and hold his grandson for the first time.
Susie recalled her mother sleeping by her father's side when he was battling in the ICU, and she said she wants that type of relationship for herself and she's extremely grateful for her parents.
Clayton told Susie that she seemingly had things figured out, but Susie insisted she's a work in progress -- even though she's proud of who she is. Clayton said in a confessional that it felt "right" with Susie, and he capped off the night by surprising her with a private concert from Amanda Jordan.
Clayton then gave Susie a rose, saying that her "true colors are so beautiful," and the couple danced and kissed the night away.
"If he's feeling the way I'm feeling, I could totally see myself falling in love with him," Susie noted.
Meanwhile a date card arrived for Shanae; Marlena Wesh, a 30-year-old former Olympian from Virginia Beach, VA; Elizabeth, a 32-year-old real estate advisor from Highlands Ranch, CO; Kate Gallivan, a 32-year-old real estate agent from Lake Hollywood, CA; and Sarah Hamrick, a 23-year-old wealth management advisor from New York City, NY.
Clayton also invited Lyndsey Windham, a 28-year-old industrial sales representative from Houston, TX; Rachel Recchia, a 25-year-old flight instructor from Clermont, FL; and Tessa Tookes, a 26-year-old human resources specialist from Stamford, CT, on the group date.
Jill cried because she had been left out of a date for the week, and she wondered what she was still doing on the show. But Cassidy had lit a fire under Shanae with her advice, and so Shanae was prepared to fight hard for Clayton and not let anyone stand in her way.
The group date, hosted by comedian and Internet sensation Ziwe, required the girls to answer some pretty personal question to help Clayton find potential red flags in the group. They were asked whether they had ever sent a nude photo, faked an orgasm and more.
Kate and Elizabeth revealed they had cheated on a boyfriend before, even though Elizabeth had been unfaithful all the way back in high school.
Elizabeth flirted with Clayton during the game, and Shanae admitted she didn't like watching it. Shanae called Elizabeth "pathetic" for allegedly forcing a connection with Clayton.
The girls were then tasked with competing in a relationship "red flag" obstacle course. Shanae was hell bent on winning as Ziwe pleaded with the women to fight hard, but Marlena, a former Olympian, was confident she could secure the gold.
The bachelorettes had to chug milk, run through red sauce and tear down a cardboard wall. Although Shanae pushed Elizabeth out of the way at one point to advance herself, Sarah ended up winning the race and got a kiss from Clayton.
Shanae approached the afterparty as "all or nothing," and she was desperate to stand out -- but Elizabeth managed to pull Clayton aside for a chat first.
"I'm here to marry Clayton, so I don't want anyone else stepping on my toes and potentially getting a rose before me," Shanae complained, adding, "I'm sh-tting my pants because I have to have time with this guy."
Elizabeth and Clayton played their own little game of "Never Have I Ever," and Elizabeth shared how she had displayed some rap skills in college. She also said, "Never have I ever kissed the Bachelor," which led to the couple's first kiss.
Elizabeth assured the cameras that she felt chemistry with Clayton, and Shanae accused Elizabeth of being "fake" and "terrible" as well as two-faced. Shanae said Elizabeth had made her cry -- which is a rare occurrence -- and she just wanted to throw up on her rival.
Clayton commended Sarah on not putting up a front with him, and he also complimented Marlena on her obvious athletic ability.
Shanae then sat down with Clayton and said she had clicked with Elizabeth on the first night, only to have Elizabeth allegedly ignore her and not make any eye contact the following day.
Elizabeth flat out called Elizabeth "two-faced" and said it seemed like she wasn't on the show "for the right reasons."
"It's a competition. I want to win," Shanae explained in a confessional after throwing Elizabeth under a bus.
Clayton was taken aback by the news and immediately became concerned and worried, especially since he liked Elizabeth and didn't want the women to act one way with him and differently around everyone else.
Clayton immediately confronted Elizabeth about claims she had been acting two-faced, but Elizabeth insisted she had never changed her demeanor towards Shanae, even though Shanae had pushed her during the obstacle course. Elizabeth said she was absolutely being sincere.
Shanae accused Elizabeth of being "a mean girl" and not acknowledging her, and then Elizabeth explained it's hard for her to have multiple auditory inputs because she can't process the information since she struggles with severe ADHD.
Shanae said Elizabeth didn't even look at her during a conversation, but Elizabeth pointed out how she had just explained herself and Elizabeth shouldn't be pushing anyone either.
"I don't want you to feel hurt. I 100 percent validate you as a person and would love to move forward," Elizabeth said.
"I hope to believe you right now because you hurt my feelings," Shanae noted.
Elizabeth felt this whole ordeal had robbed her of the group-date rose, and Clayton decided to give Sarah the rose because she had impressed him that day with her open nature.
Elizabeth and Shanae continued to bicker after the rose was handed out because SHanae felt Elizabeth had been "dogging" her behind her back when they had just hashed out their issues. Shanae doubted Elizabeth's ADHD diagnosis and once again accused the bachelorette of being "fake."
Elizabeth, however, pointed out how she wasn't pretending to love Shanae after Shanae had clearly made her look bad to Clayton by calling her two-faced as well as "a red flag."
It then became time for the season's second cocktail party and Rose Ceremony.
Eliza made up for lost time with her positivity by drawing a picture with Clayton, Jill also showed the Bachelor her confidence, and Gabby made Clayton a gigantic pillow his face.
"I love the sense of humor," Clayton gushed of Gabby.
That night, Shanae complained how Elizabeth still wasn't looking at her or talking to her.
"You're sorry and you 'love' me but then you forgot you have ADHD," Shanae griped. "The other girls don't know the real story and they're still looking at me like 'poor Elizabeth.' No poor f-cking Shanae because she's lying about me to everyone and making me look bad!"
Shanae asked Elizabeth if her ADHD was the problem or if Elizabeth viewed her as the problem, and Elizabeth admitted her language and approach to settling their dispute was "really inappropriate."
Shanae said Elizabeth seemed to be using her ADHD as an excuse, adding, "I have ADHD too!"
Elizabeth ended the conversation prematurely because she didn't want to discuss her mental health, and Elizabeth went on to laugh about Elizabeth's disorder and question its validity.
Elizabeth later demanded an apology from Shanae for telling the group about her disorder, and everyone told Shanae to cut her losses to stop derailing the evening.
Cassidy then told the group that Clayton seemed to appreciate her unrelenting pursuit of him and viewed it as being pretty hot.
"Obviously Clayton likes Cassidy, but Clayton needs to know who she really is. She ain't good. She's a little snake. Earlier today, Cassidy told me that she's got a f-ck buddy back home," Sierra revealed.
The Bachelor then showed the footage of Cassidy previously telling Sierra, "There's one guy I've been hooking up with back home on and off for a while. He's a few years younger. He FaceTimed me while I was at the hotel and I told him I was about to leave for filming, but I couldn't tell him what for."
Cassidy continued, "Oh my God, on that FaceTime, he was like, 'Well, whatever the show is you're on, I can't wait for you to get back. Let's watch it together.'"
Sierra didn't want to stand by and watch Cassidy's bad behavior, and so she decided to tell Clayton the news instead of being a part of the problem.
Sierra pulled Clayton aside and said Cassidy is not the woman he thought she was.
"She has a friends with benefits that she had for a really long time," Sierra explained. "And she was FaceTiming him right before she met you, and she's letting him know, 'I'm going to be MIA for a little bit.'"
Sierra recalled this man allegedly saying he wanted to do "nasty things" with Cassidy once she returned home from filming a show and how it would be "cuddling season" for them.
"So obviously she's not here for you and to have love with you," Sierra told Clayton.
Clayton appeared flabbergasted and took some time to compose his thoughts. He confessed that he felt "shocked" about one of his bachelorettes having a man on the side.
Cassidy already had a rose, and so he didn't know what to do. He didn't want to get rejected or hurt at the end of this process.
"This certainly is a worst-case scenario," Clayton lamented.
Clayton then asked to speak with Jesse and asked, "Has anyone ever taken a rose back before?"
Jesse appeared stunned and then the episode ended on a cliffhanger.