During the first Rose Ceremony of the season, Zach denied roses to Rebecca, "Becca," a 25-year-old nursing student from Burbank, CA; Cara Ammon, a 27-year-old corporate recruiter from Pittsburgh, PA; Chandralekha "Lekha" Ravi, a 29-year-old financial advisor from Miami, FL; and Holland Parsons, a 24-year-old insurance marketer from Boca Raton, FL.
The following women also got sent home: Olivia Lewis, a 24-year-old patient care technician from Rochester, NY; Olivia Miller, a 25-year-old stylist from Cincinnati, OH; Sonia Sharma, a 29-year-old project manager from Long Island, NY; Vanessa Dinh, a 23-year-old restaurant marketer from Baton Rouge, LA; and Viktoria Eichner, a 29-year-old nanny from Vienna, Austria.
The Bachelor broadcast began with The Bachelor host Jesse Palmer revealing Zach was a deejay in college and played electric guitar in middle school. Jesse believed viewers haven't really gotten to know Zach yet, although they saw him on The Bachelorette's nineteenth season starring Rachel Recchia and Gabby Windey.
Season 17 The Bachelor star Sean Lowe was shown paying Zach a visit at the mansion, and Sean revealed how he wouldn't have picked his current wife, Catherine Giudici, from the beginning of his journey on the show.
Sean, who has been married for 10 years and has three children with Catherine, explained that Catherine wasn't his "type" from the start but he kept thinking about her and slowly fell in love with her.
"Maybe the girl out there for you isn't necessarily your 'type,'" Sean told Zach, essentially warning the new Bachelor against pursuing just an initial spark or instant chemistry. "If you're going to have a long, healthy marriage, I think you need to marry your best friend."
Viewers were then introduced to a handful of women competing on Zach's season, including Bailey Brown, a 27-year-old executive recruiter from Nashville, TN, who currently lives in Venice Beach, CA.
Bailey was one of the women who had introduced herself to Zach on the live The Bachelorette: After the Final Rose special in September. Zach had forgotten her name, but Bailey said he wouldn't forget it this time. Bailey explained how she's not the type of person who dates just to date around.
On After the Final Rose, Zach had also met Brianna Thorbourne, a 24-year-old entrepreneur from Jersey City, NJ; Brooklyn Willie, a 25-year-old rodeo racer from Stillwater, OK; Cat Wong, a 26-year-old dancer from New York, NY; and Christina Mandrell, a 26-year-old content creator from Nashville, TN.
Katherine "Kat" Izzo, a 26-year-old registered nurse from Tampa, FL, gushed about how Zach is her type and he has a really nice smile. She was attracted to the fact Zach is confident in himself and knows who he is.
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Christina shared how her mother was part of the group Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell sisters. Christina said if she has to sing she will, but it's not her passion by any means.
Christina said her five-year-old daughter is her world and she's amazing, impressive and sassy. Christina noted how she's down to have more kids and would love to get married again. Christina gushed about how Zach is sexy, charming and genuine.
Charity Lawson, a 26-year-old child and family therapist from Columbus, GA, said her job is rewarding and she's "so ready for love." Charity wants a man who can make her laugh, and she thought Zach was "cutely nervous" on After the Final Rose.
Greer, a 24-year-old medical sales representative from Houston, TX, called herself "bold" and said she "doesn't take sh-t" from anyone, although she's kind. Greer said she loves her life but was used to dating men with impure intentions.
Brooklyn was shown riding and feeding horses. She said she's comfortable in her career but wants someone with a good heart -- who is also loyal and caring -- to share her life with. She gushed about Zach's kind eyes and nice teeth.
Brianna works as a model on the side, and she had received "America's First Impression Rose." Brianna admitted her family has gotten on her case about getting married and she's ready for that next stage in life.
Kaitlyn "Kaity" Biggar, a 27-year-old ER nurse from Austin, TX, said it's so cool she and Zach live in the same city. She said in her last relationship, the man cheated on her.
"It took a little bit of time for me to heal from that, and I feel like this is the best time in my life to start dating again and find somebody who wants to love me unconditionally," Kaity told the cameras.
"I am so excited to meet Zach! He seems like the perfect Bachelor; he has a very open heart... and I want a husband through this."
It then became time for Zach to meet his 30 bachelorettes on Night 1 at the mansion. He admitted he was "nervous" and "terrified" because he didn't know what the future holds.
Zach said he had been thinking about the first five women he met on After the Final Rose and it was nice to have that familiarity with some of the bachelorettes.
Memorable limo entrances included Jessica "Jess" Girod, a 23-year-old e-commerce coordinator from Winter Springs, FL, who stepped out of the limo first and confessed she was "shaking" with nerves.
When Jess walked away, Zach said, "Wow, great start. [She's] very pretty."
Ariel Frenkel, a 28-year-old marketing executive from New York City, NY, said her suitcase broke and her dress ripped but nothing was going to stop her from meeting Zach that night. Zach thought she was very cute.
Charity shared how her name means love, and Davia Bunch, a 25-year-old marketing manager from Charleston, SC, popped champagne with Zach.
Gabriella "Gabi" Elnicki, a 25-year-old account executive from Pittsford, VT, asked Zach to drink maple syrup on the spot, representing her home state.
Greer, who currently lives in New York, brought Zach a hot coffee straight from New York so he could keep his energy levels up.
Viktoria, who's also from New York, grabbed four little pecks from the Bachelor given it's a tradition in Austria to greet someone that way, and Zach immediately recognized Cat from their first meeting onThe Bachelorette and thought she was very funny.
Gabi thought the women who had met Zach on After the Final Rose had an automatic "leg up," which worried her a little bit.
Brooklyn shared the following fun fact about herself with Zach: "I spew profanities on live television when I get nervous. So sorry about that! That was my bad."
Zach told Brooklyn that it was fine and he'd never want her to hold back.
Bailey then walked up to Zach wearing a name tag, and Zach admitted that he felt really bad about forgetting her name on After the Final Rose. To make up for it, Zach leaned in for a kiss and explained how he was "freaking out" and lost his head when meeting his initial round of bachelorettes.
Bailey said she was "on Cloud 9" after getting to kiss Zach, who mentioned how she has "gorgeous eyes."
"It felt right [to kiss Bailey]. There was a little bit of a spark there, and I want her to know that I felt that spark. I wanted to give her a kiss when I saw her here and let her know that I do remember her name," Zach explained in a confessional.
When Kaity approached Zach, she called him "handsome" and joked about how Zach was evidence that "everything is bigger in Texas." Zach seemed to like the joke and he called her entrance "really good."
Katherine asked Zach to spray sunscreen on her face since she works for a dermatologist and uses SPF on a regular basis, and Zach called the bachelorette "stunning."
Vanessa approached with a trumpet player as she threw our Mardi Gras beads, and Kimberly Gutierrez, a 30-year-old hospitality manager from Los Angeles, CA, did a little rap for The Bachelor star.
Lekha actually licked the Bachelor's neck, marking her territory, and Holland said Zach's experience with Rachel didn't work out because he "was in the wrong Holland."
Mercedes Northup, a 24-year-old nonprofit owner from Bloomfield, IA, revealed she's a pig farmer who showed pigs growing up -- and she actually brought a live pig with her to prove it. Zach seemed to love Henry the pig, whom Mercedes said "stole the show."
Christina then drove up to the mansion in a party bus, with music blaring in the background. Zach remembered Christina's name and told her that she looked stunning in her sparkly, hot pink dress.
Cara told Zach during her entrance that she hoped he was going to be her last first date.
And finally, Brianna arrived in a gorgeous off-the-shoulder gown with a thigh-high slit and red roses all over it. Brianna said how she wasn't on the show for roses, but rather she was after his heart.
Zach noted how he liked her confidence, and her beauty blew all the other bachelorettes away once she stepped inside the mansion without a care in the world.
Charity admitted she was "a little jealous" of Brianna, and Kaity owned up to the fact she gets "jealous very quickly."
Jesse asked Zach following the limo entrances if he thought his wife was among the group, and Zach replied, "My gut instinct is actually telling me that I might have. It's getting really real. It's so awesome!"
Jesse reminded Zach how Brianna was going to be safe that night but he'd still have his own First Impression Rose to hand out that evening at some point.
When Zach stood in front of all of his bachelorettes inside the mansion, he announced how he felt overwhelmed because everyone was so beautiful. Zach said he's just a dude who loves family, football and frozen pizza.
Zach shared how his parents have been happily married for over 30 years and he strives for a love like that. He therefore asked the ladies to be honest and open with him about their feelings.
Katherine pulled Zach away for a chat first, and Zach confessed he was panicking a little bit because he didn't know how to do this. Katherine admitted to Zach that she can be weird and goofy sometimes, and Zach said, "The last thing I want is stuck up or very professional and formal."
Zach told the cameras, "Katherine, my jaw dropped -- absolutely stunning, whoa. I think with Katherine, there is definitely something there between us, a little connection. I don't know what it is yet, but it's getting me excited."
Kaity told Zach that she felt like "the luckiest girl in the world" to be sitting next to him, and then the couple shared a romantic kiss.
"You're a good kisser," Zach told Kaity, who said she felt "fireworks" kissing the Bachelor with "very soft lips."
Christina then pulled Zach into her party bus and played a funny compatibility game. She drew illustrations and asked questions such as, "Mountains or beach?" Unfortunately, the couple quickly discovered they had different answers for most of the questions.
Zach, however, didn't seem to mind because when Christina asked for a kiss, he went for it. The pair had a steamy makeout session until about a dozen women interrupted them and started dancing in the bus.
Cat then dared Zach to try to fit a handful of meatballs in his mouth, and Zach acknowledged how he was having a blast.
When Brianna had a chance alone with the Bachelor, she let him know that she was ready and willing to fight for him, even though she already had a rose in her hands.
Jesse then brought out the First Impression Rose, and one of the women joked about how Jesse should just return to ESPN.
After Genevie Mayo, a 26-year-old neonatal nurse from Baltimore City, MD, asked Zach to change a fake baby's diaper to prove he's father material, Greer sat down with Zach and explained how his initial speech about looking for his best friend really resonated with her because her own parents have been together since age 25.
"I really want a traditional, long-lasting love," Greer said.
Greer, originally from Houston, TX, said that while she lives in New York, she always pictured herself ending up in Austin, TX, a city that she loves. Greer said Austin was her goal long before finding out that Zach lives there.
"That's where I want to settle down, and that's where I want to be," Greer said.
Zach said he was really enjoying his time with Greer, and then he asked if he could kiss her. The pair shared an intimate kiss, and other bachelorettes were envious watching it happen.
Madison then pulled Zach aside and dressed him in a hat and scarf, showing him what he'd need to do if he visited her family in North Dakota. Madison thought the conversation went great, and she gushed to her new pals about how she had gotten lost in his eyes.
While Zach was talking to Olivia M., Madison interrupted their conversation and proceeded to teach Zach how to do a funny dance.
The other women were annoyed by Madison's aggressive tactics.
"I mean, go after what you want -- but don't be that girl," Brooklyn told the cameras.
After a "gritty" dance, Madison attempted to kiss Zach, but he only pecked her and quickly pulled back. Madison therefore felt disappointed and deflated by the "subpar" kiss, and as the night progressed, she became increasingly more upset and started to cry.
"Madison is super sweet, but I don't know if I was feeling that kiss," Zach admitted in a confessional. "It didn't feel right. The kiss sat wrong with me. I am feeling I was overwhelmed by my conversation with Madison."
Madison continued to cry and sob to Kimberly about feeling embarrassed, explaining, "I want to be wanted. I don't know what to do."
Meanwhile, Holland was also crying because she hadn't gotten a chance to talk to Zach. Bailey also acknowledged she was "devastated" to not receive more time with the Bachelor.
Charity then talked to Zach about her "life-changing" and "intense" career, and Zach pointed out how her job is not easy. Zach explained how his mother works with people with disabilities, and he could tell Charity is a woman who puts a smile on people's faces. The couple therefore kissed, and they both agreed it was "solid."
Zach proceeded to kiss Jess because he thought she was really cute and they had a great chat, and then he found Greer.
Greer told Zach that she felt "a zing" with him that was real, and Zach explained, "It was one of the easiest conversations that I've had, and I really enjoyed it. I can't wait to get to know you more. So, Greer, will you accept this rose?"
Greer accepted the rose and thanked the Bachelor before they enjoyed another makeout session.
"I feel amazing right now. I really do. I wasn't expecting that. We just hit it off! He's so clear with his intentions and he seems like such a sweet soul. I'm not even kidding you I felt a firework when I kissed him," Greer gushed to the cameras.
Before the Rose Ceremony was about to commence, Zach told Jesse that he felt very optimistic his future could be with one of those women. He said he felt "incredible connections" in just one night -- but he apparently didn't feel one with Madison.
Madison interrupted Zach's talk with Jesse and asked Zach for clarity on whether he truly wanted her to continue on this journey with him.
Zach said he appreciated her coming to talk to him about this, and he said he appreciated getting to know her.
"But I never want to lie, and I always want to be honest with you and open and truthful. My heart wasn't feeling it. I never want to force that, and I'd never want to put you through something that's not real," Zach told the bachelorette, gently letting her down.
"Because I know what it feels like to be led on, and I don't want that for you. I'm sorry, I just don't see a future with us, but I still think you're awesome. I just want to be honest with you, and I hope you understand."
Zach therefore ousted Madison, and she left the show crying.
"I cannot believe that I gave up my life for him. I know what I deserve, and it's not that," Madison lamented to the cameras. "I know for a fact he doesn't know what he's missing out on. What was wrong? What did I do wrong?"
When the first Rose Ceremony commenced, Zach announced to the group how he'd never want to lead anyone on and he wished Madison all the best.
Zach thought Madison was beautiful and sweet, but he noted how she's not his "person" and he took The Bachelor process very seriously. Zach planned to act on his heart and gut, explaining how he didn't get the "honesty and clarity" he needed while dating Rachel on The Bachelorette.
Zach then handed out roses in the following order: Christina; Charity; Bailey; Jess; Genevie; Davia; Alyssa "Aly" Jacobs, a 26-year-old healthcare strategist from Atlanta, GA; Brooklyn; Kaity; Anastasia Keramidas, a 30-year-old content marketing manager from San Diego, CA; and Kylee Russell, a 25-year-old postpartum nurse from Charlotte, NC.
Gabi also received a rose, and she was followed by Katherine; Mercedes; Ariel; Victoria Jameson, a 30-year-old makeup artist from Fort Worth, TX; Kimberly; and Cat.
"It sucks that I couldn't see it through with Zach," Lekha lamented in a confessional.
"My ultimate goal is to be a good wife and mom one day. I was hoping to find it here, because I thought Zach wanted the same thing, but he didn't want it with me. So all I can do is be a better version of myself."
And Holland cried to the cameras, "I literally care so much that I put my all out there. It's sad I didn't even get the chance to do that. I just know that I'm ready for love, commitment. And I know that's what Zach was after. [I] wish that I could've had a chance to show that to him, but he didn't want it."
The episode concluded with Zach telling his remaining bachelorettes that he felt like his best friend was in that room.