Clare sent Brandon, a 28-year-old real estate agent from Cleveland, OH, packing during a group date because the bachelor failed to come up with a good reason for why he had signed up to date Clare on The Bachelorette other than the fact she's beautiful.
The Bachelorette broadcast began with Clare lounging in a pool and reflecting on her first night as the Bachelorette.
"I'd be lying if I said it wasn't hard to sleep last night because [Dale Moss] just made everything else disappear, and I don't know what to do. Is he my future husband or was that just excitement and feeling all these different feelings?" Clare questioned.
Clare set out to get to the bottom of things by going on her first set of dates with Dale and some of the other men.
The Bachelorette host Chris Harrison then met with the men, and Dale told Chris that meeting Clare was worth all the stress and obstacles the guys had to overcome before production commenced and the things one appreciates most in life are worth working hard for.
Chris dropped off the first Date Card of the season and it had the following men's names on it: Riley Christian, a 30-year-old attorney from Long Island City, NY; Jordan Chapman, a 26-year-old software account executive from New York City, NY; Yosef Aborady, a 30-year-old medical device salesman from Daphne, AL; and Ivan Hall, a 28-year-old aeronautical engineer from Dallas, TX.
Ben Smith, a 29-year-old Army Ranger veteran from Venice, CA; Bennett Jordan, a 36-year-old wealth management consultant from New York City, NY; Zac Clark, a 36-year-old addiction specialist from Haddonfield, NJ; Zach Jackson, a 37-year-old cleaning service owner from St. George, UT; and Dale, a 32-year-old former college basketball and football player from Brandon, SD, also learned they'd be going on the first group date of the season.
When the men met up with Clare, they learned they'd be expressing their love languages, meaning how they give and receive love. Clare anticipated the men opening up to her and expressing themselves and their wants and desires.
"I can't even remember how to find love, and when I saw your energy and your spirit, you really made me feel comfortable committing to that, and I'm committed to giving you everything I have -- physically and emotionally. I trust you and I'm here for every bit of it. I don't care who's watching," Dale shared.
Clare was touched by the men's words and got a little emotional, saying it had been such a long since a man had said kind and heartfelt things to her.
Each guy then ran back to their hotel rooms and each grabbed a little gift for Clare. The men shared sentimental items with Clare, such as a baseball from the last game Riley had ever played in. Riley even wrote, "Don't complain, figure things out" on the ball.
Clare and the men then tested out physical touch when Clare was blindfolded. Clare immediately remembered Dale's smell and the men could tell she touched and was connecting with Dale on a deeper level.
Dale admitted it was hard for him to hold back, and the interaction made some of the other men jealous.
Once the men changed and arrived at the afterparty, Clare led a toast and said "to finding love," and then there was an awkward pause because none of the guys asked Clare to talk or pulled her away for a conversation.
Bennett asked Clare to chat first, and Clare said, "Don't everybody jump at once! That was sad, gosh."
Clare wasn't even sure the guy wanted to hang out with her, and she joked with Bennett about interrupting "a bromance." Clare was upset because the guys didn't seem to want quality time with her, and she didn't sign on for The Bachelorette for the guys to "bro out."
Clare therefore couldn't focus on her conversation with Bennett and decided to confront the guys on her date.
Clare addressed the group as a whole and complained, "I'm a little bit taken aback. I was sitting here and making a toast and then there was the longest awkward silence. I just sat here and was embarrassed and almost like, 'Does anybody want to spend time with me?'"
Yosef attempted to speak for the group, but Clare told him to speak for himself.
"If you guys want to hang out with each other, you can do that and I can go home and go to bed. At the end of the day, I'm a woman and I want my man to show me you care," Clare announced. "The truth of the matter is, it just hurt me."
The men then jumped at the opportunity for quality time with Clare, and Dale said he felt guilty Clare had been hurt and he wouldn't let it happen again. Dale gushed about being on Cloud 9 with Clare.
"I started out by saying I want to speak for the group, and what I wanted to say is, you're crazy to think that we all didn't come here for you," Yosef said.
Clare said she needed to figure this out for herself, and Riley was angry that a man had tried to speak for him.
Riley told Yosef not to speak for him again, and Yosef said he was just trying to let Clare know they were all on the show for him. Riley called Yosef "disrespectful," saying grown men don't call women "crazy."
Dale made Clare feel like he cared, and he said it bothered him that Clare thought the men didn't want to fight for her. Clare then sat down with Dale and told him that he scared her.
"You scare me because of how I already feel about you, and I want you to know how much -- even this early on -- like, I totally have feelings for you," Clare said.
"I feel the same way, I'm not going to lie. And I would never say the things I say if I didn't mean them, and to say I have strong feelings for you, like, hell yeah. There's no denying it and I'm not going to shy away from it," Dale replied.
Dale said he could see himself falling in love with Clare, adding, "She doesn't need to waste her time with anyone else because I've got you."
During a chat with Zach C., Clare revealed how she had been in an abusive relationship prior to appearing on Juan Pablo Galavis' season of The Bachelor.
Clare said her ex was like "a drug" in that he would pull her in and then just trash her. Clare recalled struggling through emotional abuse but later finding growth and self-discovery through her time on The Bachelor.
"I know I have one of the greatest hearts in the room, and I have so much to share and I have so much to give, and I want that with a man," Clare cried.
Zach C. told Clare that he wants a woman with life experience, and Clare was starting to realize she had a lot of great men on her date and couldn't wait to talk to all of them.
Riley then sat down with Clare and apologized for not stepping up and jumping at the chance to talk to her earlier in the date.
To make up for it, Riley danced with Clare like it was their high school prom, and Clare said she wanted a man who would stand right beside her and appreciate her assertiveness.
Riley stole a couple of kisses and insisted he fit the bill in terms of what Clare wants.
Clare decided to give the first date's rose to Riley, and then Yosef complained to the cameras how Clare had acted "hot-headed" and "immature" on the date and he'd have no problem confronting her about her behavior.
"She's not living up to who I thought Clare was going into this, and if I have to address it with her, I will," Yosef said.
The next day, Jason Foster, a 31-year-old former pro football lineman from Arlington, VA, embarked on the first one-on-one date with Clare.
For their date, Clare challenged Jason to be vulnerable and dig deep. She asked him to write a letter to his younger self, and Jason knew he must discuss his emotions and feelings with Clare.
Jason admitted he didn't show his emotions in his past relationship and that's probably why it failed. Jason was nervous and admitted opening up was going to be difficult for him because his deep, dark secrets had previously scared people away.
Jason revealed to Clare he had lost 105 pounds at the start of their date, and then they began sharing some pretty personal things. Clare said Jason seemed to hide pain through laughs and jokes, which is something she tends to do as well, and Jason owned up to that.
The date was all about sharing, healing, letting go, and facing the past, and the couple kicked things off by screaming into the air while sitting by a campfire.
Clare then asked Jason to write down things he's been told about himself that hurt him and he wanted to release.
"I have my past for a reason," Jason told the cameras. "Right now, this is the scariest thing I have ever done in my entire life."
Jason wrote down the following words: Manipulative, selfish, can't love, insecure, cold, and mean. And Clare wrote down needy, hard to love, too picky, and a b-tch.
The pair smashed those memories and Jason said Clare was acting like his rock and made him feel comfortable. Afterward, they read the letters they had written to their younger selves.
Jason expressed how he was scared to be judged and told his past is "too damaging" to move forward from. Jason faced his demons and said he was looking for unconditional level.
"I think that's why I've been myself for the past two years. I've just held everything in. I thought I wanted to be by myself and just go out and do my own thing and just hook up with anybody," Jason said.
"You're that guy?" Clare asked.
"No, I didn't like that, but I was never able to open up to somebody... There are some demons that will come out that I don't want people to see," Jason shared.
"Every time I let my guard down, it always gets too deep for somebody. It's too much."
Jason realized he was developing sincere feelings for Clare, who assured Jason that revealing his demons actually pulled her closer to him and not further away.
Clare said she used to be attracted to "players" who pushed her away, and Jason insisted he didn't want to be that guy and he and his brother had experienced a lot of dark things growing up with their parents, who probably shouldn't have stayed married.
Jason explained he saw things that he'd never want to be or do in relationships, and he said his past taught him discipline and how to be respectful.
Clare said she's "a strong ass woman" and could handle Jason. She found him so attractive on that date because he was just being himself, and Clare planned to continue pushing Jason.
Clare then gave Jason a rose and kissed him, and Jason was pretty smitten with Clare, whom he called "powerful" and "beautiful." Jason gushed that Clare is the woman he wants.
Clare then symbolically burned the gown she had worn on The Bachelor finale after getting dumped by Juan Pablo and standing up to him.
"This was by far the most successful one-on-one ever," Clare told the cameras. "Knowing that I met such an incredible guy makes me really excited about what's to come."
For the second group date, Clare announced she wanted a man who would fight for her and try to win her over, so she asked the guys to play a few games of dodgeball.
The guys were split into two teams, and the winning team would be able to spend more time with Clare that evening at the afterparty.
The date turned into "strip dodgeball" at Clare's request, and Chris said the losing team would ultimately have no clothing on.
The date included Brandon; Brendan Morais, a 30-year-old commercial roofer from Milford, MA; Blake Moynes, a 29-year-old wildlife manager from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; Chasen Nick, a 31-year-old IT account executive from San Diego, CA; Demar Jackson, a 26-year-old spin cycling instructor from Scottsdale, AZ; and Garin Flowers, a 34-year-old professor of journalism from North Hollywood, CA.
Jay Smith, a 30-year-old fitness director from Fort Lauderdale, FL; Joe Park, a 36-year-old anesthesiologist from New York City, NY; Kenny Braasch, a 39-year-old boyband manager from Chicago, IL; Uzoma "Eazy" Nwachukwu, a 29-year-old sports marketing agent from Newport Beach, CA, also participated in the date.
While the losing team, which included Blake Boynes, returned to The Bachelorette resort without their clothes on, Eazy was hopeful about building a connection with Clare at the afterparty.
Clare told Eazy that he lit up the room, and he in turn rubbed her feet for her after the game.
Clare had a nice chat with Chasen, who revealed he had been bullied when he was younger for being short, and Clare in turn said she never got asked to her high school prom. The pair connected and shared a kiss.
Suddenly, Blake Moynes decided he didn't want the night to be over, and so he broke the rules and interrupted Clare's date with the other men.
Blake Moynes acknowledged there was going to be a lot of heat on him but he didn't care because Clare was his focus and he wanted more time with her. The group was, in fact, angry, saying they deserved and had won this extra time with Clare.
Eazy appeared to call Blake Moynes "a sore loser," but Clare said she appreciated him showing up. Clare, however, cut their conversation short as to not upset the other guys.
"Wow, I haven't been rejected like that in a long time," Blake Moynes said as he walked away from Clare. "I took that chance to kiss her, which ultimately didn't end up going the way I wanted it to."
Brandon then took the chance to redeem himself after he believed he didn't make a great impression on Night 1, but he couldn't recall why exactly he signed up to date Clare on The Bachelorette other than she's beautiful.
Brandon's response clearly rubbed Clare the wrong way, but Brandon insisted he came on the show to find love and start a family of his own.
Clare told Brandon that she had a really great group of guys on the show and didn't want to pursue a relationship with him any longer. She therefore showed him out.
"I'm not saying Brandon's a bad guy, but I had to send him home because I know what I'm looking for... Brandon can't even think of one thing he likes about me. Like, why are you here?" Clare questioned, adding that she had so many sincere conversations with other men.
Clare said she wanted men to stick around who could see her heart and she didn't want a superficial relationship that lacks substance.
Clare then gave the date's rose to Chasen after he opened up to her in a conversation, and Eazy admitted he was disappointed but planned to "bring it" at the cocktail party.
The next day, Yosef talked to the guys about how he never would have stripped for Clare and "humiliated" himself like that on a group date. He called Clare's move "classless" and said he planned to confront Clare about the "red flags" he had seen at the cocktail party.
At the cocktail party, Clare pulled Blake Moynes aside first to catch up after he had crashed the dodgeball group date's afterparty. Clare said it was "amazing" for him to do and he shouldn't worry.
Afterward, Dale discussed with Clare how he trusted her and wanted to dive into her layers. He said Clare's mother was in his prayers
To calm his nerves and put his mind at ease, Clare actually gave Blake a rose so he wouldn't have to suffer through the night and the Rose Ceremony.
"I have been able to see such a deeper, more intimate side of Dale. With Dale, it's just that crazy, unexplainable chemistry that when it's so fresh and so new, it's like I've known him more years. I still can't put words to it," Clare told the cameras.
The episode concluded with Clare blindfolding Dale and making out with him.
"I feel like what's happening with Dale is just magical, and these are my dreams coming true," Clare noted.