“The Bachelor” has returned for its 24th season, with 30 women vying for the affection of Peter Weber, also known as “Pilot Pete.” The opening montage of the three-hour premiere teases an appearance from former flame and last season’s Bachelorette Hannah Brown and a glimpse of the new contestants.
The women begin arriving at the Bachelor Mansion for first impressions, and there’s no shortage of the digs at Brown and cringeworthy moments. There are windmill jokes after windmill jokes alluding to Peter’s time with Brown during the previous season, and each is as uncomfortable as the last. The women go all out, showing up in costumes or inside luggage as a nod toward Peter’s profession. Other notable impressions include the emotional support cow gifted to Peter by Jenna and the reintroduction of Kelly and Peter after previously meeting.
In true Bachelor fashion, the drama immediately ensues once the girls enter the mansion. Once inside, they watch from the windows as another limo pulls up to the house. Jaws drop when Brown steps out and approaches Peter. There’s mass confusion as to why she’s there, whether to win Peter back or join the other women in the competition. Instead, she returns his pilot wings that he’d gifted her when they first met.
Despite this small hiccup, the women begin their one-on-one time with Peter all while fueling themselves with alcohol. Many tears are shed, and there’s no shortage of sneaky behavior from some of the girls. Hannah Ann relentlessly interrupts Peter’s time with other contestants, which is a huge no-no in Bachelor ethics. Her obsessive behavior toward Peter is cringey and tacky, and she burns bridges with the other women on the first night, even though she potentially has to spend the next two months living with them.
Then comes time for the first impression rose, which Hannah Ann wins. It’s shocking that Peter didn’t see through her overbearingness, as it’s overwhelming just to watch her in action. After a few more hours of mingling, the cast moves onto the rose ceremony to decide who will stay and who must go home. This prompts emotional goodbyes despite it still being the first night.
Nine contestants are chosen by Peter to participate in the first challenge of a mock flight school — but not without drama, as the other women accuse Kelley Flanagan of cheating during the obstacle course. Kelley does cheat by cutting through the middle of the course, but Peter doesn’t seem to notice as he takes her for a sunset plane ride over the coast of Los Angeles. This leads Flanagan to receive the date rose, keeping her safe from elimination at the next rose ceremony.
To the other contestants’ dismay and jealousy, Madison Prewett is asked on the first one-on-one date. She and Peter attend his parents’ vow renewal ceremony, despite it being inappropriately intense for a first date. From there, a handful of other women who weren’t initially picked by Peter are selected for the second group date of the season.
Brown's second appearance to win Peter back is arguably the most anticipated part of the premiere. This entire sequence of events is a mess. It begins with Peter and the other women walking in to find Hannah onstage in a sparkly dress and heels. They’re all surprised and confused as they approach her. Hannah then rambles on about the sex she had with Peter in the windmill — not once, but four times. Naturally, this irritates the other women, and it’s almost unbearable to watch unfold.
It also happens to be Hannah’s birthday — and what a way to celebrate by watching her ex flirt with a group of women. After that disaster, Hannah leads Peter into a back room where she proceeds to cry and express regret about letting him go. Peter sees through her story, as he wasn’t even her second choice when her engagement to Jed dissolved. Despite that, he’s confused about his feelings for her and is left with a decision to make.
As for the rest of the season, it’ll be interesting to see how Hannah Ann’s relationship with the other women plays out considering most contestants despise sneakiness. Also, many people have mixed feelings about Hannah Brown’s attempt to woo Peter one last time. There’s speculation that Peter is going to pick her regardless, while others think that he sees through Brown’s act.
Contact Claire Reilly at email@example.com. For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Twitter @Breeze_Culture.