How has the devastating global pandemic affected the Bachelorette, the reality show where hot people go on TV to find love by standing extremely close to each other and making out in hot tubs? That is a question not many people were asking, but is a question to which we finally have the answer, because last night was the show’s season 16 premiere.
This season’s bachelorette is Clare Crawley, a hairdresser from Sacramento. Clare is 39, which makes her the oldest bachelorette ever — a fact the show highlights constantly, as if Clare were Father Time instead of just a regular, fit lady in her 30s.
Last night, we saw Clare meet the roughly 89 men vying for her heart, most of whom she ignored, because she also met Dale, with whom she’s rumored to have left the show mid-season because they fell in love. I promise that’s not really a spoiler because there’s been a lot written about it already, and also, the show smacked us all over the heads with it last night. The show also detailed its extensive COVID-19 safety procedures, and included lots of wild lines from the cast about the struggles of quarantine, like when Clare talks about how difficult it was “not being able to hug somebody, let alone a smoking-hot man.” That has also been difficult for me.
Anyway, here are some questions I had about the episode. If you have the answers, whisper them into the wind, and I’ll hear them.
• At the beginning of the episode, Chris Harrison called Clare to tell her that she had tested negative for COVID. Will my spirit ever return to my physical vessel after watching this? Also, would Chris Harrison do this for me?
• While they were quarantining in their little La Quinta cottages, a couple of the contestants jumped up and down on their beds like kids in a movie montage when their parents leave the house. One of the guys played chess against himself. Another meditated cross-legged on his chest of drawers. But why didn’t he just meditate on the floor, or a chair?
• At one point, one of the guys says that he doesn’t want to get COVID because he doesn’t want to “get sent home instantly.” There are other reasons he should not want to get it, no?
• Why does Chris Harrison announce Clare by saying, “YOUR Bachelorette,” to the camera, as if she’s an elected official?
• Do Bachelorettes technically count as federal officials? Are they granted diplomatic immunity when they travel?
• How hard do you think it was for Clare to pretend that these guys’ intro bits were fun and quirky instead of absolutely exhausting? The “whoopee cushion in a ring box” thing? Come on, man.
• After she first meets Dale, Clare says that she feels like she just met her husband. Did you hear the part later where Dale describes himself as an “empath”?
• The drama with Tyler C. and Yosef, where Tyler C. tells Clare that Yosef has been chatting up girls on Instagram felt really forced, and Clare ended up eliminating Tyler C., maybe in part because he’s so bad at starting drama. My question is: When will we finally see some LinkedIn-based drama on this show?
• Frankly, the premiere dragged a little, but it looks like the coming weeks will be better. How many episodes to go until Clare decides to leave and Tayshia Adams comes in? What does this mean for the guys who have already been eliminated? Will I ever recover from Chris Harrison saying that the coronavirus has “dramatically affected how we fall in love”? We’ll see next week!