The premiere of a new season of The single person—two hours of waterboarding through workout montages and budding influencers professing their love for a man they haven’t even met yet—is always a bit crazy. Our new bachelor is Zach Shallcross, and the recurring line from the contestants’ gushing intros was that he had “good eyes.” Several of the women also refer to themselves as “the future Mrs. Shallcross,” which isn’t exactly out of language.
“Some people say, ‘Why me? “” Zach admits in his voiceover. It’s a good question, the one I asked. Host Jesse Palmer says they cast him because “he’s just a real guy who came here looking for love and love alone.” Of course Jan. Zach is as bland and generic as most of the men who filled the bachelor shoes before him…the kind of guy who says “damn”—but he has a wrinkle of interest (at least, of interest for me): he is related to David Puddy.
If you don’t remember Zach’s run-of-the-mill run in the last season of the bachelorette, I will refresh your memory. On his date in his hometown, his Uncle Pat spoke in a surprisingly deep voice that made me look up from my phone and say, “Is that David Puddy?” Yes! Zach’s uncle is Patrick Warburton, who played Elaine’s boyfriend in Seinfeld. It was never addressed on the show but lives rentless in my mind. I was hoping for a full segment with Uncle Pat in the premiere. Alas, he does not show up.
We get a counseling session from Sean Lowe, literally the only man in the show’s history who is still with his selected winner. I will admit that I am a sucker for Sean Lowe and the way he smiles like a human golden retriever. His season (since 2013, yuck) was the first time I watched The single person, and you’ll never forget your first one. Why isn’t he hosting this show now?
The producers clearly want us to connect Zach with Sean. It is ready to install! He wants a family! He’s a Good Guy™! Five minutes into the episode, my three-an got out of bed to go to the bathroom and then called that he had pooped and needed me to come and wipe his butt. Are you really ready to settle down, Zach? Are you ready to be responsible for wiping someone else’s butt?
Zach’s last line before transitioning to meet the women: “Do I deserve this? I don’t know.” Perfect. No rating.
We then meet a lot of nurses and content creators and medical representatives in their mid-twenties. Zach has already met five of them on After The Final Rosea detail that I did not remember because my brain refuses to retain information about The single person for more than three months. One of them, Briana, already has a rose (called the “rose of America”), so she is safe. Another, Bailey, tried to get her to remember her name by making Bailey rhyme with everyday, so he called her Bailen. For the rest of the episode, my husband called her either Balon Greyjoy (game of thrones) or Balin (The Hobbit).
There is also Christina, who has a five-an and appears to be a potential villain; Brooklyn rodeo girl; and family therapist Charity. It’s hard to pull off an intro video unless you’ve survived a tragedy or are working with children. At the entrances of the limousines!
The first car pulls up and all the girls are screaming “Zach! loudly before chanting: “I am beautiful. I’m confident. I’m strong.” in unison as if they were having a session. First out is Jess, who is so adorable she looks like she could play a 15-year-old teenager on a CW show. Her lack of The hair extensions and her harsh contours make me want to root for her, which is what the producers want me to feel.” Great smile, very pretty,” Zach thought as he walked into the house. have this done for storytelling purposes, but it’s still extremely weird.
There are a few normal entries, but then we suffer from the usual gimmicks. Someone makes him drink maple syrup. Another looks at her crotch and says she knows everything is bigger in Texas. A girl brings a pig; Christina arrives on a party bus; Vanessa comes out to the trumpets of New Orleans. They all mix together. Bailey (Balon/Balin) reminds him of the time he forgot his name, and it gets worse because they suffer from one of the most awkward first kisses I’ve ever seen on this show. He promises to remember her name, but how funny it would have been if he had shouted, “See you later, Brenda!” as she entered?
Briana is the last to arrive, and she’s wearing a stunning red dress covered in roses to match the rose she already has. Good branding, Briana. Zach says he loves her confidence, not understanding how easy it is for a woman to project her confidence when she feels safe. Once inside, Jesse appears to ask Zach if he feels like he just met his wife. He says, “No, actually, do you have more?” I laugh. He actually says, “My gut tells me…I could have.”
Zach walks into the mansion to address his group of 30 women and begins with, “I’m just a guy who loves family, football, and frozen pizzas. It’s made even worse by the fact that he clearly repeated that speech and determined that it was a winning first line. The rest could have been cut and pasted from any other opening Bachelor a toast, then the night is a blur of awkward get-to-know-you gimmicks and first kisses. Zach and Katherine bond that they’re both “weird,” and is there anything worse than two hot people insisting they’re actually huge weirdos? Christina lures him onto the party bus for a game of compatibility questions, including the critical “dinosaurs or dragons? (Zach prefers dragons, which disappoints Christina.) A woman has him demonstrate his future daddy bona fides by changing the diaper of a doll who looks possessed. Get that thing in the M3GAN following.
Her first rosy impression goes to Greer, who made the incredible play of saying how badly she wants to settle down in Austin, the city in which he resides. Their kiss turns into a makeup session that triggers the funniest moment of the night. “What is that?” someone asks as they try to see who Zach is kissing. “It’s that girl!” shouts another woman.
Because this episode has to follow the same rhythms of every premiere, someone has to fill the crazy role, and that someone is Madison. They have a normal conversation, but her obsession with having the first pink impression causes her to pull him a second time and kiss which they both acknowledge as awful. “I’ll let you go,” Zach said to end their conversation the same way I do when I’m on the phone with someone I don’t want to talk to anymore. Madison spends the rest of the night circling until confronting Zach just before the rose ceremony, forcing him to dump her minutes earlier than he would have anyway. “I can’t believe I gave my life for him!” she sobs to the producers in the aisle. Daughter.
It’s finally time for the rose ceremony and it’s high noon the next day. The sun is high in the sky as he hands out the roses. The people who come home to us are the ones we are not invested in, surprise! Once they’re gone, Zach says he’s here to find his best friend, which is clearly going to be the mantra for the season. I hope Zach’s true best friend…probably some guy named Mike that he’s known since high school—is slightly annoyed every time he introduces himself.
- I’m gonna need them to stop calling him “Snack Zach.”
- In his intro, Jesse says, “Of course the driveway got hosed down.” Is that what they do? Is it something people do?
- As I prepared to point out that the Bachelor is always forgettable, it took me at least 30 seconds to remember who the last Bachelor actually was. Do you remember Clayton?
- “What are you drinking?” someone asks Madison after her bad kiss with Zach. “Not enough.” No, that’s more than enough! Someone cut it!
- Kimberly tries to comfort Madison by saying her makeup is flawed, a term I haven’t heard used since 2015.
- Jesse tells Zach, “A lot happened tonight.” Did it? No one has revealed a boyfriend at home. No one brought a manual. No one even fought! It was an extremely normal and uneventful night, Jesse!