It feels like forever (84 years?) since Michelle Young was on our television screens. She was last seen getting her heart torn to pieces by former Bachelor star Matt James during his season finale, as he sent her packing prior to choosing Rachael Kirkconnell. And now, after months of waiting, it’s finally the elementary school teacher’s turn to hand out the roses in the Season 18 premiere of The Bachelorette.
So, before Michelle gets to the mansion, hosts Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe meet with the men to make sure they’re husband material. Spoiler alert: They’re not. Well at least not all. While snooping through one man Ryan’s hotel room, they find a folder filled with notes on how to get a “good edit” on the show and even listed certain men from the franchise to emulate. While I find this very shady, I also think it’s very convenient that he would just leave his folder out to be found in plain sight.
Anyway, Michelle shows up at the mansion and looks drop-dead gorgeous in her sparkling gold gown. She’s greeted by Kaitlyn and Tayshia who remind her that she is, in fact, the Bachelorette and that she looks amazing. Both of which I’m pretty sure she already knew. Before we know it, the first limo pulls up with a load of potential future husbands.
One of the first guys out of the limo is Clayton, who hands Michelle a ruler and asks her to spank him on national television. No doubt he’s going far. Then there’s Chris S., who shows up in a school bus, LT, who shows up without pants, and some random dude who literally dressed as a… table? Sigh. I’m quickly reminded that ABC can’t get enough of Tayshia and Kaitlyn, and we’ll be getting their commentary throughout all of these intros.
Then we see our infamous note-taker, Ryan, who shows up in an ice cream truck. “That’s an ice cream truck,” Kaitlyn says. Thank you, Kaitlyn. What I’m noticing here is that Ryan is the first guy to get the “creepy” music upon arrival… which isn’t surprising considering we know all about his secret creepy folder.
There are way too many weird entrances this season. Almost every person is showing up with some sort of gimmick. Aren’t there supposed to be some more normal guys in the bunch? Producers had a field day with this group.
One of the guys without a gimmick is Joe, who is gorgeous and lives in Michelle’s city. Michelle immediately asks him if they’ve met before, as he looks very familiar. We soon find out that Michelle has slid into Joe’s DMs before, but he ghosted her. Still, she seems excited that someone who looks like Joe is there. And so am I.
The cocktail party finally kicks off and while the guys are scrambling to get some alone time with Michelle, she’s pretty focused on one guy. She pulls Joe aside for some one-on-one time and questions why he stopped talking to her via DM. He explains that it was a difficult time for him, as he owned property near George Floyd Square in Minneapolis where shootings and murders were happening, which caused him a great deal of anxiety. Michelle empathizes with Joe, as she also lives nearby and has had similar experiences, but she wishes he would’ve been honest with her via DM, instead of just ignoring her. “How do I know you’re not just going to shut down again?” she asks. That’s something we’ll have to figure out.
Michelle then chats with Ryan, the ice cream man — wait, is he an actual ice cream man or did he just show up in an ice cream truck? And if he stays, does the ice cream truck stay, too? Going to add that to my list of things to figure out. Anyway, shortly after talking with Ryan, Kaitlyn and Tayshia pull Michelle aside to tell her — gasp! — he may not be there for the right reasons. They explain that he has notes on “how not to be a villain” and the irony of all of this is just amazing. Did that document say, DON’T LEAVE YOUR DOCUMENT OUT FOR OTHERS TO SEE? Because that should probably be bullet point number one.
The ever-classy Michelle pulls Ryan aside to hear his side of the story instead of flipping out, which is what I would probably do. But everything out of Ryan’s mouth is straight BS. He says the document wasn’t written with bad intentions, and that he simply just never watched the show before and wanted to know how to act. He ends up bringing Michelle to his room to show her the document, but it’s not just a document, it’s multiple folders. Everything from how to get more screen time to what he should say to the Bachelorette to last longer on the show is covered in this dude’s book of rules. Obviously, Michelle can’t keep Ryan around after all of this, so she sends him packing. It’s a shame Ryan didn’t have a document explaining what to do when the lead realizes you’re a weirdo.
Michelle is clearly rattled by the Ryan drama and worries if there are other men who may not be on the show for the right reasons. Luckily, she gets pulled aside by Nayte, who completely erases her fears. The two seem to connect right off the bat. She seems totally into him, and it’s a great distraction from all the other nonsense. “This completely reset the night,” she tells him. After talking to a few more men, she comes back to Nayte and offers him the first impression rose — and a kiss. Saw this one coming from a mile away.
But not every man gets a rose from Michelle — tonight we say goodbye to JoMarri, Edward, and Garrett. As for the rest of the guys? It looks like they’re in for a bumpy ride if the full season trailer is any indicator.
The Bachelorette, Tuesdays, 8/7c, ABC