"You know that one guy at the party with a guitar that immediately ruins the mood?," tweets one viewer. "'Listen to Your Heart' is just a house full of only these people."
Blame all these stay-at-home orders that made the bonkers "Tiger King" such a hit amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. Blame whatever it is that makes people slow down to look at car wrecks. Blame morbid curiosity or obsessive devotion. Whatever it is, Bachelor Nation themselves seemed surprised by themselves even as they tuned into the premiere of "Listen to Your Heart."
It's the hybrid of "The Bachelor" and "A Star Is Born" that no one saw coming, asked for or, quite frankly even wanted. And yet here we are, here it is and what did we just subject ourselves to?
Even worse (better?), as Chris Harrison revealed to ET that the network is asking them to see if they can stretch the series beyond its initial six-episode order, including a Zoom-esque reunion special, what is this we're feeling? Excitement? Dread? Both at the same time?
As most fans predicted, this is truly one of the most bizarre things we've ever seen come out of this franchise, and they've riffed on the Olympics with "The Bachelor Winter Games" and its obvious summer counterpart.
Apparently, producers were inspired by the obvious chemistry between "Star" leads Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper during their steamy Oscars performance ... but fans are wondering if there might not be another inspiration, too. Maybe something a little closer to home. Maybe someone who practically had a clone of himself walk onto "Listen to Your Heart."
While we're only one episode in, Trevor Holmes quickly cemented himself as the season's early "villain," just by being there. It's because he immediately hearkened back to "Bachelorette" Hannah Brown's duplicitous winner, Jed Wyatt, who failed to disclose he had a girlfriend when he signed onto the show and may or may not have done it just to promote his music career.
Now granted, music is built into the DNA of this series, but could Jed's (supposed) bold career move have also been an inspiration? And is it possible that Trevor knew he was walking in as a dead ringer for Jed when he chose to wear sherpa-lined jacket?
It was too much for both Hannah and Jed -- and even Tyler Cameron -- who tweeted their gut reactions to seeing Trevor. "I'm triggered by this whole thing," Hannah tweeted, tagging Chris Harrison.
Her pal (lover?) Tyler also called out the style, tweeting, "We've seen how this whole look turns out already..." After hearing about Jed's girlfriend and possible motives, Hannah dumped him before the live finale of her season and he's become one of the most hated contestants in "Bachelor" franchise history.
Jed, though, took it all in stride with his own jokes about Trevor's look and musical aspirations.
Something about this new show feels familiar. Maybe it's Trevor's jacket, maybe it's all the guitars. Stay tuned.
Saying the new show "feels familiar" could certainly be interpreted as Jed admitting that he came onto the show for his music career, rather than finding love and winning happened by accident but by then he was in too deep and so he proposed and was going to role with it for awhile and then who knows what would have happened only he got caught and then it all fell apart. Hopefully the new show isn't that "familiar."
Tyler even joked that Jed should get producer credits for being the inspiration for the new show.
Really, though, this is just another riff on the "Bachelor in Paradise" type of format, only with a focus on music. The contestants are either aspiring musicians -- hi, Jed! -- or somehow involved in the music industry. They're presuambly there to try and find love with "Bachelor"-style dates while living together in a not-the-"Bachelor" mansion.
Like "Paradise," there is a relatively even split between men and women in the mansion. In this first episode, the women were slightly outnumbered as we met the first 20 contestants, and so by the end of the night four of the men were sent packing at the rose ceremony.
See, familiar beats, awkward editing, even more awkward contestant introductions, overly aggressive courting and even a familiar face from another ABC reality series -- no, not Jed Wyatt or even anyone from Bachelor Nation.
Instead, it was Trevor Holmes, the handsome "American Idol" contestant who certainly had Katy Perry swooning during his journey on that show. And if his good looks and talent can turn her into ga-ga (see what we did there?), this show should be no problem?
Is it kind of a trainwreck? Is it still compelling in a we-can't-turn-away kind of way? Is it everything good and bad about "The Bachelor" franchise? Will we be back next week? The answer is yes to all of these questions.
Until then, though, we'll commiserate with Bachelor Nation as they process what they just witnessed and ask themselves why they're watching after making fun of this premise for so, so, so long. And we'll see them all next week.