It is possible to work too hard to try and make a good first impression. Plus, the next "Bachelor" is here -- but can you guess which guy it is?
The first night of every new season of "The Bachelorette" and "The Bachelor" is all about making a memorable first impression. Not only is there a First Impression Rose on the line but sometimes that's the only shot you've got to stand out enough to survive the first Rose Ceremony.
It is possible, however, to make too memorable of a first impression and have it go all wrong. That's what happened to one suitor, with a little assist from super sleuths -- and returning hosts -- Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe.
We're not sure if this was new this season, or just something we've not seen before, but the ladies actually surprised some of the guys by crashing their hotel rooms even before they went down to meet our new Bachelorette, Matt James' runner-up, elementary school teacher Michelle Young.
New or not, we hope it's here to stay; even though it will probably just make future contestants a little more careful in the future; because what they found is not only indefensible, it's just about the creepiest thing we've seen on one of these shows.
The biggest fear for any Bachelor Nation lead is finding out that people may not be there for the purest of reasons. If they're there for fame or clout or even in an effort to be the next lead, that's disastrous for this season's journey.
It can also shake the confidence of the current lead at a time when they're so vulnerable, having to try and open up and trust literally dozens of potential life mates. Talk about a high-stress situation, so every little bit of clarity helps.
Memorable First Impressions
As always, the entrances are extremely hit-or-miss. It's all about the First Impression Rose, but we got plenty of other first impressions on our way into that first Cocktail Party.
First Impression Dad Jokes: We always love a guy who's not ashamed to show his corny side, and Nayte definitely delivered, with the night's first -- but not last -- dad joke. And it was a play on his name, helping him to stand out. Michelle followed it up later in the night with a follow-up dad joke of her own, also playing off his name. We'd call that a good start.
First Impression Bedside Manner: Brandon J certainly got Michelle's attention by showing up literally in a bed, telling her it was so she could see what it would look like to wake up next to him. It was cute enough, but not as funny as the closing credits clip of Kaitlyn trying to push Tayshia out of the scene on it.
First Impression Spanking: Clayton certainly got Michelle's attention by showing up with a yardstick (or a meter stick if you're metric!) and then offering to give her one free whack on his bottom. She was both oddly charmed and clearly uncomfortable, but she was able to laugh her way through it.
First Impression Innuendo: Whereas Katie Thurston was all about the raunchy jokes and sexual innuendos in her season, Michelle was clearly more reserved in her response to them. While she ultimately laughed off Chris S's "D" joke, her first reaction looked as if she was a little put off by it."
First Impression Pants-Off Party: LT certainly walked in with confidence, adjusting his tuxedo novelty underwear, paired with a lovely suit jacket and dress shirt. Michelle was definitely loosening up by this point, laughing that his was the "best tux" she'd seen all night.
First Impression Scoop: Ryan did his homework (ahem) about Michelle, knowing that not only was she a foodie, but she had a definite love for ice cream. We love a creative vehicle entrance, and he delivered for sure in an ice cream truck.
First Impression Size Doesn't Matter: Firefighter Daniel certainly had an adorable idea to show up for his first impression by tooting along on a toy fire truck. It wasn't the most graceful entrance, but it was cute. He was feeling good about it, too, until fellow firefighter PJ showed up in a full-sized truck!
First Impression Rejection: Nobody likes to get rejected on the first date, but Michelle clearly wasn't feeling Brandon K's joke about her having to "earn" the necklace he put around her neck by exposing her ... heart. Before he could even get out his little joke, the necklace was back off and Michelle was over it. As we're quickly learning, she doesn't play in that way.
First Impression Second Impression: Probably the most shocking first impression was the one that turned out not to be a first impression at all. First, Michelle thought Joe looked familiar, but couldn't quite place it. Then, as he was walking away and playing coy, she suddenly remembered that she'd slid into his DMs -- and even remembered his last name. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?!
First Impression Rose: Someone had to get it, and kudos to Nayte for pushing through is guard and his walls to actually open up a little bit about his family. Yes, Michelle had to push him a bit to get him there, but she respected that he took the guidance and let down his guard a bit. He felt euphoric about that loosening up, too, and was so sweet and excited when he got the season's first rose. He's definitely someone to watch, as Michelle is clearly looking for that genuine side in people and Nayte appears to be bringing just that.
How to Be on The Bachelorette
We're still totally creeped out by what Kaitlyn and Tayshia found in one contestant's room before they even went down to meet Michelle. Interestingly, though, nothing was said about it right away. Instead, they waited until after Michelle had met this guy, and even enjoyed some one-on-one time, to drop on her that they'd found some truly disturbing material in his room.
Ryan managed to grab her attention with his ice cream truck, and she felt like he really understood the way to her heart. She admitted there were sparks because she felt seen and heard. The problem was that Ryan was a very, very, very good student.
He brought with him several folders and extensive notes about Michelle and the show, including how to come across good on camera, how to avoid coming across as the villain, how to pretend to be interested in what Michelle does, a lot of information on teachers.
He took "The Bachelorette" as an assignment and he had clear intentions on how he wanted to approach the show and even be on the show. Prior to this, he was even giving quality soundbites, which may or may not have been prepared in advance. The whole thing was just so disturbing.
He tried to play it off, and appeared to get caught in a lie, or a partial lie, about his familiarity with the franchise and who wrote those copious notes. After Michelle insisted on seeing them, he could be seen scrambling to the camera in the hall as she looked through the notes, horrified.
Ultimately, it was too many red flags for Day 1 and she felt she had no choice but to walk him home. And we loved that she shut him down assertively when he tried to plead for a second chance. This is a no-nonsense woman who isn't going to deal with shenanigans.
We just felt awful for her that this happened Night 1 before the first Rose Ceremony. Had the hosts not found the folders and notes, she would have probably kept Ryan around a lot longer. As it was, she let him go, but it had to shake her confidence with the other guys -- Ryan had a good act going, so how many others might, as well?
Certainly the "Bachelor" franchise has had its problems with fakers getting onto the show for all the wrong reasons, sometimes even winning their respective seasons or weaseling their way into becoming the lead on a season of their own -- you know who we're talking about!
Further to her credit, after a season where Katie canceled several Cocktail Parties after getting rattled with bad news, Michelle was determined to respect the guys who'd given their all to be there and carried on with the Cocktail Party.
From Ghost to Suitor
That's a bold move, Joe. A bold move!
After Michelle figured out why she recognized him, she revealed that Joe and she had actually connected on social media and perhaps even started seeing one another. But then, out of nowhere amid George Floyd and Black Lives Matter, he ghosted her.
Pulling him aside, Joe fumbled an awkward explanation about how he was emotionally struggling through that time, being from Minnesota, but Michelle lives and teaches in Minneapolis, where Floyd died. She called him out on how he handled it, saying all he had to do was give her the respect, the courtesy of being upfront with her.
Ghosting someone is never the solution -- unless they are cray-cray and you gotta get away-way!
Again, Michelle really handled a challenging situation extremely well, showing an impressive depth of emotional intelligence and compassion. She's also making it clear early on that she is a strong woman who is ready for this experience. She did not come to play.
At the same time, Joe clearly is resonating within her, as she had to walk away from the Rose Ceremony before handing out the last one, with Joe still in the mix and a possibility to go home. She was visibly wrestling with what to do about him.
Obviously, they had a connection outside, but what he did was inexcusable. Also, why did he never actually reach out to her again, instead surprising her by appearing as one of her suitors on "The Bachelorette"? Is it about her, or the opportunity her being on a massive show can give him? There's that doubt again.
Ultimately, though, Joe scored the rose, rounding out the 23 men who survived the first night.
Alongside Ryan's well-earned early exit, we said goodbye to Garrett, Edward, JoMarri, Bryan and a guy named Jack Russell who tried to endear himself to her with a terrible joke about his name and the dog breed.
It was also the end of the road for Brandon K, who clearly did not impress her with his New Orleans necklace joke. She rejected the necklace and then later that night, she rejected him!
First Impression Chatter
“Before we start this journey, I just want to say, it’s better Nayte than never.” --Nayte (coming in strong with the early dad joke)
“Did you come up with that all on your own?” --Michelle
“I said that my name’s Romeo and I hope you’ll be my Juliet. But I assure you that our love story won’t end in tragedy.” --Romeo (translating his French)
“My name’s Jack. Jack Russell. Like the dog. And like the dog, I’m loyal and attentive, but I’m also playful and I’m so ready to play tug of war with your heart.” --Jack
“I plan on being on my best behavior this entire time, so hopefully you don’t have to use it, but this time only, I will allow one free swing.” --Clayton (giving Michelle a yardstick)
“Yo, that was just fabric until you brought it to life.” --Jamie (about Michelle’s dress)
“I’ve never been so excited to come back to school but you might have to take an exam of mine. You might get an A, I might give you a D.” --Chris S (whoa, buddy!)
“See you later, see you later!” -- Michelle
“Diamond! Diamond!” --Chris S
“My family said that I should break a leg. And I actually did. I broke my foot before I came here.” --Garrett (not a line, just bad luck)
“Best tux I’ve seen all night.” --Michelle (about LT’s underwear tux)
“I will tell you one thing, this guy is quite ballsy.” --Kaitlyn (watching LT arrive)
“I want you to enjoy your appetizers tonight, but when you’re ready for your main course, come and find me.” --Rick (inside a serving cart)
“Did someone named Michelle order a double scoop of live?” --Ryan (arriving in an ice cream truck)
“You did your homework.” --Michelle (about Ryan; if only she knew)
“Looks like one juicy apple right there.” --Michelle (about Rodney’s apple costume)
[shouting Italian] --Peter (throws a pizza crust in the air and walks away like it’s a movie explosion)
“You look like you need a push.” --Michelle (to Daniel, arriving on a toy fire truck)
“I heard there was a fire, looks like it’s just a smokeshow.” --Daniel
“I know there’s a lot of guys with great ideas here, but I have to say, my fire truck was the best.” --Daneil (right before xx shows up in a real fire truck)
“Oh, I wonder how Daniel’s feeling right now?” --Michelle (as fire truck pulls up)
“You look really familiar.” --Michelle (to Joe)
“Have I slid into your DMs. Is your last name Coleman?” --Michelle (to Joe)
“Yeah, that’s me.” --Joe
“School’s out for the summer. Bring on the men.” --Michelle
“I can plow a field, ladies.” --Ryan (too soon, Ryan!)
“Oh my god, there she is. What do I do with my hands?” --JoMarri
“I was surprised to get a few responses and then--.” --Michelle (to Joe)
“And then not.” --Joe (he ghosted her)
“I’m a big communications person. And I’m also a very understanding person. And I’m also a woman of color living right there when George Floyd and all these different things are going on. I’m right in the heart of it, too. My students are experiencing it. If anyone were to be understanding, you would have just had to say the word. You didn’t have to be ready for a relationship, you just had to communicate that you’re not in a good place right now. That’s it. Because for me, respect is a huge thing. And my hesitation here tonight is, how do I know you're not going to shut down again?” --Michelle (to Joe)
“I was really a little bit caught off guard when Tayshia and Kaitlyn checked in on me tonight and said they stopped by your room and when they were there, they saw some notes about how to get the most screen time, how to not be the villain, searching up facts about teachers, basically acting like you’re interested in the profession. And so, I wanted to pull you aside because I do want to hear an explanation. I want this cleared up very quickly.” --Michelle (to Ryan)
“I am not okay with starting a relationship on red flags. You’ll need to respect that I’m going to choose to listen to my red flags. And so, unfortunately, I will be walking you out.” --Michelle (after seeing Ryan’s notes)
“Okay. Is there any way I can change your mind?” --Ryan
“Again, my decision is made. And so I am gonna have to walk you out.” --Michelle (brooking no nonsense)
“I think I made a good first impression.” --Nayte (after opening up to Michelle)
“I saw you push yourself. And even as you opened up, you were still completely Nayte. Nothing but Nayte.” --Michelle (giving him First Impression Rose)