Season 17 of “The Bachelorette” debuted with a new batch of cookies.
One brave soul even dared to emerge from a pickup truck ball pit as a surprise guest.
Katie Thurston, 31, the coquettish leading lady in red, impatiently awaited her 30 attractive husband prospects in the Chris Harrison-free “Bachelorette” debut.
Show alums Tayshia Adams, 30, and Kaitlyn Bristowe, 35, filled in for Harrison, 49, who abruptly stepped down as the franchise’s veteran host following a racist tirade in March.
Adams and Bristowe surprised Thurston as her well-versed wing ladies who’ll help her down the yellow-brick road to Bachelorette bliss throughout the season, dubbed “the ultimate female gang.”
As their unusual caravan of chariots arrived at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya outside Albuquerque, New Mexico, each of the culturally varied candidates. They were ranging in age from 26 to 36. Furthermore, they met Thurston with individual presents ranging from a dead fish to lightly worn undergarments.
And while some of the gifts of gratitude made her giggle, others made her grimace.
Gabriel, 35, made the brunette Washington native’s skin crawl with an inappropriately extended post-quarantine embrace.
Andrew S., 26, an international football legend, had the blushing bride want to be smiling with a phony British accent.
Andrew is a Chicago native who plays professional basketball in Vienna, Austria. So, he arrived in a vintage automobile that made Thurston remark, “Wow.”
Other loverboys, such as surgical skin salesman Jeff, 31, from New Jersey, arrived in a beat-up RV in Thurston’s life.
James, 30, gave himself to Thurston as a gift, arriving in a gigantic gift box on wheels replete with a large red ribbon. Also, he stayed inside it for the remainder of the event.
When they weren’t fighting for Thurston’s attention, two contenders on The Bachelorette. These were Aaron, 26, from San Diego, and Cody, 27, a zipper salesman (who brought the blow-up doll). He got into an oddly heated dispute.
Though it’s unknown why the two men got into a furious argument right away, it’s reasonable to assume that their feud will continue to simmer as the season unfolds.
Harrison’s disappearance remained unnoticed
The two-hour program Bachelorette made no mention of Harrison, who has been the franchise’s face and voice since its inception in 2002, nor did it make any note of last season’s drama, including Thurston’s pivotal role in calling out bullying among some of the candidates.
Thurston, a bank marketing manager, said to The Hollywood Reporter that she was hesitant to perform the performance because of the Harrison incident, but she couldn’t pass up the chance.
Despite the fact that race was not discussed throughout the Bachelorette, more than a third of the original round of suitors were men of color.
During their one-on-one conversation, Greg Grippo, a 27-year-old marketing sales employee from Edison, New Jersey, stole the show when he presented Thurston with handcrafted jewelry handmade by his toddler niece.
His kind act got him the prized “first impression rose” as well as a kiss.
Thurston entertained her fellow Casanovas in a number of ways in Bachelorette.
Tre, 26, jumped into a bed of balls with her. She went on a tour of Jeff’s terrifying RV. And she spat with Connor B., 29, a Tennessee math teacher who dressed up like a cat from head to toe. He did this to underline their mutual love of cats – speak about a cat with your tongue.
Who Went Home
Adams and Bristowe revealed that it was time for the Bachelorette to fire a few of her potential suitors. So, Thurston didn’t hesitate to fire seven of them.
Her first round of cuts was Gabriel, Austin, Brandon, Landon, Jeff, Marcus, and Marty. Her remaining 23 suitors wished the gentlemen a kind goodbye.
Die-hard citizens of Bachelorette can expect a lot of “Katie” cheers and a lot of heartbreaking tears. This is thanks to an end-of-show sneak peek at what’s to come during Thurston’s reign as primetime’s most-wanted babe.
Fans have already predicted which of the males Thurston would present her final rose to on Twitter, and everyone believes it will be Greg.
Our Final Words
We had high hopes when the limos arrived with the 30 contestants. This was especially after the way Thurston showed up as a contender on last season’s “Bachelor” — and we were not disappointed Monday night. It was a #ThirstyForThurston sort of evening, from James, who arrived in a present box. The present was for Connor B., who dressed up like a cat in full costume. This was to highlight his shared love of felines with Thurston. But, according to social media, the leader looks to be Greg, who adores children and gave a pasta necklace crafted by his niece.
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