Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay knows exactly what she wants in a man. On the May 22 premiere, the season 13 lead met the 31 men who will spend the next several months vying for her love. Here, The Knot highlights 10 standout moments from the eventful season premiere, including a surprise visitor from Rachel’s past, a hunky suitor who stole the first kiss, and the recipient of the first impression rose.
1. Rachel Sees Potential
After meeting several of her admirers, Rachel says her expectations have been exceeded. “I see so much potential in the men,” she says in the confessional. “I am definitely seeing men that I can build a future with.”
2. A Blast From the Past
Fred, 27, who works as an executive assistant, steps out of the limo with a memento from Rachel’s past—a yearbook from the school they both attended as children. It turns out that, as an eighth grader, Rachel was Fred’s camp counselor during his third grade year, and he had a crush on the beauty. The sentiment, however, doesn’t sit well with Rachel. “He was a very bad kid,” she recalls.
3. One-on-One Time is Hard to Come By
After Josiah, a 28-year-old prosecuting attorney whisks Rachel away for one-on-one time, his competitors follow suit. Sadly, there’s just not enough time, and the men begin lining up for their moment alone with their dream girl. “Everywhere I turn, there’s a guy,” Rachel tells producers. “I have to respect the order. Tension builds as the gents attempt to make the most of the limited one-on-one time.
4. Rachel is Willing to Relocate
During a surprisingly deep conversation with DeMario, a 30-year-old executive recruiter, Rachel admits that she’d be willing to move under the right circumstances. “I’m in a place where, if I really do love someone I’ll move, and I’ll figure out the rest later. It’ll work itself out,” she says.
5. The Bachelorette Isn’t Looking For an Easy Love
Rachel isn’t expecting love to be easy. “Love is sacrifice,” she tells DeMario. “It’s commitment; it’s an unexplained energy.”
6. A Blunt Suitor Wins Rachel Over
If we were giving a prize for “smoothest suitor,” it would have to go to Bryan, a 37-year-old chiropractor. Upon meeting Rachel, he introduces himself in Spanish and dubs himself a “troublemaker.” Rachel is intrigued by his rather forward nature and self-awareness.
During one-on-one time with Rachel, Bryan goes in for a sultry kiss. “I was not ready for it,” Rachel later says in the confessional. “I did not wanna kiss anyone tonight, but boy did I love it!” Bryan’s strategy works, as he walks away with the first impression rose. “That kiss made all the difference,” Rachel tells him before accepting another kiss.
7. There’s a Madman in Every Bunch
Lucas, 30, who dubs himself the “whaboom guy,” strikes a nerve with competitors with his obnoxious outbursts. Clearly not bothered by the negative reaction, Lucas attempts to make an impression on Rachel by ditching his jacket and showing off his sleeveless “whaboom” shirt. Blake E., 30, an aspiring drummer, is particularly disgusted by Lucas, eventually confronting him for his skewed intentions.
8. Rachel’s First Rose Ceremony as The Bachelorette
Rachel exudes confidence as she joins Chris Harrison prior to the rose ceremony “I’m confident in the decision I’m going to make,” she tells the host.
“I want you to know that I truly appreciate your time,” Rachel tells the men before handing out roses.
9. The Keepers
Peter, Will, Jack, Jamey, Iggy, Eric, DeMario, Jonathan, Bryce, Alex, Kenny, Dean, Matt, Anthony, Brady, Josiah, Lee, Kenneth (Diggy), Fred, Adam, Blake E., and Lucas receive roses. The men are shocked that “whaboom” guy receives a rose. “My heart is broken,” Milton says as he breaks into tears.
10. Rachel is a “Smitten Kitten”
In a preview for the season ahead, Rachel is clearly smitten by her suitors. “I can’t stop smiling,” she says during a romantic trip to Sweden. But as expected, a roller coaster of emotions emerge as Rachel falls for multiple men.
The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.