Nick Viall is determined to find true love as the season 21 Bachelor.
On the January 2 premiere of ABC’s smash reality show, the Wisconsin native met his 30 bachelorettes, and some of the ladies went to great lengths to make a first impression. Here, The Knot recaps the highlights from the season premiere.
Before embarking on his journey, Nick receives a pep talk from his younger sister, Bella, who offers her big bro a few dating pointers. “Look the girls in the eyes,” she says. “Don’t mumble, [and] let out your thoughts.”
Nick is also grateful for the opportunity to meet with former Bachelors, Ben Higgins, Chris Soules, and Sean Lowe. He admits to feeling anxious about meeting the women. “Be yourself,” Ben tells him. “Trust yourself. Be Nick.”
The night has arrived! Nick meets with longtime Bachelor host Chris Harrison before the ladies arrive. Once the women begin to step out of their limos, it doesn’t take long for their individual personalities to shine.
Danielle L., a 27-year-old boutique owner from Los Angeles is first to introduce herself. Olivia, a 25-year-old sales representative and Alaska native, asks Nick to share an Eskimo kiss.
Sarah, a 26-year-old elementary school teacher from California, dons tennis shoes with her evening gown, and sprints to Nick to make her introduction. “I thought you’d appreciate another runner-up,” she jokes.
Jasmine G, a 29-year-old pro basketball dancer from California, brings along jewelry designer Neil Lane to clue Nick in on her favorite engagement ring options. Liz, a 29-year-old doula from Las Vegas, met and hooked up with Nick previously at Jade Roper and Tanner Tolbert‘s wedding. Although Nick and Liz don’t acknowledge that they know one another, Nick tells Chris Harrison that he’s “almost certain” he knows Liz.
Just as several of the ladies remark that their competitors seem friendly, the next limo arrives, and the introductions become increasingly awkward. Susannah, a 26-year-old account manager from San Diego, offers Nick a beard massage. Josephine, a 24-year-old nursing student from California, brings a book with an uncooked hotdog hidden inside. She asks Nick to “Lady and the Tramp it” with her by both taking a bite from opposite ends.
Twenty-five year old Lacey–a digital marketing manager from Manhattan–arrives on a camel. “I hear you like a good hump, and so do I,” she tells Nick. Alexis, a 23-year-old aspiring dolphin trainer from New Jersey, makes her entrance wearing a shark costume, but she insists it’s a dolphin.
“That was intense and amazing,” Nick tells Chris Harrison after meeting his 30 contestants. Meanwhile, the ladies are inside the mansion lamenting the fact that so many women are donning red dresses.
Cocktails and Chaos
Nick joins the women and thanks them for being there for him. He explains that his past experiences at the mansion brought him to where he is today, and he is thankful for so many fond memories. He shares that he’s looking for a life partner, and he wants the ladies to feel empowered by their Bachelor experience.
Nick takes a few brief moments to get to know the women individually. When Corinne, a 24-year -old business owner from Miami, steals him away, she wastes no time giving him a kiss. Nick describes Corinne as a “firecracker.” In the confessional, he admits that he “wasn’t entirely comfortable” with the gesture, and he hopes the other women didn’t see them kiss. (Spoiler alert: They did!)
When he talks to Liz alone, Nick reveals that he remembers their “wild and crazy night” together. He shares that he was confused as to why she didn’t contact him after Jade and Tanner’s wedding. Liz explains that she watched him on Bachelor in Paradise, and she realized he was much more self-aware than she realized.
Nick gifts the first impression rose to Rachel, a 31-year-old attorney from Dallas.
The Rose Ceremony
As Nick prepares for the rose ceremony, Chris Harrison explains that he will have to send home more women than previous Bachelors, as there are 30 contestants this season.
When the ceremony begins, Vanessa, a 29-year-old special education teacher from Montreal, Canada, is the first to receive a rose. Later, the ladies are shocked when Nick asks Alexis (the dolphin/shark) to accept one of his roses.
In the confessional, Liz contemplates what may have happened between she and Nick had she contacted him after their one-night stand. She’s relieved when she receives the final rose of the evening.
After making his selections, Nick says goodbye to Olivia, Angela, Lauren, Jasmine B., Michelle, Ida Marie, Briana, and Susannah.
This season on The Bachelor, the women are devastated when they learn Nick once had sex with Liz. Nick has a breakdown when he realizes he’s hurt so many women.
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.