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Getting out of the limo with a wacky costume or gimmick is a staple of the undergraduate franchise, but it rarely leads to an enduring romance. That could change with the self-described “crazy cat lady” Katie as the new Bachelorette.
The premiere on Monday begins with a preview of the coming season, in which many shirtless men and Katie ask: « Can someone please say when are fantasy suites? » There’s drama on tap, of course, when one guy calls another a « manipulative psychopath » and Katie tearfully tells the men, « If you’re not here for an engagement, get out of here. » We first met Katie during Matt James’ undergraduate season, and now she’s the one handing out the roses. She tells us about her tough childhood – her parents divorced when she was a baby, and she grew up poor and roamed a lot as a child – and declares, « I’m ready for the love I deserve. » She will find it at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa in New Mexico … that looks like a big step up from the roadside motel that producers Clare and Tayshia moored to last season, we have to say.
Speaking of Tayshia , She and her former Bachelorette Kaitlyn have jumped in to host Chris Harrison this season, and they drive to the resort together in an old convertible as if they were Thelma and Louise. First, however, we meet some of Katie’s men in a montage: Connor B., a bizarre math teacher who plays the ukulele in the bathtub, spreads serious Andy Bernard vibes. (Did he go to Cornell?) Brendan is a retired ice hockey player from Canada who is now a firefighter in training, Mike is a gym owner and virgin, and Tre brags about knowing « 40 Digits Pi ». OK then! Before the limos pull up, Kaitlyn and Tayshia Katie have an encouraging chat and she announces, « I need a grown man. » Um … would you settle for a grown man in a cat suit?
The boys arrive and Katie is overwhelmed by how good they all look: « They’re all really ten. » Tre the Pi guy arrives in a pickup truck with a ball pit in the back and likes its fun-loving atmosphere. After meeting Greg, she notes, “He looks like my ex-boyfriend. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. « (We’ll find out soon!) Andrew S. tries to fool himself with a British accent, but they laugh about it together. Jeff shows up in a Winnebago … where he lives. One guy shows up in a gift box and doesn’t come out and tells Katie that she’ll have to unpack it later. Cody brings an inflatable doll named Sandy that « helped me a lot » during the pandemic. In fact, lots of sexual innuendos are exchanged, and After Quartney’s speech makes Katie hot and annoyed, she even blows in the air. But she’s most impressed when Connor B. – the Andy Bernard clone – shows up in a full cat suit with whiskers on and all. « I think I do I’m in love, « she tells him right away, and when Kaitlyn and Tayshia drop by her, she confesses, » I’m really concentrating on the cat Connor. « See? Sometimes the crazy costumes work.
She’s leaving t in to spend more time with the guys, and she gets along with some of them right away. Greg charms her by giving her a pasta necklace made by his niece. But others stumble: Jeff gives Katie the grand tour of his Winnebago, and « it was definitely inhabited, » she says. Then it’s finally time to unpack: she opens the gift-wrapped box and likes what she finds in it. His name is James, and Katie thinks he’s « super hot … I definitely have a crush on him ». She also spends some time with Connor the Cat Guy, putting on her own cat ears and paws to play with him on a giant Big-style piano. They bubble on top of each other before making out – and he gets his whiskers all over her.
However, Katie shares her first impression with Greg and they share a few kisses. (I think she doesn’t mind that he reminds her of her ex.) At the rose ceremony, she hands Tre, Connor the Cat Guy, Andrew S., James the Box Guy, Justin, Quartney, Mike the Virgin roses … and a few others that somehow all fit together, honestly. (Jeff the Winnebago Guy, meanwhile, is one of those kicked to the curb.) As the remaining men toast with Katie, she admits, « I don’t have a top 2. I have a top 22. » And the premiere ends with a second trailer in which Katie and Greg make out in a rainstorm, their “I love you” to Andrew S. (!) !!), the required ambulance and man tears – and Katie angrily declares, “I’m done, I’m done , I’m done. Someone is booking my flight home. « Will she need a cat carrier?
All right Bachelor Nation: In our very early poll, vote on who Katie’s last rose could go to, then click the comments to To share your thoughts after the premiere.
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