Jojo is a pretty generic Bachelorette. She’s approachable, fun, pretty and easy to root for but she doesn’t really stand out in any particular way. She doesn’t have Andi’s intelligence or Ashley’s endearing vulnerability, she’s more predictable than Ali and she gives way more fucks than Kaitlyn. She does, however, run circles around Des so at least there’s that. Her group of men is similar- lots of guys who blend together into a samesy mass of blond-ish beefcake, but a cute samesy mass of blond-ish beefcake with a decent amount of charm. A few of my early favourites got cut down before their time (I was sorry to see Nick and Ali go but it was potential Bachelor candidate Grant’s 11th place finish that hurt the most) but most of the season’s incredible number of duds went home early too (my picks for the worst: Jonathan who made a racist penis size joke straight out of the limo, Brandon whose job was “hipster”, Christian the bathtub guy, Daniel the drunk dumbass yet again representing Canada poorly on this show).
Dominating the airtime in the first few episodes were two other losers: Chad and Evan (aka the guy who hated Chad). The producers wanted so badly for everyone to hate Chad that I found myself poking holes in his Villain Edit in an attempt to stand up for the bully (please note that the security guard was a total stunt; they have real security standing just out of shot at all times. That guy was probably from central casting). Chad wasn’t exactly a gem but the guys who spent all their time complaining about him were the ones who really pissed me off. Led by whiny Evan and his fight-picking need for attention, the united front against Chad was the worst thing since the over-produced anti-Nick gangup from last season (and the season before). Of course, since common enemy Chad finally left the house, the most petty and competitive cast of men the show has ever seen has turned on two of their own, the classic targets: the frontrunner and the misfit. More on them in a moment but, suffice it to say, those who stay out of the fray are always my favourites.
Here are my rankings of the remaining guys, starting with my favourite (not my pick for Jojo, my personal favourite) though I should probably note that no one in this cast has particularly captured my heart.
Easily the most relatable and definitely the coolest guy in the house, Wells is sweet, calm and funny. His lack of buff bro muscles has framed him as something of an underdog but he’s crazy cute and has the standout personality of the bunch despite having significantly less screen time than most thus far.
He’s a little stiff and definitely has less than zero chemistry with Jojo but Derek is my personal pick for cutest guy in the house (he looks just like John Krasinski, no?) and his niceguy nerd thing is right up my alley. He’s awkward around the other guys, making him the most recent target of the devil child I’ll talk about later but I’d just like it on the record that asking for reassurance from the lead is a very accepted part of this show, especially for the person who got the first one-on-one. I don’t feel like I can see Derek clearly because his guard is up so high, which I never like, but he’s a cutie pie and definitely doesn’t deserve quite so much ire.
I’m not particularly into Luke’s whole monosyllabic country boy who looks like a runway model vibe but he really won me over in the most recent episode and I’m starting to think he’s a pretty decent fit for Jojo. Not only is he one of the only men to stay completely out of and above the drama but he didn’t buy into the ridiculously produced magazine scandal for a second when everyone else was at least considering it before giving Jojo the benefit of the doubt (that was the moment Luke got me on his team; clearly the others don’t know/trust her as much as Luke and that’s really telling). I didn’t buy it at first but there seems to be a sincerity to Luke that’s pretty rare on this show and his chemistry with Jojo is among the best. He’s not my style but I like him nonetheless.
Oh James Taylor, you’re the cutest, sweetest little dude but you’ve simply got no shot (which makes me especially sad after that “have you met my friend” story on his date broke my heart). You can tell Jojo likes James (and I’m finally prepared to say that he may actually be there for the “right reasons” despite the constant presence of his guitar) but his fears about the friendzone are well founded. He’s too cute and fun and open-hearted to deserve the friendzone but James should be with a regular girl and, no matter what she says, Jojo is not that.
The most frontrunner-y frontrunner who ever frontrunner’d, Aaron Rodgers’ little brother made what may be the best first impression I’ve ever seen on this show (well, I’ll always be a sucker for the Nick/Andi connection). He seemed to get on great with the guys and make light of the ridiculous situation, put Jojo at ease, got to know her quickly, and their connection soared fast and bright from day one (the time between her first kiss with Jordan and her first with anyone else was tellingly long). Of course, frontrunners always drive the other guys crazy at some point and the tide is finally starting to turn on the golden boy. Is it just the standard highly produced jealousy or is Jordan really not to be trusted? He is a little camera-ready for my comfort and I could definitely see a Jordan/Jojo pairing looking great then flaming out quickly once they hit the real world but, man, that chemistry.
Their one-on-one was really hot but I otherwise have zero idea who Chase is. A bland handsome mass of muscle with perfect hair.
Nah, Robby is trouble. He said “I love you” WAY too fast and previews suggest there’s drama to come with the Olympic swimmer. Cute (he looks just like Chase who looks remarkably like Jordan) and probably relatively harmless but still a nope on Robby.
and, finally, in a corner all by himself…
My least favourite contestant in so long I can’t even remember if I hated Bentley more (I probably did; how dare you make Ashley cry!). People I liked more, sometimes far more, than Alex include: Chad Johnson, Nick Viall, Kalon McMahon, JJ Lane (Clint too), Jake Pavelka, Frank Neuschaefer, Justin “Rated R” Rego, probably even Wes Hayden but I don’t remember. This pint-sized former marine with a crater-sized chip on his shoulder is a sanctimonious nincompoop who relentlessly contradicts both himself and basic logic while attacking any other contestant he can think to attack. The fact that he’s getting a Hero Edit drives me straight up the wall. This guy is The Worst.
What a dumb group. I usually am bored through The Bachelor and love me some Bachelorette so I guess the price to pay for the best Bachelor season in years (great job, Ben!) is a dull Bachelorette. They totally should have picked Jubilee. *sigh*